Battling Depression · Body Image · College

Confessions of a Not-so-Former Binge Eater: Forgiving Yourself

Good evening everyone πŸ™‚

With this being the “looove” month, I wanted to take a different approach on the profound concept of self-love as February comes to a close.

Obviously the resolution fitness ads on TV have died down significantly, but we are still in the beginning throes of 2018–meaning exercise and diets are still a hot topic (and to some, like my mom, hot as in branding-iron you don’t want to touch or think about!). With all the hullabaloo TV places on “looking your best” and being “bikini ready”, I find it sadly ironic how much we start to hate our bodies because of those same messages.

While I’ve briefly mentioned my past food struggles in a few of my past posts (“5 Tips to Combat Overeating“), I’ve never gotten terribly deep into those struggles.

Tonight, I’d like to.

You see, I’m a very empathetic person–to a fault. When my father makes a dinner large enough to serve an army, in our small family of four (with some very picky eaters), a lot of it won’t get eaten. With his tendency to guilt trip (“I didn’t want to cook you anything anyway”; nice, right?), my overdeveloped superego kicked in full force and I’d end up eating enough for three of me–no joke. I would eat past the point of content, full, uncomfortable, to painful. All because I didn’t want my dad to feel like we didn’t appreciate his cooking.

Then, the binging took a turn.

What had started with me–rightfully or not–compensating my eating for my dad’s feelings invaded all my other meal patterns. Snacking? I’d crave a little sweet… so I’d eat a piece of chocolate, and then another, and another until I had the entire bar. Then, to ward off the sickly-sweet nausea welling up in my gut, I’d be craving something salty… so I’d eat a chip, handful by mindless handful, until I’d eaten the whole bag. Dinner at a restaurant? You could count me in for the appetizer, my entree, every bite my dad offered me, and then the last crumb of dessert. Afterwards, I felt greasy, gross, and like my pants had shrunk a good three sizes in one sitting.

But none of that compared to how much I would hate my body after the binge.

If you’ve never experienced binge-eating for yourself, then there’s really no way I can describe the vehement, loathing, degrading thoughts that come after a binge. I just can’t. There are no words to explain how you can’t even look at yourself in the mirror.

How the thought of eating makes you want to hide, like it’s some shameful, dirty secret.

How you can’t bear to touch your own stomach, because you’re so ashamed.

It’s not a pretty picture. There are people who would pass binge-eating off, saying it’s nothing like anorexia or other severe eating disorders. I, of course, am not by any means downplaying their significance either, but I don’t want the severity of binging to go unnoticed–or worse, casually dismissed as no big deal. Yeah, you may not be able to see the effects of binge-eating like you can with starvation, but it doesn’t make it any less damaging.

The reason I bring all this up is because binge-eating isn’t something that’s “once and done”. You don’t just binge at one meal and then go about the rest of your life carefree–at least, that’s not how it is for me. This battle has been one that is slow and very, very hard.

It’s hard because it’s never been just a physical battle.

Binge-eating is always rooted in emotional pain, one form or another. With that pain can come a lot of shame, regret, and self-hatred. Forgiveness is the single last thing you want to feel for yourself after a binge.

But what if I said you don’t have to forgive yourself?

Forgiveness implies that you have done something wrong, something selfish and horrible. Forgiveness insists it was your fault in the first place.

That’s not how binging works. Yes, something is wrong, but it isn’t necessarily because of you–abusive relationships, cruel parents, work stress, anything could cause you to spiral down that dark path. For me, it was a combination of factors. I tried for awhile to convince myself to “forgive myself”, but it never worked because I thought I was to blame. I thought, because of my binging, something in me was messed up, something about me was wrong.

You’re not messed up because you binge. You’re not dirty or gross because you binge.

You are, however, in a place of hurt and in need of some serious love–and, yes, even forgiveness. The sort of forgiveness you need, though, comes from only one place: Christ. To correct the emotional turmoil that causes binging involves learning how worthy, valuable, and cherished you are, a knowledge that can only be found after long study in God’s word. He will forgive you, you need only ask. Even when you can’t stand to see your reflection, He always loves you and thinks you are the most beautiful creation in the world.

“I loved you at your darkest.”

Romans 5:8

Reflect on that. Heal in that.

If you don’t struggle with binge-eating, I hope I discouraged you from that path! And if you do, I pray you find solace today in God’s arms. I’d love to share any tips I’ve learned to recover from a binge, even if you’d rather email than publicly comment. You are beautiful and you are loved ❀︎

College · Finding Purpose

Why It’s Okay to Change Your Mind–Over and Over and Over Again

Take a look at the drink in your hand (if you don’t have one, for the sake of the exercise, pretend and follow along please lol). If you juggle the bottle around, what happens?

The liquid moves.

Toss a stone in a pond, and you get the same effect (and if you’re really talented, you can even skip the stone! But, alas, that is not part of my repertoire…). Water has a funny way of resembling life. In the same way that water moves, ripples, goes up, and goes down, as do we. We humans are never stagnant–and if we are, we feel… groggy, unawakened. That’s because we’re not meant to be still for too long. We are constantly evolving, changing, and rippling with the stones thrown at us.

And if someone expects you to stay the same forever, then they are wrong. Simple as that.

As the firstborn, I witness this enforced stagnation from my parents all the time. My father, especially, has the ultimate daddy/police officer/strict/paranoid attitude and can’t seem to acknowledge that I’m growing up. Growth is natural. Growth is necessary. Birds fly the coop and children leave the house, in order that we might learn and become the best we can possibly be. The first step comes with college, but the vital step is in choosing a career.

No pressure or anything.

indecision 1

If you couldn’t tell by my recent bullet journal obsession, I have a thing for planning. Dad and Danny call it OCD; I call it being organized (and I mean, if we’re really gonna label it, it’s CDO, duh). I’ve always been a planner, a week-ahead-of-schedule and already-on-to-the-next-thing kind of gal. I still am, and that’s how I like it!

So, you can imagine my despair at not having a career picked yet.

Lemme do a little recap so you understand my predicament: senior year of high school, I was in the clear because I at least knew that I was headed to community college first. No big deal, everybody takes the same entry stuff the first two years anyway. Well… this is the end of my second year. End of sophomore year, end of community college, preparing to transfer to a university…

Showtime. And I haven’t memorized my script.

In one of my recent posts, I mentioned my education internship: it’s a class that meets once a week and the rest is my time at the nearby elementary school. Up until this point, my “declared mjor” was Elementary Education just because all my life people have told me I’d be a great teacher and, to be honest, it was the only thing I could think of (once upon a time I’d dreamed of being a zoo keeper, but after 9 years of looking after pigs that’s a no-go lol). Chronologically, my indecisive swaying between careers went something like this:

  1. Zoo keeper
  2. Vet tech
  3. High school English teacher
  4. Nutrition advisor
  5. Elementary school teacher
  6. Reading specialist
  7. ?

(Number 7 is what I’ve finally settled on–and, who knows, it could very well change. But this is what I’m feeling led to do and if you’d like to know what my choice is, stick around to the bottom πŸ™‚ )

If you take a look at my list, you’ll notice a theme: that there isn’t a theme. Sure, a lot of them fall under “education”, but the jobs themselves vary wildly. While this list specifically applies to those in the same boat as me right now, those trying to figure out their career plan, the point is the same for everybody:

We change over time.

Now, I’m not saying that being in a constant state of indecision and lack of commitment in every area of your life is a healthy normal. What I am saying is that you as a person will change interests, change likes, change plans, in the exact same way your taste buds change–which is okay, it’s encouraged even! You are a unique individual with beautiful dreams, and you as a dreamer do not have to squish yourself into anyone’s rigid box of limitations. Grow. Stretch. Reach for the sun. You’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t give yourself a chance.

Follow your dreams. Follow your heart. Find a Jack Sparrow compass and follow it too (I had to break up the cliches, and who doesn’t love Johnny Depp as Jack, am I right?? Like, I made a whole Pinterest board about him, c’mon now). Don’t you ever let someone else keep you from doing what you love, please. You deserve happiness and adventure ❀︎

Okay, what you’ve been waiting for this entire time! No? Just here because you finally read all the way through? Hey, I’ll take what I can get πŸ˜‰ For those of you actually curious haha, here it is: I’m thinking I’d like to be a middle school counselor. Pretty different from elementary school teacher huh? Well, I have been doing an INSANE amount of searching myself, Google hunting, and praying these past few weeks, and this is what has rang out to me. I may do a post on the reasons why, if you guys would be interested? Let me know what you think! Thank you so much for reading πŸ™‚ You are beautiful and you are loved ❀︎

College · Finding Purpose

Productivity, Phase 2: the Bullet Journal

Happy Thursday guys πŸ™‚ If you’re new, welcome! And if you’re an old friend (because who am I kidding, this community of bloggers is one of the friendliest I’ve had the privilege to be a part of), welcome back!

If you read my last post, you know that I’ve been facing some heavy decisions and questions concerning my future here lately–just like every other young adult anywhere between senior year of high school and college graduation. What career to follow, what internships to pursue, how to handle said internships… On top of the regular homework load and all else we have to do at home, it can be quite the pill to swallow for young adults–and anyone who’s just got a lot on their plates. It can very easily become overwhelming.

Welllll, I wouldn’t be going on and on about reasons you’re overwhelmed if I didn’t have a potential solution for sorting them out!

I’m a regular agenda kind of gal: every semester I sit down with my planner and syllabi, and go through it to mark down each class’ major events. (The minor events and regular homeworks get filled in as the semester continues.) However, I always have a brief time span each semester, without fail, where I either neglect my agenda or have so much going on that I just forget to consult it. As expected, these moments can get pretty stressful–and if you never use a planner, I can only imagine what your poor brains go through trying to keep up with it all. (But hey, if planners aren’t your thing and you can remember everything you need to, you do you!)

Recently, I’ve been introduced to the concept of a bullet journal.

I know, I know. This is no new thing. Bullet journals were the hottest thing on Pinterest and Instagram like a year and a half ago, I get it. But I live in the middle-of-nowhere mountains of Virginia lol, I’m a little slow on the popular thing-a-ma-bobs wheel.

I don’t know all the ins and outs of bullet journaling, but I know there are a million and one websites and blogs all about ’em if you want to check it out! For me, it’s just been a comment here and there–first from my friend Chat, then in a sweet little post by creativeamara. The final straw in my decision to put my own twist on this whole notion was a post by my dear friend Maggie, whose organization methods inspired me πŸ™‚

For all you photogenic people who know how to take the perfect picture, I am envious haha.

What started out as me just trying to organize my mentor teacher’s schedule (there’ll be a post about that here soon!) evolved into a schedule-inspiration journal. Of course, you never ever have to stick to it religiously or anything like that–it’s yours to morph and change with you! Life isn’t stagnant; neither will your journal be.

But anywho, here’s how I plan mine out:

  1. On the left page: Here’s where I put my daily schedule. Everything from my Bible time and yoga first thing in the morning to my homework in the evenings, all the “to-do’s” go on this side. Beside each, I have an empty little square. When it’s completed, I put a check in the box; if I’m halfway through, I put a slash; and if I had to move it to another day I put an arrow forwarding it.
  2. On the right page: Now, this is the side that gets to be all fun and girly (or handsome, I don’t wanna deter my masculine followers). I love to draw, but have not had ANY time lately, so this is a perfect way to get the creative juices flowing without spending hours on one piece. Google has hundreds of ideas for bullet journal pages, but pretty much it’s up to you. I like to have short inspirational Bible quotes, and then decorate them any which way. For example, the little jar above is a gratitude jar: there’s 28 days in February, so I fill out a heart each day when I’ve remembered to say thank you for something (another shout-out to creativeamara for the idea!).

How you do it is entirely up to you–and that’s what makes it such a novelty! Weight loss trackers, vacation countdowns, finances charts; you name it, you can have it! You can make it daily, weekly, or monthly. You can have an index at the beginning if you like (I personally didn’t since I’m incredibly OCD and trying to label an index without knowing what all I’ll be including just doesn’t work for me).

But the point is that it helps you promote productivity. These planners-turned-personal are all about aiding you in becoming the happiest, least stressed, most efficient you that you can be.

And when we take care of ourselves, we can take the next step of caring for others ❀︎

  • By the way, I didn’t go out and buy any specific kind of journal. Mine is simply a cute “Live fully. Breathe deeply. Love madly.” writing notebook from Barnes N Noble that I got on clearance lol.

Thank you very much for reading! I appreciate the patience during my increasingly-busy schedule–blogging has had to take a slight backburner, but in no way is it forgotten! I want you to know that you are beautiful and you are loved ❀︎

Christmas 2017 · College

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Good evening my dear dreamers!

In honor of this Christmas/Blogmas season (this will be my first Christmas in the blogging world, I’m excited to see where this keyboard-journey will take me by this time next year!), I’d like to try and post something Christmas-y (yep, that’s a word!) every day of December.

As a creatively-challenged individual, I need some help, so if you have any recommendations on Christmas ideas to write about, please let me know πŸ™‚

school's out

We all know that with Christmas comes the swarm of kids home for the holidays. Backpacks overflowing with carelessly-shoved papers and suitcases bursting to the seam with the sweet odΓ³r of unwashed clothes line the red return carpet for students far and wide (sorry moms, you know you love us anyway!). If you’ve got little tikes, it’s not as drastic a transition (though it’s got to be difficult arranging for babysitters during break when you parents are still working). For us older students in college, though, break is a little more extensive.

I’ve got it a bit easier than most of my friends, since I’m just at a community college right now. For me, I’ll be driving home the last day of school like every normal school day, and will merely carry in my backpack, purse and lunchbox. For my friends off at universities, however, their arrivals will be preceded by a week of frantic cleaning, clammering to avoid the searing eyes of their residence hall directors (I love my gal friends, but only the Lord knows what sorts of party nightmares are hiding in their closets).

After the cleaning, there’s the packing.

After the packing, there’s the traveling.

After the traveling, there’s the unpacking.

And finally, after the unpacking, there’s the holiday greeting.

Unless you’re one of the lucky few who actually had time to visit during the sparse weekend trips home or the mini-break for Thanksgiving, you’re like me and haven’t seen your high school pals for the better part of five months. Five months of missed conversations, tales of boyfriend woes, and botched career plans. Five months is a long time when your best friends are three hours away or more…

In five months, people change. And you can’t always keep up.

Sophmore year of high school, on the second day, I walked into my Pre-AP Biology class and met my very best friend (of course, I didn’t know that when I met her, that’s never how it works- but you already knew that). We can call her Chat: Chat had been homeschooled up to this point, in a family of eight siblings (I would go nuts!!), and was as shy as I am. Put two shy, naive girls together and a lifelong bond is born- a bond that has already undergone some extreme renovation. The amount of maturing our young brains have done in the past year still blows my mind…

But maturation is different for everybody. And Chat and I have matured in very different directions.

Senior year of high school, I talked to Chat in class every morning, sat with her at lunch every afternoon, and texted her almost every evening. Our faith in God, our like-mindedness, and our aspirations of achievement united us like sisters (but even better, because we got to choose each other πŸ˜‰ ). On bus rides, we planned out our futures in exact detail: off to separate colleges, reunion after graduation, marriages the same year, and then settling down in the same little suburbia, baby carriages following in the distant future.

That’s the funny thing about plans I guess… they never seem to go the way we plan.

I’ll be home for Christmas…

Separate colleges? Check. Graduation looms in the horizon, with two years nearly down and two years to go. But for now, we’re still in the college stage and relying on breaks to rekindle the flames of our friendship. Once upon a time, this didn’t phase either of us- our first semester of college, we kept up the routines of friendship with daily texts, weekly calls, and break visits were without question. Our second semester? Things started to change… Texts unreplied to, calls uninitiated, and visits unscheduled… friendship unraveling.

You can plan on me…

Like a wayward snowflake, she’s drifting, far from me and out of reach. Already fallen, I have to lie and watch. I can’t find a way to stop change from coming- not now, not then, not ever again (it’s the-the-the, the Grinch!). Sure, Chat will be home for Christmas, but will she be the girl I’ve always known and loved?

I’ll be home for Christmas…

She’s not, not anymore. I’ve come to accept this, after yet another semester of college with no replies and no home visits. I hold on to the hope that once we’ve graduated and, at least temporarily, returned home, that the college craziness will mellow out for a moment and that we’ll be able to reconnect. I’m still praying that she stays true to God and herself, that the temptations don’t drag her down, and that she’s enjoying her time away. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t want her happy? But it seems that her happiness is taking her farther from me with every passing Christmas…

If only in my dreams.

Her homecomings are bittersweet to me. Each year, some beloved part of her I once knew is gone, and is replaced with a girl I do not know. Chat is home for Christmas, sure, but my best friend doesn’t come home with her…

So while you traverse the hustle and bustle of friends and family coming home for break, from wherever they’ve been, hug them an extra second for me please. They’re gifts too, you know, even though they may not come from a store ❀︎


Study Survival Guide

I should probably start this out by saying I am, by no means, an expert at college- or studying, or labs, or adulting… Okay, so maybe you should just assume I’m an expert at nothing. I honestly think it could be better that way though: I want y’all to know that I don’t know everything, I admit it! As a non-expert, I am open to all the new information and advice awaiting me, like a small sponge begging to soak up any water people are willing to spill. In this way, I learn something new every day, and can then share it with you.

But, if now you think I’m completely unknowledgeable and have nothing else to offer you, I can at least say I am pretty good at studying. I’ve always been that kid in school, the overly-studious, always on time–if not early–with assignments, teacher’s pet. I graduated high school with a 4.03 (not that it got me any scholarships… sigh) and I’m surviving college, so I’ve done well this far.


Find your optimal space:

Where do you work/focus best? It goes without saying here that you will naturally need to experiment within your environments: a study desk in the living room at home, a cubby in your school library, your favorite bench at the coffee shop (sidenote about Jordan, I actually don’t drink coffee… I know, how do I claim to be human, please forgive my ignorance on most people’s addiction). For me, it has to be at school- if I come home and try to do homework, there’s a 140 pound Rottie drooling for my attention, a 57 year old man calling me downstairs every five minutes to “Come look at this!” “Come try this!”, and the inclination to be lazy fighting my willpower every step closer I am to my bed (Just… a little… farther…).


Release your inner HGTV:

Once you’ve found that one spot you do your best work in, now you need to renovate it. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just needs to be yours. It needs to feel like you, look like you, heck you can make it smell like you if you really want (Bath & Body Works warm vanilla sugar, since you asked). Have everything you need available before you get started, have it all right there within arms reach: your laptop, textbooks, notebooks, agenda (to be mentioned later), pencil pouch (will be expanded later as well), snacks, your trusty mug or water bottle, and all your chargers. If you can resist the temptation to check Instagram (made ya’ look!) while studying, I applaud you, but if you’re like me, keep the phone at bay when doing the serious schooling. Lastly, never forget the earbuds.


Pick a tune:

Some people can work in total silence; I am not one of these rare people.

Find a playlist and save it for easy access. (If I have to go searching for it, I’ll usually wander to a completely unrelated video… which leads to hair tutorials… gym leg day routines… how to make the yummyest waffles… where were we?)

Cut the crud. I cannot have lyrics going- I’ve tried, I’ve persuaded, I’ve convinced, I’ve begged myself that listening to Adele’s HelloΒ couldn’t possibly hurt (in case you haven’t realized, I get distracted very easily, like I’m still contemplating those waffles… what did I pack for lunch today? I know it’s not as good as those waffles would taste…). Therefore, instrumentals are my must-have’s, usually ones from my favorite movies: Last of the Mohicans, Last Samurai, and Avatar are my go-to’s (please, let me know if you love these movies as much as I do, half of my friends have never even seen the first two).

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


Whether it’s by largest to smallest, hardest to easiest (or vice versa, if you just, you know, have a thing for self-torture), or which assignment is due the soonest, have a plan. Write it down if you must, set alarms or write lists on your phone, only you know what you’ll check the most often- and what will actually help remind you.


Now, that risque agenda I keep hinting at:

Dear, sweet people, I know you think you will remember that bio article you have to read, that sociology discussion board you have to type up, your growing grocery list, and when to walk the dog- but you won’t (but for real, please let Fido out to potty, he’s really got to go). It can be the boring, generic agenda your school hands out at the first of each semester or that sparkling “Bee Happy!” journal you just couldn’t buzzzz by (get it, buzzzz, for Bee? No? Mmkay, sorry, continuing), it just needs to help lay out your overly busy life schedule.

Speaking of being busy… No! AVOID CRAMMING:

Imagine the word CRAM just grew eight legs, freaky eyes, terrifying fangs, and is coming to suck your blood in the night (I really can’t do spiders guys…). Avoid it like the plague- like if you get it, you’re putting your entire family, your coworkers, even Fido at risk.

If you don’t know the material by the night before, losing precious sleep and then testing on a caffeinated state of exhaustion will not make you know it any better. I promise. You honestly probably know more than you think you do, simply from exposure in class, so have some faith- I believe in you!


You know… sleep sounds *yaawwwnnn* pretty good… about now:

My friend Jess operates best after getting around six hours of sleep; my brother functions around nine. My dad consistently gets an average of five hours of sleep, but I seriously don’t recommend it (if you didn’t know, lack of sleep can fuel an already flaming temper and has been scientifically proven to cause insanity… soooo, get your sleep, please, for all of us). I am my nicest, most efficient self after a minimum of seven, no more than eight and a half hours of sleep (I once stayed up writing an AP Gov essay and only got two and a half hours of sleep… it will never happen again).

You can come up with all the excuses you want to justify skimping on sleep: work, homework, booming social life, motherhood. But when you skimp on your sleep in the name of all these endeavors, are you really, truly, arriving as your best for each one? Or are you actually hindering all the unique good you have to offer, by running yourself ragged?

P.S. don’t study where you sleep. It’ll confuse your brain.




I blame it on my mother, but I have a minor form of OCD, no doubt about it (CDO…). It only comes up with the really insignificant things you know? Like having to fluff my pillows, once per, before I can go to bed, or always stepping off a platform with my left foot (don’t ask, I don’t know either). This oddity in my brain has actually proven rather resourceful in my schooling though: color coded sticky notes and highlighters. This may work for you, it may not. For me, it has transformed the unscalable mountains of my fourty-two chapter biology book into somewhat comprehendable material (rainbow highlighters can only do so much for deciphering the nervous system, I’m sorry), so I felt like it might be useful to share.

All of these may prove useful, or none of these might. I can only hope somebody, somewhere, will better be able to navigate their treacherous studying waters a little easier after reading this.