Today I am honored to feature a guest voice on my blog! Ritta Shikwana is a Holistic Health Coach who helps people going through something she herself has recovered from — orthorexia.
Have you heard of orthorexia before? While not officially included in the DSM-V, it is a condition that is running rampant in our society today and has serious health effects. It is described as “an unhealthy obsession with healthy or ‘pure’ foods” that begins to get out of control, and takes over one’s life. Eventually food choices become so restrictive, in both variety and calories, that health suffers – an ironic twist for a person so completely dedicated to healthy eating.
Read on to hear about Ritta’s desire to get pregnant and have a family, and what she has learned about the way eating disorders can threaten the things we value the most.
Recovering my Period, my Body and my Life: A Story of Recovery from Orthorexia
Have you lost your period? Do you want to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy? Not long ago I used to desperately search the internet on how to get my period back. I had lost my period due to excessive exercise and struggling with orthorexia (click here to take a self test to see if you might have some of these behaviors too).
Not feeling womanly, not having a period and not being able to get pregnant caused me to have so much more stress than I needed.
Ritta is a certified Holistic Health Coach from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her mission is to help women develop a healthy relationship with food, their body and exercise. Because she overcame Orthorexia, Depression, Exercise Addiction and Amenorrhea, she now coaches women who are going through similar struggles. You can connect with Ritta on here website rawritta.com. And also connect on social media at YouTube, Instagram, Facebook
Today is a snowy day in Denver! As the wind blows and the temperature plummets, I am reminded of the gift of slowing down. When something comes up that takes us out of our regular routine (whether it’s weather, illness, unforeseen obligations, etc), we might have no choice but to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N. I greet this ‘slowdown’ with anticipation and also a bit of anxiety. What to do on a snow day? Play out in the snow? (did that, nose froze!). Read a book (yes, please)? Peruse the internet ? Have you ever felt this way?
As I noticed all of the feelings I was experiencing and the thoughts I was having, I brought myself back to the present moment and asked:
“What choices do I have with this experience?”
I realized that I have the power to choose acceptance of this moment, EVEN THOUGH I still might feel some anxiety (or whatever else). I became aware that this concept is something I have been working on with clients recently: finding a way to be with slightly uncomfortable feelings while making a choice that helps me to make steps towards being the person I want to be. And today I really want to be peaceful and embrace the cold and snow because I know that tomorrow the sun will come out again, the flowers will be nourished, and the birds will awaken. It will be spring once more.
Mindfulness can be effective in just a few minutes. What is mindfulness and how is it effective?
Mindfulness is the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience.
Mindful eating invites us to slow down the process of eating, to notice all it has to offer us — the smell of the food, the texture of it, the taste, the sensation of chewing and swallowing and noticing the change in our hunger as we eat.
Jon Kabat-Zinn offers:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
Today, offer yourself the gift of slowing down, breathing deeply, checking in with your body awareness, noticing your thoughts but trying to not attach to them. This video is a great tool for experiencing the benefits of mindfulness — whether you have a snow day or a busy day — truly allowing us to feel our bodies and to follow their lead into our experience. I invite you to try it yourself — whether you have an hour to give or even just five minutes.