Sunday, November 27, 2011

Self Acceptance

I've heard this statement/question from the movie X-Men first class:

"You want society to accept you, but you can't accept yourself." (Magneto to Mystique)

When I heard this, the question I asked myself was this:

"Why am I doing all these [working out, dieting, etc]? Is it so that society can accept me, or is it because I want to do something good for and to myself?"

The truth: I'm doing this for myself and no one else. Who cares if I don't get the nod of those around me? Who cares if they don't notice the efforts? Who cares if for everyone all is still the same?

I am responsible for my well being. I have accepted who I am. This acceptance of myself is what I want to share on this blog. 

No, I don't accept the fact that I am fat and that's it. Here's what I mean: 

  • I accept that I am fat/overweight. 
  • I accept the fact that I CAN do something about it. 
  • I accept the fact that I am responsible for my own well being.
  • I accept the fact that society does not, will not and should not dictate my self esteem and self acceptance.
  • I accept the responsibilities of my life. 
I don't live in the shadows anymore. I am not living in shame and fear anymore. I am not going to hide behind every other excuse there is available. I am NOT the same person. I changed for myself so that others may benefit from the change.


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Eating Disorders and How I Overcame Them

There was a time that I experienced three of the worst possible combinations when it came to unhealthy dieting. I guess it was a blessing in disguise that I decided to shift majors and got my degree in Psychology. Also, I guess part of the blessing then was that I loved and still love Abnormal Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Mental Health and Hygiene during my college years.

Here is the list of the battles that I went through when I was in college and even a little after.

Anorexia Nervosa and I got all these symptoms then:

> Rapid weight loss
> Fear of being or getting fat
> I had an abnormal view of my weight and body
> Loss of regular menstrual cycles

It was a good thing that I noticed these unhealthy views of myself and body before it was too late. In order to maintain at least the weight that I thought then was normal I noticed that I had the attitude of a non-purging type of bulimic who used fasting, those unknown diet pills and excessive exercise to lose the presumed extra weight.

I was ashamed of my anorexic view of my body that I resorted to binge eating, hiding food or eating when no one was looking, as well as over eating to the point that my stomach started to hurt.

Then I said to myself, binge eating and the fear of being overweight can be fought off by exercise. I then became a person who was obsessed with exercising - Compulsive Exercise. I enrolled in a gym and I made sure that I always hit the gym after classes, sometimes once before going to school then again after school. I went to aerobics classes twice a day at one hour each per session and worked out, lifted weights for another hour, make that twice a day and I was working out for four hours daily! This compulsive exercise behavior or anorexia athletica ruled my life for three straight months. After my gym membership expired, I resorted to exercising at home.

I wouldn't say that I got panic attacks when I didn't exercise, but definitely, I was anxious and nervous if I wasn't able to exercise In order to get rid of the guilt feelings after over-indulging, I would exercise for about 4 hours every single day or sometimes I would keep exercising even if I felt tired, dizzy or faint. 

Those were some of my lowest points when it came to my health. Overcoming these problems took me so much effort and unfortunately resulted in weight gain. 

Today though this journey to wellness does NOT include any of the three disorders mentioned above. I have recognized the symptoms sometime ago and I am now more aware of my body.

The plan - eat healthier, make healthier food choices and exercise daily with routines that have a 90minute cap.

It's hard to admit that I had some eating disorders when I was younger, but if I don't admit it, then I just might fall back into its grips again - to that I say, NO MORE.

If you're worried about anyone that you suspect has an eating disorder, please look for the following danger signs:

Anorexia Nervosa

> A person with anorexia may be underweight or exhibits a fear of maintaining a normal body weight. The fear of getting or being fat.
> The loss of interest in social activities
> An anorexic may have dry skin, thin bones, experience weakness, constipation 
> Obvious rapid weight loss
> Excessive exercising

Bulimia Nervosa

> Excessive eating within a short time span
> Purging, vomiting, use of laxatives, diet pills (without prescription or an actual need for them)
> Body signs that point to purging like puffy cheeks, calloused knuckles because of use to induce vomiting, 

Compulsive Exercise Danger Signs

> Feeling anxious when one skips a day of exercising or when one CAN'T take a day off from working out because it rules your everyday life and routine
> Putting unnecessary strain on the body by working out HALF the day or between four (4) and five (5) hours a day
> When you DON'T listen to the signals your body is sending to your brain

For more information regarding eating disorders, you can go HERE


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting a Tattoo

I have always wanted to get a tattoo, especially after I turned 18. However, to avoid giving my mother a heart attack, I refrained from getting ink on my skin until she told me that she would be leaving to stay in the United States for good.

It was a bittersweet moment, bitter because I know that I would be missing my mom and sweet because finally I would be able to get my ink.

So, how did I choose my design? I have always wanted to get something that reflects my culture and having an ink written in the old Filipino alphabet called Baybayin suited my style. I opted for the revised version of the alphabet which included several letters which were missing from the original Filipino alphabet.

On the left side of the triquetra is my husband's name, on the right is my name and below that would be our last name. The Triquetra for me symbolizes body, mind and spirit, while the pentacle is for protection as well as a symbol of nature - Earth, Fire, Water, Earth and the Spirit all encompassed by this circle called life and this universe that we all live in.

The second piece which completes the bracelet on my right forearm is an art piece drawn and sketched by the man I love. I first saw this when we were still going out and I fell in love with it immediately.

What does it mean? For me it is to show that I appreciate my husband's art. What connection does it have to me aside from being my husband's art? I was born in June and the flower for that month is the Rose, which signifies beauty and love.

Black roses are not found in nature, but can sometimes be seen in floral shops. This flower may symbolize death and mourning, but for some, three are much more deeper meanings of this unnaturally colored rose.

> Death that starts rebirth, the start of something new
> Deep and rare devotion - like the flower itself
> The symbol for everything that is dark in life
> Mysterious and elusive

For me, it simply means that I adore my husband and that I would love it if he realizes that I would devote this life and even the next to him and our future family.

Tied in with the mystical symbols on my first tattoo it means that I am in search for a deeper devotion to my faith, the openness to the mysteries of the world, the acceptance of the darkness within and yet still blooming to show that there is light in the world.

Now that these tattoos are a year old, I will be getting two new ones hopefully this coming Saturday, the 20th of November. A butterfly bracelet and a dark angel below my nape.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Excited to Get My New Tattoos

The design for my angel tattoo at the back of my neck
The Symbolism

There are so many meanings associated to an angel tattoo. Most of these meanings symbolize spiritual awareness, protection, a messenger, higher thinking, clarity and understanding. Some say that dark angel tattoos symbolize the darker side of life, a person's love for this darkness, their acceptance of it and just to remind them that it exists.

Personally, I am getting this tattoo because it symbolizes who I am. A person with two sides - the light and the dark, my acceptance of both sides, my spiritual path and protection.

The design for my butterfly bracelet on my left forearm

Butterfly Symbolism

It is said that the butterfly is a symbol for transformation, transition, celebration, lightness, time and soul. 

For me, it is a reminder to accept the changes that I am about to undergo, from being overweight to someone who is quite Divalicious. It will remind me to accept these changes in my body and of course my environment without questions and embracing it wholly. It is also spiritual for me, the journey to wellness also affects my whole person, the way I see my faith and how I practice it.

Me getting this tattoo is so timely, as I am determined more than ever to change my physical self - from a fat caterpillar to a very beautiful and delicate butterfly. It fits me to a tee - because just like a butterfly who transformed, at the end of this journey to health, wellness and fitness, I will be changed, I will be so different from the time that I decided to do something good for myself. 

On Saturday I will be inked yet again and I am excited to show to the world how my journey to self awareness turns. Goodbye to the old me and hello Ms. Divalicious Butterfly!

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