First Acceptance Then Possibly Love

*POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING. THIS POST AND TOMORROW’S POST IS ABOUT AN EATING DISORDER AND A PERSONAL RECOVERY STORY.*

There are so many things that affect our relationship with our body, the strongest of which is our desire to be accepted by society and to have control over something when everything else seems so out of control. If you live in an emotional and mental storm where unconditional love, support and consistency are lacking, then the potential for mental illnesses to develop is not only possible but highly likely, one of which could be some form of an eating disorder. In today’s post I will explore the eating disorder of anorexia nervosa, it’s definition, behaviours to watch for, consequences, where to look for help and finally a personal story of recovery from someone who I love, admire and who inspires me every day to be better.

*If any of the following information I am about to share triggers your own mental health then I suggest you have a trusted loved one read first to access whether this is appropriate or helpful information for you, perhaps even reading together would feel more safe for you. Also I stress I am not a mental health specialist, nutritionist or doctor and the information I am sharing comes from personal research only and from talking with someone who has experienced this illness and is now in recovery. If you or someone you love is at risk or exhibits any of the following behaviours I strongly urge you to seek professional medical advice and attention.*

Anorexia Nervosa, a definition: consists of extreme weight loss, difficulty maintaining appropriate body weight for height, stature and age, and distorted body image.

Behaviours:

  • restricts the number of calories and types of food that is eaten
  • may exercise compulsively
  • may purge via vomiting, laxatives and/or binge eat
  • dramatic weight loss
  • dresses in layers to hide weight loss and to stay warm
  • denies feeling hungry
  • may exhibit food rituals
  • makes excuses to avoid meals or situations involving food
  • has a strong need for control

Possible Consequences:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • stomach cramps
  • anemia
  • low thyroid and hormone levels
  • low potassium
  • low blood cell counts
  • slow heart rate
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • feeling of being cold all the time
  • sleep problems
  • menstrual irregularities
  • dental problems
  • dry skin
  • muscle weakness
  • poor wound healing
  • high risk for death

Help:

To recover from an eating disorder like the one described above, a combination of therapies and medical intervention will be necessary. The illness requires nutritionists, psychological counselling, psychiatric monitoring, inpatient/outpatient stays and appointments, individual and group therapies and hospitalization. Recovery is a long haul but not impossible and as you will read in tomorrow’s recovery story, there is light at the end of the tunnel. An eating disorder of any kind does not have to be your final destination. There is a life waiting for you outside of your illness.

All information included in this post comes from http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org and ggsrecovery on Instagram.

This is a heavy topic but necessary information in an age where how you look is still more valuable than how you feel, where people who have nothing else in their lives to call their own feel like weight control is the only way to have a say in how their life is lived and when everything else around them is chaos, what they eat and how much they eat gives them some level of comfort and control. No one can feel Pretty, Plus or Proud in the midst of abuse and/or neglect.

If any of the information you have read is familiar to you or someone you love, please seek the necessary professional support so you or your loved one can live the life you were meant to live and are so deserving of.

World Kindness Day

Happy World Kindness Day! There truly is a day for everything but really, showing kindness, is something we should all do every day. Giving kindness away is free and easier than one might think.

Kindness can be as simple as smiling at someone to volunteering at a charitable organization. It can be about helping neighbours or being patient with your spouse on a bad day. It can be extravagant in the form of tangible gifts or simple in helping someone cross the street safely. Kindness happens when you think of others first but the bonus is that when you show kindness, it makes you feel good too.

If we were all a little more kind, I think the problems of the modern world would be left behind in the dust. We must learn to embrace our differences, celebrate our similarities and learn to live peacefully with all. Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and spread kindness freely and liberally! It’s good for you, for others and for our planet.

Lacking Confidence?

Are you short on confidence? Are you hesitant to do things for fear of failure? Here are a few suggestions to boost your confidence and enable you to live your best life, the life you truly deserve:

  • Make a list of all your strengths. Whether they be big or small, every little thing that you are good at or that you admire about yourself is a step towards feeling confident and successful in life. Add to the list often as strengths can bloom and grow out of nowhere.
  • Accept any limitations. I have MS so I know I can’t run a marathon. That is something I have come to accept and live with. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t do or be good at something else. We’re all built to do different jobs so that means everyone has something they are good at and something else not so good at. That’s ok.
  • Learn to accept compliments. Don’t negate what other people think is wonderful about you. You can’t disrespect their good thoughts and opinions about you. Say thank you graciously.
  • Practice speaking kindly to yourself and about yourself. Your brain will believe your words so make them positive ones.
  • Teach others how to treat you by what you allow and/or accept. If you let people treat you badly, they will. If you only allow kindness towards you, that is what you will receive.
  • Be willing to try new things even if it feels scary. Doing new things allows you to grow and you may surprise yourself at how capable you really are. If it doesn’t work out, no big deal. Remember you can’t be good at everything but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
  • Let go of failures. They were teachable moments, not a weight you have to wear around your neck forever. You did it, you failed, end of story, move on.

Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and believe you can do anything, be anyone because you are amazing, you are worthy and you are enough!

Taking It Easy and That’s OK

I woke up this morning with a headache and a kink in my neck so not feeling terribly motivated or productive today and you know what, that’s ok. Not every day is a good day and not every day is a day to get stuff done. Sometimes we need to hit the pause button and take it easy. Sometimes our bodies need a break. Sometimes we need to rest and let our to do list roll into the next day. There’s no need to get stressed or panicked because you didn’t get anything done. The dust will still be there tomorrow. No one will see your unmade beds. Dinner can be take out or something simple like bacon and eggs. The laundry pile will not magically disappear so maybe tomorrow will be your housework day. For today, rest is the priority, at least for me it is.

Anytime you’re needing a break whether it be physical or mental, listen to your body and follow its lead. It knows best. Don’t feel guilty and don’t let anyone push you into doing things when you don’t feel up to it. Do what is best for you and let the world slip away for a bit. Unplug, do some self-care and Be Pretty, Plus and Proud the whole time, knowing you are taking care of you just like you deserve.

Do You Want To Change Your Life?

Are you ready for change but don’t know how to make it happen? Are you craving a different life or a new you? Tired of the same thing day in and day out? Follow the steps below and watch how your life becomes the one you always dreamed of having!

STEPS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE:

  • Begin each day with a grateful heart and end each day counting your blessings. Stop complaining about things you have no control over. Change the things you can control. If you’re not happy with who you are or where you are in life then stop whining and do something about it (Was that too harsh?).
  • Be comfortable in your own company. Don’t be part of a relationship if your heart isn’t in it. Don’t be afraid to be lonely. It’s an opportunity to evolve, learn about who you really are and what you want out of life. It’s a chance for growth.
  • Let go of people that don’t bring positive energy into your life. There are people that will suck you dry and leave you feeling drained. You have enough to deal with without taking on other people’s negative vibes.
  • Commit to goals and don’t look back. Keep your eyes on the prize and plow forward. The achievement will be worth your hard work and endurance.

I think if you can keep these points in your mind and make them a priority each day, your life will see positive change. You’ll be happier, successful and productive. You’ll be living the life you deserve. Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and always remember you are worthy of a wonderful life. You are good enough and deserving.

Enjoy the additional affirmations and daily habit lists that will help keep you focused on what you need to do if you’re looking for change.

TGIF

I don’t work outside the home but I still love Fridays. I feel like I have two days when I don’t have any kind of schedule. We can eat whatever, get up whenever, do whatever and basically just enjoy life when work of some kind isn’t getting in the way of fun. I enjoy having my husband home and we can spend time together, whether it’s going for a drive in the country, watching a movie or having social distance visits with friends and family. It’s a time to rejuvenate and definitely practice some self-care.

How do you practice self-care? Here are some ideas if you’re stuck on how to show yourself some love after a tough week of gruelling it out on the job:

  • Enjoy a cup of herbal tea while reading a good book or catching up on tic toc videos.
  • Light your favourite candle while enjoying a bubble bath, face mask and perhaps a good glass of wine (or other well loved beverage).
  • Buy yourself flowers.
  • Take a walk in nature.
  • Listen to your favourite music while pursuing a hobby; knitting, painting, yard work, sewing, running, journaling.
  • Go for a manicure and/or pedicure.
  • Talk to someone you love.
  • Try some stretching, yoga poses or meditation.
  • Get a massage.
  • Get lots of sleep.
  • Go somewhere new or try doing something you’ve never done before.
  • Make yourself a smoothie.
  • Take yourself out to dinner.
  • Buy yourself a new outfit or if that’s not in the budget, maybe a new pair of earrings is a more affordable treat.

Whatever you do this weekend, stay Pretty, Plus and Proud and enjoy some much needed rest, relaxation and self-care.