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 🙂 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 😉

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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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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 😉

My Recovery Narrative

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The other night I did something that I NEVER thought that I would. I wrote, and then shared, my recovery narrative to a group of my peers, most of whom I had never met before. I put myself in a completely vulnerable situation and in all honesty, and for lack of a better expression, I was scared shitless. However, much to my surprise and in contrast to all my fears, the meeting could not have gone better. The group that I spoke to was so incredibly supportive and engaged while I shared my story, which made me feel more at ease during this cathartic experience of mine.

I’m not going to lie though and say that afterwards I felt completely at ease and even more “recovered” because that is not the case. In fact I was/still am pretty overwhelmed, as well as sad, after reflecting back on my story. Sharing brought up a lot of intense emotions for me that I don’t like to always deal with and even though I couldn’t have asked for a better, or more receptive audience, I can’t help, but be reminded just how much having an eating disorder sucks. The past day has been a tough one…I’ve been brought to tears a few times, but I am trying to stay positive and not let my mind go too deep into the darkness. I wish that I could snap my fingers and make all my negative feelings towards myself disappear. I’m working really hard and trying to learn to love myself and I just wish that it would come more naturally to me. I know that I can’t give up though and I eventually will see myself for who I truly am and not who ED tells me I am. One day, hopefully soon, I will recognize just how hard i’ve fought and that it has been worth it because I truly love myself. I just need to keep reminding myself to trust my struggle and that putting myself in vulnerable situations, like sharing my recovery story, will only make me stronger.

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I’m Finally In The Home Stretch!

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Today marks the first day of my final semester in college. It’s hard to believe, when I reflect back on all that has happened over the past two years, that I actually made it to this point. There were so many times, especially at the beginning of this school year, when I did not believe in myself and I thought that persevering through my senior year was an impossible feat. Somehow, though, I garnered strength, which I didn’t know I had and I came out on top. Yes, there were setbacks and my journey was/is by no means a perfect one. I’m human, and not only that, but I’m a sensitive and overthinking one, so I did face quite a few hurdles that forced me to reevaluate what I want in my recovery as well as who I want to be as an individual. I may not have it all figured out yet… I mean every time someone asks me what my plans are for after graduation I cringe a little and simply respond, “I just need to make it through this semester than I will focus on life post college…” but regardless of these uncertainties I am continuing my fight and open to the unknown of this final semester. My goal for this semester is not to get straight A’s (even though that would be awesome haha), but it is to better understand myself  and become comfortable in my own skin. Wish me luck!

So cheers to all the adventures that are to come and also to being a stronger, more confident/secure, carefree, and happy young woman.

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An Excellent Resource: NourishRX – Nutrition. Balance. Wellness

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Almost two years ago one of the most crucial steps I made, once I started on this journey towards recovery, which I am still on, is that I began to regularly meet with a nutritionist. My trusted therapist recommended that I start visiting with Ryann Collins, a registered dietician and the founder/owner of NourishRX located in Beverly. Ryann is experienced with, and extremely knowledgable of, the issues that patients with eating disorders have and the treatment that they thus require. Prior to our first meeting I was petrified…I was unsure of what she would tell me in regard to how I would have to change my eating habits and also I feared that she would be judgmental of my restrictive and disordered food behaviors. I was so fragile during this time that I couldn’t grasp the possibility that a nutritionist could help me…I wasn’t really listening to anything at this time except for my ED thoughts, which ruled all. In all honesty a big part of me felt like I was too far gone and I could never have a normal relationship with food. However, much to my surprise, I hit it off right away with Ryann. She is such an intelligent and warm person and I could tell from the start that she really had my best interests at heart. She was not condescending at all and I knew right away that she had a ton of experience, along with the skill set, to deal with the sensitive and fragile states’ that eating disorder patients are in when they come to see her. I credit Ryann, along with the rest of my support team, with picking up the pieces I had shattered into and giving me much needed hope. My team pushed me in the right direction towards living a healthier and happier life in recovery and they are still here for me today. They are always in my corner, cheering me on even if I am having a rough time.

I want to share Ryann as a resource with all of you, whatever your struggles might be with nutrition, because she helped me so much. I constantly find myself repeating little phrases she told me when I am having a difficult time. The one I use the most is “fat in food does not equate to fat on the body.” For my own personal issues these words help me get through the meals and snacks that I find most overwhelming.

You can check out her website, like her Facebook page, and also follow her on Pinterest! She is truly an amazing professional and I can’t say enough good things about her and just how much she has helped me on my road to recovery 🙂

No More Nitpicking. It’s Time To See The Whole Picture.


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Throughout my journey I have tried many different exercises to strengthen my self-esteem and better my perception of my own body image. I believe this is a very sensitive and difficult effort because we, as women, are socialized from a very young age to be unsatisfied with our bodies. It is embedded within our culture to be highly critical of ourselves. I mean does anyone remember the scene in Mean Girls when the “Plastics” are standing in front of the mirror complaining about the most random parts of their body that they think are flawed, and only Cady, who is unfamiliar with this practice because she has grown up in a completely different culture, doesn’t know how to behave? Our insecurities about our bodies are perpetuated through the media’s display of the unrealistic beauty standards that exist for women. And yet, even though I am aware of this it it honestly has affected me greatly and I have a very difficult time with my own body image.

In an effort to combat these negative thoughts I have started using mirror techniques, which have taken me a long time to get use to, but I now know that they work. I began practicing this many months ago and the whole purpose of this exercise is to stop nitpicking what I see as the “flawed” parts of my body and start seeing myself as a whole person. I now look in the mirror and the first thing I say to myself is “you are beautiful” or “you are great” I am consciously avoiding honing in on what I see as “problem areas” and trying to focus on finally seeing myself as a beautiful, caring, and kind young woman who can not be broken into pieces. It takes a lot of hard work, but this is something I am doing daily and I believe:

eb2a52455243da7dd74045b6544e4aa0Everyday we must say our positive affirmations and just reinforce our awesomeness. It takes practice, but it is totally worth it. As this inspirational woman, Robyn Lawly proves, in her appearance on the Ellen Show, by telling yourself constantly that you love your body you will eventually become satisfied, and fall in love, with yourself.

Cheers to 2014: A Year Filled With Hope

9d6b673e439b9bc9244a13ea7d0b1e5bAs 2013 comes to an end I honestly couldn’t be more excited to start fresh in 2014. This past year has without a doubt been the most challenging year of my life, but I made it through and I am continuing to fight. Failure, and sickness, is simply no longer an option. I want to live a happy and healthy life in which I know how to deal with my own struggles and I won’t allow the hardships to consume me. I’m looking for only good things in my life and learning the best ways to appreciate them. It’s time to stop letting my past define me and simply live for the moment and embrace every day for its beauty. In an attempt to start anew this year I came up with quite a few New Years resolutions and I thought that I’d share some of them with you! So here it goes:

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This year I resolve to continue fighting to regain control over my own happiness and well-being.

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I resolve to put my own happiness above all.

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 I resolve to never surrender to my ED thoughts, but instead face them head on and try to better understand where they are coming from.

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 I resolve to accept that all of the chaos I have had to deal with has a purpose and I will grow into a stronger, and more secure, young woman since I have had to face my demons.

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I resolve to try and better understand who I am and finally fall in love with myself. This can only be done by embracing my quirks and accepting my struggle.

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I resolve to stop forcing things and just let things be. Everything happens for a reason!

These are just a few of my resolutions so I hope these get you thinking about your own goals for the New Year!

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I can’t wait to meet ya 🙂

I Did It!!!

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I survived!!! I am all done with my senior fall and this is literally how you will find me…celebrating and dancing on an elevated surface hahaha! I honestly can’t believe that I made it through the past four months based on my mental and emotional state when I left for college this September. I proved myself wrong and my inner strength really surprised me. I feel healthier, happier, and my motivation is at an all time high!

One mantra in particular that I have found to be very powerful and that worked well for me, is this:

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I repeated this to myself constantly throughout the semester, as well as during finals, and it just reminded me that if I put my all into something, and committed to it, than success was definitely a possibility. I won’t know until after Christmas how I did academically, but what is most important is that I ended my semester on a positive note and I worked hard without compromising my health. Now the only thing left for me to do is decide what I want to commit to, and succeed in, over my winter break…I think I might be leaning towards focusing my attention on developing my blog more…stay tuned 😉

Nobody’s Perfect.

As someone who has struggled for a long time with a tendency to strive for perfection I have recently, as part of my recovery, started to accept that my constant attempts to maintain so-called “perfection” within my life really aren’t worth it. In fact they are actually highly overrated and limiting. Plus, I’ve never even come close to reaching them anyways! I can only be the best possible version of myself and being “perfect” is simply not in the cards.

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First of all, you can’t ever really achieve this because, as the wisest of all moms’ say, “nobody’s perfect” and in fact:

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Secondly, being “perfect” or “straight-laced” is pretty boring. It’s time for me to live a little 😉

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Lastly, and most importantly, I know that I have many imperfections…I am no where near perfect, which I’m sure many of you are aware of haha, but I’m truly starting to dig my “quirks.” They make me who I am. The best and brightest version of me 🙂

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So, even though I might be a little crazy,  scattered, and vulnerable, at the end of the day I am also charming, loving, and thoughtful and all of these combined make me whole. I’m learning to love my entire self and that comes with accepting my quirks. I am moving away from striving for perfection in my life and focusing more on who I am in recovery and who I am in a healthy state. It has been a very long time since I have been truly happy and healthy so I am a little scared of the unknown, but I am feeling ready and I am excited to see what is to come!

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It is time to just be me. Imperfections and all.