Elle Est Forte

I fight this all too familiar feeling fairly often. I struggle with body image, and it’s days like this that  I realize that an eating disorder is something that I have to live with. It doesn’t define me or consume me, but I have some serious down days (and weeks) where I struggle. I mainly struggle with how I see myself. Sometimes I am so happy and content with my body and the scale or my clothing size doesn’t bother me, but there are other times where I can be extremely triggered by seeing myself in the mirror or in photographs that makes me want to stop eating, or gorge myself in sweets. It’s hard for some of my friends and family to understand my struggles with food and body image. I hear “you’re gorgeous” and “you look great,” but it’s nothing like that. I’m not programmed like everyone else.

When I was younger, my weight didn’t really phase me. Of course I wanted to be a “skinny” girl, but I never tried to diet or made an effort to be anything but myself and how I was. After losing 80 pounds after college, I have never seen myself the same. I feel like I will never be content with how I look wether I’m 100 pounds of 200 pounds. Even at the same weight I was in high school, I am so unhappy with my body. My body composition is completely different because I spin 5-6 days a week and have more muscle definition and tone, but I’m still so unhappy. It’s sad. Sometimes I wish that I never lost weight to begin with because I wouldn’t have this problem. Now that I’ve seen what I look like super “skinny” (at an unhealthy weight, mind you) I cannot get that image out of my head. I visually myself looking like that again, and can’t get that image out of my head. I find myself looking at photos of me at my lightest and comparing myself to what I look like today. It’s the WORST possible thing I can do, and I cannot stop. It’s triggering, it makes me sad, and it makes me hate my body even more because I’ve gained weight. When I take a step back, the comparison and negative thoughts that I have with myself make me so sad.

Sometimes talking about these things is hard, but I’ve learned through my blog that I’m not going through it alone, so why not write about it, right?

When I’m down, it’s so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I describe my down moments as if I am treading in water. My head isn’t underwater, but my nose is barely peaking out. I’m able to get work done and get through the day, but it’s a struggle. Dealing with this same thing for a couple of years now, I’ve gotten better at coping with it. I no longer isolate myself from friends, or stop doing things that I love because I’m sad, but as I said, it’s a struggle. I guess why I’m talking about this is because writing is my therapy. Sometimes I completely shut down and keep everything inside, but writing is a way to get everything out.

On Saturday night I attended an event hosted by Full Psycle which celebrated the strong fit women of FP. At Full Psycle, we all compete inside “The Asylum” to get stronger,  but we’ve all formed quite a comradeship outside of the studio that gives us strength internally. This amazing group of ladies came together to celebrate and support the National Breast Cancer Foundation for a FP Girls Night filled with fitness, laughter, and shopping! Seeing so many strong, gorgeous, amazing women come together to celebrate ourselves was an amazing amazing feeling. Sometimes being a girl is just hard! We spend a lot of time criticizing ourselves and comparing ourselves to others, when we should really be celebrating ourselves! The event was so much fun. I love my Full Psycle family! Full Psycle has literally been my therapy since last July. I cannot go very many days without it, because it makes me happy. The workout and my Full Psycle family of friends and instructors lifts my mood and makes me feel so much better. In many ways, it has changed my life.


I got a shirt that that benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and I am absolutely obsessed with it. It reads “elle est forte” (she is strong). When I got home to try my new shirt on, something hit me and I felt so emotional. I’ve been very down on myself recently, and when I put my new shirt on, it spoke to me. I am strong. I’ve been through a roller coaster of ups and down in my life from my weight loss, eating disorder, and depression, to my accomplishments and success in school and my career, and through it all, I am strong.

I want every woman reading this to know that you are strong. There are so many obstacles that we as women face every day, but we get through it, because we are strong!

xo Catherine

You’re only one workout away from a good mood!

Today I wanted to talk about exercising and the happiness that it brings.

I’ve never been a huge fan of working out. A few years ago, if you gave me the option of going to the gym or watching a movie on the couch, I would say “movie on the couch” in a heartbeat. I have to admit that I still have these moments, but they are far more rare.

One workout away from a good mood 5

It can take a lot of energy and strength to get yourself back on track and exercising, but once you do, you are unstoppable!

I’ve recently realized that working out makes me a much nicer and happier person. No matter how hard my workout is at the time, or how much my quads are burning, or if my heart is racing so fast I think I’m going to die in spin class, it’s only an hour of my day. It’s only a tiny fraction of my day being uncomfortable and pushing my limits until I am in an excellent over the moon happy mood. And to be quite honest, sometimes I think of the men and women training in the armed forces for inspiration to push through. If they can survive bootcamp, I can make it through 1 hour of exercising!

Sometimes I spend too much time in my head and I am so darn hard on myself. I beat myself up for not being as “perfect” as others. The more I compare myself and my body to others, the more depressed I get. Comparison truly is the thief of joy. The only way to get out of my own head and stop comparing is to focus on me, and me only. How do I do this? I workout.

I love who I am after I workout. I love that my mind is clear and my thoughts are all positive. I’m proud of myself for getting to the studio and being there. I’m proud of myself for not giving up when I’m at my limit. I’m proud of myself for pushing through and completing the workout. I’m surprised and amazed by how strong my body is and what it is capable of accomplishing. I love that I feel stronger and stronger after each class. I am grateful for this strong body that I have worked so hard for. I am proud of myself, and that makes me the happiest.

In the past couple of weeks, I have really stepped out of my comfort zone.
I took my first ever pilates reformer class, I took back-toback spin classes, and I sat in the front row. I even did a two-a-day three-a-day completely unplanned because I felt so great and energetic! All of the above make me so happy and proud! Was I excellent at pilates? Heck no! I practically folded into a pretzel during one of the workouts. Was I ranked #1 on the leaderboard at spin class? Not even close! But I showed up, I worked my butt off, I never took a break, and I smiled bigger than ever before after that workout.

One workout away from a good mood 3
One workout away from a good mood 2

I’ve realized that so much of my happiness comes from stepping out of my comfort zone and the feeling of accomplishment after I do so. As I have talked about before, I struggle with depression. But I don’t like who I am when I’m depressed. Last time I bought at a light therapy lamp to try to treat my depression, it helped me feel better. But no matter how comfortable I get being isolated from the world and in my own head, I know that’s not who I am. I’m loud, funny, obnoxious, extremely energetic, and full of life. And when I’m down, that’s my inspiration to get happy. No matter how deep down the rabbit hole I may be, I know that that Catherine is just peeking out from the top. No matter how awful working out may seem at the time, I know that as soon as I get on that spin bike and the instructor says my name that a little spark in me ignites and the happy me is there. Even when I think I can’t make it through, I know that fitness is 100% mental. That my body wont go where my mind doesn’t push it. My body hears everything that my mind says, so I must think of positive things and believe in myself that I can do anything and it will happen. It really will.

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It’s incredible how powerful the mind is, how strong our bodies are, and how a bad day can change from some measly little endorphins after a workout. I want to continue this routine that I am in because this is by far the happiest I’ve been in a long time, and it has nothing to do with my body. I say this with the biggest smile: I am so proud of myself! Instead of being down on myself for stupid little things, I am so proud of what I have accomplished. I am proud of being healthy, having a career that I love, and for pushing through the low points and lemons that life hands me.

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I am here with one purpose, to inspire you. I hope that today, you sign up for a group exercise class or something that you have been too afraid to try in the past. I often hear the same things from so many people about trying spin for the first time. “I’m so out of shape, I’m scared I won’t be able to keep up.” “Everyone in class is going to be so fit and I look so heavy.” “I don’t know what I’m doing.” If you have ever thought of any of the above before, let me tell you that none of that matters. NONE OF IT. No one cares what you look like, no one judges you for being in the studio and working out. Every single person in that studio has been in your position. Everyone there went to spin for the first time not knowing what they were getting into. Heck, half of the people might have been overweight or out of shape when they first started! Maybe that’s where their life changed and they fell in love with working out? You never know! No one at the studio is going to care what you’re wearing or what you look like. To be honest, they are probably too busy trying to make it through the workout to care or even notice! Step out of your comfort zone and go for it! After all, you’re only one workout away from a good mood.

Health & Happiness xo

What is healthy?

Hi honeybunnies!
I’m writing to you from super awesome San Antonio, TX!
I am SO excited to be here for the weekend for a close friend’s wedding! Texas is one of my favorite places because everyone is so friendly and laid back.

Mac-Ruby-Woo-Lipstick1First of all, I got a new red Mac lipstick the other day and I’m obsessed! The color is Ruby Woo.

Soooo remember on Monday when I decided to do a juice cleanse? Well that completely failed halfway through day 2. I know I told you guys that I would give you daily updates on how it went, but it did not go well. To be honest, I’ve had such a hard time staying on track recently. I feel like I’ve gotten into this terrible black & white/ all or nothing mentality when it comes to food. It’s like “eat super duper healthy and become too restrictive” or “eat something ‘bad’ and the whole day is ruined so I just don’t care the rest of the day.” I’m definitely struggling with balance again and I feel myself going towards that darn rabbit hole.

There is still something about my relationship with food that is so… ugh… annoying.

Instead of getting down on myself about things like not completing a cleanse, or overdoing it on the halloween candy, I have been trying to move on and live. When I find myself obsessing over food and my weight, I don’t feel like I’m actually living.

Being a “healthy living” or “health food” blogger, I’ve thought a lot about what that really means. What constitutes something as healthy? Yes, I do believe that food wise, healthy means eating fresh, whole, unprocessed foods as often as possible, but I also believe that healthy means being happy. There is much more to health than just the physical food related aspects that we always attribute it to. Health is all about a balance. A happy place of nourishing your body with the nutrients it needs, and being happy.

I find that it’s almost impossible for me to truly be happy when all I focus on is “eating healthy.” I love eating healthy because of the way it makes me feel, but once it becomes an obsession, I find that it actually comes along with a lot os sadness and guilt, and that is no way to live. There are so many bloggers and even “fitspo” accounts on Instagram that seem to have it all together. They eat “perfectly,” workout multiple hours a day, and can say “no” to bread like it’s poison. I’ve recently had to unfollow these types of bloggers and IG accounts because it just made me sad and angry that I couldn’t be as strict as them. Do they really always have it together? Do they ever eat cake on their birthday? Do they enjoy a glass of wine? Do they ever say, “today, I don’t want to go to the gym?” It seems so superficial to me. I’m not here to talk badly about other people, I’m just here to say that I’m human, I’m not perfect, and at times it’s really hard for me to stay on track. I don’t want girls and women to think that they have to live to unattainable standards that you see on the internet to be healthy. And I want you to know that it’s ok if you fall off the wagon. It’s normal! I’ve fallen off about 10 times the past couple of months. At times I felt like I was actually dragging behind the wagon! But you know what? Life goes on and tomorrow is a new day. You are gorgeous, and you will accomplish anything you set your mind to! Take a deep breath and take things one day at a time.

As promised, I’ll be posting my cracker recipe made from leftover juice pulp tomorrow : )

xo Catherine


Being A Bridesmaid

Being asked to be a bridesmaid is ones of the biggest honors. There is nothing more exciting than being a part of someone’s big day. Last summer I was asked to be a bridesmaid in my college roommate Jocelyn’s wedding. Of course I gladly accepted! I can only imagine how beyond gorgeous her wedding will be and how stunning she will look walking down the aisle. My roomie is a looker! Such a beauty, and her future hubby is just the same!

roommate baking timeThrowback to the good ol’ college days circa 2007: Jocelyn (the bride!) and I baking with our bff Betty Crocker! Classy as always Catherine… way to go!

Lakers gameLakers game circa 2007 with Ryan, Jocelyn, and her now fiance Ryan!

Along with the bridal showers, bachelorette party, and wedding weekend festivities to look forward to, there is a little something else… the bridesmaid dress. I’m sure if you have been in a wedding before, you can definitely relate to my battle with THE bridesmaid dress. Luckily, my friends have exceptional taste, so I’ve never been disappointed with the bridesmaid dress selection! However, I am ALWAYS disappointed in the bridal salons and brands who sell bridesmaid dresses. You’ve heard the spiel, “please give us the measurements for your bust, waist, and hips and we will order your dress accordingly.” In a matter of seconds you go from your usual size 26 jeans to a size 10,000 dress. They assure you that due to your measurements, size 10,000 would be the best fit. Umm I think not! Well, let me tell you that this just happened to me.

I sent in my measurements, and was told that I would be in a size 20 dress! After accomplishing and maintaining my weight loss and recovering from my eating disorder/body image issues, this was probably the last thing I wanted to hear. I know I know, the size of your clothes shouldn’t matter… But sometimes, it’s just upsetting. Especially after all of the hard work you put in. Of course I started tearing up, and my mind instantly went into ED mode again. All over a stupid number. Jocelyn was pretty surprised about the dress size that the salon wanted to order for me, and she was so sweet about the situation. Apparently I’m not the only bridesmaid with an odd dress size!

Bridesmaid dress designers often make garments that run extremely small. I totally understand that it’s all about the bride. Duh! But do they need to make the bridesmaids feel insecure and bad about their body in the process? Oh, and for the record they should make all wedding dresses a size “awesome,” so everyone call feel freaking awesome on their big day! These companies make the process of ordering a bridesmaid dress so unpleasant sometimes. Not only do they make you feel like a whale, but once the size 10,000 dress that was “selected according to your measurements“ arrives, it’s ginormous and needs hundreds of dollars in alteration$! Bridal salons must be making a killing off of alterations!

The entire situation of ordering my bridesmaid dress got me so down. I was talking to my friend Taryn, and she was telling me almost the exact same story about a dress that she had ordered. She helped me realize that it didn’t matter what size dress they put me in, it’s going to end up being altered, and beautiful. No matter the dress size, I am so honored to be in Jocelyn’s wedding! She has always been such an amazing friend to me, and I cannot wait for her happily ever after! A silly number is not going to ruin the excitement of this big event!

I’ve caught myself getting down on myself over numbers recently whether it be the scale, measurements, or clothing sizes. When this happens, I have to take a step back and look at all of the accomplishments that I’ve made. A scale cannot measure passion, ability, strength, compassion, or your potential. A number cannot define you or tell you how beautiful you are. A number is just… a number, and you are so much more than that. So no matter how far you have to go on your journey, or how many times you have fallen off of the wagon, know that you are beautiful, and worth so much more than a silly number.

Positive Motivation Scale
Positive Motivation Scale 1

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” – The Help

Question: Has a number ever made you upset?

Back From Hibernation!

Guess who’s back, back again.
Catherine’s back, tell a friend.


I have always told myself that I would be completely honest on my blog, so here it goes… Shortly after my surgeries I got completely overwhelmed with a series of events in my personal life, gained 20 pounds, and as a result I ended up completely relapsing into my eating disorder. But you know what, I’m human, I’m not perfect, and that’s life. We always get through it! During this time dark I felt that it was necessary to remove myself from social media and take some time for myself to get better. It took months of therapy, and it wasn’t easy, but I feel that I am in a much better place now. I’ve always stayed true to my word about practicing what I peach, so there is absolutely no way I could’ve been blogging and giving advice during that time, I wouldn’t have been right. I’m so happy to be more relaxed, healthy, and back blogging! I really appreciate your kind words and positive thoughts throughout my hibernation! You guys are the reason that I have been able to turn my blog into a professional career, and you have no idea how grateful I am for each and every one of you who reads RFFMBT. I’m sorry I didn’t give an update on what was going on sooner, but I didn’t have the strength at that time. The most important things… I’m healthy & RFFMBT is back!

You guys totally made me blush on Saturday when I announced that I was coming out of hibernation! Thank you so much for your hilarious comments, tweets, and hundreds of likes! I was worried I would’ve lost all of my readers after being gone for so long!


Now for the good stuff
Here are some updates from while I was away:

I was finally able to get my thyroid levels regulated with Synthroid.
The tootsies are all healed.
I’m going to a specialist to do further testing for PCOS… rrr
I caught the bouquet at my friend’s wedding in Texas.
My dog turned 11.
I found the best sushi restaurant in CA.
I reunited with old friends.
I ate my weight in Christmas cookies.
I went lawn bowling.
I watched “Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead.” Again.
I made two amazing new friends Jacquie and Robyn.
I moved.
I was initiated as a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, Beta Xi (UCLA).
I started to like cats.
I realized I’m allergic to everything.
I missed my little bunnies a ton.
I wished upon a shooting star.
I did a lot of cleaning and organizing.
I got unmotivated… and then motivated again!
I watched every episode of Downton Abbey seasons 1 & 2 (no spoilers please!).
I worked on some graphic design jobs.
I laughed a lot, I cried a lot.
I wrote down tons of new recipes to share with you guys.
I was recognized by a reader in public!
I will be making more shirts in the near future.
I found out that you can actually call Hogwarts (781) 452-4077.

And the best news yet: I was asked to speak on a panel at the Produce for Better Health – Consumer Connection Conference in San Francisco! AHHH! SO EXCITED!!!

Don’t even think I forgot what day it is!

“Eat clean
Train Mean
Get Lean
In 2013”

I know how addicting the couch potato lifestyle is (trust me, it happened recently), but a healthy lifestyle can be just as addicting! It’s a new year and it’s time to get healthy together!

Get pumped for new healthy recipes, motivation, support, long rants, giveaways, and fun DIY projects!
Health & Happiness xo

Now it’s time for some rabbit food. Raw green beans and sugar snap peas.
Two of my favorites & the reason my nickname is green bean!
Fresh, crunchy, sweet, and oh so healthy!

Green Beans and Sugar Snap Peas

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