The Body Image Carousel

Even though National Eating Disorder Awareness Week was last week, this is pretty much always applicable to some of us. I know this is a “fun site”, but sometime I have to share some insight, instead. Also, I did the below last week, unknowingly during that week, which is kind of kismet.

Oprah Weight Watchers
Oprah Weight Watchers

Oprah is now doing Weight Watchers (and also owns stock in the company). Recently I did that one week Nutrisystem package again. Are these two things related? No, but yeah, in a way-both of us are in a constant fight with our own bodies.


when I was young and had no weight concerns (around 4)
when I was young and had no weight concerns (around 4)

For me, it started with puberty. Well, no, it started before that. I remember what must have been third grade. That was the first time that someone called me fat. That was the first time that I started over analyzing my body, not just my clothes (which had always been in a fun way, prior).

There was a local store, now long since closed that my mom would sometimes take me to and buy me a special dress. We would take as long as I needed to find the perfect one. It would usually end up being worn often-for school photos, assemblies, etc.

The first time I was called fat was in such a dress. It was the very early 90s, the body was a cotton/lycra blend of midnight blue with white and blue polka dot shoulders and a skirt in the same design. A rose punctuated the upper front, where I now have boobs, but then I didn’t because I was about 8. Our class had done something noteworthy and fun, so my teacher took photos of all of us against the wall. Then we glued them to paper stars and taped them in the hallway. I don’t remember what the achievement was. I just remember that one day a kid looked at it and then to me. Then he said “you’re fat”. And I have been, ever since, IN MY HEAD.


My weight has fluctuated, of course, but even at my thinnest I knew it wouldn’t last and that my body was bad and wrong, just in a different way. At that point, I did get a lot of compliments, but also insults-stick, skin and bones, etc. I lost my boobs, a whole cup size. I still didn’t have a waist, to paraphrase Beyonce, I can make my body smaller, but it’s not gonna change the general shape.

Once, midway through 2014’s weight loss, I was told that I had bat wings, I did not, but it drove me crazy. Weights were added to my already strenuous, mostly cardio based workouts. I was a Beach Body coach and I hated my body. It wasn’t a bad experience. I learned about my optimal heart rates, for different times, which has helped when I’ve been ill since.

pretty much my thinnest, fall 2014, during the DCP
pretty much my thinnest, fall 2014, during the DCP

But, I’m an extremist. I’ll always suffer from disordered eating. I gained back a lot of weight in 2015. I had no time or energy to workout much when I had been working at Disney, prior to that, but I also walked a lot. My pedometer clocked over 20 miles per day, just during my daily life of work and playing in the parks. Even the delicious, Disney buffets that I eventually started dining at couldn’t outdo my metabolism, at that point.

2015 was very different though. On and off, I’d try to be healthy, but then everything was happening. I was finishing my degree, tackling multiple internships, then jobs and love. I did graduate as Salutatorian, I ruined my perfect 4.00 during my last semester while finishing my second internship and getting a full time job. That was incredibly difficult, so my grades suffered slightly. That’s another part of my problem. I may seem like a free spirit and in many ways I am, but in other ways I’m a type A, Monica Gellar personality, who wants everything perfect, a 3.89 isn’t perfect. It’s still very good though. That’s what I need to realize about life, I guess.

I went from my internship/job that was physically oriented, but also, sometimes provided free, cheap processed food to a completely sedentary desk job. Like, you gotta use your break to use the restroom type of deal. Yeah, so while the first definitely wasn’t aiding in my weight loss, the second has basically suffocated it.

I then moved in with my boyfriend. That’s another huge change. I was exhausted. I was not working out like I NEED TO BE, and I started eating a lot of what I want more often. It’s not like I never exercise and have no self control, but I can also walk to a pizza place and be home before the pizza starts to cool. This is another extreme, this binge stage. I would like to have a happy medium, but it’s kind of impossible for me.

A few years ago, I picked up Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook (Amazon referral link). I became vegan. It’s something that I had always wanted to try. I attacked it as a hardcore hobby. I learned a lot, like there are a lot of yummy beans out there. I felt healthier, my skin looked better, but as per usual, it wasn’t just a hobby, it was bordering on becoming an eating disorder itself. It’s a VERY restrictive form of eating. And, just an FYI, I lost a minimal amount of weight.

These are not new, these are patterns for me.

When I was in high school, I was bullied, A LOT, about everything,-name, hair WEIGHT. I couldn’t change my name or my hair (though I did try). I could do something about my weight though, I thought. I dieted a lot. I had the same thing every at day at school for lunch. A meager salad from the school’s salad trough, without dressing. If I felt that I deserved it, for some reason, on a particular day, I’d get an apple as a treat. I exercised, but I also had academic courses, which often amounted to 3-4 hours of homework a night. So, at that point, I was actually exercising at what is considered a healthy amount. However, that’s not enough for my family’s genes. We are not meant to be small people. I was always only losing and then regaining 5 lbs. It was BS.

One day something inside of me snapped. I didn’t exercise and ate junk for about a year. I mainly wore black and wouldn’t allow photos to be taken of me. I usually take a lot of photos, in case you don’t know me well. Sometimes when I talk about this time, which was my heaviest, people think I’m lying because they don’t remember. They were living their own lives. And due to the photo issue, there are only about 3 photos of me at the point.

Eventually, I was spurred to lose weight. My classes were now spread out all over the four story, two building campus. I literally had to run between them (BTW-5 minutes was not a fair amount of time to get between those classes, even for a healthy individual).

After much overexercising, exercise bulimia BTW, and dieting, I got back down to what I still consider to be “my good weight”. The problem was that even at that point, that I couldn’t stop. I restricted more and more.

Then, when I started partying in my early 20s, I found out that binge drinking isn’t all bad as vomiting counteracts any food, I’d actually, finally at the end of the night, allow myself to eat, after a half gallon of vodka. Plus exercising for four hours earlier in the day was really keeping those pounds at bay.

It’s shameful. Once, I was job searching, but getting nowhere. So, I still had free time for these types of workouts, which amount to the time spent at a part time job, basically. I remember a then friend asking what I did all day, while he was working. I still felt fat, even thought I wasn’t, but I also wasn’t skinny. So, I joked that I masturbated a lot, because that’s my dirty sense of humor. I knew it would make him uncomfortable and stop questioning me. It worked.

I feel like this will never stop. I know this, I love clothes, though, so you’ve seen me at many weights, if you’ve viewed my Style File (OOTD) blogs in the past, even if those weights are only slightly different.

I also grew up with an amazing mom, but who has her own body image issues. She still has them, in her 70s. So, yeah. That didn’t/doesn’t help.

I’ve written so much, but I’m at a loss for a good wrap up, because my life is not over, so neither is my struggle.

For more on the NEDA, who has a lot of info on their site about EDs, click here.

NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia
NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart
NEDA Playlists
Fuck, Fuck, Fuck the Inbetweeners
Recipe: Mary’s 5 Bean Vegan Chili-delicious and from my Vegan period

Vintage 83

Maleficent-good movie, great headwear
Maleficent-good movie, great headwear

Most years I write about what I’m planning to do for my birthday, what I have already done for my birthday, or why I’m (yet again) lamenting my birthday.

Now, for something completely different. My birthday just passed. It was a nice day/weekend. However, what I’m contemplating at this time are the attempts and accomplishments that have taken place since my last birthday.

Impending Graduation
I am currently starting my last semester of school. In the fall, I will finally earn my Associate’s Degree. It took one extra semester. It’s been more work than I expected. There have been doubts, but I will do this. Eventually (hopefully sooner, rather than later), I will then start on my Bachelor’s.

Life as a Disney Cast Member
The reason that I am one semester behind my peers is that I took a leave of absence last fall to participate in the Disney College Program. It was the most difficult, but also one of the most amazing times of my life. It wasn’t easy. There was a lot of hard work and restrictions. The benefits, experiences, and friendships definitely made it well worth it. WDW is now considered one of my past homes to me. I don’t know if you ever truly leave Disney behind, after working there. I’m always itching and contemplating going back in some capacity. Only time will tell.

My love life has changed in leaps and bounds since this time last year. It’s basically unrecognizable. I’m happy.

I was on a huge fitness kick at this time last year. However, I love food. I’m not fond of structured exercise on the daily. I will most likely always struggle with my disordered eating, because I am human. Note: This is more difficult when you are not walking 10-12 miles on the daily, while working at the most magical place on Earth.

Comfort Zone
I can now walk out of my comfort zone. I still suffer from social anxiety/generalized anxiety and am on the spectrum. Yet, I work to overcome/work with these issues daily. Disney definitely helped with this. So, yes I’m still incredibly uncomfortable, but no I’m not going to always just fall back, stand down, or hide. I’m going to strive.

Embracing MY Interests
I am currently embracing both my nerdiness and inner princess to their full extents. It’s not that I’m not worried about others, but I matter more. I definitely regret more of the things that I haven’t done in life, than those that I have. I play Dungeons and Dragons and wear my Minnie ears, deal with it.

Body Realization
My body can handle a lot, but it doesn’t mean that I should push it so hard. I worked and played hard in Orlando and to a different extent in PA, but this isn’t something I need to be doing on the daily. I ended up in the ICU with severe dehydration in April. I do not recommend that. I’m just happy that it happened here, while I was with family.

I, finally (after 9 years of attending cons!), cosplayed both last year and this year, at Philly Wizard World. It takes balls, but I did it.

And now to make the next year even better.

You may also enjoy:
DCP: Disney College Program Merchandise Role
Unboxing: Loot Crate April 2015 Fantasy

past birthdays
Happy Fucking Birthday!
Fashion Review: Shiny Red Freakum Dress
missemmamm Sings Karaoke in Her/Your Living Room
Style File: 2011 Bday All Pink Everything
Style File: SATC 2 on My Bday
Style File: Mellie
Style File: The Red Badger

Fuck, Fuck, Fuck the Inbetweeners

diet coke laura lewis
photo is by Laura Lewis

I’ve been meaning to write this for years. It originated with fashion blogs. I see many plus size bloggers and straight sized bloggers, but I don’t fit in with either. I’m a 10-12 or 11-13 (juniors’s) and a whole myriad of sizes depending on the designer. I have clothes from XS to XL.

Recently I’ve been more into sex bloggers, I still don’t fit. I’m an in betweener. I see very thin sexy bloggers, sizes 00-6 and then plus, 20+. I just don’t fit.

As a pre-teen/teen in the 90s I was considered average to fat. I was called fat so much that I have a complex.

I have disordered eating. I don’t even like people (even MDs or nurses knowing my weight, but it’s on my MM profile, go figure). I’ll eat so healthy and then veer the other way. I have suffered from exercise bulimia. In case you are unaware, that is bad, very bad, psychologically. I won’t drop dead, probably, like my late uncle, that I never met, who had a heart attack after a starvation diet. But..that possibility is always there.

I hate myself. I don’t want to, I know it’s irrational, but I still do. I want to be thin, I want to be beautiful, I want to be the archetype of my youth, sized 6, 130lbs. I was so close once, but alas, I freaked out, with reason, I mean, I exercised a minimum of 4 hours per day.

Yes, that’s bad. I don’t want to back slide. This is my cry for help, I guess, NEDA week/month is in Feb. I want to be better by then. I want to be healthy, not scared.

I don’t want to count calories, I can’t, it’ll fuck me up. I just want to be me.

I was vegan for a period of time, as a hobby, to occupy me. It helped to teach me about new foods, but it didn’t “FIX ME”. I really don’t think anything ever will. I feel even worse for the current generation. (from this 80s BABY)

Ideas? Suggestions? Not if you are super skinny or if you don’t know or don’t understand what I’m going through. If you think overexercise is good then don’t fuck with me, I will try to help you. If that doesn’t work I will dismiss you.

Are you with me on this in between crusade? Let me know. I’d love to interview you, regardless of your blog (or lack thereof)-fashion, sex, what have you, I don’t discriminate.

You may also enjoy:
NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating-my story is here
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia
NEDA Week: 5 Eating Disorder Playlists
NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart

NEDA Week: 5 Eating Disorder Playlists

(photo by NekoOujo)

Yes, technically the official NEDAwareness Week ended yesterday. However, I haven’t finished writing about this subject. I’m only one person, having been going through some other stuff in the past week and haven’t been able to blog twice daily (as I was hoping, to even out this serious stuff with my usual pop culture levity).

Plus, you know, I’ve started thinking of Sundays as being for playlists.

I think that my previous NEDA posts have been valuable for those who want to learn more or who are battling these same demons. However this post is probably most useful for people who actually have or have had an eating disorder.

Music is something that many of us use to soothe or wallow in when we are going through things. Personally I could probably whip up a depression playlist for you super fast. Yes, sometimes when you’re sad you may want to cheer yourself up with some light pop but at other times you need to actually feel your feelings. It can also make you feel less alone knowing that other people have similar problems. That’s where these types of playlists come in.

Until this week I was unfamiliar with most songs that actually deal with eating disorders. While I did curate these playlists I didn’t come up with these songs on my own. If you do a little research online you will find that many sufferers of eating disorders feel a kinship with them.

includes 8 tracks from Brianne Holland, Hole, Wale, The Used, The Greedy Sedgwicks, Eths, Nataly Dawn & Lunachicks

includes 9 tracks from Superchick, Richie Phillips, Kate Nash, Counting Crows, American Music Club, Syrano & more

includes 8 tracks from Lisa Loeb, Los Campesinos, The Antlers, Jimmy Robbins, Taking Back Sunday, Tallest Trees & more

includes 8 tracks by The Vinnys, Radiohead, Bethany Cox, Arsis, Sia & more.

includes 8 tracks by Lily Allen, Myah Marie, Hole, Sonic Youth, Angelspit & more.

Related Posts:
NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia
NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
Beauty & Underneath Playlist

NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart

Yes, the smartest woman in the world has disordered eating and is slightly underweight.


If you are a regular reader of Parade Magazine (it’s that fauxish magazine that accompanies the Sunday paper) then you may be familiar with Marilyn Vos Savant. She has a question and answer column in the paper entitled Ask Marilyn. Savant is noted as being the woman with the highest IQ in the world (190 or 228, depending on the source). Thus her column doesn’t just answer Dear Abby type questions. She routinely settles disputes that readers send in regarding logic, math, science and many other topics.

Truthfully science and math go over my head so sometimes I only skim the column. I never really thought much about her one way or another. That is until 2004 when a reader asked the following:

“I notice that you always appear to be thin in your photos. How do you do it?”

“Here’s the “Ask Marilyn Daily Diet”:
I have a very light breakfast (low-fat yogurt or fruit or cereal)
and a very small lunch (a bit of cheese and crackers).
During the day, I drink water and a few cups of tea (sometimes with caffeine).
For dinner, however, I have just about anything I want, including bread and a little butter or olive oil, most kinds of entrees and vegetables, plus a dessert. The biggest exception is that I try to limit saturated fats, so I seldom have foods like burgers and fries. I also skip fatty meats and gravies and soups with cream.

I think this maintenance diet is successful for me because it’s hard to overeat when I have only ONE SIGNIFICANT MEAL A DAY. If my weight creeps upward a few pounds, which sometimes happens, I eliminate the bread and dessert until it returns to normal.I also have strict rules that I seldom break, except during vacations and holidays.”Marilyn

I had never seen a photo of Mrs. Savant aside from her head shot at the time so had never thought of this. As you may imagine, after reading that I lost all respect for this woman. If you just glanced at that you may think, big whoop, she eats healthy. No, she eats an incredibly rigid, highly regimented meal plan seemingly with the sole intention of not gaining weight.


So, of course, I had to investigate. Surely I wasn’t the only one who found it odd that “the smartest woman alive” didn’t seem to eat for health (the logical choice, as you’d think that intelligence begets logic). This led me to a long discourse of her diet on her site. The following is an excerpt from her “strict rules” that she sometimes breaks until she feels fat which is when she goes uber diet all over her ass:

“No snack food at home: only mealtime food. This means zero cookies, chips, nuts, and other treats. When it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you should find everything you need. But when you want something between meals just for fun, the cupboard should look bare.

No eating between meals. This includes “healthful” food such as fruit or juice. For your health, they’re better than “junk” food. But for keeping trim, they are just added calories. Instead, try a no-calorie beverage or a cup of tea with sweetener.

One of the best things about my routine is that I always look forward to dinner, when I can have most anything I want, what a treat! Plus, food tastes much better when you’re hungry and not eating simply because mealtime has arrived.

Yes any food always taste delicious when you are starving yourself!

…Warm drinks and room-temperature drinks are more flavorful than cold ones, so I don’t add ice. I order beverages without ice in restaurants, too. Plus, melting ice makes a beverage watery, and that diminishes the flavor even more. Even in summer, iceless drinks don’t seem warm. Body temperature is almost 100°F, and so 72°F water tastes plenty cool enough. And in winter, why have an icy drink at all?

I’ve never even heard of someone so insane that they deprive themselves of ice

…Do take forever to eat dinner. The simple pleasure of dining with family or friends is underrated in our hurried lives. So is dining alone while reading a newspaper or simply enjoying good food. One of my favorite activities is going out to dinner by myself when my husband is away. I usually take a couple of questions to ponder and linger for the evening. It’s blissful!

I have no idea how anyone could eat in the presence of this woman, no wonder she loves eating alone and instead of eating it would appear that she’s actually sitting at a dinner table working.

Do savor each bite. If you love food, why not enjoy the taste as long as you can? Plus, thorough chewing

Gee I wonder if she also practices the Dolly Parton diet where you chew your food and then spit it back out?

makes for less tummy trouble… This is one reason I avoid drinks with calories. They disappear in a flash!

Don’t change your dining habits on the weekends. Weekends are already delightful, and you can have most anything you like for dinner every day, anyway. Adding foodfests like brunch is just plain overindulgence. Use that time to take a walk in a hilly park, bicycle with the kids, or shoot baskets at a playground. You’ll feel much better afterward.

=it’s stupid to eat on the weekend, just exercise some more instead

Don’t underestimate the calories you consume. When I say “a very light breakfast” and “a very small lunch,” I really mean it: maybe 250 calories for both together.

Gee 125 calories per meal, I’d be such a glutton

People often underestimate the calories of “healthful” food and overestimate the calories of foods that are frequent targets of dieters, such as one of the scariest foods of all: butter. Yet an average apple has the same number of calories as two pats of butter!

I think this means that she’s against apples.

Don’t eat food that you don’t really enjoy. This is an important part of my daily diet, whether I’m maintaining my weight or losing a couple of pounds. I won’t eat anything that I don’t think tastes great, even if I’m at a restaurant.

I once practiced this as a half cocked diet idea, having nothing to do with her & guess what, if you don’t have anything fantastic around you just won’t eat, hello borderline anorexia, waving!

…I have a limited number of days in my life, and time is precious. In a similar way, I have a limited number of calories to enjoy in my life. I want to “spend” them in the best way I can. So I refuse to waste precious calories on stale bread, spaghetti that’s too soft, or a giant cookie that didn’t taste as good as it looked. One bite, and it’s all over!”Marilyn

Guys, I just found out that we only get so many calories, shit, how do I find out how many I have left!?! Better ask Eddie Murphy!

Naively I assumed that he comments section would be full of people who also found this um, let’s say odd, not so, many commended her (as Americans are apt to do to any thin person) and even asked for more tips. Gee, let’s just start a Pro-Ana forum. One, disgustingly was a dietitian, a shitty, shitty dietitian. When asked about exercise Marilyn also mentions that she runs up to 6 miles per day. Hey, who needs food for that?

more choice quotes:
“Whenever I’m tempted, I remind myself that being interested in food is not the same as hunger.”

No, no, it’s not, but ask anyone with disordered eating, if you avoid activities or have to plan your entire day’s activities/food consumption around that one time you might go to the circus and eat cotton candy (also from the comments, I’m guessing that’s in place of her dinner) then you’re a little fucked in the head.

commenter:“…How tall are you?…”

“I’m 5 feet 8 inches tall, and I weigh 125 pounds.
(Note: I have a small frame, so my weight is low for my height. I would happily weigh ten pounds more if they would distribute themselves pleasingly all over. But my extra pounds behave like rich people in the winter: They head south.)”

=fuck my health, I just wanna be skinny

Don’t believe me?

For a height of 5’8″ the ideal healthy weight is 147 pounds. The recommended weight range is between 131 and 164 pounds. (source, source)

Here’s one commenter who’s actually a voice of reason:

“250 calories for both meals together and then starve all day waiting for the dinner? that’s insane! Why not eat a bit less on the evenings and a bit more at lunch and breakfast? Plus, calories are not burnt while you’re asleep…I’d rather enjoy myself a bit more and be less skinny!…”

with husband Robert Jarvik, creator of the Jarvik artificial heart

(source, there’s also a bit of a bio on her here)

I did search the net because I thought I can’t be alone in this boat. Unfortunately the only real criticism of Savant was covered by Jezebel (ugh, you know that I hate linking to them, but the actual report is available only through a pay paper online). Apparently instead of using her genius to be an inventor or something useful to humanity she’s more of a married socialite with her column as a hobby. That doesn’t bother me as I feel that you should be free to live your life in the style that you desire. I just wish that she wouldn’t push harmful ideas on people.

However it does make this a bit more interesting (from the horse’s mouth)

Now, why do I have such a big problem with this whole situation? I neither know Marilyn Vos Savant nor care what she does in her personal life. What I care about is that a large number of already confused and self hating Americans (and possibly people all over the world since this is online now) read things like this and think, hey if the smartest chick in the world thinks disordered eating is the bomb diggity she must be correct.

Am I saying that everyone should eat junk food all of the time (as someone semi “hinted” to me recently)? No, of course not. I am saying that I’m sure that if you added up what this woman ate on a daily basis it would most likely be under 1000 calories per day. Anyone who has obsessively studied diets, dieting, etc (unfortunately like I used to) can tell you that’s dangerous.

Then the even bigger issue, “food issues” are not just categorized (or at least shouldn’t be) by someone’s weight or even all of the types of foods that they eat. A big part of the problem is the mindset. It’s the “never good enough, never thin enough” mindset. It’s the absolutes mindset. It’s the “I plan my entire life around depriving myself and then “rewarding” myself mindset”. What it happens to be is an entirely unhealthy relationship with food.

That is why I don’t read her column anymore. I feel that if she does that fine, it’s not my life, but advocating that shit, it’s putrid.

Block quotes are, obviously, me being a smart ass.

It should be noted that I am against women attacking other women but I don’t believe this is an attack so much as important info that you should be aware of. But yeah, I sort of hate her, what can I say?

Update: March 2016
It is now almost impossible to view the original links to Marilyn’s diet. I think she knows it’s messed up. My link and others online directly to Parade’s site just take you to a bunch of her articles. This link is actually a discussion of said diet on her own site by fans. It’s interesting.

I just found this 2010 follow up to her original diet answer. A reader asked how she keeps healthy on such a “small diet”. She even asks about vitamins and supplements. Marilyn counters that it’s not “a small diet”, but that she only eats about “three hundred (or so) calories for breakfast and lunch combined”, damn, that’s scary.

Related Posts:
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia
NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
On Health
That Woman Behind You Is Better Than You, No Not That One, Look Harder