The Creation of the “Fuck You” Bun.

I have to consistently remind myself:

  • Feeling ugly doesn’t mean I AM ugly
  • Feeling fat doesn’t mean I AM fat
  • Feeling hopeless doesn’t mean I AM hopeless.

This weekend I did a photo shoot for a new comp card. I was encouraged by the images, but it’s weird to look at yourself and think, oh, is that who I am? That’s how I come off? Do people like that? Do I like that?

I aced an important audition today and I think I have some really cool opportunities ahead. But I’m left feeling kind of sad tonight instead of encouraged and victorious. Worn out, I guess.

On the train back into the city, I realized,

Huh. Success may not make me happy.

Which is of course a big DUH. I mean, I’ve heard that many times, and I’m sure I’ve even said it myself before. But it hasn’t been revelatory to me. So much of my happiness is so wrapped up in how well I perform, and shouldn’t it be the other way around instead?

I don’t want this dark cloud of UGLINESS hanging over me, stealing my joy, minimizing my successes, assuring me that I got this or that by fluke.

Meanwhile, right now I just feel like curling up in a ball in my studio wrapped in a snuggie and my big red University sweatshirt and tuning out to something or other. But that’s not my plans for tonight. I have things I need to do. Not errands, but spending time with the people I love. Essential to my health and happiness. Essential to my life.

I thought about not going this weekend. Because I felt too fat and ugly and anti-social. But if I hadn’t gone I would have missed out on the incredible results from this comp shoot, and the opportunities I got today, and the people I met. I would have missed it all in favor of staying and feeling sorry for myself.

I can’t live that way.

So what do I do? I wash my hands thoroughly, I put my hair up in a “fuck you” bun, I pull on some warm clothes, and I go the fuck out. And however I am, that’s how I am tonight.

I’m back bitches.

I realized that I have some things I need to say.

I struggle every day. I don’t feel beautiful or worthy or deserving. I feel like I take up too much space. I’m not fat. I feel thick. I can’t force myself into the box I once did, but I’m not comfortable taking up more space than that box.

I live in a very stressful city now. I’m an actress, I live in New York, I have an agent and a manager…I balance two jobs, auditions, classes, and having a bank balance that constantly worries me. I don’t sleep a lot. I’m always tired.

Maybe it’s because of the winter, or maybe it’s finding out my baby nephew has a terminal disease, or maybe it’s even just balancing my goals as an actress with my goals as a human being, but lately I feel slightly more like I’m sinking underwater. I want to curl up in my bed and watch more episodes of Scrubs and not do the dishes and not take a shower and not think about how I feel. I want to hold my nephew and cry.

I want the shield of thinness more than ever, but I can’t handle the manic dieting and exercise of yester-year.

I need encouragement. I need someone to squish me in their arms.

Thoughts?

Well, it’s been a while hasn’t it…

I’ve been through a lot. Some things have changed a lot. Some things remain the same. I’m writing this with the full knowledge that it may sound angsty and melodramatic. I’m hoping it doesn’t. This is what I’m dealing with now, and I’m at a loss.

More and more I realize why I binge.

I started binge-ing in middle school, after school when I got home. It was a way to soothe boredom and hunger, but also it was the way to comfort myself after being bullied and feeling alone. I didn’t have the words or comprehension then for why I binged, but it was deeper than boredom. It was the soother for the sadness I felt about not feeling included.

I’m 22 now, but I carry this with me still…this empty aching feeling of aloneness in my chest. For a while, it turned into absolute apathy, where I no longer cared about what anyone thought or how I looked, and I actually lost weight from not eating. I wouldn’t go back there.

Now I’ve healed a little and changed a little, but old habits die hard. I still am eating to momentarily dull the ache of feeling empty. I’m not overweight. I don’t binge on thousands of calories. I eat relatively healthy. But my eating habits are not healthy. They are obsessive and controlled or uncontrolled, and I don’t know how to fix it.

I still feel alone.

I don’t know how to change, or how else to dull the ache without resorting to food.

Oh God.

I have to believe there’s something beyond this life, because I don’t think I could stand it much longer if there was not.

I’m realizing more and more that I make opinions based on how other people feel over how I feel. If I think people like something, I will often talk in favor of it. Not the really important things, but little things that don’t matter—music, movies, public opinion.

I realized this evening that my back was sore from anxiety.

If people with serious eating disorders can live happy lives without always being in treatment, than I should be able to live a happy life too.

I’m scared of the future. I’m scared that I will amount to nothing. I’m scared that I will be found out. And then I think that’s ridiculous…what would people find?

An obsessive-compulsive, naive, fat, selfish drama queen without real talent?

What is the rock bottom for me? What could people possibly find in my worst nightmare that could make me feel so awful? What am I worried about?

It seems…

that so much of my life is a frenzy. How does it all blur past me before I even notice? A skin ripping, dish tossing, motor running, one foot in front of the other frenzy and I don’t notice until later that the skin of my face is shredded and an hour has gone by.

Another binge.

Another fit of tears.

Mild memories of days when I felt the world was my oyster.

What the hell is going on?

My days are a countdown leading up to what? The moment I can get home and curl up in a blanket with a book or a movie or something to distract me from how numb I feel all the time.

These are not rose colored spectacles. These are something else.

I wish I was a normal thinker. A normal eater. A normal 21 year old.

But I feel very old right now. Not in the mature sense, or even in the octogenarian sense…just in the sense that I feel worn out.

I’m not tired. But I don’t really have energy.

I know I am merely existing.

I want so desperately to live.

The Problem with Using Thinspo

This is coming from a girl who used to have a very successful thinspo tumblr. I was a full supporter of it for a long time, and I looked down my nose at people who said “Thinspo is unhealthy!” thinking they just didn’t get it.

Yeah there’s the argument that thinspo is pretty warped, because it creates a world of unnatural people to compare with, people shot in the best light on their best day, after working day in and day out to look their best. But that’s not the argument I’m gonna address now.

The main problem with using thinspo to lose weight is that losing weight takes time. And every time you look at a picture of a thin person, it reinforces to you that you are not that person and that your body is unacceptable. 

And if you tell yourself that every day, then every day you will be checking and re-checking to see if your body makes the cut.

And every day you will be disappointed. Because (I repeat), losing weight takes time.

But we are a society of people who want results and want them NOW. Without the hassle, without the patience it takes to get results.

If you were to show a child practicing an instrument a professional musician and say “This is where you need to be” and every day make them watch that musician and ask "Are you there yet? Why aren’t you there? You lazy bastard," that child would eventually hate the instrument, find no joy in music, and think themselves incapable of the talent it takes to learn an instrument.

This is what we do to ourselves with thinspo.

You know how I finally lost weight? I ended up not giving a shit how I looked. I ignored my body. I ignored obsessing over calories and working out and crying after I ate an ice cream cone because "my whole week is ruined."

Yeah, there’s the argument that thinspo creates low self-esteem by making an inattainable body image the standard. There’s that.

But there’s also the fact that thinspo just doesn’t really work. It makes you crazy. It makes you obsessive. And it keeps you from losing weight the correct way, because every day you don’t meet the “standard” is a day that you spend figuring out what more you can do to get there (starve more, work out more, obsess more).

I say, fuck this. 

Make a stand. For yourself, for your body. Stop looking at it, stop comparing yourself to it. If you want to lose weight, fine, lose weight. 

But for God’s sake, don’t do yourself the disservice of using thinspo as a weight loss method.

Revolutionary thinking? Probably not. But it could make a big difference in your life. I know, because it did in mine.

<3elle


It happened in a blink…

and I’m not sure exactly when or how but suddenly I realized,

I am no longer numb.

Hi, I’m Elle, yesterday was my 21st birthday and my life is changing.

And even though my stomach still hurts, and even though my eating is still restricted,

I am healing.

Here’s ways why:

I no longer have to go to bed before midnight to function.
I no longer need to nap after a meal.
I no longer need to sleep around 5 to have a good evening. 
I can digest beans and fish.
I can digest potatoes.
I can digest meals that are bigger than a handful.
I can breathe deeply again.
I can walk up stairs and carry heavy things and still breathe.

and most importantly,

i like theatre again.

I may not be zany about it, or ready to pack up and move to New York, but I like it again. I desire to do it again. When I think about doing a musical, I smile rather than cringe.

That is huge. 

I am not out of the woods. But I feel a small semblance of normalcy returning. And I have to hold onto that and believe in it with all my heart.

Happy birthday to me.

<3elle

Question Everything

One huge lesson I’ve learned throughout the last 6 months is this:

Not every thought that comes into your head is valid. 

So that little voice that says

"You’re not going to get better"

or 

"You look fatter"

or

"Your life sucks"

You know that voice? It’s wrong. In fact, it’s wrong a lot.

For the last year, happiness has been a rarity for me. I couldn’t remember the last genuine laugh I had, the last moment of pure pleasure. I was stuck in a mental fog of exhaustion, depression, and anxiety, and you know a major reason why?

Because I was listening to that voice with my ears wide. I was taking in everything it said as truth and fact.

But the real truth is, that voice is a fucking liar. And most of the things it says is lies. Plain and simple. 

TALK BACK. 

I can’t say it enough. In fact, the method of talking back to your thoughts is actually taught in therapy for anxiety patients. You know why? Because it works.

Google automatic negative thoughts and find which ones you fall prey to. Then TALK BACK TO THEM.

I’m not kidding.

I’ve begun to talk back. And as a result I’ve begun to heal. I see it in myself every day. Join me.

<3elle

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

I mean it.

That victim mentality will get you nowhere. I know because I’ve lived it.

Oh boo hoo I can’t have sugar. Oh wah I can’t eat gluten. Poor me, everyone gets ice cream and I get to just sit here. COMPLAIN WHINE COMPLAIN MOAN WHINE.

Whenever I start to get into that zone of mind, I have to stop myself and think:

HEY. 

You can walk. That’s fucking awesome.

You can SEE. You have beautiful working eyes that serve you every minute that you are awake. 

You have money to buy clothes and food and not starve.

You can hear melody and voices and birds and laughter.

You have friends and family who love and support you.

Why the fuck should you get to feel sorry for yourself?

It’s easy to wallow in self-pity. Very easy. I’m not pretty/smart/healthy/popular/talented enough. Poor me.

But the fact is, you can accomplish many things and be a very happy person. But you have to kill the victim inside you.

The question comes down to, are you willing to break those bad habits and kill that person?

<3elle

thereluctantrawfoodist asked: I am not sure how I came not to be following you again .. Tumblr moment I guess. How are you doing? x

Haha no worries. I am doing alright. I have lost a lot of weight but it’s mostly due to the health problems I’ve been dealing with for the past 6 months. 

Tell you what, an eating disorder is the last thing on my mind right now.

Friends, be thankful that you CAN eat. I am currently battling (and winning) a complicated health issue which has limited my diet to brown rice, steamed vegetables, and fruit. I’m currently adding potatoes and other sources of protein, but it’s trial and error, and I’ve done a lot of “why me”-ing over the past few months.

Now I’m just in the stages of healing and realizing that the stress I’ve put on myself is part of what got me into this mess.

I’m learning that I can control my mood and that my thoughts can be very very powerful. While before I was in a downward spiral of health issues compounded by anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder, now I would say that I’m starting to heal the health issue and am daily learning how to combat the anxiety and depression. 

So how am I doing? 

Well, it’s hard to eat things. And some nights I cry when I’m in pain. But I’ve felt happiness again for the first time in months. And I have felt it daily. I can watch movies and read books and focus on them. I’m not incredibly fatigued every day. My passion for life is coming back. And I feel more centered spiritually. 

I guess I’m taking it one day at a time, learning to love and care for myself, and in doing that, healing.

How are you? :)

<3elle