Where Do You Feel Your Anxiety?

Girl sadly thinking "what now"

Anxiety and depression are so similar but also so different. 

Lately, I have been trying to pay attention to where I feel my anxiety. Often it buzzes in my head or clenches my rib cage. Sometimes it inches its way across my body to another location.

However, everyone experiences anxiety differently. Where do you feel anxiety? All people experience it even people who are not diagnosed with anxiety. We all have our moments.

How do teens think about body image, beauty and bullying? 3 perspectives from around the world

These are all great responses to body image. I really think that youth need to hear more of this.

TED Blog

Body image, beauty and bullying. In TED-Ed Clubs, students are guided through the process of making a presentation on an idea they feel passionate about — and dozens of students in clubs around the world have boldly chosen to talk about how to combat negative body image, distorted images of beauty and the bullying that springs from rigid rules about appearance.

Watch — but more important, listen — to these three inspiring perspectives on body image, beauty and bullying from teenagers in three different countries.

Julia Takata TED-Ed Club presentation

A presentation on body image: A competition with yourself

Julia Takata starts her presentation by recalling an experience she had in dance class. The short story: She started comparing herself to a classmate. “Because I was younger, I was very susceptible to what other people had to say about me. [I kept wondering], ‘How I could change myself?’” says Takata, a student in the…

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Being the Fat Girl Still

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

When I look at myself in the mirror or think of my weight, I believe I am a huge person. The awkward, lonely overweight girl that I used to be still is my self-view. Thus, trying to look nice, being complimented, and looking at myself are all very stressful experiences.

However, I lost a great deal of weight with my eating disorder five years ago. Despite that fact, the same scared feeling and desperate desire to lose weight is inside of me. It haunts me all of the time, making it hard to eat, get dressed, take a bath, etc.

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It’s Just a Dress Size

Wearing the red dress for my friend's wedding

Wearing the red dress for my friend’s wedding

Yesterday, I tried on a bridesmaid dress for my roommate’s wedding. The radiant blue, flowing skirt, and classy style of the dress were wonderful. However, the size on the tag was much bigger than I had worn in a long time.

Right away, I began to panic and asked if the dresses were based on our measurements. Thankfully, my roommate said that the sizes ran different than normal dress sizes. Hearing this was such a relief.

Still, my first reaction made me curious and a bit embarrassed. Why is it that clothing sizes matter so much?

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Body Image is the Last to Go

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

Two weeks into Lent, I am having nearly 100 percent of my meal plan every day. Giving up restriction has been simpler than I thought. At the same time, it has been miserably hard. Sometimes, I just want to scream and go back to starving myself.

One of the hardest elements is the constant nagging voice in the back of my head. “You are so fat,” it hisses. Anytime that I sit down, see myself in the mirror, look at my body, or feel my clothing on my skin, I feel nauseous. How can I live in this body for the rest of my life?

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My Whole Being Aches: Body, Mind, and Spirit

My friend Kelsey with a coin in her eye

Whether it is with joy, fear, or depression, our whole selves react to our feelings.

Each morning for the past few days, I have awoken wondering how I am going to make it through the next few days. School, work, medical appointments,  honor society commitments, and friendships are all weighing down on me. Although these are all good things, the amount of everything in my life is so much that I feel like I am going to break.

Our bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits are more attached than we realize. When in pain, every bit of ourselves aches. Joy radiates throughout our beings when we hear good news and makes us think good thoughts and feel well. Thus, it would make sense to see our whole self as connected.

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The Truth about Fad Dieting

pastry

Do fad diets really work?

“Lose weight in 10 days without trying!” “Eliminate these five simple foods for a better shape in a week!” “Make dieting easy by trying our new supplement!”

We are surrounded by headlines such as these every day. Magazines at the grocery store, ads on television and even comments from friends repeat such phrases. The words and instructions might be different, but the message remains the same; you need to lose weight quickly.

However, do such diets as advertised really work? No, not for the most part. There are certainly exceptions, but fad diets tend to be backed by poor scientific research and have no lasting results. In fact, these programs designed to make us healthy often backfire and cause discomfort, further medical issues or eating disorders.

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Beauty Looks Different Around the World

Studying in Oxford and seeing museums with figures from around the world opened my eyes to how unique beauty is to each culture. For centuries, ancient peoples saw rounder bodies as gorgeous signs of childbirth and new life. Being as pale as possible used to be ideal to show that one did not work outside but had wealth. Now I have come to realize that others regard my pale skin as gross because one should be tanned.

All of the different ways that people think of beauty is fascinating to me. It is interesting how we feel the pressure of the society that we are in instead of thinking of how our appearance would be seen as lovely in another part of the world or another era. Of course, it would make sense that we would want to be accepted where we are currently residing. However, maybe we should take more time to realize how subjective appearance is and how standards vary everywhere you go.

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Others See You in a Different Way Than You See Yourself

One of the most terrifying words for someone struggling with anorexia or any type of eating disorder is restoration. Many people have positive connotations with this term. After all, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as  “the act of restoring or the condition of being restored” as well as “a restoring to an unimpaired or improved condition.”  Paintings and buildings are restored to their former glory, we restore relationships that were broken, and the rightful king can be restored to his throne. Those all bring healing and renewed beauty.

However, in eating disorder treatment, “restoration” means the need to gain weight or (even more frightening) pounds put on from increased food intake. Right now, I hate the word. Slowly, the percentage of my meal plan consumed has risen in the past year. Because of that, I have gained more weight. My stomach, legs, arms, and entire body are screaming in protest while my eyes and tongue beg for food. This battle has increased significantly in the past week. On Wednesday, my dietitian finally admitted that I had indeed reached restoration. Despite her reassurance that I was not overweight, my eating disorder began to scream louder than it has for many months. I am teetering on the edge of a relapse but trying desperately to stay strong in recovery. Everything seems to be falling apart around me.

Yet, some lights have shined through the darkness. For example, people have affirmed me, and many friends have stood loyally by my side. Despite my self-hatred, classmates have pointed out the beauty I cannot see in myself. Right now, in a time when I cannot trust my own eyes, I need to listen to them to know what I truly look like. This amazing video really impacted me and reminded me that my thoughts can be disordered and warped.

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I Shouldn’t Feel Weak Anymore

At the Demi Lovato Concert, the bathrooms had inspirational messages in them too.

At the Demi Lovato Concert, the bathrooms had inspirational messages in them too.

The past few days, I have been feeling awful. Sometimes my head begins to spin while other times my stomach churns uneasily. In a way, my body feels like it did when I was restricting heavily. However, my food consumption has not gone down at all.

When I begin to feel sick, my first reaction is now anger. After all, I am caring for my body even though I do not want to do so. Why will it not work the way that I want it to? Why does it need to keep bothering me by acting strange and bringing pain? It is ridiculous. Continue reading