My Week: Coping with the Stress

It has been far too long since my last post.  I have been so busy lately with Weight Stigma Awareness Week, my job, therapy, getting prepared both mentally and physically for my trip to DC for the NEDA Conference that is now less than a week away, and various family obligations.  I have had little time to breathe or take a break.

These last few weeks have definitely tested my ability to cope with stress and anxiety, especially without turning to my eating disorder or my OCD.  Although I have managed to stave off the eating disorder, it is so much harder with my OCD at the moment.  It is without the eating disorder that my OCD is so much louder.  I am grateful, however, that at least I am doing better with a few OCD behaviors.

One thing that has especially been on my mind as of late is what I wrote for Weight Stigma Awareness Week.  It has brought up a lot of emotions and memories for me that are not particularly pleasant.  It reminds me of my childhood and all the comments that were made (even the ones I failed to mention) and of the time before and during my eating disorder.  It reminds me of all those times of pain, sadness, loneliness, and isolation and only those few brief moments of some happiness and acceptance by my peers.

Of course, that is not the whole story, but my emotional mind goes straight to that as all the story is–sadness and pain versus happiness and how my weight must be a factor in it.  It is hard for my logical brain to interrupt these thoughts and remind my self that this is not the truth and that my weight has nothing to do with me as a person and there were other things going on that effected my emotional state such as my bipolar disorder, which played a huge factor at the time.  I wish it were as easy as knowing it in my heart and emotional mind as it is logically.

The memories, too, have challenged me.  I have put some to rest, but others I have not.  It is a work in progress to overcome the bullying as a child/adolescent and the ruined relationships as an adult in college.  It is not as easy as “sticks and stones”.  It is learning to trust others again; building new, healthy, and healthier relationships; and working through the pain of the past to move on to the now.  None of it is easy.

I have a lot to work on at the moment, a lot on my mind.  I can do it though.  Always! 🙂

BEDA’s Weight Stigma Awareness Week 2013

This week is the Binge Eating Disorder Association’s (BEDA) Weight Stigma Awareness Week.  I am so grateful to be included in this event amongst some of the most amazing people as a Featured Blogger.  I encourage all of you to check out all of the posts and events throughout this week and the Keynote Speaker, Brian Cuban, tonight.  It is a fantastic lineup of posts and events that I know will touch, inspire, and fascinate everyone.  I cannot express to you how excited I am!

Here is the schedule for the week:

Owly Images

Weight Stigma is such an important topic to discuss.  So many people are affected by weight stigma every day through judgements or stereotypes, bullying, biases, and discrimination.  It is a very real problem with very real consequences.  Words are not simply words and we must all be mindful of the way we treat each other, fat or thin or “average sized”.  In the end, a person’s weight or size means absolutely nothing about who a person is, how healthy they are, how smart they are, or anything.  It is simply the body in which a person inhabits.

Weight Stigma is also not necessarily an external thing.  One of the things in my personal journal, which I wrote about and will be posted on Thursday, is that weight stigma can be an internal stigma.  After years of feeling external weight stigma, I internalized the negative things that were being said to me and the overwhelmingly negative messages I was hearing about being “fat”.  That internalization still affects me today.

I very much encourage all of you to read the posts, participate in the events and talks, and whatnot.  It is/will be an amazing and inspiring week.

To check out the entire event and all the posts visit this link: BEDA.

Do not forget my post will be posted on Thursday.  I will put up a link on that day.  Until then, take good self-care! 🙂