healthyliving

My Visual: What it’s like to Have an Eating Disorder.

Hey everyone! So, I wanted to do a different kind of blog post detailing a little of what my life with an eating disorder has consisted of. A friend recommended that I sketch out some of what goes on as part of a creative outlet, as well as a way to help people understand more about what this gruesome illness entails. I have made a description for each picture and hope that this post is helpful for friends who have never encountered this struggle. For those who might not be sure what the white substance is in these pictures, it’s sugar, one of the substances that I try and control most during rough cycles of anorexia and orthorexia. Every case is different, and so please just consider this one account of the thousands that exist. This is all in hopes to break the stigma around eating disorders… let’s talk about them.

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Every line that protrudes from her collarbone has a story to go behind it. Understand that eating disorders don’t happen overnight. They take years of constant frustration, guilt and an inability to cope. Personally, one of my issues stem from the fact, that I don’t like change. I have never been used to it, and it is sure to complicate my life if I let it. When change hits me, whether that is from lost friendships, financial struggle, or family conflict, I turn to the things that I am used to… as if to keep a part of the “normalcy” that once was. In this case, I turn to the gym and controlling food. The gym has always been there. The rush that I feel, the ability to just let go and feel nothing…. It’s an indescribable high. While still trying to balance an image of perfection, I’m struggling with a whirlwind of emotional conflicts that are trying to work their way out with an improper outlet. It’s like the kiddie toys at the daycare. A square can’t fit into the circle space, and a triangle can’t fit in the rectangular slot. Nothing can go in or out of that shape basket if it isn’t the right outlet, which is what the gym is in my case. Nothing ever gets resolved there. It’s just a constant. However, the constant turns into more of a problem than a safe space, and in the process my internal emotions are wreaking havoc on my physical body.

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This drawing emphasizes the gym in particular. In my personal experience with over exercising, I have narrowed down the concept of why I do what I do. One misconception is that everyone who abuses the gym, or even food, don’t actually like those things. For me, this is far from the truth. The gym wasn’t originally abused in the beginning because I loved the gym. I always have, and probably always will. I have fun there. I am active there, while also being part of a community while strengthening myself. As previously mentioned, it is used as an incorrect outlet, yes. But ultimately, I started to overuse it to try and attain superficial imperfection in order to try and hide my pain. I figured that if I looked perfect; through looks, social media and so forth, that people wouldn’t question me, my beliefs and my actions. In the realm of Christianity, what is the actual point of pretending we are perfect? If we were perfect, instead of striving to be like the “Perfect One”, who is Jesus Christ, then what was the need for a Savior? This was my conclusion when it came to finally outwardly admitting something that was so important (as well as originally shameful) for me. However, we have to remember that shame left us the moment Jesus carried and died on that cross for us. Bashfulness no longer means anything because we are all recognized to be as sinners. We are all struggling with something. In the end, the weights made me physically stronger, but I felt the same, if not worse than when I started. My boiling pot had long reached the surface and then some, overflowing on to the floor of my “clean” life.

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Percent Daily Values are based on a low calorie, low self-esteem diet that centers around unhealthy thinking and imaginary flaws that caused increased blood pressure and mental health issues. Consult your doctor should you have enough of this insanity.

With every slice of cake, every unplanned event that concerned pizzas and hamburgers, etc. I try to resist. I try and restrict. I try to control. As the gym post mentioned, I love the gym. The same goes for food. Chocolate and other sugary concoctions has always been my weakness, but I still love them just the same. This drawing gives a scenario concerning junk food, and what can go through my mind while eating it. It starts off with be being fearful that I will gain excessive weight, though as we know, this is untrue. I used to weigh myself after meals, but especially after deserts. I experience all of the “servings” listed on this label. I feel shame and guilt because I didn’t have the willpower to say “no”, and I feel as though once again, I have lost control. I am frustrated with my choices and will likely act as such by being in a bad mood, or resorting to run it off at the gym. I immediately regret the slice of cake, but try to get through it anyways. By the end, I am hopeless, because I have NOT enjoyed the cake due to the emotional turmoil, I feel 10 pounds heavier, and ultimately, disgusting. I question the reason that I ever ate it in the first place. It’s a terrible cycle of “want” and “regret”, all for the sake of perfection.

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This drawing represents how one must look at an eating disorder. The way that I treat food is the same way that people can treat substances such as cigarettes, or even those extreme methods, such as marijuana or cocaine. They are outlets. They are used to tone down stress; to calm down after a hectic day. They are used as measures of anger as well as tolerance levels. People addicted to cigarettes also can’t “just quit”. They can’t just “stop smoking”, though there is always an exception to that. And even if they should “just stop” smoking, that by no means guarantees that they can quit that habit for good. If they refrain from that habit, it doesn’t mean that they’re not still thinking about it constantly. Wanting to go back, to release their emotions through that cigarette. For those who truly wish to see this illness as it is, think about it as a porn addict or an alcoholic. If they could “just quit”, don’t you think that they would have by now?

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Some days, I truly feel okay. I can eat whatever, do whatever, and it doesn’t affect me. These are the good days. However, sometimes, things can go from good to bad VERY fast, and I go from nonchalant to freaked out in a matter of minutes. I don’t know how to describe it. Take a drink for instance. When I decide to have a sugary coke, all is well for the first few sips. I love the taste, it’s refreshing. however, should I drink the entire standard sized bottle, I connect that with losing control, and remember talks about empty calories and so forth. I might try to rationalize to myself over and over as to why I should be okay, but my mind might wander into “weight gain” territory, so a meal might be missed that night. All on account of a coke. It’s truly insane. The picture is meant to be over-dramatic because that’s what this disorder is. It’s an obsessive need to do the right thing and to be “good” through food and drinks, and by controlling them, you convince yourself that you are off to a good start with that goal. Wrong.

 

To say all of this is to just open up the part of my world that kept me down for so long. This is me recognizing that being open is one of the most important parts of healing. I hope that this vulnerability can help someone who is struggling to step forward with whatever they are going through.

Oils are NOT just a fad. They work.

Okay, so yes. Yes, I have hit the “essential oil” craze. Yes, I was suppperrr uber sketched out about them originally. I mean, if they work so well for so many ailments, then why are we just now hearing about them? Why do I hear so much talk about Doterra and Young Living in particular? Sounds like a scheme to me. Well, I’m a newbie at all of this oils jazz, but let me tell you; I’M HOOKED. I have waited to post any type of blog about it because I didn’t want to stay in the hype without determining whether it actually deserved my time. And truth be told, it does. Oh yes, it does. Oils are a FANTASTIC way to avoid all of the chemical filled; intestinal-tract-damaging medicines that we put into our bodies, sometimes on a weekly basis. I’m going to briefly go over what I have discovered in a matter of weeks, and JUST how much essential oils should be a part of your regimen. Now of course, the select few things that I am going to talk about today only covers a  tiny spec (like maybe .01 percent) of what each of these oils can actually do, because I am still buying oils I have never tried, and have yet to do with them all that I plan to in the near future. Nonetheless, here is my experience with just three of them.oils

 

Peppermint oil. Headaches are a part of life. Sometimes, they are unavoidable and leave you feeling icky for hours, especially with no aspirin on hand. However, I was told that peppermint actually helps eliminate your headache so that you can live life as usual without the whole day being put on pause. Sure enough, a friend of mine (who actually is the one responsible for my oil madness) gave me a drop of peppermint oil (which should have probably been diluted; oh well), and told me to rub it on each temple. After maybe 5 minutes, the headache ceased. Mind you, this is faster than aspirin by a good 25 minutes. I was shocked. Not to mention, at another point in time, I was experiencing heartburn over at her house which causes me to feel nauseous. I took a drop or two in water and the symptoms calmed down tremendously!

 

Cedarwood and Lavender. Cedar wood is one of my favorite oils so far because it has a woody tone and is amazing to just wear as-is. The smell alone is worth the buy for me, and this oil is very affordable. Though lavender is slightly costlier, it has so many versatile benefits such as aiding with sleep, reducing inflammation, and so on. This year and last, stress has caused me to break out in the ever persistent eczema, which causes my arms to become red and inflamed from the itchiness that causes me to scratch all day long. I was recently told to take a drop of cedar wood and a drop of lavender and apply it to areas that needed it. I did and I can now count the number of times that I have scratched in the past 48 hours! Considering I was scratching at least 20 times a day before, it has now gone down to about 2-3 if even. And also, who doesn’t want to smell like a woody forest all day? Cedar wood also promotes relaxation and calmness so you can see why this oil is heavily used.

 

Also, I have NOT been endorsed to promote Doterra, I am just expressing my new found love for oils, and have been slowly discovering so much of what they have to offer. I will continue to write more blogs specifically as they pertain to me, and as I use oils for more specific things but remember that if you truly are skeptical of oils like I was, just read up and THEN try them for yourself! You will see that a lot of these oils have scientific research and evidence behind them, as well as thousands of testimonials from many pleased oil users. It is not just a fad, its real, and the benefits are astounding.