The Truth Behind A Poor Self Image

Did you know that over 65% of people in the world suffer from B.D.D, or for those unfamiliar with the acronym, Body Dysmorphic Disorder? It’s more common that people would believe, and I can honestly say that I have suffered with this view of myself for years.

Today I’m going to be really honest with you, because I don’t see myself the way other’s see me and that’s okay, I have learned how to handle this feeling and live with it. But to get to the point where I am at today, which is happy and proud of my body, it took a lot of work through personal development and exercise. I say exercise because I used to be the term “skinny-fat,” which essentially means that I was not healthy in a sense, but I was not technically “fat” either. I felt that any form of exercise would only make me look “manly” and if I ever did tag along with other’s who had a gym membership I would do maybe 20 minutes of cardio and some ab exercises then call it a day.

I refused to eat, I thought that if I ate too much then I would “get fat,” when the reality of it was I was eating unhealthily and very sporadically. Fast foods or frozen foods were all I ever ate when I did eat, maybe twice a day if that. On top of that I drank excessively, and since I hated/hate beer, it was always frilly girl drinks packed full of sugars. I was the epitome of unhealthy and because of these habits I also ruined my immune system, I was sick constantly with either a cold or the flu and developed some withstanding problems with certain foods to this day because of what I denied my body for so long.

What I saw in the mirror, was what I thought was attractive and pleasing for other’s to see, but I still saw a girl who was “fat” and completely unhappy, not to mention uncomfortable in her body. I saw excess fat where other’s could not, I saw pudge that no one else was aware of, in the mirror I viewed imperfections where there were none. There is no way to really identify where the stem of this view of myself came from, I don’t honestly believe that science can explain this one, but they will try to anyways.

Growing up I went through a “chubby” phase as most growing children tend to do, but I was ridiculed for it, made fun of constantly and developed a low self-esteem because of that. But I never lost my ambition, I continued with outdoor activities, sports, anything that I could do so I could “lose weight” and “get thin.” These were my thoughts and actions just at 10 years old….where I should be doing these activities just to have fun, which I often did still have fun, but my underlying thoughts were that participating in all of these activities would “make me skinny” and therefore more liked and accepted by my peers.

I grew continuously through middle school, still holding onto some baby weight, getting made fun of now for my quirky personality along with the “chubby” baby weight still holding onto my body like some kind of disease. I went through the skater phase, the emo phase, the preppy phase, all of those awful stages that come with trying to find out exactly who you are that all pre-teens go through, while hiding my personality from everyone and being someone completely different to just “fit in.” I was so excited when I finally got braces in eighth grade, surely they would make me more beautiful and confident, then I could truly be accepted…just 1.5 years until they were off! (try 3 years)

Deciding on which High School to go to was an easy choice for me, I needed a fresh start where people wouldn’t know who I was. Tired of being picked on by the same people everyday, I went to a school where no one would even know who I was or what I looked like previously, this was my chance to start over and I took that chance. I took Personal Fitness the summer entering High School, to prematurely make some friends and earn some credits and I started my freshmen year thin, FINALLY.

But with that, came the pressure of staying at my ideal vision of thin. By the time I got into my first year of college, it only got worse and I only became more and more unhealthy. I skipped meals on a daily basis thinking that this was the right way to stay thin, which of course I now understand that the right foods provide you with the nutrients you need to fight off illnesses and support your immune system.

March 2012

I was unintentionally letting my body down, not only physically but mentally. I was unstable and in a terrible emotional state, constantly making excuses as to why I was always angry or upset with everyone around me, but the truth is I was starving myself. I starved myself of food, healthy relationships, personal happiness, and started spiraling into someone I hated. I let my self loathing take over my life and fell into turmoil, I was no longer myself and honestly didn’t even know if I ever was to begin with.

I lost sight of who I was for a long time, but I decided finally that this needed to end, that I needed to change. Once I made the decision, I put it to action. Through personal development and a healthy relationship I was able to turn my life around, I was able to start being the person that I had always wanted to be, but couldn’t let myself become before. I’ve continued to change over the course of four years now, to constantly be myself no matter what, to embrace who I am and not try to be someone else’s idea of perfect. To become a more confident and beautiful version of myself, to eat….and eat A LOT! But also to LIVE. To be happy within myself and extend that warmth on to others.

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Through this learning process I have discovered that we are who we choose to be, and I chose to be what no one else – including past me – would ever believe I could become: completely happy being myself and loving the skin I’m in. The struggle was well worth it, and I am proud of who I am today. While I will always still struggle with what I see in the mirror, I know that inside I am the most beautiful that I have ever been, and that’s the part that shines through any mirror around. This journey made me strong, and I will only get stronger with time.

Transformation

If I can overcome my insecurities and see a better version of myself in the mirror, and finally feel complete and comfortable within myself, then I know it is possible for other people out there who suffer from B.D.D., together we can overcome this image. We can become healthy, both in body and mind.

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The Top 8 Most Annoying Questions You Get Asked As Newlyweds

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So hubby and I have been married for 99 days as of today! Put into day terms, that’s a lot longer than some celebrity marriages! In my book that means we’re off to a great start! As all newlyweds can agree, you can get some really annoying questions after you’re married. So as a kind of warning to all of the happy couples out there, you WILL get asked these questions, and it will get more and more annoying the more the days pass. I wish I could tell you when these questions finally end…but we’re clearly not at that point yet, but don’t worry I’ll make sure to follow-up when I know!

  1. “So how is married life? Does it feel any different?”
    1. It’s great I guess? In all honesty it feels no different, but we have been building a life together for the past 4 years….I mean I don’t want to kill him yet, so I guess that’s good? I mean honestly do you really care?
  2. “When do you plan on having kids?”
    1. We JUST got married, children are terrifying and stinky. I like having a clean house, clean sticky-free walls and a full 8 hours of sleep every night. I think we’re good right now. Besides, I have my pups and they’re much easier to handle than a child would be.
  3. “Are you sad that it’s all over and there’s nothing to look forward to now?”
    1. Well aren’t you a bundle of joy! Do you really think there is nothing else to look forward to in life now that we’re married?! I couldn’t be happier that the wedding is OVER with, that was too much planning, too much stress, and while it turned out beautifully I am so THANKFUL that it is done with. The amazing thing right now is that we don’t have to make plans, it’s AWESOME. We’re relaxing, enjoying each other’s company, there’s plenty to look forward to, and all of it is much less stressful!
  4. “Are you excited you can gain weight now?”
    1. What is wrong with you people? Is marriage really viewed as an excuse to NOT take care of yourself?! If I don’t feel attractive within myself how could I ever feel like my husband finds me attractive? So the quick answer to that is, NO! I am not letting myself go just because I’m married, if anything I’m going to drag him along with me to a healthier and happier lifestyle. Marriage is not an excuse to gain weight and become unhealthy. Plain and simple.
  5. “I could never get married at your age” 
    1. This one is more of a statement than a question, but a statement that nevertheless I don’t rightly care to hear. Of course you could never get married at my age, you’ve been single since I’ve known you! That’s great that you feel that way, good for you, but that’s YOUR life. Not mine. So please, keep the comments to yourself.
  6. “Don’t you want to travel?” 
    1. Actually we do, thanks for asking! Does everyone just think that once your married you can’t go anywhere? That you’re just going to sit at home for the rest of your life? It is POSSIBLE to travel with someone else…not just by yourself. Most people travel with their best friends…well jokes on you, I get to travel with the ultimate best friend..oh and with benefits for the rest of my life!
  7. “Does it suck you won’t have any time to yourself?” 
    1. I have more time to myself than I know what to do with. I mean we do have jobs, and his hours are the complete opposite of mine. If you add together all the hours that I have to myself it equals to about a days worth of so-called “alone” time, and no I do not wish I had more of it. Call me crazy but I enjoy spending time with my husband.
  8. “Does it get annoying that you have to share EVERYTHING now?” 
    1. I didn’t know sharing a last name meant that we were all of sudden required to share EVERYTHING. It’s not like we’re one massive blob of a person, we are still each our own person. It’s a complete misconception that everything is shared, but hey if I’m not too hungry at dinner I have my reliable hubs to go halfsies on a meal with me…you don’t see restaurants having special priced meals for “one” now do you?

So please I’m begging you, if you have any friends or family members about to tie the knot…DO NOT ask these questions, but regardless of what I say the questions will still be asked, the rude statements still be made. But at least now you get to sit at home watching Netflix reruns with your spouse, laughing and joking at all of the stupid things everyone else says. Jokes on all of them, because you’re both awesome.

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The Top 10 Hacks to Staying Stress-Free Before Your Wedding Day

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Every bride-to-be is just LOADED with unintentional stress, it just bogs us all down and you feel overwhelmed over every single little detail when it comes to your big day. I mean who wouldn’t be!? We only dream of this day as little girls, being told nonsense stories about our Prince Charming….and I say this out of complete love for my husband. But real life Prince Charming…he IS NOT, but he is perfect for me…but he definitely doesn’t break into song about is never-ending love for me. JUST saying.

When it comes to weddings, especially my own – which was a complete DIY for the most part – it can get really stressful but I somehow managed to get through my catastrophes just as all brides do/will! So here are my 10 hacks, that personally got me through all the stress of wedding planning!

  1. Exercise: I cannot stress this one enough! Most brides out there already want to lose the pounds to look great in their dresses, and honestly it will be your saving grace. It’s pure bliss to look forward to going to the gym after work, to just have an hour or so with no obligations to your phone. That can all wait, this is YOU time. Your own personal haven to let go of the stress caused by work, wedding planning, life…it all just flits away for an hour and will leave you feeling much more at ease to take on the remainder of your night.
  2. Drink Water: This might sound like a super pointless hack but it’s really not, I turned to water ONLY for the 9 months prior to the wedding. The average person should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, when figured out that’s 4 water bottles a day. You will not believe how much better you feel once you cut out carbonated and sugary drinks. Not only does it make your exercise easier and more efficient, but you’ll feel more energetic to take on your day. Even post wedding I have continued this regimen, I drink roughly 7 bottles a day! Of course you can still have your cock tails when you want them, but the water will help you feel less bloated, on top of that it will clear up your skin!
  3. Talk Through The Stress: Do not bottle up all of your worries! You don’t want to be the bride who implodes on herself come the wedding day, or explodes onto those around her. Make sure you talk to your mom, dad, siblings, your fiance, your MOH (maid of honor)…these people are all here for you when you need them! You may feel like you don’t want to burden them with all of these little details and problems, but trust me, you will feel better just by talking through your stress. On many occasions after I spoke to my mom, or mother-in-law, any one for that matter I would feel a weight just lift off my shoulders and would shortly after find the solution to the problem I was venting about.
  4. DO NOT TRY TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY: This item is so important to keeping stress to a minimum. My engagement lasted a little over a year, and in the first six months I tried to appease everyone else. Tried to plan around what was easier for everyone else instead of what was easier for me. DO NOT DO THIS! This is your wedding day, do what you want, what will make you happy, and do not feel bad for those decisions. You will not be able to make everyone happy, always remember that it’s not your job to do so and you will have saved yourself so much unwanted stress.
  5. Remember You Will Hit Bumps Along The Way: Try as every bride might, there will always be a bump along the way. We had multiple bumps, from the cakes melting prior to being set out, to the flowers not opening in time, to our lunch not arriving on time….I could go on. But there is no way that you can prepare for EVERY single scenario. Do not waste your energy trying to fix those problems before they ever happen, because who can guarantee that they will anyways? The best thing you can do is stay positive and realize that every wedding has a bump. You will find a solution!
  6. Delegate: Make a list of the people in your wedding party and delegate tasks to be done before, during, and after the wedding. This helped us tremendously, but it also helps that our MOH and Best Man clearly were the best for the job! Do not be afraid to ask for help! This was a huge weakness of mine, I thought I could handle everything by myself, but it wasn’t until a month or so beforehand that I started asking for help, and I received all the help in the world. I honestly do not think the day would have gone so smoothly had I not asked for the help and delegated certain tasks to everyone in the wedding party. Delegate! It will save you time and with that saves you the worry about not completing everything on time!
  7. Get Pampered: This one should be a no-brainer, as most brides and their bridal parties go out the day-of or day before to get their nails done, hair, makeup, well we didn’t go that extensive. But getting a pedicure the day before helped my stress levels tremendously! It was nice to just be with my best friends, my mom, my sister, and even family members who tagged along. Being with all of these important people really just sends your happiness through the roof and completely distracts you from stressing over the last minute details. Enjoy this time getting pampered with everyone, it’s not every day you can get together like this.
  8. Enjoy The Outdoors: Being outside is freeing, you don’t feel enclosed in a box, you have the freedom to really breathe when you are outside. We spent every afternoon outdoors on the lake as soon as the summer months hit. On top of being able to enjoy the company of your significant other, you’ll get a nice tan going too. I actually purchased a tanning membership  once summer hit, and only actually went twice! Just going outside and spending time with family and friends I was able to get a good solid tan before the wedding. You will benefit more from the great outdoors than you will laying in a tanning bed, I can guarantee you that much!
  9. Stay Organized: Keep a binder or notebook with all of your important wedding details! I had a little notebook I carried around with me everywhere during my planning process. I also took advantage of Wedding Wire, by far the best when it came to keeping the guest list in check and to search my area for vendors. Keeping everything in place and setting deadlines for yourself to accomplish things that need to be done will not only alleviate stress, but it will make you feel better checking off those to-do’s. I bought a fancy “The Knot” binder from Barnes & Noble when I first started planning…I never used it once. It overwhelmed me more than it helped me. Organize based on what WORKS for YOU!
  10. Remember The Big Picture: Being a bride is stressful, remember that you will always find cool ideas on Pinterest, there will always be a “better” looking set up…remember you theme and YOUR vision. As a bride you can get side-tracked A LOT and change your mind A LOT. Always remember what your style is, and stick to it! When it comes to your big day you don’t want a jumbled up combination of 10 different wedding themes. Keep focused on your ideas and stick to them, because it will all come together at the end when you do.

I hope all of you brides out there find this list helpful, but also remember, at the end of your big day the ONLY thing that matters is that you get to marry the man of your dreams. Remember that, and I can guarantee you a stress-free wedding day. Once you walk down that aisle and stand before him, NOTHING you were stressing about before will matter.

Happy planning!

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I Completed Number 6!

I would just like to finally announce that I have completed item number 6 on my goals for 2015! For those of you who are new around here and completely lost check out my goals list here. This has been one of my biggest feats when it comes to health and fitness, while the lower body isn’t to my standards as of yet, my upper body is finally there! I was never that girl who had any upper body to brag about, I just had stick arms and honestly I myself was a stick. I’ve been looking at my time hop lately and just sighing over how thin I was roughly 4 years ago now, but then I have to remind myself that I wasn’t healthy in the slightest. I skipped meals on a daily basis, I only ever did cardio when I did work out, and I never took care of myself the way I should have. It seems to be a recurring story with everyone these days! It doesn’t help the fact that I was made fun of a lot when I was younger for being the chunky girl who had a lot of baby fat to grow out of. For that reason I will always have to constantly remind myself that I am not “fat,” and that’s why I hate body shaming to this day, as it has only gotten worse.

But I’m not here to talk about that today! This is a happy post about achieving your goals! I’ve been working out consistently since January and pushing myself to the extremes…well not like competition extremes, but for someone who had never been able to bench press the bar…it was pretty intense. I’ve completely transformed my upper body and I am so excited about it! It definitely made for awesome wedding photos to have a nicely shaped up back, shoulders, and of course arms! Speaking of wedding photos, I need to post our amazing pin-spired wedding photos here soon! Check out my gainz in the pic below!

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*This photo was originally posted on my Instagram page, which you can get to by clicking on the photo*

Until next time!

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Target and the Gender Neutral Movement

So occasionally the world just provides me with amazing topics to get all heated over, the worst part is I usually find all of these stories browsing through my news feed, I mean come on I haven’t had cable in well over a year now. Well here I am scrolling along and I came across a shared post talking about this person who faked being a Target representative, just feeding off the anger of venting Americans over this whole gender neutrality move that Target has decided to make. Of  course out of curiosity I just had to take a peek – you can view the article here – and boy if I was not entertained! I’m still laughing hysterically.

Let me elaborate.

Are you people serious right now!?! You are all so butt hurt over the combination of the toys and bedding sections for children?! How in the hell does that affect you in any way shape or form? So sorry they will be changing the paint down the aisles, damn that is such a hassle for you, I for one will be happy not to see bright ass pink in the Barbie aisles anymore, because really….that pink is just completely obnoxious and distracting. If I ever had a daughter her room colors would definitely not be pink and a boy would definitely not be blue. Does anyone really still do that? They’re little….they don’t give a crap. My room changed colors and wallpapers (oh the 90’s) constantly growing up, and my parents were at least awesome enough to let me decide.

I see right through all of these people complaining about the “neutral move” as I’ll call it, we all know that you people are just being dicks over the LGBT movement/community. They haven’t done anything to you, they’re trying to be happy and find love just like the rest of the world!

But I can see right through your bull shit, all of you are such hypocritical fools. Do you honestly think that the toys your child plays with, and the colors you put in their bedrooms will determine their sexuality later in life?! If you are still on that bandwagon than you really need to reevaluate your life. I don’t know about my fellow readers out there, but I loved hot wheels, they were the greatest toy ever! Of course I liked to play with my barbie’s with my sister, but once my brother came around all of his toys were so much better! They made you think, not just play house, he always had Lego sets that he wanted my help with, Bionicles to be built, and I mean come on who doesn’t want a swooshing light saber?! But even with all of that my brother was always included to play with my sister and I when we played with our barbie’s or polly pockets – granted he might kill me for even saying it – but that’s the whole point here; boys and girls shouldn’t have to be embarrassed about playing with all kinds of different toys!

We always label, even as adults we are labeled, and that’s more so by appearance and still by gender once you get into the work force. Gender neutrality is one of the biggest steps that needs to be made to help with the equality of genders for the future generations. What are you going to say to your child, “oh no sweetie that’s a girls toy,” or “that’s a boys toy.” We shouldn’t be restricting the possibilities for our children to learn and play with toys that make them happy, and as for the bedding…oh boo fricken who. I would never purchase a bright flowering comforter for my child to begin with, and I wouldn’t be caught dead with one of those car beds in my house, but that’s just me.

Children have no sense of what they can and can’t play with, it’s you as the adult who tells them, and those ideas will stay with that child for the rest of their lives. It shouldn’t be that way, we should be shaping a better future for these children, because I sure as hell don’t want to raise my child into thinking they can and can’t play with certain toys, because what does that say further into their future, that they can and can’t work at certain places because of gender, they can and can’t go to a certain college or play a certain sport because of gender. If I had a daughter who grew up to want to be a mechanic, then she can be a mechanic! (I wouldn’t doubt that anyways with how obsessed with cars my husband is) If I had a son who wanted to be a nurse, by all means he can be a damn nurse!

You see, it’s just a label, and by no means do toys determine a child’s sexuality. For heaven’s sake the toys end up being given away or sold as soon as they become babyish to your now teenager who is only interested in their phones, friends and video games. So calm down people, it’s not the end of the world, to me it seems like the start of a better one for the future generations. You can agree or disagree with me, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but as for you Target, you have my full support!

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Netflix Series You NEED To Watch

Okay, so post wedding now and it’s been non-stop still. We’re moving in a week, of course the weekend of my birthday – yay to 23! My poor fur baby Whiskey has been with my parents in FL for around a month now, she has not recovered from her health issues, and the health problems per say have not been resolved despite the countless vet appointments we’ve been to. So basically with the entire house packed up, along with all of my books I’ve been out of “constructive entertainment,” as I like to call it, although come spring when I start school up again I’ll be missing these down-time days.

Well because I’ve had little else to do other than work, go to the gym, clean, and cook…I still find myself twiddling my thumbs come 6 o’ clock, and since Shane doesn’t get home from work until roughly 7:30 every night, I’ve been forced to try out some new shows on Netflix. Of course I went on the Friends binge and finished that one, I went back to the Vampire Diaries since I hadn’t watched the latest season (which technically isn’t even the latest one), I thought about watching Pretty Little Liars again, but now that “A” has been revealed and Facebook has completely spoiled it I’m just not that into it. So I’ve turned to the more low key series that I’ve never even heard of before and come to the realization that they are AWESOME! Of course they only have 2-5 seasons on Netflix because they are newer shows so that has driven me insane and I’ve legitimately watched a few more than once all the way through because I like them so much!

So without further adieu, here are those series you need to watch ASAP, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

  1. Young and Hungry
  2. Baby Daddy
  3. Peaky Blinders
  4. Wet Hot American Summer (yes this was a movie, but the original cast put together a series!)
  5. Hawaii 5-O

The list might seem small, but there are some other ones I started but just didn’t peak my interest. I thought I could get into the show Heroes, but found myself confused and too turned around come season 2 and stopped watching. But then there’s the all time favorite that Shane and I watch every night, which of course is NCIS. Oh and the reason for all of these series watching is mainly because we do not have cable, hey gotta save money somewhere right?! I can’t wait until next week when we finally move, and by then I should have my post ready and some pictures to show off our Pinspired wedding back in June!

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Fears You Never Knew You Had

The wedding is in exactly 24 days now. And our fur baby Whiskey has lost the use of her hind legs overnight.

It’s one thing, to just get into your routine and go to bed at night with three happy and healthy dogs, to wake up in the morning and all of a sudden your whole world crumbles beneath your feet. You watch as your oldest baby struggles off of the bed with no coordination in her back legs whatsoever. A 3 year old mixed rescue dog should not just all of a sudden lose her ability to walk within 12 hours or less. You just stare, you have no words for what just happened, no inclination that this would ever happen, and no warning signals. You hope that throughout the day the problem will just go away on its own, because hey maybe she just slept on them wrong.

But then when you come home from work and nothing has changed and your poor baby is limping and barely keeping her rear end up, you know that you have to take her in. A multitude of things could be happening to her, your given all these different theories but with no concise answers, because of course these things don’t just happen over night. Well I’m sorry doc but this did. All of her vitals are normal, she’s completely healthy, but she is losing functioning in her hind legs.

Something is said about a disconnect from the brain to the spinal cord, but she shows no signs of pain for that to be accurate. Something about meningitis, but no proof in her blood work it’s there. Something about minor seizures, but again no proof of that existence. Something about epilepsy is mentioned, then ticks, but the results say no.

In these 24 days left up until the wedding, you’re supposed to be stress-free and relaxed, getting the final details situated. But here I am, thinking the worst for my first fur baby, on the third days round of pills and medications for a problem that came out of nowhere with no evidence to the cause. You turn to Google and find that this has happened before, apparently in the case of thousands, with each outcome different than the last. You constantly watch for signs, check her up and down for a tick that might have latched on, try to treat her the same and not as different from what she was just three days ago. She cannot do stairs, she can no longer sleep on the bed, she cannot play with her brother and sister, and she cannot tell us what’s wrong.

You’re completely helpless, and something you never thought would ever happen, happens. You fear that she will go completely paralyzed, that whatever is attacking her will not be found in time. The worst fears are the fears of your own reality, and all you can do is take it by day, hoping that the medications work, hoping that she gets through this, and wishing this was not a reality, but a horrible nightmare that you can just wake up from.

With 24 days before the wedding, this is my reality.