Look at all that foodporn. All breakfast, all amazing. How did I find these lovely pictures? Well first of all, they’re made even lovelier with something positive in their captions, which you can see if you follow the links above. Second of all, they’re tagged with #tbcbreakfastbonanza–a breakfast movement/positivity party I’ve started on Instagram. It’s been one week since I’ve announced the movement, and as of today there have been 279 posts. 279! I am so overwhelmed at the positive reception to my idea and the willingness of people to start of their day with proper nourishment and a smile.
But what is this party all about, you ask? Well, I was one week into my one month holidays and there is no other way to put it–I was depressed. After a horrible horrible long semester of school, work, pressure, projects–all the fatigue and sleep debt neatly packaged up and stacked tall at one side while I ran on pure adrenaline and chocolate crashed down on me in a terrible tidal wave. I could sleep till noon, if I didn’t love breakfast so much. At the end of the day despite doing nothing my limbs were leaden and I felt so, so tired. I was perennially grouchy, burst out crying because even though it was holidays I felt so incredibly stressed somehow and all the bad things seemed to have been underlined in heavy black marker, yelling at me in CAPITAL LETTERS and hammering on my skull. I was so overwhelmed that one day I nearly burst out crying in public.
Then one day after moping around, I was done. I have a one month holiday, for pete’s sake. I shouldn’t be crying! I shouldn’t be honking into tissues like a disgruntled trombone! I shouldn’t be sniffling around with red eyes feeling like the world is about to end! I shouldn’t be moping around like the world is about to end, I should be having fun and running round and paying exorbitant prices for dishware I cannot resist and baking lots and eating lots! Not being a living, walking snot rag! Being upset is okay, of course. We all get upset. But I was letting this affect my very very precious sacred holiday, and that had to be stopped.
Now, on school days waking up is terrible. You open your eyes, and it’s still dark outside for heaven’s sake. Everything inside is too bright–harsh artificial light–and someone is shaking your leg and you have SCHOOL and your bed is so soft and comforting but nooooo you need to get out of it right now. It’s so incredibly hard to open your eyes fully, when every instinct in you is saying ‘aw man why do you have to do this go back to sleep c’mon’ but you just have to do it. And one of the only reasons why I can do that on weekdays is the idea of breakfast. Sure, there’s a long day ahead. Sure, I’ll come home laden with homework. Sure, I’ll spend hours in my classroom. But hey, I have chocolate baked oatmeal waiting for me and I can do this. Yeah, I’m really serious…that’s how important a good breakfast is to me. I’ll struggle into the bathroom, wash up, come out and eat my breakfast and in the rare few moments I have hurriedly spooning lovely chocolaty gooey oats into my mouth and scrolling through tumblr, I feel like hey–maybe things will be okay.
And I realised it’s not just me facing this problem. We often struggle through weeks and spend our days counting down to the next weekend, next holiday, next sick day. We wake up reluctantly with the thought of the day we have to face and go to sleep reluctantly knowing that there will be a day ahead just like the one we’d just struggled through. This just goes on and on, but life is too short for moping. When we grow old we’ll look back someday and regret how we spent every day wishing it was over and man I want to be a granny that has no regrets. A granny that still eats chocolate even though it’s bad for her blood sugar and boogies in the living room to what will probably be considered as oldies by then, waving her cane around with dangerous accuracy, and who will be able to recount to grandchildren/nieces/nephews about her crazy young days where she lived with no regrets and made the most out of each day.
Of course, this isn’t possible all the time. Some days it’s really hard to find a silver lining. Everything’s just blah blah blah, dark grey dreary stormclouds, and you’ll never be as relieved to concuss in your bed at the end of the day. But the least we can do is try. Wake up, have a nourishing breakfast to fuel the day and get you through. Some chocolate to appease your tired soul. And think of something positive for the day, something inspiring–a sole silver lining, even if it’s “today will be over eventually”. And then live your day, and do it the best you can, because they are numbered and every day gone is a day that you won’t be able to get back. Live your life, and live it well–there are ups and there are downs, and that is okay. What matters is that we try to live as good a life as we can.
So for #tbcbreakfastbonanza I challenged people to post pictures of their breakfast and include something positive in the caption-be it a quote, an aspiration for the day, or something they hoped for. And within a week, I’m stunned to say there are nearly 300 photos in the tag. 3o0 times a person decided that they should start their day off well and the best they can–and I am so proud. I have learnt so much from everyone–quotes, aspirations and all–and I’m simply speechless and overwhelmed at how strong, how kind and how incredible some of you are. Despite exams coming up or tough days at work or graduating soon, you guys still managed to put on a good front and stare down the challenges ahead. I am so incredibly humbled; I stand here and say that one day I hope I can be like some of you guys.
Here are some things I’ve learnt from some people this week:
lovingbuttons showed me resilience. I understand thoroughly how hard it is to recover from an eating disorder, and this girl has reminded me once again how strong the human spirit can be. She said here: “I’m proud of myself for taking the step to embrace REAL recovery and eat what I like, without any restrictions! Sure I may not decorate my food with perfectly sliced bananas and strawberries, but I think my food looks perfect nonetheless…Because it is loaded with nutrients and will help to nourish and fuel my body. No inferiority complex here or ED voices telling me I’m not good enough because I am worthy of self-love and I deserve to live. And you do too! So yay for a sunny recovery and a positive start to the morning!”
greenrunnersfuel (Anna) has taught me so much with her wise entries for #tbcbreakfastbonanza. She showed me how to be thankful for little things we take granted–a good healthy and satisfying breakfast where some people leave their homes with empty stomachs and a free education whereas some people struggle with the right to be able to learn (purepicks Amy also reiterated this, saying even though it’s a pain sometimes we take it for granted far too often–it’s a privilege that many others don’t have!)
coconutme (Elena) shared her thoughts here that are so important nowadays–“We have to stop thinking and judging ourself for what society wants us to believe is right. We are not perfect, we have to accept it. We have borned with our own caracteristics which make us unique on the whole planet. I’m posting this picture I took at 10pm: it’s me, without make up, after karate class and before taking a shower. Yes, I have a big nose and bad skin. Maybe I’m not tall and skinny as all the girls on the magazines, so what? They’re mostly photoshopped, they’re not real while I’M REAL. I embrace every single part of my body and I try to focus on improving who I’m from the INSIDE, cause that’s what really matter. We are all beautiful, so you are.” Well said, Elena–thank you for reminding us all!
hannahs_menu (Hannah) has been a true inspiration for me this week. Here, she says: “My positive thought is about trig and my final today, lol. I felt super unprepared a week or two ago so I started studying a lot and I basically lived in my math teacher’s office. I set my mind to it because I had a goal to reach-and it paid off! My final is in a couple hours and I feel confident and ready to go in there and smash it…and then it’ll be over! 😎 ps. did you know that making trig jokes is the first sine of madness?? ok sry I had to bye.” I struggle very much with math, as you might know very well by now if you read closely to all my blather and nonsense about failing, and Hannah’s determination to do well really resonated with me–I realised I’ve been giving up on math as a subject because of always failing, and therefore haven’t been working as hard as I should. Hannah taught me this week so many things, she is a true inspiration and I am so grateful for her contribution.
that_belarusian_girl (Berta) reminded us all again of our true beauty! Here she told us how she really discovered how bad the chemicals in makeup are to our skin, and touched on how makeup affects how we feel about ourselves: “This means that the easiest thing to do is avoid make up completely and use only the necessities. As easy as it sounds, it is really, really hard, because make up is kind of addictive. Like really addictive; once you start using it, you feel incomplete and not one bit pretty without it. That’s how I’ve been feeling the past couple of days, but this morning was different; I realised that I can look beautiful without poisoning my body. So where’s the positive message? You don’t need makeup. Once you realise this, your life will become a whole lot better: you will be able to go about enjoying your life without worrying that your mascara will smudge or your manicure will be damaged, not to mention that you will have more money to spend on better things in life, such as … FOOD! Ok, books are pretty good too, and so are thousands of other things, besides make up! But most importantly you will feel beautiful. The real kind of beautiful. The one that no amount of make up can give you. So “wake up, why make up”?“
The rest of you also were thankful for so many things. Thankful for family, thankful for the Instagram families, thankful for good breakfasts, thankful for vacations–they are all so incredible. Reading down the feed really made my day each time, and I can safely say that everyone is amazing! I cannot believe how much I’ve learnt this week and I can’t wait for the next week.
Thank you so much to everyone who’s participated in my little movement. It means so much to me and I’m so thankful that you guys actually made the decision to start the day right and fight the good fight. I hope everyone has been as impacted by the movement as I have–and if you haven’t already, please check out the hashtag #tbcbreakfastbonanza on instagram!