Graduation day | Health promotion with focus nutrition

After 3,5 years at university, whereof 3 years studying health promotion with focus on nutrition, it is finally coming to an end.

These three years have gone SOO quick. Trust me, when you first begin university it may feel like a lifetime until you graduate and are done… but it will go by so quickly. Three years anyway… if you study 5 or 7 years, of course it will feel like it never ends. But even then, i have heard people who study 5 years to do a masters and say that the time at university went far too quickly.

Today is my graduation day… hopefully get my bachelors in health promotion. Though i won’t know until summer whether i have passed or not with my final bachelors essay.

In three years alot can happen. I feel like a completely different person compared to the girl i was autumn 2016 and first started the program.

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^When i moved to Gothenburg, autumn 2016^^

2016 – new start

I moved to a new city… on my own. Wanting a new fresh start.

I had only been in Gothenburg once before where i spent a two day weekend with my boyfriend at the time… and i fell in love with the city.

Moving to a new city is scary… especially when you don’t know anyone. When you don’t have any contacts and don’t know where you will live. How to travel around the city.

Read more about this HERE: moving to a new city to study| life change and 8 tips for moving to a new city

I had moved out and lived with a roommate earlier, when i was studying at Uppsala univeristy, though i just had a 60-90 minute journey back home if i wanted to see my family. Now i was going to be 4 hours away by train.

However, i have always been so independant that that never bothered me… mostly i knew i would miss my dog. Which i very much have these past 3 years.

There are alot of fears moving to a new city and starting a new university program. Would i make any friends? Would i like the program? Would i feel lonely? Would i like the new city? etc etc I had to face alot of fears and step outside of my comfort zone alot when i first started university and moved to a new city.

 

Did i always know i wanted to study this program?

I have had doubts about my program… often wondered if maybe i should study the dietititan program instead. But in the end, i am very happy i have studied this program… and i do have plans to continue studying… to learn more about coaching, psychology, eating behaviour, leadership, sports nutrition and maybe do a masters in nutrition. Three and a half years at university but i still doubt that i have enough knowledge. Or well, i know i have enough knowledge… i know that my knowledge in nutrition and exercise and health promotion is adequate and higher than the average person… but i guess i am just not done studying or learning.

I love learning…. not so much the stress involved with assignments and exams. But learning more information which i can then share with others and use to help others is what i love. So i am not done with studying, even if i am done with my bachelors.

My university program

Many people are interested in what program i studied and it was “Health promotion with focus nutrition”, and i have written some posts about what i have learnt and my thoughts about the program, HERE: & HERE, which you can read.

My overall thoughts… it is a good program. You learn information about alot of different areas from nutrition, coaching, motivational interviewing (an evidence based counselling style that is usually used when helping people to change behaviours), sports nutrition, biochemistry, health promotion and the list goes on.

Compared to the dietitian program, we have focused alot on health promotion. I.e working with healthy people to keep them healthy. Promoting health and working on “health factors” instead of so called “risk factors”. In the dietitian program they learn more about how to work with sick people and people with different diagnoses. With my knowledge i can work with people who are sick to a certain extent… however we don’t really have the right knowledge to work with nutrition advice regarding certain illnesses and then it is better that the client is sent to a dietitian with more knowledge in those areas of nutrition.

So what can I, and the others in my class work with after this program? Well… we don’t really have a license like dietitians do. However we have qualifications to work with nutrition, exercise, health, health promotion, lifestyle changes etc

Careers can vary from having your own business and doing health coaching, doing lectures, working in health care centres, working in schools, working with businesses, creating mealplans or even working with food. The list goes on…. just from the wide range of internships that people did in my class shows how many different career options there are for us.

Not to mention that there is more and more attention focused on the health for qualified healthcoaches and people focused on promoting health. More and more people are getting sick due to lifestyle related illnesses, and i definitely think people with a similar university degree/program can have a huge impact in helping people improve their health.

What happens now?

It is so crazy to think that these 3 years are over, and it does send me into slight panic mode. I must admit… i feel like i have been constantly stressed these past 3 years, hahah. Which isn’t a good thing. But i have the same feeling as i did after graduation from highschool where you are left thinking…what happens now? What do i do now? Do i work… do i study… how do i get from A to B? What am i doing with my life? Am i on the right path?

So many questions and no answers…. I don’t know where i will be in 5 years time or what i will be doing with my life, or how my life will look like then. But i don’t want to worry about it either.

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This summer my goal is to just work at the foodstore i currently work at. Focus on my social media work with my blog, instagram and YouTube. And also work on some side projects i want to try to build up. And also begin with lectures, maybe doing health coaching and also applying for nutrition/health related jobs. I don’t know how my autumn will look like… but this summer i know i just want a break from school because these past months have been stressful with school and my bachelors essay.

My advice to others:

All i can say from my experience is…. Dare to try something new. Apply to that university course or program. Dare to move to that new city. It is ok if you realize that the first course or program isnät for you… that happened to me. The first time i started university and moved away from home it didn’t turn out as expected. I didn’t make friends, i felt lonely and didn’t have any fun at university. But the second time rount it was better.

It is ok if you study 3 years and realize you hare passionate about something else. You are not a failure. You have still learnt things, gotten experience and realized what you don’t want to do.

Just dare to try. Things may not work out as planned, but that’s life.

I had to move a bunch of times before i finally got my own student apartment. I didn’t makke friends at first when i started university the seocnd time around. I have felt lonely. I have doubted my program and whether i should continue studying.

But for the majority of the time i have enjoyed studying and enjoyed my university experience.

Also, i am so thankful that in Sweden it is free to study. Of course, i have taken a student loan to be able to afford to pay rent/food/etc and not have to work fulltime as well as study… but atleast i don’t need to pay to actually go to unversity, which i am very thankful for.

So… this long post finally comes to an end. All i can say is that i am so happy to finally graduate and have my degree *hopefully*… but at the same time i really don’t feel ready and like time has gone too quick.

Also, i know i haven’t written so many personal posts recently… i used to share my monthly goals and life updates… but with all the school and work stress i have had recently i stopped doing that. But i felt i atleast wanted to share this update in my life 🙂 For those of you who have followed me for the past few years 🙂 And hopefully you will stick around for the next few years as well!

 

Why am I not blogging anymore?

Not sure how to start this post… with hello?

Over the last few weeks i have been getting quite a few messages from people wondering why i am no longer blogging on here… or why it is mostly recipes.

First off, it is lovely to hear that you care and miss my posts… it does mean alot!

And well, the short answer to the question is…there is no time.

But if i am honest with myself, that is not the real or full answer. Sure, not having alot of time left for blogging is definitely one of the reasons i haven’t been able to blog. But if i truly wanted to blog, i would make time for it. If i can write and share recipes, then i should be able to write a few non recipe related posts as well?

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However, i just haven’t been motivated or inspired. There hasn’t been any creativity left for blog posting recently. Haven’t known what to write about, and sometimes it feels like i end up just writing about the same things over and over.

Many want to read more about eating disorder recovery posts, and i understand that. But it also feels a little like i have done that in the past, and one of the reasons for changing blogs was to not write so much about it. Sure, i still want to help and share advice posts… but i am also trying to do that in video format on my YouTube at the moment. (My channel, HERE).

It also feels like i have written so many posts about eating disorder recovery, shared all the advice i could and it is easier to just refer to old posts instead of writing new ones.

And with nutrition posts, which have also been requested… well i just haven’t known what to share. I’ve been stuck in a battle of… what could i share that isn’t already available online? As well as feeling…How much free information can i give away? For the past 10 years i have been blogging for free, so much time and energy dedicated to writing blog posts, sharing advice, answering emails and of course… helping people is SO MUCH MORE important than money. But there also comes a time when I have to realise that i can’t give away all the information i learn at my university course and from all the hours spent studying… because in the end, why would anyone want to hire me as a health coach or a lecturer(?) or even to buy ebooks from me if everything is already available online for free? I hope that makes sense! Of course… that doesn’t mean i will never write nutrition or advice posts again… most of all i just need to find inspiration again and find my creativity.

For those of you who don’t know, i am writing my bachelors thesis right now which is taking up the majority of my time. Preparing, reading articles, writing, rewriting things and the list goes on. And then on top of that i am also trying to keep creating recipes and content for my IG and on here (recipes anyway) and trying to post a YouTube video a week… even if that isn’t always possible as editing can take 8-10 hours and i don’t always have the time for it. And then on top of that i work some evenings and weekends… and somewhere inbetween i want to try to meet friends and have a social life, work out and also get time to clean my apartment, do laundry and actually just watch series.

Somedays it can feel like i don’t actually get any time for myself or that i am working on something from 8am to 10pm. And otherdays… i am so exhausted mentally and have 0 creativity or motivation.

Of course i must admit… i sometimes feel bad about the fact that there are people out there who are running businesses while also writing their bachelors thesis (or even masters – which is much tougher), people who can actually post several youtube videos a week while going to Uni or writing their thesis essay.. and people doing so much more than me while still able to do their Uni work. And it makes me feel bad… like i should be doing so much more. Why can’t i also run a business or post several YouTube videos a week and still do everything else i do… or why can’t i just write a few extra blog posts a week.

However, i am trying to remind myself that we are all different. And adding more to my plate isn’t going to help me. I am already incredibly sensitive to stress and easily get anxiety when i have too much on my plate… so even if i want to do more and often feel like i am not doing enough or good enough, i also need to realise there is only so much i can do without breaking down.

Anyway… so that was the long post as to why i am not really sharing so much on here right now. My goal is to be more active on Youtube and try to show more of my personality and to also sharing some advice and inspirational videos on there.

And in time, i do hope to start blogging on here again and sharing more than just recipes. But i hope you all understand why it has been a little empty here recently. Just trying to balance everything in my life and figure things out!

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Life update! School, life, health, climate change?

It’s been a while since i last posted a life update or anything that wasn’t recipes/food!

Though that’s what happens when your life isn’t that interesting… there really isn’t much to share!  And just like many times before… contemplating what and how much to share. I know many people want to know more about myself and my life, but i always think “why would people want to know about my life or what i am doing/my thoughts”.

Maybe i should start doing one of those weekly lists instead with ex: “the best thing this week”, “the worst thing this week”, “something i learned this week”, “favourite film/series/show this week” etcetc

That might be a way to share more of myself and my life and not feeling like i repeat myself each time!  I definitely do want to show more of who i am and my personality… as i feel like that is lacking in my social media right now. But it may be easier ot do via film… so if you aren’t following my on YouTube… go there and subscribe as there you get to see more of who i am (sort of). CLICK HERE.

SO…. LIFE UPDATE!!

Well, it is is statistics and qualitative analysis in school, which is preparations for my essay. It is definitely a struggle and far from fun, but it has to be done! I have had two similar courses in the past, and if i plan to do a masters it will be even more courses in this topic. University and studying can’t always be fun!

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Otherwise i have been working…. i always feel a little anxious before my first shift when it has gone several weeks without working. But once i begin working it is back to the same routines/what i know, so it is kind of nice. A way to turn off my brain for a while.

Also i went out to try the beyond meat burger once again…. and i actually really like the burger. It definitely has a meaty texture, but i don’t mind it. I completely understand though if some people are put off it because it tastes rather realistic (or in my opinion anyway!).

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It has also been a snowing a whole bunch this week and i must admit…  I am very tired of the snow and winter right now, and just long for summer. Though at the same time… i am also worried about the climate, because certain parts of the world are EXTREMELY COLD right now and others (from what i understand) are much warmer than they should be/usually are at this time of the year. And this is definitely signs of global warming and climate change… When places are freezing over and others are heating up way too quickly, then it just isn’t right. And it is frightening. I just want everyone to start taking action and making a change…. No, i am not perfect and i can definitely change certain things in my lifestyle and what i buy that could help the climate more, but being a vegan (or eating as plant based as possible) is one of the best things you can do for the climate. – I might write a post on some other things you can do, but you can also read a pervious post i have written about this: Climate change and global warming: Take action and make a change  & Food and environmental impact

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Onto other lighthearted things….?

Well, just taking each day as it comes. Ups and downs in how i am feeling, but generally positive and happy. Though i do have fears and worries for the future, and some nights the anxiety creeps in and keeps me up all night. But i feel like for the majority of time i am happy and doing well….. isn’t it a little strange that i have to write this, hahah. But for me, it is a positive thing to be doing so well with so little anxiety and stress, haha.

That is pretty much my life update right now… Already the second month in the year and it feels like January was never ending, but at the same time it passed by so quickly!!

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I hope you are all doing well and i apologize for not being so active on here…. i just haven’t had so much inspiration to blog – lots of questioning myself about what to post and what people actually want to read. It is definitely a struggle!

10 year challenge | How my life has changed & eating disorder recovery

If you are active on Instagram, you most likely won’t have missed the #10yearchallenge which is going around right now. I.e 2009 vs 2019 (or some people doing 2008 vs 2018).

I decided to join in and posted this picture on my Story:

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But it also got me thinking about…. everything that has happened in these 10 years.  It definitely feels like a whole life time ago….

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2009 i was 13 years old and living in Ireland. I had just begun secondary school (or i think i had been going to secondaryfor a year/half a year). Basically, when you are 12/13 you change from primary school to secondary school. You go from being the oldest to the youngest.

If i am honest, i don’t have so much memory from my time as a child… i am not sure if i have just surpressed certain memories or if i just can’t remember them. Ex… alot of the time that i was sick (with eating disorders) i have very little memory of, apart from the very negative moments or certain pictures can bring back memories. This can of course be a good thing, but it also means that alot of things i did, i can’t remember.

2009, as i can remember, i spent alot of time sick with my Cystic Fibrosis. I had begun rebelling alot due to my illness and had stopped taking my medicine, and had also begun thinking alot about my future.

Somewhere online i had read that people with CF have an average age of 30-40. And that of course scared me. I didn’t want to be sick, i didn’t want to have CF, i wanted to be just like everyone else.

Of course… not taking my medication just made me more sick and meant that i spent more time away from school.

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It was in 2009 (or 2008, i can’t remember) that i had also begun purging after eating. And during 2009 the purging after meals, eating less and beginning to  frantically and obessively exercise began. And over time it got worse and worse. And the self harm also began.

I don’t know what triggered me or caused me to downward spiral. It was never because i wanted to be skinny or because i was scared of food or weight gain. But i do think that i suffered with anxiety without ever knowing it. Alot of the thoughts i had back then, alot of fears – i can now see were very anxious thoughts.

2010 was the year i was confronted by my parents about my habits and the very noticable weightloss. It was also the year i began treatment, first in therapy and then as an inpatient in a kids psychiatric ward. And eventually tube feeding in hospital.

And then after 6 weeks, without any improvement my mum made the decision that we should travel to Sweden where there is better care for eating disorders. And since then, i haven’t longed back to Ireland. (Crazy that i have now lived in Sweden longer than i have lived in Ireland).

From 2010 to 2012 it was in and out of Mando treatment centre. From inpatient to daypatient. Back and forth and never really getting better – just improving enough (i.e gaining weight) to be able to be a daypatient and then within a few weeks losing all the weight again and having to be an inpatient again.

Summer/autumn 2011 i was inpatient for the last time and went over to daypatient again. However began relapsing again winter 2011/spring 2012, and was finally put an ultimatum. Either i regain the weight i had lost or i be put back into inpatient again.

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And because i was going to start a new school autumn 2012, as well as moving apartment i decided that i wanted autumn 2012 to just be a new start for me. To be declared healthy, to change school and apartment and leave the old “me” behind.

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So i managed to regain the weight, really face my ED and fears again, and really try to focus on recovery.

Autumn 2012 i was declared healthy and was put on the 5 year follow up treatment from Mando.

However, i wouldn’t say i was fully healthy back then. Sure i was a stable weight, but i still had fears, habits and behaviours to tackle. And sometime 2013/2014 i would say i was mentally healthy and free.

I.e it is one thing to be a healthy weight and be able to go to school, to eat regular and seem healthy. But it does take time to be fully free from certain thoughts, habits and behaviours. And it is up to YOU to be honest to yourself about those things and really make a change. Because otherwise it is just YOU who is trapped with those things. No one else can recover for you, and you have to change all those habits/thoughts that keep you sick.

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2012-2015, i was in highschool (?). I did struggle with anxiety, and 2015-2016 i fell into a rather bad depression. I think it was due to all the stress from the last term of high school, all the exams and pressure. I was not doing well and had many times thought of ending my life because i felt so depressed.

2016 i started university and moved away from home for the first time. However, i just got worse mentally and even if i enjoyed what i was studying, because i was so mentally drained/tired i didn’t have the energy to make friends. And i felt lonely, sad and depressed.

After my term was over i moved back to my parents for the summer and tried to figure out what i was going to do with my life. Also i was confronted by my parents who told me i needed to make a change and to get better. They saw me falling down a dark spiral and that i couldn’t keep going that way or i would end up in hospital.

Also, at the start of summer 2016 i decided to give veganism/a plantbased diet a go. For health reasons (as i was struggling with so much stomach issues – due to most likely stress and a not so great diet, as well as i think my depression/anxiety was causing me physical pain as well). But also for ethical reasons, after watching different documentaries.

When i first went vegan i ate ALOT of fruit, and in combination with stomach problems and struggling mental health, it was one of the reasons i lost so much weight. I.e it wasn’t the most balanced vegan intake.

I worked all summer, and applied to university courses in Gothenburg, and was accepted.

That summer i decided that things needed to change. I was going to start university, in a new city and feel better. Be ME again.

 

I broke up with my boyfriend at the time. Stopped taking birth control. Started taking herbal medication for anxiety and depression. Changed habits and thoughts and focused on getting better.

Of course, my parents were not super enthusiastic about me moving to a new city, several hours away from home, especially as i had lost so much weight and was struggling with depression. However, i had set my mind to moving and as mentioned, during the summer focused on getting better and showing my mum that i was getting better.

Autumn 2016 i moved to Gothenburg and started my university program.

2016-2019: I have moved several times, studied 2,5years of my program, made friends, made my life here in this  city! Changed my life, gotten better mentally and found balance and health again! These past 2,5 years alot (but also a little) has happened, and i am not going to write so much about it as it would take too much time! But i can say, i am so happy i made the decision to move.

Of course, it is scary to move to a new city and start a new life. But i am the type of person who needs that…. to have a goal, to just move city/start a new school and just “be a new me”.

Post: Moving city to study | Life change the past 2 years & 8 tips for moving to another city

Of course, moving citty or starting a new school doesn’t mean that you never struggle with mental health again, and it doesn’t take away your illnesses, but for me it does help. Some places i just have very bad memories attached to and i don’t want to return to them. Such as certain places i have  lived (including Ireland) i don’t want to return to because it brings back too many bad memories.

Anyway… that was my long 10 year challenge, and it just shows me how much i have changed.

To have gone from incredibly sick to now so much happier and healthier. Living in another country. Moving houses – and cities – several times. Stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Of course, many ups and downs. But it also makes me wonder… i wonder how my life will be in 2029 – 10 years later! Who knows if i am still blogging then… but i can look back on this post and see how my life has changed from then to now!!

All i can say is that i am happy and happy with my life right now!

First week of 2019 | The week that’s been

Hello and Happy new year!!

Not sure if i have already written that on here, as some of my recent posts have been scheduled so i can’t really remember what i have written and what i haven’t!

It’s the new year and my 2019 has started off slow to say the least…. and maybe not the best start of the year as i haven’t been feeling so well, physically or mentally the past few days. Infact, it is only really today that i am feeling better.

It’s not how i wanted to start the new year – or this post – but that is also part of life, you don’t always feel so great, and you don’t always know the reason why either. Sometimes you just have to keep going and know that it will get better eventually.

So even if the first week of 2019 wasn’t the best week of my life, i can atleast focus on making the rest of the year better 🙂

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I did however have a lovely new years eve dinner/party with my friends. We made a 3 course vegan dinner – though as no one had actually read the recipes beforehand it wasn’t until we began cooking that we realized how long everything would take. So we ended up eating dinner around 10.30 and dessert was after we had watched the fireworks. However it was a lovely evening which i spent with my old high school friends, and it was nice to catch up with them. As we all study in different places we rarely get to meet, so it is nice when we do get to catch up again.

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The dinner we made was: Appetizer: A sort of hashbrown with vegan caviar and oat creme fraiche. Main: Burgers with a potato gratin and a red wine sauce. Dessert: Key lime pie

This past week – as mentioned – i haven’t done so much. I have studied, gone to the gym, spent some time with my sister, watched series, made alot of delicious food, and that is pretty much what i have done.

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The past week i have felt incredibly restless – but at the same time tired – i have felt unproductive and like i haven’t done anything, despite both studying and doing other things.

But this week i want to sit down and write down all my goals, for the week, month, year and also some sort of action plan. It is easy to write goals and dream, but harder to actually work towards those goals. But also create a better structure and sleeping plan for myself.

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It has been nice to not have to set an alarm and to wake up whenever i do, not to mention nice to finally have time to watch a bunch of series and YouTube. The past term there hasn’t been much time for it due to all the studying and at the same time trying to keep up with my social media. But now i want to get back into my regular updates and blogging and also editing – which i keep saying i will do but never actually do it!

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3 new vegan items i have found!

This year i want to focus on making a great year… despite all the changes that might happen, and the stress i know will come. But hopefully this year will be a great year.

And i hope that 2019 is a great year for all of YOU. I would love to know if you have any goals for this year?