Why Setting Goals is the Best Idea Ever

Why Setting Goals is the Best Idea Ever by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

I know right now you are probably saying to yourself “What do you mean setting goals? It’s the middle of the year. Aren’t you supposed to set goals before January of the new year.” Since, I’m going into my first semester of college, I still measure my life in school years so, it made sense to me to set goals before the new school year begins.

I believe that setting goals should not just be reserved for the new year, but can be done at anytime. 

Many people set goals at the beginning of the year and never really follow through with them a.k.a. New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in the concept of New Year’s resolutions because maybe around the time the New Year rolls around you aren’t in a place to set goals or be positive. You may be depressed, by mental illness , dealing with a tragedy or another situation that may put you in a negative place. Setting a goal for you may look more like: 1. Get out of bed. 2. Take a shower. 3. Go outside.

If you are in a negative state-of-mind, that’s okay, however, it is not the time for you to be setting [what I would call] “life-changing goals” like be recovered from my mental illness, be the founder of a non-profit organization or start a family. 

On the other side of the coin, don’t put off setting goals either. Life is constantly changing. You will never be able to find a perfect moment in your life to set goals. Recently, I chose to purchase a school planner from Passion Planner which come highly recommended and are great for goal-setting. Also, for each planner purchased one is given to someone who needs it, which is also pretty cool!

Why Setting Goals is the Best Idea Ever by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

I sat down and completed my goal-setting inside of my planner also called a Passion Roadmap. I was able to sett my goals for the next three months, the next year, the next three years and for my lifetime. 

Now I am able to clearly see all my goals on a piece of paper to help me keep moving forward towards my dreams!

I also decided to do a fun project with all of the new goals I set: make a vision board. (It’s currently summer and even though it’s almost over, I had too much time on my hands so that was a part of my choice as well.) When I was younger and my mom owned her hair salon, my mom and her team made vision boards. Wanting to be a part of the “group,” I always made one for myself. Back then, my vision board was silly and extravagant. It featured magazine pictures of my current celebrity crushes and the biggest mansions you had ever seen, nevertheless, it served a purpose. I was able to learn the importance of setting goals at a very young age. Eventually, I became too cool for my parents and refused to listen to their advice and I no longer made a board each year.

So, like many other things it took me going through my own struggles and hearing it from someone other than my parents to decide to make one. 

This year I collected magazines [ironically] from my therapists office, nutritionists office, other public places and purchased a few. I also printed a few pictures I found offline because there are only so many pictures of families on my vacation I can use. I cut out everything the way I wanted it and also ran to my local office store and grabbed a large poster-board. Then, I sat down to strategically place everything where I wanted it to be. Yes my perfectionism may have gotten in the way at that time, but I’m still working on it.

If you want to see the finished product you can go to my Instagram to check out the picture I posted on their. 

I’m super excited for the new school year to start. As far as my goals go, I tried my hardest not to overwhelm myself with tons of the things I wanted to accomplish which is what I tend to do. It is my freshman year of college, I will already be overwhelmed enough with all of this newfound independence. So, I chose the one’s most important to me including being stable in recovery, expanding my blog and several goals about college.

I think goals are important, especially in recovery, for several reasons because it is overwhelming to have all of those dreams circling in your head. Putting them into a physical space makes it less daunting. Also, goals are meant to be positive and in recovery you have hard days [just like in life] and seeing the goals you have can make eating that scary dessert on your meal plan a little easier.

Recovery is a priority because in order to accomplish all your other goals, you must be stable in your recovery first. 

So, have some fun, set some goals and DREAM BIG!

I am doing a giveaway on Instagram with Passion Planner and I am giving away a planner to someone. Just click on the picture of my vision board to find out how to enter! 

Why Goal Setting is the Best Idea Ever by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

6 Helpful Tips for Facing Fear Foods

6 Helpful Tips for Facing Fear Foods by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

Since getting back on track, I have had to conquer many fear foods. 

For someone in recovery from an eating disorder, this can be terrifying. Hence the name: fear food.

Fear foods are specific foods that induce a debilitating, high and intense anxiety in a sufferer. These foods are foods that they would NEVER eat because of some reason unique to them. The term fear food was coined by those suffering from anorexia. A more common term for those suffering from bulimia or binge-eating disorder is trigger food. This is a food that also gives a sufferer high anxiety and would also cause them to su an intense urge to binge or binge and purge.

Fear foods or Trigger Foods can be difficult to face or even think about facing so that is why I decided to compile some helpful tips that I use into this post. 

For those suffering from bulimia or binge-eating disorder these tips will focus on dealing with fear foods since I am diagnosed with anorexia. These tips may be helpful for you in facing your trigger foods but I encourage you to seek other resources for facing them. I encourage you to visit my Recovery Resources page to find help for you. However, if you also have what you would consider fear foods then this post will definitely help.

1. Make a list of your fear foods and rank them from least anxiety provoking to most anxiety provoking. 

This will allow you to have a physical list of the foods that scare you the most. Ranking them is helpful because I recommend that you start by reintroducing the least anxiety provoking foods first and work your way down the list.

2. Underneath each food write [if you can] why this food produces so much anxiety then write something positive to combat your fear. 

Let’s say you don’t like X food because it is high-calorie. In order to combat this, you can write all of the health benefits of that food: It has a lot of nutrients. It will allow you to do the activities you love. You will feel reenergized after eating it. etc. I then encourage you to write the positive reason or reasons on a notecard or small piece of paper to have with you when you face this food.

3. When eating a fear food, pair it with a safe food.

A safe food is a food that produces either low or no anxiety for a sufferer. If you have a huge fear of chips and also hamburgers, instead of eating them together, try to pair each with something safer. If a turkey sandwich is safe for you, eat the chips with a turkey sandwich.

Disclaimer: These are just examples and have nothing to do with the nutritional content of the food. All foods are good for you, remember. It’s all about balance. 

4. Make a list of positive affirmations on a notecard or small piece of paper.

Choose positive affirmations that you believe will help YOU the most when facing a fear food. You can also use colorful markers to make it more cheerful and positive when you look at it. Along with your combative phrase have this with you as well.

5. Eat your fear food with someone supportive. 

Having someone their who can help you through the fear and anxiety is comforting whether it is a parent, friend, significant other, mentor, therapist or nutritionist.

6. After facing your fear food, engage in some self-care activities or do something fun. 

I know the last thing you want to do after eating a fear food is reward yourself, but YOU DESERVE IT. You were brave today so do something nice for yourself. It will also be a distraction for wanting to act on other urges such as purging or exercising. Some ideas can include: going to see a movie, hanging out with a friend, taking a bubble bath, meditating, or playing with your pet. Choose something that will specifically help you.

I know facing a fear food can be hard, but you are strong and powerful! YOU CAN DO IT!

I hope these tips will help you and encourage you to think about facing a fear food soon.

Also, in February Jessica Raymond of Recovery Warriors uploaded a podcast challenging listeners to face their fear foods. Here is the link to the podcast. Listing to it really helped me and I believe it will help you too!

Remember: YOU ARE CAPABLE OF MORE THAN YOU KNOW!

6 Helpful Tips for Facing Fear Foods by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

Self-Care Sunday: Why Yoga Is a Treat for Your Soul

Why Yoga is a Treat for Your Soul by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

 

Since entering inpatient treatment for the first-time yoga has become a huge part of my life. 

I remember looking at my mom like she was crazy when she would preach the benefits of yoga and meditation while getting ready for her yoga class. I guess I had to hear it from several other people before I decided it was a beneficial practice. Little did I know, it would be my favorite form of exercise and self-care in the years to come.

Yoga is good for your mind, body and soul. You are able to reconnect with your internal cues, thoughts and desires. It was a way for me to receive these benefits while also feeling like I was doing something productive: moving my body.

One of my favorite things about yoga is that you are able to go at a speed and intensity you choose. Whether you are participating in a class at a studio or watching a video at home, you are encouraged to listen to your body and take breaks when necessary. My favorite way to “take a short break” is in child’s pose. Anyone who has ever done child’s pose knows exactly why I say that. It is reenergizing and relaxing. When you feel like your body can’t hold that really difficult pose today, you can sit back into your hips and breathe.

Breathing brings me to another point. The other amazing thing about yoga is breathing. If you are in a pose and not breathing, you are for sure going to feel the aches and pains much faster than if you were. Breathing cues the body to relax allowing you to stretch a little farther or sit a little deeper. It is the backbone of yoga and without it you wouldn’t receive as much benefit from the practice.

For those who have dealt with malnutrition, yoga is a way to slowly build back muscle that you have lost from not nourishing your body. From my recent relapse, I am beginning to more easily hold poses that I couldn’t maybe a month ago. I can physically begin to see the benefits of recovery in my yoga practice. If you are beginning yoga in early recovery, I encourage you to listen to your body as I said earlier. Don’t get frustrated if your body won’t allow you to do every pose that you are instructed to do. It is okay. Even if you aren’t in recovery from an eating disorder, just getting into the practice of yoga your body may reject poses and again, that is okay. Yoga poses take time to master. I understand the frustration because I have to tell myself this every time I get into a pose I can’t physically do. Just know that yoga is not about who can do the most difficult poses. It is your individual practice to nourish YOUR mind, body and soul.

Currently, until I get the go ahead from my nutritionist, I only participate in one yoga class per week. So, I encourage you even if you don’t have the time or money to go to a studio do it at home. Youtube has many yoga videos and some or 10 minutes or less. My favorite way to begin my day is with yoga because I set my intention for the day and reenergize myself before the day begins.

Yoga is a treat for your soul, as I said in the title of this post. It is a type of exercise that does so much more for you than just get your heart-rate up. It is a gift for yourself and it is revitalizing. 

 

Why Yoga is a Treat for Your Soul by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

Why I Refuse to Shop at Urban Outfitters

Why I Refuse to Shop at Urban Outfitters by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

 

This may be a controversial topic and some people may disagree with my opinion on this company. They may also disagree with my decision to boycott buying from their stores, but how I felt about the many controversies surrounding Urban Outfitters and one specific incident that hit too close to home.

I started shopping at Urban Outfitters before my freshman year of high-school and have purchased a few items from there until I was diagnosed with anorexia. 

I was diagnosed the summer between my sophomore and junior year [2014] and it didn’t take me too long to discovery an article of clothing they sold in stores. I did find out about this controversy pretty late as the shirt was pulled from shelves in 2010. The moment I discovered it, I didn’t really care… I was disgusted. I couldn’t support a company that thought it was a good idea to sell a shirt that glamorized an illness that I was tortured by as well as many others and needless to say, ISN,T GLAMOROUS AT ALL. It just baffles my mind that a group of people sat in a meeting a decided that the manufacturing and selling of this shirt was a good idea. What was going through their mind? or Did they not even think about the 30 million people suffering from eating disorders in the United States [a number that keeps rising]? I could honestly rant about this for hours, but all and all it was an ignorant and disturbing situation. Urban Outfitters did pull it from the shelves after much backlash. However, it was so upsetting to me and I ,personally, had to do something.

I decided that no longer supporting the company by purchasing from their store and sharing what they decided to sell in their stores. 

Although that was the hardest one for me to see, it isn’t the only controversial article of clothing Urban Outfitters has tried to sell. In 2014, they also sold a shirt with the word depression silk-screened all-over it. This was eventually pulled as well. Urban outfitters also decided to sell a Kent State sweatshirt that looked eerily like it was bloodstained. This enraged many who believed it was meant to portray the violence that occurred at Kent State in 1970. Most recently in 2016, they sold shampoo labeled Shampoo for Suicidal Hair making light a horrible tragedy.

All of these combined it was obvious to me that Urban Outfitters was no longer a company I could support. 

I have since not bought a single item from their stores. I will continue to standby my decision no matter the many apologies Urban Outfitters CEO decides to make. It happened one time too many.

What is your opinion on the many Urban Outfitters controversies?

Why I Refuse to Shop at Urban Outfitters by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

Trigger Tuesday: When Social Media Hurts

Trigger Tuesday: When Social Media Hurts by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com

 

I haven’t published a Trigger Tuesday in a while so, I thought it was time for one. This one may relate more to the younger crowd, but social media has become so big that all ages use them so I don’t eliminate anyone from this information.

One of the biggest triggers for me in the past and still sometimes is social media.

Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr etc. sets me up for comparing myself to others whether physically, through their accomplishments or what they have materialistically and what amazing things they get to experience. 

I do not like the fact that I engage in these behaviors, but I have done it for so long that I can’t remember a time I didn’t do it. It has become a habit and social media just added fuel to the fire. I just sit for hours scrolling through all of my social media outlets looking at “how good she looked in a bathing suit and wishing I had her body”, “the fact that she was in the Bahamas while I was sitting on the couch watching Netflix” and it just went on like this. After I finally decided to put my phone down, I felt horrible not just about myself but my all around well being was tarnished.

It took a long time, but I was finally able to mostly break this habit leaving me a healthier and happier person. 

If you too struggle with being triggered by social media, I have a few tips that helped me move towards a goal of decreasing triggers without eliminating social media as a whole because surprisingly social media can be just as positive as it can be negative.

1. Unfollow/Unfriend any Pro-Ana/Mia/Thinspiration accounts.

Why? Is that even a question. All these accounts do is serve to trigger you into acting upon eating disorder behaviors. And if you follow these accounts and don’t suffer from an eating disorder, it will make it more likely for you to develop one so, just don’t. If You don’t know what Pro-Ana/Mia is click here and thinspiration is a similar concept but here is a definition.

2. Unfollow/Unfriend recovery accounts that share their daily intake and/or are in a relapse.

This one can be tricky but for most sufferers of eating disorders, these types of recovery accounts can be immensely triggering. They usually post everything they eat sometimes that may include calories which is a “no no” for many with eating disorders. Also, if the person behind recovery account that you are following is experiencing a relapse this may cause you to want to engage behaviors as well.

3. Unfollow/Unfriend people that you often compare yourself too.

This can also be hard because it may be a celebrity that you really love and support or even one of your friends, but if it’s negatively impacting your social media experience and you find yourself comparing to often  you may have to do this.

4. Follow positive accounts.

This can be a daily inspiration account, a daily quote account, a body positive person, a peaceful account or whatever makes you feel good inside when you scroll past it. Since doing this, scrolling through my social media feeds has become a helpful experience instead of a detrimental one. The more positive accounts you follow and the less negative/triggering accounts you follow, the better your social media experience will be.

5. Try to make your account as positive as possible. 

This doesn’t mean be fake or don’t be yourself, but try not to focus on the negative. I encourage you to put something positive in every post. Generally, the more positive pots you have on your account, the more positive the people will be who follow you. That can lead to an inspirational feed, some sweet comments, and a lot of likes.

6. If all else fails take a social media break.

Sometimes it’s necessary.

As I said earlier in this post, social media can be negative or positive depending on how you use it. I encourage you to use my tips because they really helped me make social media a more positive outlet.

I hope this helps you change your relationship with social media.

 

Trigger Tuesday: When Social Media Hurts by Ivy Souter // alwaysfullydressedwithasmile.com