Scars, stretch marks & cellulite | Self love & dealing with your body changing

This is going to be a rather open and honest post, and i am questioning whether i even want to share this post or share my thoughts. I wrote this post several days ago but just haven’t really wanted to post it….. something holds me back when it comes to writing about body love/self love posts… it just feels like there are far worse problems in the world and that this is just a “silly, first world, white girl” problem….

In the past i was more open about struggles and wrote alot more body love and self love posts. It feels like body love/self love posts don’t really fit into the theme of nutrition-veganism which i have here. However, it is also part of my personal posts as well as part of a healthy lifestyle and mindset…. to be able to analyze and reflect over certain thoughts, and maybe be able to help someone in the same situation.

I am not someone who spends alot of time caring about my appearance or looking in the mirror. Infact, it wasn’t until April this year, when i moved into my own place that i finally got a full length mirror after 2 years of moving and renting a room in someone elses house.

Now that it is summer i have no problem walking around in shorts and a tank top. Infact, that is one of the things i long for during the winter…. to be able to walk around outside with shorts and a top!

One thing i have always struggled to accept and like about myself and my appearance is my legs…. throughout all the years, it has been the one body part that has taken the longest to accept and love. Though when i took the focus away from how my legs looked and instead focused on the fact that i can run, walk, use my legs and live life i stopped caring so much about how they looked and instead was happy that they work. I have legs that function and that is the most important.

However, a few days ago while looking in the mirror i realised that i have gotten a bunch of stretch marks on the back of my legs/hamstrings…. something i have never noticed before. I do know that i already have some cellulite, which is absolutely normal and i have pretty much just accepted that. Most normal, healthy female bodies have some cellulite as that is just how the female body holds fat. Last year, when i first noticed i had cellulite on the back of my legs it did bother me and i stopped wanting to wear shorts at the gym for a while. Which is so silly thinking about it.

But back to the stretch marks….. Maybe they have always been there and i just haven’t noticed because 1) i haven’t had a full length mirror, 2) i have been so pale during the winter and 3) it’s not everyday i am looking at the back of my legs hahaha

My first reaction to seeing the marks was to think…. “what, why, when?” Have my legs really grown that much…. i can’t do any real strength training with heavy weights for my legs because of my knee and hip pain, so it is alot of body weight exercises. Maybe my legs have grown and i haven’t really noticed – and if the muscle/leg grows quicker than the skin can adapt, then it can lead to stretch marks.

I already have some light faded stretch marks on the inside of my legs from during recovery. That was real hard to accept back in the past. But i have had them for so many years and they are very faded so i barely notice them now anyway. Just like my tattoos they are just there and a part of me!

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So why am i writing this post? Well because it is my sort of self reflection and to share my thoughts.

Because the crazy thing is that my first (well second) reaction was to think, “i need to stop training my legs. I should lose weight so i don’t get bigger legs.” I felt almost embarrassed thinking, should i stop wearing shorts… have people seen the stretch marks and what have they thought?

It BOTHERS me so much that this was my first & second initial reaction and thoughts. Living in a diet and photoshop culture where normal things like cellulite and stretch marks are something to embarrassed about, when they infact are very normal and not a sign that you are unhealthy.

My third reaction was to self analyze and reflect on my first response…. to realise that 1) why make myself feel bad about something i can’t control. 2) Why feel ashamed or embarrassed about something that is actually very normal and 3) why stop doing something i love because i think i should lose weight?

Did i feel better at once? No…. but i have spent years hating my body and struggled for so many years to accept and like my legs. I am not going to let a thing like this knock me down or make me spend more time and energy disliking my body.

The most important thing for me is that i have a healthy body and legs that work. The important thing is that i can use my body, use my legs… that i can workout and do something i love. I am not about to change that because society just shows us pictures of photoshopped models.

And i understand that there are people who have far more cellulite, stretch marks and scars than I do, but this is just my thoughts and my body.

It is not always easy to accept your body changing. And i remember when i was in eating disorder recovery and had to gain weight and realised that the gaining weight process had given me cellulite and stretch marks, despite still being underweight. That hit me HARD. But i just want to remind those of you who are in eating disorder recovery, or just anyone really, that those things are normal and not something to be ashamed of.

Of course, it is easier said than done. But my best advice is to just focus on being healthy and happy. Instead of focusing on your appearance, focus on creating a healthy life and a happy life. Making choices based on happiness and health and not on appearance. Do the workouts you enjoy, not ones you hate because you want to try to lose weight. Eat nourishing food that you enjoy so that you have energy to live, think, move.

But also to not spend so much time looking in the mirror. One of the worst things you can do is just stand infront of the mirror and be critical and analyze yourself… in the end you will just tear yourself apart.

HOWEVER, one positive thing you can do is to say 5 (Or more) positive things about yourself and/or your appearance each morning. Either say them out loud, think them in your head, or you could write down on a post it note and put it on your mirror so you see those things each day.

Also writing down what you love about yourself and your body as well as focusing on what your body can do, instead of how it looks can be very helpful with learning self love.

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Like mentioned, it is not always easy to  learn self love. Sometimes you just need to accept your body and move on. Realise that you are more than your body – and i know i might get comments saying that, “It is easy for you to say this when you are already thin”.

But hating your body takes so much energy and time. It prevents you from being truly happy as well as prevents you from living the life you really want to. Learning self love and self acceptance makes such a difference to your life and mindset. It may take weeks or months, but at some point you will reach that stage where you can just be happy in your body and realise that health and a healthy body is the most important, not so much if you have scars or a thigh gap.

I had thought i would share photos but i realised 1) i am not in the state of mind or acceptance that i want to do that and 2) it really isn’t relevant or necessary.

Why am i writing this post? Well because i wanted to share my thoughts, it is also a form of self reflection for me. But also to show that sometimes your first initial reaction or response to something isn’t always the best or healthiest… but it is the self reflection and how you actually react/your response that matters. I.e i am sure we have all had a quick unconscious judgement or initial response to someone or something, but with a few seconds after thought reacted differently or had different thoughts.

I hope this post helps someone else in someway!

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What’s in my fridge & freezer – Vegan| Staple foods at home

At the moment i am trying to remind myself to take more photos in my everyday life and to share more lifestyle posts but even share more behind the scenes photos of my food as that seems to appreciated!

So when i got my food delivery on Sunday evening – after being on the train 4 hours, it was the perfect time to share how my grocery haul looks, and to share my staple foods at home. I am guessing you already know my staple foods from the food photos i share, but here is a look in my fridge and freezer!

I usually order from Mat.se 2 times a month and stock up on frozen vegetables, lots of oatmilk, beans (dried and canned), tomato sauce, tofu and vegetables which last 1-2 weeks. As well as grains and pantry items such as flour, oatmeal, dried lentils, quinoa, corn flour etc and then i buy things during the week if i need them such as as fresh fruit or salad. Also usually buy fresh items such as potatos, carrots, sweet potato and other veggies atleast once a week! This works well for me and i find that i do save money as well as time by doing a big grocery shop that lasts for 1-2 weeks and then just stocking up on extra items or fresh produce when needed!

Here you see what is in my fridge and freezer right now:

This is one of my cupboards.

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I also usually fill glass jars with coffee, oats, flour, cacao, dried chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils, nuts and seeds, granola or muesli etc but haven’t filled the jars yet so i didn’t want to photo!!

Staples in my house are always: Tofu, oatmilk, frozen vegetables, chickpeas (or some type of bean), lentils, potatoes and sweet potato, avocado (as long as they aren’t super expensive), tomato sauce and vegetable stock. And usually i always have oats, peanut butter, oat cream, vegan margarine at home as well, and then i buy fake meat,vegan cheese and vegan chocolate and yoghurt if i have enough money or if i fancy them, but they aren’t an everyday or every week item.

And i got some questions on my IG wondering about if i have fruit at home, and also how much i spend on groceries each week.

First off… i don’t actually eat so much fruit, sometimes i buy banana if it is extra price or some frozen berries. But i just don’t crave fruit, and it is something i should get better at eating. In the past i used to eat 3-7 pieces of fruit a day, but as i don’t really snack and just prefer my big savoury meals i don’t eat so much fruit. I am almost ashamed to write this, but i need to be honest.

And second, my food budget varies alot but stocking up like this – which lasts me c.a 2 weeks cost me around 96euro (this includes items that weren’t food i.e toilet paper, dishwashing powder, cotton pads etc) . So i spend around 250-300euro on food a month. For some that is alot and for others that isn’t alot. But i priortize food before clothes so i am sure i could spend less on food each month and have more money over, but it works for me and some months i spend more and some months i spend less!

If you like more posts like this, let me know 🙂 I also have some meal prep photos coming from the food i made for this week – or part of it anyway!

 

Obsessed with numbers (likes, followers, macros, calories)? Controlling life and putting your worth in numbers.

Hey! So I was just wondering what your thoughts on the way many seem to track everything down to every little detail. For instance, tracking macroes, calories, water intake, steps, sleep, periods, likes, followers etc etc. I know it can be a great help on some areas, but it has become such a major stressor to feel like you always need to be on top of everything and manage everything perfectly…

I think this is a really good question and something i think about quite a bit, so thought i would answer in a post.

I have writte a similar post HERE

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We are a society that are controlled by numbers. We put our worth in numbers – whether it is calories, macros, money, weight, number of friends we have, grades, likes, followers etc

And according to me it isn’t healthy. We are so much more than numbers and we should not put our worth in numbers. I.e you aren’t a better person just because you weigh less, you aren’t necessarily smarter just because you get a better grade (you may be smarter in that topic or maybe you are just very good at tests and assignments), you aren’t necessarily happier just because you have more money (even if money can make life easier), and you aren’t better than someone else because you have more likes or followers on social media. But yet, that is how some people think.

It can get obsessive and controlling to always keep track of everything.

Of course making sure you drink enough water, get enough hours of sleep and eat a balanced intake is a good idea. But you don’t have to know precisely how many calories you eat or that you get exactly 8 hours sleep every night, or that you drink exactly 2l water everyday. It can vary over time and still be balanced and healthy.

My post about counting calories HERE and always counting hours exercised HERE & post with tips to stop counting calories 

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I think it is a mostly control thing. Most people want control in their life… and if there are things in their life that they can’t control such as school or work or family, then they can control their food or their exercise. To some extent it can be ok to track things and have some form of control, but when it becomes obsessive where you feel like a terrible person because you ate more calories than your “allowed” calories, or because you only got 5 hours sleep instead of 8 or because you didn’t workout for x minutes like you usually do… then it can become healthy and far too controlling. Just like people online who are obsessed with followers and likes – to the point where they can have a break down if people unfollow them or they don’t get enough likes – according to me that is very unhealthy and the person doesn’t have a healthy relationship with social media then, and my advice would be to take a pause from social media if you are far too caught up in numbers. (My post HERE: Are you obsessed with social media)

If you find that you are a little too controlling and obsessed with tracking your life, then i would suggest you try to take a step back and analyze your behaviour and mindset.

For some people trackers such as fitbit on your mobile can be a good idea, as they need a reminder to get some steps in or to drink water or to understand healthy portions/foods. But if it takes over your life where you begin to feel guilty if you don’t reach a certain number or you can’t break free from a certain routine/habit/tracking, then you need to do something about it.

Wanting to track everything is often due to control reasons but may also be due to perfectionism… wanting everything to be perfect. Or maybe because you are scared of change or scared of what will happen if you eat more or exercise less, or you think you are aren’t as worthy if you don’t get “enough” likes or get the top grade.

My best advice is to try to take a step back. Think about why you track these things in your life so much. What would happen if you didn’t track them? You would still be alive, you would still be functioning, you would still be healthy (maybe even healthier!). It’s good to have healthy routines but tracking things to an obsessive or extreme level is not healthy.

In the past i used to track calories and macros, i would force myself to workout x minutes/Hours everyday and would track how many hours i spent resting vs. being active, and even had a time i got very caught up in followers/likes, however i have managed to overcome all of those and ind a balance with food, exercise and social media. I wish i could give you some more advice, but if i am honest i don’t really know how i found balance. All i can say is that it was extremely tiring and time consuming to have to track all those things in my life… to always have a maths game going on in my head, i barely had energy to live life or think of other things apart from the things i was tracking in my life.

I guess my best tip is to step outside of your comfort zone… try to do new things, spontaneous thins and try to distract yourself when the thoughts of wanting to track and count begin to pop up in your head. It’s a process, but you can learn to have a more relaxed approach to all those different elements in your life, without putting your worth in numbers.

My personal opinion is that 1) if you feel bad because you don’t get enough likes or followers on your social media then you need to recheck your mindset and relationship to social media. And if you 2) meticulously track your calories, macros and exercise… then you need to do something about it. Some people find that tracking calories/macros helps them with control, however if you can never eat a spontaneous meal or an untracked meal without feeling guilty, then you don’t have a healthy relationship with food. It is one thing to track just to make sure you are eating enough and another thing to track to strictly that you can’t eat anything untracked or anything “different”… then it is an unhealthy behaviour.

 

Finding balance and making time for what i enjoy

First off i want to say thank you for all your comments on my past 2 posts, it does mean alot to me that you comment and care!

And yes, i may be feeling a little extra anxious right now but it’s nothing i can’t cope with. Just finding balance in my life is key right now. And I’m getting into the swing of work again and it’s ok. It may not be my dream job, but work is work, and I’d rather work and have a job than no job. And i am reminding myself that i have time in the future to work with my dreams and goals and i don’t need to have it all sorted right now.

For now my goal is to do as many things that make me happy as possible.

I’ve been neglecting the gym for a while but today i was reminded of just how much i love the gym and how good it makes me feel. So feeling reenergized and motivated to get back into working out at the gym and primarily focus on my cardiovascular health. Not going to try to increase weights or get stronger, but focus more on cardio and functional fitness for a while.

Also really want to commit to connecting more with all of you. Those of you who read my blog or comment or send me messages. All of you who support me – so i want to grt back into commenting and connecting with you and actually helping people. That is my main aim of my social media…. to help people and i felt like i lost touch with that aim for a while. So nutrition, veganism and health.

Also to those of you who commented and said that i shouldn’t put pressure on myself to blog/use social media – i don’t pressure myself, infact i love using social media and blogging. But also as i do see it as sort of a job/hobby and something i want to grow to be more than just a hobby, it does also mean putting the work into it so that it grows!

Also to make time to bake more. It’s so therapeutic for me…. but going to just bake for 2-4 portions so i don’t end up with brownies for 20 people and don’t know what to do with them haha.

Meeting friends is also going to be a priority this summer. Yes i want to work as much as possible, but as i live on my own it’s even more important to make sure to meet people and my friends as often as possible!!!

All about trying to find balance in my life again and make sure to find time to relax and do things i enjoy while also doing the things i have to do each day/week! 4 more days and then i am spending the weekend with my family – i was going to hold a nutrition lecture/workshop but there was a change of plans and instead i am just going to be with my family and instead i might hold a lecture/workshop later in summer or autumn when i have more time to prepare! I realized i was taking on too many things at once and that it wasn’t good timing to try to prepare for a workshop/lecture, but i do hope i can do one later in the summer!! 🙂

That’s a quick sort of life update!

Would love to know what your goals are for this summer and what things you are going to priortize/things that make you happy 🙂

**Update… i have just realized that i have written and published posts that have just disappeared and i have no idea why. No draft saved, and the post is just gone…. 😦 ** Might be something wrong with WordPress….

New month – Goals? Stress? Life? & new ice cream flavour

Already the third day of the new month, and i meant to share a post with my May goals on the 1st of the month.

However, i don’t really have any new or different goals than usual so there isn’t much to share anyway.  Or well, i have ALOT of goals and dreams right now, but i am choosing to keep them all private until i feel like i can or want to share them. For now i guess i will just silently work on them and see what happens.

It is now May, almost half way through the year and it feels like these past 4 months have just flown by.  It feels like just last week it was minus degrees and January, but suddenly i am studying my last course for the term (the course is health communication). Crazy that this time next year i will have done my internship and be writing my final essay for my candidate degree. I have thought of certain topics i want to write about, maybe something with veganism and nutrition, and have some other thoughts but i will do more thinking about that in the summer and autumn!

At the moment i feel like i have 101 things i need to do each day. So many dates and deadlines to keep track of. Things to plan and get done, and like most students by May you are feeling tired and unmotivated towards school work and just want summer break to roll around. I am definitely tired of studying right now… or mostly, i am tired of writing essays. I enjoy reading my litterature and going to lectures, and i enjoy learning.. i just don’t enjoy the long hours of essay writing and assignments. But i guess you need to take the good with the bad when you are studying at university!

My current mood is tiredness. Feeling motivated but also very tired. My sleeping problems are back in full swing, feeling very stressed and anxious and just trying to motivate myself through each day – finding the positives of each day.

Cooking, baking, listening to podcasts, going for walks… trying a new ice cream are all some things that i do when i feel stressed and overwhelmed.

But also writing to-do lists…. so many to-do lists. Even writing things like “Need to wash my hair”, “laundry at 5pm”, “shave my legs” are on my to-do list. Just like i wrote in my previous post HERE… when i am stressed and anxious, i can become very forgetful, and if i don’t write it in on my todo list then i forget/won’t do it. So i have to-do lists for the day, the week and the month.

For some, that might stress them out but for me it is just helpful. It makes me see clearly what is most important to do and what is not so important. I.e the assignment in 2 weeks time isn’t important to begin now – it can wait, whereas the assignment due on Friday needs to be done now. It is a huge help and destressor for me to check things off my list and realise i have been productive even if it doesn’t always feel like it!

For now, i am taking each day as it comes, trying to do my best and not get overwhelmed even if it feels like i have so many things to do at once. But that’s life, and once school is done for the term it will be mostly work to focus on!

I hope you are all doing good!! What are some of your May goals? 🙂