Body dismorhphia & how pregnancy is helping me

I have 2 boys who are so excited and a husband who thought he wouldn’t have his own after losing his first….and all I can think about is my weight gain ?

Real talk.

I don’t normally discuss this on social media but the more open I’ve been over the years about my alcoholism the more women I’ve been able to help, so maybe this will help too.

Age 5 is when I remember my first thoughts about feeling fat. (And I wasn’t) I’ve spent nearly 35 yrs (my bday is soon) obsessing over my size. After high school I got real skinny. Then I got pregnant with the twins and although my stomach wasn’t as big as one with twins would get, I had a ton of added weight from eating like shit, and water weight. I felt disgusting after they were born. Hated my body. I had no tools to cope except for the wine opener.

I’ve been different weights through the years and no, I’ve never been technically overweight. However I can tell you honestly that the feelings are the same. I know beautiful big women and the way they feel is the same. Size doesn’t matter. And guess what…..women who are too skinny get hate too. We can’t win.

Yes I think i was a bit too thin last summer. But I didn’t see it. My eyes don’t see what you see.

My first thought getting pregnant this time? JOY. My second thought….. WEIGHT GAIN. I spent my entire first trimester sleeping pretty much and hormones going crazy, i got depressed and felt gross. I began to feel selfish. Here I am creating and growing a life inside me. I have 2 boys who are so excited and a husband who thought he wouldn’t have his own after losing his first….and all I can think about is my weight gain ?

Realizing this is a sickness just like my alcoholism, and now knowing the tools I’ve learned over 4.5 yrs of sobriety, I turned to prayer and slowly started talking about it so it’s not a secret anymore. Secrets keep us sick.

It’s working! I now see myself as a cute and beautiful pregnant woman who has a nice little belly and a healthy baby boy growing that I am already nurturing!!!! I’ve been eating well this time too.

Women are amazing and we really need to be kinder to ourselves. I’m healthy, I’m happy (most days lol) and so I’ve gained weight….im supposed to for Jacob. It’s in God’s plan that Jacob is coming.

Prayer and talking about it is helping. I wish I had these tools 12 yrs ago. I’m already excited about staying healthy after he’s born.

God is always working in your life. But it’s up to you to be open to what he is saying to you!

What he’s telling me now? AMANDA you have the tools to beat this. You know how to overcome negative thoughts in your head with healthy tools. You’ve come so far to go back. You wanted another gift of life and Jacob needed you. So here he is. A second chance to stay healthy for not only yourself but your children.

Talk about it, pray, positive self talk over and over, and remember, secrets will keep you sick.

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No more apologies

For years people told me:
You’re too sensitive
Get over it
Why are you crying
Why are you letting it affect you
You’re crazy
Why do you care
You have issues
You need help
You have alterier motives

You know what? I’ll be 35 soon and this is what I’ve come to realize:
It’s okay to be sensitive.
It’s okay to spend time alone because the weight of others energies are weighing heavy in your heart.
It’s okay to put up boundaries to protect yourself.
It’s ok if some people think you trying to help others has a selfish reason behind it because you know in your heart it’s not true.
It’s ok to work on yourself first.
It’s ok to weed negative people out of your life, and not feel bad for it.
It’s ok to be who you are and make no apologies for it.
What some may think are your weaknesses, does not mean they really are.
It’s ok. It’s ok. It’s ok.

For all the years of people who scolded me and put me down for being sensitive…..ITS BECOME MY POWER. MY STRENGTH. I help others by emotionally being there for them. I’m a friend, I’m a sister, I’m a mother, I’m a wife, I’m a sponser to women, and I’m proud to be sensitive and an empath.

It all makes sense now!

DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR WHO YOU ARE

Thank you to my unborn son, for helping me through my body image issues.

Something I don’t talk about is my body image issues. Why? Because it’s still a struggle. But, maybe if I began talking about it like I did about my alcoholism 4.5 yrs ago it would help lift the stigma I place on myself.
I don’t see what you see. I don’t see what the mirror image shows me. My eyes see someone different. Someone larger. My thighs appear bigger, I focus on every ounce of cellulite, I focus on my weird nose and whether or not I can see my collar bone or not. When I see a picture of myself I don’t truly believe it’s me. The camera must be lying. I’m bigger than that.
You see this is what a body image issue is. It’s in our brains. It’s not self seeking for attention or compliments. It does not mean I believe all people should be skinny. In fact I look at curvy women and admire their confidence! This is a constant battle between reality vs disorder. It’s not fun and I don’t wish it on anyone. It’s obsessively worrying about being perfect which is insanity because perfection does not exist.
As my body changes with my pregnancy I see my growing bum, breasts and thighs. It’s a battle of knowing this is normal and healthy, and knowing I’m being a good mom by nurturing my son, to obsessing over how big my body is getting and how long will it take to get back. And then I feel selfish for worrying about it.
I cannot wait to hold you my son. My 3rd boy. My precious gift from God. My love for you is already growing and it’s already unconditional. I would give my last breath for my children’s first. When I hold you for the first time I know this will all be worth it. The back pain, my body aches, my hormones being wacky, my eating disorder being triggered by weight gain, the labor, the healing afterwards….all worth it and I would do it again if it meant being your mommy. I cannot promise that I’ll be a perfect mom but I can promise that I’ll always be the very best that I can be. I will love you and your brothers for my entire life and beyond in heaven. Completely unconditional.

This is what I need to focus on. I need to tell my disorder to fuck off. Because I have a husband and soon to be 3 son’s who see me as a beautiful loving and caring mother who could care less about my body size.

At the end of the day is it really about size? Or is it me trying to control myself?

Perhaps God is telling Me, “You see Amanda, I put this life inside you. Appreciate the amazing wonders your body can do. You’re growing a life. You’re giving life. That is the most beautiful thing in the world. Love your body for what it’s giving you”

After 17 years of battling this, I’m starting to see a light. A possible path that will be healthier. Will I ever be completely free of this? No. But I am slowly starting to retrain my brain into believing and seeing myself for who I really am.

Thank you to my unborn son for helping me appreciate my body. For learning to love what it can do, which is more important than how it looks.

Love Mommy

Irrelevant Perception

If its not my own truth, its not relevant to who I am.

 

Why do we let what others think of us determine how we feel about ourselves? At what point in our lives do we actually allow others perceptions of us validate who we are?

I can tell you that i have cared since the beginning of my existence – or when my memory begins around 4 years old. However my childhood was filled with verbal & physical abuse in which my mother and sister got the brunt of it. I received it as well but I was the youngest who spent most of the time watching in the corner. I was full of fear, anxiety, self doubt, poor self esteem and depression. Everything in the house had to be perfect. Our rooms had to be spotless without a crayon on the floor, even our toy box had to be organized! Everything I did revolved around whether or not he would be happy or angry with me. This type of mentality was embedded in my brain from a very very early age. Its all I knew. So of course, well after my mom had left him, this stuck with my personality. I was a people pleaser.

Everything I did, said and wore, I thought about what other people would think first, before I had even decided for myself. IT DROVE ME INSANE. But still, I couldnt stop!

This pattern has followed me throughout my life. I have focused on pleasing others before myself. In friendships & relationships.

It is extremely tiring and overwhelming and the only thing that would calm me down was a drink. When i sobered up, I was stuck with these thoughts. My anxiety was at an all time high and  I was drowning in my own thoughts.

It hasn’t been easy over the last 4.5 years but Ive done a lot of work on myself. Ive had to face my feelings, my character defects and Ive had to work on them! The biggest lesson that I have learned is the fact that i cannot control or change other people. The more i worry about what others think or about what they do, the less time I am spending on bettering myself. And, If Im not my best self then I can easily go back to the negative, depressed active alcoholic that I was for a decade. Ive spent the better part of my entire life worrying about other people instead of myself. I allowed other opinions to dictate how I view myself. I believed hurtful words, I allowed myself to be treated like garbage. I allowed every bad experience to continue to hurt me. WHY??? What good does that do? Absolutely nothing! Its INSANITY! Pure insanity! I can only control MYSELF and how I react to people. MIND BLOWN!

Why this has taken me 34 years to figure out? The only reason I can think of is that I had to go through all of this experience to realize who I really am, who I want in my life, and my self worth. Also, to be quite frank, Im just too sick and tired to care anymore. Im worn out worrying about haters who think their perception of me is correct.

The thing is, if people base their opinion on me prior to 2014, they really dont know the real me anyways! That person was broken and slowly slipping away. So why care what they think if I know & God knows who I really am!

There are people who dont like me today. There are people I thought were my friends who have slowly cut me out. There have been times that I have been verbally attacked. I was judged for dating my now husband, Jon, because of the amount of sobriety he had back then. Did all of this bother me? Yes. However I have wasted way too many years worrying about every single person and every single opinion i just CANT DO IT ANYMORE. I pray about it. I ask God to help me forgive and let it go. This does not happen overnight, but eventually I dont even think about it anymore!

Bottom line? If its not my own truth, its not relevant to who I am. My life is MINE, not anyone else. No one owns me. I am not a puppet on a string, I am not a servant and I have self love and self worth today. I dont want to look back on my life realizing that I was living for other people instead of living for me.

The impossible is possible

When I was little I hated rain, now I love the beauty in the sound of if.
I once had a hard time being alone, but now I crave it for my own self care.
I used to drink my sorrows away, now I allow myself to feel them.
I would start my day off with a hangover now I start it with gratitude.
I once asked God why bad things happened to me, now I thank him for the lessons.
For a time I seeked approval from everyone, and now I could care less.
For years I stayed stuck in fear, but today I slowly break down those barriers.
I used to think i was worthless and today I believe I have a lot to offer.
For a long time I believed I was doomed for a sad life, and then I realized I had the power to change it.
I seeked happiness from all different people, places & things, but now I seek it within myself.
For someone who felt unlovable, God gave me children to show me unconditional love.

A shift in my spiritual growth has completely changed my life. I removed a poisonous substance that resulted in the obsession and physical allergy to be lifted.

For someone who knew no peace, now has serenity

Think before you Judge

Don’t assume their happiness is fake because you are in reality faking your own

If I’m judged (which I totally am) or unfriended on social media (happens a lot) for doing Younique, or sharing my happiness then i will pray for those people. As much as it bugs me, i must remember that I also was the type of person who was annoyed by happy, confident people. They pissed me off. It wasn’t until I got healthy mentally & spiritually that I realized that it’s way easier and better to lift other women up then to judge them.
Let’s be clear. My life isn’t perfect. I just don’t air my dirty laundry on social media. I share my family, my sobriety in hopes to help others, my animals and my business that helps so many women feel good about themselves inside and out. It provides for my family. I’m Christmas shopping this week because I made money working online.
So I guess God is showing me what I had once done to others. Judged them by their happiness, by their selfies and by their jobs. When in fact the real problem is within themselves just like it was inside me.

I used to make fun of women who worked the streets and now I have great friends who used to be those women. I have compassion for them today. I see them as women, individuals and not for what they used to be.

I used to judge alcoholics who drank everyday and smelled of booze. Who scrambled change to buy a can of beer. And I became an alcoholic myself. I became who I once judged.

I used to judge those who rushed into relationships and then I did it myself.

I could never understand how mothers or fathers could let themselves get to a point where they lose their children. Then it almost happened to me. It woke me up real quick! Now I understand. Addiction takes over. It doesn’t make us bad parents it made us sick parents.

I’m grateful God shows me these lessons because without them i would not learn.

Don’t judge others. Don’t assume you know their life. Don’t assume their happiness is fake because you are in reality faking your own. I speak these words because I’m speaking from experience. I’m no longer that person I have explained here today. When I come across people who hurt my feelings, I ponder over it way too long. Eventually I pray about it & slowly let it go.

We cannot expect the world to treat us how we want to be treated. Expectations are resentments waiting to happen. All we can do is control how we react.

React with kindness not judgement. You never know when you will go through the same thing.

Don’t paint someone as weird or someone who you would never be friends with. God may cross your paths at some point and they may become your best friend or someone who comes into your life for a reason.

Don’t complain when it’s too hot and complain when it’s too cold. Don’t stress over not having money and then stress about paying bills when you do have money to pay them. Don’t complain about the cashier who wasn’t friendly. She may be working 3 jobs to feed her kids and she is exhausted. Don’t judge a parent who’s child is screaming, you have no idea if that child has disabilities that are not visible.

My rant is based on the fact that this world is taught to judge.

Why should we judge anyone when we aren’t perfect.

Perfection does not exist so why do we seek it.

God can judge me. And I’m completely comfortable with that today.

Sober 1600 days December 10th 2018

 

Yes, Alcohol was more important

Truth is, when we alcoholics are in active alcoholism nothing is more important. Alcohol comes first before the water we drink and food we eat to stay alive. 

 

Alcohol was more important than you.

There, someone finally said it. To those who have family members with alcohol or drug problems, you may find yourself wondering why the drink or drug is more important. Your family member might tell you thats not the case, or whatever excuse they tell you. But if they arent telling you that it is actually is more important, than they are lieing to you.

Truth is, when we alcoholics are in active alcoholism nothing is more important. Alcohol comes first before the water we drink and food we eat to stay alive.

There are many types of alcoholics so I am going to refer to the hard core, daily drinkers (as I was one myself). My alcoholism progressed slowly over the course of 10 years, eventually progressing at a rapid pace during the last year. To be honest, whether it was during the years i was a functional alcoholic or the last year where I was nearly losing everything, alcohol was always first.

I couldnt go into any social situation without drinking first. There was not one evening after work that I could come home and make a cup of tea instead of pouring a glass of wine. (however I may have poured wine into a coffee cup so it would look like I was drinking tea in pictures for social media LOL) A glass of wine was a must when I had an overwhelming day with my twin toddlers. It relaxed me and that was my reasoning to drinking around my sons. In my mind, it made me a better mother. Family functions, I was the one to try and hype everyone up to drink because what else would we do to have fun, right! I made excuses to leave functions early so I could go home and really drink the amount that I wanted to. Eventually, alcohol was the thing I had to have first when I woke up. My body actually needed it to stop shaking. I figured one cooler in the morning would be okay. The thing is, the alcohol was in my veins so the obsession to drink more was high. That one cooler led to left over wine from the night before, followed by a bottle. I was lucky if I didnt pass out by dinner. I was a hermit. I rarely went out unless I had to because I couldnt let anyone know how bad it had gotten for me. I had reached the point where I didnt want to drink anymore, but I had to.

This, my friends, is alcoholism. The inability to stop after consuming any amount of alcohol. We are physically addicted; our bodies crave more and more, and we are mentally obsessed; our minds are consumed with the thought of drinking. We are PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY UNABLE TO STOP ON OUR OWN.

Normal people can take a drink and stop. We cannot.

This is why im afraid to say that yes, it is more important than you.

To my family who I once put on the back burner, I am so deeply sorry. My daily amends is staying sober and being the best mother, daughter, friend, wife that I can be.

To those who have friends or family members still in active addiction, please dont give up hope. If they could stop on their own, they wouldnt be in the position they are in. They dont want to be this way. None of us grew up with the goal of being addicts as our dream job. Please remember that they are sick, and it is possible for them to become themselves again. They must want it badly and want it for themselves.

Sobriety is possible!