Body Image

So, as I mentioned in my last post, I recently started a new fitness journey. Currently, I am the heaviest I have ever been. My husband and close friends think I am beautiful regardless of my size, but I do not see what they see. I never have.

As a child, I was always bullied for being the “fat kid”. Looking back, I was always a little chunky, but there were definitely other kids who were larger than I was. That didn’t matter, though. When you’re the nerdy girl who always has her nose shoved in a book, plays the clarinet, and hates playing sports… you’re going to be picked on. Add a pair of glasses and a few extra pounds and you have a recipe for disaster.

The bullying continued throughout the years and still happens to this day. It may not be happening to me DIRECTLY anymore (from people I know) … but it is all over social media, isn’t it? We are ALL technically bullied in that manner. Mainstream society tells us that if we don’t look like Victoria’s Secret models or Abercrombie boys, we are imperfect.

But you know what? THEY ARE WRONG. Every body is beautiful in it’s own way.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…. I’m a hypocrite, right? I don’t blame you. How on God’s green earth can I sit here and tell you it’s okay to be “imperfect” when I hate what I see in the mirror? Because I’m HUMAN.

Although I know every body is incredible in it’s own way, that thought gets lost in the back of my mind and I believe that happens to all of us. We are always striving to be a better version of ourselves and we (maybe not all of us) are constantly going to struggle with loving the person you see looking back at you in the mirror.

At one point, I told myself that it’s okay to be big. I told myself that I was going to learn to love all my rolls and my thunder thighs. I convinced myself that my health issues were all in my head. I wanted to tell off anyone who called me fat… until it was a family member who did it.

Typically I would have fired back with a sarcastic comment to hide my hurt and just play things off, but this didn’t come from an aunt or uncle or older cousin. It came from one of my younger cousins who isn’t even in high school yet. Don’t get me wrong, kids are sometimes really MEAN just because they’re bored… but they are also very honest. They have no filter 90% of the time and Easter just happened to be one of those times for R. As I pulled up to my grandma’s house, he ran outside to greet me and open my car door.

When he pulled open the driver side door he said “Oh my gosh, why are you so big?!” … I responded with nothing more than a death glare. Then he said “no offense, but it’s gross how fat you are now”.

At that point, my world shattered. The only thing I wanted to do was close the door in his face and drive back home. I did not want to face my family looking “big and gross” nor did I want to sit there and have a meal with them despite not having eaten all day.

That night I went home and decided that I was going to put my fears aside and join a fitness boot camp. It is difficult and I struggle to find the motivation to attend my sessions, but I know it will all be worth it in the end.

My goal is to be HEALTHY again. It is going to be a challenge to love myself and feel proud of my progress, but I know I have an incredible group of people in my life to support me. I pray that one day, I (and everyone else out there) will no longer struggle with body image issues.

For now, all I can do is keep fighting my way to a healthy life…. mentally and physically 🙂

XO,
Tink

Down.

There are a million articles out there that list symptoms of a “low” swing of depression, but none of those give a clear idea of what it truly feels like to someone who has never experienced it.

The symptoms listed online and in pamphlets include:
* hopelessness
* constant fatigue
* change in appetite
* loss of concentration
* quick to become angry

When I enter a downswing, these are not always my symptoms. My lows also range from mild to severe… and one must always remember that nobody experiences this in the same manner. What is mild or moderate for me may be severe for another person, and what triggers me may not trigger them. Heck, sometimes there are no triggers and you just start crying at your desk for what feels like NO reason… and that’s just the chemicals in your brain going haywire. So please keep in mind that from time to time you will see me crying and I will not have an answer for you when you ask what is wrong! “Nothing” or “I don’t know” are (sometimes) legitimate answers for someone who suffers from depression.

Last Friday, I went through a moderate downswing. Being my day off, I typically schedule any appointments needed and make a list of errands I need to run before my husband gets off work. By Thursday I had a few appointments set and a number of things I wanted to get done, but when my alarm went off on Friday morning, I could not bring myself to get out of bed. Every single ounce of energy was drained from me. I told myself I needed to reschedule my appointments… and I couldn’t even do that because the thought of talking to someone on the phone was daunting and exhausting.

YouTube, Magic Kingdoms, and various other games on my tablet weren’t even entertaining. My mind drifted off back to sleep and I slept through every single alarm that was set. My husband texted me here and there throughout the morning, but I had nothing to say in return. I was not excited for the things he was doing at work. I had no positive words to offer him. I had no encouragement to give to help him get through the day. At that point, I figured the least I could do was drag my ass to the shower and look presentable for him when he got home and be ready to run errands with him since I clearly didn’t do so that morning.

Did I get that far? NOPE. I plopped myself down on the couch thinking “what’s the point?”… half the day was already gone. I felt like a lazy, worthless hunk of junk… so naturally, I forced myself back to sleep on the couch so that I didn’t have to feel like shit. That is one of my classic symptoms right there. I don’t FEEL tired, I sleep so that I can ignore my feelings. I sleep so that I can ignore the world and the judgmental people in it.

Before I knew it, my husband had unlocked the door and was standing in the doorway smiling sweetly at me. It was 3:45 in the afternoon and the only thing I had done that day was brush my teeth. Lucky for me, my husband is very supportive of me. He encouraged me to get up and took me to a nice dinner. The evening was great and I felt okay while we were out, but at bed time, I was restless.

Saturday at work I was like a Zombie. My regulars couldn’t put a smile on my face and annoyance set in every time the door opened. I wanted to be sad and alone at my desk. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. Sunday was pretty much the same.

It wasn’t until after my 1st session with my new trainer (that’s a story for later) that I started to feel better. During that workout session on Monday, I felt like a weak, fat, disgusting excuse for a person. By the end of it, I was not proud of myself at all. My trainer, on the other hand, was beyond proud of me. He kept pushing me through the workout and even after it was over, he continued to inspire me via text. My husband told me what an awesome job I had done. My mom told me she was proud of me for going to boot camp and planning to stick with it. Facebook friends left words of encouragement… and that is when I started to float back to the surface. That is when I found the courage to start this blog. That is when I found the motivation to keep getting up this week and “do life”.

This may sound extreme to some of you who are reading this, but trust me when I say this is nowhere near a severe low for me… but that is a story for another time.

Until next time,

XO – Tink

Why.

If you know me personally, you are probably wondering why I decided to start blogging. Many of you may think this will come back to bite me in the ass later… and maybe you’re right. Then again, maybe you’re wrong.

The world may never know.

What I do want the world to know is this:
I struggle with depression and anxiety.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

I want to open your eyes to the silent battle that I, and many others, have been dealing with. I want to help you understand what it feels like to constantly be at war with your own mind. Some of you may be thinking “you just want attention” or “you’re being such a drama queen right now”… and I want to change that! Why? Because it is 2016 and there are still so many misconceptions about those of us who struggle with these issues. I hope that if you stick with me, you’ll see things a little differently.

Reaching out to the world in this manner and documenting the thoughts that run through my mind is not something I thought I would ever do. I have been struggling with the idea for years and have always let my fear get the best of me. That being said, please be kind with your comments.

 

XO,

Tink