I recently read a heart-wrenching essay in The Globe and Mail's Facts and Arguments section. It's about a woman named Sally who is going through a difficult emotional time and questioning the universe while having a spa day. Her turmoil was palpable, her angst was raw, and her self-doubt was heart-wrenching.
In retrospect, I can say that on some level, I saw what was happening to me. I was just truly powerless to stop it. That's not to say I wasn't in control. No, each hunger pang I endured proved I was in control. Each starving hour that passed between four o'clock and bedtime made me feel focused, disciplined. It was all the fuel I needed to resist another meal. The truth is, anorexics feel a lack of control in their lives, so they take control of one aspect -- food. Alas, this illusion of control can only last so long.
Obesity is now officially called a disease. But people who are afflicted by it are not treated like other patients who, for example, have cancer or heart disease. Presumably, they brought their ailments upon themselves -- by their self-indulging, undisciplined and irresponsible behavior. That makes them easy prey.
I was verbally bullied about my weight throughout school. The weight started increasing exponentially while I was in high school. That is when it started impacting my moods and the way I looked at life... I did not want to be around my friends and I started isolating myself. I became physically sick with stomach problems, mentally sick and looked down upon myself. I hit rock bottom.
I desperately tried to HIDE my story. After my stroke, I hated the attention I received. I was lucky to have had a successful recovery but I did not understand why it was such a big deal, why newspapers wanted to write about it and why every single person I saw would make it the focus of a conversation.
Whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, the summer is coming to an end and young people everywhere are gearing up to go back to school. It can be an exciting time but also a stressful time, especially for those of you who are going into university/college or a new school for the first time.
Winnie Harlow may be one of the most influential models in the world right now, but don’t call her a role model. The 22-year-old Mississauga, Ont. native has defied traditional beauty ideals by taking on the fashion industry and not letting her vitiligo (a condition characterized by the depigmentation of skin) get in the way of success. But she still doesn’t see herself as someone to look up to.
You are successful. People look to you to solve their problems. You love it! You've worked hard to get where you are. It's not just what you do that's great; it's also the type of person you try to be, every day. Then, someone comes along who undermines you, makes confusing passive-aggressive comments or just plain avoids responsibility. They break promises and have all types of excuses.
As Muslims celebrate the festival of Eid, there are LGBTQ Muslims of various denominations, who may find themselves alone on this holiday. Cut off from their biological families, some find community amongst online friends. Such a community alleviates but does not necessarily resolve all their concerns.
This summer, don't compare yourself to the spray tanned, filtered, posed, air brushed celebrity pics on Instagram and in the media. In fact, don't compare yourself to anyone. Love your body, as it is now. As it looks now. Don't hide behind cover ups and over-sized T-shirts. Be proud of your body. Love your body, as it is now. As it looks now.
By and large, we live in a diet-obsessed society, so my health nuttiness went unnoticed. Plus, like most individuals with eating disorders, I was a master at hiding all this dysfunctional behaviour for many years. I was also incredibly successful at outwardly presenting a well put-together front when facing the world. I had been a model student, a star employee, a good friend and doting auntie to my young nephews. Until it all came crashing down on me.
For most people, fashion is a way of expression; for me it was a support system. When I found myself lost or in transition I simply picked a new character to play and let that character loose in a mall. I would pick bits and pieces of the people around me and tried to imitate their appearance. In true alien mode, I formed myself to look like the inhabitants of whatever place I happened to be occupying at the time.
The true power of the video and the reason why so many people watched it, was the fact that Candace Payne was able to laugh out loud without an ounce of self-consciousness. Ms. Payne was willing to look silly online, and I think that this ability to be so authentic and free was the real reason why her video got over 140 million views.