Those of us in love (yes, actual yearning love) with fashion are constantly faced with the newest things that we'd love to get our hands on. Oh, what I wouldn't give to have a chic mid-length faux-fur winter coat, a pair of fabulous booties, a few more dressy tops, and of course, the love of my life, my obsession... the classic Chanel quilted handbag.
But that's just it. Sometimes you can't just 'give anything' to buy new clothing, accessories, or the like, and you have to get creative. One of the cheapest, most fun and rewarding ways to acquire new looks is to hunt for them in your own closet. However, it does make things easier if you generally stick to buying simple pieces that you can add onto.
Here are 10 great building blocks for an easy-to-assemble wardrobe:
1. Dark skinny jeans (You can dress these up with a hot top and heels, or dress them down with an oversized sweatshirt and sneakers)
2. A shrunken jacket in any color, but black works best (Throw it over a tank to stay warm and chic when going out, or wear it over a men's shirt tucked into a pencil skirt for work)
3. A variety of scarves (Very user friendly)
4. A pair of hot black heels
5. A pair of black flat riding boots
6. A pair of funky flats (leopard or zebra print, anyone?!)
7. A few plain-colored tank tops- black, white, royal blue, etc... (Just like the skinny jeans, you can dress these up or down)
8. A few go-to accessories: a long necklace, pretty dangly earrings, a cute headband, a silver cuff bracelet, a couple of belts (Sometimes accessories can truly make an outfit)
9. A functional but cute all-purpose purse, and a fun and sparkly 'going out' purse
10. A little black dress (LBD) (A staple!)
You now know most of my fashion-jedi tricks... use them wisely, young one!
So, that brings me to New Year's Eve 2011. We have plans to go out with a group of friends, and I've never ever gone out for New Year's before (Can you believe it?!). I am SO EXCITED (!!!!!!).
What will I wear?!
At first I thought, well, of course, I'll just go out and get a new party dress. Then I started reevaluating... do I really need another dress? If I get a new dress I may be tempted to get new shoes and accessories... do I really want to spend a bunch of money just to get dressed for NYE?
For a few days the shopping-obsessed devil and the money-concious angel on my shoulders duked it out. And now I'm proud to announce that the angel won. :) So, I went shopping in my closet, and utilized rule #10.
I bought a cute little black dress about a year ago and have only worn it once. After a little bit of outfit experimentation, I put together two outfits:
LBD with black rhinestone belt. Accessorized with rhinestone black pumps and a chunky necklace. Hair pulled into a simple pony tail to highlight the statement necklace.
Necklace: Ann Taylor Loft
Belt & Dress: Not sure
Very simple. LBD accessorized with funky belt and black rhinestone pumps. Hair is worn half up. No accessories as to not complete with the hair and the ruffles of the dress.
Dress: Not sure
Belt: Forever 21
After putting together both outfits I decided that I'm most likely going to wear look #1. It's a little bit more fun and a little more NYE.
So, tell me:
Are you doing anything for NYE?
Do you know what you're going to wear?
Do you shop out of your own closet for a special occasion or do you hit up the mall for a new outfit?
I haven't been to the gym since before Thanksgiving. While I've been practicing intuitive eating and not feeling as frantic about food and weight, something has been off with my emotional well-being. I've been getting up later than usual, sleeping more, and have been feeling generally cranky and 'under the weather'.
Could it be because I haven't been going to the gym? I was so used to getting exercise about 3X a week, and ever since I haven't been going I feel a change in my overall attitude. Things that normally wouldn't bother me are intensely affecting me. I feel a lot less accomplished and a lot more 'blue'.
The reason I stopped going to the gym in the first place was because I wanted to lose some unwanted muscle mass, and so I could recalibrate my body. Now I'm finding that I'm missing the tense muscles and the mental euphoria that I got from working out.
I really do think the change in my state of mind is because I haven't gotten exercise. So maybe all of the studies about exercise as a mood elevator and stabilizer are true?
It's just kind of weird/crazy/cool to see the phenomenon within yourself.
I'm a human guinea pig!
Tonight we're going out for a friend's birthday party. Which to me says: "Yay! Friends!", and then "Yay! What am I gonna wear?!?!".
I love love loooove boots. I have pink ones, blue ones, black ones, new ones... okay okay, I'll stop with the rhyming. =P
And since it's super cold out here, I wanted something that I would be warm in. I chose to wear the following ensemble:
-Beaded lace black tank (Express)
-Long black sweater (Forever21)
-Checkered tights (Target...I think)
-Royal blue boots (Journey's)
-Silver ring (Picked up in travels!)
-Big hoop earrings (Forever21)
Every time I put an outfit together, I start with one piece and build it from there. I chose the black sweater because it was cozy and warm, but cute at the same time. Then I added the tights because they were a little bit funky, and the boots were just begging to be added to the look.
I am a big believer of having a signature focal point to an outfit. If you're wearing all black, then something in your outfit must pop-- whether it's a long beaded pearl necklace, a funky headpiece, or some crazy colored boots. ;) Sometimes my 'pops' are a little unconventional, and sometimes my fashion choices don't work out and I end up looking a little nutty. But if you can't have fun with fashion, then what's the point?!
As always, I'm posting pix, but please excuse the no make-up and scraggly hair! I wanted to figure out what I would wear before I got all ready, and I knew I wouldn't have time to take pix after I got ready tonight--since we're leaving as soon as J gets home.
Side note... I wish that I had a more appealing place to take these pix... but until then, we're stuck with ugly curtains and a cute Christmas tree. :)
These boots are bluer than Smurfette!
These hoop earrings are fun-they have a little bit of a sparkly design woven into them
If you have a Mac you know why the letters on my shirt are backward in the pic. =P
I wanted to give you guys an update on my intuitive eating, etc. Things are going pretty well with it-- which is awesome!
We traveled to Illinois this weekend and spent the weekend with J's family. We went out to eat a couple of times and we had ice cream for J's brother's birthday. I ate when I was hungry, and didn't eat when I wasn't. Imagine that! I felt good about myself. Food and my body were not the #1 thing on my mind. Whoa.
I've been eating sensibly, but on Monday I was craving fatty foods all day. So I asked J to bring home some fried chicken (which I never eat! lol), and we had chicken, a little pizza, and ice cream for dessert. I was very content. Yesterday I ate sensibly again because I didn't have any cravings in particular.
I haven't weighed myself since last week because 1. I chucked my scale years ago. And 2. I don't really care. I'm fitting into all my clothes the way I want to be. As I said in my last post, I've lost most of the unwanted muscle mass I'd gained from lifting since I haven't been to the gym in the last three weeks (and I haven't lifted in 4 weeks). I am feeling very much at ease about my weight, my body, and my overall body image.
But, beyond that, I'm happy with my state of mind right now. I haven't been obsessing over food, tugging at my skin, or worrying about my next workout. Simply said, I'm taking it easy. However, I do need to get back to the gym at least a couple of times a week. I miss it! But the lazy bug has taken over, and it's so so so cold outside (right now it's 24 deg F, and that's the highest it's been in the last few days!).
Anyway, I'm sending you all lots of hugs, and of course I'm keeping up with all of your lovely posts.
Apparently I'm in a posting mood today! We'll just say I'm making up for not posting in the last two weeks. :) This will be a fun post to balance out the seriousity (made up word... if you've seen Wicked you'll get it) of my previous post.
It's almost Christmas!! We've decked our house in Christmas decorations, and our place looks really festive.
Found these little guys at the Dollar Store. Aren't they cute?!
Christmas tree with presents for our family. Oh, and lets not forget the kitties' stocking!
J and I decided that our Christmas present to each other this year would be to see Wicked (a musical), and to go out to a nice dinner. I was super excited about both, but especially psyched to see Wicked, as it was yesterday. Well, it was flat out A-MAZING!!! It was so fun, and magical, and just perfect. We had a great time, and I'm so glad we decided to go. What a great Christmas gift! Since it was on a Thursday night, we couldn't make it to dinner before hand. So, we're doing the dinner next Saturday. :)
What's fabulous about nights out like this is that I get to get all dressed up. And you all know how I love to do that! It was freezing here, so I opted for a thin black turtle neck (Forever21), some sheer jet-black tights (Target), a bouncy short zebra print skirt (Express), and fun open toe booties/heels (Payless).
I opted to wear my hair in low bun because I didn't want to take away from the sleekness of the turtleneck. I popped in a couple of playful pins for some extra flair (Forever21). I went very simple on the make-up because I didn't have much time. I already had pencil eye liner on, so I just traced over it with black liquid liner, powdered my face, added some bronzer and blush, and put on my never-been-used Chanel Rouge Allure lipstick in Lover. Mmmm Chanel <3
Overall, I liked my look, and I shouldn't have had a problem staying warm. However, the theatre was FREEZING!
My quick-chic bun. I tucked that little piece under before we left.
I must say, the show was EPIC. Absolutely fantastic. The clever story, the fantastical costumes, the breathtaking voices! We were floored.
On another note, for those of you who have seen Wicked.... We realized yesterday that I have a lot in common with the Glinda character. Haha! It's true, I'm peppy, energetic, outgoing, with a side of nutty thrown in. *Toss, toss, hehehehe*
What are your Christmas plans? What did you ask Santa for? ;)
This past year has been one of the most challenging years in my life. I began exercising regularly, eating a lot more, and battled with being 'okay' with the way my body looked.
My recovery was self-proclaimed. I'm not even sure why I began calling it recovery. I wasn't underweight, I didn't need to gain weight, but I did have ED thoughts. It was easier to call it recovery. In fact, I think I got into it because I really just wanted to start to exercise and tone up my body. And I realized that since I was working out a lot, I needed to eat more. So, I decided to go full hog on this concept that I created for myself.
My body changed with the exercise. Although my legs and butt toned up, I became 'fuller' looking. This was really difficult for me to handle. Since I was eating more, I felt a moral obligation to workout at least three times a week; and when I didn't, I scolded myself.
I also felt an obligation to eat more, not caring if I was hungry or not. I was in recovery, right? I started planning my meals down to the apple that I ate for a snack. I was so continuously obsessed with my food choices, and constantly thought about what I was going to eat and my next meal. (Which is quite ironic, given the fact that I was trying to get *over* my ED thoughts.)
And then there was the weight gain. Let me put it this way, I hadn't fluctuated in weight more than two pounds in four years. Going upwards of the high end of my happy weight was no treat. It sucked. It was terrifying. Especially given the fact that I was never underweight. Not one doctor ever told me to gain. Never was I classified as 'anorexic', and not once did I go a day without eating. I never purged by throwing up or by using exercise. I probably never ate less than 1,200 calories a day (except here, which actually happened as a cause of my attempted 'recovery').
But the real devil of the past year of 'recovery' has been that I became even more obsessed with food than I ever was. Thanksgiving was great, but in reality, I don't think or eat like that under most circumstances. Ever since I started 'recovery' I've obsessed over food and exercise more than I ever have.
Lets not forget that my ED began with Binge Eating Disorder (BED). The truth is, I've never binged as much as I have in the process of 'recovery' (well, since my BED days). The reason that I have had so many bingeing episodes is because I'm constantly thinking about and stressed over food, all of which leads to bingeing. I'm constantly telling myself that"I'm in recovery"and I need to eat. Really though, do I need to eat more? I don't need to medically gain weight.
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving I was weighed at the doctor's office. I weighed in at 116.8 pounds, four pounds over what my usual recovery weight had become, and eight pounds over my happy weight. My mind reeled, but at the same time I kept my day going. I went shopping, I did this and that, and tried to push my weight thoughts out of my mind. Truthfully though, I was beyond annoyed with myself and my weight, and the fact that I had basically had a three-day binge on Thanksgiving. All I could think about was the fact that I hadn't been this self-concious about my body or my eating habits or my exercise routines EVER. And I had never been this continuously unhappy with my body.
Was it my attempt at 'recovery' that was driving me insane? Why was I more fixated on my body image and weight than ever before? Why did I have to plan every meal way ahead of time and stress out about food? Why was I not flexible when it came to food choices? Why did I have to eat out of habit, and even when I wasn't hungry? Why did I have to have a chocolate-y snack after dinner even if I was stuffed? Why did I have to work out 3-4 times a week? Why did I constantly feel like I was losing self control?
Why was I SO obsessed with diet and exercise in my attempted recovery? Can I even call it recovery?
Thanksgiving was two weeks ago, and since then I've tried my hand at... drumroll please.... intuitive eating. Needless to say, I like it. I eat when I'm hungry, and don't when I'm not. I eat what I want--I was sick last week and made a huge pot of delicious thick soup and ate it four out of seven nights. Yesterday I had fruit, cheese and nuts for lunch. And last night we went to see Wicked (!!!), and we came home afterwards and ate Burger King. We were hungry and it was 11 o'clock. It hit the spot. On top of that, I haven't been to the gym since before Thanksgiving. I feel a little guilty, but not too much.
And you know what else happened since after Thanksgiving? I lost five pounds. I debated about putting anything about weight loss on here (I don't want to trigger any of you Loves), but it pertains to the topic, so I apologize in advice. Okay, wait a tick- I followed my hunger cues, didn't go to the gym, and my weight evened out and I'm happier with my body (remember this post about the gym making me look 'thick', well I don't feel as thick since I haven't been working out my muscles as much)? Maybe intuitive eating and exercising is something to hold on to...
I wonder... has my head dive into this self proclaimed 'recovery' really sent me into a more obsessive form of ED? Maybe if I stop making such a HUGE deal about it, and about planning meals and working out I would be happier? Maybe if I stopped obsessing over 'recovery, ED, recovery, I have ED!", that could that be my real recovery?
This Thanksgiving was the most interesting Thanksgiving I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Not only did we drive 12 hours to Kansas to visit J's aunt, and drive back a day and half later; I also encountered a lot of ED issues that came up. Surprisingly, I dealt with them all. I dealt with my issues and didn't make excuses for 'living' and having fun because I 'felt fat', or something of that nature.
So, what am I really talking about?
What I'm talking about is the fact that I practically ate my own weight at Thanksgiving this year. I don't know why. Well, I do. There was SO MUCH delicious food. Food was everywhere. And everyone kept eating eating eating. I guess I just followed the herd.
I ate like jabba the hut for three days straight. There food was so enticing, and it was just sitting there taunting me. Turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and cannolis and pie and ice cream and whipped cream and creme brulee ....
I was having so much fun with everyone-- talking and eating and eating and talking. Even though I knew that I would regret eating so much after Thanksgiving I didn't stop. Why? I don't know. And even though I could practically feel myself getting fat, I didn't retreat in a corner and ask J if we could leave Kansas earlier because I couldn't handle myself around the food and I couldn't risk getting fat.
I ate, I talked, and I put on my jeans and enjoyed Thanksgiving.
No one there would care if my jeans looked a little too snug. And I was just so happy to be around family. To be around art (J's aunt is an artist), to be crafting (I made a really pretty bracelet- and no, I'm not tooting my own horn. It looks professional! :), to be discussing life, to let myself be free of my constraints. It was quite a phenomenal experience. Even right now I can't describe why I'm not (totally) freaking out about the amount of food I consumed.
I came home from Kansas, looked in the mirror, and acknowledged that I looked a little bit more round. Then I put on a tight pair of leggings and a form fitting sparkly sweater, and got ready to attend J's ten year high school reunion. <--This was a HUGE out-of-character move for me. Usually after eating so terribly I feel so awful about myself that I lock myself away from anyone but J for a couple of days. But on Saturday, I said fuck this. I acknowledged my 'chubby' feelings, took a shower, did my hair, put on make-up and my outfit, and went to the reunion.
I had an amazing time. And I felt pretty good about myself. J proudly introduced me to the people that I didn't know, and I had long chats with people that I did know. It was great. If I had listened to my ED thoughts and my body images issues I would have been at home watching TV while hating myself for eating so much during Thanksgiving. I would have sat alone at home and scolded myself over and over again. But I didn't, and that's an extraordinary feat in and of itself.
On top of being thankful for an amazing Love, fabulous family and friends, our health and our happiness; this Thanksgiving, I am so incredibly thankful for the change of attitude that I was blessed with.
I'm not really religious, but I kind of want to end this post with 'Amen'.
Here are some pictures from the day. I wish I could post more, but I try to not post pictures with J in them out of respect for his online privacy, and he was in most of the pictures.
So you're stuck with pix of me! =P
This is Solstice. He is part Bengal!
This is what we feasted on for 2 days.
Yes, I ate everything on this table. Multiple times.
Their property was beautiful!
I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. :)
I exercise about 3 times a week. I do 10 minutes on the elliptical on high resistance, 20 minutes walking at a 4.3 mi/hr pace on the highest incline, 10 minutes of ab-work, and 20 minutes on a few different leg machines to work my outer thighs, inner thighs, quads, glutes, etc.
My legs have sort of toned up. However, my ass has gotten really round. Way too big for my liking. And my thighs have grown in mass.
How do I do the OPPOSITE of this?
I want my legs to be streamlined and fit; not chunky and big.
Should I cut out the weight training? Let up on the glute machine?
I have been getting quite a few questions of 'what happened' to me on FB and the reasoning behind why I deleted some of you off my FB account. I want to give you an explanation, so here goes...
If you've been following my blog you know that I've had ED flare-ups the past couple of weeks. After one very bad flare up I decided that FB may be a little bit of a trigger for my ED. I want to assure you all that it was nothing that anyone said, and nothing that anyone did. I think you are all lovely people, and I'm so sorry if I upset anyone.
I started noticing a trend of negativity within myself that was somewhat triggering my ED. I realized that I spent way too much time on FB and on WB/TN-- observing other people's lives, listening to other people's rants. And I didn't like how it was affecting me.
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I basically went on a deleting spree to lessen my self-produced FB anxiety. I deleted almost everyone I knew off WB/TN (not in real life), and I also deleted WB/TN.
Now, I've actually decided to de-activate my FB account for a while so that I can focus on my thesis and other things.
I just wanted to let you all know that I'm OK, and to apologize for upsetting anyone over getting deleted. I really meant no harm by it, and it absolutely wasn't personal. It was just one of those things that I had to do for myself.
Right now I want to experience a lot more real life than online life. I mean it when I say that I will miss knowing what's going on in your lives. But, I have to focus on myself and other things right now, and it's very difficult for me to do that while I'm on FB constantly.
That being said, I will still keep up with my blog, as it is a positive form of self expression. And if I stopped following your blog it's not because I was offended by what you wrote or anything like that. I just decided to keep most of the blogs that I follow to ED recovery/health/fashion related ones, etc.
Again, I really hope that I didn't upset anyone, as it was definitely not my goal.
After having a great work out at the gym after J got out of work, we contemplated our dinner choices. We'd eaten at home the past couple of nights, so I suggested that we eat out somewhere. J agreed, and we decided that we would grab sandwiches.
To me, sandwiches are usually a safe food choice. At most sub shops I can build my own sandwich and order the 'healthiest' options, which cause me the least anxiety. Such was the case last night, or so I thought...
We pulled up to Blimpie's (I've never actually been there!), but two doors down was a local sub shop that looked pretty neat. So, we decided to eat there.
Well, one glance at the menu and sweat starting building at various places on my body. No where in sight did they have a 'healthy' and simple Turkey-lettuce-tomato On Wheat. Every one of their sandwich choices were very creative specialty creations topped with sauces. And for the sides you had a choice of chips, potato salad, or cole-slaw. What was that-- Fat, fat, and fat?
I think I must have looked like a deer in the headlights because J asked me if I was "Okay?" and if I wanted to eat there. I mumbled something about not being able to find anything healthy on the menu. Meanwhile, my stomach rumbled with protest. So I listened to my stomach, and told him it was okay to eat there.
I ordered something that sounded amazingly delicious: turkey, cheese, avocado, mayo, on a ciabatta roll, with a side of potato salad. Now let me interject to tell you something silly: I had to ask the sandwich guy what a ciabatta roll was.
Do you know why I don't know what a ciabatta roll is? Because I am so petrified of secret fat and calories that I have never veered past white and wheat bread. I know. Ridiculous.
Regardless of my knowledge in bread, the sandwich was amazing! Eating it was like goodness wrapped up in deliciousness wrapped up in love. And you know what I did after? I asked J to stop at Subway so that we could get a couple of cookies for dessert.
I'm proud to say that I handled eating out pretty well this time around.
Tell me, how do you handle eating outside of your home?
The one piece of clothing that can actually arise a myriad of emotions. Some swear by their easy utility and the idea that you can dress them up and dress them down. And some bolt in the opposite direction. (As is the case with a friend of mine who literally did not done a pair of jeans for five years. FIVE years!)
Regardless of the feeling that the J-word gives you, jeans are a practical fashion must-have and a staple in many wardrobes. The proper pair of jeans can make you go from frump to fashionista.
And we are in luck because many different types of jeans are 'in' right now. Countless options are available to our fashion interpretation: wide legs, flares, skinnies, jeggings, cargos, cropped jeans, jean shorts, and much more. Jeans can be worn in every which way, while making a bold fashion statement!
Remember the 90's? If you didn't wear nice flared jeans you may as well not have left your house until the pair from Abercrombie arrived at the door. And nice jeans that were acceptable were so incredibly expensive as we didn't have the option of affordable stores like Forever21.
Now, rocking various types of jeans is justifiable and fun!
With the arrival of Fall and the emergence of your warmer wardrobe comes the big question. "How should I wear my jeans this season?"
Two huge jean trends this season are dressed up jean shorts, and jeggings tucked into ankle boots.
Both looks are very edgy and tend to be tricky. You don't want to look disproportioned while wearing your tightest jeggings with blocky ankle boots. And you certainly don't want to wear your jean shorts and look like you forgot what season it is.
Here are some fabulous ways to wear the two looks. And remember to always be confident of your outfit and carry yourself proudly; as that is truly the secret to rocking any look. ;)
Having recently moved to the colder side of Michigan, I have found myself to be constantly even colder than I usually am. I spend a lot of my day looking like this:
And when that blanket action isn't enough, I take it a step further, and look like this:
^This is the level of coldness I am at while I'm typing right now.^
My point is that I can handle being cold; I can pile on the sweaters, walk around with a blanket, or even turn up the heat. (I'm trying to control the latter option because if it were up to me I'd have the thermostat at 78 degrees year-round. Sure, the heat bill would be $200/month, but I'd be warm. =P )
But a feeling that I can't handle is the feeling that I had at the gym last Saturday-- the uncontrollable itching I got from working myself into an ED frenzy.
What's interesting is that even when I'd calmed myself down, I gave myself a different kind of anxiety. I was scared that now every time I go to the gym I would work myself up, start itching like crazy, and have to leave.
I was afraid that I would never be able to work out again.
I know.Dramatic much?
So, I skipped going back to the gym until yesterday. But, I said what the hell; I won't know until I try again. And so I went back to the gym yesterday. And.....
I had a great workout! No itching! No anxiety!
I cannot tell you how relieved I am that I was able to work out like 'normal'. It's a blessing.
Before I begin, I want to thank all of you for your warm thoughts on my last post. You are all so helpful and amazing, and it makes me feel like I have very strong troops on my side in this ED recovery journey.
After spending a weekend deep in self-contemplation, I have quite a few thoughts to share.
I don't really know where to begin exactly... so, this post may jump around a bit. For that, I apologize. This post may also be extensively lengthy. For that, I do not apologize! :) I think it has a lot of good bits, and I have divided my thoughts into two sections: 'Opting Out' and 'Giving Myself a Break'.
After the Saturday Gym Fiasco, J and I spent a great amount of time discussing what happened. Sometimes when I start discussing my ED and my ED thoughts with someone that I really trust, I get verbal diarrhea. Sometimes I even impress myself with my insight into myself and my own thoughts. (Imagine that! I actually know what's going on within myself? Get out!)
You know the cliche about being able to fix yourself better than anybody can? Well, from time to time, I really think that it's true.
Well, in order to fully describe all the ideas that I came up with I have to tell you what we did on Saturday after The Gym Fiasco. We came home, I cried and cried and cried and had word vomit and cried some more. Then I fell asleep on the couch for two whole hours.
I woke up, and it was 6 pm. J was being his usual cheery self (God, I LOVE this man!), even though I had once again taken out all my crazy on him. We decided to go on a walk to make me feel better. We talked as we walked for over an hour. And he was right, it did make me feel better.
When we got home we decided to go get Thai food because it sounded good, and we were still trying to get me to feel better.
But, before we left the house I caught the beginning of this local TV special about youth and the pressures of today. The show was obviously meant for parents of teens, but I thought it sounded very interesting, so I decided to DVR it.
We went out to dinner-in sweats; because my self-image was down the drain, and I didn't want to even try to put on a pair of jeans (it could lead to copious amounts of tugging at myself and at my skin and a lot of 'these fit just fine before today! I am DISGUSTING!').
So, we're out at dinner, in sweats, and we had delicious Thai food. J really wanted to go see a scary movie, and I of course, didn't. There are many reasons why I can't watch horror movies; the number one reason being that I'm a huge wuss, with a wild imagination. But just because I can't/won't see scary movies doesn't mean that J shouldn't be able to (I mean, it was Halloween weekend!). So I told him to drop me off at home, and he could go. (Later he would come home full of equal amounts of enjoyment and pure terror, holding a cherry smoothie from Steak & Shake, because he needed something to 'calm him down'-- Haha!)
Once J dropped me off, I turned on the DVR and pressed play on the program I had recorded.
The show was about all of the pressures that are facing the youth of today. It talked a lot about social networking sites, and how the way that we are instantly connected to people via on-line life (versus real life), is something completely different than what our parents had to deal with.
There are so many new and different social pressures, online and in real life, and this has led to a monumental rise in depression and anxiety. The internet, and especially social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, are great places to connect with people, but they are also breeding grounds for comparison and competition. And constant comparison can lead to a persistent feeling of not being as accomplished, good, cool, or 'as together' as others.
The TV program talked about how social networking sites allow people to post the" best" of themselves. On the internet anybody can "look" popular, well-liked, rich, and famous. These sites give anybody the ability to post pictures, status messages, and comments that can reflect an image of themselves that may or may not be true in real life.
These points are all very valid points and made for a tremendously eye-opening segment. However, where the program failed was in presenting some 'coping' suggestions.
Have you ever watched or read something, and thought "Holy crap! They're talking about me!I know exactly what that feels like." ? Have you ever felt like you have thought the same thoughts, but you'd never been able to verbalize them?
Well, that's how I felt while viewing this show. Let me explain.
I have always had somewhat obsessive tendencies, and I have a moderately addictive personality. Add my eating disorder on top these wonderfully kooky traits, and it's a big fat mess.
I am constantly comparing myself to people, whether I want to or not.
"She's in medical school, and I just went to grad school. Am I a loser?"
"She got a 4.0 and I got a 3.5. Wtf is wrong with me? Why can't I pull a 4.0? I know she's not that much smarter than me."
"She look like she's lost weight. Why haven't I lost weight? MOTHER FUCKER. I THINK SHE'S SKINNER THAN ME NOW. This can't be happening. I NEED to be skinnier than her. I can't lose this battle. I can't stand that she's skinnier than me. Omg I'm becoming a fat ass. I'm not as good. If I'm not thin, I'm not good enough. Bla blabla blabla"
The last point is a thought I battle every.single.day. And the subject of my emotional crucifixion doesn't even have to be anyone I know. It can be a random person at a coffee shop.
I constantly compare myself, my weight, my everything to people; and though these thoughts can pop up at any time,social networking sites only aid in my torment. I try, I really do, to not compare myself to others (especially when it comes to body issues), but I always end up with terrible thoughts running through my head telling me that I'm just not good enough until I have ThePERFECTBODY.
Ugh. It's exhausting. As if having a body that is as firm as Barbie's plastic parts will somehow make me happy. It won't. I know it won't because even when I was at my lowest weight there were things I didn't like about my body. Even at my lowest weight I wasn't happy.
Nothing is ever good enough for ED.
So, what am I trying to say with all of this rambling?
I'm taking a hiatus from Facebook because I think it's exasperating my ED thoughts. I came to a realization that I'm sick of looking at other people's lives and of knowing what's going to with their day-to-day activities. I'm tired of getting updates that almost instantly make me compare my life/body/etc to them. I really could care less if they are going shopping with their "BESTEST friend in the whole wide world" and they are 'SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!'. I don't want to know if you lost five pounds, or if you're hitting the gym up yet again. Although I am guilty of posting statuses about the gym, apparently I can't handle it when I know that other people are at the gym and I'm not.... "I'm LOSING!".
Clearly, Facebook gives me anxiety.
I'm simply opting out of getting unnecessary updates on people that I don't really care (in the nicest way possible) about. I can keep up with the ones that I care about in other ways. I'm sure I'll get on and check things every once in a while, but I won't go on it out of boredom. I have other things I can do.
I believe that opting out of my need to compare myself/life to the lives of other people online will lessen my anxiety. It will take away a towering form of self-punishment.
Giving Myself a Break:
In addition to Opting Out, I've decided to give myself a break. I've decided to stop berating myself. I've decided to stop yelling at my body. I've decided to love myself.
I know that all of these should be a given, but for me they're not. I need to be OK with having days that I don't feel like I look thin. I need to be OK with the fact that I have curves. I need to look at myself and be happy with what I see- because in all reality, there is nothing wrong with me. I need to stop equating the way I look to my value as a person.
I'm also going to try to go back to intuitive eating, and I'm going to work hard at learning to not spend so much time and energy thinking about and planning my food intake. It's seriously exhausting, and it's detrimental to my health and mental well-being.
I went to the library today and checked out two books on ED recovery. Maybe those will help. Maybe not. I know that I have the formula for how to overcome this disorder within myself. I just need to keep trying.
Today I had what I believe was an allergic reaction caused by my ED.
Here's how it started....
We went to the gym, after not going for about a week. I felt kind of down on myself and chubby. I decided that it would be a great idea to get on the scale for the first time since, like, July; just to prove to myself that the weight gain was in my head.
Well, it wasn't. 114 stared right back at me.
I started freaking out. I wasn't prepared for that number. It was about 3 more pounds than I was hoping for.
I freak out.
I freak out.
I get on the elliptical.
I'm freaking out.
I call J over to talk with me while I'm on the elliptical. I tell him I'm flipping out. I'm almost hyperventilating. My heart is beating fast. There is a lump in my throat. I feel like I'm about to burst into tears.
We talk for 10 minutes about how weight is just a number, and 114 is nothing, and my weight shouldn't dictate my self-worth, etc.
I think I'm ok, and I get on the treadmill. I do my normal work-out of walking at a very fast pace at the highest incline, and my legs start to itch.
They itch so much. They itch so much. My legs are burning.
MY LEGS ARE ON FIRE!
I scratch my legs, but the itch gets worse. Finally, I went off the treadmill, went to the locker room, and put generic locker-room lotion on them. They burned even more.
I put my own lotion on them. Better. But not by much.
I catch my reflection in the mirror. I look bigger. I know I look bigger. Jesus. I'm getting fat.
I start freaking out again. My legs itch. My legs itch so bad. I still have 40 minutes of my work out left. But I can't stay. There's no way I can get through this burning itch and work out.
I tell J we have to leave because I can't work out anymore. We come home and I take a benadryl.
I feel numb. I'm freezing. I'm wrapped up in a blanket. J is trying to have normal conversation with me, and I just can't. I'm trying to understand. I'm trying to not think of anything.
Could my freaking out have caused an allergic reaction within my body?
Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the fantastical decorations, the candy, the pumpkins, and especially the costumes. (Yes, I'm 26 and still get giddy about dressing up!)
Every year I have my costume planned well ahead of time; sometimes I'll even wear two costumes per year. And it's hardly ever something that I buy at the store. I like to make my Halloween costumes the old fashioned way... putting together pieces that come right out of my closet! (Sometimes given a boost with a few odds and ends bought from a costume shop)
But, with all of the things that were going on this year I didn't really think about my costume at all. I wasn't even sure if we were going to do anything for it. But, J found this fantastic event for us to go to on Halloween weekend: a Monster Bash themed Murder Mystery at a castle!
We even get to dress up!
I had to scramble to come up with ideas, and was contemplating a few possible outfits. But, tonight, I randomly came up with another costume idea, and this one really takes the cake!
Here are some pictures of my Halloween costumes throughout the last few years. I will put up a teaser of this year's Halloween costume at the end! (To be revealed in full after Halloween)
Halloween 2008::Minnie Mouse
Halloween 2008::Santa's Helper
Halloween 2009::Morticia Addams
Drum roll please..... part of my Halloween 2010 costume.