9/26/14

Exercise Bulimia: Know The Signs

Hello my sweeties

Exercise is amazing, isn't it?
I wouldn't know, since I basically spend my life blogging, studying and watching Bob's Burgers, but I've heard it's quite nice.

The key word here is healthy, exercise is healthy. But if you've ever heard of exercise bulimia, you know that sometimes, it can go too far.

You can google the definition for an exact DSM-regulated word for word description, but here's how I see it:
"the act of exercising in order to lose weight to the detriment of one's health"

But don't most of us exercise to shed those calories? How do we know if we've gone too far? 

Fear not, I'm here to help! Here are 2 tell tale signs that you should reconsider your exercise mentality, and what you can do about them!
**but if you do find yourself identifying with these symptoms, please see a doctor/counselor. I am no professional. Much love<3



1. Are your bones hurting?

(Apparently) there's nothing like a good post-workout ache to make you feel whole.
But a critical part of exercise bulimia is the extreme level of pain one is willing to put him or herself through in order to lose weight.

When you vomit, pass out, feel pain for several days, lose your period and enjoy it, chances are your body and mind need an intervention.

You do not need to punish yourself for eating, which is, by the way, kind of an essential act in human existence. And while it's good that you're motivated, it's important that you listen to your body when it speaks to you.
Seeing stars? stop. 
About to vomit? stahp. 
Falling over? staaahhhpppp. 

Even though you may feel like those are good signs, they are not, trust me.
Overexercising can make it impossible for you to keep up a healthy exercise routine. Think about it:
If you're not taking any rest days, it will become impossible for you to walk, much less run.

It's all about moderation!

2. Are you squatting instead of befriending?

Another tell-tale sign is that exercise basically becomes your entire life.
Just like anorexics consume their thoughts with food restriction, and even avoid social situations to ensure that their calorie count of the day is low enough,
people who suffer from exercise bulimia center their lives around working out.
Canceling plans to workout
Constantly thinking about your next workout
Missing work or school in order to workout
Becoming irrationally depressed if unable to workout...

If this sounds like you, your life has been overrun by a treadmill (see what I did there? I'm not funny).
Quitting anything cold turkey is often difficult to uphold, especially concerning dangerous behaviors.
So baby steps are the way to go!
-Make plans to workout with a friend. You can distract yourself from the intensity of your workout and she can check you if you go a bit overboard with the squats.
-Carry around a rubber band and snap it around your wrist every time you think of working out more than twice in the same hour.
-Find activities that get your heart rate pumping that are less about calorie counting and more about having a good time. I've heard zumba is a blast!

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Most importantly, I want you all to know that even if you don't identify 100% with these symptoms, it is still okay to ask for help.
No one will belittle or laugh at you.
Your problems matter.

xoxo

Gabby

9/22/14

Sam Pepper: Get Yo Hand Off My Butt

Hello my darling fudgies!

Recently, Sam Pepper, famous Youtuber and overall d*ckweed has released a video where he walks around the streets of London and fondles girl's butts.
Without their consent of course, because then it's funny right? Then it's a prank, right?

Nope, then it's sexual assault.

Many intelligent people have given their 2 cents about this topic, including Laci Green, so I think it is safe to say that you all know why this is wrong in general. I've also written about Youtube celebrity culture and sexual behaviors in an article here.
But Let me tell you why this video upsets me personally.

When I was 14, leaving my house, nay, leaving my room, was sort of a challenging task. I was afraid someone would see me from school and make a negative comment about me in their head. I was afraid someone would honk, or I would fall, or I would breathe wrong.

Keep in mind that nothing terrible had ever happened to me as a result of leaving my house, but still, agoraphobia was pretty much a 24/7 demon.

Now with the help of medication and meditation and a bit of common sense, I can easily leave my house, hair a ratchet mess, in my sweatpants, not a care in the world.

But there's still a part of me that fears something like this. Something exactly like a random stranger pinching by butt.

If Sam Pepper or another entitled male ever did something similar to this, here are my 3 possible reactions:

1. Slap the jaw off of this child. #deservedit
2. Go on a feminist rant about sexual assault and the entitled male and curse him with my feminist super powers.
3. Never leave the house again.

It's the 3rd one that makes me nervous. I can guarantee that many of the girls whose butt was pinched reacted in a lighthearted way, even if they were violently uncomfortable, did not find it funny. Like, at all. I can't say any of them were recovering agoraphobics, but if it were to happen to me, all those negative ideas would come flooding back into my brain.

Keep that in mind when you're doing anything: how will this impact another person's day?

xoxo

Gabby

9/14/14

Flattering Your Body?

Hello my beautiful angels

I recently watched this awesome video by stophatingyourbody creator Annie, which I have linked at the bottom of this post, and was profoundly inspired to talk about the idea of wearing clothes that flatter your body.

Now, I must admit to you, I am torn on the subject. This won't be an angry one sided rant, though I know they are mighty entertaining to you all. My apologies<3

      Because on one hand, I think that flattering your body is a weird concept.

On one hand, I think it means "wear clothes that make you look thinner", as if that should be everyone's goal look. Because really, when you say "that is not flattering on her", don't we all really mean she looks bigger than she actually is?

On one hand, I think you should be confident no matter what you wear, no matter how "unflattering". You shouldn't need to dress a certain way in order to be comfortable in your truth.

On one hand, I think it's an idea formed by marketing strategists in order to sell more clothes. Levi's recently came out with different styles of jeans to flatter "every different type of body shape". Might as well put up a sign that says "come into our store and we will tell you your jeans make you look thinner. GIVE ME YOUR MONEY".

     But on the other hand, I'm not so sure.

The idea of clothes that "flatter your body" doesn't have to be about looking thin, we can define the terms we use. It can mean your boobs look fantastic, or your legs look really long, or your curves are even accentuated. As long as you properly define your own vocabulary by explaining what you mean by "that shirt is really flattering", you can take back the negative connotations of the expression.

I also know how amazing I feel when I slip on my favorite jeans, or my 5 inch heels. Sure, I should look and feel great when I look like death, but sometimes we all need a little help. Self-love is a process, and it can start just by finding what makes you feel beautiful, so why not pick something "flattering"?

Look, maybe it is a marketing plot by evil companies. But here's the truth: as most things in life, it's about moderation.
Don't wear clothes that make you feel like a sack of potatoes just to prove a point.
Don't have a nervous breakdown if your only flattering sweater has a stain on it.
Know the balance of the flattering equilibrium, and you'll take back the night.

xoxo

Gabby




9/7/14

All About That Bass= New Blurred Lines?

Hello my sweets!

Meghan Trainor's hot summer jam is being compared to Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, and on one hand I can see why: after all it has been one of the seasons' most radio blasted songs, and it also has lyrics that make some uncomfortable. 

Now this isn't exactly new, but many of you wanted my input on the topic, so here it is: 

On a scale of 1 to 10 concerning horrible lyrics, Blurred Lines being a creepy rape-y 10, AATB is maybe a 5. Here is why: 

 "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night" 

The idea in this lyric is that you should love your body because men will. 
Meghan, pumpkin, you should love your body because you love your body. Looking for approval from others is pathetic and can only lead to heartache. 

Also another good point the critics have made is that this song is a bit of a thin shaming anthem. I am not even a very skinny girl and I am ass deficient, so hearing that boys aren't gonna wanna snuggle with me does not make me feel like every inch of me is perfect from the bottom to the top. 

I obviously get the general self love message of this song, I really do. But when Hollywwod decides to put out a self love song just to appeal to the insecure masses it makes my blood boil even more. If you want to make girls feel beautiful, cater to everyone, of all shapes and sizes. 

That's my quick opinion, y'all! Have an awesome week. 

Gabby 

8/27/14

It Started When I Was 6: A Poem By Shannon

I found this amazing poem by Shannon, aka http://nightvalecommunityqueers.tumblr.com/ and it was so wonderful that I had to share it. Enjoy<3


It started when I was six years old.
I got a haircut I regretted the moment I opened my eyes.
I told my mother I wanted bangs
Because Hannah Montana came out that year and I wanted to be just like Miley Cyrus.
I figured my hair could stay brown
But the fringe could be just like her alter ego.
And after I looked into the mirror at the salon
I started to cry.
Suddenly I knew what it feels like to hate the way I look.
I knew that this would give the boys at school another thing to throw at me,
Creating puncture wounds
Cuts
Scrapes
That I changed the band-aids of for almost nine years.
A year later
Seven years old
Second grade
I got my first zit.
Those blasted bangs against my oily forehead caused nothing but trouble.
I was the first kid to start puberty before knowing what my vagina was
While the boy sitting next to me knew what a penis is.
I hid my forehead with make up and my hair
The bangs being my worst enemy
And yet the ally I wanted most in the foxhole.
Every adult told me to wash my face twice a day
Not knowing that everything I ever tried just made my sensitive and oily skin worse.
By the end of the year it wasn’t just my forehead covered in pink dots.
In third grade I was the first to get a bra.
Girls avoided making contact with me
As if puberty was contagious
And not something they would get in a year or two.
Boys would take the strap or waist band
And before I felt a difference
Let go. 
Boy I felt a difference, then!
They caused bright pink marks against my skin.
I noticed other pink marks on my tummy
Not knowing these were called stretch marks
Boys calling me fat
Telling me to not eat so much
Even though the skinniest girl in our class ate more than me at lunch.
I started to listen to them
And believe that I wasn’t wanted
Because no one picked me to be on their team in P.E.
When I turned nine later that school year I cut my hair again
This time in a pixie cut.
My father told me I would live to regret it
While my mother supported me and was even inspired by me to cut hers, too.
Dad told us people would think we were gay
Not knowing that I had a crush on both a boy and a girl at the time.
Friends didn’t recognize me
Telling me they thought I was a boy from a distance.
I started wearing more pinks and purples after that
Trying to hold onto a gender that I didn’t always feel like I belonged in
But society told me I was born with a gender
And that I have to fit into that role.
I become the fat butch girl who burned up on a cloudy day.
I was the kid who cried too easily
Picked on every time the teachers couldn’t hear
And even when they could.
Told “Boys will be boys” when I tried telling people they called me fat, ugly, worthless
All that shit.
I was told I brought it upon myself for being an “easy target.”
I tried dieting in elementary school
Yearned for diet pills
Wanting to be loved
Willing to die because of the desperation to be skinny.
When I told friends and family I was fat
They looked into my green eyes and told me “You’re not fat, you’re beautiful.”
That was when I learned before hitting double digits
That I can’t be both.
I stopped eating lunch on most days
And if I did I felt guilty because I knew that meant I was eating calories.
I dreaded P.E. because people would see how slow I was
Nobody running with the fattest kid of their grade
Because that kid kept them from proving themselves as something above a fat classmate.
Middle school was when I learned that putting yourself down
Is supposed to raise others up.
I didn’t need the bullies from my old school anymore
Because I was my worst bully.
In order to make my older friend feel beautiful
I was willing for her to find me ugly
Though I dreaded the day she believed it.
She got me to read Seventeen magazine
Which was were I got confirmation that I needed to be different what I was.
I started eating even less and started loving Ana.
The only times I felt beautiful
Were when people noted on the weight I had lost.
Even after recovery I cried myself to sleep
Obsessing over every little stretch mark.
I dreaded P.E. more because I was supposed to change in front of a quarter of my grade.
The only thing that made me feel better
Was knowing I wasn’t the fattest kid anymore.
Two of my friends were larger than me
And while that is not why I love them
It made me feel a little better to be the “hot friend” according to society.
I found myself sucking in my stomach
Wanting to lose weight like my runner of a mother was
Insisting I was still a size 12 while I was really a size 14.
I cried in changing rooms
Left bruises on my skin from trying to somehow push down the fat without going back
Back to the anorexia
Back to not eating what I wanted
Back to trying to become a skeleton.
When I told my friends they brushed it off
Leaving me to feel more alone than ever.
If self worth is on a scale of one to ten I started high school with a three.
This was when I realized I needed to change
But not like how I thought I needed to when I was just a child.
I started forcing myself to love each freckle on my body
Run my fingers over the stretch marks that made me look like a white and pink tiger
Looking at myself in the mirror longer than made people felt comfortable with me doing.
I told myself I was beautiful
And I started believing it that March.
I realized I could wear the makeup I wanted
Wear the clothes I like
Love who I love
Be whatever gender I feel like that day.
I cut my hair just before turning fifteen because I no longer care what people think.
And now I’m in high school with a self esteem of nine
Which I haven’t had since I was five years old.
It took ten long fucking years for me to believe I’m practically perfect, again.
That I am beautiful.
If I could go back to my younger self
I would hold that child in my arms
And tell them that they are beautiful.
I know that if I saw myself now when I was six I would believe it
Because I am beautiful inside and out.
I would go to the boys and tell them that they are beautiful, too
And to become friends with that weird girl and know that we all deserve so much better.
And maybe I wouldn’t have had to go through the nine years of hell
Because
It started when I was six.

8/21/14

30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge!: Part 2

Here's the sequel to Part 1, which you can find here. 

Day 11: Listen to at least 3 encouraging, body positive songs. Some suggestions? Try by Colbie Caillat, Hair by Lady Gaga, and Beautiful by Christina Aguilera are some of my personal faves. Let the beat rock you into a good mood!

Day 12: Watch a funny movie or your favorite "trash" reality TV. Guilty pleasures should never be guilty: why feel bad about something that makes you happy? Hopefully today by busting a gut you'll learn that the only person who can make you feel guilty for having a good time is yourself.

Day 13: Give yourself a nice homemade hair/face mask. The Internet has a ton of ideas for you, so your self-care delight can suit what you desire (and what you have in your pantry).

Day 14: Talk to a friend about your insecurities. You'll probably learn that your friend hates his/her left thigh, which sounds ridiculous, so yes, some of your insecurities are downright cray cray too. Discuss, share, and realize that we all have some things about ourselves we'd rather not have, but the good news is, so does everyone else on the planet!

Day 15: Do something you're afraid of. Speak up in class or in a meeting, go bungee jumping, say hi to cute-guy-who-works-at-the-deli, I don't care how mundane it may seem, it's important! You'll instantly feel the rush of adrenaline. So what if it doesn't go well? You tried, and even that deserves a pat on the back.

Day 16: Rock your favorite color today. On your eyelids, your shoes, your nails, the whole nine yards! Realize what it is about this color that suits you, what features does it emphasize? Then take a moment to realize that you do in fact have gorgeous features to emphasize, or else this color would just look dull. Boom, a power shot right in the self-esteem!

Day 17: Post a smiling picture on your instagram, FB, twitter, what have you. No filters, no edits, just your beautiful smile. Realize that people will still like it, comment nice things, and not notice that tiny red dot on your nose without that distracting yellow Valencia overcast.

Day 18: Another day? Another dark chocolate break. Cmon, you deserve it.

Day 19: It's bubble bath time. Pull out all the stops: candles, bath bombs, bubbles, ambience music, brand new razor blade. There's not a nerve in your body that won't thank you for a good bath, and as you rise out of the water, calm and refreshed, you'll be kinder to your body. After all, you smell and feel pretty freaking awesome.

Day 20: Get at least 8 hours of sleep! This may be easy for some, but I know some night owls who will struggle. Trust me, cranky Gabby is not a body positive, self-loving Gabby, so get your Zs and be amazed at how amazingly better you look when you don't feel like death.

Have any suggestions? Please let me know

xooxo

Gabby




8/15/14

30 Day Self-Esteem Challenge!: Part 1

Hello my angels!

I know I haven't been posting researched articles recently, and I do apologize for that, but my internship just ended, so expect some more to come:)

However, to keep you from going cray without moi, here are 30 days worth of self-esteem challenges, inspired by this awesome Tumblr!

Day 1: I want you to go one day without doing your hair. No heat, no styling, just your old natural fluffy awesomeness flowing in the wind.

Day 2: I want you to go without makeup today. Now I know this is hard for some boys and girls who struggle with cystic acne like I do, but this is a great exercise in confidence. And no cheating: you must at least leave the house once, even if only to get the mail.

Day 3: Opposite of yesterday's demure; I want you to go bold! Whether you're rocking a red lip, or sporting leopard pants, you want heads to turn. Feeling confident despite stranger's glares is about holding your head high, smiling, and strutting down the street like there's no tommorow.

Day 4: Treat yourself to some dark chocolate today, it's been a hard few days of self-esteem work. Learn to take care of your mind and body by treating as a temple, and sometimes said temple needs some chocolate.

Day 5: Take an ugly selfie. Not "cute ugly", no, downright hideous. Post it to your instagram, and let go of the idea that you must look good at all times.

Day 6: Wear an outfit in which you don't necessarily feel confident. Figure out what it is about the garment that doesn't tickle your fancy. Shape, fabric, color? This will help you shop with a body positive eye next time you head to the mall.

Day 7: To help you get over the low self-esteem of yesterday's outfit, slip on our go-to self-esteem boosting get up. Again, look out for specific features that help you love yourself that much more. Write them down in your phone and be on the lookout for those features next time you step into an overwhelming Forever 21.

Day 8: Be creative with your style. Try thicker eyebrows, or a grungier getup; playing around with self-expression helps you to know who you are and aren't. After all, how can you love yourself if you don't know who you even are?

Day 9: Give somebody a compliment. A simple "nice skirt" can make someone's day, and you can feel good about being a nicer person today than you were the day before.

Day 10: Take care of yourself today. Give yourself a foot massage, slip on your most comfortable sweatpants, watch Friends all day (I'm going to pretend I don't do these things all day err day). Again, body=temple, and temple needs some lovin'.

xoxo

Gabby

8/14/14

Explaining Tattoos/Piercings to Kids (and Adults)

Hello all!

I recently got a new tattoo, and this one is quite visible (don't worry moms, it's on my upper thigh, still not ruining my life and career), so I've gotten a few questions from my young cousins and nephews. I also have a few piercings, so let me tell you, kids aren't shy about pulling and pointing. 

How can we blame them! Permanent skin drawings? Metal going through the skin? Why get those? Here are a few things to keep in mind when speaking to children (let's be real, adults too) about tattoos and piercings:
(Tattoos and piercings are a deeply body positive endeavour (more on that in a next post), so their understanding is crucial to me! )

1. No pointing please.
Modified folk deserve respect, and pointing, tugging, touching without permission is considered very rude. It's simply decoration. No one points at your aunt Lisa for wearing a bracelet, so why point out at aunt Gabby for wearing her nose ring? 

2. Tattoos are forever.
Yes, they look cool on uncle Jerry, but don't run out and get the silliest thing you saw in a magazine as soon as you turn 18. Tattoos are permanent, so think about the design you want for quite some time before pulling the tattoo trigger.When do you know you're old enough? When you'll spend the proper money to get it done in a proper shop, not a back alley. When you'll take care of the healing and recovery of the modification. That's called maturity, and some never get there. 

3. Self-Expression.
People who choose to stretch their ears, or push metal through their skin chose to do so as a form of self-expression. Just like dressing a certain way, cutting your hair in a certain style, it's a decision that only reflects aesthetic preferences. It doesn't make them a bad parent, friend, partner,person (note to all employers), so they deserve to be treated with respect. I don't judge others for choosing to not have tattoos, so the respect should be reciprocal. 

Hopefully this helps next time you see a modified person on the street with your child friend.
Have an awesome day