The Detrimental Effect of “Being Tough”

There isn’t a way to vent without that feeling of vulnerability.

Deep thinking is now, for some unknown reason, seen as attention-seeking and “weird” in our society. That in our day to day life, saying what you feel is for the oddballs, and meaning what you say is for the off-putting expressive types.

Therefore, it is hard to trust and hold conversations of heart-felt value to most. Even family.

I’ve been reading a very insightful and expansive book called “Healing the Child Within: Discover and Recovery for Children of Adult Families.” By Charles L. Whitfield M.D. The book delves into the mental misconstruction of children brought up into life through sick and/or unstable family structures. I cannot even begin to describe just how grotesquely dysfunctional my family was and still is, so I felt a need to really pry into this book and see what healing powers it offered. It has given me much more understanding to say the least. I thought that I was just one of those mentally damaged children and that others around me where so lucky. However, once you absorb the novel and it’s entirety, it’s easy to see that almost EVERYONE you come in contact with is also a victim of a pained, damaged upbringing. Mentally, physically, emotionally… Is there anyone out there who hasn’t suffered these exponentially dangerous toxins as children and teenagers?

 

Everyone you meet is fighting something. An internal battle of self esteem, a broken psyche of inferiority to those who themselves feel inferior too. A chemical substituting for the absent healing that grief brings, a drink numbing the cowardly refusal of accountability.

 

We are taught that feelings are secrets to be guarded, we are told to be tough, not to cry. Those we know believe that they are protecting us from hiding truths and realities, when in fact when we cannot understand our life as it has been given to us, we will absorb the blame onto ourselves. Misplaced as it poisons and stunts our emotional growth, there is a darkness that expands because being left in the dark is accepted. “The way things are…” is said to us so many times that we expect nothing more outwardly, but inside, our Inner Being is the one suffering, questioning, thirsting to understand and to heal.

 

This is our society’s cycle, it turns and turns, never breaking because we don’t even realize that it exists. We chalk up all our depression and feelings of loss, denial, and anger to chemical imbalances and short term feelings, instead of finding and fighting the root of our problems. Or even worse, our flawed upbringing is just “personality quirks” when manifested outwardly. Sheesh, what a world right?

 

I challenge you to share. To fight the hush-hush nature of expression. Grieving is the cure to every mishap we inherently or knowingly faced, yet we are taught to simply “move on” as quickly as possible. Why is the one mental mechanism of healing we possess wrong? Share- with anyone and everyone why you hurt, how you hurt, and simply ask for love. You’ll be surprised at how readily someone extends the hands of kindness and warmth your way.

 

Hi, I’m Sierra and I’m….

bulimia

A Bulimic.

One of the greatest improvements I’ve made in my character bed is ceasing to portray myself as a victim. It’s a classic outcome of an all-too-familiar scenario. Child with a rough upbringing never got enough approval or attention, so fights for it as a teenager and young adult by making sure she’s seen as a bird with a broken wing. I am woman enough to admit that I have flaws, and that was one of them. For the last few years I’ve made a daily conscious effort to kill that personality defect. As a result, it’s become very difficult for me to admit when I really have a problem or need help. I’ve now morphed into a martyr, if that’s any better. I’ll pretend that I need nothing, from no one.

Denial is an ugly thing, it preys on your sense of self and well-being. You know what and who you are. We all do. You can’t lie to yourself and fully believe it without going somewhat insane. I’ve been lying to myself for a while, although I have openly shared my bulimia in my blog. However I was referring to it as just the act of purging through laxatives etc. I made it seem as if it was a past issue of mine and no longer something I had to deal with. That’s false. In my mind, I’m a bulimic. In my day to day actions, thoughts and eating patterns, I am 100% still a bulimic.

Let’s give you some facts. Bulimia isn’t just forcing yourself to vomit. It’s any act of unnatural or extreme exit of nutrients- whether that’s from sticking your finger down your throat or forcing your body to burn 1000 calories from guilt of eating pie an hour before. Unlike anorexia, bulimia is often unnoticed because it rarely causes extreme weight loss. Bulimia is more entrenched in the psychological pathways of the suffering individual as a binge-purge vicious cycle that exponentially becomes detrimental the longer it remains intact. It’s like a weed, unless you can find and destroy the root of the problem, any progress you feel you’ve made will only be temporary. It grows back often with a tougher, more resilient stalk.

Just like Anorexia, Bulimia causes physical damage to the body and emotional strain. It destroys any self esteem you may of ever had, harms relationships with friends and family, and can become a monopolizing force in your life. It is a daily war.

Here’s what a normal day is for me.

5am- wake up and go to the gym. Workout until 6:45-7am. Calculate calories burned (500-700cal.) Eat breakfast <450cal. Work. (Waitress, so I’m on my feet and burning calories all day so <400 depending on shift.) I don’t eat the food at work, I bring lunch, <400. Often by this time I am just breaking an even net calorie consumption from working out in the morning. When I get home at 6pm, that’s when my entire psyche goes haywire. I use a calorie counter system, and I realize that I’ve got 1500 calories left to eat that day. So even if I’m not hungry I began to eat anything and everything I can find. I crave sugar, carbs and sweets. I forgo healthy things at this point with the rationalization that I’ve eaten healthy all day, so I can have this huge bowl of ice cream. (And I’m lactose intolerant, so I pay for this dearly. This is how horrible my self control is.) Before long I’m ransacking my fridge, freezer and cabinets. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience, my mind blanks over and I feel as if I have no choice, my body is moving and thinking for itself. I lose all inhibitions. Next thing I know I’ve consumed way over the 1500cal I needed, sometimes over 2000cal. When I finally “regain” myself, I am consumed with guilt, shame and self loathing. When I used to take laxatives, this would be the point where I would down 8-10 senna pills, and at my worst point here I would take 5-10 after every meal. Now that I no longer do that, I cry a lot, sometimes having panic/anxiety attacks, and have situational depression until I somehow fall asleep. The next morning I calculate how many calories I consumed the night before, and head to the gym with determination and a bottle of preworkout.

This happens every single day. Even if others are around I hide it and eat as much as I can when no one can see. In public I refuse to eat at all. Every minute of every day I am thinking about calories. I think about what I look like. I think about what is in food. I look at fat people as they are eating their fried food with disgust. I look at myself in disgust. I feel worthless. I used to only weigh myself once or twice a month. Within the last 3-4 weeks, I weigh myself 2-4 times a day. The scale rarely budges. I am motivated by the desire to be skinny but also discouraged by the lack of results. I can run for an hour with no problem, but I don’t look like a runner. At least I don’t think so.

The kicker is this- I finally went to the Gyno to see about my lack of menstration. She discovered low to no blood flow to my ovaries, over a long period of time. Not only does this cause irregular or no periods, but also a large decrease in egg quality. Meaning that not only will I never really know when I am ovulating, but the eggs I will be releasing are more likely to be damaged or dysfunctional.  What’s the cause in this? Prolonged physical strain to my body from eating disorders. You see, the effects of this aren’t just to you. Having to face my future husband and tell him that giving him a healthy child may be impossible was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

My therapist has instructed me to write this out, so it’s a visual admittance of my problem, although I don’t have to share it publicly. It is the first step in my road to break this terrible, mind boggling cycle that I cannot shake alone. But, I decided I would be transparent with this blog and I will stick to it. Counting calories makes this worse, I’m becoming addicted to exercising, and my obsession with being skinny is affecting my relationship with everyone close to me. No matter how hard I try or what plan I put into action, I’m failing at fixing this problem. So I am crying out for help. Miss Sierra, Miss doesn’t-need-anyone-ever, Miss always-has-on-a-brave-face, seriously, seriously needs help.

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Body Issues Rant Two.

Another thing that is pretty damn obnoxious? Fit culture. It’s turned into a cult.

ImageMe, normal unoffensive workout picture.

I definitely post a few gym selfies from time to time- mainly because It feels good to have that little boost of support albeit from halfway strangers on social media. And also because I am proud of myself. I have had in the past a very unhealthy relationship with food and exercise, and although I am still working on my problems, I am proud of how far I have come.

But then there are people who seriously can’t even be rationalized with.

I love my gym, Planet Fitness, although it’s not huge and doesn’t have classes, it’s really accommodating for everyone, and strongly discourages “lunks” as their called there, from dominating equipment, mirror space and self esteems. And the cult like fit culture has even made memes about Planet, saying it’s a wimpy gym for people who will never fully commit to the “fitlife.” This makes me giggle. I go there, and I’d say I am pretty committed to my health. Do I participate on Friday’s Pizza or Tuesday Bagel Breakfasts? No, nor do I grab that Tootsie Roll on my way out. But do I judge you if you do? Nah, why would I? I go there to work on me, and I’ll smile at you as I leave.

ImageNot cool.

I’ve been to these body builder gyms, full of the elite barreling around. The environment is oppressive, and you best believe if you’re not drinking pre-workout on the way in and a protein shake on the way out, you won’t get welcomed looks on your next visit.

Sadly, the gym environment thing isn’t even the worst of it. Social media, with the main culprits residing on Instagram, have turned the practice of a healthy lifestyle into hashtag hell. The occasional #strongisthenewskinny #Ilovetorun #behealthy etc. are all okay, mostly. Anything that doesn’t shame another person and isn’t used in a self seeking, obnoxious way tends not to piss many people off. It’s the people who DAILY post pictures or even videos of every detail of their gym routine that just make me barf. There is an entire underground society of these people, who post pictures of #thighthursday and #flexfriday- for no other reason than to garnish attention for their appearance. And here I was thinking that women didn’t want to be objectified for their bodies?

ImageThis is distastful and pornographic.

Am I not right in that? Your health, yes please, please worship- uplift and inspire others. But these women who put on very tiny bikinis that their giant glutes swallow and take 100 nearly nude selfies with the hastag #dedication are the very opposite of what women should be striving to be. Health should be functional, it should make you feel wonderful inside and out. It shouldn’t be to make others feel ashamed that they enjoy their normal lives, and it shouldn’t be used to project a physical appearance that unless you’re a vampire or you plan on dedicating every second of your existence to the gym instead of having a life, is impossible to upkeep.

Which brings me to my next point. Ladies, do you realize how much time and money is spent by these women who boast perfect bodies? I’m talking HOURS a day in the gym and thousands spent on supplements, shakes and powders. Not to mention the sacrifice of everything else in their life. Time with friends and family, real food, social activities and intellectual stimulation all take the back seat to their appearance. Just so they can feel that surging pride of walking into a room and knowing everyone is thinking the same thing, “She must work out.” Yeah, she does. Also, she’s obsessed with it and don’t bother talking to her about anything else. No wonder they date other gym worshipers and only have friends from 6am-9am &7pm-10pm everyday- Their life only exists there. It’s really quite sad.

Image

Also, women who look like men isn’t natural. Toned and fit, hell yeah. But there is a point where you’re no longer bearing the qualities that make us women. That softness, natural comforting figure that men seek as a purely scientific base for procreation- it’s what attracts them. Don’t ruin it. Go ahead and have that piece of chocolate. I did today, quite a few times. ;)

And another thing, just because you are learning the benefits of a healthy diet and new workouts doesn’t make you a certified nutritionist or qualified to produce makeshift workout videos. It’s like amateur porn. Which I’ve never watched, the comparison just seemed accurate here. Nor does your 500 photos of your ass in volleyball shorts squatting make you a celebrity. GET OVER YOURSELF.

Do it for you, and your health. If you want to take and post pictures, do it. Seriously it’s okay, when it’s showing progress on your health goals or you just need a little confidence boost. That’s what community is for. But there is a very fine line between community and a cult- learn it.

ImageWrong, do it for your health. Sex is secondary.

Rant over, for today.

Body Issue Rant One

First off, let me introduce to you a new fad of body issues. Applauding obesity. WHAT? Are you kidding me?

NOPE.

Look up on Instagram the hashtag search for “effyourbeautystandards” and sit back and stare, mouth gaping. It’s not  that these women are ugly, or hideous. They are unhealthy- and they are reveling in it as if it’s an honor. There is a difference in being body positive and being health positive. These women clearly haven’t heard of it.

I don’t mean to come off bitchy, but as someone who values her body as a temple, a house for the gift that is my soul, I am literally appalled that there is this entire community of women who flaunt the fact that their bodies are in a daily struggle to properly function.

If you look like someone dumped a barrel of cottage cheese over your entire body, then no, you’re not healthy. Does that mean you’re not a beautiful woman? Does that mean you aren’t worth anything, no. But don’t parade around with falsities claiming your health is optimum, you’re just “big boned” or curvy, that this is “who you are” because… well it’s not.

Science is a fucking powerful thing. Knowledge is power and knowledge comes from science. Science has proven time and time again that a figure who’s fat storage is over a suggested limit is in crisis. Science has shown us that “big boned” isn’t valid. Science has brought to light that “curvy” is womanly and GORGEOUS but once those curves start to roll over and flap around like squishy pancakes, it’s no longer a reason to cease taking care of yourself.

I am a prime example of this. I am a wider-set woman with hips and strong legs, making me unable to wear small sizes comfortably although if I turn to the side you’d think I was a 0 or 2. I run 20 miles a week, weight train 3 days a week, eat VERY clean, and generally stay active. I am incredibly healthy and my BMI is so low I don’t have to worry about pesky periods. But, yeah, I’m not a stick of a woman. Proving that women can be healthy and not be a size 2 or 4. But you best believe I don’t hang over my clothes and  jiggle around like jello.

Ask yourself this one simple question. Do you eat a well rounded and balanced diet, say no to bad foods, and exercise regularly? If you do then you’re healthy or on track to be. If you answered no, yet still prance around in your size 18 clothes and attack thinner women, shame on you.

LET ME SAY THIS before people freak out. It is not about appearance. It’s not about being comfortable and confident. It’s not about beauty. BEING FIT IS ABOUT MY HEALTH. I COULD CARE OR LESS ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE PERCEIVE ME AS ON AN APPEARANCE STANDARD. I keep myself taken care of because I care about what’s inside of me. MY body is a treasure. If I trashed it and just gave up, I’d begin to reverse it, not joining a cult-like throng of fat misshapen thong-ed ass women on social media claiming to be just fine. You’re not.

And the kicker is, they start these pages and hashtags that are like #bodypositive #bodypeace #fatchicksarebetter #effyourbeautystandards etc. They attack fit people for being fit. Not for any other reason than that. They attack us based on APPEARANCE. It’s funny, they are just as superficial as the super skinny women and the public media. Pot calling the Kettle black, eh?

Body Shaming is wrong. I don’t want to put anyone down for what they look like, i just get very perturbed when people celebrate being obese, killing themselves, and refuse to take responsibility for their actions and lifestyle. It isn’t natural to look that way. It’s natural to get a little chubby from time to time. But obesity is a whole other game. It goes against our organic growth to become obese, therefor it’s a sickness.

If you want to love yourself, HELL YES please do. If you’re a bigger girl, who cares! Own it, but if you’re bigger when its NOT natural for you to be, work to fix it. I’m not ranting to say fat women are ugly, I am ranting to say that they are unhealthy. Think of all the things you can’t do when you’re much larger than you should be. All the things that are difficult for you that people of normal/healthy weight do with ease. Ever wonder why it’s hard for you to walk up 1 fight of stairs? Ever question why you’re always getting sick, your heart struggles daily, your digestive system frequently fails you? This list can go on for days…

Gain some self-control and some self respect- give your body what it deserves instead of brainwashing yourself to think that being obese is physiologically okay. Cause it’s not.

The Pussification Of America

sierrawedde:

Funny that I read this after I posted my topic on the exact same thing. Except her’s is way more badass.

Originally posted on the musings of a funnier than average female:

No one wants to do jack shit anymore.  We are raising a bunch of whiney jerky cry babies.  In fact many of us are whiney jerky cry babies.

Remember the days of ole when someone acted like an asshole and they got their butt kicked? You can’t do that now, because you will go to jail and then get sued.  Asshats have all the power.

Remember when you had to go to school even when it was cold out?  Not anymore.  I live in Texas and we had one day of ice and for the next week the city periodically shut down because it was a little wintery out.  I mean, it is WINTER, and shockingly enough it is going to get cold out.  School boards were so scared of getting bitched out (or sued; it is, after all, the American way) by parents, they were calling bad weather days…

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Emily Dickinson Got it Right.

Do we really expect life to be easy? Isn’t that the most naïve thing on this planet? Think about it.

There are close to 7 billion people in our world. Each one has an opinion of how existence should be carried out. Each one has millions of ideas, trillions of thoughts. Every single human being feels that they are worthy of all the gifts and opportunities life has to offer. And you don’t think that at any given time all these little self motivating factors may clash with another, causing widespread difficulty and calling forth a plethora of problems?

“For each ecstatic instant, we must an anguish pay . In keen and quivering ratio to the ecstasy.” -Emily Dickinson

Possibly the most accurate and simplest line I’ve ever read to sum up what life actually is- Thank you Emily.

The ecstasy is not willing to give us moments of joy unless we are willing to also suffer anguish. One cannot exist without the other.  Have you ever heard of the comparison theory? That there is no dark, only absence of light? Or that there is no cold, just the absence of heat? Is there then no anguish, only absence of joy? I think not.

Science can explain the light and the heat. But it cannot explain emotion. We would not know the thrills of happiness without understanding the depth of agony. We would not value it as the one true motivator of society unless we knew what the result of our failure to achieve it would be. Emotion doesn’t exist in absence of the other, it exists because other the other.

When you understand this- life becomes exponentially easier. Less painful, hell no. But you’re better emotionally equipped to deal with it. The point isn’t to take away the pain, the sweat or the ugly parts of existence. It’s to teach us appreciation and the reward of good, honest hard work.

But the issue with society is an explainable mindset that we are entitled only to happiness. Only to the good things life has to offer. And we wonder why there are depressed brats trampling the freshman campuses across the nation. My generation has a few good heads who were raised with values of effort, but I fear greatly for the younger ones growing up now. It’s not even the parenting completely, it’s the state of our social structure. There is bitterness in these youthful souls as soon as life inevitably gives them a taste of reality, and because they are never taught the purpose of pain, they can never love their triumphs. It is a vicious circle that forces these ignorant minds into deeper states of pessimism.

I feel like I scream to educate our upcoming generations, yet it goes further than knowledge. The real crippling blow is to the emotional brevity of these children. Life is a dark and menacing thing when looked at as a whole. However, armed with pep in their shoes and maturity on their shoulders, one can learn to see it as a bright, welcoming occurrence.

Embrace, Empower, Endure. I can say it everyday, to everyone I meet. It’s a call to action by your actions! I give thanks to my father every single time I am reminded that somehow I escaped the mental trap that most other young adults did not. Unless these traits are restored into the children of our nation, I am moving to mother freaking New Zealand.

Just kidding, they have Lorde there and I can’t stand it.