Category Archives: Hollywood

Anorexia, On Vacation

I wish this article was about my anorexia going on a permanent vacation, but it isn’t.  There aren’t two ways about it: recovery is hard on any average routine-filled day.  So when you throw in a two-week period of little sleep, constant activity, and strange, indulgent foods, one in recovery can feel like he or she is on an anorectic rollercoaster.

I went to Los Angeles for almost two weeks, to introduce my daughter to friends she hadn’t the opportunity to meet yet.  (Oh, and I forgot to mention above the fun of putting a Boston toddler on Los Angeles time.  Joyful 3am awakenings where SuperWhy MUST be watched.  But I digress.)  Now, I love LA for many reasons – it’s beautiful, the weather is almost perfect, the people are relaxed, and I’ll admit, it’s pretty cool to see celebrities alongside of you shopping for groceries.  But it’s image-obsessed.  Two years ago, I had gone to LA, and when I got off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan…wait…

No but really.  The first billboard I saw read:

“1-800-GET-SKINNY”.

I remember thinking how you’d never see that in Boston.

Also, the last time I went, I had gone out to a bar with my boyfriend and some of his friends.  I had excused myself to go to the bathroom, and when I entered it, immediately felt out of place.  The white hippie sundress and sandals I had previously thought were pretty attractive paled in comparison to the row of stiletto heels and skintight dresses I saw on the other women.  Now, I’ve never been one to follow trends, but I had to admit that my Boston-ness seemed glaringly apparent that day.

This time, I didn’t compare myself as much to other women, but I found the off-schedule eating pretty abhorrent.  Can you eat healthy on vacation?  Absolutely.  Is it harder when you’re dealing with low finances and a screaming toddler?  Yup.  So, long story short, I found myself eating more fast foods and sugar, and while you know I DEFINITELY don’t endorse abstinence from any of these foods, it was an imbalance for me.

candyamanda

 

The above picture was taken in this fabulous candy store, Dylan’s Candy Bar, in the Grove.  Think candy you haven’t seen for years AND a chocolate fondue bar where you could dip strawberries and rice krispie treats in chocolate.  This is me, overenjoying one of those delectable treats:

amandalickingchocolate

 

The folly for me always lies in this common anorexic miscalculation: linking food intake with moral value.  Because I ate a ton of candy that day, I was immediately a disgusting person…not.  I may have had uncomfortable feelings of my body breaking down sugars it doesn’t usually, but that doesn’t translate into my moral value.  Separating the physical and the emotional are so very important, at times.  And also…one can’t maintain a perfect food intake 24/7.  We are humans, which means we err.  Which means it’s ok to get off the bandwagon for a bit if we know we have the ability to get back on safely.  And at this point, I do.  I just need to remind myself it’s ok to indulge in healthy substances.  Writing, friend time, nerds ropes, and my daughter.

I will say this trip was not a total anorectic mental slip, and is documented by the following:  I wore a bikini with little to no shame, for the first time in my life.

amandabikini

 

I had planned this photo mentally, because I needed to challenge the irrational idea in my head that I looked disgusting in a bathing suit and needed to hide my body.  For some, this might be triggering, but for me, it was one of the most liberating experiences I ever had.  Truthfully, I’ve still found ways to pick apart this photo since then, but, it’s a work in process, isn’t it?

 

How does being on vacation affect your self-care?  Does it improve it or throw it off?

Blissful Body Fridays: Debenhams Rocks!

beautylikethis

Debenhams, a high end retail store, has put the word out that they’re banning airbrushing and retouching!

Kickass.

This same department store has featured paralympians and disabled individuals as models before.  Way to encourage body acceptance all around!

They have even challenged other stores to follow suit.

You can read up on the article and check out before and after photoshopped pics here.

I don’t know about you, but I think the “real body” movement is gaining momentum.

 

A big thanks goes out to Alexandra for letting me know about this!

Recovery Tip Tuesdays: Avoiding Fashion Magazines

When I was 15 and obsessed with Hollywood, I LOVED fashion magazines.  I pored through them, gazing longingly at the designer outfits that hung off the waif-thin frames.  I was entranced by all of it.  I wanted to be a part of it.  I felt like I could obtain the celebrity they had because of the massive amount of weight I had lost already.  I was that thin.

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But as time went on, I became sicker from my disease and found that keeping up with the Kate Moss’s and the Halle Berry’s of the world became harder and harder.  I started to resent myself whenever I saw them or leafed through InStyle, because I wasn’t measuring up.  I was heavier.  I became disgusted with myself.

And when I finally started to recover, I noticed that picking up those magazines was like a slippery slope back into comparison-world.  I didn’t have the clothes they had.  I was 20 lbs. heavier than some movie stars.  The head would start spinning.

So today, I don’t read them at all.*  You probably know by now that a study was done back in 2007 that proved that women, regardless of weight, feel worse about themselves after looking at a fashion mag.

That being said…I had to mention something my friend Liz passed along today (trigger warning)

The latest issue of Allure mentioned Zoe Saldana’s weight on the COVER.  Unnecessary, yes?

Sorta like, “Hey, look at her!  She’s tiny and we thought we’d just shove it in your faces and remind you!”

Ugh, yet another reason to steer clear.

* What works for me may not work for you.  Proceed at your own risk.

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Blissful Body Fridays!

imagesHappy Friday, all!  I hope you’re having a great one.  My daughter and I spent the morning at a music group, and a friend is stopping by for a visit later on.  Good stuff.

So, I don’t know if this is blissful, Media-Monday worthy, or just plain realistic, but I found this article on my friend Jen’s FB page.  In it, it shows comparisons of Hollywood celebrities during photo shoots, and then during day to day activities (ie. without any photoshopping or makeup).  I sort of feel bad for posting it, because it’s almost more of the same (critiquing women’s bodies), but at the same time, I’m betting the celebrities are often willing participants in the Hollywood “game” and I feel it’s important for us “normals” to have a reality check on how, well, they look just like us.  All I know is that it helped me to reality-check myself, because we usually take these airbrushed images at face value.  Let me know what you think – triggering, or helpful?

Here’s the link!

Have a good one, folks!

(Image provided by photocine)