Stomping in My Bitch Boots: A Lesson in Self-Love

Hey all! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA, life is crazy with school and other things that gobble up time, but I’m back! Enjoy.

Do you ever have those days where you catch yourself in the mirror and you’re all like “Oh god when did I get this hot?” Well, I was having one of those days today when I caught myself in the mirror of my elevator while I was hauling groceries back to my apartment. Now, I’m generally not shy about looking in mirrors, but today I was caught off guard. I think I’m a prettty good looking lady, but I didn’t expect to look so good after hauling my groceries down the road and into the lobby. I imagined sweat stains at the pits of my shirt and that my long dark hair was in distress after being out in the sun and being blown around by the wind. Neither were true! My outfit was still perfectly put together, and dare I say that I even looked smaller than I remembered myself?

I think this awesome feeling was due in part to the fact that I was wearing my amazing ‘Bitch Boots’. My Bitch Boots are this amazing pair of lace up boots that have zips on the side (so you never actually have to tie them up), and look totally rocking with a pair of skinny jeans tucked into them. I even remember buying them: I was with my friend Sam looking around in Aldo. Before going shopping I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy anything and that it was simply to be a window shopping excursion. But no! Everything changed once I lay my eyes on my boots. Made of black leather (or probably fake leather, but shh) they were all hot, feminine, powerful and dare I say hipster all in one! Plus they were on sale, so that was a major bonus. Before I knew it I found myself trying them on, modelling them in one of those tiny little mirrors that make it so you can see only your feet.

They were amazing! I had to have them! Sam didn’t discourage it. I figured I would get a good bang for my buck, as they would last and wouldn’t go out of style for a while. Even though I loved them, I wondered what the boyfriend would think. I imagined him making fun of me, accusing me of being a hipster. Not like he can talk; he loves bands that no body knows and he just emulates that vibe sometimes. (Sorry bf, but remember I have leftover chocolate cake that you want!) Regardless, I was gonna buy them and wear them even if no one else liked them.

These are the Bitch Boots!

This idea of feeling powerful regardless of what other people think of you is essential for good self-esteem and confidence. However, it’s easy to let other people’s ideals of beauty rob you of this power. You can totally forget about your natural beauty by absorbing some bullshit mainstream idea of what is hot and what is not. Fuck those bastards! You should be the only one who decides what features of yourself make you hot.

Just yesterday I was at the grocery store buying some groceries for a little get together I was having with some friends. Since it was a Saturday afternoon (prime time for grocery shopping) I spent some time in line waiting to check out my groceries. Now, while I was waiting it was absolutely impossible to ignore the headlines on all the magazines. That 5 to 10 minute wait in a grocery store line is how I get updated in the ‘pop world’. (Oh and

The tabloids on Star Magazine (I think it was Star) are what caught my eyes first. Headlines such as: Too Skinny and Starving to be Perfect leaped out at me. There were images of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Gwen Stefani, and Jessica Simpson, and there was something critical to say about each of their appearance. Jessica Simpson was criticized for her baby weight and recent weight loss. How can you criticize someone for their weight gain during pregnancy? They just had a baby for gods-sakes! Kim Kardashian’s picture was accompanied with something along the lines of Still wanting to lose some more pounds, while Gwen Stefani’s picture had a quote with something along the lines of I practically starve myself to stay skinny. Oh, did I also mention she was wearing a crop top and you could practically see her ribs?

What. The. Fucking. Hell. This magazine is criticizing female celebrities for being too skinny, but at the same time these types of images are what perpetuates poor body image, crash dieting, and excessive exercising. Of course it goes in the opposite direction too: some people may binge, deprive themselves of food, or follow extremely rigid excercise and eating plans. I couldn’t help but feel a little bit angry. It seems as though there is no such thing as ‘good enough’ when it comes to bodies and appearance. If a woman is too skinny, she is accused of having an eating disorder. If a woman is too curvy, it must be mentioned all the time. This extreme idea of thinking in terms of being too skinny or being too heavy leaves little room for the development of positive body image and self-esteem. I would also argue that it leaves one in a constant state of worry and concern about their body. Er, let me rephrase that: sometimes it leaves me in a state of worry and concern.

Anyways, with all this scrutiny of women’s bodies in magazines, it’s great to have one article of clothing that always makes you feel awesome, no matter what the day. Even though the way magazine articles still anger me with regards to how they scrutinize female’s bodies, I have learned to separate myself from it and see it as realistically as possible. These women don’t get a break with how they look because they are under scrutiny all the time. I’m guessing this makes them need to look a certain way, because that’s what their manager wants, and it will help them sell more albums, or do better at the box office. Maybe they would actually love to be ten pounds heavier, but they are sacrificing it to follow their dream. I can’t judge.

It’s true!

I, on the other hand, don’t have the paparazzi following me, and I am the only person that passes criticism on myself. (Well other people do I’m sure, but I don’t notice and don’t really care that much). I have learned that I have power over how I feel about myself, so I am going to love the way I look, and love the way that makes me feel. So if a pair of awesome boots is what gets me there in the process, why the fuck not? These boots to me are more than just a pair of boots. I am reclaiming the word ‘bitch’ to encompass something strong and powerful, and it can be used as a compliment rather than an insult.

Life is too short to spend time worrying about all the little lumps and bumps. (Perceived or otherwise). Don’t let beauty ideals and ideas of perfection stop you in your tracks. You are perfect just the way you are, so keep on stomping in your bitch boots.

Thank you so much for reading. I would love to hear from you if you have any comments or suggestions for new topics or how I could improve. Love you all xox


Inner Dialogues and Silent Monologues: Some Self-Reflection on Receiving Help

A tulip! I love how perfect this one turned out

So it’s 8:30 am and I just woke up from a long and deep sleep. I took the night time cold pill last night, and let me tell you it does wonders in helping one sleep. Not that I am advocating for inappropriate use of cold medication, but man it works if you have a cold.

For the past few days I have been lying in bed, surrounded by rolls of toilet paper and throat spray. Thankfully my roomie has been out most of the time, so I can test the progression of my voice depletion by saying random phrases and singing parts of pop songs. Losing your voice can be quite intriguing! An entire register of your voice is gone! When you try to use it all you can hear is air and the sound that should be there. I’ve been avoiding hanging out with friends, because I need as little encouragement as possible to talk. If you know me you know this is tough, because I love to talk! Sometimes I just can’t shut up, especially if I’m with good friends. So lately all of my conversations have turned into inner dialogues and silent monologues.

These many hours alone have left me to contemplate what it means to be sick, and how sickness has the potential to turn me into a selfish person. Having a cold is one thing: it usually hangs around for a week or so, or if you have a particularly bad one it clings on to the bitter end of thirty days. Even though its painful and annoying, there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel as you feel your mucus drying up and the cups beside your bed start to disappear.

Even though my voice may have been depleted over the past few days, I have gained a voice in talking about my seizures and how it impacts me. Since I have an actual diagnosis of epilepsy I will always have it, but some days are worse than others. When the days are good, I don’t have to be as cognisant of my day to day activities, and I can let my daily schedule be a little bit more flexible. (Now, it’s important to note that some people do outgrow their epilepsy, and they stop having seizures and there is no longer a need to take medication). I don’t believe this will be the case for me. Not because I am being a Negative Nancy, but my epilepsy developed as a result of an organic brain abnormality, so although the seizures may be well-controlled, I doubt I will ever stop taking medication. That’s fine with me. I have learned pretty well how to learn a ‘normal’ life despite this condition.

Some sort of leaf?

This past year I have had to become extremely dependent on my boyfriend, friends, and family for support and assistance. I have needed instant support for those days when the seizures would rear their ugly head, either through someone physically being with me or through an incoherent phone call due to uncontrollable sobbing.

At first I was hesitant to ask for support. My friends and family have lives of their own, and I shouldn’t have to ask them to drop everything to come be with me when I was in a state of crisis. Eventually I learned that I had no choice but to ask for help because I couldn’t do it on my own.

With this kind of condition where immediate support is needed it’s hard not to become a little bit self-centred. This year I have found that the issue of my seizures has infected all of my conversations with my friends and family. Some of them rightfully so, but some conversations continue to gravitate towards anything involving seizures or epilepsy. It’s insane! I want to pull my hair out and slap myself across the face when this happens. No! Everything isn’t always about you! My inner voice will scold me. You need to learn to listen and be kind to others, too. Okay, easier said than done. It’s not that I don’t consider myself to be a kind and compassionate person. It’s just that the seizures have taken over my life in a way that I have become so comfortable in talking about them that it kind of spills out over conversations, like a cup of coffee all over a clean rug.

A close friend of mine lives with chronic pain due to the multiple concussions she has had throughout her life. I know that she has brutal pain in her legs and back, and often has a bitch of a headache. Despite her chronic pain, she is one of the busiest and active people I know. She is always weeding or planting in her garden, cleaning her house, taking care of her dogs, or tutoring me and other students on a regular basis. She tells me that being active helps keep her mind off of her pain. Even though her pain has shifted her life in a very real way, I find it striking that we rarely talk about it. It’s only something that comes up when it’s really bad, or when we need to reschedule our plans because it’s out of control. I don’t know how to feel about this, because my seizures come and go and they aren’t affecting me every moment of my life, but I can’t help but blab about the trauma of the most recent seizure. Why should I have to talk about it all the time when it fluctuates so much?

Thankfully my friend and I are very close and she understands my need to voice my worries about the seizures. She gets it that having epilepsy is more than just having seizures. My worries and need to talk about them includes how it impacts my quality of life, relationships, schooling, jobs, and how I feel about myself as a person.

An Elephant made unintentionally. I swirled my spoon and there was some froth at the top and this is what came of it.

Asking for help and assistance on a regular basis can threaten to make a person seem or become self-centred. In some quiet moments of self-reflection, I’ve realized that this is the case for two reasons: First of all, I’m at an age where I am very focused on myself and my own goals and accomplishments in my life. I am not married nor do I have a family of my own. I have a boyfriend and friends, but it is not my sole responsibility to provide for them and put food in their mouths. Secondly, I have had to ask for help, whether I want it or not. To ensure my own safety I have had to ask for help in doing everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, walking to the bus stop, and getting off an airplane.

As a result, I always make sure that I show people gratitude when they help me. Even if they are walking me 10 meters! It doesn’t matter how small the act of kindness was. Even though people are keen to help, they always appreciate gratitude in return. In addition, it becomes a humbling experience, instead of a power dynamic. I believe that people want to help, and by showing gratitude it makes you more ‘real’, whatever that means.

Essentially I want to exercise the same care and compassion that others have shown me. My boyfriend has Type 1 Diabetes, and I find that I am still learning how to be compassionate about his condition. I’m not used to being the one without the chronic medical condition. I’ve always been the ‘sick’ one! (I use the term sick very loosely, so don’t get too upset about it). Even though our conditions are very different, Diabetes affects him on a regular basis. Everyone I have come across has wanted to know more about epilepsy so they could better understand it. I guess part of me is afraid to know more about Diabetes because I’m afraid to know how it could affect him in the long run. It pains me to think of him being sick in the future because I care about him so much. But I know that in order to be caring and understanding I need to know how I can best support him. This will be a good first step in giving back the help that I have received. I think he will appreciate it.

Thank you so much for reading my post! Please share your comments and questions in the comments section. I love you all! xox

Spray painted on the pavement in Downtown Vancouver

P.S. A side note about the pictures: I love latte art and always take a picture of my latte when it has a cool design. I just think it’s so neat! Most of them were taken in Bridgehead, Ottawa, while one of them was taken at Waves Coffee Shop in Vancouver BC. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do!

P.P.S Here’s one of my favourite songs, just for fun! Click on Phantom;!/search?q=Justice+Phantom

Are You My Guardian Angel in Disguise? First Aid for People with Seizures

So it’s 12:45 am and I’m still awake. Now I’m sure for all you night owls out there that this is no big deal. For some this is just the beginning of their night time insomnia/creativity-whatever you want to call it. But for me I literally cannot sleep.

This was me last night

I have had the most exhausting week. I spent most of my time cleaning my old apartment and moving into my new apartment. I kinda forgot how much work moving is, as I was in my old apartment for two years. Two years! That’s a lot of time for a ton of stuff to accumulate. All those things on the shelf that you leave to deal with ‘some other time’ finally approaches, as that time is now. Many of my friends are moving to new apartments, new cities, and new university/job endeavours. Everyone is stressed and exhausted, so I know that everyone is feeling this way at this time of year.

Needless to say, moving in general is rough whether you have a medical condition or not. This week has kinda been rough for me though. The heat and exhaustion from moving has aggravated the seizures, which is not only discouraging but frustrating. It’s annoying to feel like I can’t go at the speed many other 22 year olds go at. I hate having to take breaks and just ‘take it easy’. Who wants to take things easy? Part of me despises relaxing and sleeping because it is something that I am required to do in order to help manage the seizures. But the heat and lack of sleep and proper eating has been getting to me. It’s too much to handle! I am trying to reassure myself that seizures are more likely to happen as it is a very stressful time of year, but it is hard not to wonder how I am going to get through the fall semester if I keep having seizures like I am right now.

This evening I was grocery shopping with my new roomie and his parents who were visiting from out of town. I was pushing my own cart as I had my own list of foods that I wanted to get. My friend (roomie) and I would play cart tag, randomly bumping into each other in various aisles and pretending to act surprised when we saw each other. We were shopping relatively late in the evening, which was nice because I didn’t have to manoeuvre my cart around other people rushing about to get their carton of milk or their carton of ice cream for a spontaneous movie night.

Isn’t this adorable!?

I was just heading to the check-out when I felt this funny feeling run through my body, and in that split second knew that I was going to have a seizure, but there was nothing I could do about it. It was kind of weird, because as I fell I saw myself falling in third person. Taken out of context, the fall actually looked rather comical. I was completely alert and standing one moment and then boom! There I was, crashing to the floor of the supermarket. I vaguely remember hitting my head on one of the bargain bins nearby, and it makes sense to me now as I feel and see a bruise appearing on my forehead. Its small, but tender to the touch.

Despite the shittiness of the situation, it was amazing to see the number of people that rushed to my aid. I could hear my friend conversing with other people, and giving them directions. “I don’t think you’re supposed to restrain her. Just let the seizure happen”. “Epilepsy”, said another guy. I am assuming he checked my medical alert bracelet. A guy stood over me and asked me if I knew my name. I definitely did know my name, I just couldn’t say it. I spluttered as saliva went down the wrong pipes and just looked at him dazedly. “Are you okay?” Hmm good question. Was I okay? “Umm, yeah I think so?” How should I answer that question. I didn’t even have an answer. I managed to instruct him how to help me up (Standing in front of me, pulling me up by holding both my hands)

As I got up people were still standing by, asking me if I was all right. They had genuine concern in their eyes. I reassured them that I was fine, and I thanked them for their help. One woman approached me with caution. “Does everyone have the same triggers for seizures?” She wanted to know. I explained to her that it varies from person to person, and that sometimes an imbalance of medication can cause seizures to occur. She seemed genuinely interested, but seened afraid to push any boundaries. I told her what to do if she ever saw someone having a seizure again. Man, when did I become the expert on this? I should be hired as an Epilepsy spokesperson or something. She nodded at my instructions, and to my surprise, said that she would pray for me. I was startled, yet oddly touched. A stranger cared enough to ask about the seizures and that she would send good wishes my way.

Based on today’s post, I thought it would be useful to add a list of first aid tips when helping someone who is having a seizure. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be at the grocery store minding your own business when you see someone collapse. Knowing what to do will make all the world of difference.

  • How to Assist Someone who is having a Seizure:
  • -Remain calm and reassure the person that you are there to help them
  • -Remove any dangerous objects out of the person’s way
  • -Loosen any tight clothing that may make breathing difficult (collared shirts, necklaces, etc).
  • -Do not restrain the person. Trying to hold the person down may make the seizure worse. It is often best to let the seizure run its course.
  • -Turn the person on to their side and put something soft such as a coat under their head. (This may only be necessary if the seizure causes the person to fall).
  • -Time the seizure. If it goes over 5 minutes, call 911 for medical assistance.
  • -Remain with the person until the seizure has passed.
  • -If the person seems confused and disoriented, remind them where they are and what they were doing when the seizure occurred.
  • -Call a taxi or assist the person in getting home if they seem unable to do so on their own

One crucial detail about first aid and safety for people with seizures is that it is physically impossible for a person to swallow their tongue. As a result of this myth, people who are being assisted while having a seizure sometimes have wallets shoved in their mouth to help prevent this. Do not do this! Let the seizure run its course, and try to remove any dangerous objects out of the person’s way. Sometimes it’s hard to move quickly, because seizures can occur in the blink of an eye. Don’t blame yourself if you don’t catch a person as they are falling. Just be there for them.

When I set out to write this blog post I was planning on ranting about how much I hate having seizures and how I feel worried and concerned. Okay, you caught me. I still hate having seizures, and I still feel worried. Basically, I was setting out to write a big angry post with a bunch of expletives.

But I surprised myself and focused on the caring nature of complete strangers. When I think about it some more, tonight’s incident has taught me that there are still nice people out there in the world. If I have a seizure when I am by myself in public, at least one person will come and help me out. This makes me feel more reassured that I can go out and do things, even when the seizures aren’t completely under control.

I know that no one can ever really understand (except for my fellow friends with epilepsy), but people are trying to understand. I still feel embarrassed about my epilepsy, but I am going to challenge myself to continue to talk about it. Maybe it will help other people with epilepsy feel less stigmatized, and they will feel as though they can talk to others about how it affects them. Also, I think this awareness will allow people to have more understanding about epilepsy, and will allow them to feel more at ease when assisting someone who is having a seizure. I hope you have found this post enlightening. Thank you so much for reading, I can’t wait to hear your comments! xox

An Epiphany at 30 Thousand Feet

As I was on my flight back to Ottawa yesterday I had somewhat of an epiphany. I realized that I had started to count ‘seizure free days’ in the same way that recovering alcoholics count their days of sobriety. Now I only realized this because I was reading a fabulous book, Ninety Days by Bill Clegg which is all about his personal recovery from a crack and alcohol addiction. I would highly recommend it; it’s extremely engaging, and shows life through the lens of someone who has struggled with addictions. It’s also a fast read, which makes it easy to get through.

Anyways, I digress. I realized that this method of counting seizure free days was contrary to my other methods of getting both mentally and physically healthy. Although this method may work for recovering alcoholics, I can tell you that it does not work for someone like myself who is coping with epilepsy. These are two different issues here, and one remedy is not meant to solve both.

This is how I see it: When I have an episode and I suddenly have zero ‘seizure free days’ under my belt, I feel like it erases all the hard work I have done in managing my stress, hours of sleep, exercise and nutrition. It’s this ongoing spiral that makes me feel like the victim, which makes me feel even more powerless and nervous about the brain activity in my head. It also makes me angry for being stressed, which does absolutely nothing to help the situation.

With this type of thinking I become ruled by the episodes that I have had, and the fear of (potentially) more to come. It also makes my life succumb to a structure that is completely filled with epilepsy, and makes little room for life. Augusten Burroughs, author of This is How, an anti-self help book, writes a chapter on how to live with chronic medical conditions and terminal illnesses. His suggestion in dealing with chronic medical conditions is to let your life make room for the illness, instead of the other way around. So if I apply this theory to my life, this is how it would look: The majority of my life would be focused on school, hobbies, my relationships and other things that I am passionate about. In contrast, a little slice of my brain would be aware of my epilepsy, but it wouldn’t dominate every corner, nook and cranny of my life. It would just be part of it.

As a young child I had about maybe two seizures a year, and always in my sleep. Epilepsy was just a label but I didn’t feel its effects. Because my seizures have changed so much, I find myself almost grieving the life that I used to have. I’m not complaining about the life I have now. I am grateful for all of my friends, family and opportunities that have been given to me. I carry around extra worry and anxiety about the danger that I could find myself in. To shed this weight would be better than anything else in the world.

Essentially, I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I just needed to get this out in order to rid myself of the weight it holds. I’d like to sum this post up with a quote from Dodinksky:

“Our struggles can either build chains to enslave us, or provide lessons to assemble a character with purpose” – Dodinsky

Thank you so much for reading! Love to you all! xox

To read more information about Bill Clegg and his book Ninety Days, feel free to check out this link:

To read more information about Augusten Burroughs and his book This is How, feel free to check out this link:

Check out this facebook page for more quotes from Dodinsky and other inspiring individuals

I’m Just a Stress Mess: Learning to Cope With Transitions

One night a woman had a dream. She dreamt that all of the stress in her life had melted away like ice cream, and it was just dripping off her hand into a puddle on the floor. She dreamt that she had nothing to worry about, and even if she did she was strong enough to handle it. She dreamt that she looked at life with a relaxed, yet determined attitude. She wasn’t anxious because she was living in ‘the now’, and all the problems she worried about were only in her head. She just went the flow, because that’s what she knew. She didn’t try to constantly fix things or speculate about situations that were far in the future. She just let them be. She was being the best person she could be, in the present. She was fully engaged with everyone in the moment.

Ugh, okay so I may or may not be thinking about changes and the upcoming stress that I’m going to face in the next couple of weeks. In a week I am flying back to school, moving into a new apartment, and starting my student placement (it’s like co—op or an intern but for no pay. I do, however get credits towards my degree). Anyways, having just typed that out all the things I have to do seem fairly small. Fly back. Move into a new apartment. Start School. You’re probably thinking, “Come on Sita Gaia, why are you stressing?? Everyone goes through the same changes!” And case in point, this is true. I don’t have the right to sit on a little pedestal and whine about how stressed I am. But in all honesty, it feels very cathartic to get everything off my chest.

For as long as I can remember, I have been terrible with ‘transitions’. So whether its the end of summer transitioning into school, or travelling from one province to another, I always take a couple of days to adjust. It’s like I’m PMSing all the time. I feel edgy, tired and grumpy. My eyes feel sore and I get headaches and I stay up all night, staring into blackness, just wishing I could sleep. I have learned that drinking coffee is the worst thing I could do if I’m feeling in one of these moods. It just seems to exacerbate every situation it and I feel so grumpy about stuff that’s easily solvable. My poor family. At least I have shut myself in my room for the majority of the day so they don’t have to deal with me. (Well, they are also busy doing their own thing, so that makes minimum contact a lot easier).

I felt the exact same way at this time about four years ago. I was going to be moving out and starting university. Before I left I was driving with my family to Calgary to celebrate my Cousin passing her Bar Exam. (A Bar Exam is a test that lawyers have to take to officially certify themselves as a lawyer). It was funny, she was just starting her career and I was just starting my university education. The age gap has always made it so we were always embarking on crucial parts of our lives at very different times. Now that I am in university she is married. I don’t think I will catch up, I mean time is time.

Anywhoo that was completely besides the point. I was so stressed about this party because I knew that relatives would ask me about going to university and I would have to bring it up again and again. I was already stressed enough as it was. Why would I want to keep reminding myself of that impending change that was going to be exciting and simultaneously very stressful. Now don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t wait to move into residence and start classes, but jumping into the next chapter of my life kinda freaked me out. There were so many unknowns, and I had fears that I wouldn’t make any friends. What if no one liked me? What if I ended up all alone? These questions haunted my mind all summer, and even though I was excited about moving away, I couldn’t scare away those fears that I had. Thankfully, everything worked out, and all my stressing was for nothing. I settled in my residences, made friends, and although I struggled through courses as most students do, I didn’t fail or flunk out. And I was most certainly not alone.

However, it’s really important to keep in mind that with this much stress I need to be really cautious about seizures, because too much stress can easily trigger one. This doesn’t mean locking myself in my room for a week (okay I only stayed in my room today because I felt like sh*t), but just taking things one day at a time. I am a bit nervous about the seizures coming back again because I just really really want to continue on being able to do the things that I want to do. Also, I really want this fall semester to go smoothly because I have a lot to look forward to. But, when I look at the picture from a realistic point of view, things have been going well. The few seizures that I have been having have mostly been while I was in bed. I’ve been having them while I was asleep or on the verge of falling asleep. People always ask me how I know that I’ve had a seizure in my sleep, but it’s easy to tell because the jerky movements always wake me up. Thankfully I’ve mostly been experiencing seizures in just my feet, which is a step up from having involuntary movements in my legs and arms. I just need to keep my chin up and be strong. I know I will be stressed out, and I just need to give myself the space to relax and do what’s best for me. I don’t need to be worried about spending time alone or just being at home, if that’s what I need. Additionally, I need to remember that even though I’m going through another transition, I have already made the major changes. I also need to remember that life isn’t just stressful-it’s often wonderfully exciting! I have so many great plans for this coming fall, so I just need to keep my eyes on the prize. After all, it’s all in my head.

Thanks so much for reading! Love you all! xox

Is it Insane That I Love My Body?

My Feetsies

Over the years I have had many conversations with people (namely women) about body shapes and how people feel about their bodies. These conversations never come up in a formal way. Often they are the result of shopping for new clothes, going out to eat, and partaking in exercise classes.

I remember a year ago my friend and I were changing into our dance clothes because we were taking a dance class at a nearby studio. As we were changing in the locker room, my friend exclaimed “Oh look, a scale!” I remember seeing it before and made sure not to say anything, just so I wouldn’t have to weigh myself. My friend stepped on and was instantly disappointed that she weighed 10 pounds less than she thought she did. When it was my turn, I weighed 10 pounds more than I thought I did. It was interesting how we were both equally disappointed. My friend was happy with the weight she was at and was disappointed that she had been unable to maintain it. I had been exercising regularly and eating healthily, so gaining ten pounds didn’t make sense! In that dance studio change room we exchanged our own little form of body dissatisfaction. Neither of us were totally satisfied with our weight, because in part, we have been trained to always look for imperfections. I forgot about it during our dance class but lamented to my aunt the next day over the phone. She calmly reminded me that I had been running on a regular basis (I was training for my first 5k) and how muscle weighs more than fat. So I just had strong thighs and calves! Thank goodness.

Can you believe this?!

It’s interesting though. Even though all of these conversations about bodily dissatisfaction are seen as embarrassing or shameful, everyone in our culture does it! I have never talked to a single person who didn’t express some dissatisfaction with regards to how they look. I would even go so far as to argue that it is ‘in’ to complain about your appearance. No one wants to be the strong tall one (figuratively speaking) in a group that has nothing to contribute to the lamenting of extra fat around the mid-section, jiggly thighs, and thin arms. From my perspective, it seems as though disengaging from ‘fat talk’ sends the incorrect message that a person is too good to have flaws. I don’t agree with this, I think it would be great if more people disengaged from this type of behavior. But let’s think about it: we all want to fit in, and if we fit in by sharing the same type of dissatisfaction with others is a way to do it, it’s an easy route to take.

But here’s a revolutionary idea: What if we actually loved our bodies and had no problem with it? What if we just said, “yeah I’m hot!” And what if it wasn’t a lie you were making to yourself? What if you were actually in love with your curves, or how narrow your hips and legs are? What if you thought it was awesome how tiny your boobs are? What if, what if!

A couple of years ago I met a girl who was so obsessed with food and her appearance that every single conversation somehow gravitated towards the size of her stomach, food she wouldn’t allow herself to eat, and how she needed new pants because hers were too big. We weighed about the same (I only know this because she told me) yet she was much taller. I couldn’t help but turn over every stone of our conversation in my mind. Is it weird that I like the way I look, even though I like to eat pizza and ice cream on occasion and even though my stomach isn’t flat? Life is bizarre. She looked more like the ideal form of female beauty than I did, yet she seemed to be more unhappy with her appearance than I was. I found these conversations to be very triggering. I began to wonder if it was bad that I was content with my body, despite some extra weight around the mid-section and curvy hips. Was it okay to be happy with the way I was? Did I need to monitor my eating in order to be happy with myself?

Apparently not, because it was obvious how unhappy this girl was with her appearance. And no kidding! I would be unhappy too if I saw all my friends enjoying food that I love, but wouldn’t allow myself to have.

This girl has her own story, and it’s not my job to tell it for her. In a way though, I am glad we had the conversations that we did, because it makes me more aware of what’s triggering for me. Also, I try to shut down those “You’re-not-good-enough” thoughts as quickly as they come, because I’ve learned that they waste hours, days, weeks and sometimes years of amazing life that could be lived to its maximum potential. Also, let’s face it: we all have days where we feel crummy about ourselves and that’s okay. It’s hard to feel fantastic 100% of the time. But in the meantime, I’m going to continue to work at loving me for who I am, and not be ashamed or embarrassed about it.

Yup, I’m awesome.

Thank you so much for reading! Please feel free to share any of your thoughts! I would love to read them! xox

Inspiring People Who Have Made an Impact: Allie’s Story

Friends. They make our lives complete. There is something about a good friend that makes you feel more appreciated, and like you have a place and purpose in the world. You never really know when you’re going to make a friend out of someone. I mean, sure you can meet someone and have a good feeling about it, but it’s hard to say right off the bat.

This describes one of my best friends Allie. We met in second year of university, but our interactions were always through schoolwork and completing an assignment for one of our classes. She was nice, but I never really got the chance to know her. We were simply peers, nothing else.

Soo true

All right, fast forward about two years to the year 2011. I was just going through the usual humdrums of life: going to school, completing assignments, doing readings, and working out. My friend Allie made a facebook post asking if anyone was interested in going to see Fefe Dobson with her at one of the local colleges. I figured why not. It would be fun to go to the show and maybe I could get to know her better by doing something fun outside of school. We had a great time at the concert and I got to see a side of her that I had never seen before. I remember how she cried when she tried to get one of the security guards to give Fefe a little message. She explained to me and her other friend that Fefe’s songs are what helped her get through high school. I was a little surprised about how emotional she was about the whole situation, but I figured that there was probably a lot more about her that I didn’t know.

Over the next couple of months I went through a couple of changes. I had a break up, got my heart stomped on, and had too much time alone to wonder about the complexities of the world. My summer job wasn’t starting until July, and I hadn’t yet figured out what I was going to do with myself until then. One evening I randomly received a text from Allie, telling me I should come out with her and her friends to karaoke. At first I was hesitant, because I had gotten to the point where I spent so much time alone that it was almost more work to go out and socialize. But then I decided to go out with her and her friends. Why not! It’s not like I had anything more exciting going on. As I ventured out in to the world of karaoke, one thing became quite apparent to me: my friend Allie had a booming voice and a ton of self-confidence to back it up. The way she interacted with everyone (including strangers at the bar) amazed me. She just seemed to talk to people with ease and confidence, and was able to strike up a conversation about anything without seeming weird or awkward.

I think Allie will appreciate this picture 😉

Overtime we became closer, and even though neither of us can really remember exactly what brought us closer together, I learned so much about who she is and what her story was. I aspire to be like her, as she has such a strong sense of who she is as a person, and she is not afraid to express it. She is one of the most loyal people that I have ever encountered, and will do anything for her friends. There is something about her that brings out the free-spirit in me, and I know I can tell her anything and she won’t judge me, regardless of how silly or shallow it may sound. She is the type of person who will drop everything if you need her, and on more than one occasion she was there for me when I needed help. Off the top of my mind I can think of the time where she just listened as I whined, complained and cried about issues I was having with someone, to another time where she rushed over as quickly as she could to my apartment because I had just had a seizure and no one else was around to help me out.

Now, not to make this a sob story, but I have struggled with making and keeping friends all through my elementary to high school years. When I was grade twelve I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me, because so many of my ‘close’ friends ended up bullying me or betraying me in someway or another. I found it hard to trust that people were my friends because they liked me for who I was, instead of for some alterior motive. Allie has re instilled the confidence in me to believe that there are people out there who want to be my friend because they like me for who I am. Never once has she made me feel like I owe her for anything or that she resents what she has done to help me. I think we both appreciate that we both need each other, and it never feels like a stretch to ask her how her day is going and call her up and talk about things and get updated with her life. Even though Allie has been going through some tough times, she is always there for me and always tries to maintain a positive attitude about her life. On the flip side though, she is real about the situations and never tries to sugar coat things. This honesty and openness is something that I appreciate, and it really helps me to build a strong friendship with her.

I feel like this blog post had been a jumble of thoughts, but basically what I am trying to say is that Allie is such an inspiring person because she isn’t afraid to be herself. When I tell her about parts of myself that I am not always open to discussing with others, she listens carefully and gently encourages me to take a better look at them too. She has shown me that it is okay to follow your own path, regardless of what it may be. I respect the hell out of that, because it takes guts to do what you really want, instead of just going along with what everyone wants you to do.

So even though I never knew that Allie and I would become good friends, I see how rich our friendship is, and how much richer my life is because of it. To me, that is invaluable.

Here’s a little quote that I know Allie will appreciate. Love ya girl!


A Blog about Living a Whole Life With Epilepsy