12 Days of Christmas|Day 7- Holiday Travel Tips|2018

I can’t believe we’re already at Day 7 and less than two weeks away from Christmas! As this post is going up, I’m in an Uber on the way to LAX ready to hop on a plane and head back to see my family for the holidays. Since traveling is something that almost everyone does during the holidays in one way or another, I thought I would share my holiday travel guide/tips for today’s post. I’ve done some other “travel tips” posts in the past (be sure to check those out!), but this one will be my updated one specifically for the holidays. Enjoy and happy traveling! xx

 

Preparation/planning:

– As we all know flights during the holiday season book up SO early and quickly, so be sure to get those tickets booked far in advance (or as soon as you are able to nail down dates).

– Check different airlines and airports for the best deals and times. This is something that’s good to do any time you’re planning a trip, but especially during a time when everyone is trying to go everywhere. You might find better deals at a smaller airport or with an airline you don’t normally fly with.

– Leave early enough so you give yourself PLENTY of time at the airport. While traffic may not be your biggest concern, driving into the airport and getting checked-in, through immigration and security can be an absolute nightmare during the holidays.

– If you have the means to do so, get TSA pre-check. It will save you so much hassle and time at the airport. You don’t have to worry about taking off your boots and sweaters and taking out your laptops and tablets, which can make a really stressful situation just a little less stressful.

– Get all of your travel documents together and organized using a travel organizer. I always have a passport case/cover (I’m obsessed with the Kate Spade ones), which I keep my passport and boarding pass in, but I’ve also started using a travel organizer to keep my flight confirmation, check-in documents and all those other things. I’m not naturally a very organized/neat person, so having a case where I know all of my important things are prevents me from having to desperately rifle through my bag looking for my boarding pass.

 

Airport chaos:

– Have a portable phone charger and extra cords. Chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time in waiting around in lines and you’ll most likely whip out your phone to pass the time. There’s nothing worse than traveling or being on a flight and realizing your phones about to die. Be prepared, have portables and chargers with adapters so you can charge your phone wherever and whenever you need to.

– Don’t waste time or money on airport food. I know this is common knowledge, but seriously. The number of times I’ve dropped insane amounts of money inside the airport on food is crazy. Try to be prepared and have food/snacks with you so you don’t end up waiting in long lines or spending $15 on a small sandwich. Also try to have some healthy snacks for the flight as well (veggie sticks in a little baggie is so easy).

– Check in online and get a digital copy of your boarding pass, if possible. These days a lot of airlines allow you to not only check-in, but check your bags in and get your boarding pass on your phone. If you’re given the option to do this, do it! It’s going to save you so much time at the airport, especially during the holidays when everybody is going somewhere.

– Give yourself enough time. I’ve always been one of those people who wants/needs a lot of time at the airport. I’d much rather sit there and be bored than end up missing my flight. Especially during the busiest travel time of the year, you never know what’s going to get you held up. So be prepared and get there with plenty of time.

 

On the flight:

– Have a change of clothes (top, pants, undies and all). You really never know what’s going to happen when you’re traveling but I would hate to be in a situation where something spills on you or maybe you leak a little (ladies…) and you having nothing to change into. I also just like having a extra clothes on longer flights/trips to change into half way so I don’t feel so gross.

– Have all your favorite shows, music and movies downloaded on your computer, iPad or iPhone. The night before a flight I always make sure that everything I’m going to want on the plane is downloaded so I don’t have to worry about it the next day. I forgot to do that the night before once and tried doing it at the airport, but the s****y airport wifi was not having it. Do it ahead of time and you’ll be glad you did.

– Have a pillow or blanket and a neck pillow and eye mask. Seriously, it’s the best thing ever. I love having my own pillow or blanket with me on the plane (as annoying as it may be to carry around) because it helps me feel comfy and safe. And as far as the neck pillow and eye mask go, it’s just a must-have. You don’t want to fall asleep on a flight only to wake up unable to move your neck, it’s awful. And since you can’t control the lights on the flight an eye mask will help you sleep at any time.

– This is one of my golden rules of traveling, but HYDRATE. I can’t emphasize this enough, when you’re up in the sky with the air circulating throughout the cabin you get so dehydrated. Not only do you want to be drinking a ton of water (but seriously though, like a ton), you also want to make sure you have moisturizer and face lotion easily accessible.

 

Happy traveling, see you for Day 8! xx

12 Days of Christmas|Day 6- Holiday Pamper Routine |2018

Hello lovelies and happy Day 6! The holiday chaos getting to your head, finals driving you crazy or just in need of a Tuesday night recharge sesh by yourself, I’ve got you covered! Today’s post is my current pamper routine. I’ve done quite I few pamper routines in the past (I honestly just love writing these and reading other people’s, and who doesn’t love a little self-care), but this one is my official 2018 Holiday Pamper Routine, full of products I’m loving that will get you in the true holiday spirit.

 

I always start off by changing into some cozy Christmas PJs or a nice fluffy robe, really anything as long as I’m comfy. Before I start anything else I’ll try to set the mood in my room. I love scents so I’ll either use my diffuser with lavender and citrus essential oils or I’ll burn one of my favorite candles which is Champagne Toast from Bath and Body Works. And of course I’ll turn off the main lights and throw on some fairy lights. After my room’s feeling nice and relaxed, I’ll go use my MakeUp Eraser (I’m so obsessed with this right now) to take all my makeup off and then hop in the shower. I talked about these in my last pamper routine too, but I’ve been loving the Herbal Essence Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner for my hair, especially during the drier winter months. If I’m feeling like I really need it, I’ll also do a treatment using either the Briogeo deep conditioning mask or the Moroccan Gold Series treatment mask. I’ll then go ahead and use a good body scrub everywhere (it’s winter, we all have dead skin cells) and shave using the Eos shaving cream. After I shave I make sure to moisturize right away. I bought the C. Booth coconut fig body lotion over Thanksgiving and have been living for it.

If I’m at home and have my beloved bath tub I’ll take a bath after I’m done showering. I’m ridiculously obsessed with bath bombs, so of course I’ll use one of those. I absolutely love all the Lush Christmas bath bombs, so those are always a good go-to, but I also found these really cute Christmas ones from The Body Shop (so freaking affordable!) which I really want to try when I’m home for Christmas. When I’m in the bath, which I could literally sit in for hours, I’ll make sure the lights are off and have some chill show or vlog playing. If I’m really wanting to treat myself, I’ll also light a bunch of candles to really set the mood. And if you’re really really wanting to treat yourself, pour yourself a nice lil glass of wine (if your of age of course), because you deserve it;)

After I’m done in the shower (or out of the bath), I’ll dry my hair super quick with a towel and put my PJs or robe back on. During the winter my hair gets brittle and dry really easily, so I use both the Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine leave-in conditioner and the argan oil from Marrakesh Oil. If I have something to get dressed up for the next day, I’ll straighten my hair. But more often than not I just let it air dry.

Now it’s facial time! I’ll start by washing my face with either the Grown Alchemist polishing facial exfoliant or the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate. During the winter my skin can get really dry and flaky (as it does for a lot of people), so it’s really important to use a good exfoliator to get rid of all the dead skin cells and prep your skin for a face mask. On a real pamper night I’ll usually use two face masks, one purifying and one hydrating just to make sure I’m not drying out my skin too much. For the first mask I love the Indian Healing Clay with apple cider vinegar or the CVS dead sea mineral face mask. If you’re looking for a more luxurious mask, the Boscia Charcoal mask or the Glam Glow Bubblesheet are also amazing. I’ll leave that mask on for about 12-15 minutes and then wash it off/take it off. For the hydrating mask I have a ton of different Korean sheet masks that I’ll usually choose from, but I also found these really cute Christmas hydrating sheet masks at CVS which I think are perfect for a holiday pamper night. I typically leave sheet masks on for about 20 minutes so while I have that on I’ll put on either a Christmas movie (check my last 12 Days post for my fav holiday movies) or some vlogmas. Since it wouldn’t be Christmas without peppermint hot chocolate, I’ll make myself a cup of that, and maybe even top it off with some peppermint whipped cream if I’m feeling extra special.  And of course I’d make sure it’s in a cute Christmas mug.

After I take off the second mask I’ll go in with the rest of my evening skincare routine. During the winter I use heavier moisturizers, especially in the evening. I start with the Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizing lotion and go over that with the Tarte Maracuja Oil. If my skin is super dry, it usually soaks that all up within a few minutes, so in cases like that I’ll go in with another layer of the oil. I personally am not a huge fan of sleep masks, but I do love the Ahava Sleep Cream for an overnight facial. Another thing I’ve started using lately are under-eye masks because let’s be honest life can be super stressful and cause bags and circles under your eyes (I’ve started getting them and I feel like a Grandma now). But they honestly just feel so good and refreshing too.

Now that I’m feeling all clean and relaxed I’ll usually end the night in cuddled up in bed finishing off a Christmas movie or watching more vlogmas. I love spending nights out with friends, but sometimes a quiet night in taking care of yourself is just what you need (and trust me, everyone needs this once in a while).

Happy pampering! xx

12 Days of Christmas|Day 5- Holiday Entertainment |2018

Hello lovelies and happy Sunday! Hope the week has treated you well. Today’s post is going to be all the things I’m watching and  listening to this holiday season. I’ve pulled together all my favorite holiday movies, songs and vlogs that I’ve been loving this season to share with you all. Grab a blanket and a peppermint hot chocolate and spend your Sunday night chilling and getting in the Christmas spirit. What are you watching and listening to this Christmas?

Movies: These aren’t movies that are new or have come out recently, they’re just my all-time favorite go-to holiday movies to watch on a Christmassy evening.

The Holiday

Home Alone (1 and 2)

Christmas with the Kranks

Serendipity (I don’t know if this is actually considered a Christmas movie but it makes me feel Christmassy so…)

Deck the Halls (Cheesy but I love it!)

Four Christmases

The Santa Clause (1, 2, and 3, DUH)

Bad Mom’s Christmas (don’t judge me)

All I Want for Christmas

Love Actually

 

Music: These are all the songs I’ve discovered recently/this year that I’ve been obsessed over. Also just some of my absolute favorite Christmas classics.

‘What Christmas Means to Me’, by Stevie Wonder

‘This Christmas’, by Donny Hathaway

‘Home’, by Blake Shelton ft. Michael Bublé

‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’, by Mariah Carey

‘The Man With the Bag’, by Vonda Shepard

‘You Make It Feel Like Christmas’, by Gwen Stefani ft. Blake Shelton

‘4 Carats’ by Kelly Clarkson

‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)’, by Martina McBride

‘One Child’, by Mariah Carey

‘Cool Yule’, by Louis Armstrong

‘Candy Cane Christmas’, by Darius Rucker

‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’, by Michael Bublé

‘Glow’, by Brett Eldredge

‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas’, by Harry Connick Jr.

‘Last Christmas’, by Wham!

 

Vlogs: I’m such a nerd for vlogs and vloggers, and Vlogmas might be one of my favorite things. These are some of the YouTubers I watch who are doing Vlogmas or are doing super Christmassy videos.

Zoella/Zoe Sugg

Kelly Strack

Aspyn and Parker

Antonnette

Renee Amberg

Aspyn and Parker

 

See you on Day 6! xx

12 Days of Christmas| Day 4- Holiday Glam |2018

Happy Friday everyone! Here we are for Day 4 of 12 Days, and today’s post is going to be my 2018 holiday glam. I did my Christmas make-up look during 12 Days last year and am so excited to share my updated one with you all. I tried to keep it slightly minimal (emphasizing the slightly), but still shimmery and fun because it is the holidays after all. I love the red theme of this look and think it’s going to look amazing with all the reds and golds I’m going to be wearing this season.

In order of application:

  1. Eyebrows are always the first thing I do when doing my make-up, and to do so I used the Etude House drawing eyebrow pencil in dark brown and went in with the Benefit 3D Browtones in shade 4 on top of that.
  2. I used the Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser as my primer and blended it in using my fingers.
  3. I then went in with the Maybelline Fit Me! Matte foundation in shade 335 (classic tan) and blended it out using my It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe flawless foundation brush.
  4. To conceal, I went ahead in with the Maybelline Fit Me! concealer in share 35 (deep) under my eyes, down my nose, in between my eyebrows and right under my lip. I blended that out with the It Cosmetics flawless foundation brush as well.
  5. To set everything I used the Rimmel Stay Matte setting powder with my It Cosmetics flawless powder brush.
  6. For my eyes, I started by using the shade ‘seven wonders’ from my Tarte Passport to Paradise palette as my first nude transition shade. I then went in with a deeper ‘he devil’ from the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette. I used my Luxie 249 blending brush to blend those shades out.
  7. As the main color, I actually used the lip topper in shade ‘seether’ from the Urban Decay Vice special effects collection. I just went ahead and applied that all over my eyelid using the applicator and patted it down with my finger to make sure the glitter was spread out evenly. I let it try for about 20 seconds before moving on the other eye.
  8. Because the glitter from the lip topper was fairly chunky, I decided to only line my lower lash line and not do anything over the eye shadow. I went ahead and used the Tarte Sex Kitten liner for that.
  9. Moving back to my face, I used the Ulta Glow bronzer to bronze up my face and do a light contour. I used the It Cosmetics flawless powder brush for that.
  10. I then went in with the Fenty Beauty Match Stix in ‘yatch lyfe’ to highlight my cheekbones, above my eyebrows, down my nose and on my cupid’s bow. I blended that out with the chisel powder brush from Crown.
  11. To add a little bit of color to my face I used the Tarte 12-hour Amazonian clay blush in ‘paaarty’ and patted that lightly on my cheeks using the Crown brush.
  12. I ended the look with a classic red lip using the Trestique lip glaze in ‘english rose’.
  13. And last but not least, I went in with the Tarte Maneater mascara (my absolute favorite!!) for some nice luscious lashes.

I hope you all enjoy this look and try it out yourself. See you for Day 5! xx

Mental Health Moment #4- Feelings in words

Today I want to quickly interrupt 12 Days of Christmas (don’t forget to check those out if you haven’t already!!) for another MHM, my last one for this year. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten during my battle has been to try and write out my feelings every time I have an urge or begin to feel anxious. To be honest, when I first heard this I was really hesitant about it. As much as I love to write and express my feelings through words, I thought that words wouldn’t be able to explain all my thoughts and feelings. But once I gave it a try, I found myself able to express some things beautifully, brutally but honestly. I wanted to share some of the writings that have come out of some of the hardest times. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I’m not doing any of this for pity or attention. I’m here to break the stigma around mental health. That’s why I’m choosing to be open and vulnerable. I want to be the person who talks about their battle, the good, the bad and the ugly, so that others struggling know they’re not alone.

– “Times like this make me want to give in, throwing up is so much easier than dealing with the mental war I have going on right now.”

– “It’s okay that I’m not okay.”

– “The harm of one cookie pales in comparison to the harm of forcing a purge.”

– “I’m going to keep looking forward, towards the light that shines brightly at what seems like a never ending tunnel. But the tunnel will end.”

– “I don’t want to ruin my nail polish, but I also don’t know how to stop myself.”

– “Prioritizing my recovery is sometimes the hardest part of my day.”

– “I realized I was allowed to feel anxious. It was the way I was feeling in my core, and there was nothing I could have done to change that.”

– “Pizza makes me feel guilty, but being bent over the toilet with my fingers down my throat and my mascara running makes me feel even more guilty. In a battle of the guilts, I choose the pizza.”

– “It’s not scary that people call me crazy, it’s scary that I believe them.”

– “What I want people to realize the most are things that I don’t know how to verbalize.”

– “Sometimes the biggest lie I tell people is that I’m okay.”

To anyone reading this who is also suffering, remember you are not alone. Please reach out to me if you need someone to talk to.

National Alliance on Mental Health: https://www.nami.org/

National Eating Disorder Association: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

12 Days of Christmas |Day 3- Gift Guide|2018

One of my absolute favorite parts of the holiday season is planning and buying presents for all my family and friends. I posted my gift guide last year and had so much fun putting it together so I thought I would share my updated guide for this year, full of the perfect gifts for all price ranges. Remember that gifts aren’t always about how much you spend, but it’s really the thought that counts (as cliche as that may sound).  Happy gifting!

For the self-care lovers:

For the beauty lovers:

For the foodies and cooks:

For the arts ones:

For the one’s who love jetting off:

For the entertainer:

For the workaholic:

For the home-bodies:

For the fitness fanatics:

 

12 Days of Christmas |Day 2- Christmas Tag |2018

 

 

  1. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With tons of gold lights and a red felt skirt. And we have SO many ornaments, both new ones and one’s that have been passed down in the family for generations.
  2. What is your favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually, always. But also The Holiday,  Santa Clause, Home Alone and Christmas with the Kranks.
  3. What do you put at the top of your tree? A gold star that we’ve had forever.
  4. What’s your favorite Christmas fragrance? I love the smell of cookies baking in the oven, and I love pine and cinnamon scents for candles.
  5. What do you like the most during Christmas? Being with my family, watching Christmas movies while drinking peppermint hot chocolate, baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house while listening to Christmas music… basically everything about the holiday season. It’s just such a happy time of the year.
  6. Do you celebrate Christmas with your family? Yes!
  7. Have you ever had a white christmas? Sadly no:( I’ve only ever seen snow once in my life and it’s when I was 6.
  8. What’s your favorite Christmas food? Anything homemade! I love my families Christmas cookies, but I’m more of a savory person so I love roasts, which we usually have for dinner on Christmas.
  9. When do you actually start shopping for Christmas? December 26th? Haha, not really, but I do keep my eye out for gifts all year round. If I find something I know someone will like, I’ll go ahead and get it. But During Thanksgiving, black Friday and cyber week is when I try to have all my Christmas shopping done.
  10. One of the memorable events that happened during the last Christmas? Last year was my first year of college, so it was so fun and exciting to be back home with my family. I decided to surprise my sister by going home a week earlier, so that was so much fun!
  11. Which kind of gifts do you usually get for Christmas? Over the past few years I’ve gotten tons of make-up, which I love! My family also loves Kate Spade so that’s a good go-to as well.
  12. Is your Christmas tree real or fake? Fake! We lived in the tropics so a real tree wouldn’t have lasted more than a week at best, and it would have been a nightmare to find.
  13. Have you ever received any luxurious gift on Christmas? I remember getting my first Kate Spade wallet for Christmas from my parents. It was striped orange and white and I felt like such an adult!
  14. Honestly, when did you first realize that Santa Clause and his gifts are non-existent? I don’t remember an exact moment, but I remember one Christmas going to my parents after opening our stockings (from Santa) and thanking them for my presents, knowing it was from them and not Santa.
  15. One interesting and/or funny thing that happened on Christmas? We went over to our friends house right before dinner on Christmas day to exchange gifts, and our parents decided they wanted to go have crab bee hoon for dinner and left the kids at home. So we ordered KFC and had that while watching Friends on an iMac for Christmas dinner. We still laugh about it to this day.
  16. Which essence do you use in cakes or cookies? Almond essence, it’s so Christmassy to me!
  17. What are your plans this Christmas? I’m going back to Tokyo for a couple weeks to be with my family for Christmas.
  18. What is your theme color that you wear the most for Christmas? I love red’s with white, dark greens with denim and anything gold and glittery
  19. How do you decorate your house during Christmas? A big Christmas tree with tons of lights and ornaments, wreaths on our front door and small wreaths on our bedroom doors, tinsel and bobbles around the living room, lot’s of Christmas candles and candle holders and lot’s of Christmas pillows.
  20. Favorite Christmas song? This Christmas, by Donny Hathaway (right now, this always changes)
  21. Who do you celebrate Christmas with and where? I usually spend Christmas eve with my family and our close family friends and then Christmas day with my mom, dad, sister and grandma (and of course my doggy!!).
  22. One thing that you never stop buying during Christmas? Starbucks peppermint mochas
  23. What is more fun to you? – Giving away gifts or being at the receiving end? Honestly, both. I get so much joy from buying/giving presents to others, and I also appreciate when someone else has put thought into a gift for me. I think gift giving is such a beautiful part of the holiday season, and that can come in so many different forms.
  24. What do you usually wear during Christmas? Haha, shorts and a t-shirt or a cute dress for church or dinner! I grew up in Singapore so it was always 85 degrees and sunny on Christmas day.
  25. One gift that you asked from Santa Clause that you actually got? A bean bag for my room
  26. What do you eat on Christmas eve? We always did Christmas eve with our really close family friends, and we’d have SO much food. We’d do ham, steak, grilled shrimp, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashes potatoes, creamed corn, brussels sprouts, salads, pecan pie, chocolate cake and peppermint ice cream.
  27. How did you celebrate Christmas during your childhood? My sister and I would wake up super early and then wake our parents up. We’d then go through our stocking to see what Santa left us, make breakfast (usually pancakes or French toast), and then do all the other presents. At around 11 we’d get ready for Christmas mass and then spend the rest of the day hanging out together doing something Christmassy. We’d spend a chunk of the afternoon cooking Christmas dinner, which was usually some kind of roast (this is pretty much what we still do now too).
  28. One dish that is your family tradition on Christmas? We make these cookies called Holiday Nuggets (my Grandma’s cookies) which are almond cookies with red and green candied cherries on top, they’re addictive!
  29. What’s your Christmas wish? A white Christmas
  30. Red or green – which color occupies your life during Christmas? Red, and red glitter
  31. What’s your favorite Christmas accessory? Gold hoops
  32. Do you buy presents or try DIYs? Buy presents, but I love putting together gift baskets/sets
  33. Chocolate, Strawberry, or Vanilla – what do you prefer the most during Christmas? None of them… everything PEPPERMINT!
  34. What is your favorite Christmas slogan? Be naughty, save Santa the trip;)

12 Days of Christmas |Day 1-24 Days of Self-Care|2018

Happy December! I am honestly in disbelief that it’s already December, I feel like I was just writing my last 12 Days post from 2017. But here we are, ready to celebrate the holidays and the end of the year. I am SO excited to be back doing 12 Days of Christmas this year and can’t wait to share all the fun holiday/Christmas themed posts with you. The first post for this year is going to be 24 days of self-care. The holidays can be crazy and hectic (but don’t get me wrong still super fun!), so you want to make sure you’re still taking time to take care of yourself. I’ve put together a list of 24 small and simple things you can do for yourself leading up to Christmas to keep yourself grounded and sane during this busy time of the year. Happy reading and see you for day 2! xx

Day 1- Make your Christmas playlist for the season

Day 2- Buy some flowers or a plant for your vanity, room or house

Day 3- Put on a Christmas themed face mask

Day 4- Read a new/fun book

Day 5- Start working on a Christmas coloring book or puzzle

Day 6- Get outside and do something new

Day 7- Reach out to an old friend or someone you haven’t talked to in a while

Day 8- Cook dinner for yourself and/or others (this may sound like it could add more stress, but the act of cooking and baking can also be so therapeutic).

Day 9- Get your fingers and toes all ready for Christmas, whether you do it yourself or you treat yourself to a mani-pedi

Day 10- Have a night in to yourself, order your favorite take-out, binge your favorite show and light your favorite candles

Day 11- Try a new exercise routine; Zumba, pilates, spin, etc.

Day 12- Do a good deed; trust me, it will help you feel so good

Day 13- Take a bath with your favorite bath bomb or bath salts

Day 14- Experiment with essential oils, find your favorite scents and combinations

Day 15- Have a DIY day and try a new hand-on project you’ve been wanting to try

Day 16- Try meditating using an app

Day 17- Do an at-home facial using all your favorite beauty and skin-care products

Day 18- Redecorate/reorganize your room or your work space

Day 19- Treat yourself to a small pre-Christmas treat; don’t stress yourself out over spending money, but get yourself something small you’ve been wanting

Day 20- Take a social media hiatus for a few hours; be present and enjoy time with family and friends

Day 21- Explore your neighborhood and find your new favorite coffee shop or cozy spot

Day 22- Wrap Christmas presents and fill stocking, it’s such a mood booster

Day 23- Have a Christmas movie night complete with your favorite holiday drinks and snacks

Day 24- Bake your favorite Christmas cookies to share with your family and friends

 

Mental Health Moment #3- What someone with an eating disorder wants you to know

Happy Friday lovelies! As my last post before… 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (eek!!), I wanted to end the year with another MHM that I’ve been wanting to write for a while now. Today’s post is going to be all the things that someone with an eating who’s dealing with/recovering from an eating disorder wants you to know. Throughout my struggle with an ED, I’ve struggle to find a way to explain everything that’s going on in my head. And while I would love to just sit down with everyone who’s been supporting me through this to explain the rationale behind all of my thoughts and actions, I also have a fear of being a burden on people or being “too much”. I wanted to write today’s post for all those who struggle to voice their thoughts and feelings, and also for all those amazing people who are supporting friends and people around them who are dealing with an ED or any other mental illness. Remember we’re all in this together. See you at 12 Days!! 

As hard as we try to explain what it feels like, there’s truly no way to understand it unless you go through it- I’m not saying this to look for pity, I believe this is true about almost everything in life. You’re never going to fully understand something unless you go through it yourself. What I’ve learned that’s important about this is that it’s okay not to understand. You don’t have to know exactly what someone is going through in order to be supportive of them. Trying your best to be empathetic towards the situation without pretending like you completely understand is all we’re asking for. We aren’t expecting you to understand the debilitating nature of the disease, we’re simply asking for love and support. 

You don’t have to be super skinny to have an eating disorder- This is one misconception about eating disorders that I unfortunately hear and see a lot. Having an eating disorder does not mean you have to be super skinny, and just because you are skinny doesn’t mean you have an eating disorder. Eating disorders come in various forms and not all of them lead to extreme and excessive weight loss (though some of them do). I’m one of those people who’s not super skinny and my eating disorder didn’t make me super skinny. There have been cases where I’ve opened up to someone about my battle only for them to respond, “but you don’t look like you have an eating disorder”.  Just like our bodies, eating disorders present themselves in all sorts of shapes and sizes. 

Our actions are driven by a force that we can’t control- It’s east for someone looking in to questions why we can’t just stop our behavior, and that’s a fair question for someone who’s never struggled with this disease before. What’s important to understand is that our behaviors are controlled by the eating disorder; the eating disorder presents itself as another voice in our heads telling us what to do. I know this may sound crazy to have another voice in our heads, but it’s a very subtle and convincing voice that’s perpetuating our actions. It’s much harder to shoo away than our own thoughts, and that’s why recovery is one of the most physically, mentally and emotionally challenging things to go through.

It’s not something we can just “get over”- This one ties in with the above statement, but an eating disorder is a serious mental disorder. One that’s established its position in our bodies and fights against it’s extinction. For someone to say “just get over it” is one of the most harmful and hurtful things we could be told. The fight to beat the disease is a constant battle that we are dealing with 24 hours a day. I heard this analogy in one of my classes and have been using it to describe the battle: ‘If your friend was suffering from food poisoning and was in the bathroom throwing up, you would just tell them to get over it would you? So why would you say that to someone who’s dealing with a mental illness?’ It’s not something we just “get over”. 

An eating disorder is more than just food and weight- A lot of people think that eating disorders just have to do with what/how much we eat and how much we weigh. While that’s part of the story, there’s also so much more to it. Without going into too much detail, eating disorders affect our everyday lives more than you know. It affects our confidence not just in the way we look, but the way we carry ourselves and live our everyday lives. It can fester inside of us and create a deeper level of insecurity that goes way beyond looks. Please remember that this disease is something we deal with all day, not just during meals. 

You don’t have to be afraid to talk about it- I know it may seem like a taboo subject, but it’s okay to bring it up, just be smart about it. For me personally, the hardest thing about this was feeling like I couldn’t talk about it. The only reason I felt this way was because no one else around me was talking about it. Once I opened up, I had so many people in my life reach out to share their own stories. As a supporter, don’t be afraid to ask your friend about their progress. Make sure the time and space is right, you don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but it okay to bring it up. Sitting in silence can be debilitating. 

It can be hard to be honest and open, no matter how close we are- Opening up about the battle can be one of the hardest things to do. For me, there’s always a degree of embarrassment and shame, when it comes to talking about my eating disorder, that makes it incredibly hard to open up to my friends about it, especially my close ones. Please don’t take offense if your friend is unable to be honest about everything with you, it will take time. But once we find the people we can trust, it make a world of a difference. 

Recovery is not a straight line, in fact it’s far from that- This is something I didn’t fully appreciate until recently, but recovery really is not a straight line, it’s full of ups and downs, twists and turns. There are going to be good spurts and bad spurts and it’s all part of the long recovery process. Unfortunately there’s no magic spell we can cast to cure an eating disorder, so it’s going to look different for each person. There’s no rule book to outline how recovery works, it’s difficult and nuanced. It’s hard to tell when relapses are going to happen, sometimes it’s expected but more than often it’s not. And as difficult as it can be, it’s all part of the recovery process. 

There are good days and bad days, and it’s so hard to control- While an eating disorder is something we are dealing with all day everyday, we are still normal human beings as well. There are days where we feel good, happy and confident, and days where we feel sad, frustrated and insecure. And while this may just sound like an excuse, it’s usually way out of our control. It’s not just a “mood” we can get out of, it’s a deep feeling engrained in our minds. Sometimes we want to be by ourselves, and sometimes we just want to be around all our friends, it all just depends on the day. 

Little actions mean more than you realize- The small things mean so much to us, even if you don’t realize it. Simply asking how our day is going or sending a one-line supportive text can turn our day around. Sometimes we just need reminders that there are people around us who care about us. We’re not looking for attention, in fact we don’t want/need attention, we just need a few people around us who care. The small gestures are the things that we appreciate most. So even if you don’t think a text or a quick check-in will do anything, do it anyway. It’s so incredibly appreciated. 

I just wanted to end by saying that I am so grateful for all the people in my life who have supported me through my battle. While this has been an extremely difficult thing to go through, I’m also amazed by the outpouring of love and support I’ve received from the people who truly care about me, and I will be thankful for that everyday for the rest of my life. I am also grateful for anyone else who took the time to read this to try and better their understanding on this subject. Whether you are just trying to educate yourself or are wanting to support someone in your life who’s dealing with an eating disorder, I’m thankful that there are people out there who are supporting others. We are all in this together, never forget that. xx

Life Through A Lens #26- LA Feels