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health

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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brush your teeth, teeth, brushing, toothbrush, kids

brush your teeth, teeth, brushing, toothbrush, kids

Brush Your Teeth!

Brush your Teeth,please ~The other night, my 4 year old and I were having a particularly specific conversation about the benefits of brushing your teeth. Not unlike the big reveal of the Boogie Man, I said something that went into her brain and got completely twisted. She’s not unlike her Mommy in this way. I’m pretty sure she thinks in my six degrees of separation way, as well.

It started harmless enough, my nightly, “Brush your teeth, please” before bed, was met with  a healthy dose of 4 year old, “Why?”

Me: ” You need to brush your teeth to take care of them because if you don’t, when you get old, they will all fall out!”

Her face kind of crinkled and she brushed her teeth. I didn’t even have to ask a second time for her to…

Please Brush your Teeth!

The next night, she wanted to watch a episode of H2O on Netflix. I tried to convince her to watch an episode of something I wanted to watch, I think it was Cake boss.

She answered, ” No, Mommy, you can watch what YOU want to watch when you are by yourself!”

Me, “Well, I’m never by myself.”

4 year old, “When we get big and leave.”

Me, ” Oh, so when I am old?”

Her, ” Old like GiGi ( who is 83) and Maxie ( who is 85)?”

Her face got really sad and her eyes got glassy. She was truly upset.

Her, “Mommy, Please Brush Your teeth! I don’t want you to get old and die!”

And I brushed my teeth with the supervision of one tiny concerned 4 year old who doesn’t want her Mommy to get old. Because obviously, when I explained the previous night that if you don’t brush your teeth when you get old your teeth will fall out; she heard, if you don’t brush your teeth…you will get old and die. And so I ask you for the sake of your life,

Please BRUSH YOUR TEETH!

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Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

candy for children,Candy,kids, sugar, sweets as rewards

Candy for Children as a Reward for Good Behaviors

Candy for children as rewards is like giving candy to a baby, and about as responsible. In a world where kids are being put on diets and touted as being problems for their obesity, how is it tolerated that some teachers are still using sweets as a reward system for educational accomplishments or good behavior? Are you in shock? I am and I am pissed off.

I have encountered teachers who group children into different candy groups and if they accomplish their tasks for the day, they are rewarded with that treat. The treats range from sweet sugary cereals, to skittles, M&Ms, and gummy bears to name a few. Why?

Children accumulate tickets for good behavior or good listening skills, they can then cash the tickets in for sweets or special treats like lunch with the teacher or sitting in a special place. Of course, you have to save a lot more tickets to earn the non-sugary rewards. It is almost as if the children are being encouraged to take the easy reward, the route of instant gratification. Isn’t that how we’ve gotten to the current status of obesity in this country?

Candy for Children as Rewards should be Illegal

I am not a fanatic. I do believe that kids can enjoy the occasional piece of candy, in moderation. Candy is not the devil but it is also in no way a necessity in a child’s life. Candy for children as a special treat is fine but it should not be used as a reward system and given and withheld dependent on a child’s achievements. By doing this, we are teaching children to associate food with celebrations and achievement. We are teaching our children to eat their feelings. The 6 year old buying chocolate to celebrate knowing her addition facts is the same 500 pound woman who will be drinking a 32 ounce coke in the morning to “celebrate” waking up.

From personal experience, I know how hard it is to change your path of bad eating habits once they are learned. Those children that the teacher is giving candy and pop ( oh yes, they can earn tickets for pop too! I don’t even allow my girls to have pop at home and all they need to do is earn enough tickets, for doing what  they are supposed to be doing anyways, and they can buy soda pop and candy at free will) to are being expected to have self- control that is most likely beyond their maturity level. I think it’s ridiculous. I have had to sit my daughter down and explain that she is not allowed to purchase ‘treats’ at school that she is not allowed at home. I also explained the effects that sugar has on your health, your teeth, the sugar highs and crashes, etc.

This is being done in a first grade class. What first grader do you know that  wouldn’t eat themselves sick on sugar if given the chance? I’m pissed that they are given this option. Aren’t there nutrition guidelines enforced on school lunches for this very reason? This teacher’s reward system, undermines the entire shift in nutritional focus.How would you approach the teacher? I’ve told my daughter not to take the candy and she listens. But why should she have to feel punished? I think the candy should not be an option. What do you think about candy for children as a reward system for good behavior and good grades?

Candy for Children as Rewards should not be an option

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anorexia, bulimarexia, eating disorders, national eating disorders week

Bulimarexia is an eating disorder distinguished by a combination of the symptoms prevalent in both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; develops primarily in teenage and young adult females. It is hard to treat because of having symptoms of both diseases.

Patients with bulimarexia usually have poor self-esteem and a distorted body image. Women are more likely to develop this condition. The patient engages in an aggressive campaign designed to generate weight loss and falls into a cyclical pattern of disordered eating. This can include prolonged fasting accompanied with the use of medications like diuretics to try and lose weight, followed by a binging and purging cycle where the patient eats large amounts of food and vomits.

Health risks with bulimarexia are considerable. Patients can develop organ damage as a result of the extreme stress on the body along with issues like damage to the enamel on the teeth and reduction in bone mass leading to an increased susceptibility to fractures. Comorbidities like depression can be observed and patients may overexercise, putting additional strain on the body. Patients with bulimarexia can lose weight precipitously and will still report dissatisfaction with their appearance.

Bulimarexia, eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, restriting, body image

The photo above is what it feels like to have an eating disorder diagnosis. You feel alone, sad, your life feels hazy and you become a slave to your disease. You are hungry and unsatisfied. Unsatisfied with your body and there is a hunger within that is never fulfilled. Your disease becomes all consuming.

I hear people throw around the term anorexic and bulimic with no weight. These are two very serious diseases. They are more than simply not eating or binging and purging. They are punishment for a crime we didn’t commit. We punish ourselves for eating; the very thing that is needed to sustain us. It’s self-loathing. Can you imagine how that feels? Can you imagine hating the skin you are in so much, wanting to be in control of your body so badly, that you are willing to go to any lengths and risk any consequence to have that feeling of just being normal?

I do. I had what is now referred to as Bulimarexia for 8 years. I started off like most teen girls, hypersensitive to the criticism of others because of the already established need to be perfect set forth by magazines and television. My dad made a comment in passing that I needed to “run more”. He is an avid runner. This went into my ears, entered my brain and got twisted into ” You are fat. You are not good enough. If you were thinner, you would be better. I could love you more. YOU.NEED.TO.RUN!”

I went on my first diet at 12. I think it was about 5 minutes after my dad made his comment.

This went on for about 6 years. Me fighting my body to keep my curves from becoming too pronounced. By the way, I was 5’7″ and a size 8-10 in high school. I think at my absolute heaviest in high school was about 130 pounds. I thought I was huge.

Then before I left for college, everyone I encountered reminded me of the freshman fifteen (I was too young and naive to realize that the fifteen was caused by alcohol intake, not food) and every girl we knew left thin and by Thanksgiving returned, at least fifteen pounds heavier. This scared me to death.

Aside from leaving my family for the first time ever, leaving my boyfriend, 20 poundmy friends, my hometown and going to a new city, living on my own and being completely out of my comfort zone; I felt out of control. There was no way that I was letting my weight get out of control. I had to control it. I had to control something. I restricted my calories to about 600 calories a day (max)  and proceeded to throw up everything I took in (including water) and exercise for at least 2 hours a day. I remember heading down to the dorm gym in the basement at 10 pm, alone, and not returning to my room until midnight. I did a lot of things alone in those days. This started the fall I turned 18.

This is Bulimarexia

This continued for 8 years.

I was caught by a friend of mine once the first year. My parents found out. All the baggy sweatshirts and loose jeans can’t20-poundweight loss on an already average sized body. I had to return home from school mid-semester.

Even after I was caught, I never quit the bulimarexia. By that point, it was my trusted friend. I relied upon it. It was my routine. It was my safety. I didn’t care about the ramifications. I was in too deep to stop.

I got sneakier. I learned to pretend to eat and move my food around on my plate, eat off of smaller plates. I learned how to vomit silently and hide the evidence. I learned what was easier to digest and what tasted better coming up, what got hung in your throat and what did not. I learned a lot of ways to do this that I won’t share here because it would be irresponsible for me to share the intricacies of bulimarexia with you here. I don’t know who could be reading this and I refuse to give detailed instruction on how to kill yourself.

Eventually, I allowed myself to eat more and vomit more. It became the norm for me to vomit 5 times a day; some days as many times as 10 but usually no less than 5.  I never really ever binge ate. Binging, to me, was weak. It lacked self-control. I remember being tired a lot, cold ( bad circulation and no meat on my bones), hungry (always hungry), puffy (my face would look puffy from constantly throwing up) and having scars on my hands from involuntarily biting down in the middle of a purge. Honestly, I’m surprised I have any enamel left on my teeth at all.

I remember people constantly trying to feed me and telling me that I looked sick. Most people had no idea that I had bulimarexia. I knew how to keep a secret. Every single time they said “you look like you are sick”, I felt validation..someone thought I was skinny. A concerned boyfriend once told me that I was getting too thin. I accused him of cheating. I preferred to give up the relationship with him than give up the bulimarexia. This was a serious relationship, not a casual boyfriend. It didn’t matter.

I stopped the behavior when I was 25. I will write about that in another post.

Bulimarexia makes you defensive. Starvation makes you mean. You’ll do anything to protect the disease. You take comfort in the control. I can tell you about this now because I am not that same girl. I am trying to not let my number on the scale rule my life. I’ve not starved or purged in almost 15 years. In fact, it will be 15 years this fall. I still have times when I consider it for a moment, but then I look at my daughters and I know I want to live. I want to be a good example for them and I can’t do that with disordered eating. I’m sharing this so you can understand that eating disorders are more than someone simply choosing to be skinny. They are not terms to be thrown around lightly because the weight and price of eating disorders is death. I was lucky, I survived my bulimarexia others do not.

Bulimarexia the Consequence of Impossible Standards

bulimarexia,anorexia,bulimia, eating disorders
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Sizist, Adele

Sizist, Adele

According to the Urban Dictionary, Sizist ~

The belief that body weight, size or type accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular body weight, size or type is superior to others.

A couple of years ago my 2 year old told me, upon seeing a Victoria Secret Angel commercial, “Mommy, when I grow up I want to look like her.” I was a bit taken aback. But then I thought, she’s 2! 2?

Surely, she’s seeing pretty colors on a beautiful girl dressed like a fairy. Yeah, I can see why a 2 year old who spends her days playing dress up would want to be a real life grown up fairy. It’s an easy leap to make for a 2 year old.

I didn’t think about it again. Until now.

It was one of those pieces of Mommy guilt that you put in your back pocket and wait for it to hit you upside the head at a later date. How could I explain to a 2 year old that the girl on the commercial was not real. She was a product of youth, lighting, and airbrushing? It would have been completely above her head. I knew we’d be revisiting this subject again.

Am I unwittingly instilling a sizist attitude in my girls?

My goal; to raise healthy, intelligent, happy girls who were self-confident in the skin they are in. A concept completely lost on myself.

I try to avoid the pitfall of asking “Does this make me look fat?” of the Big Guy in front of the girls. I feed them healthy food, I keep them active and I make the focus health not weight. It’s not them it’s me.

It’s my responsibility, as their mother, to guide them into a healthy lifestyle without deprivation; to lead by example. Unfortunately, I’ve not been a consistent example. I’ve been pulling the “watch Mommy workout and eat healthy” then I get stressed and it becomes “Do what I say, not as I do!

Without saying anything about body size, they see me constantly struggling to be thinner and they are forming their own opinions. I’m afraid that my girls are perceiving that there is something fundamentally wrong with not being the girl in the commercial.

Yesterday, upon seeing an overweight woman on television, my 4 year old announced “Mommy, I don’t like that woman. She’s fat! I don’t want to be fat!” Then she grabbed the skin on her tiny stomach.

I fell off my chair. A thousand questions flooded my mind.

Am I raising a sizist?

Why is she thinking about this? What’s wrong with being overweight that makes her NOT like someone simply by their size? Is she worrying about her own weight? Has she heard me say something about my own weight when I thought she wasn’t paying attention? Are my body issues genetic? Can you inherit eating disorders? Am I raising a sizist?

My head was spinning. All I could hear is my blood rushing through my body.

She.thinks.I’m.fat.

More importantly, what does this mean for her? I don’t want her to be a sizist and I certainly don’t want her to grow up to be a self-loathing overweight person. I don’t want her to think someone is less than because of the size of their body. I spent the better part of 30 minutes trying to convince her that people are not to be judged by their size and shape but by who they are on the inside. How I wish people’s insides matched their outsides, life would be so much easier. Is she a sizist?

Do all kids go through a sizist phase?

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Disfigured

Disfigured~ to impair (as in beauty) by deep and persistent injuries (real or imagined).

Disfigured

Recently, I watched a movie on Netflix called Disfigured. Disfigured was about two women, one who was severely overweight and the other anorexic. Disfigured began with a group of overweight women sitting in a circle at a meeting for a group for “fat acceptance”. This blew my mind.

Disfigured Body

As many of you are aware I have a history with eating disorders and it’s always been a battle for me to accept the skin I am in. I’m not sure that I’ve ever truly been comfortable in my own skin, it’s been more a range of tolerance. There has been times when I could tolerate the body that I live in more than others but I’ve never looked in the mirror and thought, this is good; I am happy with what I see. When I heard this group of women talking about acceptance, it was a foreign concept to me. In fact, it was so foreign that it was unbelievable.

I would love to believe that there are women out there who are overweight and are happy. Women who accept and embrace their curves. God, I hope there are. I hope there are actually women in the world who are comfortable in their own skin and love their bodies, every single inch of it.  I’m not one of them. I will probably never be one of them just because my way of looking at my body has been fucked up for so long and I have an actual diagnosis ( Body Dysmorphic Disorder) that prevents me from seeing myself as I really am. I feel disfigured at my core. I wish that I could just stop being the way I am. I’ve tried but something always creeps back in and plants a seed of doubt. Watching Disfigured was very uncomfortable for me. It’s hard to explain to you unless you’ve spent your life struggling to achieve an unattainable goal and I am sure some of you have. I feel like I have to creep up on happiness because if it sees me coming it darts off  in the opposite direction. It’s a moving target.

What transpired next was even more unbelievable to me, or believable or just too fucking relate-able. At this ” fat acceptance” group a recovering anorexic woman walked in and wanted to join the group. I completely understood this. While, I am no where near my former bulimic/anorexic self I remember well the feeling of making the choice to recover and having to face the feelings of shame, guilt, anxiety and disgust every single day that you eat normally. When you go from starving yourself, to eating anything at all, it is very uncomfortable. You feel like you are losing control and you feel shame that you can’t control yourself and you feel fat. Yes, fat. Even if you are bone thin and to everyone else you look like you need to gain weight. When you are in that part of recovery…you truly do need to learn fat acceptance.

Disfigured Soul

Of course, the anorexic walked in the room and the women who were moments earlier preaching acceptance, just as quickly threw her out. She was reaching out for help and they wouldn’t help her because she was too thin. I guess acceptance is a one way street. They wanted acceptance but only for themselves and only on their terms. This pissed me off. I have been on both sides of this spectrum and both are equally as hard, as dangerous, unhealthy and both leave you feeling ugly and disfigured.Unwanted.Unworthy of happiness. Both make you feel like you are weak. Both fill you with shame and cause your quality of life to suffer. The two main characters became an unlikey pair trying to help the other find acceptance of herself through accepting one another,even though they were one another’s biggest fear. They had everything in common even though their respective situations would lead you to believe otherwise. They both were uncomfortable in the skin they were in.

The identification with both characters had a very profound effect on me. It’s so hard to look at yourself when you are ashamed of what you see in the mirror, too fat or too skinny. It’s not physical at all, it’s all what your perception is of yourself. It’s hard to accept responsibility for making the choices that make you feel so worthless. Unhappiness with what I see in the mirror comes from putting conditions on my own happiness and hiding behind self imposed superficial limitations. The reason that I can’t be happy with my body is because I am hanging the success of my entire life on what I look like. How ridiculous is that? How has it taken me all this time to finally see what the obstacle truly is? It’s me. I need to get out of my own way.

I need to accept that I deserve all the happiness that the world has to offer. Not when I get the perfect body, the perfect life or only when what I see reflected back to me is acceptable by my impossible standards. I am good enough now! Right now. I have not thrown up or restricted my calories to dangerous levels in about 12 years but I’ve also not allowed myself to fully enjoy my journey. I have to learn to love and accept myself with the unconditional love that I have for others.

What stops you from reaching your bliss? Do you make your happiness conditional based on money? weight? your partner? your house? degrees of success? your child?  Why do we have to wait for tomorrow to enjoy our today? We have been misguided. We are not disfigured.

Disfigured Mind

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Chicago, Facebook Live, Throat Punch Thursday,Brittany Herring, Hate Crime, Donald Trump

Throat Punch Thursday~the flu,mom, parenthood

This Throat Punch brought to you by the FLU

Mama’s got the flu~ Unfortunately, today I am feeling way to ill to write my Throat Punch Thursday. The girls have been sick now for going on 3 weeks, previous to that, I had a sinus infection and it appears that the sickness has come around from behind and sucker punched me..just in time for the holidays. I’m not sure exactly what I have, but I suspect that it may be the flu. I woke up this morning with the cold sweats, a sick stomach and a headache. I basically woke up feeling as if I were in the end stages of death. Not pretty. I’m calling it the flu. Maybe it’s exhaustion coupled with something viral, maybe that nasty sinus infection is taking a new approach or maybe it’s the bubonic plague but I’ve not seen any large rats in the house so I’ m sticking with the flu. I hope you will forgive me for punking out on Throat Punch Thursday but I will still have the linky open and welcome all of you to link up. I can still read . I don’t feel much like thinking because at this point it makes my head hurt but I can read and leave comments. I can’t promise they will be coherent because of the fever and medicine. Hell, who am I kidding, I can’t guarantee they’ll be coherent on a good day with my damn six degrees of separation thing I’ve got going on but I’ll try!

I fought the Flu but the Flu won

I really wish I could muster the energy to be witty and snarkalicious about the CNN news today but I’ll leave the end of the Iraq war, Lindsey Lohan, the reasoning for the acquittal of Amanda Knox, the golden globes, the potential presidential candidates and apparently, the shocking news that Matthew McConaughey is currently bald ( who knew? who cares?) and all the rest of the world’s dumbest criminals! Have fun. Throat punch somebody this holiday season. You know you want to! All the frustration of holiday stress, this will help to relieve it!

All you have to do to link up is write a post about a situation,something or someone that you think is worthy of a throat punch. Honestly, it’s not that hard and once you start thinking about it…you’ll have more than enough worthy recipients! Then you go up here to the “buttons” tab on my blog, grab yourself a Throat Punch Thursday button and put it in your post. Then you link up. Then me & anyone who reads my blog comes and checks you out. I’ve learned from experience, the more outlandish the title..the more curious readers are, so go for broke and give me your crazy Throat Punch titles.  OK, I’m getting dizzy. I’ve got to climb back into bed.  One last thing, come back tomorrow..it’s fashion haul Friday and I am giving away an awesome $100 gift certificate to one lucky The TRUTH about Motherhood reader. The post is already written, so even if I die of this plague…the Big Guy has been given strict instructions to continue on with the giveaway  and give one of you a prize posthumously on my behalf. I’m a giver even from beyond. Oye, I’m getting delirious.

Throat Punching the Flu on behalf of all You Good People

So link up to Throat Punch Thursday! Do it for the children! Don’t let the flu win!

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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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