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recoveryispossible

Let Go

October 23, 2017 in Recovery

“There is peace in surrender.” 

On the 20 years I’ve been on this planet, I’ve learned that in creating more peace in my life, I’ve had to let go of what was hurting me. My eating disorder, toxic relationships, activities, sports, unhealthy coping mechanisms, etc. I get asked a lot how I overcame certain things, more specifically, my eating disorder and depression. Sometimes I struggle in formulating a great response, because there was no 4 step plan that I followed and felt automatically cured. A lot of my healing came in truly abandoning what was generating the most pain and suffering in my life.

A lot of us with eating disorders or mental illnesses don’t understand the concept of “softening.” Anorexia made me very hard, it made my edges sharp and left me with a constant itch to control every situation. Everything I ate, every workout I did… this is what I was always thinking about. I held on tightly to my love for restricting calories and purging my food through laxatives and overexercise, because it’s what felt easy for me. This is how I coped with the unknown of life, with the feelings that were not so pretty, with the anxieties that clouded my head. When we find a coping skill, we cling onto it: and this is what I did with my eating disorder- to the point that this disorder became who I was. What happened in my brain that ultimately led to a shift in how I was living my life? I realized what I was doing was not living. It was surviving. And from that point forward, I softened and let go. Was it a straight, easy path in letting go? Absolutely not. And I will never put that message out on the Internet or Instagram that my journey has’t been tough. Because it has been- it’s been messy and confusing, for losing the one thing that you thought was a part of you… losing your one coping skill… that’s challenging. But with inner strength, outside support, and just realizing it is so worth it to truly let go, you will find that peace in surrendering to this disorder.

Depression, on the other hand, made me numb. It left me with the inability to feel anything but sadness. I gripped onto the numb feeling, and felt guilt when any bit of happiness passed through me. I did not “deserve” that feeling like others did, and my mind left me convinced of that. With depression came unhealthy coping skills like sleeping too much, crying- a lot, isolating myself, and self-harming. These coping skills were what felt comfortable for me at the time. I let my depression harden me, make me weak, and leave me in a crippling state of sadness. It is what I knew, and it is how I thought my life was supposed to be. The same shift happened in my brain just as it did with my eating disorder. I realized what I was doing was not living. It was surviving. So again, I let go. I let go and in doing so realized other ways to cope with life’s difficulties that were far healthier than what depression gave me. I forgave myself for what this illness did to me, I did not rush my healing process, and I ultimately realized that strength did not come from holding onto my eating disorder or depression: what made me the strongest human came in letting go and surrendering. 

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“Letting go: being courageous to let go of things that make you feel bad and no longer serve you. /letting go creates space for something better/.” 

What are you going to let go of today? How are you going to soften? 

xoxo

lyss

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Women’s Retreat Talk

October 16, 2017 in Recovery

Hi guys! If you follow me on Instagram (blissful_lyss29) you’ll know I had the gift of leading a women’s interfaith spirituality retreat. I also had the gift of teaching yoga and sharing a speech I wrote on nurturing seasons in our life. I wanted to share it with you in hopes that some of you would connect with it as well!


 

After looking at the evaluations from last years retreat, there were a lot of requests to talk more about self-love, body acceptance, and confidence. After seeing this, I was like “yes this is the stuff I LOVE to talk about.” If you don’t know, I do a lot of work in all these areas through blogging and Instagram and talk a lot about self-love and embracing the body you are in. These topics hold a very special place in my heart.

So I am honestly thrilled to be giving this talk on nurturing seasons today. I think that in life we can find our dharma, or purpose, through what has hurt us the most. And I feel like that is very true in my own life.

The word nurture means to “care for and encourage the growth and development of.” The first thing that comes to mind for me is how we so lovingly nurture a young child. We feed it well, we make sure it gets enough rest, we never say any mean words to it, we are always so gentle with it. There are no actions of cruelty against this young child. We would never neglect it and leave it without care. But the thing is, we so easily do that to ourselves. We forget to treat ourselves with love and we are shy to appreciate who we are. We think we don’t have enough “time” to practice acts of self-love. We are caught in the trend of saying cruel things about ourselves and our bodies. We fight the natural shape we are supposed to be in and try to mold our bodies into what society deems is “beautiful.”

Women spend so much of their lives trying to take up less space, but why? We were given this space on the universe, we might as well own it and stand tall- feet grounded into the earth, our home and the place where we were meant to be. When we are trying to take up less space, we aren’t nurturing ourselves. We aren’t caring for ourselves, we aren’t loving ourselves. I spent years trapped in a terrible mental illness- anorexia nervosa- where I was constantly on a mission to take up less space, to be “less.” When I was 17 years old I realized this was not how I wanted to live my life anymore. Years beyond years of trying to be less, did I realize that less was not more. I deserved more than a less than life.

I live my life a lot differently now than I did in my high-school years. I have finally learned to love my body. And in loving our bodies doesn’t come days where we don’t feel the best about ourselves- I have those days. Those days just make us human. But in loving my body I have found greater appreciation for all it can do. It allows me to walk from class to class. It gives me the ability to climb mountains and teach yoga classes. It allows me to inhale all of the beauty of this world, it lets me dance with my friends and walk my dogs into trails surrounded by nothing but green. In loving my body I have grown so much gratitude for it. The years I spent abusing it, the years I did anything but nurture it… now I have learned to cherish it and treat myself with the utmost respect. For I deserve that, and so does my body.

In nurturing myself, I have grown to only plant kind words into my head, and to water the words that I know beautiful flowers will come from. I spent so many years planting toxic thoughts into my brain, watching flowers die day in and day out. Now I know better. When I plant positive thoughts about myself and body into my brain… even when I may not believe them,  I know that the most beautiful plants will sprout for positive thoughts carry enough power to grow an entire garden.

I value self-care, and it’s something I will always tell people to spend more time doing. We cannot pour from an empty cup. In doing acts of self love and care, we give ourselves the chance to refill our cups. For when our cups are full, we can pour to others. I never understood the topic of self care. It seemed selfish and like a waste of time. But when I realized that I am so worthy of devoting this time to myself during the time to replenish my soul, my life changed: my head became clearer, my soul felt at ease, and I felt a greater sense of peace. Self care for me is through journaling, writing- poetry, blogging, my thoughts; yoga- as a spiritual practice to connect me closer to my innermost self and transcend my ego, using crystals as a healing source or meditating, rejuvenating my soul in nature though walking, hiking, or spending time outside just in silence doing absolutely nothing but listening.

A few years back, I read this quote while on Pinterest. It struck a chord with me, and I will never forget it: “and I said to my body. softly. ‘I want to be your friend.’ it took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” Nurture yourself. Your body needs your love and care. Your mind and soul are craving it, your body wants to be your best friend. Have the most beautiful love story be with yourself- in the way you treat yourself, in the way you live life wholeheartedly, in the way you love and accept every layer of your being.

And to end with two poems; one of my favorite poems by Rupi Kaur, an incredibly talented writer you probably all know, and a poem I wrote myself.

“the universe took its time on you

crafted you precisely

so you could offer the world

something distinct from everyone else

so when you doubt

how you were created

you doubt an energy greater than us both” -RK

 

I quieted the echoes of voices that told me I was a body of imperfections.

I began to realize these imperfections made me real-and I would not let these imperfections become insecurities.

The pain sculpted in my bones and heart was replaced with the utmost appreciation for myself

How wonderful it was to be overflowing with love for every fiber of my being


Thank you guys for reading this. Hoping one day in the future I could share these kinds of things with you all in person!!

Thinking of you all as you spring into a new week and sending you nothing but good vibes and love. Happy Monday!

xoxo. <3 

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Listen to your Pain

October 9, 2017 in Recovery

“These pains that you feel are messengers. Listen to them. Turn them into sweetness.”- Rumi 

Part of the human experience is facing pain. What’s funny to me? We all try to run away from it. I know a majority of my readers have dealt with pain and suffering in their lives thus far. Through depression, anxiety, and my eating disorder; pain hit me in the sharpest, cruelest way.

When I first started to feel pain and sadness through my eating disorder, I ignored it. When I first started to feel depressed, I told everyone I was “fine.”

The universe was sending these signs of pain as a messenger, but I was not listening. I did not know what to do but simply let the pain wash over my body. But obviously, pain and suffering can only run its course for so long.

I think in life we have breaking points. I know I had mine. And I am very grateful that I finally learned to listen to pain and turn them into sweetness. What do I mean by that? The pain that I was feeling through my eating disorder I turned into sweetness and sought help. Through lots of treatment, hard work, and dedication, I was able to overcome that battle. The overwhelming sense of sadness and hopelessness I felt with my depression was turned into sweetness when I realized that I am so worthy of living this life genuinely happy and I would do whatever it took to get there. Treatment, tears, hard-work, frustration, confusion, therapy… I listened to my pain and I ended up at this point. And with this work, I turned pain into sweetness. For my life now is something I consider pretty sweet. Not perfect by any means, but a life that I certainly love.

If a relationship is causing you pain- listen to that pain and LEAVE. If a mental illness iscausing you pain, let this pain be your messenger to go get help and talk to someone. Pain hurts and aches but without it we would not have sweetness. We need the bitterness in this life to be brought sweetness.

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“The world gives you so much pain and here you are making gold out of it.” 

Make gold out of your pain. Let it fuel your fire to live a wholehearted life- one free from self-hate, toxic thoughts, food controlling your life, exercise running you into the ground, anxiety keeping you from enjoying the things you love… let the hurt guide you to joy and love. When something is causing you hurt and suffering, realize that you carry all the power to let that thing go. The human heart and soul are so incredibly strong- we think our struggles in this life can shatter them into a million pieces, but they don’t; for the human heart and soul is resilient- just like us.

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“What hurts you blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” -Rumi 

Your light is waiting to shine and sparkle into the world, turn on that switch. The universe has great things in store for you… listen to your pain, embrace the arduous journey that comes to a life of sweetness, and let your darkness be your candle knowing that YOU are strong enough to keep this fire going.

Anything on your mind today… share in the comments!  Thank you guys for reading and happy Monday <3 

xoxo. <3 

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Staying Rooted in Recovery

October 6, 2017 in Recovery

When looking at my recovery from my eating disorder, I’ve definitely gone through seasons where thing have been a bit easier on my brain, and thing have been a bit tougher. Do I consider myself fully recovered? Yes. Yes in the sense that I do not use behaviors anymore, and I haven’t for a LONG time. But there are things I am not perfect with, and I attribute that to simply being human. I still carry negative thoughts about myself from time to time, sometimes I don’t have all “high quality” thoughts around food and exercise, and there are days that I struggle getting  fully in touch with my intuition in aspects of food and exercise. Do I think full recovery is possible? It depends what you define full recovery as. I don’t think it’s possible to make all of these thoughts go away, and like I’ve said before, I do not think it is remotely possible to go back to the life before your eating disorder. If you define full recovery as a life free from all bad body image days& all worries about your body/food/exercise thrown out the window, then I don’t think that’s possible. But I DO think full recovery is possible in the sense that you can live a life where food, exercise, and body image does not control you!! I 10000% believe that is possible and that’s why I consider myself fully recovered from my eating disorder: these things don’t derail me in living my life!

There are certain things I check in with to make sure I am rooted in my recovery.

  1. Who I am following on Instagram. This is HUGE! Unfollow people that will trigger you. Personally, I do not like following fitness accounts, health obsessed accounts, or the new blend of “fitness ED recovery” accounts. Don’t feel guilty to unfollow people who are holding you back on your journey.
  2. What is your intention? What is your intention behind a workout? Is your intention to go because you truly want to, or to go because you feel like you “should”? Is your intention to get that salad because your body truly wants vegetables or just because you’ll feel bad if you have that sandwich and potato chips? Keep your intention aligned with your values. 
  3. How are you talking about yourself? Keep the thoughts that you plant into your brain positive ones. Toxic thoughts do not bring about good behavior or good feelings. Sometimes lying to yourself on a bad day and repeating a mantra you may not fully believe at that time can make such a big difference.
  4. Are you fully listening to your body? Eating when hungry, sleeping that extra half hour instead of squeezing in a workout, choosing to do yoga over a more intense workout because that’s what your body is craving, spending time for self-care when your soul needs it instead of taking that time to go to the gym, etc.  Our bodies tell us cues: listen to them.
  5. Am I nourishing my soul? Doing the things that keep me truly happy: yoga, writing, reading, getting outside in nature, surrounding myself with the humans who bring me beautiful energy. Nourishing our bodies AND our souls is so essential for a happier life.

Stay grounded and rooted in your journey, friends. 

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*believe, always.*

Have a lovely long weekend beautiful creatures!! 

xoxo. <3 

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Pain Enables Growth

August 21, 2017 in Recovery

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“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

-Maya Angelou 

The hurt I have experienced in this life has most definitely changed me. I am not the same person I was before I was shattered into billions of pieces. I will never be the same young girl with an innocent heart and a soft smile.

If you follow me on Instagram (@blissful_lyss29), I posted a poem I wrote on a similar topic Sunday night shining light on my imperfect, fallible, and unglamorous story in this 20 years on earth thus far. Filled with pain, struggle, confusion, anxiety, darkness, self-defeating thoughts, and a lack of purpose: my story is chaotic and I have been lost on this road so many times. When we experience any sort of trauma, we are going to be changed. Hard times in life provoke shifts in our lives.

We have a conscious say in how we let our obstacles impact us. Just like Maya Angelou said, we can be changed by what happens to us, but we should never be reduced by it. 

Do you know what is so lovely about hardships? Growth. We become wiser, we become more resilient, we are filled to the cup with tenacity. Without the universe throwing us pain, how would we be able to cultivate so much power? I believe the universe never gives us more than we are capable of handling. Even when our hurt becomes so intense and our lives become so messy, we are able to bounce back.

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“The world gives you so much pain and here you are making gold out of it.”

-Rupi Kaur

Make gold out of your adversities. Do not look at your hardships with the mentality that “this is not fair.” That will not help you blossom. Shift your thinking. Look at your pain with the mindset that this will catapult you into something wonderful. Do not let your struggles put you at a stand-still. Nothing in life is capable of dragging you down unless you let it.

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“Magic happens when you do not give up even though you want to. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.” 

Let the universe fall in love with your determination. Let it be in complete admiration of your relentlessness to flourish despite your battered and bleeding heart.

I have let my hurt change me, but I will never let it make me smaller. I will never let what has happened to me trim down my unique edges. I am not ashamed of my hardships. I am not embarrassed that my eating disorder, anxiety, and depression generated years of struggle and tears. These illnesses will never define me, yet they have guided me into a more enlightened human with a whole lot more love for herself and the world.

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“Pain can change you, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a bad change. Take that pain and turn it into wisdom.” 

 

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What is my Fitness Philosophy? // (Video!!)

August 14, 2017 in Balance / Recovery

Happy Monday friends. Hope you soaked up some sunshine this weekend and did something kind for yourself.

Filmed a video for you all today so I’ll just let my voice in there do all the talking for today.

“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it.” 

Comments welcome as always!! <3

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Passions other than Fitness & Food

July 31, 2017 in Recovery

I was thinking about this the other day. My passions other than fitness and food. And boy do I have a lot. But the thing is, there was a time where fitness and food was all I had and cared about.

If your workouts and the food you eat is the most important thing in your life, I really advise you to take a step back and reevaluate things a bit. First off, there is so much more to the foods we eat and the workouts we do. I have said it before, and I will continue to say it. At the end of the day no one cares if you drank a green juice and ran five miles. Your character and the energy you bring into the world is far more important.

If you can’t find anything you really love besides working out and going to Whole Foods, I would take that as a red flag for yourself to explore other hobbies and activities. I’m tired of fitness and food becoming such an obsession for people. Sure, there is nothing wrong with working out and eating a salad but that should not be the only thing you care about.

How can you dive deeper than your gym workouts and logging every macro into your phone?

-> Step outside yourself. Go volunteer. Go help out a friend or a family member. Serve others. It does wonders for your soul.

-> Follow people on Instagram who do not just post their workouts and food all the time. Find a good quote page, a new writer, a funny dog page. There’s so much out there besides fitstagrams. And it’s really refreshing to log onto Instagram and not have your entire page be someone flexing.

-> Try a new hobby. Coloring, journaling, reading, knitting, playing an instrument. Anything. Try something new and different. Broaden your horizons. I promise you there are things out there for you that you will love besides the gym.

-> Take a break from your scheduled workouts and move your body in a different way. Hike. Walk. Ride your bike. Do yoga. Swim.

-> Connect with something bigger than yourself. Whether you are spiritual or religious, spend time connecting to that higher power. Go be alone and nature and pray. Open your Bible. Spend time with that greater power.

-> Spend more time with friends. Don’t cancel plans with friends because of a workout or because you want to stay home and cook your own dinner. That is first off disordered and secondly feeding into the obsession with food and fitness. Go out with your friends, experience the true beauty that human connection is, and have fun. Keep these bonds with friends tight.

->Journey, adventure. Remove your doors and layers. 7531871ae6f2bc989dc291b8b73cfd40.jpg

-> One last important quote:

“find the place
your flowers grow tallest,
and water yourself there.

follow your passions
like bees to nectar,
meet your truth
in the things you love.”

Now tell me: 

What are some of the things you are passionate about besides food and fitness?

alllll the love <3

Xoxo

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Stop Food Shaming

June 22, 2017 in Balance / Recovery

STOP FOOD SHAMING… STOP. 

The other day I was viewing Instagram stories, and I saw someone shame another’s food choices. And to me it came off as they were “better” for eating that clean protein bar, and the other person was not as good for eating that Nature Valley bar.

There is NO good or bad food. Food is just food. And I am so tired of seeing this message being spread on social media platforms. 

My instant reaction to that Instagram story was frustration. This is why our society has such an unhealthy relationship with food. When we are constantly hearing different foods that are good for us and foods that are bad for us, we start to view food as such a black and white thing. And in order to have a balanced relationship with food, you need to be able to see the grey areas.

Yes, an RX bar is more nutritious than a Nature Valley one, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a Nature Valley bar. It is still fuel, it still has some wholesome ingredients, and they are cheaper than RX bars. Nature Valley bars are not bad, and RX bars are not good. These bars are just snack bars to give our bodies fuel. That’s it. You are not a better person if you chose to eat the RX bar over the Nature Valley bar. Our morality is not tied to the foods we eat, and we often lose sight of that. If you want to eat the RX bar because you actually enjoy it and it feels good for your body, then by all means eat it! But do not go vocalizing to others and in your own head how that Nature Valley bar is bad and “unhealthy.” Because it is not.

What happens when we fall into the food shaming mentality? 

Viewing certain foods as good and bad is detrimental to our mental health. When we view a food as bad, we have the tendency to put that food off limits. And when we say that we cannot have something, our natural instinct as humans is to want that more. What does that lead to? Bingeing. When we also put that “bad” food off limits, it can also just lead to us thinking about it over and over again causing our head space to get a bit foggier and our overall state of happiness to decline.

Viewing food as just food. 

I hardly ever see this mentality around food anymore. Food is such a complicated, messy topic that causes so much stress and anxiety in people’s lives. But the thing is, it shouldn’t. I strongly believe food shaming has a lot to do with it, not to mention the diet industry and unrealistic beauty expectations. But what would happen if we viewed food as just food? No good, no bad. Just looking at food as fuel. Obviously there is the more nutritious food and the “fun” food. But maybe if we worked on being in tune with our bodies and allowing ourselves food from both categories, people’s relationship with food would begin to improve. When we aren’t labeling what we eat as good and bad, it’s also easier to be compassionate to ourselves. Whenever I ate a “bad” food, I felt disgusted with myself. I hated myself for consuming such a disgusting thing and all the love for myself went out the window. But when we eat a cookie and aren’t labeling it as bad, we can be more kind with ourselves. “I just ate that cookie and I LOVED it. It was so good and such a yummy snack to have!” There is no talk about the cookie being bad and any guilt surrounding that cookie. It is just talk of enjoyment! And that’s how it should be.

Food is not like people. There is no good or bad. 

When we think of people, we often label them as good and bad. A good person may have remarkable qualities like being kind, respectful, loving, and caring. And a bad person may have less admirable qualities like being rude, dishonest, vengeful, and irresponsible. These qualities come to mind when I think of good and bad people. So why would we label food the same way that we label people? Are sweet potatoes loving and caring but white potatoes aren’t? You see what I mean?? At the end of the day, it sounds so silly to use this food shaming mentality. Because all food is is just food. It is nourishment. That’s it. No bad, no good. It gives us life, it gives us energy, and it keeps us going. 

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Keep growing good thoughts in your brain. About yourself, about this world, about food, about your body.

// only grow thoughts in your brain that you wouldn’t mind putting in a vase //

Any comments or discussion on this is welcome in the comments as always!!

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What happened When I put my Appearance on Such a High Pedestal?

June 8, 2017 in Recovery

What happened when I put my appearance on such a high pedestal? 

A lot of things happened. My life was completely different than it is now. Focusing on my body, my weight, how I looked- that was what my world revolved around.

When I put the size of my body as the center of my world, I became unhappy.

Striving to always be thinner, to always watch the number on the scale get lower and lower- I could not be satisfied. I had this insatiable desire to shrink and shrink and shrink. Shrinking my body led to shrinking my happiness too.

When I valued my abs showing more than I valued time spent with family and friends, I became cranky.

Abs are made in the kitchen, right? Eating “clean” to maintain my abs led to frustration at family parties trying to find “clean” food, and a feeling of dread before hanging out with friends.

When I cared more about how I looked than about my relationships, my relationships began to dwindle away.

My “health” was my upmost priority- not the people in my life. I watched these relationships fade before my eyes, yet I saw my body becoming smaller and that was all that mattered in my eyes.

What happened when I put my appearance on such a high pedestal? 

I lost my sense of confidence, self-worth, connection, and energy for the world. The passion I once had in my heart became a passion for solely looking a certain way. I never felt good enough, and I never would. I though that by having my body and the way I look on such a high pedestal, people would have known I was serious about this whole health thing- I wanted to be known as the health nut, the fitness girl: and that’s it. I was skinnier than other girls, and I wanted attention for that. 

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By putting my looks as something of such high importance, I forgot there was anything else to me. I just felt as if I was the skinny girl , forever defined by my looks. I only cared about my abs, I felt like other people only did too.. Would they actually care about my words? What else I offered to this earth? By putting my appearance on such a high pedestal, I lost other aspects of myself. I was my body, the food I ate, the workouts I did. And that was it.

So this is your Thursday reminder to stop putting how you look as the main priority of your life. Your identity does not fall in the food you eat or the workouts you do, you are far more than that.

Yes, you have a body. But you are not just your body. 

Search outside yourself, explore new passions, and let your body be your vehicle for this life: not something you are always trying to make smaller. You are enough- just as you are. Your self-worth does not- and will never- depend on how you look or how you weigh. Treat yourself with kindness and respect because you are beautiful and valuable.

Now tell me: 

Any thoughts on this or comments you have. 🙂

Happy Thursday guys!!

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Transferring to Intuitive Eating

May 25, 2017 in Recovery

Hi friends!! How are you?! Hope you have been enjoying your week thus far.

I have a new video up on something I get asked a lot: “How do you intuitively eat? How do I get there?”

Talking a whole lot about the mind-body connection here, listening to your cravings, mental aspects of hunger, etc. etc.

I don’t want to do a whole lot of writing about that, so I thought a video would suffice. Hope y’all enjoy. As always, feedback is welcome and conversation is SO appreciated.

Thank you for watching guys! Have a happy happy Thursday <3

All the love,

Lyss 🙂

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