Sometimes I wish I didn’t know

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
About a lot of things
That instead I know
And I can’t unknow.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
About the male chicks on the conveyor belt
Gassed, grinded, crushed,
And the piglets’ tails
Cut off with no anaesthesia
And cows being raped
And their babies taken away
So we can drink their milk.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
About birds covered in oil
And turtles strangled
By six-pack rings,
And about beached whales, dead,
With a stomach full of plastic.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
About the Great Reef perishing
And ozone depleting
And ice caps melting.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
How much waste the average household produces
And that you can bring your own container
And how to make your own toothpaste.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know
About the sweat shops
And child labour
And where my clothes come from.

Sometimes I wish I could just live
Without worrying
About all this.
I wish I were able to drink my coffee
In a disposable cup,
Carry my shopping in a plastic bag,
Wipe the grease
From an egg and bacon sandwich
off my lips with a single-use napkin,
Oblivious to the cruelty
And the waste.

Sometimes I wish
I didn’t care.
But I do.

And so should you.

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I finally found my ideal skin care routine

I’ve switched up my skincare routine recently and I’m so amazed by the results that I HAVE to share this with you.
I have normal to dry skin, super sensitive and annoyingly acne-prone. In spite of gingerly skipping through a pimple-free adolescence, once I hit my mid-twenties my skin exploded and I spent the past five or so years struggling with recurring, painful acne.
Needless to say, I tried everything: from drugstore remedies to dermatologist-prescribed medications, from stress-reducing meditation to mind-emptying running. Nothing worked. I had a brief acne-free window around the time I got married (THANK GOODNESS), but since I moved to New Zealand the zits irremediably came back.

Living Zero Waste and as minimal as possible also made me reconsider my approach to skin care. I didn’t want my bathroom drawer to be cluttered with dozens of creams and masks and cleansers. I did made an attempt at making my own face cream, however I wasn’t very pleased with the end result, plus I still have a bunch of products I’m trying to finish up, so basically I never got round to use it consistently and ended up abandoning the idea.
Then, about a month ago I had enough. I decided I was done spending time lathering my face with sunflower oil every morning, double cleansing every evening, spending endless hours looking for the perfect combination of moisture, glow and zit-repellent agents.

So I adopted a new skin care routine, which involves ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I wash my face with lukewarm water in the morning, just enough to remove eye boogers and wake me up. In the evening, I only wash it again if I’ve been sweating or if I feel like I’ve accumulated excessive dirt. I pamper myself with a face mask once in a while mainly because I still have two face masks that I like and I want to finish, but once they are gone I probably won’t purchase more.

The result of all this is that I haven’t had a single pimple since I stopped torturing my face. I still have some acne scars that are slowly fading away, but other than that my skin has never felt better. I went through a phase where it felt really dry and tight for maybe two weeks when I first stopped using products, but now it’s smooth and clear and I can’t fucking believe it.
I am currently going through my first PMS with clear skin since I can remember, which makes me wonder what hormones have to do with all this.
Another thing I’m doing – and I have no idea whether this is contributing to my skin improvement – is chugging a litre of lukewarm water with ginger and lemon juice every morning (and sometimes evening, as I quite enjoy it). Other than that, I have been trying to reduce my coffee intake (although I’m writing this in a Starbucks) and to incorporate plenty of hydrating foods, however I’m still eating shit most of the time which led me to the conclusion that probably food has little to do with what my skin looks like.

So there you have it. If you’re struggling with acne, I would highly recommend that you try leaving your skin alone for a while. It might do wonders – plus think about all the money you’ll save or how much lighter your toiletry bag will be next time you travel!

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Losing weight after anorexia – A very long post

Today I went to the gym for the first time in seven months. I had an ok workout, and at the end of it I thought I would weigh myself, just out of curiosity since I don’t have a scale at home and I’m totally oblivious to my own heaviness.

Turns out, I put on 4kg.

My first reaction was, Well, this explains why I can’t zip up my jeans anymore – a thought shortly followed by: I better run for longer than 20 minutes next time.
I immediately felt bad. Why should gaining weight be associated to something negative? Is it ok for me to want to lose weight?

What does it mean to want to lose weight from the perspective of someone who has suffered from an eating disorder?

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, so today’s episode is the perfect occasion to finally talk about it.

Disclaimer: YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR WEIGHT. The number on the scale is not representative of what you are as a person. You are beautiful and worthy regardless of your weight.
(Also, I’m not going to talk numbers as I know that it can be triggering, plus everybody is different and the same weight will not look the same on different body types. Also, it doesn’t freaking matter. All I’m going to say is that I am currently 4kg heavier than I was seven months ago.)

If you know me in real life you’ll know that I’m a very short person, and any weight I put on or lose I can feel, and you can see. Now, I’m not too concerned about what I look like so much as how I feel. When I saw that number on the scale, I realised it wasn’t much of a surprise after all: I’ve been feeling that I’d gotten a bit heavier in the past months.

My weight has fluctuated a bit in the first couple of years after recovering from anorexia.
I was at my heaviest during my Masters in London, when the majority of my diet consisted of beer and cheese. Back then, I had a nice fat roll around my stomach, a considerable bum, and a chubby round face. Interestingly, that was also the happiest I’ve ever been, as I was surrounded by mega supportive people who couldn’t care less about how big my behind was, and it was the perfect environment to be after recovering from an eating disorder. I was also at my fittest: I was playing basketball every day multiple times a day, I could do 93 push-ups in one minute and I would run like the wind.
But in spite as being happy and fit as fuck, I knew that was not my ideal body weight. Most importantly, I knew I was eating a terrible, unhealthy diet. When  moved back to Italy after graduation, I effortlessly shed all the excess weight just by eating regular meals at regular times (and drastically reducing my consumption of beer and cheese).
That was the first time I realised how important it is to eat well. I learned how to fuel my body so it can work at its best, and since then my weight has stayed pretty much the same. I never felt like I wanted to get thinner, if anything I wanted to get fitter in times when I wasn’t exercising enough, but once I reached my natural weight I stopped giving it much though.

Fast-forward to now: I am quite active, I play basketball, do yoga and I have a job that keeps me on my feet all day. However, I have also been eating crap.
This is something I’ve been whining about in months: since moving to New Zealand my diet has drastically changed, I went from eating an abundance of fruit and veggies to living off bread and sugary cereals due to the fact that food and produce are quite expensive here. I’m also not drinking enough water and sitting down a lot – which is my own fault.
So I’m pretty confident in saying that this time round my four extra kilos are unfortunately not muscles. And on top of storing the crap I’m eating as excess rolls of fat, my skin has also been breaking out pretty badly, and my mood in general has been all over the place.

So, what am I going to do about all this? I’ll be honest with you: I do want to lose weight. But the reason behind it is that it doesn’t feel good. And here is the big difference between wanting to get thinner from an eating disorder’s perspective, and wanting to feel better in your own body from a healthy perspective.
When you suffer from anorexia, you don’t see yourself as you truly are. Even if you’re reduced to a bunch of skin and bones, you still see yourself as fat. You think you are horrible, disgusting and unworthy. In fact, you don’t think like that: your eating disorder does.
When you recover, you start developing a healthier vision of yourself. You look in the mirror and you see yourself for what you really are. You are able to close your eyes and picture your body exactly how it is in reality, and not a distorted version of it. If you’re gaining or losing weight, this is no longer a matter of life or death, it’s just something that’s happening, it’s your body changing, and you are able to recognise that. You exercise in order to get fit and strong and because you enjoy it, not in order to burn calories or to punish yourself.

And this is where I am now.

Can someone who has suffered from an eating disorder still want to lose weight? Yes.
Is it dangerous? Only if done in an unhealthy way.
Am I in a safe place to say I want to lose weight? Yes.

However. I’m not going to make losing weight my priority. The reason why I would like to shed these four extra kilos is because I know I am heavier than my natural body weight and I know I feel at my best when I’m a bit leaner and more toned.
I’ve never been on a diet and I’m not planning on going on one, if this is what you are worrying about.
What I’m going to do is put my health on the top of my priorities. I will focus on only eating fresh, clean food that has a nutritional value (fries don’t, cookies don’t). I will be organised and pack myself a healthy lunch instead of grabbing a pie and a giant cookie at the gas station every day. I will drink more water. I will bring my ass to the gym.
All of this I’m going to do because it makes me feel good.
This way I know that even if I don’t focus on losing weight per se, I probably will by simply cutting out the junk from my diet, getting my ass moving, and concentrating on my health.

Your body changing is completely natural and ok. You should not be freaked out by putting on some extra kg. However, it’s good to also get know your body and learn what makes it happy. And if you’re reading this and you do have a past with eating disorders, I feel you and I love you and I want you to be in a safe place. You are beautiful and worthy and you deserve to be as healthy and happy as you can possibly be.