Saturday, November 24, 2018

Thanksgiving

I know I'm late posting this. I've been late posting anything for a while. But I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge everything I'm thankful for right now.

good music that lifts me up when I need it to and keeps me down when I want it to

kind people who do good for the sake of doing good

my family who puts up with my moods, quick tongue, and sporadic absence

Solo, Twinkle, and Rascal whose cuddles and personalities are a light every day

musicians that make it their life goal to inspire and remain good people

writing for giving me an outlet even when I don't take advantage of it

friends who understand when I retreat for a while

There's more, of course. I have a wonderful life and I'm very grateful for it.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

xoxo Anne

Monday, October 29, 2018

failure

failure
feels like fake smiles
a hollow stomach
and a drooping soul

though it’s only a bruise
I see a tattoo
my mirror shows a scarlet F
stamped across my face
dripping down my cheeks
and into my mouth
so everything I say is tinted red

how dare I believe
my only risk was flying too close to the sun
when I barely got off the ground

how can I continue to stretch my wings

when they are ripped and torn and bleeding

Monday, September 10, 2018

Stay Here

It's World Suicide Prevention Day.

I care a lot about this topic. Although I've been fortunate enough to never be suicidal myself, my anxiety has led me to think about and treat myself in very negative ways. I've dealt with disordered eating, self-sabotage, and several forms of self-harm while I've struggled to live with anxiety, so I understand at least the perspective of feeling like giving up is the only option.

I wasn't sure what to say today. How do you talk about something so delicate and important? So this post might be a little weird, but I decided to post excerpts from two things: One that explains a tiny glimpse of how some people feel when the pain inside them becomes to great to bear, and one that have helped me through my darkest times.

The first is an excerpt from a novel I wrote. I finished it about a year ago and I've been going through a long process of editing and re-editing since then so I can hopefully get it published. The main character, Eve, is recovering from an eating disorder and has a cruel and vicious friend named Ana who taunts Eve into sabotaging herself. In this part of the novel Eve is at one of her lowest points and it's the first time she starts to self-harm.

I wrote this part of the novel when I was struggling with self-harm. I never actually cut myself (although I cam very close), and Eve's thoughts here are based strongly on what I was thinking at the time.

I step on my scale and my heart drops when I see I’m a pound heavier than I was last night.
            “No, no, no,” I whisper frantically. I grab my hair and pull at it.
            “Nooooo,” I moan.
            “You need to punish yourself,” Ana says. “Then this won’t happen again.”
            She’s right.
            I grab an unopened razor from my closet and remove the blade from it. I hold it carefully in my hand as I sneak into the bathroom and lock the door behind me.
            I press the blade gently against my arm, then decide to switch to my stomach where my parents would be less likely to notice anything. I pause for a second as my determination fades and fear begins to enter.
            “Do it,” Ana says. “As a reminder of how worthless you are.”
            I press the blade harder against my skin and feel a sharp burst of pain as it breaks. Bright red blood immediately draws a line on my skin and forms a tiny pool that soon breaks itself. I watch a drop of blood trickle down onto my thigh.
            I immediately hate myself for doing it. But something about it feels justified. I know that I deserve it. That thought terrifies me because what rational thoughts I have left are telling me that I won’t be able to stop if I think like that, but Ana interrupts them and won’t let them speak long enough to get anything coherent across to me.
            “That wasn’t too hard, was it?” She asks, stroking my arm.
            I am breathing heavily. It wasn’t. And I hate the fact that it wasn’t.
            Before the cut has fully healed I am told to do it again. This time Ana just gives me a look and I know. So many emotions and feelings are building up inside of me that I feel like I am physically going to burst. I cry myself to sleep and scream into my pillow until my throat is raw but the voices in my head don’t stop and I can feel myself going crazy. I feel like I am drowning from the inside out.
            I lock myself in the bathroom again and press the razor blade to my stomach just below the last cut. This time as blood leaves my body I can feel other things leaving too. It is like letting the air out of a balloon. The pain from the cut seems to release the pain inside of my mind and for a few minutes I am in a strange state of stinging bliss. The voices come back but not as strong and I am scared how that worked but I can’t argue because it is the only relief I’ve felt from Ana in weeks.
 

The second thing I want to post is the thing that kept me from cutting myself one night when I felt like it was the only way to stop the pain I was feeling inside. Here is the twenty one pilots' song "Holding on to You."



Stay alive, guys. It's worth it.

And if you're doing well, keep an eye out on those you love. We all know signs get ignored too much and when life is over, it's over.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Truth About Trends

Hey guys! I know I haven't been on here in a while, and it's the same excuse as always: life has been cuh-razy. 

I know. Lame.

Since I last posted, I have:

  • Graduated college
  • Moved back to Spokane
  • Started a travel itinerary business
  • Begun re-editing my novel after what I called a brief "moping hiatus"


Life has NOT gone how I planned it at all, but I'm trying really hard to look for all the positive things going on in my life instead of dwelling on what I don't like. 

ALSO TWENTY ONE PILOTS RELEASED TWO SINGLES AND A MUSIC VIDEO TODAY AND ANNOUNCED TOUR DATES AND I'M DYING but more on that later.

So let's talk about what I'm really here for: health and fitness trends.



I grew up doing sports so I was always pretty into fitness, and when I got to college I really started to care about what I put into my body.

But (as I think we all know) learning about health can be super confusing! Aside from general research, it seems like a new health trend or diet pops up every few weeks that is supposed to be the best thing for everyone.

Overall I’m a pretty rational person, but I used to have a really hard time figuring out my workout schedule and diet because of the changing popularity within the health industry. My freshman year of college it was prepackaged protein shakes with no regard to sugar and late-night workouts that kept me awake for hours afterwards. My sophomore year it was hours of cardio and fat-burning supplements. (Terrible, I know!) My junior year it was more cardio and basically starving myself (from an article that said the only thing that matters when losing weight is that you have a significant calorie deficit). And my senior year was full-on veganism and working out regardless of how I felt.

While some of these things work for certain people, nothing I just mentioned really worked for me. I thought it was supposed to because it was supposedly what every celebrity and personal trainer was doing at the time, and it was incredibly frustrated to pursue a lifestyle that was 1) not giving me results, and 2) totally miserable.

And it took me until I was 23 years old, but recently I had an epiphany:

Do what works for you.



Everyone is different. Yes, we all need to eat a balanced diet and drink enough water and stay active to be healthy, but those are still really broad guidelines. If someone is allergic to spinach it’s not going to improve their health, no matter how many vitamins it has! Working out in the morning can be a great start for some people, but if it gives someone a massive headache for the rest of the day, they can probably work out at another time and do just fine!

An example from my own life that covers a couple of different points:

I got pretty serious about veganism a couple of years ago. I thought I’d try it out just for fun, and it actually made me feel better than I ever had after a couple of weeks. I had never tried being a vegan before because I heard things like chicken breast and whey protein were so good for you, and veganism would take those away. Turns out, not everyone needs meat in their diet.

Personally, veganism made me feel amazing. I had more energy and didn’t crash in the afternoon and slept so much better than before. I realized meat was making me feel groggy and bloated and I could find dairy alternatives to anything I wanted. (Dairy had always made me feel sick so I wasn’t consuming very much at this time anyway.)

I liked veganism so much that I started to research constantly. I watched documentaries and read articles and was 100% convinced that no human being had any necessity to consume animal-based products.

One of the things I learned from all this study was that humans didn’t need nearly as much protein as we had always been told. You can find a lot of protein in plants, but if you eat nothing but vegetables and bananas all day, you should be completely fine.

So I did that. (More or less.)

And it worked for me for a while. It was exactly what my body needed and wanted at that time, which was great.

Recently I started working out a lot more and incorporating weights into my training. For the first couple of months I was seeing ZERO progress. Like, so little progress it was kind of unbelievable. I also noticed I had a hard time recovering from my soreness and I was tired all the time.



So I did some more research and I found out that based on my fitness goals, I needed more waaaaay more protein in my diet. As I mentioned before, I was eating almost exclusively fruits and vegetables at this point, so my protein intake was extremely low.

At first I struggled with this. They said I didn’t need that much protein! How am I supposed to know what’s real??

This is when the epiphany came. When I first embraced veganism, I wasn’t working out a lot and wasn’t trying to burn fat or gain muscle. Fruits and veggies made my body feel good and they were really all I needed at the time. But as my goals changed, my diet needed to change as well.

Still staying plant-based, I upped my protein intake and within weeks started seeing the results I was looking for. I was also able to recover from my workouts faster and didn’t feel like a gym session took all my energy for the day.

Continuing on the path of listening to my body, I slowly incorporated eggs and fish into my diet. I was breaking the vegan code, but I needed those extra protein sources and healthy fats. And guess what? I saw even more improvement!

Long story short, just because a diet or workout is trending, it doesn’t mean it’s the only thing that will work for you. Your lifestyle should be based on your health goals and how you feel, not what other people are trying to tell (or sell) you.

Listen to your body and you’ll get the best results!