The Ugly Truths About Eating Disorders and The Path to Recovery

Many women who are convinced they’re in control, sticking to a dangerously low number of calories a day and severely suffering mentally and physically, most of the time have no idea about the seriousness of their situation. 

Looking back, it’s hard to explain the level of daily obsession that I suffered over my physical appearance. As a child, I thought of sticking a needle in to my thighs and calves, to see if I could squeeze out the fat. I also had the best idea ever… to just cut my stomach off with scissors. 

Suffering from eating disorders in the past I had no idea I was ill and most of the women I spoke to were in denial as well. 

I thought eating an orange per day was healthy and that everyone around me wasn’t. I didn’t think I had anorexia: real anorexics, I erroneously believed, ate nothing at all. And I was still eating? 

There’s no question that letting go of an eating disorder is one of the hardest things a person can do. It’s also important to note that each individual will follow their own unique path to recovery but here are some steps that may help: 

  1. Recognizing you have a problem: This step is crucial because if you don’t acknowledge that you have a problem there’s no point in changing. If you are not sure if you have an eating disorder the best thing to do is see a registered dietitian or therapist so that you can get a professional opinion. For me, I took an online quiz and then from there I started taking steps to change. 
  2. Decide that you are worthy of recovery and start to make small changes: start to research how you can make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. This might include introducing more balanced foods into your diet and exercise so that if you do eat more you won’t necessarily gain weight. 
  3. Instead of just focusing on your physical appearance and food intake incorporate various ways to practice self-care with your mind, body and spirit. If your body and brain are being deprived, you are less likely to reap the benefits of everything from therapy to mindfulness.

Recovering from an eating disorder is difficult but definitely possible. The most important thing is to accept help and seek support.

Is your Toothbrush Killing our Future Generations?

There is no perfect toothbrush, but some choices are better than others. Plastic toothbrushes take over 400 years to decompose… They end up in landfills and release toxic chemicals into the air resulting in harsh damage to the environment. In addition to getting washed away into the ocean, the toothbrush is endangering marine life and contaminating our food. 

After seeing this piece of art made by an African artist, it was really eye-opening. Africa has a huge trash pollution issue, along with the rest of the world… This art piece is a commentary on plastic pollution. 

Knowing that every plastic toothbrush impacts the environment and that one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States alone, creating 50 million pounds of waste- what can we do?

Bamboo Toothbrushes: bamboo is biodegradable. (bristles are not biodegradable) 

If bamboo toothbrushes end up in the trash, they aren’t significantly more environmentally friendly than plastic… but if you compost the handles of bamboo toothbrushes by first remove the nylon bristles with pliers then composting the handles… it makes a huge difference. Plus it is really beneficial for our environment. 

Then there are the toothbrushes that are recycled and/or recyclable:  Some options I love:

Bogobrush (bogobrush.com) 

Bogobrush is a Company that makes its brushes from compostable bioplastic using leftover plant material from American farms.

Or consider (preserve.eco) Toothbrushes made from recycled yogurt containers which are easily accessible online or in local stores Ojai: Being in Westridge and Rainbow Bridge. Also if you mail your old toothbrushes, not only will they be recycled into new products, but you will also receive a coupon for their online store. 

After using these types of recycled toothbrushes another option to help continue supporting the recycling market is by sending them to organizations such as Gimme 5 drop-off/mail-in program. Whole Foods And other companies have Gimme 5 bins located in their stores. You can just look up ones near you. 

Note: *Buying recycled stuff when we need to buy new products is the smartest move.*

So now you know the best eco friendly toothbrushes on the market: what do we do with our old ones?

Three months of brushing your teeth is not worth 400 years in the landfills. So an option would be to reuse your toothbrush in different ways until you switch to an eco-friendly toothbrush: 

You could easily label your toothbrushes for their different uses around the house: Here are a few options:

-Cleaning Household Items

-Remove dirt from shoes/Soccer cleats!

-Fingernail brushing

-Deep clean your desk/Clean beauty supplies

-Spot-treat stains on clothes

-Clean Your Hairbrush out 

-Brush Your Eyebrows

These are just some out of hundreds of household uses…

Best of luck on your zero-waste journey! It can be difficult sometimes but if you put in the effort, it’s well worth it. In the meantime, I wish you fresh breath and zero cavities.

Conflicted

happy birthday

I wish I could say it to you, but we are on a strictly no communication basis.

The only thing we share now is our existence and hatred towards each other.

It’s sad… my greatest love turned into my strongest hate.

happy birthday, you’re an adult now.

I hope you move far far away and buy a house of your own thousands of miles away from here,

but I hope you’ll be happy.

I still wear the necklace you got me for my birthday. People tell me I should get rid of it, and I probably should, but I can’t because its the last piece of you I have left, and, as much as I want to, I can’t bring myself to let you go.

I want you gone but I want you happy,

I want you to feel awful for what you did, but I want you to come back to me.

I want to hate you, but I want you to love me…

because I love you still.

So happy birthday, thank you for the memories, the laughs, the smiles, and thank you for the love we shared.

I hope one day it will overcome the hatred we share.

Photo credit: seansi.org

Youth

Back then, war was a card game, race issues were about who ran the fastest, and protection meant wearing knee pads,

and a timeout was the worst punishment we knew.

Back then, our parents were our heroes, the safest place was in mom’s arms, and the highest place on earth was dad’s shoulders.

Back then, we shared toys, not boys. Back then we said “thank you” more than “I’m sorry,” “yes” more than “no,” and “I love you” instead of “I hate you.”

Back then, guys played sports, not girls,

back then, we looked forward to every day instead of dreading it,

back then, we were scared of the dark, not the world,

and back then we couldn’t wait to grow up.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

the playlist of my life…this far

Sometimes, I find myself being guided through life through the wisdom of songs. From songs that don’t have lyrics to songs that only have lyrics, melodies will always lay a path for me to follow. Being 17, I have a lengthy list of songs that have shaped me. 

As by Steve Wonder has taught me how to love the people through all four seasons, through thick and thin, through the mysteries of tomorrow. I learned how to love, always. 

Man in the Mirror, MJ; This song was, in my memory, the first song that highlighted the less fortunate. At a young age, I realized how blessed I was to have a roof over my head and a full plate of food 3 times a day. 

All for You, homegirl, Janet; The “I just wanna have a fun” song of the 2000s. 

Superwoman by Alicia Keys. I am SUPERWOMAN, yes I am and yes she is! Alicia, thank you for teaching me that being a woman is super! I have never been more proud!

photo credit: pinterest.com

Fade Into You, Mazzy Star; The song that sends me into a mindset of creativity, and lets me let go of the worries from the day like fading into a different dimension of my mind. 

Cobrastyle by Teddybears takes me to Venice, California, windows down, with my father behind the wheel and my brother in the passenger seat. 

Me, Myself and I by Beyonce makes me believe in the power of me. I do not need a man to support myself, fuel myself, provide for myself, or feel good about myself.

This is just a mere look into my childhood but each of these songs are inspiring and evoke vivid images of happiness. From my mother dancing in the living room to my dad telling my brother about his latest music find, my family has inspired my preference in music and I am proud.

a tandem bicycle hits the ground twice as hard

A heart

Is a pendulum

Passing time.

I’ll be fine.

My eyes tear bloody holes:

Holes in her face.

Holes in her heart.

Holes in all the wrong places.

For no fucking reason they do,

For no fucking reason do the superman-style lasers of

Feelings

Drip from these unfeeling sockets and soil the layered newspapers that line my skull.

And for someone that thinks they know everything

The frown on her face is a hole in my universe.

And for someone who wants her to be everything

When she is not

It tears down the walls.

These paper mache walls,

Like a pre-kindergarten volcano,

Stolen from the porch before the vinegar could ever hit the baking soda.

Who would take a volcano?

She took the volcano.

And I don’t know how or why, or what I could do about it, even if I knew

How?

Or Why?

But I do know that, 

For some reason,

I and She exist somehow in tandem,

Somehow in unison;

Like a two person bike,

I am falling fast towards the ground

Hoping that somehow by sheer force of will

I can overcome gravity for the two of us.

And I could right this bike.

Even as the rubber runs away from me,

As the sound shoots through my ears:

That great pendulum’s brawny swing stops the movement,

Stops the fall of our bike,

Stops the air that supports us.

And it leaves my heaving chest

Pounding in her dry cold breath

As the only thing that supports this bike

Stopped in space and time.

Photo via Amazon.com

Itchy

I have a bad case of itchy foot

The itchy foot runs through my leg

When I itch the itch it numbs my toes

Through my foot it goes

And all the way into my calf

It feels like the beginning of poison oak

The sweltering alergic reaction

That has plagued me since days old

I feel the familiar itch

The friendly ooze

The glorious disgusting hot irritated mess that is poison oak

But not quite

It’s just one singular bulb

One little plague bubonic

A tiny little boil

A reminder of bare feet in mosquito territory

A reminder like a cracked phone screen

Or a scar on your arm

Something you see everyday

A reminder of something you forgot

Like her face in my camera roll

Like looking back at just how perfect it has been

Because so often I took photos when things were good

When I wasn’t staring at a blank google doc

An image stamped in my skull

When it was incredible

Or when it was supremely funny

Or when it hurt like a mountain insurmountable

And when I scroll back and see these myrtle memories

For an instant I feel that excitement that takes me back

That yearning for days old

But not for a million dollars

Not for an ounce of that love that I felt

Would I miss a second of the now

It’s weird

But I scratched the itch

And honestly it doesn’t itch anymore