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Am I Ugly, internet, teens, girls, tweens, Youtube.com, body image, slef- confidence

Throat Punch Thursday,Am I Ugly, videos, teens

Am I Ugly?

Teen Girls are asking the world, “Am I Ugly?” ~ This is a recipe for disaster. As if the media is not already loading the gun with bullets of self-doubt with impossible standards perpetuated further by models and actresses embracing these standards, now our daughters are taking to the internet to ask a world peppered with miserable trolls, “Am I Ugly?

This scares the hell out of me. The potential for catastrophic long term effects from this seemingly innocuous question is beyond belief. I know how a simple critique can go into a young girls ears and get twisted and bent until it has burrowed itself so deeply into her psyche that there is no chance of recovery. To think that a young girl would willingly open herself up to this kind of criticism is unbelievable. I would take the computers and phones away, home-school, whatever it took to spare my daughters of the pain of  living with and suffering daily with body dysmorphic disorder.

Am I Ugly, internet, teens, girls, tweens, Youtube.com, body image, self- confidence

 Why Am I Ugly?

Let me assure you, there is no such thing as an innocuous question when you are opening yourself up to the world to ask  Am I Ugly? There will always be someone who will say yes, even if it’s just to go against the grain. To this new fad of asking the entire world, Am I Ugly? I give the throat Punch because I can assure you that somewhere in the world there is a young girl who just lost all of her self-confidence because the reply to her video was yes.

Somewhere in the world, seeds of self-doubt have been planted and are taking root in a child’s brain. Somewhere in your neighborhood, a 12 year old is crying because she was just told that her skin was bad. Somewhere else, a little girl is running before school and skipping lunch because her reply was that her face looked chunky. There’s a little brunette who is waxing her face for the first time because she was told that maybe if she didn’t have a mustache; she’d have a boyfriend. A blonde with natural curls is wearing a hat because somebody called her hair frizzy. A red head is trying to scrub the freckles off of her face. Another girl is hiding her smile because someone said her teeth are crooked. And yet another tween is crying because her bangs won’t lay right, last night she was told her forehead was too big.

Once these things have been said to these girls, you can’t unring that bell. The girl is changed and she is now self-aware of every real and imagined flaw that have ever existed within her. This is a slippery slope that many girls come to in life and fall down and never recover from it.

It will never end. Beauty is respective. The standard is impossible and the system of measurement is skewed. These little girls need to hear it from their parents, from the time they can hear, that they are beautiful; they are smart; they are funny; they are athletic; they are strong; they are miracles! They need to be self- aware that they are capable of everything, not made painfully aware of their one shortcoming.

What would you do if your daughter made one of these videos? How do you feel about these videos being uploaded by tweens? How do you encourage your daughters to have self-confidence? How do you foster self worth? Don’t let our girls fall victim to the internet by asking Am I Ugly?

Don’t ask Am I Ugly; ask What’s my most Beautiful Quality

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Weight Watchers, weight loss,weightloss, weight, body issues, health

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Weight Watchers, weight loss,weightloss, weight, body issues, health

Size 8, 12, and 14

I joined Weight Watchers on Friday the 13th~ I was inspired by my good friend, Lori of @mommyfriend. Her honesty and bravery have given me the strength to finally be honest with you about my biggest fear. My weight. I have been terrified of the the scale all of my adult life. More petrifying was that someone, anyone, would find out the number on the scale. Even though I may look overweight (as you can plainly see) I’ve become accustomed to pushing, pulling, nipping, tucking, spanxing and hiding the “fluff”. It’s amazing the power of a shaper these days. Those suckers must be made of of some super strength material from the planet Krypton. But when you remove the spanx, the fluff remains, no matter what angel you try to position yourself. Suck in, lay down, to the right, to the left; no matter what…it’s still there.

Weight is more than a Number on the Scale

I’ve done Weight Watchers once before. I lost 25 pounds, which sounds like a lot but I had a lot more to lose. Then life happened, as it always does, and we moved half way across the country. I missed my Weight Watchers group. I missed the support. I tried other meetings. I tried a couple different places. But it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t the same. My state of mind wasn’t the same. I was stressed and irritable. I turned to my old friend for comfort, and I gained the 25 pounds I had lost plus another 11. I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life and I felt miserable. I feel miserable.

I felt fat. I felt slovenly. I felt ugly. I felt out of control. I wanted to hide from the world. I started avoiding social situations out of fear of the audible gasp at the gain. Or worse, the disappointment in people’s eyes from gaining back what I had worked so hard to lose. I felt like a failure. I don’t do well with failure. I am the person who succeeds at whatever she sets her mind to so gaining this weight was a giant failure. A black mark on my very soul. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never stopped trying to lose weight, but it’s not been the priority lately ( back went out, severely sprained my ankle, and holidays). Complaining seems to have been a lot easier.

I spiraled deeper and deeper into my black hole. I felt as if I were smothering beneath the weight of the guilt, the sadness, the grief of not having more control over my health, my body, my life.

I am more than my weight

I have started this journey so many times that it makes my head spin to think about it. I feel like the little boy who cried wolf, but instead I’m the woman who cried diet. No one believes it anymore. Have you done this? Broad sweeping declarations , “Tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of my life. I WILL LOSE THE WEIGHT!” The problem is, even I stopped believing it was possible. Then lately, people and inspiration have been put into my life to prove that it is possible.

I know some of you know exactly what I mean. Some of you don’t have to because you are naturally thin and to you I say, “I am so freaking jealous and I hope you never know the misery of having to lose weight.”

Last week, I joined Weight Watchers. Last week, I weighed myself, Friday the 13th, 2012, and I weighed 243 pounds. ( I will pause while you pick yourself back up off of the floor). No, I am not 8 foot tall. I am 5’7″. I am very overweight. I wear a size 18 pants. I am not telling you this because I am proud. In fact, not even my closest friends or sisters know my actual weight. I am sharing this with you because I REFUSE to be a slave of that number anymore. I will no longer hide in the shadows of life because of the number on the scale. It has never defined me but it has kept me from broadening my definition lately. No.MORE! In my first week I lost 5.8 pounds.I am very proud of that small accomplishment of losing that weight.

I’m telling you now because I am encouraging all of you to stop defining yourself by the fucking number on the scale. You are a bigger and better than that. Your value is not in the size of your pants. By telling you my number, I have taken away it’s power over me. It’s not a secret anymore. I AM changing that number. It might take me months, or even years, but I’m not stopping. I can’t. Not this time. This time it’s personal. I want to be healthy to be around to play with my children, dance at their weddings with the Big Guy and chase my children’s children around. I want to be able to dance my ass off on my 40th birthday this September in something cute and short; not the size of a toddler bed sheet.

I don’t know what’s lit this fire under my ass and compelled me to be so freaking honest with you, maybe it’s the new sassy hair cut or maybe I am simply tired of trying to hide my weight from the world. I am more than just a number on a scale. I am all kinds of awesome but I do want to change the packaging. I want to be as proud of the packaging as I am of the gift inside. I hope my honesty inspires you to free yourself from the weight of your world and face your fears; whether it be a number on the scale, an unrealized dream or anything that brings down the happiness quotient in your life. What is the greatest weight in your life? Will you join me in freeing yourself from the weight in your world?

Weight, you have no power over me

 

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weight loss

*Change anyone?* It’s that time of year again. You know what ‘m referring to, no not back-to-school, that was Monday. It’s a little over a month until my birthday and you know that can only mean ONE thing…mental, physical and spiritual inventory must be taken. This is my process so this morning I had my first ( of what will be many, many) come to Jesus meetings over the next year. I had it with Jose. No, it’s not some nickname we Latinos have for the almighty, it’s my little brother who is one ( as I found out the hard way this morning) hardcore, ass kicking personal trainer.Seriously, it’s his profession. I knew that he knew how to take care of himself, obviously. He’s always been in top physical shape since he was old enough to lift his first dumbbell. But we’ve never lived in the same city. Now, we do. This is Jose.

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change

This is Jose. This is 200 lbs. of badass personal training in a 160 lb. bag of cuteness.I think the photo says it all *Charming*

He who rejects change is the architect of decay~Harold Wilson

Doesn’t he look sweet? That’s what I thought. What you are looking at, my friends, is my salvation ( physically speaking anyways). Two years ago, we moved to a new city. My life hit the reset button. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 25 pounds. Life was good. Then the Big Guy was downsized. Life was not so good.I had to quit the program and since I am very apparently a stress eater, I ate those 25 pounds right back on and with them came a few more. I was depressed about it. Former eating disorder girl say what. It’s really hard trying to stay the straight and narrow when what you are doing is so NOT working. But I do. I fight the urge every day to seek the comfort of the path that I know. I fight to be a good example for my girls. I fight to be the change I want to see in the world for the young girls today. I want to be better than my circumstances.

Then last year, right smack dab in the middle of the whole commuter marriage fiasco, I was offered an amazing opportunity to be a Nutrisystem Nation Blogger. Again, I lost that 20 pounds and felt amazing. But then life started spinning out of control again. Then we had to put the house on the market, we were going to be moving and I was stressed beyond capacity. There was my old friend ( arch nemesis) food to comfort away the uncertainty. That is if comfort means to bury it deep down and surround it by a giant hug of fat. But the only uncertainty it remedied was the uncertainty of whether or not I would gain back those 20 pounds again. Guess what? I did! What can I say those damn 20 pounds llloooovvvveeee me! Me, not so much feeling that love.

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit

That brings us to this morning. We are moved. I am hitting the reset again. Hopefully for the last time for a long time. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I am happy. I know it. I feel it in my very core ( well, that and a terrible side stitch that I haven’t been able to shake since my brother boot-camp). I have committed myself to the drill Sargent my little brother and made a promise to myself…I will feel comfortable in this skin of mine.Body dysmorphic disorder and Bulimia/Anorexia can all be damned. I’m not having it, ever again. With the  help of my brother, the MOST invested, no nonsense personal trainer that anyone could ever ask for, fueled by a genuine concern and love for his sister, the next year will bring about huge change. I have a goal that I want to hit by my birthday next year and he is going to help me reach my goal. This is one of those moments in life where you are standing at a cliff and you have to decide if you want to take a chance and jump or maintain the status quo. I’m jumping! After this week, I may not be walking but I am jumping.

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change

We're going to call this the official BEFORE photo. I'll allow you to see me a sweaty mess but sweaty ponytail, no makeup and luggage under my eyes..A girl's got to maintain some tiny dignity:)

This journey is about more than just losing weight. It is about changing my entire lifestyle..forever. It’s no diets or gimmicks, it’s me facing the mirror and taking a good hard look at myself. It’s hard work personal training with my brother and learning to make good, healthy choices with real food. It’s me learning to live in the world. It’s me learning to love my body for all that it is and none of what it’s not. This is me, yelling it from the top of the cliff. I am proclaiming it to the world. It will happen. And this time when the first 25 pounds comes off, I’m giving all the clothes that are too big to the homeless shelter.I will do it every 25 pounds until all I am left with are the clothes that fit who I become.

My change starts right now

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Today , I stopped over at The Curvy Girls Guide and read an article about all these brave women telling the world their weight and posting beautiful pictures of themselves. In the article Getting Real about Your Weight, I was hit immediately by how deeply I could relate to the first paragraph

“For twelve years, I have hidden my weight from my husband, refusing to step on a scale in front of him. This man sees me naked every day.  He’s been in the bathroom while I pee.  He’s held my hair while I vomited (from the flu…not tequila…give me some credit here).  He has touched every single inch of my body.  Yet, my weight has been a shameful secret.”

I have spent most of my adult life, as long as I can remember, obsessing over my weight. Always wanting to be just that 10 pounds less. I’ve been a 5 and a 20 and everywhere in between. This is not an easy thing for me to admit..or accept. I am very sensitive about my weight and have gone to extremes to keep it down. This is evidenced by the time my all consuming fear of the freshman 15 sent me into an 8 year battle with anorexia and bulimia. So obviously, when I see these women being so loud and proud. I am simultaneously impressed and proud of their courage but at the same time the thought of sharing my actual weight “in numbers” horrifies me and  I think I would avoid it at all and any costs.

But in the fall of 2009, when I was the heaviest that I have ever been, I just felt that I had to tell my husband. I know he has eyes and can see but for the same reasons that I kept my deep dark secret, I needed to be honest with him.For the 8 years that I was consumed by eating disorders, I was a liar( to myself and everyone around me..about food), a manipulator ( I could convince people that they had seen me eat, even when they had not), I was not the person that I wanted to be..aside from the body.It left me feeling guilty and shameful. They say you are only as sick as your deepest secrets, well, I needed to unburden myself of the weight secret before into sent me back into another tail spin. I had to be honest with him as a way of being completely honest and accountable to myself.

My husband knows about the history of eating disorder, he was a big catalyst for why I stopped 13 years ago. I just couldn’t face the thought of him finding out on his own and thinking I was completely crazy, or worse marrying him and getting so consumed by the disease that he lost me. Either way, I pulled a Charlie Sheen and I made the decision to stop, and I followed that by 3 years of weekly therapy. Yes, I’ve examined myself inside and out..several times.

But fall of 2009, more nervous than I was the first time I had to break the news to him that we were pregnant, I took a deep breath and I made the decision to say the number out loud. With trepidation, I uttered those three numbers.It was terrifying, sad, and scary.In that moment, I faced my biggest fear.

Now,I am working hard to get this weight off  and keep it off the healthy way with the help of Nutrisystem, this really helps me with my portion control. I am also , as an ex Weight Watcher, counting calories and watching points and getting more active. I need control of the weight. I’m not vomiting or starving myself anymore so I have to be sure that I am aware of what I allow into my body. I hate that I am this way but it’s just the way I’ve been hardwired for so long.I always say being an person who had eating disorders is like being an alcoholic, you may refrain from partaking but you have already tasted the forbidden fruit and you know that option is there..looming. I am in no danger of returning.I’m working my journey and I will get to where I feel good in my skin and then I WILL PROCLAIM MY WEIGHT WITH PICTURES AND A VLOG. But for now, I’m still a little too raw about the number on the scale, the size of the jeans, and the way my clothes hang on my body.But I will get there, not to a number…to the feeling, of comfort and grace. Curvy is beautiful but we all have a place where we need to dwell within ourselves that leaves us feeling beautiful and peaceful.This is all that I want, that’s all that anyone wants. Isn’t it?

But I wanted to point out these beautiful , brave women. Please go check out the article and leave them so me love. And if you’ve ever been where I’ve been, love yourself. You are beautiful. You are amazing!

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Well, after last weeks posts,most of you are aware that I have had some  issues with my weight. Or should I say that I have struggled with my weight since I was old enough to realize what weight and body image were.I wasn’t necessarily heavy the entire time but you remember how when you were a teenager, absolutely everything was life or death, well for me the entire focus was on my body. I had thin athletic parents and all my friends were stereo typical cheerleader types in high school.So, that made being average sized feel like I was morbidly obese, though I was not.

Then I went away to college and I was so deathly afraid of gaining the “freshman 15” that I literally started starving myself to death. Since then, its been a string of me trying to find a way to keep my body at a weight that was healthy without starving to death or restricting myself.It’s a hard balance to find.I’ve lost and I’ve gained, like most women in America. ..the world, really. You start having children and before you know it, you’ve put on a few extra pounds here, then a few more there and soon you are looking in the mirror and wondering who the hell this person staring back at you is in the mirror. Being a Mommy, I am guilty of always putting my girls first. I try to find time for me but it is truly few and far between, especially now with the Big Guy gone so much for work. A couple months ago, I decided it was time to find my way back to “me” in Mommy. I really made a concerted effort to find some me time, exercise, make myself look presentable, date nights and some of it has stuck and some has not.One of the first things I noticed  to go, as I sit here typing in my yoga pants and sweatshirt, was the taking time to get ready in the morning.Don’t get me wrong, the reminder has eliminated the yoga pants and ponytails appearance every day. But I realized as I don’t feel good in my own skin; my body isn’t where I want it to be, it has become harder to feel presentable..even in a nice dress and a hot pair of heels.

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This was in September this year on my Birthday.This is what I look like today as I start this journey!

So, I have resolved that I need to lose some weight, for me. Not for my husband or society but for me.I was joking and told my husband that I was going to call this journey my journey from hot mess to hot mommy but that’s not true. I am  NOT a hot mess. I’ve pretty much got it together,with the exception of my weight. I’m simply a woman on a journey to feel comfortable in my own skin. Lucky for me, I have been given an amazing opportunity to be a part of the Nutrisystem Nation blogging program. They have agreed to help me on my journey by providing me with the tools and convenience to reach my goal this time, in a healthy way. No, I’m not making a big reveal of my starting weight..I’m honest, not crazy, but my weight is the one thing I keep private. This is a very big deal to go public with my weight loss journey because it is the one part of my life that is usually off limits. But I trust you, you’re my friends. You’ll be supportive and that’s what I am counting on. You are my accountability.I will keep you posted once a week on my progress.

You, my friends, have been with me through the metaphorical thick and thin of my life over the past year, now I need your support in the the physical thick and thin of my life. I’m starting this journey today…right now. My plan is to combine a lot of Nutrisystem with a good amount of Zumba and a brand new perspective. I want to feel at home in my own body, not like I am visiting a strange planet. I want to be healthy,I want to be a good example for my girls.I want to be able to keep up with my 3 and 5 year old. I want to not be mortified to get in a bathing suit for swim lessons.I want to believe my husband when he tells me that I am sexy.I want the mirror to reflect someone I recognize.I want to be around for a long time to see my children grow up and have my grandchildren. I want to be comfortable in my own skin!

DISCLOSURE: Nutrisystem is providing their  program to me free of charge in exchange for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program and weekly updates. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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