mental health

BEFORE & AFTER – Gaining Happiness

Times have changed and I know a lot of people are now wanting to gain muscles instead of just getting skinnier or losing weight, which is how I feel like it used to be. If you, as a girl, were working out you just wanted to get a little bit toned and would much more rather loose weight than gain it. I remember I wouldn’t lift any heavier than like a 5kg weight because I didn’t wanna get muscles that were “too big” . Because I was a girl and it wasn’t pretty. Stupid, right? This was before I developed a serious problem with food, weight and my measurements, but I still had that mindset.

That’s loooong gone now and I love lifting heavy weights. I mostly do legs, that’s no lie, and I guess partly how that started was also a result of the world changing around us and what became more “popular”. Now I feel differently. I do love having more curves, but I most importantly have a genuine passion for working out with weights and getting stronger – it gives me a lot more than what just running on a treadmill does. It’s a little break from all the stress around me, just going to the gym and focusing on me and what I’m doing in that exact moment and only that. Working out has always been some sort of therapy for me, no doubt.

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It’s clear to see the difference on the outside, but the changes on the inside are what matters the most. On the left you see a young girl who had actually GAINED weight after being in Athens and then I had arrived in Milan, still extremely skinny and also sick. My body was craving so much because I had been neglecting it from everything for such a long time that I started buying crazy amounts of junk food, going back to the model apartment, eating it all, then not eating anything the next day except for drinking juice because I felt bad. I remember feeling so ashamed, just thinking how in the world I became “that girl”. Truth is: anyone can. As this was going on I was even helping other models struggling, giving them advice and talking to them about their problems with food and their bodies. It’s crazy how much in denial I was.

I remember that later, after Milan, when I started gaining weight because I actually got a inflammation in my stomach as a result of everything I had done (will have to live with that forever) and had to start a medicine that gave me a lot of water weight, my model agent sent me pictures from my Milan trip saying how perfect I was back then. I mean, how does it not mess you up?

Then on the right – you can see me now. Healthier and happier. Strong and in love with both pizza and green tea.

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I will always have a slim figure, it’s just in my genes and I am not trying to show you guys what anyone should look like, or what a transformation should be. This is just mine. That is not what I am trying to shed light on – no body types, no big or small, no thigh gap this or big butt that. It’s the happiness you give yourself when you decide to just let you be you. The healthy version of you. Wether it’s going to the gym just a little bit more, or going a little bit less. Wether it’s to stop letting yourself not eat what you want because of “carbs”, or if it’s adding more vegetables to your dinner instead of eating noodles every day. It’s all about balance. Too much of anything is never good.

I found change in the people around me as well, I started realising what was important – knowing I could not live my life like this. I met Dan and all I started doing was living in the moment. Food was something to enjoy and love was something you couldn’t define by a body or an image. I realised love is real and it doesn’t judge. So I stopped doing that as well. I decided to give love to the real me and everything that comes with doing so.

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Food · traveling

Berlin Pictures

Tomorrow morning I’ll be taking the earliest flight back to Oslo after a few days in Berlin. Thought I would share some photos from the days, mostly of food, but that’s because they have amazing vegan options here! Makes me so happy ❤️ I’ll also be leaving Berlin with two more tattoos than when I came here, I’ll show you really soon!

Food · personal

Let’s Talk About Food

When you’re young it’s easy to not consider the importance of taking care of your body and the consequences it might bring you later if you don’t. Choosing good, healthy, and sustainable food has multiple benefits. It benefits you. It benefits the animals. It benefits the environment. Our planet.

As a 17 year old, I got the opportunity to travel as a model. Before traveled, I got “trained” in the modeling industry. My mother agency (your base model agency) that I was with at the time, was telling me what I had to do to be “good enough”. I always knew in the back of my mind that what I was doing to my body was not healthy or good in any way, and my body also tried to let me know – but my ambition and dreams were bigger, and I eventually got very good at convincing myself and everyone around me into thinking that I only did what was necessary, in a “healthy” way. 

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Photo: Susanne Pettersen

The reason why I’m using a lot of quotation marks, is because it later became obvious to me that the food I ate and didn’t eat, left huge marks on me. The way you choose to nurture your body – what food you put on your plate – is the most important choice you make for yourself, and you take that choice every single day.

Now I know that it does not matter if someone is –  older, younger,  more successful or powerful – than you, it does not mean that they know what’s the better choice for you and your health. Listen to your body. Food is the drive for all your thoughts, strength, ambitions – your life and everything it involves. 

Be aware. Be aware of how much or how little you’re giving to your body, be aware of what happens to your body when you choose to give it hot dogs and Coca Cola, and most of all what exactly it is you are allowing your body to use as fuel – what it consists of. 

As a 15 year old I could not get myself to understand the importance of the right nutrition. Looking back I see now that I felt invincible and did not think that any of the choices I made regarding food back then could ever have the power to stay with me forever.

I tried to convince myself and everyone around me. I became good at that. Until it all became too visible. Until my body said stop. 

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Photo: Susanne Pettersen

It will always, eventually, come to a point where the body forces you to stop or you’ll break down – completely. Either it’s too much food, too little, or too toxic… It comes to a point where it’s too late and you can’t just go back and “fix” what you have done to your body. The body that always tries to protect you, fix you and tell you when something is not right. You only get so many chances to listen. 

So what did all of this give me? What happens when a young, healthy and strong body suddenly stops eating after seven in the evening? What did it do to a happy girl full of ambitions, life and dreams when food became her worst enemy? When she chooses to exclude natural carbohydrates like rice and potatoes from her diet because then “I’ll be thin enough”?

It gave me pain. It gave me a lifelong illness, ulcerative colitis. A stomach constantly fighting against something that’s not there in the first place – leaving me with unnecessary pain that will never leave. Making it more important than ever to give my body the right nutrition, and giving me no opportunity to neglect my body any more, because only the best will help me. It gave my mom tears and fear. It gave my friends a distant friend that slowly disappeared. It gave me sadness and emptiness, tears and loneliness. 

It also gave me something else. It gave me a lesson, a tough and lifelong one, but a lesson. It gave me an understanding.

We all have a responsibility. I have a responsibility. 

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Photo: Susanne Pettersen

Bad food and food habits pose a bigger threat to health globally than tobacco, alcohol,  drugs and unsafe sex combined, but while there’s an age limit for alcohol and warnings about death on cigarettes packets – what is there for food? Toxic, unhealthy food? Nothing. There are commercials for it. It’s on kids menus.

There are so many people out there today that have a complex relationship with food – and I used to be one of them. It is difficult, tough and all-consuming. 

I wish I would have been kind to my body. I know for a fact I would have appreciated everything so much more. Everything that gave me real and true happiness. The new countries, the amazing people, every single experience. The things that still give me butterflies looking back at.

I would love to be able to go back in time and have a long conversation with myself, but then again – I am here now, a lot wiser, and with so much more experience. That counts for something. 

Imagine if we all could get rid of those thoughts… Take away all of those “this makes me fat, we have eaten meat since forever, it doesn’t affect me”… Imagine if we could change it into “what is actually good for my body, what will give me the correct nutrition, how can my body function the best way possible”… – And from there knowing that all the positive changes will show on both the inside as well as the outside.

The world isn’t where it should be when it comes to plant-based and sustainable food, but together we could all get further. We are the ones who can make a change. Everything is about what we want, what we are buying, what we need. What if we could ask for the best, not just for us, but for the earth as well?

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Photo: Susanne Pettersen

But how can we make it simple? We constantly have newspapers, bloggers, nutritionists, parents, teachers and even doctors telling us one thing is good one day, then bad the other day.

What is good food? Food that is good for your health, for animals and people in the supply chain – for the planet?

Food journalist for NYT Michael Pollan summarises the science and says that the short answer to what us humans should eat in order to stay maximally healthy is – “Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Less is more. Less ingredients, less food additives, less mass produced products that can stay in your cabinet for months without turning bad. And yes, less meat.

More simple, clean and natural foods. Food that grows, that doesn’t come in a box and that has ingredients you know of. Food that can rot. It’s a natural and good sign. Eat more plants, seeds and grains.

When you are stuck with an illness and your only option is to eat what in reality is good for the human body, and not what people necessarily tell you – you start to realise the importance and huge impact it has, which is hard to see when you’re constantly getting pulled in different directions the second anyone talks about the word “healthy”.

The reasons why I have been eating more plant-based food in the past years have been the welfare of the animals and for my own health. I have also had many discussions with my closest people about it, and a lot of them, I surround myself with today,  have gone through a journey of their own and found reasons to choose a more plant-based lifestyle, which makes me very happy now that I know how much the food you eat can affect your health. Through documentaries I have learned how the meat industry affects the environment and our planet. Globally it is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and in developed and emerging countries it is perhaps the leading source of water pollution. It truly needs more attention. Recently is has made an even bigger impression on me, as I now know more about the impact is has on our planet. By meeting Gunhild Stordalen, Executive Chair and Founder of the EAT foundation, I have been inspired to learn, read and educate myself more on the environment side of it all.

Please – love yourself by choosing the right daily fuel. Last, but not least – Don’t forget about our planet!  

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Photo: Susanne Pettersen

Food · Thoughts

Vegan Food Heaven – In Oslo?!

Er det en ting jeg har savnet etter at jeg flyttet fra London, så er det gode melkefrie og veganske mattilbud. Det er jo det typiske veganske “kjøttet” og laktosefrie tilbudene, eller merker som Oatly, som egentlig har veldig mye forskjellig, men butikkene holder seg bare til det samme – og det blir ganske lite i lengden.

Derfor blir jeg alltid så glad når jeg ser noen “ukjente” matbutikker og tar som regel alltid sjansen på å gå inn for å se om jeg finner noe nytt.

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På Majorstua fant jeg helt tilfeldig Jacob’s. Jeg vet ikke om det er en populær matbutikk eller om mange allerede vet om den, men jeg har i alle fall aldri fått med meg at den eksisterer.

Jeg gikk på leting etter en hylle med litt forskjellig av veganske og vegetariske tilbud, men det tok ikke så lenge før jeg så massevis av både kjøttfrie alternativer, vegansk iskrem, drikker, oster – det meste egentlig.

Jeg blir helt ærlig som et barn i en lekebutikk når jeg finner så mye bra mat som jeg kan spise (uten melk) og som i tillegg er plantebasert. Jeg tenkte selvfølgelig at jeg måtte tipse dere om det hvis dere bor i Oslo, eller bare kommer hit nå og da.

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Jeg har selvfølgelig ikke prøvd alt sammen, så jeg kan ikke anbefale eller ikke anbefale (med unntak av noen ting), men jeg tenkte å dele noen bilder av alternativer de hadde slik at dere får se om noe frister, også deler jeg mine tanker om de produktene jeg har prøvd.

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Denne har jeg allerede fått prøvd, og sammenlignet med flere andre yoghurter med soya er den mye bedre. Jeg har virkelig savnet noe rask og enkelt som jeg kan ha med granola, men som smaker godt og ikke er havremelk eller soyamelk. Denne anbefales!

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For et fint syn ❤

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Denne er utrolig god! En av mine favoritter så langt.

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Her har dere produkter jeg ikke har prøvd enda, men jeg kjøpte med meg noe av det hjem – så jeg kan oppdatere dere på instagram når jeg har fått testet det ut.

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Enda flere veganske produkter.

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Min favoritt! Jeg elsker soya latte og kaffe generelt, så denne er helt perfekt nå som det er så varmt. Anbefales på det sterkeste!

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Et supert valg hvis du har lyst på sjokomelk. Digger Oatly!

Her har dere altså noen av produktene, og litt om de som jeg allerede har fått testet ut. Positivt overrasket så langt! Det var enda flere produkter selvfølgelig, spesielt veganske alternativ til kjøtt – så hvis du vil ha litt mer vegetariske og veganske tilbud i matveien vil jeg virkelig anbefale å ta turen innom Jacob’s. (Ikke sponset, selv om jeg gjerne skulle ha blitt det).

Gjerne skriv til meg hvis dere vet om noen flere steder som dette rundt om i Oslo. Da blir jeg veldig glad ❤

This post is mostly me showing my Norwegian readers a food store I found the other day in Oslo, with loads of vegan options. I get so happy and excited when I find things like this, especially here in Norway where there’s usually just the same options in every store. That’s also one of the reasons I love to travel – there’s always so many different foods and options. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, and also if you know of some really good ones – or if you know of a really cool place to visit where there’s loads of nice, vegan or vegetarian food. I would love to know! 

Outfit · Photographs · traveling

We Did Something Different

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Today we spent the day in Las Palmas! We left in summer clothes, me in shorts and a crop top and my mom in a dress… Little did we know that the weather could be so different on the very same island. We found some warmer clothes to wear and went around trying to find the center of Las Palmas. It was more difficult then what you would think. But we made it, at least to see parts of it. We did some shopping as well, found a Starbucks (<3) and went into the old town. That’s where all the pictures above where taken actually. It’s something to see when you go here, something different. Especially all those houses on the hill. So many struggling people, but so bright and colorful. Beautiful.

I also think we got food poisoning from the sushi we ate earlier, so now I’m back to hating sushi again. Yay. Note to self: never order takeaway from somewhere they do buffet sushi because if you really think about it you KNOW that the sushi has been out all day long, just laying there on the plate getting worse by the second. Don’t eat it!

Other than that – if you want to see my little vlog from the other day press here! Enjoy!

makeup · Photographs

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays as much as they can. I know Christmas and holidays in general can be sad and lonely for a lot of people, but I hope you still manage to make the best out of it, every little thing counts. Do something for yourself or others to make this time better.

I’m still in Gran Canaria which is nice, even though Christmas didn’t go as expected this year. That’s the thing as well – expectations. Especially for Christmas. Usually it never turns out how you plan it or imagine it in your head, so just do the best you can!

I’m happy to be here with my mom!