I Was Fat And Bullied But Never Needed Counseling

Source: pexels.com

I remembered talking a while back with my boyfriend, Connor, about our teenage days after he showed me his favorite movie, The Revenge of the Nerds. He said that bullying the nerds was extremely common in his school back in the day. However, no one dared to bully anyone in front of him because they knew that he would not put up with it.

At that moment, I felt proud of my man. I had always known that Connor stood up for everything right, but I never knew how far he could go to ensure that nobody got humiliated for being whoever they were under his watch.

While I was swooning, though, Connor asked, “Did you witness any bullying when you were a teenager?”

My immediate answer was no. “I was technically a part of the nerdy group because I was in a special science program. We were set apart from the rest of the school, and you would honestly not find a nerd bullying another nerd. If anything like that happened outside of our little bubble, I would not have been aware of it,” I explained in length.

Source: pexels.com

Although Connor and I moved on to other fun topics afterward, his question got stuck in my head the entire day. I found my explanation a bit odd, even to my ears. I mean, regardless of what school you went to or what program you joined, there would forever be bullies in the mix. So, how could I not have witnessed a single bullying incident when I was a teenager?

We were already in bed when the answer hit me. I received some pretty harsh words from my schoolmates because of my weight back then. I would walk around the pavilion and see some boys and girls snickering behind their hands while looking at me. Other bolder kids would call out, “Hey, Ms. Piggy!”

How Could I Forget That?

First of all, let me inform you that it was not a repressive technique many people use when they go through traumatic experiences. I learned about that when I took basic psychology classes in college. I knew that bullied kids tend to handle the matter this way, but I could assure you that I did not find my experience traumatizing at all.

The primary reason was that I was well aware of the truth about my weight. Yes, I was far from being a size 0 like those cheerleaders and other popular girls. Even I would agree that I was in the oversized group of teenagers. Still, you could not expect anything different from a tall kid trying to get into the wrestling team.

Source: pexels.com

During that phase of my life, being a bit into the hefty side was an advantage. The snooty kids might have been disgusted by it, but I got to play my favorite sport because of my weight.

Since I came from a long line of big-boned Irish women, my family pretty much prepared me early on to accept my size, too. While they all encouraged us to eat healthily and do more physical activities, everyone was curvy, so it never felt like I did not belong. I only realized that other families did not eat more than one serving every meal when I started going to school.

How Can You Be Bullied And Never Need Counseling?

I am no counseling expert, but I can say from experience that it all comes down to the words we allow to stick to us for life. Every person can act as a magnet for comments from other people, you see. Wherever you go, whatever you do or look like, someone will have something to say about you.

As I mentioned above, I got a lot of comments regarding my body size. They went past my shield and hit me well sometimes, yes. But before those words got comfortable and permanently attached to me, I shook them off. Hard. Because of that, there was nothing to wear me down.

Source: pexels.com

Another critical factor is self-awareness. I knew I was bigger than the average American girl, and many people only liked extra-large when it came to food, salary, and products – not other people. Being aware of that gave me enough time to accept that I would meet bullies in this lifetime. I was not wrong, and I was prepared for their attacks.

Furthermore, you need to seek support from your family. While I was not the only fat girl at school, I had the enormous confidence to ignore my bullies because I knew that my parents loved me. Unfortunately, I also learned about some big girls whose families poked fun at them. The bullying at school and at home (albeit indirectly) pushed them to get counseling later.

Final Thoughts

All I’m saying is that I forgot about the bullies in high school because their antics did not affect me too much. I did not need anyone to save me like the nerds in my boyfriend’s old school because paying no attention to the bullies was the worst comeback for them.

If you ever get bullied, you should try what I did, too.

 

How To Get Through High School Without Counseling When You’re A “Big Girl”

In life, you tend to go through some situations that may always be impossible to evade. For instance, in my case, my father was a chef, so we often had fantastic food in the house. They technically count as healthy, but then I also have an Italian mother who usually said that we looked too thin for her liking. As a result, I turned out to be one of the biggest girls in class.

Source: pixabay.com

What’s It Like To Be A “Big Girl” Growing Up?

Being considered a “big girl” had its ups and downs, of course. The primary advantage that I noticed was that I was often the first pick in contact sports, especially when it’s dodgeball or rugby, and you needed brute force to win the game. Others might have been offended by it, but I was not.

Another perk was that people would typically think twice before making fun of me. Although I had never bullied anyone, I got that my size could be pretty intimidating. Some kids might have thought of joking about it, but the moment our eyes would meet, they would shut up.

Despite that, it did not mean that I did not leave high school emotionally unscathed. While most bullies did not dare to go against me, I came across some popular – read model-like girls – who made it their lives’ work to belittle anyone who did not look like them. And since we were practically opposites, they always tried to find a way to get their snarky remarks through my kindness shield.

Source: pixabay.com

I must admit that the mean girls succeeded a few times. They would never call me fat, but they tend to toy around words like walking refrigerator, talking 12-wheeler, etc. Those things made me conscious about my body and want to eat less than usual.

Luckily, I had parents who seemed very aware when my confidence level would take a dip. They used to say, “Did the body-shaming bugs try to get to you again? Pay them no mind, honey. Such girls act mean towards others because there’s a part of them that’s jealous of you for being able to eat anything you want.”

My parents’ wise words sounded like an actual counselor was a genuine treat for me. They got me through high school, and there was never a time when I felt the need to keep my head down low. For sure, the bullies lurked in the corners – sometimes, they’d be brave enough to come right in front of me – but their antics never bothered me too much.

Source: pixabay.com

How Can You Make It Happen, Too?

Gosh, I wish I could tell you that there was an exact formula to ensure that the bullies could never get to you. I also wish I could say that the bullies would leave you alone forever once you showed them that you did not care for their words. However, that’s not possible since there would always be a denser person than others in this lifetime, and their job was to challenge your emotional stability.

If you really want to get through high school like a big girl without needing counseling, though, I would suggest accepting yourself from the beginning. Accept your size; accept that you will never be size 0. That is so much easier than using drastic measures to lose weight immediately.

Also, remember what my parents told me: some people could behave ugly because they were jealous of you. Back in the day, I observed what the mean girls ate during lunch: three sticks of baby carrots or a lettuce leaf. No, they were not actual rabbits, but they ate like one. Meanwhile, my dad would always pack healthy gourmet meals that I could share with at least three kids. Once I realized the massive difference, I felt sorry for my bullies.

Source: pixabay.com

It would not hurt to gain your family’s support either. Especially when you come from a family like mine where being big is expected, you will undoubtedly find someone who had been made fun of due to their body. In that case, you could hear their perspective on the matter and learn from their experiences. But even if you are the only oversized family member, knowing that your parents and siblings were proud of you could do so much to boost your confidence.

Final Thoughts

I understood that I got somewhat lucky in the bully department because my bullies only tried to hurt me verbally. As I grew older, I found out that some mean kids went as far as shoving their victims against lockers or hitting them physically. In such instances, I would genuinely encourage you to get counseling because those experiences could be super traumatizing.

Still, assuming your high school bullies were more like mine, try my tips above. The change in your heart would not happen overnight, yes, but building your confidence and resilience would help you get through life even when high school is over.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mental And Emotional Pain

I know pretty well that there are things in life I cannot control. I perfectly understand my capabilities. However, I have been a bit harsh because I am not providing myself with a lot of attention lately. I am focused too much on things I wanted to obtain and not minding what I already have. Moreover, the pressure of wanting something beyond reach has put me on an emotional and mental overhang.

When I say the struggle is “beyond reach,” I am talking about my physical condition. I am in my 20s, living alone in my apartment, and obese. I weigh over 200 pounds, and that particular physical issue is what’s putting my mental and emotional health in danger. Honestly, I am not sure whether I could create a difference by telling few details about my struggle. But then here it goes.

As a kid, some used to call me names. These combinations of insulting, depressing, and below-the-belt humiliation are what I live for my whole life. It was never a big deal when I was in grade school, though. That is because I am confident that when I eventually reached middle school, I can change and improve myself if I want to. However, middle school just went by, and things haven’t changed a bit. Kids at school frequently bully me because I am huge. Fortunately, at that time, I learned the art of not giving a damn about what they say. Thus, I continue to live my life the way it is.

Source: pixabay.com

Then high school came. It was the years of my life where I suddenly felt like I have had enough. Every bullying, humiliation, insult, and physical abuse I was once okay with, became an issue. In high school, teenagers are meaner and very much inconsiderate all the time. It is as if they can’t pause even for a while.

I became the school’s favorite target due to my huge irregular size. And for the past few years, I endured the emotional and mental pain, trying to convince myself that it will all pass. I still managed to stay positive despite what everybody around me does to me every single day. Then graduation came, and I was the happiest person on earth.

As I was celebrating my achievement that time, I went into tears. That is where I realized that my happiness is not related to my high school graduation but a representation of an escape from the emotional and mental torment I suffered for a very long time. It was all about the relief and appreciation to myself by making it work for the last decade.

But am I already healed? Did I move on? Am I okay? The answer is no! Despite people telling me that I should forget about it because everything was in the past, my mind reminds me about everything that I had gone through. It hurts, and I can’t explain why. And even if a couple of years already passed, I am still holding on to that emotional suffering. Luckily, I gained many helpful tips from these frequently asked questions that I am now trying to incorporate into my life.

What are the five signs of emotional suffering?

The five signs of emotional suffering include Personality Change. It refers to a sudden shift in the way a person thinks, acts, or feels. Also, there is agitation where an individual seems uncharacteristically anxious, angry, or moody all the time. The person is also withdrawn and often likes to isolate himself. There are intense feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness that are pretty much uncontrollable. The individual also suffers from poor self-care.

 Why does emotional pain hurt physically?

The vagus nerve carries wide-ranging signals from the digestive system and other organs to the brain and vice versa. When this nerve gets overstimulated, it causes nausea and soreness on unspecified parts of the body. With that, it supports the brain’s function as it registers heartache or emotional pain in the same way as physical pain that causes an actual physical hurt. That explains the blend of emotional stress and the stress-induced feelings in our chest, along with abnormal stomach activity, increased heart rate, muscle tightness, and shortness of breath.

 Can emotional pain become physical?

Unfortunately, yes. It is known as somatization, where there is an expression of emotional or psychological factors as somatic or tolerable physical symptoms. The best example is stress, as it can cause physical issues like headaches, nausea, back pain, chest pain, and fatigue. At its most dramatic instances, severe emotional pain involves the loss of motor function in a particular muscle group.

 What is the most painful mental illness?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is the most painful mental illness that they do not want to endure for many individuals. It is believed to be the one psychiatric disorder that produces severe emotional pain, distress, and mental agony. Some may see BDP as a strong fear of abandonment or a struggle to maintain healthy relationships, but it is more than that. Often, its intense emotions can make an individual act impulsively and experience paranoia and dissociation.

 How do I stop emotional pain?

Certain ways can help you stop emotional pain. You have to focus on doing your best. It would be nice to find a new hobby that will keep you busy and preoccupied with productive things. Also, consider exercising as the most convenient and effective way to address emotional and mental health issues. If you can find extra time, start writing a journal. Put down into words your thoughts and feelings and reflect on them. Make a list of things that you are thankful for in your life. Do not overthink about things that do not necessarily need your attention. Focus on positive things. It will also help if you allow open yourself to others and allow people to enter your life. Make sure you understand your emotions and cry if you must.

 What a broken heart feels like?

Note that some individuals experience heartache differently, and some handle their pain well. But in general, a broken heart often causes a stunned or paralyzed feeling. It is like acute emotional stress that causes the heart to experience heart attack-like symptoms, including arm or shoulder pains, strong chest, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, dizziness, vomiting, and nausea.

Source: pixabay.com

 Can emotional pain change a person?

In some unpredictable instances, emotional pain can damage our self-esteem and long-term mental health. These can become quite extreme as certain circumstances that are emotionally traumatic affect our personalities. With that desire not to feel pain again, we somehow try our best not to repeat the same pattern to avoid getting hurt. That is, even though we are suddenly changing into someone we know we are not supposed to become.

 What causes emotional suffering?

The causes of emotional suffering with people differ. Some of which can fall into particular situations that promote emotional distress at home or with personal or environmental factors. Some of these are experiencing relationship problems with family, friends, and significant others. It also involves undergoing major life changes, such as moving home, getting married, or having a child. Also, emotional suffering has something to do with financial strain and work pressure. Depending on the individual’s life struggle, his distress varies.

 What causes a lack of emotional control?

Lack of emotional control often reflects extreme anger, anxiety, sadness, and fear. Sometimes, a person who cannot control his emotions can work it through as these feelings can be temporary. These changes could be caused by exhaustion, something like a drop in blood sugar, and even from lack of sleep. But when emotional control comes from psychological trauma, brain injury, or chronic ill-treatment, and neglect, these can quite end up with an association with certain types of psychological disorders.

 What happens to your body when you are sad?

Emotional symptoms, including persistent feelings of sadness, are not healthy but instead damaging to your body. It increases aches and pains, magnifies levels of inflammatory proteins, brings headaches, causes chronic fatigue, influences metabolic syndrome, and so on. It destroys your mind and body’s balance as sadness can alter levels of stress-related opioids in the brain that can potentially lead to heart disease and stroke.

 What emotions affect what organs?

Poorly-managed negative emotions are not healthy. These emotions often affect the organs. There is anger, which damages the liver, sadness that tightens the heart and lungs, fear which affects the kidneys and the heart, and anxiety with the heart and the lungs.

 How do I heal emotionally and mentally?

To convince yourself to heal emotionally and mentally, you need to start with valuing yourself. Fill yourself with all the compassion and appreciation you deserve, and avoid self-criticism. Take care of your wellness and physical needs as much as you can. Use the qualities and abilities around you that promote positive energy. Quiet your mind and forget the past. Learn to deal with stress and give yourself all the love in the world. Encircle yourself with good people that will encourage you to improve and grow. Set realistic goals and always be yourself.

 Why do I get so emotional and cry so easily?

Crying is a normal thing that is part of your emotions. But if you feel like you are crying uncontrollably, you might need to self-evaluate. Perhaps you are too overwhelmed with pressure, or you may have a different problem going on. It is crucial to recognize your crying habit as a part of something you no longer control, such as a depressive disorder. That way, you can seek help immediately.

 How do you fix emotional instability?

Fixing emotional instability depends on the capability of a person. Some may manage to deal with their dilemma in a smooth self-care flow, while others may require treatment and medications. It is significantly important to adjust your preference whenever you experienced something unexpected. Always stay in line with your thoughts and check your expectations. Do not assume that everything around you will always go your way. When you realized that there are bumps in the road, create an action plan to help yourself become emotionally stable.

 Why do I feel physically sick after a breakup?

A breakup can cause an overwhelming agony that usually gets accompanied by physical symptoms like vomiting, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, headache, low appetite, increased appetite, insomnia, hypersomnia, and low energy. These physical symptoms are often from the stress that your body registers in preparation for a fight-or-flight mode.

Source: pixabay.com

Insight

I know that some people are experiencing the same emotional and mental trauma I am dealing with. I understand that I am not alone in this battle. So I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that they are beautiful. Please do not allow your insecurities to ruin your life.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression And Weight Gain

I have been called fat for as long as I could recall. When I was still in elementary school, I was oblivious about it, even though some of my classmates often compared me to Miss Piggy. My father used to say that I should not be ashamed to show them that we had a lot of food at home, so I genuinely did not care about their words.

When I entered middle school, I never admitted it to anyone, but I became conscious about my body. After all, I knew most of the kids there, and they did not stop calling me fat. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, though, I learned how to talk back to people. And the more I got bullied because of my weight, the more burgers, pizzas, and fries I ate.

As soon as I got my high school diploma, I thought that I could finally get a breather from all the bullies who taunted me. However, my assumption did not prepare me for the fact that bullies existed even in college. They did not happen on the campus, but they were rampant in the dorms where I lived.

Getting Bullied Because Of My Size

Everything started in the mess hall. The caretaker prepared our breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it was practically a buffet every time, so I got two of every dish. As I enjoyed my food, I caught a few Barbie-like girls laughing while looking at me in my peripheral vision. Of course, my initial reaction was to glare at them. I learned early that acting tough before others could do that often made them shut up.

In this particular case, though, it was different. One of them – I assumed she was the leader – smirked at me. “Are you still hungry, Porky? There is more food in the dumpster,” she said. Her voice was loud enough for everyone to hear, and many laughed with her crew.

From that day on, people called me Porky. It honestly did not bother me much initially; I thought it was no different from what I experienced in middle or high school. However, the same Barbie squad was determined to turn me into the dorm’s laughingstock. 

In one instance, I left my laundry in the washing machine for 30 minutes. When I came back, my clothes were gone. I asked around until my roommate pointed outside our window. To my horror, all my clothes were strewn across the lawn, earning laughter from passersby. Another time, the Barbie squad dressed as the houses from the story The Three Little Pigs and made a show of running away whenever they saw me because my fattiness apparently attracted the big, bad wolf.

frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-and-weight-gain

Source: pixabay.com

Succumbing To Criticisms

My favorite Broadway actress, Cynthia Erivo, mentioned in a concert that she did not want to sing I’m Here after leaving The Color Purple musical because the taunting scenes that took place before that took an emotional toll on her. She said something along these lines: “As time goes by, the hurtful words get past the skin and start to affect the person within.”

I did not understand her the first time, but I finally did when I spiral down to depression after hearing people comment harshly about my body almost every day. I hardly left my room; I refused to talk to anyone. I only found solace in eating, but then I realized that I gained more weight and felt even more depressed. 

Can depression make you put on weight? 

The simple answer is that yes, depression can make you put on weight. The extra pounds can be due to appetite disturbances or sleeplessness, given that people may use sweets and fatty foods as a coping mechanism for their depressive thoughts. Some medications (e.g., Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft, etc.) can also have this side effect. 

However, there is an ongoing theory that connects depression and obesity. Practically speaking, some scientists claim that dealing with the latter likely leads to the former. And once you feel depressed, you may start eating more to feel something other than hopelessness or lack of self-worth.

What is the best antidepressant to avoid weight gain? 

In reality, it is challenging to find an antidepressant that can prevent you from gaining weight – it is a side effect that most people deal with. There are not enough studies to indicate why antidepressants affect the weight that way either. Nevertheless, year-long research was conducted in partnership with the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Experimental Drugs and Diagnostics. They looked at the effect of various antidepressants on less than 20,000 individuals for three months at the least.

This particular study revealed that newer drugs were better at helping people avoid weight gain than older ones. We’re talking about medications with generic names like bupropion and nortriptyline, although the first-mentioned turned out to be the best antidepressant in this area.

How can I lose weight while taking antidepressants? 

The most surefire way to lose weight while you are taking antidepressants is by following a workout regime. However, if you need this type of medication to feel better, you may deal with exhaustion or lack of energy too often to consider getting out of bed. In that case, below are a few other options for you:

  • Consume more potassium-rich foods while balancing your sodium intake. According to studies, antidepressants can put you at higher risk of experiencing low sodium levels (hyponatremia) than anyone. The potassium is then necessary to ensure that you can flush out the excess salt in your body.
  • Break down your meals into smaller ones. That is especially recommended if you realize that your antidepressant boosts your appetite. Increasing your meals may help you reduce your food consumption.
  • Get enough sleep every night. Sometimes, the best weight-loss tip is to keep your eyes closed and let your body rest. After all, when you are fast asleep, you won’t feel tempted to eat anything.

Which antidepressants cause the most weight gain? 

A study revealed that tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and mirtazapine cause the most weight gain. The reason is that they tend to make a person crave carbohydrates a lot while trying to improve their mood or serotonin level.

The thing is, not everyone who takes the same antidepressants gains weight. As another study showed, you will know if the drug causes weight gain during the first month of taking it. If you put on more than 3% of your original weight, it entails that you may keep on gaining a few extra pounds. Obesity can also make you more prone to weight gain than others. 

frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-and-weight-gain

Source: pixabay.com

Can citalopram cause weight gain? 

The first time you take citalopram, you may experience weight loss, considering it may inhibit you from getting hungry. This is normal since your body is not used to the drug. However, once you get used to it, your appetite may return or even increase, thus causing weight gain.

In case you are gaining too much weight due to citalopram, try consulting your psychiatrist about it. This specific antidepressant is known to cause a bit of weight gain, but this side effect should not be excessive.

Which antidepressant is best for anxiety? 

A Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) is the best antidepressant to combat anxiety. This type of drug works by slowing down the reabsorption of serotonin so that your mood can stabilize and you can start reasoning. Some of the best SSRIs include citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine, and escitalopram.

Nevertheless, SSRIs do not take effect overnight. It is common for psychiatrists to prescribe such antidepressants between six and 12 months before reducing the dosage or intake frequency gradually. 

Is there a medication that treats both depression and anxiety? 

Yes, there is a medication that treats both depression and anxiety. It is typically known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). In case that does not work for the patient, psychiatrists may prescribe a tricyclic antidepressant or serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) as an alternative.

Various studies suggest that such antidepressants not only treat depression and anxiety but also reduce nerve pain. It all depends on what brand you get.

What is the number one antidepressant? 

A Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) is the number one antidepressant at the time of writing. The idea behind this is that a person’s serotonin level may be at the lowest point while dealing with depression. By taking an SSRI, though, your serotonin supply may increase or at least be put to good use.

What is the most successful antidepressant? 

Citalopram is perhaps the most successful antidepressant to date. This selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) has been celebrated as one of the only medications that do not cause people to gain weight excessively. In truth, some studies have even used it as a reference as they examine how antidepressants affect a person’s weight.

You may know this antidepressant under the brand names Cipramil, Celexa, etc.

Is there a happy pill for depression? 

Yes, there is a happy pill for depression. The first drug known as such is Miltown, and it has been getting produced since the 1950s. If you are looking for a newer happy pill, though, you may ask your psychiatrist if you can get Prozac or Valium.

What is the best natural antidepressant? 

Assuming you do not want to take pills, the best natural antidepressant is St. John’s wort. Although FDA is still yet to approve its effectiveness, many people believe that this plant has helped raise their serotonin level. A collection of studies supported this idea in 2008 and revealed that it could work as an antidepressant for mild or moderate depression.

Despite that, it is imperative to ask your physician(s) whether you can take St. John’s wort or not, especially if you are taking other medications for various illnesses. It can negatively react to contraceptives, chemotherapy drugs, or even blood thinners.

What is the new treatment for depression? 

A newly approved treatment for depression is called Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy (SAINT). This brand-new magnetic brain stimulation method is supposed to take effect faster than other depression treatments. It works by targeting specific magnetic pulses that cause people to feel depressed or think of suicidal thoughts.

The researchers tested SAINT on depressed individuals who failed to experience relief from other therapy or medication forms. Though everyone started with suicidal thoughts, 19 out of the 21 participants reports that they no longer had those ideas post-treatment.

Is there hope for treatment-resistant depression? 

Yes, there is hope for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). It comes in the form of esketamine, an antidepressant that gained FDA approval in early 2019. It is primarily known as a byproduct of ketamine, though esketamine is stronger than the latter. Studies reveal that people with TRD have experienced a positive effect after taking esketamine.

The thing is, this drug is not manufactured in capsule, tablet, or pill form. Instead, it has to be administered through an injection or nasal spray. 

Do antidepressants damage your brain?

In reality, yes, antidepressants damage the brain. While taking these drugs, they may help your brain create new neural pathways. But once you stop, the connections may die and no longer grow back. 

Psychiatrists typically explain this side effect to their patients; that’s why some choose to try alternative treatments. However, others are willing to take a risk to get rid of their mood or anxiety disorder.

frequently-asked-questions-about-depression-and-weight-gain

Source: pixabay.com

Final Thoughts

I got in touch with a psychologist and therapist, and they both helped me understand how my depression could affect my weight and vice versa. I ended up transferring to another college to get away from the bullies, living healthily, and starting anew. The lifestyle changes I had to make were challenging, but a few months later, my sacrifices paid off as I lost weight and did not need antidepressants to get rid of my depression.

 

Unthinkable Things I Did For My Mental Health

As a young kid who already weighed 120 lbs in fourth grade, I had been the center of attention of fat-shaming individuals in our community. For instance, my classmates’ monicker was Ms. Piggy, considering I was short and had a pinkish skin. Whenever the P.E. teacher asked us to run around the field, the students would act like the world’s shaking during my turn. But even at family gatherings, some aunts would say, “Being chubby is cute for now. But if you don’t wish to be an old maid, you need to lose weight soon.”

unthinkable-things-i-did-for-my-mental-health

Source: pexels.com

What I Did To Lose Some Weight

Because of such experiences, I grew up thinking that my fatness was unacceptable and that I should do everything to get rid of it. So, whenever my parents were not home, and they would give me money to order pizza or whatever I wanted, I would keep the money and not eat at all. Of course, I felt hungry, but I endured my tummy aches because I genuinely wanted to lose weight. Sometimes, even at school, I would not eat lunch no matter how much my friends tried to drag me to the cafeteria. My parents only found out when they found me in the nurse’s clinic one morning, doubled up in pain. A series of tests in the hospital later, the doctor said I developed an ulcer. Needless to say, skipping meals not only failed to slim me down but also gave me a health condition.

The second thing I tried when I was in sixth grade was to join the girls’ volleyball team. My choices were softball, football, and volleyball, but I favored the latter because I saw how much the players were running and jumping up to hit the ball. I did not realize that the coach refused to accept potential players at the first meeting – she wanted the applicants to train with the team for a week before picking some of us. I took the challenge, assuming that little girls could not practice so much. But then, I was proven wrong when the coach made us do circuit training on the field for an hour every day. After the fourth day, I gave up on my dream of becoming a volleyball player.

unthinkable-things-i-did-for-my-mental-health

Source: pexels.com

I did not try to lose weight again until I was in college, but it did not mean that I made peace with my chubbiness in the year before that. I merely waited until I was 18 years old so that I could buy slimming pills and teas that promised to help me shed pounds without much effort. So, I bought them as soon as my parents left me in the dorm.

I must say that the slimming tea worked well by making me go to the bathroom 30 minutes after drinking it every time. The pills also curbed my appetite, so I did not feel hungry for more extended periods. After a month of using the said products, my shirts and jeans felt a little loose around my body. I thought, “Hmm, this is it!” I went on to shed 10 pounds in two months, thanks to them, and my parents and friends all believed that it happened because I started going to the gym. (No, I did not do that.)

unthinkable-things-i-did-for-my-mental-health

Source: pexels.com

However, during the summer break, I had to stop taking the pills and drinking the tea because I spent it in my parents’ home. They had been against such methods of losing weight and made me promise that I wouldn’t ever try them, but I just felt the need to try anyway. So, in the few weeks that I was there, I gained all the pounds that I lost and then some.

Doing The Unthinkable For My Mental Health

Mom caught me crying about my weight gain a day before going back to the dorm, and I had no choice but to confess everything I did to shed pounds. Mom could only hug me out of pity and apologized for not being able to protect me from the fat-shamers all my life. Her words, however, acted as a trigger for me to realize that there was no reason for me to go from size 12 to size 0 as long as I was happy with my body.

unthinkable-things-i-did-for-my-mental-health

Source: pexels.com

So, when I returned to the dorm, I flushed the pills and teas in the toilet. I threw away all the books that I got to inspire me to lose weight, too. Then, I began to wear clothes that would show off my thick legs, arms, and overall curvaceousness. Little did I know, men found it hot, while women said it was empowering.

I would not have learned to love myself and embrace my body if the slimming products and other weight-loss techniques did not fail to deliver. But would I try another weight-loss method anytime in the future? No, thanks! I already took that rode that many people traveled, and it only ate away at my mental health. Now, I would make it my life’s work to show other fat-shamed girls like me that it’s okay to have more meat under the skin, that other people were wrong for forcing their standard of beauty on others.

unthinkable-things-i-did-for-my-mental-health

Source: pexels.com

Family Guidelines On Supporting A Loved One With An Eating Disorder

 

Source: rawpixel.com

 

If a family member or significant other is diagnosed with an eating disorder, life won’t be as normal as you want it to. Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia affect the entire family. Each member is expected to struggle with his life and how he or she can fit into this life.

You may have many questions and encounters, especially when you are not sure how you will deal with your loved one. These tips and guidelines are created to help you go through those tough times so that you will be able to offer support while capably taking care of yourself amidst the challenges that the family is confronted with.

There are no fast and convenient answers. If a person with an eating disorder is to be cured, he will have to make dramatic changes in his behavior and views. Some members of the family may be forced to make necessary changes as well. We suggest that you take advantage of personal and online help to make going through these changes as smooth and successful as possible.

Encourage your loved one to consider counseling. Support them by showing compassion, support, and empathy. One way showing them these would be to be steadfast in your suggestion for your loved one to get into counseling. If he is an adult and does not want it, try communicating with the counselor yourself, with the aim of better understanding the disorder to capably support your loved one when he decides to get help. A counselor or therapist will also help you build boundaries for yourself so that you will learn how not to allow your loved one to show ED behaviors.

Don’t get too involved in conflicting discussions over food, being overweight, or eating. If you are concerned that your loved one may be dehydrated, has had dramatic weight loss or gain, and other issues, contact your therapist right away. If you don’t have one, reach out to one and try talking it out with him or her, along with your loved one is possible.

Source: rawpixel.com

Accept certain attitudes. If one of your family members has anorexia, and he is designated to do the food shopping and cooking on that day, consider that he might use this position to deny his own needs to eat. Show him that you care for him, and you are concerned if he has had something healthy to eat.

Avoid manipulating the loved one with an eating disorder. Don’t use lines like, “you are destroying this family,” or “just give up already.” Your loved one is not to blame for what happens to you – you are. Every one of us is responsible for his or her welfare.

Don’t forget to care for yourself. Yes, you do love your family, and you want to help in whatever way you can to help your loved one recover from her sickness, but this doesn’t mean that your world has stopped turning for other areas in your life. Don’t ever forget to have fun, build relationships with other family members and friends, and work and play hard to achieve your dreams.

Be more verbally and physically expressive of your emotions to your family. Be truthful about getting frustrated, angry, and weak. Share your feelings with your family and, in the process, grow closer together.

Be sensible about diets and other fads. Be honest with yourself before deciding to go on a diet and exercise plan. What is your goal? Is it to become less insecure or to be healthier? Are your planned activities mainly for weight loss? It is difficult for the person suffering from an eating disorder to attempt to change what they think about weight loss when other loved ones encourage the importance of being thin and sexy.

Appreciate your loved one for her good deeds, achievements, and other positive qualities. Telling your loved one who has an eating disorder about the positive side of her can help her improve her self-confidence and a self that is safe, distinct, and steadfast.

Source: rawpixel.com

Be there for him when he needs emotional and social support. If you’re having a tough time doing this, you might consider asking for one yourself so that you’ll learn new ways of building closeness and love between family members. We often repeat what we learned from our past relationships.

Asking if your loved one is feeling better won’t do any good. This question is a handful and implies that the concerned individual must quickly recover so that everyone else will be rid of the stress and anxiety from caring for her. Rather, observe if she has improved or if her behavior has been more subtle and consistent. Find out if she is becoming less judgmental of herself. After all, eating is just an indication of the primary issues in the first place.

Ultimately, understand that your family or significant other is perhaps hesitant to get rid of her usual routines related to disordered eating. In time, with the help, support, and love from the whole family, coupled with the proper treatment, your loved one will be on her way to recovery and healing.

 

 

 

Coronavirus: Food Safety And Nutrition

All of us are following safety protocols due to the spread of Coronavirus. We are staying home, limiting travels, washing hands frequently, and practicing social distancing. But nobody says too much about managing food and nutrition. In this article, we will try to discuss food safety and management amidst the global pandemic.

Source: pexels.com

How To Safely Grocery Shop

One of the great news during this pandemic situation is that most experts think that Coronavirus does not spread through food. But despite that, the virus lives on surfaces, which we might potentially get into contact with. Some of the possibilities of transferring the virus are from grabbing the boxes off of the shelf, holding the cart handle from the store, bagging the items, and paying through dollar bills. And because the virus can still live on surfaces, bringing it home from the store is incredibly high. So to reduce that risk, here are a few things we can do.

Shop Less Often – Shopping is essential because we need supplies in our daily lives. However, due to the fast spread of the virus, we must limit our contact with the public. Therefore, it would be much better to purchase at least two weeks’ worth of groceries at a time. And if possible, we should consider our groceries to get delivered. That way, we won’t have to expose ourselves to the crowd. If in case we need to go to the store for any reason, we can try and go early to avoid crowds. For unfortunate instances that we have a high-risk medical condition, it is better to ask a friend a favor to do the shopping for us.

Source: pexels.com

Practice Social Distancing – Grocery stores, though they are still essential during this pandemic time, are a place that can also expose people to the Coronavirus infection. That is because of the possible asymptomatic cases that are hard to detect. With that, it is vital to distance ourselves no matter what. If possible, we should stay 6 feet away from others. That is about the length of two shopping carts.

Never Touch The Face – No matter what happens, it is crucial not to touch the face while shopping. Since we probably have touched a lot of things in the grocery store, we should not put our hands anywhere our faces. If in case we need to scratch or remove something from it, we have to sanitize first and use a clean sanitizing tissue or wipes. Aside from that, we always need to wear a mask. But note, the mask must be placed in a position where it covers the whole area of the mouth and nose. Also, as soon as we can, we need to wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 to 30 seconds. It goes before and after handling purchased items in the grocery store.

Source: pexels.com

Toss And Wash Items – Paper and plastic bags from the store should be tossed out in the garbage. If it is not a hassle, we need to take items out of the box they come in and discard the box after, such as cereals and others alike. For produce, we need to wash it thoroughly with water or produce cleaner. We need to avoid using chemicals or household cleaners on food.

Source: pexels.com

In the best of times, good hygiene is the key to avoiding infectious diseases. And right now, it is the most important thing we need to focus on. We have to do our best to shop safely so that we can protect ourselves and our loved ones at home.

 

COVID-19 – The Perks Of Exercising

For the past few weeks of staying at home during this pandemic crisis, some of us have already changed routines. Maybe some of us managed to clean our house and reorganize our stuff to prevent boredom. Of course, some spend time binge-watching some movies and TV shows as well together with families. Others may already finish working on a project that they left pending for a long time. But for some, I know they find an opportunity to practice health and wellness through doing regular exercise. In this article, we are going to look at some of the perks of exercise in both physical and mental aspects.

Source: pexels.com

Physical Benefits

Since studies show that the Coronavirus targets the immune system, particularly damaging the cardiovascular and respiratory functions, exercise becomes a great help for the organs’ improvement. Working on specific physical activities will strengthen the cardiac muscles that surround the heart and lungs. Therefore, it pumps a significant amount of blood value with each stroke, decreasing the possibility of a reduced heart rate. It also promotes the reduction of health risk factors. These include the development of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and even signs of the Coronavirus. People who are more active in physical activities also have a lower risk for breast and colon cancer. Thus, exercise has the potential to increase people’s chances of living healthier and longer.

Source: pexels.com

Exercising also helps in the circulation of red blood cells, which improves the flow of oxygen into the body’s lungs, making it stronger and better. It decreases the risk of physical malfunction by muscle strengthening and incorporating balance coordination. Thus, securing better and enhanced motor skills. Aside from that, exercising regularly supports an increased metabolic rate. Therefore, it allows the body to use enough energy to repair bones and muscles as well as replenish nutrient storages. But note, the metabolic rate depends on the intensity of the exercises and an individual’s current fitness level. Therefore, individuals must consider the type of physical activities they will do that will involve extreme running, bending, and jumping. And for the best part, exercise supports a natural way of weight loss management.

Source: pexels.com

Mental Benefits

In a pandemic time like this, where people are frequently anxious and stressed about the negativity everywhere, exercise becomes beneficial in a lot of ways. It helps increase an individual’s well-being and self-awareness. It promotes the growth of endorphins that boost natural brain immunity that helps reduce the perception of pain. Light to medium exercises can also improve mood, supports the gain of mental energy, and reduce stress and anxiety. It allows the brain to function on its full potential without the worry of strain and too much exhaustion. Aside from that, exercise secures better mental development that aids in balancing emotional discomforts.

Source: pexels.com

Another great advantage of exercise is its contribution to better night sleep. Research has shown that any regular physical activity can help individuals to get a faster and deeper sleep. And as frequent the body and mind experience the overall balance from exercising, it can support an improved sleep duration that allows total rejuvenation. Thus, when there is enough sleep, people can expect better brain function. These include enhanced memory, critical thinking, problem-solving ability, alertness, and concentration. Exercise can also reduce the signs of mental fatigue, which contributes to lower self-esteem. Thus, when regularly accomplished, it can boost confidence.

So for those people who haven’t tried exercising, you might want to take this pandemic situation as an opportunity to get physically active. Not only for the sake of physical fitness but also for mental and emotional stability.

Relationship Between Fast Food And Calorie Intake

Source: pixabay.com

Men are found to have higher obesity rates when talking about developed countries, but in developing countries, women have higher rates.   Childhood obesity counted 18.5 percent representing different age group and ethnicity.  Overweight people comprising two-thirds of the population makes obesity and becoming overweight an epidemic in developing countries.

Advertisers lure us with images of a healthy and happy life spent running along the beach with the sun shining overhead, then heading home to eat our grapefruit and take our diet supplement. Unfortunately, the reality of long-term weight loss is a lot more complex and involves learning a new set of life skills. — Melanie Greenberg Ph.D.

Continue reading →