addiction, celebrity

Demi Lovato and the Addiction Monster

demi

As most of the world already knows, Demi almost died of a drug overdose on July 24th. But what’s interesting about the entire thing, is that unlike Britney back in the early 2000s, she didn’t shave her head and go back on tour. She’s being very adult about it, stating it isn’t something that is going to go away. It has to be dealt with one day at a time.

For someone who makes their living in the limelight and is at the mercy of agents and the world, that’s pretty powerful and takes guts.

Looking back in history, countless musicians and actors DIED because they had an addiction that was either already there or made worse by fame. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, River Phoenix. And those are just on the top of my head. Normally, stuff like this really bothers me, because it seems like only celebrities are given treatment and attention that EVERYONE in her situation deserves. But this time, it feels different. It feels as though she’s mature enough to look back and say ‘hey, something isn’t right and I need to fix it,’ instead of blatantly ignoring and going on her merry way. We all know that can kill you.

Not only that, but if you’ve seen Facebook recently, there’s a new, or continuing debate regarding addiction. Is it a choice? Is your brain already wired to go ahead with it? I don’t suffer from addiction, but I HAVE witnessed people who DO. I used to work with a man who suffered from addiction. Pill popper, alcohol and depression. Had MANY DUIs to the point his license was almost revoked. Missed a day of work because he was in jail due to a DUI. Said ‘wine is like kool-aide’. He KNEW he had a problem, yet his depression kept him from seeking help. His mother told him if he didn’t get help, he’d be thrown out. Instead of going to AA, he’d go to bookstores.

This is how the scene looks to me: an almost middle-aged man living with his parents because he can’t get his stuff together to be productive.

This is how he sees it: I don’t give a fuck.

I knew that was how he saw it because he told me on a regular basis. He got fired from his overnight job because he came in drunk.

This is my take on addiction. Since this is just how I see it, and I don’t suffer from it but it DOES run in my family, it may not bear ANY resemblance to how it actually works. I don’t really expect it to.

If you’re the offspring of full-blown addicts, your brain may already wired to become addicted to something, then it’s only a matter of time before it happens. Like depression. Mine didn’t pop up until I was a teen. Maybe not. But this is where things get tricky. Is it possible if both your parents are addicts, that you may NOT become one? If it’s in your genetics, then there’s also a possibility. Your PARENTS may not be, but maybe a close relative or grandparent is. Skipping a generation. My cousin had a drinking problem when she was a teen. Her parents were divorced and her dad is an abusive dick. My own sister was so depressed she almost drank herself to death. We all know that mental illness can, and so often does, play a role in addiction. You hit rock bottom, you either bring yourself up or hit the bottle. Not the healthiest thing, but when you’re THAT depressed, you don’t care. Is it a disease? Diseases usually require treatment. Substance abuse usually requires rehab. I’d say yes. But I know little about addiction, so I can’t and won’t give a definitive answer.

I don’t know if my cousin still has the problem. She’s married with a kid and is a substance abuse counselor in Wichita. My sister went through a couple of depression programs and got herself a part-time job.

Now, all of us are related. By blood. My cousin’s mother is my dad’s sister. It IS entirely possible that my cousin’s father has addiction problems. It’s entirely likely that just being AROUND him was enough to cause her alcoholism. I’ve never had issues with addiction. Maybe I just don’t have the gene? I don’t know.

This is a big problem in the medical world. A lot of people with a misunderstanding of addiction are actually TREATING people. This seems like a HUGE recipe for disaster. Kind of like male ob-gyn’s. Are there any female doctors who treat men for prostate cancer? Why do men practice in an area of the body in which they do not possess? I know this stems from a not long ago era where women weren’t allowed to anything besides breathe.

As much of a celebrity as she is, Demi KNOWS she’s a role model for thousands. How many listen because they know where she comes from? Dealing with addiction themselves? They see she’s stopping her life to KEEP IT. That tells ANYONE with addiction that ‘your life IS worth it. Get help!’ Unlike Britney who just shaved her head and went back on tour before she was healed. Damn near killed her if I remember correctly. But that was nearly 18 years ago. Things change, for the better or not. Demi appears to be a new force to be reckoned with, one that we have not seen before. She’s admitting she’s got a problem and taking steps to heal herself. You can’t ‘fix’ something like this, no matter what society would like to believe. Because in their eyes, it’s all in your head and just take some Ibuprofen to get rid of it. Well hell, if it were THAT easy we’d ALL be cured! Just like that cartoon where someone is depressed and another person tells them to ‘think positive’ and their life is suddenly better.

Such is the life of the misinformed. Whether it be intentional or uneducated.

On a different note, I am now a Brand Ambassador for Wear Lively bras, in addition to starting a collaboration with FabFitFun! So at the end of my posts, you will start to see links to these sites.

https://www.wearlively.com/discount/AMB-Miss.Fashionista1982

 

Have a fabulous weekend everyone! I love you all!!!!

smiley heartLove-Ellie

 

 

celebrity, Health

The ‘Faces’ of Mental Health

demi lovato

Before I begin, I want you readers to know I am NOT shaming these young women for their problems. I AM, however, shaming the people who have decided these same young women should get more attention than ‘normal’ people for having the same fucking problems. So I should warn you that there most likely will be cursing because shit like this pisses me off. I’m not one for cursing, but this gets my blood boiling.

So last week, practically RIGHT AFTER I had posted the article about makeup, I found Demi Lovato had been hospitalized for a drug overdose. Depression, addiction, eating disorders and bipolar disorder are amongst her issues. All of these can be hereditary. They can also be developed as a result of changed lifestyle. She grew up as an actress on Barney and made her way to what she is right now.

Now, I can see how going from a child actress to the pop star that she is would cause problems. As ‘Tootie’ from ‘Facts of Life’ once said ‘its hard going through puberty in the spotlight.’ Well hon, it’s hard going through puberty WITHOUT the spotlight. The only difference is we aren’t on TV.

 

amy winehouse

Then there’s Amy Winehouse. A young woman in her early twenties. Died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 at age 27. I don’t know much about her, as I wasn’t a big fan. Same with Demi. I don’t really listen to their genre of music and she’s ten years younger than I am.

Both of these women have/had the same problems. At least as far as I know, since Amy’s bio only gives her music history and the events leading up to her death. Demi is still alive and in the hospital.

This is where shit pisses me off. Who the FUCK decided celebrity mental issues, the same that EVERYONE ELSE in the world has, were more important? Who decided that entertainers deserve to go to rehab and get cleaned up, when most of the population is in the same boat and lack proper medical supplies? Remember when Britney Spears had her meltdown and shaved her head? She was hospitalized. It’s almost as if someone is saying ‘these celebrities give hope to ALL people who have the same problems. THEY should be given top priority with health!’ Uh…NO. EVERYONE with health issues should be given top priority. But we live in a world where celebrity voices overshadow their fans. Which is bullshit. FANS are the ones who GET CELEBS FAMOUS! Celebs and Hollywood should be kissing the ass of the little guy, not the other way around. Did you know in Caesar’s time, being an actor/actress was the lowest of the low? Where and when did that change?

But people who sing aren’t alone in this category. Actors/Actresses. Sports figures. Nobody cares about anything until a CELEBRITY becomes a figurehead. It seems to me, the only time something serious is taken seriously by the necessary people, is when a celebrity becomes involved. I guarantee once Demi’s situation is dealt with, mental illness will be ‘widely known’. Bullshit. It’s ALREADY ‘widely known!’ YOU AREN’T PAYING ATTENTION!!!!!

To be fair, I know these women didn’t ask for this. As stated before, Demi’s problems are most likely hereditary, exacerbated by pressures from becoming a celebrity. Amy certainly didn’t ask to die. It seems to me in this situation, it’s like poking a bear. Keep poking it, and eventually it’s gonna turn and bite you. Same with Demi. If the problems aren’t addressed, an OD happens and everyone wonders why. We seem to have an issue in America where we ignore the smaller health problems until it becomes a GIANT problem and we wonder why things got so bad. I’m well aware that not all problems are like this. Heart issues run in my family. Almost everyone on my dad’s parents side, died of heart failure. My grandpa was born with a defective heart valve. My aunt was apparently born with the same problem. Early in his life, my grandpa was diagnosed with some other issue that could turn into a potentially life-threatening illness. Well, he never developed the life-threatening issue from the other problem, but he DID die of a heart attack. He was supposed to get the valve fixed, but opted out. He was in his late 80s. My aunt, on the other hand, is in her mid-50s and got the surgery. I’m well aware of the difference between an 80 year old and a 50 year old. But the point remains the same. If you KNOW about it and don’t, can’t, won’t get it fixed then shit’s gonna hit the fan. Don’t poke the bear til it turns and bites only for you to call foul.

So SHOULD celebrities get more attention for their problems? No. The fans should get more attention because WE are the ones who PUT them there! Somehow, WE are kissing THEIR asses instead of the other way around. EVERYONE needs to be treated in accordance to the severity of their issues. I have ASD and GAD. Do I need to be treated in the same manner as someone with Bipolar disorder? No. Just because you’re a public figure does NOT mean you deserve better treatment!

Ugh. So fucking frustrating.

On a happier note, since I’ve been looking at social media a lot more lately, along with my own life ordeals, I’ve come to the conclusion that I may be able to put out TWO blogs a week. Monday and Friday, Wednesday and Friday. Not sure yet. The world has become so messed up that ideas are just flowing.

Have a great weekend and I’ll see you all in the next post!

Love, Ellie V 😉

Health

I LOVE MY MENTAL ILLNESS….said no one EVER

annoyed face

At a previous job, I worked with young woman of age 27. Her name was Brie. She worked weekends like I did, and I hadn’t seen her for a few days. I saw her the following Monday and asked how she was. She told me she’d been sick. My sister, who worked at the same establishment at the time, had been sick with the flu. I’d asked Brie if she had that as well. She said no, and that she was sick ‘in the head’ and pointed some of the silverware at her head. It should be noted we were sorting the silverware at the time, so this action was not uncommon. I said, ‘oh, I gotcha.’ She asked me if I knew what she meant by ‘sick in the head.’ I told her I did and proceeded to ramble off my own mental issues. People had said to her ‘why are you so sad? You have nothing to be sad over.’

That’s why it’s called an ILLNESS idiot.

If you don’t understand, that’s one thing. But if you’re just plain ignorant and unwilling to learn, then I have no time for you. However, exceptions can be made. At this same job, I worked with all men. Only five spoke fluent English. The rest were English as a second language. Which is fine. However(you knew that was coming)the two I worked closest to….just didn’t get it. Management tried to explain it…..but to my knowledge it wasn’t getting through. It IS entirely possible, that where they were from mental illness either didn’t exist or was on a need-to-know basis. But once you cross into America, it’s a whole new ballgame.

People who don’t understand mental illness are usually the first to say ‘what do you have to be sad over’, then proceed to rattle off everything in their life that they should be grateful for. Or they tell you to ‘just think positive’.  I once saw a meme of someone who had depression and the other character told him to ‘just think positive’. He did and his entire life was changed. ‘You cured me!’ was what came out of the depressed individuals mouth. I laughed. Because only the ignorant and uneducated REALLY believe it’s this easy. The negative voices in your head are the worst roommates you’ll ever have. All they do is take, take, take and make YOU feel like the guilty party.

I’ve read stuff where when DEALING with mental illness, you just gotta ‘do it’, as Nike says. ‘If you want it, you’ll find a way to do it, no more excuses’. The list goes on and on. But if you’re too depressed to get out of bed, then no amount of persuasion is going to change your mind. The best one I’ve seen regarding this is ‘you’re doing great to just to get through the day.’ To me, this is FAR more inspiring than the others I’ve read. To be fair, I DO realize the others are mainly for people who just need a swift kick in the ass. But to battle the demons in your head is NOT an easy, or WANTED, challenge.

You may remember last weekend when I said I had joined WEN. Well, I had to quit last Friday because of a two-day long anxiety attack. It started Thursday morning and seeped into Friday. Come Sunday, I believe, I sunk into a deep depression that has lightened up considerably….but still hasn’t gone away. I haven’t wanted to do a damn thing for the past week. The ‘just do it’ mantra SOMETIMES works with me. ‘if you want it, you’ll find a way to do it’. The latter usually requires patience.

My goal is to become a NPC and IFBB competitor. However, a few things stand in my way: eating, consistency and exercise. You may wonder how this ties in. Easily. Having gone over twenty years with undiagnosed and untreated anxiety, I’ve lost my ability to eat. When your anxiety gets so bad that you have to make yourself sick to get rid of the stomach pangs, that’s bad. But it’s what I had to do. I was always anxious before school, so I never ate breakfast. When I WAS able to eat, I’d binge because I was so hungry. Now, I’m learning how to eat again. Not as easy as it sounds. Hard to eat when nothing sounds good. Mental illness doesn’t always affect the brain and mood. It can affect your eating habits as well. I also know it can turn one into an alcoholic. But since I don’t drink, I can’t comment. All I WILL say though, is it almost killed my sister a very short time ago.

Unfortunately, I’m still in a depressive funk and my brain is everywhere EXCEPT solace.

Have a great weekend!

-Ellie V

 

Health

My Mental Illness Sucks

mental healthMy weekend sucked.

I am fully aware that people have bad days, weeks, months and even years. But when you suffer from mental illness of ANY type, it’s very different. First off, when ‘normal’ people have a bad time…..well, I don’t know WHAT they do. I’m going to guess they go for a walk, talk to a friend or get coffee. They don’t tend to shut people out. But when mental illness is the catalyst, things are MUCH different. You hibernate. Become a hermit. You don’t WANT to…but that’s usually the way it ends up, depending on the severity.

I’ll tell you why my weekend sucked and why I’m posting this late.

I started a program called ‘WEN’. Women’s Empowerment Network. It’s a group FOR women, RUN by women to help ALL women achieve their career goals. They help you search for work, increase your skills; basically give you a leg up when nobody else can or will. You may be thinking ‘why?’ Well, I joined because my sister did a few months back and it helped her a lot. Boosted her self-esteem. Due to my anxiety and panic attacks, jobs are difficult to keep. Plus, with my math disorder, they’re difficult to GET.

The classes are at 9am in downtown KCMO. About 30-45 minutes depending on traffic. This means I have to be up by 7-7:30. This is a trigger zone for me. School attendance and two jobs that gave me severe anxiety issues were about that early. So the stages of the panic attack started Thursday morning. Don’t know why, but I DO have speculations. Friday, I woke with day two of the panic attack. So I went driving. If I can, I force myself to leave the house. Sometimes I don’t go anywhere, sometimes I head to a particular spot in the middle of nowhere. This is where another hobby of mine was born. Historical Kansas and Missouri. I travel to ghost towns and spots where historical events took place. So for the hell of it, I went to a haunted cemetery. I tried to, anyway. I couldn’t find it. So I ended up in Alcove Springs, which was a stop on the Oregon/Santa Fe Trails. This is where things went to crap. As I headed home, I realized my phone was out of range. Ok, just grab my GPS. As luck would have it, I dropped the charging port against the dash board and it broke. After turning on the GPS, I was told it was low on battery. Ten minutes later, it was dead. Great.

But I remember it telling me I was heading to Topeka. Okay. Keep in a straight line. Don’t make yourself MORE lost. Eventually, I ended up in the back roads of Topeka. I STILL didn’t have any online GPS access and it was getting late. I have ZERO navigational skills and it was just dumb luck that I found the cemetery that I’d found some years before, which led to the highway. I-70 East to Kansas City. I made it home by 8pm and the incident traumatized me to the point where I’m not venturing in the middle of nowhere without an actual GPS that DOESN’T rely on wifi.

So Saturday morning, I woke in the depressive stage of what turned out to be an anxiety attack. I just had anxiety about getting up early. No panic. Then I went to the pharmacy to get my medication. WITHOUT insurance, it was damn near $90. I don’t understand why medication MADE to keep women’s reproductive parts safe is ridiculously expensive. But that’s a story for another day.

Since Thursday, things have just sucked. I haven’t wanted to do anything or really go anywhere. I’m sorry this is so short, but that’s where things are right now. I hope to have a better week tomorrow and a longer post.

-Have a great weekend, Ellie V

Uncategorized

Social Media and Self-Esteem

Before I begin, I want to thank my new followers: Healthy Body Support, Freshstart PCOS and beauty135598637. Erwin for their comment on ‘fat’ and Journey Through The Storm and Cristian Mihai for liking my first post. Lets keep ’em coming!

So, as you can tell by the title, today’s topic is comparison, social media, self-esteem, cropping and selfies. Self-esteem has been around as long as humans. But for those of you who are in their mid-thirties and over, a ‘selfie’ was a yearbook picture, taken with a Polaroid or regular camera. Comparison came from magazines and newspapers. To those of you in the 40+ age range; as teens, how many of you looked at the cover of Vogue, Cosmopolitan or some other fashion mag and seen the ‘perfect’ features of Cindy Crawford, Christy Brinkley, Tyra Banks or Madonna? You may not have cared. You may have cared a LOT. It may have made you so depressed you grabbed something unhealthy to eat, or you were so empowered that you decided to join a gym. There is no right or wrong answer. Your response was often based on self-esteem and comparison. If you felt bad about yourself, you did one of two things; became more depressed or took advantage of the situation and made yourself better. Even if you felt like you were on cloud nine, you may have felt a sting of inadequacy. ‘They look perfect. Why don’t I?’ Simple. They Aren’t perfect. It’s cropping and airbrushing. How many of you have seen a picture of a model or celebrity in airbrushed vs normal? Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr is a good example. In unfiltered pics, she has a freckle or mole on her stomach close to her bellybutton. In photo shoots, it’s gone. I don’t ever remember seeing a face-up of Cindy Crawford and her mole being brushed out. She spoke to NPR about it and said it made her self-conscious. But Vogue didn’t airbrush it out. Needless to say, you can always tell airbrushed from untouched when moles, freckles and other ‘unsightly’ marks are there.

With the advent of social media and our access to the same types of airbrushing and other filters; self-esteem is dropping, depression is rising and young women are getting plastic surgery to match their selfies. I wish this was a joke. The desire to be ‘perfect’ has hit new lows and has no signs of stopping. So, lets begin with social media.

Unless you’ve been under a rock since the early 2000’s, social media is EVERYWHERE. Whether or not you decide to partake is your choice, but I’m betting you all have at LEAST a Facebook account.

social mediaEven though everyone has at least HEARD of social media and maybe have an account or two, I’m gonna run down the list(note that most of them are online with apps, aside from Snapchat):

Facebook- Founded in 2004. An online and app platform designed to allow users to post pictures, video and status updates to followers. Anyone can join and anyone can follow, as long as the recipient has an account and you’re accepted into their group.

facebook

Tumblr-Founded in 2007. Users can share photos and hashtags.

tumblr

Pinterest- Founded in 2009. Users can create multiple boards, pin pictures to said boards and follow others with similar interests.

pinterest

Twitter- Founded in 2006. Users can share photos, updates and video with followers. The updates are called ‘tweets.’

twitter

LinkedIn-Founded in 2002. Company and employee-relations. Users can search ideal jobs with specific interests, connect with people in or related to those positions and post photos of their craft.

linkedin

Instagram- Founded in 2010. It’s pretty much like Facebook, only more photo and video-oriented.

Instagram

YouTube-Founded in 2005. More or less ‘personalized TV.’ Users can create their own channels for their own creations and follow others.

youtube

Snapchat- Founded 2011. This one’s a little more tricky. It’s via phone and you can add people only if they have it and accept you. Videos and chats last about five seconds.

snapchat

What does all this have to do with self-esteem? Remember the magazines? Well, it’s diverged into mobile media. Now that we have the same filters(for the most part)as the pros do, we are able to erase, enhance, crop and filter the hell out of anything we deem ‘unsightly’. Which, I’m sorry to say, is a lot. I do not use filters when I take photos. Mainly because I rarely take ‘selfies'(I absolutely LOATHE that word. It insinuates narcissism.) If you ever hear a robotic voice on YouTube say ‘selfie’ it sounds like ‘self-ize. Pretty hilarious. Some people are born naturally attractive, while others aren’t. But you also have to remember that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. When it comes down to it, beauty is relevant. It has no meaning except to the person who perceives. Much like time. It was invented, yet the inventors are a slave to it. Beauty is a perceived idea, yet the creators are slave to it. Take Marilyn Monroe. She was hot stuff back in the day. She wore a size 12. She was not stick-thin. She’s a classic movie star whose life was cut short.

Now, older generations see her as a classic beauty while modern society sees her as ‘not perfect’ because she wasn’t stick-thin. Somewhere between the 30s to 2018, something changed. I think it had something to do with the change in cinema. Does Valentino ring a bell? Apparently his voice was so bad that he was out of work once ‘talkies’ came around. I think it was Joan Crawford who said she’d never make movies again once colorized film came around. I guess she didn’t look too good in color. A LOT of movie moguls lost their appeal once media upgraded. Now that TV is becoming high-definition and Blu-Ray has all but replaced DVDs, the once ‘perfect’ faces are showing signs of ‘imperfection’. I remember seeing Smallville on high-def for the first time and wondered why everyone was sweating. It was just the reflection of the lights. Then I watch stuff from pre-high def and see it’s kind if hazy, like cheesecloth. Things you don’t see at the time, but see upon comparison. Does anyone remember the TIME magazine cover with Tina Fey? I think it was TIME. She has a visible scar on her cheek that TIME airbrushed. She wasn’t too happy about that. Scars are not flaws. To me, they’re a sign you’ve lived your life. Even being in a crash is living your life. Living it isn’t always pretty. And not even the elite are immune.

So with the cropping, airbrushing and the like, what you get is a perfect sense of fake. For example. You see a picture of a fancy meal with silver, wineglasses and a lacy table cloth. Your automatic assumption is a hoity-toity restaurant. What you DON’T see? The dirty surroundings. What you DON’T see is what the brain assumes. You ASSUME it’s a fancy restaurant. You ASSUME there’s a waiter holding a bucket of chilled wine. But in reality, most likely it’s your average joe trying to look cool. Filters to capture EVERYTHING at it’s absolute BEST. And there’s nothing wrong with trying to look better or cooler. Until it begins an obsession or depression. Which is what is beginning to happen. And what’s being done to stop it? More filters.

So what’s the best way to combat? Limiting time is a start. If you want to join the game, ALWAYS be aware that IN YOUR MIND, SOMEONE will be BETTER. Nobody is telling you this, except for your own brain. The photo isn’t telling you this. Neither is the poster. As stated before, it’s ALL assumption. Just remember that there are magazines out there DEDICATED to showing the population how BAD celebrities look without makeup. They don’t look bad. They look HUMAN. With some of them, plastic surgery and too much sun has DEFINATELY taken its toll. But when you’re used to seeing beautiful people constantly dressed to the nines due to paparazzi stalking them, you’re GOING to think they look strange when, in fact, they look NORMAL. Selena Gomez was recently hounded for her weight and her scar. It was a kidney transplant scar. It’s almost as if the magazines are trying to show us that celebrities look like us without their makeup, and at the same time belittling for every little flaw.

My response is this: take a long look at your behavior when you look at this stuff. Do you feel sad? Angry? Depressed? Again, there’s no right or wrong answer. Nobody can tell you how you should feel when you look at something. If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, ask yourself ‘why?’ Take a look at the picture. If it’s an athlete, model, celebrity, ask yourself why you’re looking at it. Are you jealous? A little envy can be a good thing  because it often makes us motivated to fix the issue. But when envy becomes destructive and affects your behavior, then it’s time to close the app. Are you jealous because you think they look better than you? Do you ever think WHY they look that way? It’s their career. They’re sponsored. They put in HOURS of hard work and dedication. However, NOBODY is telling you that YOU cannot follow that lifestyle. All you have to do is make time for it. Remember though, that no matter how hard you work, you’ll never really attain THAT specific body because your genes are different. If you ever look at fitness, NPC and IFBB models; the only thing they have in common are muscle and toned physiques. Some have bigger butts. Some have larger breasts. So don’t let social media bring you down, as it can always bring you up, no matter WHAT the content.

So here we come to a close. I hope you all enjoyed the content and I’m getting better at not jumping around and going in a flow. But that’s just how my brain works. You can follow me on any social media and I hope to see you next weekend!

-Love, Ellie

Health, self-esteem

Body Shaming in Today’s Society

fat shamingBefore I begin, I want EVERYONE to know, this may be a sensitive story for some. I do NOT approve of body shaming of ANY type. I don’t even LIKE the word ‘fat’ unless it’s directed towards healthy fats. I’m not the tiniest woman in the world, whereas my mother and three younger sisters are on the heavier side. In this article, I’ll be exploring the world of body shaming in it’s entirety. What I’m going to do is post a picture and give a generalized background and how it affects women. Why, you ask? Because I am a woman and this is geared towards women. So, without further adieu, let us begin.

Our society views heavy people as ‘unhealthy’ and ‘lazy’. While this MAY be true for ‘some’, it isn’t the case for ALL. Mental illness, lack of resources, medication, environment, genetics, etc play a role in this. For this case, I am going to pull in the experiences my younger sister had growing up.

She had bad anxiety as a kid. She was put on Ritalin. Her mental health slid BADLY and a few issues with depression landed her in the hospital. She moved to Lawrence to get away and things got worse from there. I hadn’t seen her for awhile; so when she came to visit, I didn’t recognize her. All I saw was this heavy-set woman sitting in the living room. It took me a few minutes to realize she was my sister. She’d gotten so big and puffy that I didn’t recognize her. It turned out the Ritalin had screwed up her metabolism so badly that EVERYTHING was out of whack. Once she moved back, she began to eat healthier. The alcohol was replaced with actual FOOD. She’s lost a few pounds since coming back, but she still gets shamed. It’s sickening to know that people look and my sister, and other women in her position, and automatically judge. It goes without saying that individuals who shame large people have issues themselves. If you think shaming someone will make them change their lifestyle, think again. If they’re already depressed, it just makes them feel worse. If they don’t care, then other opinions won’t matter.

I remember when I worked at Walmart several years ago. I was a fitting-room attendant. A middle-aged woman came out of a room wearing a shirt that was a size too small. She asked me if she looked fat. Those were HER words, not mine. I told her it looked a little snug and may want to consider going up a size. Her sigh of relief told me she’d been called ‘fat’ when asking that question. I was the first to word it differently. It sickens me to know that society thinks this is acceptable.

 

skinny shaming

Believe it or not, skinny shaming exists as well. From what I can tell, the shaming comes from people who could be jealous. This situation stems from the same area as ‘fat’-shaming. I have a friend who has a thyroid problem. She’s been a size-zero ALL her life, even after having four kids. She’s VERY hyperactive and was diagnosed with ADHD early in life. Some people work hard to be skinny, or as I refer to it as ‘thin’ or ‘fit’. I experienced this several years ago. I went to Lane Bryant with my sister so she could find bras. I saw a pair of earrings there that I liked. When I went in the next day, the saleslady gave me a look of ‘what are YOU doing here?’ She didn’t say it, I could SEE it. I bought the earrings and left. Later, I told my sister of the experience, and she said ‘welcome to my world’. That was when it hit me.

But in this case, maybe the jealousy comes from people who, for whatever reason, WANT to be thin but CAN’T. Again, medication and environment play a role. If you’re suffering from undiagnosed depression, life is going to suck. I had undiagnosed depression AND anxiety for over 20 years. As a result, when I got anxious, I’d throw up to relive the anxiety. My appetite was VERY come and go until about four years ago. As a result of this, I AM thin….but at a price. My metabolism is screwed and I have difficulty eating. I’m so used to NOT eating, that it’s out of habit. A habit that is VERY difficult to change.

Certain illness: such as thyroid issues, PCOS and depression can make you either pack on the pounds or lose weight to the point that other medication or a special diet is needed. Hormonal imbalances ALSO play a role. If things aren’t going well on the INSIDE, then things aren’t going to be going very well on the OUTSIDE.

excuse

Remember this? I can’t remember where I first saw it, but it pissed me off. I’m not a mother but this was, and still is, inappropriate. At least to me. In this picture, a mother with a fit body and three kids is basically telling other mothers ‘being a mother isn’t an excuse to be fat’. This caused a GIANT uproar. My mom is on the heavy side. She’s lost a few pounds over the years because my dad’s health is messed up and she’s eating the same food as he does. She’s adopted, so there’s no telling what her biological family is like or her genetics. My mom had four kids, between 1982 and 1990. This was the era of ‘Weight Watchers.’ The budding diet food industry, if I remember correctly. My mother performed as she saw fit for a housewife; taking care of the kids, house and husband. Though I’m betting having 1950s influences, in addition to being raised in a southern household added to it.

Not all mom’s see being fit as a requirement or a necessity. Society tells mother’s ‘your family comes first’. But in an era where some gyms offer daycare, getting fit is attainable, only if you want to. But I’m not a mother and my knowledge is limited, so I’m going to give my two cents worth and back away.

equal beautyWhat it comes down to is this: Love yourself and everything will fall into place. Nobody should tell you what to think of yourself. In an age where social media is the norm and we’re bombarded with scantily-clad women, it’s very difficult to find peace within ourselves. I read that depression is on the rise since the advent of Instagram and Facebook. Not just with looks, but lifestyles. What needs to be remembered though, is it’s usually ALL for show. Unless the person is a celebrity of some type, rest assured that the individuals’ life is most likely the same as yours and they’re just making it seem more interesting.

The bottom line? If you like how you look and feel, NOTHING can change that. If you want to improve, then DO it. I used to have low self-esteem. I’ve changed that by doing the following: have a team. I’ve developed my team by following women who have the physique I desire. I want to be a fitness model. So I follow the likes of Jennifer Nicole Lee(who is the poster child for weight-loss motivation). Why? Because her story starts out as an overweight housewife who is disgusted by a picture of herself and decides to do something about it. She’s used this experience to motivate other mothers to become healthier. Her motto is, more or less, ‘just because you’re a mom doesn’t mean you can’t be sexy.’ Much more uplifting than the mom of ‘what’s your excuse’. I recommend looking Jennifer up online when you get the opportunity. She’s turned her name into a health and fitness sensation. JNL Worldwide.

Have an excellent day!

-Ellie V.