Outside influences on body image

Body image issues can begin anywhere.

Maybe it was your well-meaning dad who suggested you back off from seconds at Thanksgiving one year — and you never forgot it.

Maybe it was your thin older sister who was constantly dieting, making you feel uncomfortable for every bite you took.

Maybe it was seeing your mom pinching her hips in the mirror every morning or stepping on the scale multiple times a day. Continue reading “Outside influences on body image”

And THIS is why [some] women have issues …

Last night I was watching my guilty pleasure, Kim and Kourtney Take Miami. In the episode, Scott is bitching about his baby mama Kourtney’s post-body baby, comparing this post-partum body to her last post-partum baby … He talks about her “bangin’ bikini bod” when they first met and how she looked soooooo hot then.

She looks absolutely disgusted as he rants about how she needs to lose weight, would look better slimmer, etc. Then, he has the audacity to ask how much she weighed when they began dating and she said, “I don’t know, maybe 95 lbs?”

“93 sounds perfect to me,” the jerk had the balls to assert. Continue reading “And THIS is why [some] women have issues …”

Saying “No” to Anderson …

Holy SMOKES.

Today, the most crazy thing happened: Anderson Cooper’s talent people found my blog and asked if I’d be interested in flying to NY to do a future segment on night-time eating disorders.

And I had to say no. Continue reading “Saying “No” to Anderson …”

Choose Happy

This came through my Facebook news feed and my wheels got turning.

Contrary to what fairy tales and media influences might tell you, happiness doesn’t just “happen.” It’s a choice. A conscious decision.

A choice we make each day when we wake up; a choice we make when we decide how to react to certain information/situations; a choice we make before we go to sleep each night. Much of what I learned during my year of cognitive behavioral therapy was related to this: how we can control not only our actions, but our reactions to situations/people/circumstances.

And though it isn’t always easy, and sometimes it’s wholly appropriate to drown our sorrows in a bottle of Malibu rum (not that I’ve ever done THAT … haha — flashbacks to my earth-shattering at the time freshman year break-up …) or several pints of Ben and Jerry’s (did anyone else see this supremely awkward Daily Show interview with Robert Pattinson the other night?!) …  The thing is, we’re entitled to grieve, mourn, be angry … but when all is said and done, we can still choose the “happy route.”

Continue reading “Choose Happy”

To Buy or Not to Buy [a scale] …

That is the question.

I haven’t stepped on the scale in about two months now — and lord knows I ought to (I’ve been eating a ton of extra Points per week + travel + minimal workouts).

But when I finally mustered up the courage to check on the damage this week [yes, I am deliberately choosing “damage”], I was greeted with a big fat nothing: our scale was broken.

I’ve had this particular scale since 2006, so it has had a pretty long shelf-life … but we keep it in the bathroom and, well, moisture + electronics don’t tend to go hand in hand. In other words, it was bound to die at some point … I just didn’t expect it to be now — when I actually wanted to see where I stood!

Le sigh. Continue reading “To Buy or Not to Buy [a scale] …”

From “Disordered” to “(Recovering) Disordered” to “Recovered Disordered”

My blog has gone through many changes in the nearly three years I’ve been writing (click here for my first post!). While I’ve undergone many physical and emotional changes in that time, the title of this post expresses the surface changes. (And once I can figure out how to edit my darn blog’s custom header I will!)

What does it mean to be “recovered”? I used to question this all the time, and still do.

Let’s look at the facts:

-I’m not chewing/spitting.

-I’m not over-exercising.

-I’m not waking and, half-asleep, eating in the middle of the night.

Those were the methods of my madness, er, disorderedness.

They are in my past. Continue reading “From “Disordered” to “(Recovering) Disordered” to “Recovered Disordered””

Pink’s New Video

I don’t have a new post for today but wanted to share MamaVision’s awesome post about Pink’s incredible and timely video “F***in Perfect” (sorry, that’s the title). (The link also includes Pink’s commentary about the video which I strongly recommend reading).

I watched the video for the first time this afternoon, with almost six-weeks-old Maya snuggled in my arms — and I just started to cry. I hope to do everything I can to show her that she’ll be loved no matter what and that she’s perfect in my eyes–but I know what kids these days are up against … and I do worry about the future.

Let me know what you think and Heather–fabulous post, thanks for sharing!

If It Feels So Good … It Can’t Be Bad, Right? WRONG.

Two of my favorite bloggers, Clare and Holly, have both recently addressed exercise addiction on their blogs recently, which got my wheels spinning about my own past obsession with exercise.

Remember that taunt on the playground, “I know you are, but what am I?” or the retort, “Yea, it takes one to know one!”??

Well, I’m a former exercise addict, and I know them when I see them. And I’m not sure which is more disturbing: the fact that I was one, or the fact that I so easily can spot them. Either way, I’m glad that destructive relationship is over.

I’m the first to admit, it was not an easy break-up to make … perhaps the hardest in my life! I mean, chewing and spitting I knew was inherently bad, wrong, disgusting, gross, you name it. Quitting it was a no-brainer. But an addiction to exercise—something so good for you … just was not an easy concept to grasp. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that even things that are good for you can be abused.

And this was a very hard lesson to learn. Continue reading “If It Feels So Good … It Can’t Be Bad, Right? WRONG.”

Eyes Wide Open

I’ve always believed whatever your challenge in life, awareness is half the battle.

I know that until I was able to admit I had a problem — i.e., an obsession with food and exercise that led to disordered eating behaviors — I wasn’t going to get better.

I needed to see disordered eating as a problem before I could tackle it head-on.

Once you acknowledge a problem, situation, challenge …the rest is up to you. The next step in the process is to take action. In some cases, that might mean inaction. But for the most part, it means making a change of some sort, be it a behavioral change or a thought-process change. And this is the hardest part. Believe me, I know!

Speaking of awareness, today I read a great post by my new heroine, Bethenny Frankel, called Lesser Evils. She talks about how she doesn’t judge or qualify food, but sometimes we’re all forced to make a decision as to what is the “lesser evil” and how sometimes it can be surprising that what “seems” healthier might not be. I liked all that, but what really resonated was this:

She goes on to say, “Eat real foods. Your diet is a bank account. How are you going to invest?”

Reading that, I felt like I was hit with a bolt of lighting. I’ve definitely not been making good investments lately. Continue reading “Eyes Wide Open”

Trading Coping Mechanisms

Call me stupid, crazy, naïve, or all of the above … but I assumed that when I stopped chewing and spitting, I’d lose the 5-7 lbs I’d gained during those two years of my peak disorderedness.

HA!!! How wrong was I?!

In fact, not only did I maintain that weight gain, but I even gained another 5-7 on top of it! Ouch.

Granted, I’m 30 now (not 24 like I was when I first joined WW) and I realize I have a desk job and (despite being active at the gym) I realize I don’t walk to the Metro every day like I did back then … but I think it’s much bigger than just that.

In doing a little self-analysis, I think it’s because stopping chewing/spitting only put a Band-Aid on the real problem: I went from using chewing and spitting as a coping mechanism for anxiety to using emotional eating/impulse buying as a coping mechanism for anxiety.

See a common denominator here? Anxiety still remains.

Ultimately, I still haven’t been able to really get a grasp on my anxiety levels. Sometimes I think I’m OK, but other times, not so much.

It’s as though I replaced one issue with another; truly, it’s no wonder I’ve not been able to get a grip! I’m battling myself here.

I know Dr. G. would tell me I need to come up with another coping mechanism … and I don’t dispute that, I need a healthier alternative for sure — writing, talking to my husband or calling a friend or family member, etc., but this stuff is often so private that it’s hard to open up about it; no one really gets it (and I can’t/don’t expect them to).

I think I need to do what worked for chewing and spitting and apply it to my emotional eating/impulse buying problem — and that means choosing pride over guilt once again and just saying no.

Literally, March 15, I woke up and vowed not to chew and spit. And I haven’t since. I made a firm decision and stuck to it. I feel recovered from that disordered behavior.

But the impulsive/emotional stuff requires thought before action. And that’s where I still struggle. In fact, outside of this disordered eating realm, I struggle with impulsiveness — opening my mouth before thinking, jumping into a conversation that maybe I don’t need to be a part of, etc.

I need that next level of mindfulness and since awareness is half the battle, I think I’m going to start journaling my emotions in addition to my usual journaling. I’m hoping it’ll help with the other stuff.

I don’t want to go back to Dr. G., but I’m not ruling out the possibility of seeing a different therapist because ultimately, while I know therapy helped, it definitely wasn’t the end of the road for me. There’s still work to do upstairs … and I’m not giving up.

I feel optimistic right now … thanks for listening.

How about you? What are some of the coping mechanisms you use? And did you find you traded one for another, or were you able to nip them all?