anorexia, Bipolar Disorder, endometriosis, Uncategorized

The Perfect Figure: 36″-24″-36″

d53a6c9f34bfd6c200a31ff94e6d8100For many, many years, I have had it in my head of what I think I should look like.  And much of this can be summed up in a Victoria Secret model.  Flat stomach, edged with muscles, thin thighs, perky butt and very present, a voluptuous bosom.  And in addition to have the “perfect” measurements of 36-24-36…Totally practical right?  I mean there are a ton of everyday people walking around sporting this type of body, right?

With the help of Victoria Secret bras, I was able to pull this look off for several years, yet never fully satisfied.  Never having kids helped me maintain a trim figure and the whole slipping back into the whoas of Anorexia and Bulimia every few years also did the trick.  I maintained a lower weight for my frame and I was quite pleased about it.  I did not really have to exercise and when the scale started to inch up, I just cut down on my intake, exercised a wee bit and alas I’d drop the unwanted pounds that had crept on board.

Much changed when I had a hysterectomy in 2014.  That flat stomach now was a little round.  The weight I maintained for 10-15 years, was now 10 pounds heavier.  My hips were wider, bum was thicker and holy Jesus and Moses I surpassed a B cup and graduated into a C cup.  However, I was maintaining my weight, although a little bit heavier than I once was, so I was dealing with it.  No need to get all crazy and start becoming a gym rat or anything.  Just kept an eye on what I ate, do the occasional starvation and laxative abuse and the number would stay right where it should be.  Easy peasy!

In 2016 I ended up gaining a little bit more than 20 pounds as result of the mood stabilizer Saphris.  I was so incredibly depressed that I did not care about the weight gain.  I just wanted the emotional pain to stop and for the misery to leave me.  When the clouds parted, I was disgusted with my weight gain and miserable.  I had never been this weight in my life and much to my surprise I was now in the “overweight” category and I thought my world was ending.  Months later I came off that medication and I lost the weight that I had gained.  However, that bump in my abdomen was still present and this was just not acceptable.  I’ve never worked out so much in my life, only to see a reduction in inches, but that damn bubble was still there.

Presently, due to medication and hormones, I am nearly 10 pounds up and yet again, miserable.  Although thinner than I was in 2016, I am heavier than I was at the start of the year and the number on the scale just keeps increasing.  For a person who thinks Christina Hendricks is gorgeous, and I envy her, in my mind it is just not acceptable to look like her.  Why do I deem the perfect shape being that of a Victoria Secret model, a shape that a very small population possesses?  Why do I have to choose between mental stability and weight stability?  Why is how my clothes fit more important than how my brain functions?  Why is the number on the scale the thing that determines my worth?

It was suggested that I take every Victoria Secret model picture that I have in my home, or that of a person that fits that shape, and put it in a box and burn it.  It was also suggested that I take a Barbie doll and add her to the mix, as she is also an example of unrealistic expectations when it comes to shape and size.  I have yet to do this, as I think it is a bit funky, but I did look in the mirror today and I told myself that my shape was gorgeous.  That I was perfect just that way that I am.  I was recently told that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I behold you to be beautiful” and this is from a man whom has never lied to me, therefore I should believe every word that he tells me.

This is a start on a very long and treacherous path of self and body acceptance, but it’s about time that I conquer this thing, before I self-destruct.

anorexia, Bipolar Disorder, Uncategorized

Self-care Sundays

sleepy sundaySunday morning was spent baking up a storm, gluten free cakes, of course.  In previous years I have been known to make castle of cakes and have even completed wedding cakes for a few brides.  But, when the mental break down of 2016 stormed through, the creativity that used to swell within me, dried up faster than droplets of water during the summer in the desert.  The lack of creativity forced me to abandon cake making.  I sold more than half of my supplies and said that there would be no more cake making for Michelle.

Often in my life, I excel at something, but when hardship comes along, I drop it like a hot potato.  In school, I was a flutist, entered into competitions and achieved awards for my perofrmance.  But when the eating disorder blew through, I lost my edge and turned my back on playing.  Following the music, I started working with the high school newspaper and achieved the status of Editor in Chief.  As editor in chief, I won the opportunity to meet Colin Powell as part of a county wide writing competition.  But when college came around and I got involved in a relationship, there went writing and the dreams of being a journalist.  Next was teaching.  It was something that I wanted to do for years, but when He said it didn’t make enough money, I turned my back on that as well and went the business route.  I thrived in the business world and really came into my own, but when 2016 marched in like a lion, my ambitions of having a corner office with a view and an upper management position, leapt away like a little lamb.

Over the last year, I have maintained longer stretches of stability, or the sweet spot as we like to call it.  When I have finally been able to get on the right medication regime, things started to come back.  My fashion sense finally returned, and oh boy did I miss it.  Crafting returned and although it hurts the good ole bank account, I get such enjoyment out of creating and adorning our home with handmade embellishments.  As gifts started to return, I started to feel more courageous and wanted to try my hand at baking.  I figured I would start slow and just do cupcakes, but then if all goes well, I would venture out and take on more challenging assignments and maybe even some cakes.

Today was a day of baking and decorating.  As the cakes were just for practice I dove right into the decorating and worked on my piping as well as experimenting with colors and adornments for the cakes.  With an order for next weekend (gender reveal cake) I wanted to practice piping rosettes, so I have increased confidence in my ability and when I deliver the cake, I can be proud of what I am selling.

After all the baking, I was exhausted, which was nice, because yesterday I was experiencing manic symptoms and was incapable of sitting still.  So today, when I snuck in an almost two-hour nap, I knew that I was back in a better place.  Listening to a book on tape (Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica) I snuggled under my favorite throw and stared at my companion, the twenty-pound feline, Hunter Mahoney, until I fell asleep.

Today was a day full of self-care.  Spending time creating, getting lost in a book, snoozing for a few hours and finishing up some household chores.  I feel well rested and ready to take on the new week.  I feel like I have balance, although a little on the high side, I am not too far from a nice even keel.  Oh, how I love sleepy Sundays.