Self love vs self sabotage

I have obsessed over my weight for my entire 35 yrs of life. However, I’ve never been overweight. But to part of my brain, I have. It’s like being stuck between what’s real and what’s not and it gets so tangled that you don’t even know what is real.

When I was 5 years old in kindergarten I remember feeling fat sitting in circle time. At 10, I remember having the flu and I felt skinny after not eating for a few days and it made me happy. I do not think that I look like my pictures. Part of me really thinks the camera shrinks me and that I’m actually bigger in person.

Twisted thinking to say the least? I know.

Today, I can actually look in the mirror and be happy with the image 4.5 months post partum after my 3rd son.

How!? Nothing has ever helped. Ive gone to outpatient treatment, counselling, support groups, nothing worked. Its been weighing on my mind whether or not I share this part of my journey with the world. I wanted to, but I wanted to wait until I could actually say that I consider myself in recovery. And I’m happy to say I am. I have not participated in any bad habits that come with eating disorders since before I found out I was pregnant. And my son is 4.5 months old as I type this. I have not gone this long since I was 18 yrs old.

I’m at the point now where I actually know that if I start again I wont be able to stop. It’s no different than alcohol to me. One sip and its all over. My eating disorder is the exact same. Why has it taken me 17 yrs to figure it out ?

All I did different this time was pray. I asked god to help me be kinder to myself. I asked for his help. For some reason that’s the one thing I never tried. I feel like a bit of a moron but why didnt I try and pray before? It works for my sobriety, I turn my will over to my higher power on a daily basis. So I’ve basically been using my tools I’ve learned to stay sober, and applied them to my eating disorder. LIGHT BULB!

So while I was pregnant this last time, i was paranoid about weight gain but I had to be healthy for the growing baby inside me. So I prayed. One day after another I prayed and ate healthy. (Ofcourse I have treats, but 90% healthy.)

I reminded myself that my growing body was temporary and that it was worth it. I changed every negative thought into a positive one. Something else I’ve learned in my sobriety journey.

Post partum, the extra weight has dropped easily. I not only kept my baby healthy but I kept myself healthy, in body and mind.

Something so simple like praying and applying tools that I already use to stay sober, to help my eating disorder? Why must I complicate the shit out of the simplest things?

Trust me I still have days that I am unhappy with the image i see. My body is not perfect and neither is my mind. I can still pick my body apart. Inch my inch and I’d start at my nose. But the longer I remain healthy, the longer my brain is fed! And today my brain is healthy and I’m able to switch my thinking to love instead of sabotage.

I think God wanted me to get sober first in order to deal with this issue.

It may have taken me 17 yrs but it’s ok to be a slow learner …. ♡

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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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

That Woman…

aviary-image-1535733869376I want to be that woman who rocks those shorts without a care in the world about her cellulite.

I want to be that woman who looks at her stretch marks and smiles, not cries.

I want to be that woman who looks at other women and admires their beauty instead of critizes  them.

I want to be that woman who lets her kids play in dirt for a memory of smiles, instead of no memories at all.

I want to be that woman who disregards what social media believes to be beautiful and instead looks at herself with confidence. I want her to eat to live and not live to eat feelings. I want her to accept the body she was given, and focus on feeding her mind, body and soul, instead of feeding into society’s distorted look on beauty.

I want to be that little girl again, the one who had hopes and dreams. The one who believed in miracles, rainbows and sunshine. For even just a moment, I want to be her.

I want to apologize for letting her down. I want to hold her and not let her go. I want to be who that little girl always wanted to be.

I want to tell her to go after what she wants and stop at nothing. To never believe a hateful word directed her way. I want her to know that she is worth happiness, love, kindness and truth. I want her to know that rising above the pain is true victory.

I want her to know that no amount of alcohol will ever take away her pain, it will only add to it. I want to tell her that this doesnt make her a bad person. Its just the way things are. She is an alcoholic, she will suffer with mental health and thats okay. It doesnt define her, its just a part of who she is. I want her to know that she has the power to help others instead of using her life challenges as a crutch to hold back.

I want to be that woman who my mother knew I could be. Who my grandmother saw in me. Who God made me to be.

I want to be me.

Celebrating Myself!

I recently spoke at my 1 year cake, and I had expressed how I grew up and felt socially awkward, out of place, nerdy, and shy. I never had self confidence. I was constantly looking for ways to feel better, even if it was temporary. I was always comparing myself to other girls. They had better clothes, better shoes, better hair, prettier faces, heck even their hands and feet were prettier than mine. I have lived in this prison inside my head for 31 years now. I cant even remember not being self conscious! Of course with social media and societies expectations of what beautiful is really is, it makes it even harder being a girl. I suppose being brought up in an abusive home is where it all started for me. I grew up in a very negative world. Every day was filled with yelling, screaming, name calling, judgements, nit picking, bullying and the list can go on. My mother was depressed and always stressed out so she didn’t know how to teach me to be strong. I do not blame her. I do forgive her and I even forgive the man who abused us. Thanks to the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous.

I have talked a lot about my sobriety over the past year. It has been hard but I am grateful today. I have learned so much about myself that I really think God had this in his plan for me. I am beginning to like myself. I am beginning to take better care of myself each day. I take more time to put myself together each morning. I speant so much time dwelling in fear and drowning myself in alcohol, the least I can do is put that time into something positive like putting myself together. I am a mother and some days I really don’t need to put on makeup or nice clothes. Some days I really don’t and I rock the messy bun and no makeup and go about my day. But, most days I do put on an outfit that makes me feel good. I shower, I put nice lotion on that smells nice and makes my skin soft. I put on my makeup (Younique!) and fix my hair. I don’t do this to impress men or to compete with other women. I do this for me. Okay, for my boyfriend too! The confidence he sees in me on these days gets him so excited! And I love making him happy! So I guess what I am trying to say, is that when I actually feel good inside, I want to celebrate it on the outside! I think I deserve it. The little girl inside me deserves it too! That sad, lonely, afraid little girl deserves to feel beautiful. I am not perfect, and I never claim to be. I have my hard days where my confidence is near none. So, I guess that comes with another confession of mine. Not only am I a recovering alcoholic, but I suffer from anorexia nervosa too. I have been battling this disorder for 13 years. After my twins were born, I dropped 40lbs within the first week, but the struggle to lose more begin immediately. My body had changed so dramatically that my post partum depression started right away. It took me years to lose more weight because I was busy as a mother and for the most part, my baby boys helped keep my mind off myself. But over the years, the stress of life, a broken relationship, my alcoholism getting worse, and my life becoming unmanageable, my eating disorder crept up on me and slowly became worse once again. To me, I am not all that sick. I do not look like I am dieing, I do eat even though they are very small portions, I have never been in the hospital due to my disorder, and so far I have had no health scares. But is it normal to binge and purge? No. Is it normal to eat under 1000 calories a day or sometimes less than 600? No. Is it normal to obsess over what to eat, how much to each, how bloated I look and what the scale reads three times a day? No. Why am I deciding to confess this all now? Well, why not. Im open about my recovery with alcoholism so I might as well be open about this too. For my family, I must try and fight this. I am sober 375 days today. I feel confident with my sobriety. So now it is time to try beat my other struggle. To be honest, I don’t know if I can do it. But im going to try. The one thing that I do know for sure, is keeping it a secret will not lead me to recovery.

Listen, I could stay silent about this like I have for the past 13 years, or I could be open about this, and never look back. Maybe ill surprise myself. All I know is that Im ready to find out if I can beat this. So, when people wonder why “that girl” is all dressed up and wears makeup to the mall, don’t judge her. You never know what she may be celebrating. Maybe she is 90 days sober! Or maybe she has had 3 meals a day every day, kept it down and has not weighed herself in a week.

And so I leave you with MY OPINION….stop judging the girly girls. The girls you see who have their nails done, makeup on, hair styled and her matching purse and shoes. Not every girl is getting dolled up just for attention. Some of us are celebrating OURSELVES.

Some may judge a woman for her love of fashion & makeup, for being materialistic and egotistical. But is it really any of your business what she wears or puts on her face? Perhaps she is celebrating her inner beauty and happiness that she is working ever so hard on. Because being a woman in this world is not only hard, its down right fucking difficult! To walk with confidence is true strength! So lets build each other up instead of making judgemental comments. Some of us are working very hard on our inner happiness and some days we are simply celebrating!