GUEST POST: Love you! Like a fat kid loves cake… – By Shaye

I want to give a massive thank you to Shaye for being a guest writer. I know how difficult it was for her to write this, so thank you so much.

…Why can’t it be like a fat kid likes green beans, or like a fat kid likes sushi. There are lots of things fat kids like to eat, other than cake. I should know, I have been one most of my life. In fact a lot of skinny people I know LOVE cake, and soda, waaaay more than the fat kids do. This saying has always had a double edged sword protruding out of it and there is no way to get rid of it until the positive body image movement happens, which in reality I don’t see happening anytime soon.

a7402414288091b18f9a5b198eac66a3 371617475441242205_1377050829 I-love-cupcakes-like-a-fat-kid-loves-cupcakes

As I type this I have just finished a rather large meal of gorgeous steak with a rather large loaded potato and now am watch my songbird and my charming bake boozy cupcakes whilst I diddle away at the keys. I am not to blame when it comes to using inappropriate terms, nor am I one to turn around and say “Well, since I am a chubby gal I can say it and you can’t”. I’m not THAT kind of narcissist. I keep calling this my “last fat kid weekend”, my final fiesta before I head back on the path toward my weight-loss journey that I started so many years ago. But why don’t we start at the beginning. Before the neurosis and binge eating disorder, before the surgeries and body dysmorphia. There was a little girl. And I do mean little girl.

Collage 1

I grew up in NYC for most of my life, raised by a Puerto Rican and a Scot. Now I have a HUGE family (of whom I spend more time with my PR side) and they love to eat. I grew up in a world full of food. I was a dancer, a softball player and as one of the ONLY girls in an apartment building I biked and climbed and ran and jumped and skinned my knees on concrete for at least an hour or two a day. Looking back on pictures of me as a child I would not in the least call me heavy, but I was always body conscious. My mother had made me that way from a young age, wearing tee-shirts over my swimsuits or shorts, always being “sure” I wanted to put that last bite of food in my mouth, blousing out my shirts so my non existent belly didn’t show. Things were always a bit too big than just fitting r a bit tight. It didn’t help that I developed a chest early and that it grew fast and furious to the point that my dance teacher told me I would never make it to professional when I was about 9.

collage2

I went to a private school, where if you weren’t popular you were treated like crap and since I went on scholarship I wasn’t popular. And they would tease me, for being ugly to fat to everything else they could think of. The funny part was a lot of them were bigger than I was was, but I still was not that body conscious I wasn’t prepared for the real world I guess. The real world started happening when I was about 9. When I was 9 years old, they thought I had cancer, after major testing and so forth they found out I had Graves Disease. Graves disease is a form of Hypothyroidism. Now for all you non-medical people out there, your thyroid controls your metabolism and all that good jazz, so when your thyroid is hypo you are under-producing the hormone needed to run that machine smoothly, leading to weight gain, fatigue and many other bothersome symptoms. I was to be put on medications and closely monitored. Well, I was fine for a bit, that year I started sleep away camp and found a best friend, who was skinnier that anything (naturally) and the only reason I was like was because of her, and the next year of school (sixth grade) went by so slowly because my medication seemed off. I started getting hives, swelling up for no reason…something was wrong. The doctors played with my meds and as an effort to kill the hives benadryll and prednisone were introduced to my body. And I blew up. Now if you have ever taken prednisone you know what will happen, if not just think about the hungriest you have ever been and multiple that by like Gremlin after midnight and there you go. I gained I can’t tell you how much weight on my small frame. It was not a good year for me.

As far as I remember it that was the year a few things happened, I put my hands and arms through one of those reinforced wired windows at school while trying to open it, my mom signed me up for therapy which she quickly pulled me out of (I still don’t know why she did either) and I started to binge. Now I never liked shopping for clothes unless I was with my GK. GK never picked at me, she let me go through clothes at my own pace and she just got me when it came to clothes. My mother liked terrible things on me and always made me feel huge in the dressing room. It was the year I was in sixth grade that I would wait until everyone was asleep and sneak into the kitchen and eat what I could, I snuck things into my bedroom, I would hide and eat everywhere I went (Even at camp that year I would trade things for snacks because they were rarely given to me). I was just hungry all the time and even if it was a healthy snack I would hide it and at dinner I would eat and eat until I was uncomfortable or until my mother gave me the look. That summer at camp was a lot harder for me, that awkward age between 10 and 11, boys just really noticing you, my best friend having too many boyfriends and me just wanting to be kissed I was by no means a blimp but I had put on the pounds. My asthma was not good and the hives still came back all the time. Constant infirmary visits.

collage 3

Between 11 and the summer I turned 13 I went through a lot. I was now in a public school, the same one my best friend went too. I was beginning to be aware of my own body and get very uncomfortable around it. I was realizing that I may not only be attracted to guys (which made the locker rooms a really odd place for me). My friends were all smaller. My hives were so bad I was on a constant stream of steroids and my mother would sit by my bed at night to make sure my throat didn’t close up. We would fight constantly because of my body or my clothes. That summer the doctor that made a decision that would change my whole life, a decision I wish I had more say in, that maybe that had gone about a different way or waited just a little bit longer because it wouldn’t be till soon after that that research would emerge about the side effects. That summer they removed my thyroid.

collage 2.1

Now Thyroid surgery is a big deal, if they take out part of your thyroid you are usually better for the long term but since they had to remove all of mine (because they were convinced it was causing the hives…it wasn’t) my whole world changed. You see there has been a proven link between thyroid removal and the switch that keeps the circuit of mental illness at bay. It is like the thin sheet of plastic between the baking soda and vinegar in a homemade volcano, everything is peachy but pull the plastic and KABOOM!!!! I immediately lost all of the weight from the steroids because of the recovery int he hospital, got my first kiss (from my first crush since I was like a year old) and all was well….kinda. I walked back into school that year feeling like a new girl, I was in the 8th grade ready to take my tests for HS and on new meds and actually feeling better. But it didn’t matter, the kids hadn’t gotten any nicer (but I noticed it more, it hurt more), my mother got pickier (so I ate more, it hurt more) and I was getting bigger (everyone told me I was nuts, but I could see it in the mirror). That year, I lined up and took over 200 pills in plain sight of an entire cafeteria full of students during breakfast and no one noticed me. (But that is a whole other story in a whole other post). I couldn’t wait to get out of that school. I tried fad diets and all sorts of shit the teen magazines were peddling but at that point I was just me, and I figured hey this is what I am stuck with, better deal with it. (When I graduated JHS I was a size 12)

hs 1

Now we are going to speed through high school because high school was a very up and down point in my life, but that falls more on the mental side of things. I was still binge eating, only now it wouldn’t be hiding it just from my mother, it was from certain friends (like the ones you think are friends but put you down because they want to take your bf or are using you for something). When I started HS I was a size 10, I got called fat. I got told i should hide my *insert body part here*. When I graduated HS (After a year of being on bed rest and being in and out of the hospital) I was a size 16. The names never changed.

hs 2

Always yours,

Shaye

xoxo

*Authors Note* As I started to write this I didn’t realize how emotional I would get during it. I am going to piece this out if my darling girl will let me as a guest post or I will continue it on my own blog and my journey has not yet ended and there is so much more to write.

Thank you so much, Shaye, for sharing this. The next part of this post will be posted here soon so please keep an eye out for that. If anyone reading this wants to write a guest post for me please get in touch at: aleve44@hotmail.com. Thank you for reading x

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 2

I want to say a massive thank you to Shivani, Unfashionable Cupcake, My Overflowing Thoughts , Under The Guise Of Glitter and A Teenage Diary Online for nominating me, and if you haven’t checked out their blogs you should because they’re amazing!

Here’s the rules:

  • Thank the person/people who nominated you. Thank you!!
  • Post a quote for three days in a row. 

Here’s my second quote:

“Sometimes the person you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger.” – Fall Out Boy, Miss Missing You

Firstly, Fall Out Boy are my my favourite band and it’s the only band my entire family will listen to- so we have all of their CD’s for when we go on road trips. I think it’s amazing that a band can unite a young teenage boy, an older teenage girl, and two middle aged parents. Plus, this quote is pretty powerful. Sometimes the people you stand up for are the ones who will stab you in the back.

  • Nominate three other bloggers each day. I’m going to nominate some newer bloggers 🙂
  1. Jess The Crunchy Cat
  2. My Life And A Journal
  3. Perks Of Being Jade

Thank you so much for the nomination, and thank you for reading 🙂

Three Day Quote Challenge – Day 1

I love this challenge! So I want to say a massive thank you to Shivani, Unfashionable Cupcake, My Overflowing Thoughts , Under The Guise Of Glitter and A Teenage Diary Online for nominating me, and if you haven’t checked out their blogs you should because they’re amazing!

Here’s the rules:

  • Thank the person/people who nominated you. Thank you!!
  • Post a quote for three days in a row. 

Here’s my first quote:

“Next time you point a finger, I’ll point you to the mirror.” – Paramore, Playing God. 

I love this band, and this is one of my favourite songs of theirs. This quote is brilliant, and I couldn’t agree more. There are so many people that criticise others, when they’re really unhappy with themselves.

  • Nominate three other bloggers each day. I’m going to nominate some newer bloggers 🙂
  1. Dainty Delusions
  2. The Online Bloggeress
  3. Turtle

Thank you so much for the nomination, and thank you for reading 🙂

GUEST POST: Life is a death sentence- by Daniel

Hey guys, I’ve got another amazing guest post for you courtesy of the lovely Daniel. 

It’s common knowledge that life is a terminal condition. One day, hopefully in the long time, we will all pass away. Now most people take this information in their stride. They live their live to the fullest. They chase their dreams. Live lives that most think about constantly. Many people, on the other hand, decide to remain ignorant of this, and live lives devoid of meaning. They sit and think about the lives they want to lead. They think about following their dreams, but put it off. It can wait. I don’t have the money. Opportunity will fall in my lap, I don’t need to go out and take it.
Sadly, this isn’t the way to live. Charles Richards once said ‘Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of’, a sentiment to live by. Start living today. Audition for that play, apply for that job, start that novel, book that flight to the far off country you’ve dreamed of visiting ever since you were a child. Waiting for your dreams allows others to convince you they are unattainable. Waiting for happiness quickly becomes settling for mediocrity.
Life is hard. Life is sad. Life will hurt like nothing else, but life is worth it. Seize the day like there is no tomorrow, because for all you know, there might not be. Life is a Death Sentence, but it need not be a slow march. It is what you make of it.
For Alyssia.
Thank you again, Daniel, for being a wonderful guest writer. And if anyone would like to guest write for me please contact me at: aleve44@hotmail.com.

GUEST POST: Apples by Asil

Hey guys, I have another post from a wonderful guest writer! I want to give a massive shout out to Redefining Random for allowing me to publish this post 🙂

Apples.

I know a definite fact about apples. They shape-shift.

You may say, that is physically impossible. I say, it is possible.

Apples may shape-shift into fruits having a waxy appearance. Sweet and juicy on the inside.

Apple may be the giant company that brought the Iphone, Ipad, Ipod and the Mac to our technology-craving hands.

Apples may be the nickname of the rapper Apple.de.ap from the Black Eyed Peas.

You see the point?

What’s more, apple, in fruit form, has some connections with literature too. For instance, the clichéd quote “An apple a day keeps the doctor away ”, the poisoned apple in Snow White and the alphabet favourite, A as in apple.

So why should you be an apple? Apples can do almost anything you can imagine. Be an apple.

Thank you again, Asil, for being a guest writer 🙂 And if anyone else wants to guest write for me they can get in touch at: aleve44@hotmail.com. Thank you!

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

Thank you so much to Drifting Lexi for nominating me for this award!! If you haven’t checked out her blog, you need to because she’s awesome!

Here’s the rules…

  • Thank and link the blogger who nominated you. A massive thank you to Drifting Lexi!!
  • Answer the questions the nominator has provided.
  1. What makes you motivated to blog? My followers. Hearing from others who are going through the same things I am, and having people tell me my posts make them smile or have helped them makes me want to blog. Plus, I love it! I love interacting with people of all ages, races, sexualities, genders, and religions 🙂
  2. What’s your favourite thing to write about on your blog? I write about so much on my blog, so this is a really hard question! I like writing about things that I’m passionate about, like mental health and human rights etc.
  3. What is your favourite food? I’m such a boring person when it comes to food! I like really bland flavours, so if I cook myself pasta I’ll just have pasta by itself and I can’t eat anything remotely spicy. So this is going to sound really stupid but my favourite food is sweet and salted popcorn. I could eat that for the rest of my life and be happy 😛
  4. If you had to pick a favourite book, what would it be? Nope. Can’t do it. I love so many books. A book that I’m loving right now though is All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. It’s amazing, and I won’t spoil it but I would definitely recommend it!
  5. What was the last song you listened to? I worked last night (I deliver Chinese takeaway with my dad) so we had our favourite Fall Out Boy album on and we were singing to that! The last song I remember was Yule Shoot Your Eye Out, because who doesn’t like singing along to Christmas songs with their dad in the middle of June?
  6. What items are closest to you at this moment? Well my butt is on this incredibly uncomfortable chair, my elbows are on my dining room table (naughty), and my fingers (yup all 10 because that’s how I roll) are on my keyboard. Then all around me I have my junk that I’ve managed to spread all around me, like tons of post-it-notes, all my notes and resources for my tutoring lessons, and my mouse which I have to use because the touchpad on my computer refuses to work 😦
  7. Do you have any tattoos? No, I’m a giant wimp so I doubt I could last through a whole tattoo. Plus, I’m so indecisive I could never decide what i want to be permanently etched into my skin forever!
  8. What are you currently reading? Oops, I already answered this question- All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 🙂
  9. Do you prefer going to shops and buying items or do you prefer to shop online? I like going to shops. I like going to charity shops in particular, because some of the stuff I’ve bought there is amazing! But I don’t really shop very often because I still feel really self-conscious and I get very nervous being in large crowds 😦
  10. What are you next looking forward to? Well, my 18th birthday is in just over 2 weeks so that’s pretty cool! I don’t have anything planned, so I think I’m just going to hang out with my family and boyfriend. And it’s my boyfriend’s 20th birthday in just under two weeks and I’m so excited to go shopping with him! I’ve saved up £100 to take him on a shopping spree (he doesn’t know this yet) but he hasn’t been able to buy new clothes in a year because money is pretty tight so I’m giving him £100 to spend on whatever he wants, it’s going to be amazing!
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers. I’m going to try and find some amazing bloggers who haven’t already been nominated, but I think there are hundreds of bloggers I follow that deserve this award!
  1. Shivani
  2. Perks Of Being Jade
  3. Everyone’s Friend
  4. Life Of An Indian teenager
  5. I Am Odd
  6. My Irrelevant Thoughts
  7. Hugs x Heart
  8. I Prefer Deep Blues And Sea Foam Greens
  9. My Overflowing Thoughts
  10. A Teenage Diary Online
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees and notify them of their nomination.
  1. If you look out of the window closest to you what do you see?
  2. What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
  3. Do you have any weird or hidden talents?
  4. If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be and why?
  5. What’s the most expensive item you’ve ever bought?
  6. What was the inspiration for your blog name?
  7. What is your dream job?
  8. What is the cheesiest/ worst joke you know?
  9. What is the most random and useless fact you know?
  10. What is your favourite blog post you have written and why?

Thanks again DriftingLexi for nominating me, and thank you for reading 🙂

GUEST POST: Suicidal Thoughts, Self-Harm, Depression: It’s Okay- By Matthew Tome

I’ve been wanting to include guest writers and posts on this site for a while now, and I am so glad that my first guest post is about something so close to my heart. As many of you know my best friend committed suicide when we were both very young. No body should have to feel like he did. I want to give a massive shout out to Matthew Tome at Exactlywhatyouneed.org for giving me permission to post this to help raise awareness of self-harm, suicide, and depression.

For many of you, suicide may just sound like something “cowards” or “weak” people do. You’ve probably cracked some jokes about it with your friends, playfully told people, “Just go kill yourself”, or maybe even looked down upon someone who actually attempted to kill themselves. The same goes for victims of cutting/self-harm and depression. These people seem to get rejected by society, even picked on for being vulnerable. I’m not trying to justify suicide or self-harm here. I don’t believe there is any justification in taking your own life or hurting yourself. What I’m trying to get at is, there is a major problem in our society. If someone is hurting themselves, thinking about taking their own life, or suffering from depression the LAST thing you should do is pick on them. It highlights a repulsiveflaw in your character, and is extremely detrimental to the person who is suffering. And, as for that suffering person, there is always hope.

On this blog, I search the world for things that inspire me. When I find one, I research it; study it better, so that I can find what exactly makes it so uplifting, and hopefully adopt those characteristics into my personality, and share it with you all. My goal is to encourage and help guide as many people as I can to the better lifestyles that they deserve. As someone who was formerly depressed for a period of two years (with a break in the middle of a few months), I can honestly say: Depression is no joke. 

For personal reasons, I won’t go into depth about the causes of, or specific events related to, my depression publicly. If you’re interested in learning more about me, my story, or even just need someone to talk to, you can contact me at exactlyceo@exactlywhatyouneed.org. I’ll be sure to respond to each of you, personally, as soon as I possibly can. Support is the most useful tool for overcoming depression, so don’t think you’re alone in this world. Some people honestly do care.

It’s not some momentary sadness that you can cure by buying a shiny new toy. It’s a disability that can last for extended periods of time, and in some cases, even for the rest of your life. It leaves you tired, weak, unable and unmotivated to go on. It deprives you of most, if not all, the joy in your life. I remember several occasions where I’d be hanging out with my friends, laughing and having lots of fun (or so it seemed on the outside). But, in the back of my mind, there was this lingering feeling. You could never seem to shake it. It’s like a little voice inside your head saying, “That smile isn’t real. Just wait till you’re alone. I’ll show you what you’re really feeling.” The instant you became isolated from other humans, it would all hit you at once. That nagging little voice turned into the ONLY voice. It was this overwhelming, debilitating emotion that completely and utterly consumed you. No matter what you tried, no matter how times you’ve experienced it before, no matter how badly you wanted it to stop; it just wouldn’t. That was definitely the hardest part of my life. No other hardship could even hold a candle to it-financial debt, wondering where I could find a job, not knowing what I was going to do with my life, broken relationships, divorce, family deaths. Depression was, and probably will continue to be, the biggest obstacle I ever faced in my life.

But, That’s the Beauty in All of This

It was just an obstacle. That’s not to lessen the traumatic experience of going through depression. It’s insanely difficult; seemingly impossible even. But, it can be overcome, just like any other obstacle. It will be hard, but you can make it. You will come out: stronger, more passionate, full of life, and full of love. It teaches you to appreciate every waking moment, because you never know when it might be your last.

Life is full of beauty and wonder. This goes unnoticed, overlooked, and unappreciated constantly, but it’s there. I promise you. Life is so worth living, it’s almost hard to understand how you didn’t think so before. I’ve been there; wanting to die, feeling like a complete waste, totally useless, and just wishing it would all end so you could stop feeling. It sounds horrible (and it is), but I’m actually glad it happened. It helped shape me into the person I am today; a person I am extremely proud of and happy to be.

To help drive my point, we should look at Thomas Edison. He had a fantastic outlook on life and I think we could all benefit from adopting this perspective. Ryan Holiday talks about it here on “The Tim Ferris Show”. (Lovely podcast, by the way)

At age 67, Thomas Edison returned home, one evening, from another day at the laboratory.Shortly after dinner, a man came rushing in his house to tell him some urgent news. A fire had broken out at Edison’s Research and Production Campus a few miles away. Fire engines from the eight nearby towns rushed to the scene, but they could not contain the blaze. Fueled by the strange chemicals in the various buildings, green and yellow flames shot up six and seven stories, threatening to destroy the empire Edison had spent his entire life building. Edison calmly but quickly made his way to the fire, through the now hundreds of onlookers and devastated employees, looking for his son.
“Go get your mother and all of your friends,” he told his son with child-like excitement. “They’ll never see a fire like this again.”
“What?”
“Don’t worry,” Edison calmed him. “It’s alright. We just got rid of a bunch of rubbish.”

This was, no doubt, a hefty loss for Edison. Years of hard work, millions of dollars, and tons of research/prototypes were lost in that fire. Edison knew he couldn’t let this stop him though. He lived by “Amor Fati”. It’s a Latin phrase that can be translated as “love of fate”. To put it even simpler, you have to “love everything that happens in life.” The good, the bad, the totally life-altering traumatic experiences. Love it all, and greet it with a cheerful smile. Edison knew this, Jack Johnson (first black heavyweight boxing champion) knew this, and Ryan Holiday knew this. All three of these people are/were very successful people. They all had this common belief and outlook on life, so there must be some power to it, right?. I’ve began to incorporate into my life, and it’s worked wonders. It helped drag me out of my two-year depression. Before, I was very grim about living. My life had no meaning, and I didn’t see the purpose in anything. Now, I’m well-driven. I chase after my dreams relentlessly, brushing off all opposition: the naysayers, rejections, and non believers. Of course, this doesn’t mean go running off without a plan, but that’s a whole other topic.

How to Find Help

For those of you who are struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, addiction and self-injury, you can find help from myself or loads of good people over at Heartsupport, or even check out this cool project: Project Semicolon.

At Heartsupport, you can find people, like yourself, struggling through things right now. They have a community forum where people can post and receive support from people all over the world. They also have lots of great bands/artists give personal life stories that are remarkably relatable. Heartsupport was created by Jake Luhrs (vocalist of August Burns Red, one of my personal favorite bands for many years now). If you like, you can support his band by buying their music, donating directly on Heartsupport, or even just participating with the community.

Then there’s this fantastic idea behind Project Semicolon. “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life.” They use a semicolon to represent that your story is not over. You’re enduring through the tough parts. If you look back at any great story though, be it fiction or nonfiction, isn’t the part where the protagonist struggles the good part? Those are the juicy bits that build the story, strengthen the hero, and builds them into the wonderful champion who overcomes all obstacles presented before them. A story without struggle is boring. Who wants to read that? Not me. You’re just giving your life character; making it interesting by enduring the hardships, so that one day, you can tell others about what you’ve been through, and that YOU MADE IT. You’re still alive right now. You’ve made it through EVERYTHING life has thrown at you, so don’t give up hope. You’re stronger than you realize. Keep your chin up, and keep trying. Together, we can make it through this world (and as a pleasurable experience, at that).

I just want to say thank you again to Matthew Tome for allowing this beautiful post on my site. And if anyone reading this wants to speak to someone about their personal experiences with these subjects you can email Matthew at: exactlyceo@exactlywhatyouneed.org or you can come talk to me at: aleve44@hotmail.com.