I know it’s been over a week since my last post, YIKES ( I haven’t done that for over a year) but I have had so much going on recently. I am back and ready to kill it this week!
I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction in which I want my blog to go. I get so many comments on social media asking for more Youtube videos, so I definitely want to start doing some recipe tutorials as well as fun hair tutorials for you guys, but honestly I’ve become so self conscious that it’s holding me back from doing videos. During recovery, I gained weight and I came so insecure about it that I never talked about it on my blog. I actually became quite guarded and quiet about my personal life on my blog and I feel like I haven’t had much of a voice. I used to speak so openly about the ups and downs of weight loss and what it’s like to struggle with losing weight, maintaining weight, and getting myself to the gym, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve done a post like that.
This past weekend my friend Kathy of Healthy Happy Life stayed over for the weekend and we were Expo West buddies. As we we’re driving to the Anaheim convention center together, I was telling her that I was struggling with my voice on my blog. I told her that I felt like it lost what it used to be because I was insecure about where I am in my weight loss journey now, and that I almost wanted to give up blogging. Let me start by saying that Kathy inspires me so much. She has her vegan recipe blog Healthy Happy Life, her yummy drool-worthy site Finding Vegan, and two books 365 Vegan Smoothies, and Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen. She is the definition of #GirlBoss. When I told Kathy I was about to throw in the towel because of my insecurity, she completely shut my idea of giving up down. She reminded me of what my blog is about. It’s not just about the “after” pictures. It’s about my story, my feelings, my accomplishments, my bad days, my recipes, my goals, and my connection with my readers who have been here since the start. I had gotten so in my head and wrapped up into the fact that the majority of my blog readers know me as my before and after photos – a weight loss success story. I’m proud and honored that my weight loss story has inspired and motivated so many people to change their lives, and in the back of my mind, I’ve had a fear that if I gained weight or fell of the wagon that my readers would judge me, but I can’t hide that I’m not that teeny tiny sickly thin person in the old after photos anymore. I am putting my silly insecurity aside and I want to be an example that recovery is possible, that happiness is possible, that life goes on, and that for the most part, these crazy thoughts of insecurity and unworthiness are all in your head. Right now, I am so inspired to do more posts about what I have been going through and thinking about because not only is it therapeutic for me (I completely forgot until just now) but if it helps just one person out there that can relate, it’s 100% worth it.
Photo by: Ashley Osborn
Matt and I on Saturday night at the Self Help Festival
I don’t know how many of you read Andie Mitchell’s blog Can You Stay For Dinner? but this post is a must read, her TEDx Talk is a must watch, and her book “It Was Me All Along” is a YOU NEED TO BUY IT AND READ IT RIGHT NOW. I resonate with her so much. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people do. She’s amazing, and her honesty and bravery also helped me with this post!
I started a public Snapchat (@EatRabbitFood) that shows behind the scenes videos and pictures of me working on my blog, and doing boring silly things that are carefree and fun. I want to show my readers that not everything is as perfectly curated as Instagram and let my personality show. I mean at the end of the day, I am just little old Catherine who writes a blog!
For the past month I’ve been breaking out in crazy hives all over my forearms, wrists, ankles, and knees and I cannot figure out what is causing them. Food allergies? Thyroid off again? Stress? It’s been super irritating and uncomfortable so I finally made an appointment to see a new allergist with my friend Celina tomorrow. We both have really severe food allergies (in fact that’s how we bonded when we first met), so tomorrow we have back-to-back allergist appointments together. So romantical! Kind of a bummer, but recently I’ve been wondering if I have developed an almond allergy. I use almond milk every morning in my coffee and in tons of my smoothies and recipes (like today’s!) and I would be pretty heart broken if I found out I was allergic, but I’m quite nervous that I could be. Wahhhh. An hour or so after this smoothie I broke out in hives, which was concerning. I also made an iced coffee with the remaining almond milk ice cubes the next day and ended up with hives later in the day. Ugh, since then I’ve tried to avoid almonds and almond milk but I’m still getting hives. So… onto the allergist I go.
The idea behind almond milk ice cubes is to replace regular ice cubes so that the smoothie doesn’t get watered down. Almond milk ice cubes will add creaminess to any smoothie that normally uses regular ice cubes! Simply put almond milk in an ice tray, and freeze overnight! They can also be used to make iced coffee. Brew coffee an pour over a cup of almond milk ice cubes for a creamy cool caffeinated treat!
I like using Almond Breeze Original because it doesn’t have added sugars!
Tropical Almond Milk Ice Cube Smoothie
5 almond milk ice cubes
1 handful of spinach
1/2 cup coconut water
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana
Pour almond milk in an ice tray and freeze overnight. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
RachelleMarch 9, 2015 at 4:57 pm (8 years ago)
Catherine, I’m so glad u posted that little bit of information about your struggles. I think u are awesome!! I have to admit, your before and after pictures were what got my attention, then I started following you and then I lost a lot of weight. Then, just like you, I’ve gained more than I like since then. To talk about your struggle is super inspiring. It’s reasuring to know that others go through the same thing. You were one of my inspirations, I’m now studying towards my degree to become a dietary nutritionist and I’ve learned that even though I have gained weight, I eat so much better! I am more healthy than I was before! It’s not all about weight loss. AND I have to remind myself that I still look WAY better than I used tos so I’m not really a failure.
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:27 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Rachelle! Thank you so much for commenting and for your support! That’s so awesome that you are studying to become a dietary nutritionist! Since starting my journey I’ve become so passionate about nutrition and like you I’ve realized that even though I have gained weight back, I eat soooo much healthier than before! I have a love for healthier foods that I definitely didn’t have before which is awesome! Plus I am MUCH healthier now regardless of my weight! Thank you for reminding me of that. It’s something very positive that we should both be so proud of! xo
CatherineMarch 9, 2015 at 5:03 pm (8 years ago)
You are so much more than a before & after picture! You are my health idol! I don’t have a lot of friends who are health aware and so your blog is like my imaginary fellow healthy friend that motivates me not only in weight loss but overall better health physically and mentally
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:30 pm (8 years ago)
Catherine (name twin)! Thank you so much for reminding me that healthy is not just about weight loss, but it’s physical and mental too! It means so much to hear such positive kind words! P.S. We can be healthy pen-pals! xo
Lauren ShaberMarch 9, 2015 at 5:15 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Catherine! I’ve been going through the EXACT same thing — seriously. I have thyroid issues, which caused a 10-ish pound weight gain. To many, that’s really not that much, but to me — who’s openly putting my life out there on insta & now a blog — is crazy. (You’re actually the first I’m writing this too… Still getting up the nerve to share on insta & my own blog!). There have been so many times where I want to stop what I’m doing, but for some reason I never do. I’m in the process of losing the weight now but I can’t. I guess the point is that you’re not alone & that opening up about your story did affect at least one person — me! Just know that we’re here to help & support you whenever you need it. I’ve been a reader from the beginning & will continue following your blog no matter what you post. I personally love the mix of the recipes & the updates because it makes it feel like there’s a real person behind the screen haha. Keep going with your journey and posting amazing recipes & don’t be afraid to be you!
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:37 pm (8 years ago)
Hi sweet Lauren! Thank you so very much for your bravery and honesty in sharing your story with me and (my readers)! You always inspire me with enthusiasm and positive attitude! I love watching you succeed on your weight loss journey, you have come SO far, and you should be SO proud of your accomplishments. I’m so happy to see your blog and social media following grow, you deserve it! xo
KatieMarch 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm (8 years ago)
O Catherine! I just want you to know how much this blog has inspired me, and not because you’re perfect/stick-thin/totally together…but because you share the journey you are STILL on. I can totally relate to the body image issues you are dealing with and that is why I still visit your blog religiously. You are awesome, you are beautiful, you are more than the shape of your body!! Keep on doing you!
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:41 pm (8 years ago)
Katie, thank you thank you thank you for this: “you are more than the shape of your body!!” I cannot tell you how powerful this is. I may have to repost this for my readers for “Motivation Monday.” There are so many times where my mood is based on what I “see” in the mirror, and I let it completely dictate my day for no reason at all. You are right, I am more than that! Thank you for this very inspiring and powerful reminder, and thank you so much for your support! xo
NicoleMarch 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm (8 years ago)
Your continuing journey is an inspiration. Thank you!
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:43 pm (8 years ago)
Thank you, Nicole! To know that there are others out there who can relate or who are inspired gives me so much motivation to show everyone that recovery and happiness on the crazy journey is definitely possible! xo
CassieMarch 9, 2015 at 5:38 pm (8 years ago)
I have been following your blog since it first started and have loved reading your story – I appreciate that you choose to be open and honest instead of lying/photoshopping like some other bloggers like to do. I think you’re beautiful and sharing your struggles make me feel better about my own ups and downs. Please continue to share your story!
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:48 pm (8 years ago)
Thank you so much for your support Cassie! It’s hard to go from the “skinny girl” image of a “weight loss” blog and admit that I have gained weight, but it’s time to show what happy healthy and recovered looks like! I feel like I spent so much time avoiding talking about it and missing opportunities to make videos and just be me because of this crazy fear/insecurity of people thinking that I failed, but it’s really amazing to see so much support! I’m very thankful for readers like you that are so encouraging, I truly appreciate it! xo
AlexaMarch 9, 2015 at 7:17 pm (8 years ago)
Glad to know I’m not the only one struggling!! I love that you’re so open! Such an inspiration throughout your entire journey – ups and downs!
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:49 pm (8 years ago)
Girl, you are definitely not the only one!!! Thank you so much for your support, it’s what keeps me going and what motivates me to do most personal posts like this! xo
ElizabethMarch 9, 2015 at 7:49 pm (8 years ago)
Thank you for your honesty! I was so inspired to start losing weight when I discovered your blog last year and to be honest, after a while I stopped reading it because it was depressing to me. I felt like I’d never get to the point where I wouldnt struggle with my weight any more (like I thought you didn’t). Knowing you still struggle at times just makes you human and helps me know I’m not alone in this struggle! Your blog has been such an inspiration!
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 10:59 pm (8 years ago)
I’m so glad you mentioned this, Elizabeth! When I first started my blog I wanted to be different than other healthy recipe or weight loss blogs. I told myself that I would be transparent with my readers and be honest with the roller coaster of ups and downs of my journey to lose weight and maintain. I wanted to be relatable and show a realistic style of eating and working out that wasn’t “perfect” like some blogs. However, somewhere along the way within the past few months, I lost that. I lost everything I really wanted my blog to be because I was personally embarrassed and insecure of my own body and didn’t want to talk to my readers about it. I honestly hoped that I would lose the unwanted weight again and no one would know, but I realized… that’s just not why I have this blog. It also took some convincing from my friend Kathy as I mentioned in this post! The reason I have my readers is because they relate to ME and what I’m going through. Not because of the perfectly curated images on my blog and social media. So thank you for being honest and telling me that you stopped reading my blog for a while, it really helps to know that I am now on the right blogging track again! I’m so thankful for your support! xo
NinaMarch 9, 2015 at 8:51 pm (8 years ago)
What they said! We need more journeys, and fewer “perfect” destinations. Your openness, vulnerability and human approachability are what make this blog the joy that it is. I don’t care what you weigh, I care how you feel and how what you share (good, bad or ugly) makes me feel. My favorite posts are the ones where I can identify with the path you’re walking and you forge an authentic connection. Don’t you dare quit! Xoxo
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 11:05 pm (8 years ago)
Nina, you are such a beautiful writer!!! Thank you for these words: “We need more journeys, and fewer “perfect” destinations.” Thank you so much for your support and for giving me even more confidence to post about the struggles I encounter on my journey. This: “I don’t care what you weigh, I care how you feel” this brought me to tears. Thank you for caring about me, a total stranger! You are an amazing person and I am very thankful for your kindness and support! xo
evolvewithmaryMarch 9, 2015 at 9:44 pm (8 years ago)
Oh Catherine, you are such a sweetheart. I totally understand where your coming from. I have a blog and I lost over 100 pounds 7 years ago, I find myself only talking pictures of my face, or not posting pictures of myself at all. Since I’m supposed to be the wellness guru I imagine I’m supposed to be a size 2 or smaller but that’s never going to be me. I’m always going to struggle with my weight on the inside and out. It’s part of my journey, part of my story and most importantly part of who I am. I love that you were brave enough to share what your feeling with all of us. I personally think you are beautiful and would truly miss you if you ever stopped blogging. Keep on keeping on you beautiful woman. Your smile lights up the world
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 11:13 pm (8 years ago)
I cried reading your comment, Mary! I get so emotional when I do these posts because I cannot believe how supportive and sweet all of my readers are. I completely 100% relate to you. I went through the exact same thing in my head “I’m supposed to be a health blogger, I need to be teeny tiny.” I’ve always struggled with my weight and finally thought I had it all figured out for a while, but like you said “it’s part of my journey.” I would not have this blog, following, or success without the ups AND DOWNS. It’s what makes me, me! Thank you for reminding me of this! Most of all, thank you for your support and for your kind words, you are amazing! xo
inspiretransformationMarch 10, 2015 at 5:14 am (8 years ago)
We all struggle with that inner-critic that says we’re not good enough and people won’t like us if they find out “the truth” about who we are. The truth is, a few people will give up on reading your blog because of it… they aren’t your audience. Your audience cares about your story and journey. Remember that. I struggle from time to time with my own inner-critic and my sustained weight loss story too. Anytime I gain some weight, I thing to myself, “I can’t do videos or take pictures! People will think I’m a liar!”…. Trust me, most people don’t care about that.
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 11:16 pm (8 years ago)
Hi InspireTransformation! Thank you so so much for reminding me that most of the time it is just my own “inner-critic” (my ED voice) telling me negative things. I’m way too hard on myself at times, but having such a supportive readership has showed me that sharing my journey including the ups AND downs is why I’m here! Thank you so much for reminding me of this and thank you so much for your support! xo
HeatherMarch 10, 2015 at 12:23 pm (8 years ago)
You are one of my favorite blogs! Please don’t stop! This may surprise you, but I did not start reading your blog because of your weight loss; although that was inspiring once I read it. I just recognized that you were very creative and posted things I could easily do. I love your DIY projects, your recipes (so healthy, yummy, and not a lot of ingredients), your photography and travel posts; all of it. I have tried so many new things due to your blog. Keep doing what your doing. You inspire!
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 11:20 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Heather! That’s so awesome to hear that you started to read my blog for other reasons than my weight loss story! I always assume that people look at my blog as a weight loss blog, but I’m so happy to know that you see it as more than that! That makes me so happy! I always wanted my blog to be different from other healthy living blogs, so I started doing DIY projects and lifestyle/outfit posts to make a healthy lifestyle more fun and approachable! Thank you so much for commenting and letting me know : ) Your support means so much to me! xo
AlyssaMarch 10, 2015 at 6:55 pm (8 years ago)
Hey Catherine, I break out in hives all the time, I relate with you on that. You can get them from stress or allergies. I been getting mine for 3 and half years. Been getting tested so many times, I still not getting any results. I hope you find out why you are breaking out in hives!! Their the worst
CatherineMarch 10, 2015 at 11:22 pm (8 years ago)
Hi Alyssa! Oh geez we are twins! It’s not fun at all! I have an unbelievable amount of food allergies (that’s why you don’t see melon, berries, squash, and lots more on the blog unless my sister or Matt are the taste testers that day!) but I still can’t seem to pinpoint what it causing them. I went to a new allergist today who wants to have my thyroid checked again. I’ll keep you guys updated! I hope that you can figure out your hives too! They’re the worsttttt! xo
MarinaMarch 11, 2015 at 6:23 am (8 years ago)
Just to echo some of the previous comments and Kathy’s advice, you’re so much more than the “before/after” pictures. You’re a real person with real emotions, real struggles and that’s what will make you stand out from other weight-loss, recipe, health blogs out there. That’s been one of the reasons why your blog has been one of my favorites, it’s not all about diet or exercise or health, you mix in some DIY/lifestyle, Inspirational and other content. You’ve been a real inspiration to me, and I could relate to your story. What good is it to be thin if you aren’t healthy and are miserable! I appreciate you being candid about your insecurities.
CatherineMarch 12, 2015 at 1:07 am (8 years ago)
Thank you so much for your beautiful comment, Marina! Thank you for being so supportive of me and my blog and for being a constant reminder of how amazing my readers are! xo
lyzmanciniMarch 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm (8 years ago)
I just want to say that one of the reasons I keep coming back to your blog is because you’re a real person and you don’t hide the ups and downs of being a real human girl. It gets tiring to read blogs and Insta accounts where all you see is this smiling girl who works out every day and eats kale at every meal. Sharing like this makes you relateable and it’s inspiring. Plus you’re gorgeous with the best hair I’ve ever seen. Please keep doing what you’re doing; while you’re healing, you help us heal too.
CatherineMarch 12, 2015 at 1:39 am (8 years ago)
Thank you so much, Lyzmancini! I really appreciate everything that you said. My main goal as a blogger is to be true to myself and realistic. I don’t workout everyday all day, and sometimes I really want Haribo gummy bears so I will eat them, but try to get back on track the next day the best I can! I want to show that living a healthy lifestyle can be fun and it doesn’t have to be crazy strict, and I’m really happy that you are able to see this on my blog and social media 🙂 Thank you so much for your support and kind words! xo
lyzmanciniMarch 11, 2015 at 1:16 pm (8 years ago)
Also……it looks like you’re super in love and it make me go all awwwwwww.
CatherineMarch 12, 2015 at 1:39 am (8 years ago)
Haha awww thanks, Lyzmancini!
EvelyneMarch 11, 2015 at 4:38 pm (8 years ago)
Hi, Catherine. I want to echo all of the above. I appreciate your blog and enjoy your posts.
CatherineMarch 12, 2015 at 1:40 am (8 years ago)
Thank you so much for your support, Evelyne! I truly appreciate it! xo
KatieMarch 12, 2015 at 2:48 pm (8 years ago)
Your blog is awesome and you are awesome!! You have inspired me to try new thing I ever thought I would try. It is so nice you keep it real and you seem so down to earth and just plain awesome!! I know it is so hard to see yourself the way others see you, but believe me you are an inspiration. Keep up the good work!!
JennMarch 14, 2015 at 6:01 am (8 years ago)
Your blog is amazing! Anytime I feel like I am getting off track it’s the first place I come for inspiration (see: spinach brownies). I’m sorry youre going through a rough time, but it’s nice to see someone so honest. Some blogs make me feel like the writers are perfect with their eating or working out and it’s hard to live up to. I’m really thankful you put so much into your posts. It’s always more than just a recipe. You really are an inspiration.
traveljunkie23March 16, 2015 at 10:09 am (8 years ago)
I actually just found out I have an allergy to almonds, apples and wheat/gluten (those are the highest). I knew about gluten from personal experience, but the almonds and apples were a surprise. I don’t think it has fully sunk in! Thankfully I can have coconut milk, but still, what a bummer. I hope you figure out your hives problem. I have hives for a year once, they started when I moved into a new apartment. They went away when I quit my job and moved away from the apartment. I don’t know what caused them…stress from the job, the apartment? Anyways, no fun. 🙁
kimMarch 18, 2015 at 6:52 pm (8 years ago)
I absolutely love your blog – and your photos at any weight! I find it extremely relatable, and hope you continue to blog. You look beautiful!