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Archive for the ‘Current Issues’ Category

It should be Fun Friday today but this morning I found Inside the Body Beautiful: How Fat Works on youtube! Good old youtube.

So if you want to watch it all then here it is, if not my part is from about 18 minutes in. Let me know what you guys think!

Hayley Emma

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In a week, I’ll be on national TV.

I am pooping my pants.

For you English readers, Inside the Body Beautiful – How Cosmetic Surgery Works, the first of a two-part series, is on tonight on BBC3. It explores ‘the science beyond the most popular beauty and cosmetic treatments’.

Inside the Body Beautiful – How Fat Works is next week and … I’ll be on it. Yeah. Not nervous at all.

(Source)

I’m seeing a clip of the program tomorrow so I know what will be shown so I won’t have to watch the television hiding behind a cushion ready to cringe at any moment. Although that will probably still happen.

I’m not sure whether I should put it on my Facebook. I have let my friends know, but it’s a toss-up between – do I let everyone know so no one will be surprised to see my face, or just let anyone who wants to see it …see it?

The whole point of me taking part in this documentary is to spread awareness of binge-eating disorder and EDNOS, as well as compulsive overeating and negative body image, particularly associated with obesity.

It’s not for popularity, and I don’t know what I’m expecting. I really hope that someone will see the program and understand why they overeat when they try so hard to lose weight, or that they’re not alone in wanting to hide from the world because they think they’re physically disgusting.

I know there will be others, who see it and scoff, claim I’m making excuses and really it’s as simple as eating less and exercising more. Unfortunately, I know from first-hand experience that it’s not so simple, psychological reasons often play a vital role in losing weight and keeping weight off.

I used to be ashamed of my body and my Eating Disorder. I still am, to a certain extent. I’m by no means recovered, but I’m on  my way to something I didn’t know existed.

I’m so much closer to a healthy weight now, thanks to person-centred counselling, than I ever was with LighterLife. I’m a long way off, but how I’m handling situations and processing emotions is different, and that is the key to being happy and healthy for me.

For the people in different countries… yeah I don’t know if someone will put this program on youtube. I will find out whether it’ll be available online and where, and I’ll record it, but I’ll have to have a think. I’d really like to pop it on this blog, because I know some of you want to see it, but then I copyright issues may crop up. So we shall see.

Hayley Emma

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In this song, ‘Pretty Girl Rock’ Hilson sings about her beauty and how girls can be jealous of her.

First of all, I think it’s great when someone has self-confidence and can believe that they are beautiful, whether they’re fat, thin, whatever. So although the British part of me is saying “how conceited!” the body image obsessed part of me is yelling “hooray!”

Secondly, I don’t take this song seriously.

But thirdly, it draws a parallel to Samantha Brick. Keri Hilson, however, got there first.

It’s the idea that if I woman says she’s pretty, and another woman either doesn’t like her, treats her differently or disagrees, then she is jealous. There’s no other explanation. Because, obviously, Keri is pretty, there is no denying that, so jealousy must be the reason that people disagree, right?

Even though I don’t hate anybody because they’re beautiful, I’m sure pretty girls don’t always get positive attention. I’m sure some women are jealous, but then with lyrics such as : ‘Pretty as a picture / Sweeter than a swisher / Mad ’cause I’m cuter than the girl that’s with you’ and ‘Girls think I’m conceited ’cause I know I’m attractive / Don’t worry about what I think, why don’t you ask him?’ I’m not surprised you’re getting negative attention, Keri, because you come off a little rude.

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Beauty is subjective. Keri Hilson is very beautiful in my opinion, but someone else might only find her mildly attractive, and another person will find her ugly. I think she’s got a nice figure, someone else may say it’s amazing and others may hate it. Nothing is going to change the definition of beauty, because it can’t be defined. It depends on your personal opinion. So why do we put so much of our self worth on whether we look beautiful to other people?

I don’t hate Keri Hilson because she’s beautiful. I think this song is about self-confidence and superficiality, and as I said, I’m not going to take it too seriously. What I completely agree with is that no one should be judged purely on their looks, and we shouldn’t judge ourselves on our looks either.

In my first CBT session I was asked to draw a pie chart of how important things in my life are. Needless to say, weight took up a good 90%, leaving little room for anything else. So all of my achievements, the Uni course I was on, my family and friends, my hobbies only got a share of 10%. Ever since I’ve been working on trying to lower my fixation on weight so I can spend more time appreciating my other attributes. Weight is still a huge part of the pie. But as long as I continue to place all of my self-worth on my weight, I won’t be happy. I will never be perfect, and I’m learning to embrace that.

It’s natural to make snap decisions about people based on their looks, we all do it to some extent. I’d love to be able to change it though, by encouraging people to question why they assumed the guy with dreadlocks is a hippie, or the girl covered in tattoos is aggressive. And to note just how many times their pre-conceived judgement was wrong. Just like if I was jealous of Keri Hilson, I’d ask myself is it my own insecurities that are making me jealous? Why does her beauty matter to me?

What do you think, are we ever going to stop judging people on their looks? Or are we, as a society, set in our ways?

Hayley Emma

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This formerly bigger girl completely gets how ‘fat chicks’ are portrayed and, subsequently, feel. Katie is brilliant and funny, and this post gets a big fat thumbs up from me. (See what I did there?! Wit is my middle name. Sort of.)
Hayley Emma

Sass & Balderdash

I’ve been everywhere on the overweight spectrum; I’ve ranged from being chubby to being obese for most of my life. It’s only within the past year that I’ve lost weight and fought, scratched, and clawed my way into smaller proportions. I’m all too familiar with the fruitless pursuit of reasonably cute XL-sized shirts, the rummaging for jeans that fit well everywhere, and the struggle to feel confident in the paltry amount of clothes I found that actually fit. Such is the plight of a fat chick.

Apparently, I’m not fat anymore. The number on the scale is telling me this. My friends, family, and co-workers have likewise made me aware of this, too. I know they’re all right. Rationally, I’m cognizant of the fact that for the first time in my life, I’m at a healthy, average weight, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly stop being a fat…

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Alexa Chung is known for her fashion choices, praised by fashionistas for her innovative style. She started out in the modelling industry and turned to presenting, being on Channel 4’s Popworld. I’ve been pretty impartial about Alexa Chung throughout her career, not being hugely into her style, although she seems funny and likeable, but I’ve always wondered if she was naturally very skinny or unhealthily so.

These thoughts used to irritate me back in the day before therapy and working on my own body image, now however, I see her as a talented woman who’s definitely fashion forward, but who’s style I wouldn’t want to emulate.

However, she’s earned my respect with her outlook on body image. She hasn’t praised her own body or claimed to be completely happy with herself, but she’s been really down to earth about a situation that must have been difficult for her. I read this Jezebel article and then this Fashionista article about Alexa Chung and her troubles with Instagram.

In April, Alexa Chung made her Instagram private after posting this photograph (source) of her and her mum. She received comments claiming she was too thin and unhealthy-looking.

Making her Instagram private is a prime example of how Alexa Chung doesn’t like to think of herself as thinspiration. A quote from this article about a certain comment reads:

Chung responded to the comments – an example of which reads: ‘I’m going to be very honest. I look at this picture and think “This is a woman not eating.” Thus, I worry for women everywhere’ – by writing “Hi, I am here. I can read.”

In the interview with Fashionista, Chung said:

I just get frustrated because, just because I exist in this shape, doesn’t mean that I’m like advocating it and being like, ‘I look great.’ How do you know I’m not looking in the mirror and going ‘I wish I could gain ten pounds?’ Which is actually quite often the case.

(Source)

I’ve known quite a few people wanting to gain weight rather than lose it, and they weren’t disordered. I couldn’t fathom it before – if your body is the ideal, why would you want to change it? But Chung said it eloquently – just because someone is skinny or fat, it doesn’t mean they like the way they look, let alone think that is it the best way to look.

She also said:

I think it’s about time people stopped judging women on their appearance and more on their intellect. Like you can appreciate my style without having to appreciate my weight. It’s not actually mutually inclusive.

THANK YOU. I’m not a big fan of her style personally. Her body shape, height and weight all suit the style of clothes she wears, but if she liked pin up style clothes, does that mean she shouldn’t wear them, because of her lack of curves? Of course not, just as someone who is plus size loves the Indie look should dress that way if they like.

What do you think about this? I have thought that she looked very thin, maybe even too thin, but is what I’ve just written any more appropriate to when Karl Lagerfeld called Adele a ‘little too fat’?

Hayley Emma

 

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I cannot tell you how relieved I am that you all got the meaning of my last post.

Last week I looked at search engine terms used to find my blog and saw this gem looking back at me. As you can see, I’m more used to getting plus size model searches, bingeing and body image and as I wrote this post on thinspiration then I do get the occasional ‘wannerexia’ click.

This search engine term stayed with me though, and I wanted to highlight just how ridiculous is sounds from a disordered perspective.

No one wants to be schizophrenic, because it’s not glamorised in the media. If anything, it’s demonised. Schizophrenia is largely misunderstood, as it’s an umbrella terms used to describe different types of schizophrenia such as paranoid schizophrenia, disorganised schizophrenia, catatonic schizophrenia, undifferentiated schizophrenia and residual schizophrenia.

Like the term Eating Disorders covers Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge-Eating Disorder, EDNOS, Orthorexia, and many more.

I know how destructive having an Eating Disorder is, with poor body image, sometimes distorted body image, cramming my body full of food and being depressed because of the guilt, not to mention the shame of being overweight… I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

And because of my experiences with my Eating Disorder – especially it not being a romanticised one – plus the Anxiety and Depression I’ve experienced, I am so grateful that I don’t have Schizophrenia. And that goes for any other mental illness: Bi-Polar Disorder, OCD, MPD, all of the disorders you’ve heard of and all of those you haven’t.

I’m grateful for my physical health, I can walk, run, cycle, do the buttons up on my shirts, booty dance to Beyoncé and pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time. Admittedly it takes a while to get the rhythm going, but I can do these things. I would never mope about not having a broken leg or Osteoporosis.

If you are so privileged that the only thing you can focus on is becoming unhealthy, then you need to look at other aspects of your life that are leaving you unfulfilled. Something is wrong, it’s just you can’t choose your problems. Like you can’t choose your health issues, be it mental or physical.

If you have a perfectly good relationship with food, why would you want to destroy that? I can’t speak for those suffering from Anorexia and Bulimia, but my relationship with food is hypocritical of itself. I love food because it relaxes me, it gives me comfort, it allows me to forget the real problems behind my Eating Disorder and focus on the superficial – my Eating Disorder is making me overweight, if I can just stop bingeing and lose weight everything will be fine.

Yet I don’t enjoy food. It is stuffed into my stomach leaving me feeling uncomfortable and sick. This full feeling makes me feel disgusting, yet satisfying. I’m purposely eating lots of food that I know won’t help me lose weight. I’m giving into something so unhealthy, and continuously trying to undo my bingeing by pressuring myself to exercise to my limit, and when I don’t do that because I’m depressed and tired of life, I feel terrible. So I eat.

I’d love to one day get to a stage where I can enjoy food, for the texture and flavour, but right now, my idea of recovery is to be able to tolerate food rather than have such exaggerated emotions towards it.

So if you have a healthy relationship with food, cherish it.

These people who want to be Anorexic don’t want to be Anorexic, because real Anorexia is so far from glamorous. I wrote the last post based on rumours and stereotypes surrounding Schizophrenia. Not all sufferers of Schizophrenia are dangerous and want to burn your house down, like not all people suffering with Eating Disorders are thin and wear bug-eyed sunglasses so their face appears smaller.

There is no excuse for ignorance. There are so many resources available on the internet, in libraries that will give you so much information, there just aren’t any excuses left.

I researched most of my information about Schizophrenia here.

I researched Eating Disorders here.

And I read blogs (see blogroll) to get a true perspective of Eating Disorders.

Emma

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Guys, I’ve never mentioned this before, but I actually really want to be schizophrenic… it’s just I don’t here voices. Can you help?

Like, I watched A Beautiful Mind a couple of years ago and I loved it. I mean, this guy was super intelligent and then he started living this dramatic life running from spies and stuff, except he was hallucinating it all. It wasn’t real.

Anyway so when I saw this film I was like, that would be really good. To, you know, be schizophrenic. And, like, I really want to be schizophrenic and go to treatment and counselling and that, because then I’ll get quite a lot of attention.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to actually hallucinate and think people are there when they’re not. I mean, I don’t want to be crazy LOL. If I just heard the odd voice, that would be really good. Then maybe, like, the guy I like will finally notice me, because I’ll be all emo and anti-social, and he’ll look into my soul and shit.

Anyway, so I was thinking how can I become schizophrenic, but only schizophrenic enough to get attention and I came up with the idea! Maybe there’s a website I can go on!

Maybe there’s like, a site that gives you tips on how to become schizophrenic. Like, maybe rocking back and forth in a dark room helps to make you schizo, because I’ve heard that’s what crazy people do.

Right? Maybe there’s a site which will tell me wearing a tin foil hat will help the paranoia increase, because people who do that are crazy too. And, like, maybe muttering under your breath in public will help as well. Like, I really want to be schizophrenic because I’m so mentally healthy it SUCKS. I mean, like, I have so much already, that I kind of want to hear voices. You know?

Just because I don’t hear voices doesn’t mean I can’t be schizophrenic, right? I know people say it’s a mental illness and it relies on inherited predisposition and environmental factors… but I still think I could be schizophrenic. I mean, how hard can it be?

And for all the people who say it’s not so simple, and that I shouldn’t be trying to make myself schizophrenic when there are people out there actually suffering, who can’t get a job because of mental health stigma, and who actually have visual and/or auditory hallucinations, psychotic episodes and have to be on medication possibly for the rest of their lives? Yeah well, I don’t think about that stuff. That’s not going to happen to me. All I want is to be temporarily schizophrenic, you know? Just to be the awkward girl in the corner, like Bella from Twilight. I mean, she was so awkward and quiet, and Edward noticed her. If I were schizophrenic, people would feel sorry for me and talk to me more.

So don’t try to tell me not to be wannaphrenic, OK? Because you just don’t understand.

But if you know if recording your voice and playing it back to you when you’re asleep works, then let me know, K?

Love,

That girl that you want to shake some sense into.

(I hope you know where I’m going with this, but I’ll post Part 2 tomorrow just in case)

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