one of those days….

I have a strong feeling that today is going to be one of those days that is just a little tougher to get through…So I will tell myself to:

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And also:

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I know that I am going to have to work a little harder in reminding myself just how awesome I am today…mehh. I mean it would help a lot a lot if someone told me this:

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But I think it might be even more important for ME to tell MYSELF that I am worthwhile, as opposed to hearing it from someone else… obviously that’s easier said than done so let’s see how today goes. Fingers crossed for me!

Bye Bye Expo

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Monday was a sad day in the Mwell household. After 10 years of carpool, neck runs, schlepping furniture to and fro college, drunken pickups, and many more memorable events, we said farewell to our beloved expedition. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, I hate change, and this was a big one. I honestly felt like in getting rid of the expo I was saying goodbye to a big part of my childhood…we don’t need such a big car anymore, the three of us kids are grown so it’s time to downsize…it’s just too weird. ¬†So, as my dad said we “mini-mized.” Meet the newest addition to the Maxwell fleet:

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I have to admit, the mini is pretty cute, but it def doesn’t have anything on kiki. She’s still the best.

hbd mmc <3

Wishing the happiest of birthdays to one of my first, and bestest, bowdoin friends, the amazing, gorgeous, and loving Ms. Molly Clements.

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I don’t know what I would do without you. You have taught me so much over the past four years! I will always stay on my pillow thanks to you ūüėČ Miss you so much and wish that I could be there to celebrate with you. Love you forever and always!

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I expect you to live it up for me today my little corgi! xoxox

you are more beautiful than you think. honestly.

I apologize for neglecting my blog for the past few days, but I have had a hard time pulling myself away from the news coverage of the chaos that has taken over Boston. The events that have unfolded are horrific and surreal. I never imagined that a city, like Boston, could virtually be shut down, but Boston’s finest did it and we caught him! My heart is always with you Boston and we will persevere. We are too strong and too resilient not to.

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On a more uplifting note, which I think everyone could use right about now, I highly recommend that you watch this link:

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The other day one of my best friends sent me this link to a Dove campaign entitled “Real Beauty Sketches.” I was truly moved by it and swear that it is beyond inspirational. I also found that this ad is pertinent to women, like myself, who suffer from low self-esteem and varying extremes of body dysmorphia. Every women can learn a lesson from this social experiment conducted by Dove.

Collectively, as women, we need to learn that we are more beautiful than we think, or know, and we must start seeing ourselves in a brighter (truer) light. We must try and view ourselves in the same manner as others (strangers, friends, acquaintances, etc.) already do. Once we are able to do this than we will finally see just how amazing and beautiful people we are, both inside and out. Dove’s ad shows us how we are our own harshest critic, and in a sense, our own worst nightmare. Ladies (and gents) we need to ease back A LOT.

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*SPOILER ALERT* please only keep reading if you’ve already watched the ad!

I personally thought that the part in the campaign, when the forensic artist reveals the sketches, to the people involved in the social experiment, to be eye-opening. I felt like I had an “ahhh-haaa” moment. It’s truly shocking, as well as disheartening, to see just how skewed so many women’s perceptions of themselves are. I hope that this statement doesn’t make me sound self absorbed, but I kind of thought that I was the only one who was so harsh on myself. I really did not know, prior to viewing the campaign, that low self-esteem is a rampant epidemic among the women of the US. I mean I’m a sociology major, and have learned a lot about how women constantly are influenced, mainly by the media, into comparing themselves to unrealistic beauty standards. I know this might come as a shocker, but the models and celebrities in ads are photoshopped (please note I am being sarcastic). I really should know better, but I too am affected. It was not until I heard ¬†how harsh and negative some of these women were when they described their features did I¬†finally realized just how much change needs to occur within our society. We have to start seeing the beauty in ourselves, we just must.

As part of my treatment I have actually been working on trying to view my physical self more positively. This is really tough I’m not going to lie. One ¬†of the most significant stressors in my daily life is actually when I have to look in a mirror. I know this may sound crazy to most, and you might think that everyone can find something they don’t like about themselves, but my disapproval with my appearance is an extreme case. ¬†It probably comes as no surprise that my affliction towards mirrors stems from my ed…my fear of gaining weight greatly affects how I see myself and just how critical I am on myself. So, in order to combat this destructive and harmful behavior of mine, I have started doing “mirror work” in my therapy sessions. Performing this task involves me standing in front of a mirror and describing, using shapes, textures, colors, etc. (I must consciously avoid using negative or critical words) to my therapist. She than writes down everything I say and we dissect it after I’ve finished this painful, but completely necessary process. It is hard and I’ve left my sessions near tears a few times, but I need to do this to get better. Just like the women in the Dove campaign I am my harshest critic and need to learn to see myself how the rest of the world does. This I think is one of the most important, parts of my recovery.

Here are some inspirational sayings and images that help me, when I would rather poke out my own eyes than stare at myself in the mirror for an extended period of time:

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why is it ok to be mean to yourself when you are nice to everyone else?

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think about how much happier your spirit will be once you rid yourself of negative thoughts.

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real and true beauty is internal not external.

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looks should not, and will not, define you. other qualities are stronger and more important.

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at the end of the day I need to be happy with me. i am uniquely beautiful no matter what others think.

(hopefully I believe all of this in the near future)

Boston Strong

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Yesterday I wrote about how amazing all of the men and women running the Boston Marathon are and how it is a dream of mine to one day be among them.  Today, more than I ever, I stand by my words. The deadly attack that occurred yesterday afternoon at the finish line is mindless, devastating, tragic, and incomprehensible.  Whoever could do something like this is without a doubt a psychopath and must be brought to justice.  However, I do think it is important for us all to remind ourselves not to rush to any judgment, or assumptions, about who is possibly responsible for this attack.  According to the Globe 90 countries are represented in the running of the marathon. This unfathomable act is one against the world, not just the city of Boston. We need to wait and learn all the facts before we place any blame.

 Now, more than ever, we as Bostonians must come together and show the world just how strong we are and that we support every person affected by this horrific event.  We are resilient and will ALWAYS stand together in tragedy. I am proud to call Boston my home and Boston will forever hold my heart.

Marathon Monday

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Shout out to all the AMAZING men and women running the Boston Marathon today! Good luck and just keep going. You can do it!

Hopefully one day, in the near future, I will be healthy enough to start running again and who knows maybe even participate in a marathon…baby steps I know, but a girl can dream ūüėČ Completing a marathon is def on my bucket list.

be the best version of yourself everyday.

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Earlier this morning I stumbled across this tee on pinterest (no surprise there) and I just think that it is perfection! ¬†The message it sends, I believe, is ¬†inspirational as well as extraordinary. ¬†I mean, seriously, how could you not hold your head high and radiate self-confidance when you are wearing a tee that is telling you to always “be your beautiful self” ? ¬†I think that I’ll just have to get one of these lovely shirts for the days when telling myself I’m beautiful just doesn’t cut…there’s nothing wrong with wearing a physical reminder to fight off the negative thoughts you might feel towards yourself. You gotta do what you gotta do!

shirt can be found here: http://www.pbj-shop.com/beautiful-raglan-p-2199.html

the power and beauty of gratitude

Yesterday evening, during “Meditation Thursday” as I now like to call it, we focused our energy and attention on the simple things in our life that we should be grateful for. ¬†We began our practice by writing down, purely for ourselves, five things that we were grateful for on that day. ¬†It’s a simple, but mind provoking task, that forces you to push out the bad and hone in on the positive experiences of your day. ¬†It really motivated me to look for the good in a day that I otherwise would have categorized as a bust (yesterday was a tough one).

The script that Nancy read provoked us listeners to look at, and appreciate, the amazingness of the simple every-day functions our bodies perform. From just being able to move my fingers to type, to another example of using my noise to smell the ocean, I was reminded that my body does extraordinary tasks at every moment of the day.  It is in fact me who chooses not to notice or celebrate them.

I have learned ALOT about myself over the past year and one thing in particular I’ve become familiar with is that I tend to only validate the extremes in my life, especially in terms of my body. ¬†For me it simply isn’t good enough that my knee bends allowing me to walk whenever I desire, but my knee is only worth celebrating if it allows me to run 5 miles without hurting. Throughout the meditation I found myself thinking about all the horrible and destructive things I am doing to my body by having this disease, and I kept having to remind myself that my body has done nothing to ever hurt me. ¬†My organs, muscles, bones, etc. never did anything to deserve to suffer like they have just because I was unhappy with my physical appearance. I understand now that I need to take a step back, look at the bigger picture, and reassess what I value most about my body. Honestly what matters more the amazingness of my inner self or the superficialness of my physical presence? I think the answer is an easy one, but the work to get myself to truly believing, and accepting, that is hard and is going to be a constant effort on my part. ¬†But I must persevere because it would be worthless to live a life where I couldn’t be grateful for the small things. It’s the appreciation for SO MANY minor things in your day that can trump the one awful thing weighing you down…you just need to know to look for them. So remember to always:

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Everyday is a challenge

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The other day I came across an article, on Facebook, entitled, “A Day In The Life of Eating Disorder Recovery,” by Margarita Tartakovsky, and it really struck a chord with me. ¬†A girl, who I had been in treatment with earlier in the year, posted this and I am truly grateful that she decided to share it. ¬†I’ve been having kind of a rough week, eating disorder wise…I’ve been stressed, overwhelmed, and in some sense unmotivated. I haven’t been giving my all to my recovery and as a result I’ve been a little down in the dumps and disappointed in myself. ¬†In all honesty I am just so far away from living a life free of my eating disorder that I can’t help, but get discouraged and a little depressed, because my e.d. voice is so dominant and ever present. ¬†One of my biggest wishes is to have just one day in my life without any horribly destructive and negative e.d. thoughts. I just want to experience a life when I am not consumed by my diet and also my own harsh critiques of my physical appearance.

After reading Ms. Tartakovsky’s blog, she herself is in recovery from her own eating disorder, I felt that my feelings and struggles were validated. To hear that even someone who has been in recovery for a significant amount of time, and who is doing well, still has to fight her e.d. voice daily, made me realize that this is going to be a life long battle. ¬†I just need to keep fighting and secure certain tools that will aid me in my recovery. ¬†I especially liked how Ms. Tartakovsky, when she was struggling, used skills such as doing a reality check with someone she trusts or journaling about the life she wants to live. ¬†Both of this strategies I can use and apply to my own recovery. ¬†So even though this week has been hard, I’m not the only one with an e.d. who is having a rough time. ¬†Eating disorders are miserable, painful, and have to be fought on a daily basis. ¬†I just need to work on getting myself stronger so when I am forced to go to combat with my e.d. voice I am better armed and prepared for a battle. ¬†I must keep reminding myself that I can do it.

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Here’s the link to the article:¬†http://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2011/02/a-day-in-the-life-of-eating-disorder-recovery/