How do I fit treats in + my personal tips for a healthy relationship with food + OUR DAY (of course… heaven forbid I don’t share my daily journal with you;)

A rough Monday morning at our house ha.

I think we were all exhausted after our California trip and getting in late so this was an accurate description of how we all felt.

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I tried to get a selfie with some ducks but they did not want to participate.

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I did about 2.5 miles on the treadmill early and then 3.9 miles later on outside and it was COLD.  9:54 average but like usual, I felt so much better after my run than I did before.

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Later on in the afternoon we did some bike riding (well, I didn’t but I watched)..

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I was pretty amazed by the fact that Andrew could ride this tiny bike around too…

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My day food-wise consisted of a bunch of toast with peanut butter, apples and hot chocolate (those are the only things that sounded good) but by dinner I was feeling like tacos from Cafe Rio!

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And then we went up to the mountains for a little bit to collect some leaves for Brooke.  Each year we grab a bunch of leaves and then she creates a little tree on a piece of paper and glues on the leaves:)

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If you are in Utah, NOW is the time to go up to see the leaves.  NOW.

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The colors are unreal!

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She fell asleep on the way home so we will make our leaf art today:)

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Andrew and I (okay, mainly Andrew) then got to work on painting the nursery!  I’ll do a full post about it once we are all done!

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A question I get often from different readers (those either in the middle of struggling with an eating disorder, amenorrhea, disordered eating or those in recovery from these things) is how I helped myself to find a healthy relationship with food and how I fit treats (and sometimes a lot of them;) in.

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First things first, am I perfect at this?  Nope.

But, I’ve come a LONG WAY with these issues and I thought I would share the things that helped me to gain a healthy relationship with food that includes plenty of treats too.

Also, pregnancy is kind of ‘survival mode’ for me as far as food goes.  With this stage of my life, I try my best to eat nutrient dense food for my baby and me but I also eat whatever sounds good in the moment.  I try not to complain often (I probably do) but nausea has been my middle name for the last 7ish months (luckily, it is a lot better than it used to be) but I literally just eat the thing that sounds good at the moment so that is my current food philosophy.  Hence why 70% of my daily caloric intake yesterday was through hot chocolate and toast with peanut butter on top.

Let’s talk about a few of my thoughts that truly helped me to gain a healthier relationship with food.  Food used to create all sorts of emotions for me.  There was a lot of guilt that occurred, fear foods all over the place and years that I thought I couldn’t go near sugar (now I am not a dietician so this post has nothing to do with what is actually best for our bodies but more about what is best for my brain and body personally).  Just like anything in life, working towards a goal (especially one that is hard for us individually) takes time.  Sometimes you move forward two steps and back one step and sometimes you just have to remind yourself that it is all about PROGRESS, not perfection.  Small changes add up to something great.  Little steps turn into huge ones over the years.  Most importantly, my biggest steps in progress involved asking for help whether from my family, a therapist (along with a nutritionist), God especially and being open about my thoughts and struggles.  Bringing our struggles out into the light can help us so much… these struggles grow in the darkness because no one knows how to help us and we are isolated but if we acknowledge them and are vulnerable enough to share them, I think that is when the biggest growth takes place.

Bullet talk about to take over the rest of the post:

*I realized for me that an extra 5-10 lbs with treats in my life was much better than life without treats and those extra lbs.  I went years of saying no to every birthday cake, Sunday night dessert with my family, candy at the movie theater and cookie that my nieces offered me.  It was not fun for me.  While moderation is important (and I struggle with that more than anything now), I want to enjoy the treats in life.  I want to enjoy holidays with donuts that have sprinkles to match the color theme of the day.  I want my kiddos and nieces to see that treats can be a fun part of our lives.  That food isn’t bad and our worth has ZERO effect based on what we do or do not eat.  Life is too short to never eat treats in my opinion.  And life without them sure didn’t make me any happier, I am positive that I was my most miserable at my lowest number on the scale.

*Taking it a day at a time.  A meal at a time sometimes too.  Sometimes when we focus on HUGE goals like gaining a healthy relationship with our eating, it is overwhelming and we just end up quitting because it is too much.  When I learned that I just needed to work on it a day at a time, that is when I saw more success.  If I had a bad day, oh well… it was one day and I could start fresh the next day.  Just like with our running, make mini goals to accomplish… i.e. get to the next light pole, run without stopping for the next two minutes or finish another mile repeat.   Do the same thing with your eating, make mini goals and celebrate the accomplishment of those goals.

*I decided that I was not going to let FOOD cause guilt.  Guilt is an emotion that I believe should be felt when we do something that is actually bad… lying, stealing, hurting someone etc… it is not a feeling that I believe should ever be caused by what I did or did not eat.  Food cannot have that control over me.  I would see people around me that would eat a meal, enjoy it and then never think about the meal again (unless it was about how delicious it tasted) and I wanted that for me.  I wanted to learn to eat and move on.  To finish a meal and stop thinking about it (i.e. to stop thinking about whether what I ate was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or think about how I should have eaten something ‘healthier’… or think about how my next meal will be ‘healthier’ because what I had eaten for the previous meal).  It takes a lot of self-discipline to force yourself to stop thinking about it but it was so worth it for me.  To get to that point I would make sure I had something planned to help me move forward without obsessing over food … for example read my book, jump into grading papers, write, call my sister… you name it, I loved learning to finish a meal and then stop thinking about whether it was a ‘good or bad’ meal or how many calories I ate etc.

*We are our next generation’s example.  Younger girls and boys learn from our actions, words and behaviors.  I do not ever want anybody to ever struggle with eating struggles again so I decided I wanted to do my part to make sure I was showing the people around me that I had a healthy relationship with food.  Let’s do whatever we can to help them to have a healthy relationship with food.

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*We need to give our bodies some credit.  For me, during recovery I kind of went to the other extreme (eating treats all day long) but after a little while it all balanced out.  I love seeing how Brooke eats.  She stops when she is full, even if something is delicious she doesn’t finish it just to finish it (she just likes frosting so that is all she cares about when eating a baked good ha) and some days she eats triple as much as the day before because that is what her body is telling her to do.  There are no rules, she just eats according to what her little growing body tells her to and I love seeing that.  Some weekends I eat more treats than usual and then for the next few days treats don’t sound that great again.  Some days I just want a salad and lots of fruit and the next day I want pasta and garlic bread.  It all evens out.  I strongly believe our bodies have a set-point where we feel our best.  If we are eating well, exercising normally and sleeping well… our bodies just go to that spot.  They thrive at that weight and we feel and run our best.  I love when I see how my body has taken me to that place and being able to really listen to it… if it wants donuts one day and a protein smoothie and spinach salad the next, great…I’m going to give it that.  Our bodies are smart and whenever I have tried to cut certain foods out (for non-allergy reasons) that is just when my body feels unsatisfied the most and like I need to eat everything in the fridge to feel satisfied because I am depriving myself of something it really wants.  It is in fact possible to still be fit, run fast and to eat treats and enjoy the best comfort foods… trust your body to eat what it wants and when it needs it.

*Work on the root of the problem with a therapist.  For me, I used food as something I could control.  It was the thing for me to think about constantly rather than thinking about the really painful stuff that happens in life sometimes.  Working with a therapist through some of those issues and learning how to let myself FEEL my emotions (rather than cover them up with thinking about food) helped so much!

*I’ve shared this a lot but age has helped me a lot with my relationship with food.  Having a little girl watching my every move (and another on the way) has really helped.  Realizing that my people love me for ME and not a thing to do with what I look like is healing.  Seeing that my worth is inherent and permanent and that food/weight/looks/size/running times has NOTHING to do with that worth is so freeing.  Knowing that I have so much potential to continue to grow and learn and become the person I want to be makes me feel like I have ZERO time to waste feeling guilt over food.  PS in case you missed my paintbrush post (where I talk about my cottage cheese) HERE… it might help!  Viewing yourself as the tool to create amazing things rather than just an object yourself to perfect always helps me!

You are doing amazing.  You are not alone, that is for sure.  Keep going, keep trying and don’t give food any more time with your thoughts and emotions.

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What are your thoughts on all of this?  Treats?  A healthy relationship with food?  

What is the PERFECT amount of sleep for your body at night… how many hours makes you feel amazing when you wake up? 

In what ways have you changed the most over the last 5-10 years?

Are you seeing signs of fall where you live?

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72 comments

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Well said!! Thanks for this post ?

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You are welcome and thank you Jen for your comment! Have a beautiful day!

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This was SUCH a good post and a great reminder! There are so many “diets” out there that are so extreme — cutting things out, fasting, etc. but I feel like the best approach is to be balanced in whatever you decide. Well said, Janae!

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I, too, had a phase where I feared all sugary/fatty foods and felt guilty whenever I ate them… I think I went a whole year without eating peanut butter or cereal. That ended with me being at a weight that wasn’t healthy for me. I’m glad to say I’ve come a long way since then and can relate to most of the things you listed here! Now I just try to eat “healthy” most of the time, but when I want a treat (i.e. every night) I go for whatever I’m craving and I don’t feel any guilt about it. Even if I have a day where I eat mostly treats, like you said, who cares? It’s one day and I probably won’t want to do the same thing the next day.

My ideal amount of sleep is 8.5 hours, but unfortunately that’s a rarity for me lately.

The only sign of fall here in Florida is that it’s been 85 degrees lately instead of 90 degrees… wooo.

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A year without peanut butter or cereal… ahhhhh! I am SO happy that you are in such a better place now Grant! Yep, who cares… you said it perfectly! Oh enjoy those cool temps haha (it was like 37 on my run this morning;)

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Janae, thank you for this post. Please continue to write about these topics. Reiteration is key! You are a great example for all of us and all little girls. We all need to step up and fight the diet-culture. I hope you are feeling well! So excited for yall’s upcoming new addition!

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Thank you Alisha for your comment… it means a lot to me! Have an amazing Tuesday!

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I’m so jealous of the leaves in Utah!! In New Jersey, everything is going from green to dead :(
I think you said your relationship of food very well. I think that for me, I eat healthy 80-90% of the time but I don’t beat myself up for having a piece of pie (like last night) or having an extra glass of wine when out. If I start to feel a little gross from my diet I cut out the treats for a few days so that I get back to feeling like myself. Life is boring without treats!
My perfect amount of sleep is 7-8 hours! I feel so good when I wake up with that much.

Have a fantastic day Janae :)

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Thank you for always sharing your heart, Janae. I think it’s so good for people to read things like this — the real things in life that people go through. Thank you for being someone who can inspire and encourage others.

I’ve changed a lot over the last five to 10 years, and I hope it’s all been for the better. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about life and about being brave. I hope that I’ve been loving others well more often than not, and I have definitely learned what the really important things are in life and the things that don’t really matter as much.

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This was such a well-written post, thank you so much for sharing! Food is something I struggle with sometimes, but I also decided that as long as I focus on eating mostly healthy foods (which for me involves doing a lot of my own cooking) while not denying myself something yummy if I really want it, then I am okay! Sometimes it’s hard, the media is saturated with people who are so thin or so fit, but I remind myself that everyone is not meant to look the same.
Sleep is tricky for me – sometimes I am perfectly fine with 6.5 hours, other times I need a full 8. It’s getting to the time of year now where I seem to want more sleep – maybe it’s hibernation season!

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Love how refreshingly honest you are! Great post

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Thank you Samantha, that means a lot! I hope your day is great one and keep in touch!

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Hi Janae! Thank you for posting about these topics lately. I am getting married next summer, and hope to start my family shortly after. I have struggled with amenorrhea and disordered eating for 5 years now. I can’t imagine my future children going through this, or worrying about what they put in their body. I am so grateful for your page and your honesty. Happy Tuesday :)

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Emily, congrats on your wedding next summer, I am SO happy for you! Thank you for opening up about what you have struggled with… you are amazing! Keep me updated with how you are doing and all of your wedding plans! Have a wonderful day! Thanks!

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Thank you so much for this! Love your attitude about treats – it’s so much better to be a few pounds heavier and actually ENJOY food.
Those Utah leaves are gorgeous – it’s just starting to feel like fall here in Virginia :) I can’t wait till the leaves change here!

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Janae, your words are always so inspiring and honest. Pregnancy can definitely change the way you see yourself; it also serves to reaffirm the message you want to pass on to your children. Thank you for bringing up worldly issues and offering your own solutions.

On another note, (I’m always in your comments when you talk about new songs) as you often have the best playlists and music trends, try this one: New Rules by Dua Lipa. Hope you like it!

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Thank you so much Kelly for your sweet comment and THANK YOU for the new song… Just listened to it and I’m adding it to my playlist NOW!

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I think the less you think about the food and classify food as treats or “healthy” the better off you are (not you, just anyone). I don’t really view food as rewards. My husband is good at looking more of food as “fuel” and as cliche as that is, I feel as though it works. For me, I do well with some sort of sugar directly before a race. I’ve had a cupcake the night before and run a PR…I could get sugar from other things but that seems to work well. Idk, food as treats is such a touchy subject I think. I could write a novel about it.

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Janae, thanks for sharing so openly and honestly about this topic! SO many people struggle with this but almost nobody talks about it, so a lot of people end up feeling alone with this issue. It’s great to see you setting a healthy example for your daughter, nieces, and other girls in your community. It’s definitely something I too have struggled with over the years, and it has become more visibly a problem for me as I am realizing I have amenorrhea and we are TTC. Thanks for sharing!

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Thank you Nicole for your sweet comment! I really appreciate it! Keep in touch with how you are doing and let me know if I can help in any way!

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I struggle with over eating and it is like I can’t stop once I am in the moment! I am not overweight but could stand to lose 10-15 lbs. I have a 5 month old and ready to start toning up and lose the last of this baby weight. I did so good yesterday until I had a few chips, I ended up eating WAY too many and felt guilty. In the moment, I know I shouldn’t but I feel like I lose control. Blah!!!

Anyways – Pregnancy is about survival. Good job recognizing that. I lived off of tamales (for breakfast) and dinosaur chicken nuggets the first trimester. It was literally all I could stomach. I felt guilty that I was not eating super healthy foods, but I literally couldn’t stomach the thought of eating much else.

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YES YES YES… thank you for sharing that it was all about survival for you too. I sometimes feel bad too but really you just gotta get food in some days and that is all that matters. You are doing amazing and no more feeling guilty! Whenever I felt guilty about food/my size after having Brooke I would go stare at her until that guilt disappeared because I realized how amazing it was that my body created such an incredible little thing! You are doing amazing!

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Fantastic post. I agree, age helps a lot as does taking with someone. I struggled a bit in my early 20s because I was trying to control something in my life. Finding the root cause is so important.

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I love this post so much. Thank you for sharing all of this, it is so helpful! I struggle with treats still but lately I have been good with not restricting as well as not over indulging. A good balance. But I go through phases…I will go months without eating anything bad because it gets to my head and I feel horrible about myself, or I will go a short time eating everything which is not good either. It is something I work through every day and I hope I can find a long term balance for this.

The perfect amount of sleep for me is 6-7 hours. 8 or more feels like too much sometimes!
Definitely seeing some signs of fall here but not as pretty as you have it in Utah.

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Just keep talking little steps Salina and a day at a time. Thank you for sharing what you have gone through (are going through) and keep me updated! You are doing amazing and keep on working on it… you’ve got this!

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Thank you for this post!
My food journey is similar to yours. My roots, reasons, etc are many and complex, but one of the the things that has helped me fit treats into my life is letting my mind and body be friends. Denying myself treats or worse nutrition, not eating someones b-day cake so my healthy life identity was not threatened, etc…….was just a bad bad way of being in a controlling relationship where my mind was the controller and my body the victim. Getting to a place where I was happy when my body is like yes, donut, or garlic bread was due to the fact that I felt my body deserved a voice too. But if all I did was eat every treat my body craved everyday, and for as much as it wanted of it, then I am just letting the body be the controller and the mind the victim…………so just like a relationship, balance is best, compromise happens, and sometime you just let one of them have their way for the day. Hope this makes sense.

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YES YES YES… I love what you said about comparing a controlling relationship to what was going on with your mind and body at the time. I 100% know what you are talking about! YES…. ‘I felt my body deserved a voice too.’ Everything about your comment made me shake my head yes as I read it. Remember how we need to be neighbors one day Erica!?!?

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Fantastic post!

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Thank you Lynn! I hope you are having a great day!

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This is such a great post! I want to share it with all the teenagers (especially the girls) in the neighborhood. I went through a lot of years when I wouldn’t each anything with fat! It was all fat free everything, or I wouldn’t eat it. I spent years of constantly worrying about how much skinnier that person was or if I was “healthier” than that person. This was such a non-healthy way to live! After I had my 2 boys (who are now 16 and 13) it took a while, but I realized that I actually needed to be healthy for them. I wanted to show them how healthy is positively affecting my life. I finally learned that healthy eating isn’t fat free! It’s eating well-balanced meals throughout the day. Lots of good proteins, veggies and fresh fruit, less “stuff” from boxes, and yes even fats! That’s also when I started running (although, I have always been active, have always loved to work out, etc). The year I turned 40 (I’m 45 now) was when I truly felt my healthiest! And it keeps getting better! My boys see that, and they make wise food choices, because of the way my husband and I eat at home. And, desserts are acceptable! ;)
Right now, 7.5 hours of sleep is like magic for me :) We have all been super busy, so when I get a few nights of 7.5, the next day I am feeling amazing!
Living in Southern California, (and I’m a transplant from Colorado) it’s sometimes hard for fall to actually feel like fall. But, even here, there are some trees that are changing, and it gets nice a cool at night, so it is feeling like fall. And that makes me so happy!
Thank you for always being inspiring and periodically giving us good reminders!

Have a great day :)

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Thank you so much Wendy for your sweet comment! Oh yes… that fat free stage of life, I did that too! I love that you worked so hard to show your boys such an amazing example and that you are feeling your best ever now! You are amazing! Enjoy the cooler temps and leaves that are changing (and enjoy not shivering like I am after my run this morning haha)! Thanks Wendy!

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I completely agree with you on food! I actually couldn’t have said it better myself. :) I am such a dessert person so I would rather eat a healthier lunch or dinner and get the best dessert after!! After my half marathon Sunday, I went STRAIGHT to Dairy Queen for the Best Chocolate Cake Blizzard (if you haven’t tried it yet – you HAVE to!!!! It’s the best blizzard I have ever had!!!).

I used to need like 10 hour in college but I wasn’t working out regularly then. Now I try my hardest to be in bed by 10pm and I wake up between 6-6:30am to work out. On weekends, I sleep until 7am usually :). I don’t know if it’s having a sleep schedule or working out or both that usually makes me feel awake and not tired through the day.

I hated to even walk my dog but I just ran a second half marathon so I have definitely changed in that aspect haha. But I truly think working out has changed me and given me confidence to be myself and make time to do things that make me happy.

We just started fall weather here in PA last week and it is supposed to get warm again this weekend… UGH. I need the cold weather to run in!!!

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CONGRATS on your half marathon this last Sunday Maddie and I NEED to try that Blizzard… like today! I am just like you… working out gives me way more energy! I am so happy that working out has done so much good for you… that confidence is the best! Enjoy the fall weather (and come run in Utah with me this weekend while it is warm in PA)! Have a great day Maddie!

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I eat what I want BUT I also thrive with structure. I can’t imagine I’m the only reader who doesn’t 100% think that food “rules” are a bad thing. For myself (and I hope I’m not the lone wolf in the world! :)), I am happiest when I am regimented. I’ve tried both ways and I am the opposite in terms of you in that you found happiness in giving up the control. And I am happy as can be with ritual. It doesn’t mean that WHAT I eat is restrictive but in terms of quantity, when, etc. it’s not a “flash” decision. It’s thought out. Someone or some “expert” may view that as “disordered”. I’m conflicted with this term “disordered eating”. I think that it’s completely subjective and someone else’s disordered eating may be someone else’s version of bliss. I don’t think any expert can tell us what is the right or wrong way of going about it. In some studies, it has been researched that zones of the healthiest people are far thinner than what we think is “normal” (I really don’t like that word!! ha).
I think that when people discuss disordered eating, it’s kind of like googling “my side hurts, what could it be?” and then people self-diagnose themselves with an incurable disease based on some symptoms they read. So someone may read an article on disordered eating and deem themselves to have an eating disorder when maybe they are just fine. Like you said, you found a way to confront your emotions so you can think about other things. I think people have different coping mechanisms and whatever works for YOU is the best. We are all just doing the best we can to live happily and healthily.

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Very good point…I like structure too. I like planning meals and knowing what I’m going to eat for a few days. How else do you grocery shop?? It’s also a way to give to your family. It’s such a great feeling to make a nice meal that others appreciate and enjoy with you.

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Oh I totally agree! I LOVE some structure too, that just hasn’t been working well during pregnancy because I have so many random aversions. I’m excited to get back to a bit more structure in a few months and having a plan for the week! I just wanted to share in this post that for me personally, thinking about food constantly and feeling like I was a ‘bad’ person for eating a treat or something on my ‘bad food list’ did not work well for me! I totally agree Amanda that finding whatever works best for YOU is the best way to do it. Just sharing what makes me feel best personally and that I want to show the girls in my life that their worth has nothing to do with food/size etc!

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Thanks for understanding, Elizabeth, Janae!

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Such a great post, Janae! I love that you use your platform to give back and help others. Hmm, treats. It’s a work in progress but I’ve finally come to a place where I’ll have treats when I want them and the trade off is I eat healthy most of the time. I’m the type that if I can’t have something, I want it even more. I grew up where I was shamed for my looks and body shape so it has been hard getting out of that mentality but I left home at 18 for college and never looked back and that’s been the best for me. My husband (and kids) are wonderful; it doesn’t matter how much weight I gain as long as I’m happy. For me, though being happy is also being healthy. I feel better and have more energy.
Ever since I had kids, I have been very careful about how we talk about dieting or losing weight, etc. I want to break the cycle and don’t want them to have a negative view of all that. They know that working out is important but because it’s healthy for our heart, not for losing weight. I love that point you made about Brooke. My husband and I always say we should be more like our kids…they stop when they are full, no matter what. They have also turned down treats or dessert and that’s cool to see, too. I always joke that I have a separate compartment for desserts. We never force them to eat more. Growing up in an Asian household, we always had to clean our plates, no matter what; there was no waste. Such a bad habit.
I’d say the thing I’ve changed the most over the past 5-10 years is just trying to be a better person, wife, mother. Having kids truly changed me so much into trying to be a better person overall. I also truly accepted Jesus as my savior. Going to church, reading the bible, raising my kids to know him. They know more bible stories than I do! :) Just trying to be a better person overall. This is getting super long but I have to say fall is my favorite. We don’t get much fall colors in TX but I love it so much and part of the reason I loved visiting Boston so long ago. I love fall colors; they’re my favorite! Have a great day, Janae! BTW, the bananas are still holding up! ;)

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Marie, thank you for your comment and for sharing with me your experience! I am so sorry that you grew up being shamed… that absolutely breaks my heart. I am SO happy you are in such a better/happier situation. I am just like you, having kids has really helped me learn how to talk about these things in a way that is best for everyone around me. It’s amazing to watch kids eat! I love what you shared about the last 5-10 years… your family is so lucky to have you! SO HAPPY the bananas are still doing great, my dad will be so happy!

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Loved this post Janae:) I’m so glad for your positive journey with food. You’re an inspiration for me. I love food but sometimes social media makes me think I eat too much sugar, and then I realize that everything seems way more simple in my life when I don’t pay attention to that.

Those leaves look absolutely beautiful. Wish we had that here in South Florida. Actually, it is still so hot in here that I wish I could be able to enjoy a nice hot chocolate.

8 hours is my perfect amount of sleep. However, I’m very bad at going to sleep early in the night. So I have to practically force myself.

Enjoy your day Janae!

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Oh my word Utah got cold so fast!!

I feel like I have a pretty good relationship with food most of the time. I struggle most when I have a baby and my body takes a little longer than I think is normal to get back to where I was. Especially after my third baby. But after a month of trying to lose weight that I didn’t really need to work at to lose (because I run and I still needed to give myself time) I realized that it wasn’t healthy for me and was able to eat better and work on the exercise part of losing weight instead.
But I think a lot of your points work for more than just eating problems. Anxiety and depression are my big things that I deal with and admiring or saying you have those out loud is half the battle. This is a long comment so I’ll stop there for now :)

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Jenny, thank you so much for sharing your struggles, you are amazing (I need to meet you please… we live so close I think).

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I think we probably should!

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Great post!
I need a lot of sleep to survive – my mom said even when I was little I required more than other kids. I sleep about 9 hours a night and am much more a morning person than night person.
My body and the way I think of my body changed so much when I was pregnant. For the first time I could really see and feel cause/effect when it came to eating, both short term and long term. It carried on with nursing and now my post-baby body is so much more aware of what tastes/feels good both in the moment and long term than what doesn’t. Such a cool gift to feel how you feel and be aware!

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I love this post and I think it’s a very important message. I’m a big believer in eating by the way you feel. I truly believe the food we eat impacts the way we feel and we really just need to pay attention to that and enjoy food and life!
I love your approach with Brooke. I’ve said this before, but she is so lucky to have a family that sets a good example health wise.
8 hours of sleep is about right for me. But I do enjoy my weekend naps! That’s my idea of a treat :)
My biggest changes over the last 5-10 years are that I eat much better (way more veggies and less processed food) and I don’t care as much what everyone else thinks, says, has, does because it has nothing to do with me.
It is slightly cooler in TX, but the leaves don’t really change colors here. They stay green and hang on until Nov/Dec.
I really want to start taking a trip in Sept or Oct so I can actually experience a real Fall…

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Thank you so much Elizabeth for what you said about Brooke, that means the world to me! I like the way you think… naps are the best thing ever! Loved hearing about how you’ve changed over the years… I love that the older I get the less I care about what others think too! Enjoy the slightly cooler weather! Come up to Utah this month!

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Great post!
My husband is 6’4″ and rides my daughter’s tiny bike. It is hilarious!! While we were camping, we were seeing who could ride it over jumps and such. We are really mature ;)

I was hoping to take Fall pictures this week, but everything is covered with snow :( Not sure how many leaves will be left when the snow melts off tomorrow. Fingers crossed we can still do pics!

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Thanks for sharing. As someone who struggled with eating disorders in college and beyond, all of the above helped and running actually helped me get a healthier perspective. It took awhile, but I have healthy relationship with food now. I eat to run long distances . I love my treats and cinnamon buns. For me, my focus is on what my body can do rather than what it looks like (though I am actually pretty happy most days with how I look thanks to running:).

I like 8 hours of sleep – if I am training, I can easily sleep 10 hours! My friends have called napping and sleeping my super powers.

Definitely seeing signs of fall where I live. Weather is cooler and the foliage is brilliant orange, red yellow and gold.

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andrew on that tiny bike is EVERYTHING! haha, i love it. :) also, i love that you attempted a selfie with geese but they were like nope! haha :) maybe tomorrow they will be feeling a little more cooperative! :)

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High grade essential peppermint oil that is graded for oral consumption really helped me with nausea. Just in case you haven’t tried it. $20 will get you a tiny bottle that lasts forever because you only need 1-2 drops in a tall glass of water. Being nauseous all the time SUUUUCKS.

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I have not tried that Nic and I am absolutely going to now. THANK YOU x a million!!! I hope you have a beautiful day!

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I feel like you wrote this post just for me. Seriously, thank you! I’ve had a distorted relationship with food for a long time now. I’m either all in eating healthy and running or eating horribly and not running. Last year I trained and ran the hardest ranked leg in Hood to Coast to push myself to put me first. I felt WONDERFUL eating right and taking care of my body. I got pregnant not long after it and ended up losing my little girl when my water broke too early. I was devastated and turned to food again for comfort. I did a lot of emotional eating and then found myself pregnant again a few months later (I’m 32 weeks now). I’m not allowed to do any kind of physical activity this time-since they don’t know what caused my water to break, and I have become obsessive with my food as a way to have control over something. Every bite that goes in my mouth is tracked and the obsessiveness is slowly eating away at my sanity. I’m trying to dig myself out of this hole I’m in with food and reading your struggles and triumphs and what has worked for you is inspiring to me. Thank you! Keep doing you, Brooke is lucky to have you as an example!

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Oh Danielle, my heart is absolutely broken reading about what you went through. I cannot even imagine the pain that comes along with losing your little girl. I am so sorry. I am so happy you are pregnant again and I am thinking about you. Will you please keep me updated with how you are doing. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I am the biggest believer of our loved ones being on the other side (and living with them again one day) and I believe your little girl is up there cheering you on. You are amazing.

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I went to Weight Watchers for the first time about 20 years ago. My meeting leader said something I will never forget, “I eat chocolate everyday.” Her point was you can be healthy and still enjoy a treat. It’s definitely a balancing act. When we give our bodies what they need – healthy food, water, exercise, then even daily treats are okay.

I need about 8 hours of sleep most nights. The smoke alarm in our bedroom started beeping last night (no fire, just a dying battery) and it was driving me crazy because it’s at the highest point in our vaulted ceiling. Ear plugs to the rescue!

I’m in my 50s now and I’m a lot more relaxed about life than I use to be. I guess I’ve just lived long enough to know that even when things are bad I’m gonna be okay!

It’s definitely been cooler here in So Cal. Some years our leaves don’t change colors until December.

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Unrelated, but did you listen to the podcast “TED Talks Daily” Ted Talk today? It’s on children and parenting. You guys do such a good job, you’re providing such a wonderful example for future hopefuls!

(I used to listen to news shows like the Daily and NPR’s UpFirst during the morning commute, but ugh the news has been so bad for the past several …months. That said, podcasts (not those) are my go-to for training runs [minus workouts!]!)

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This: “And life without them sure didn’t make me any happier, I am positive that I was my most miserable at my lowest number on the scale.” I LOVE this. This is EXACTLY what I’ve been telling people for the past few years now. I’m so much happier now that I’m back to being me again, eating what I want when I want it with a focus on REAL food. I don’t think I could ever go back to that dark place again, where food controlled my every thought. There’s so much more to life.

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Andrew on that tiny bike is HILARIOUS! TOO CUTE!

I just started seeing some changing leaves here — and the mornings are getting cooler!! FALL IS NEAR!

I think I’m far more aware of myself that I ever was before — if that makes sense. My childhood helped to hone my particular abilities to disassociate and forget — a lot. This means there are whole decades I just can’t really remember — which is a good thing (self preservation and all) but it’s really inconvenient when I want to remember fun times with hubby! Ever since we met (about 12 years ago) I’ve really wanted to cherish and remember every moment. It wasn’t until about 7 years ago (about a year before we were married) that I really started to work on being present in the moment and making memories.

Still working on it.

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I’m so glad Andrew found his bike!! I don’t think that is the exact bike he was looking for in my crazy dream, but it works.

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Wow – thank you so much Janae! I hope you know that personal posts like the touch so many woman and are so powerful. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders – there is so much more to life than food! Controlling my eating has only made me miserable, and taken away from so many other parts of my life. It’s time to let go and eat what my body is feeling.
Have an amazing Tuesday!

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Awesome post, Janae! I feel like my relationship with food goes in cycles and is continually evolving. When things get out of balance (hello sweet tooth), I find that it works best for me not to put limits on treats or restrict certain things, but to instead make sure I plan and prep lots of yummy healthy foods to fill up on. Then a little treat will satisfy me, rather than going crazy. Definitely something I am still working on, and posts like this reinforce the balance, so thank you!

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As always thank you for the post! They always seem to come at the perfect time. :-)

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I have told you before, this used to be me. And it looks like we are in about the same place now. I eat to live and I really enjoy my treats. I used to control my eating because I felt like that was the only thing I had control over. I am thankful I don’t let a size or the scale or fear of food control my life anymore. Sounds like you too :)

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I definitely struggle with my relationship with food and how I feel about my body. Little by little I’m learning what my body needs, how it responds to different types of food and I’m trying (though often failing) to not compare myself to others. All of our bodies are different and respond to food differently. I’m learning what’s healthy for me and under what conditions I feel the best. I don’t do well not having any treats at all so I’m trying to learn moderation so I can have a little treat and not feel guilty. Over the last 10 years I’ve had a LOT of ups and downs. My body got really unhealthy during college and for a couple of years afterward. I’ve gotten better and I’m proud of my progress, but there’s always room for improvement. And then just knowing that some days are mac and cheese and ice cream days and that’s ok.

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This is such a wonderful post! And Brooke is SO lucky to have a mom like you!

A healthy relationship with food is something I strive for and something that I wish was easier said than done. I’ve made a ton of progress in terms of my weight and health over the last 5-6 years but I still have a long way to go before I consider myself having a healthy relationship with food. Your posts are inspiring .. So thank you!!

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Thank you for this post, and please keep sharing about food with us! I think in the end we all agree how we should behave and why it’s important, but it’s rather difficult to apply it to life.

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I love fall and October is my favorite month. But it’s still hot here in TN. Cool like fall in the morning but 80 and hot by afternoon.
I like sleep and I’d love 9 hours of sleep but that’s doesnt happen but every once in awhile.

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This is great from a food perspective however as a long time reader I would like to know more about how your relationship with exercise AND food combined has evolved over your recovery. Has there been a time in your recovery that you either couldn’t exercise at all or took a complete (more than the 1-2 week break after marathons) and how did that affect your food intake? Did you still allow treats every day? Also, I’m curious about the running 6-7 miles almost every day of this pregnancy? What about less or just doing whatever your body feels …like as intuitive we are with food, we should be with exercise? I am currently 34 weeks with my 3rd and I know my body and motivation or even ability to run/walk/cross train varies from day to day, hour to hour. I know as 10 yrs fully recover my relation with exercise and body image was the last to let go of the reigns with. Great points in this post with regards to the food peice.

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Thank you so much for this post, Janae. I’m 32 and have had my serious struggles with anorexia in the past and it’s SO hard to ever feel 100% recovered. I have come such a long way and am so proud of my accomplishments but sometimes I’m just my own worst enemy. Like you, I also used food as control to not think about other things in my life. I still find myself slipping and falling back into this routine from time to time when things just feel crummy in my life. I literally just opened up to my boyfriend last night about my recent struggles with these thoughts resurfacing so this post really came at the perfect time. THANK YOU for being such an inspiration to women about being happy and healthy. You are such a bright light and I wish you all the best. <3

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I truly appreciate these posts. There are many examples out there where runners are cutting food groups out and fasting to improve performance. It may be helping for a bit but not in the long run. As a therapist and eating disorder recovery coach, I work with those wanting a healthy relationship with their food and exercise so they can have a balanced relationship with both and one of freedom from rules and restriction. Time and time again, people believe they are doing healthy things to be healthy, but they’re often doing unhealthy things. By talking to someone they are able to see past their blind spots and what they see on social media.

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Love, love, love!

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Thank you for being so honest and helpful!! Guilt/Food not mixing was really an eye opening moment for me. As I feel guilty about food choices all the day. I’ll really use these thoughts daily.
P.S. you just look so beautiful and so happy at this time in your life.

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Man, can I relate to this! Yeah, we all have days when we eat more than normal, and more treats than normal at that. This is called being human. I used to demonise all manner of foods, but at the end of the day, it’s there to be enjoyed. Enjoy food, enjoy life, enjoy the people around you…quality post!

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