Hungry Haley

it's more than food

THOUGHTS: Cleaning Things Up

Thoughts, LifeHaley Hansen2 Comments

Just kidding - that's not even possible. I just couldn't quite think of a better title. So, I'm glad you're reading this (and I hope you continue) because I can then explain more of what I mean. 

If you've known me for a while, you know my past. You know my previous struggles from years ago, you know my recent struggles within the past month, and you probably know what I ate for breakfast this morning. If you're new to me, hello! Thank you for stopping by. A short synopsis of my story - I struggled through an eating disorder that lasted from my junior year of high school through my sophomore year of college. Finally, I'm recovered. *deep, deep breath* WOW that feels so good to proclaim with all the confidence in the world. Where am I now? I'm following step by step behind God, as He leads me along His plan for my life. As we walk together, I'm sweeping up the remains of my past - and by that I mean the results of my eating disorder. Just because I've recovered doesn't mean I don't deal with those negative thoughts at all. I still compare myself, question calories, and (I hate to say it) idolize food and my figure over more important, demanding things like school, relationships, etc. However, the majority of the time, I'm good. 

Recently, I've been reflecting on each "stage" of my journey, if you will. From the highly restrictive initial stage, into the discovery of vegetarianism and little peaks on which I found true balance, through the extremely high-carb/low-fat vegan part and lowest weight of all time, and, finally, recovery. Here. Maybe this sounds silly, but I see all of that portrayed through my blog (recipes, nutrition tips, life posts, and even Instagram). Duh - this website began in order for me to share my story and I want to keep it true to ME, wherever I am in life. Buuuuut, my past has been weighing on me lately. While I'm not ashamed of it in any way (I'm actually really thankful for it), I can't ever - EVER - recommend any of "diets" or "health tips" I offered throughout those times to anyone. They were fueled by an eating disorder that desired nothing more than to burn fat and eat as strictly healthy as possible.

That's just not who I am anymore. I don't follow a HCLF vegan diet. I don't eat just salad with steamed veggies and chicken for dinner. I don't workout every single day. 

I also don't - 98% of the time - struggle with an eating disorder. 

Now here's where things might sound weird. Instagram is most likely the first thing people see when they find HungryHaley. Via Instagram (the link in my bio), they'll find this blog, should they choose to continue exploring. I've dealt with my fair share of body image/outward appearance issues, and this, at first, seemed like just another one of those. So, I tried to brush it off my shoulder, but I think God's been laying it so heavily on my heart to tell me that this is o k a y. This is MY blog, after all, right? 

What you may or may not know is that, two and a half years ago, when I began this blog, I was still within the tight grip of my eating disorder. Squeezing myself out (or attempting to do so without the help of my all-powerful God) took years, and that's why I say that my posts during that time are skewed, inaccurate, and untrue to me. 

Maybe I'm just making too big of a deal, but I've already written quite a bit and it's dead week and I should be studying but I've invested myself into this post so I'm going for it. 

I've decided to delete most of my previous Instagram pictures because, as I said before, I just can't let my readers (old and familiar, or new and oh-so-welcomed) see those and possibly think of them as "healthy". Truth is - they are not. They are restrictive, minimal, and unbalanced. If someone truly wants to know my past, it's all here. But, as far as my "image" (or whatever you want to call it) goes, I'm cleaning things up. The more time I spent reflecting, the more I compared where I am now to where I was then, and this is mostly on a superficial, body-image scale (and accounts for that 2% of non-recovered mindset I mentioned earlier).

so. un. healthy. I am where I am now by the grace of God and I am SO grateful. From then to now represents my salvation. Then = imbalance, idolization, obsession, self-comparison, etc. Now = balance, faith, freedom, gratitude, happiness, true health. No need to look back and compare. 

This is for me. But this is also - kinda/sorta - for you, my beloved readers. This blog is absolutely precious to me, and I will not let it represent anything that isn't true to who I am and what I believe. These pictures evoke negative thoughts and memories that pull me back into my struggles and, I'll say it one more time, I'm cleaning things up. 

None of this - the pictures, the posts, the eating disorder, the whatever - defines me. Yet, I want to represent me. I want to represent a positive example of healthy, balanced living. 

The more I write, the more I wonder, "Will anyone even care/notice that I've 'cleaned things up'?" Probably not, but writing and lifting it off my chest is just this thing I have that makes me feel better. Hence, this blog. I tend to write and think and write those thoughts (oh, and eat). 

Anyway, I need to get back to studying. If you've made it this far, thaaaaaaaanks :) Seriously, your support means mui mucho (Spanish skill level = -3) to me.