Wear Purple To Show Your Support!

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Truthfully I’ve always been more of a pink girl, but this week I am choosing to wear purple to show my support for all those who suffer from eating disorders, myself included. Purple represents eating disorder awareness so I encourage all of you to throw something purple on at least once this week πŸ™‚ Here are some fun ways to wear purple (some images are definitely fancier than others haha):

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Throw on a scarf!

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Amaze.

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This pastel purple makes me want spring.

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Scarves are never a bad idea πŸ˜‰

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Paint your nail! I did haha

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Love this peplum top.

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Wowza

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Hot. Hot. Hot.

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Celebs love purple too.

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Those shoes.

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A cute and flirty skirt.

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I wish.

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Purple lace + nails = perfection.

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“I Had No Idea.” NEDAwareness Week 2014

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NEDAwareness week began yesterday and the message, which NEDA hopes to convey this year is that of, “I had no idea.” The theme of “I had no idea” is significant because it aims to address and alter misconceptions about eating disorders. So many people are unaware of the often devastating mental and physical consequences that eating disorders have on individuals, whether it be on the person suffering from one, or those closest to them. As NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) emphasizes in their mission statement for NEDAwareness week “eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses – NOT CHOICES – and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder.” The ultimate goal of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to get a dialogue going amongst individuals about the seriousness of eating disorders and to teach how to support someone who is suffering, or if someone is dealing with an ED themselves, to encourage them to seek help. I have posted below an infographic with some shocking and disheartening statistics about just how many women are plagued today by disordered eating and dissatisfaction with their bodies.

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Personally NEDAwareness week is extremely important to me in regard to my own journey towards recovery. This week, last year, was actually the first time that I started to open up, through social media, about my own suffering and the pain I constantly endure because of my ED. I know some people don’t believe that sharing such personal information in this capacity is appropriate, but I think that I have a responsibility to do so and my intentions have always been good and honest. I purely want to bring awareness to the fact that eating disorders are life threatening diseases and that one of the most significant ways to help someone afflicted with an ED is to support them. This is why I have been so vocal about my own struggles. I want to make sure accurate information is being shared, but I also want to feel supported and not judged for being sick. I want others out there who are struggling to know that they are not alone and they don’t have to be, getting healthy and well is possible. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that it is not my fault that I have an ED. I did not choose to get sick and I wouldn’t wish the pain and suffering I have gone through on anyone, however, I am still in recovery and everyday I must choose to fight against ED. Some days are easier than others, but I know I have to persevere so that I can live a worthwhile and fulfilling life. This week I will focus solely on promoting awareness about eating disorders and I encourage everyone to check out NEDA’s website if you want to further your own knowledge. Also please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions, words of wisdom, or even if you need some support. I am here for all of you just like you have been there for me.

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My response to, “The Pretty Game: Objectification, Humiliation and the Liberal Arts.”

As I mentioned the other day I am slightly behind in posting because I spent a long weekend at home, so I am only now getting to share with all of you my reaction to an op-ed that came out in my college newspaper, The Bowdoin Orient, last Friday entitled “The Pretty Game: Objectification, Humiliation and the Liberal Arts.”Β Another (somewhat more excusable) reason why I chose to wait to publish my response to this article is because I wanted to attend an informal discussion that was held last night, specifically about this piece, by the Bowdoin Women’s Resource Center. The op-ed generated many strong reactions from students and I was intrigued to see what would come out of the discussion. I know this article brought up a lot of stuff for me and truly resonated with my own experiences with disordered eating and I wanted to see if anyone else felt similarly. Ultimately what I got out of this discussion is that many women on campus can relate to the pressures we feel in regard to appeasing “the male gaze,” but also many of us admit to judging, as well as comparing, ourselves to other women, something I am guilty of too . We all, I believe, came out of the meeting with the recognition that we must be kinder to other women as well as to ourselves.

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Personally the op-ed forced me to look back on my own experience at Bowdoin and reflect on how “the pretty game” affected, and in a sense, fed my eating disorder. In all honesty, after racking my brain I came up with quite a few experiences I had chosen to “forget” and it became obvious to me that I without a doubt played into the game, and while doing so, intensified my eating disorder. I am the first to admit that I have some serious issues with body dysmorphia and don’t see myself accurately, so as a result of this I heavily rely on other people’s evaluations of my appearance, which is something I am now working against constantly, but it did greatly dominate my life when I first started to lose weight. I especially looked to guys for reassurance about my looks… I evaluated how good a night was based on how many guys wanted to dance with me, chat me up, or hit on me. I vividly remember telling someone when I was leaving a party that my night was complete because some hottie on the lax team told me I was one of the most beautiful girls he’d ever seen…nothing came from that interaction and he most likely was hammered, but for that moment I felt like all the over-exercising and restriction I was doing was working because I was winning “the pretty game.” I myself could not see my “beauty,” something I to this day struggle with, and thus was heavily dependent on the praise I received from others. To me at times I felt worthless so I needed to turn to other people to feel like I mattered.

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My inability to see myself accurately, and also the fact that my ED voice wasΒ loudly telling me that participating in theΒ “pretty game,” was no longer my choice, but my reality, has affected my whole life. Since my self worth clearly was non existent and I couldn’t even trust my own feelings about myself it was difficult to truly believe others, even those who really had my best interests at heart. The “pretty game” and my eating disorder went hand in hand. I went down this path because I wanted to fit in and feel beautiful and I unfortunately suffered because I went to the extreme. In all reality I never won, I lost big time. I was too busy trying to convince everyone else I was pretty when I should have been trying to teach myself to love me for me. I pushed my physical and mental health to their limits and it was definitely not worth it. I wasn’t happy and I was REALLY sick…how could I possibly radiate beauty if I was miserable? The answer is simple, I couldn’t. The only way I could fix this was to start to fundamentally change how I thought about myself and that is no easy feat, but I really want to give off the best and most positive vibes possible so I have to try.

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Now after almost a year of treatment I can finally recognize just how crazy, as well as destructive, the “pretty game” is to all young women out there and not just myself. I am consciously choosing to avoid going down the path of comparisons and negativity. I know personally, I need to focus on seeing myself as a whole complete person whose beauty is so much greater than I’d ever give myself credit for. I hope by sharing my experience and the work I am currently doing to better myself can help others see that what truly matters is not what size pant you wear, or how much attention guys give you when you are out, but how you feel about yourself and your ability to see just how amazing you are as an individual.

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Happy Thursday Everyone ❀

There’s No Place Like Home, There’s No Place Like Home.

I apologize for my recent absence, but I took a little hiatus and ventured home for a long weekend. This trip home could not have come at a better time and left me feeling rejuvenated as well as more centered. I finally feel like my “winter illness” is coming to an end and I am so much more relaxed than I was before. Weekends like this one truly help me to recognize just how lucky I am to have such loving family and friends. While home I got to get my hair done, eat at my favorite restaurants, celebrate Valentine’s Day with some close friends, and take a few of my favorite fitness classes with the lovely Amy Livermore, but the highlight of being back at home was without a doubt the much needed mommy time that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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I just love her SO much ❀ She’s honestly the best and most amazing mom anyone could ever ask for. She just makes me so happy πŸ™‚

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Before I left I had to make sure to complete the following tasks with each one of my family members. These are just so necessary. I truly believe that you should never say goodbye to someone you truly care about without telling them that you love them.

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This impromptu vacation was lovely and now I can’t wait for Spring Break…3 more weeks to go!

Happy Valentine’s Day

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This morning I awoke to these lovely gifts from the best Valentine a girl could ever ask for, my mom. Elephants, undies, and chocolates oh my! These special treats have already brightened up my day and Valentine’s Day is totally looking up. Maybe, just maybe, I won’t have to pretend as hard as I expected to be excited about it…7018772535396b6be888c6346bc23ed8

But, if I must fake it a little, and if the lipgloss fails, I am looking forward to spending V-Day with my other single girlfriends (possible doing something ridiculous)!

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Happy Valentine’s Day and fingers crossed to making the most out of it ❀

But I Do Love Hearts <3

Although, as I have mentioned, Valentine’s Day has never been my fav, I do love love love hearts, and have for a very long time. I think this infatuation with hearts was passed down from my mom, who has gone as far as to don hearts on the balcony of our house (it’s amaze by the way), so for as long as I can remember hearts have made me happy. Anything heart-shaped can bring a smile to my face ❀9b14d3a46f367ba1dfe546a012771ac7

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Hope your heart is happy today.

No Settling… Especially When You’re Lonely.

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This week I have decided to dedicate several posts to Valentines Day, which in all honesty is one of my least favorite holidays, but I am trying to look at V-Day in a new light and be more positive πŸ™‚ I mean don’t get me wrong I do LOVE some of the key components associated with V-Day such as hearts, flowers, and dark chocolates, but I just really dislike how the holiday is centered on celebrating relationships and thus, those of us who are not in one can’t help, but feel out of place, or more specifically lonely. Valentines Day can be really hard for all of us singletons out there. I know, personally, I don’t love being single, but I just have to keep reminding myself that I would rather be single, 100 times over, than ever settle. I think this is one of the major problems that occurs when we are uncomfortable with being alone, is that there’s a chance that we will end up settling into a relationship that is less than stellar. Another issue is that we also start to glamorize past relationships because they seem so much more appealing to us than the alternative of being alone. However, we must remind ourselves that these relationships ended for a reason and it’s dumb to hold onto the past, these former relationships are probably not as awesome as we remember them to be… if they were we’d most likely still be with that person. We just need to keep telling ourselves that the right person is out there and when we find them it’ll be magical, as well as, easy. There’s no need to rush it because it’ll happen when we are ready and most likely after we truly have learned to love ourselves. So ladies, and gents, I really do believe that it is okay to be single on Valentines Day because it is SO much better than settling…even if I’m not psyched about spending the holiday alone haha

I gathered some words of inspiration that will hopefully help all my fellow singles out there. I know they make me feel stronger as well as optimistic about the future πŸ™‚

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We all deserve to be treated spectacularly and like we are the most amazing woman, or man, in the whole world. Therefore, no one who claims to care about us should treat us any less. Patience is a virtue and that’s just what we must do…be patient and wait for mr./mrs. right.

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When it’s real we will not know it. So lets keep our hearts open even if they’ve been broken before…they will mend because there’s someone out there just waiting to love us and be loved back in return ❀

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Today I Am Celebrating My 100th Post!!!

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Today marks my 100th post for prettybrittyshines and WOW what a journey it has been! When I started my blog, almost a year ago, I had no idea whether or not I would even share it with others. I wanted to create an outlet for myself where I could post inspirational images as well as reframe the negative thoughts and feelings that consumed me. I gradually started to share prettybrittyshines with the people I love and care about and with their support, as well as enthusiasm, I have continued to try and find my voice through posting. I never, in a million years, though thought that this little blog I started would reach so many people and have such a positive influence on the lives of others.

When I decided to make prettybrittyshines more public, by putting it up on Facebook, I was in a very rough place emotionally and mentally. I was struggling in my recovery. I felt alone and in some regard unsupported so, in a somewhat selfish effort to regain control over my ED I made myself, as well as my suffering very public. I wanted to come clean about all that I have endured and I wanted people to show that they supported and cared about me, or even maybe, just maybe, that they understood me. I also really wanted to hold myself more accountable in fighting my ED. Little did I know that by opening up about my ED, and all the trials and tribulations I have endured throughout this disease, I would gain such a strong following of amazing individuals who share with me their own inspirations, as well as their hardships. Each one of you have made me stronger and I can’t thank you enough. Posting no longer is just about me and, in all honesty, it is so much more fulfilling knowing that I have an audience and that people actually appreciate what I have to say. I never imagined that I would be in the position to inspire others, but I hope you all know just how much your kind and honest words mean to me and how influential they have been in my recovery.

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I now have even bigger goals and dreams for prettybrittyshines and I hope that I can continue to reach new people on a daily basis. Today I choose to celebrate my 100th post because it shows me how far I have come in this journey and also that I have the ability to stick with something I created and really bring it to life. I truly can say, and this is one of the few times that I actually mean it, but I am proud of myself and all the potential behind prettybrittyshines.

So tonight I will cheers to my journey and all the struggles I have overcome, as well as to all of you. There is so much good in the future and I can’t wait for us all to experience it!

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This is how I will celebrate tonight haha if anyone feels like joining me in spirit, or in real life, please go for it! Only if you’re of legal drinking age though of course πŸ˜‰

Groundhog Fail 2014

Well folks Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and we all know what that means…winter will thus extend 6 weeks longer than usual. So I guess it’s time for me to brainstorm some fun cold weather activities to keep myself preoccupied from the strong desire I have to soak up the sun and simply enjoy some warmth. Here’s what I came up with and if anyone has any of their own suggestions please feel free to send them my way πŸ™‚

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Settle down with a good page-turner.

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Rally some of my friends and go skiing.

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Ice skate on my college quad. Hey Bowdoin thanks for being so awesome and making a rink for us!

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Venture to a cafe that I’ve never been to before and try a new warm drink… or stick to my favorite drink πŸ˜‰

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Buy some fresh flowers. Just because most plants are dead this time of year doesn’t mean that I can’t treat yourself to some flowers!

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Finally, share a bottle of red wine with a friend!