Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ego Boost

Ok.  When I started this blog, I meant it as a means of recording the milestones of my childrens' lives.  Looking back the past few posts, it's kinda been all about me.

So is this one.

I promise to update ya'll on my kids...soon.

Anywho, a friend of mine showed me this website today that shows the best selling shops on etsy.  The top selling shop has over 170k sales, not $170k IN sales, 170k SALES.  Some day.

That was very impressive and all, but I found that you can see the best selling shop in each of their main categories as well.  Just out of curiosity, I clicked on "holidays" as that is what my shop mostly falls under.

Check out the top seller here. 

That seller has sold more birthday items than anyone else on etsy.  Hm.  Pretty cool.  I'm not overly proud or anything.

Yes I am.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


If you care nothing for my opinion, you may not want to read this post.

You're still reading.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Like millions of Americans, I have found Pintrest.  It has given me many new ideas, several of which I have already put into use (thank you overnight curls!)  I haven't received an invite yet, and I'm starting to think it's for the best.

The reason?

QUOTE after QUOTE after QUOTE after QUOTE after QUOTE regarding exercise.

We as a nation full of women are seriously screwed up.  Please understand that I KNOW I am not perfect, but I do believe that I have a perfect body.

I don't always think that.  Although my weight hasn't fluxuated much in the last 3 years, I too go through the society-driven madness where I hate my body and the "excess" weight I carry.  This on-again-off-again love affair with myself is a residual effect of an INSANE period of my life.  We'll call it "years 16-24."

My Confession:

My name is Devany.  I am a recovering anorexic.  I have told many people bits and peices of my story.  Mostly the obvious parts.  This is not the full story here, but most of it.

When I was 16, I was told that I was getting fat.  Until that moment MY SIZE HAD NEVER CROSSED MY MIND.  NOT EVEN ONCE.  I went running the next day.  I think I ran 2-3 miles. I went running every day after that for years.  Rain, shine, weekends, holidays...all. the. time. 

I started seeing results and was encouraged by it...but I wanted more.   I distinctly remember the run where I decided that exercise was not enough.  I told myself it was about being healthy...but I knew it wasn't true, even then.  I wanted to be thin.  I didn't ever want to be called, look at as, or even though of as fat.  Ever.  I decided then to cut out cheese.  A few days later it was mayo, next went bread, meat, anything that had any sugar in it.  In a few short months I was out of control while, ironically, thinking the whole time that I had all the control. 

I was obsessed.  All I thought about all day long was the next workout, planning the next meal.  I was now running, biking, doing arobics, and still feeling antsy, like there was something more I should do.  I would do sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, lunges, anything I could think of in any spare time I found.  I was eating 1/2 portion of malt-o-meal for breakfast, grapes for lunch, and boiled cabbage, onions, and carrots for dinner.  Every day.  In all, about 600 calories a day.  To combat hunger, I mastered the art of smelling food I wanted to eat, imagining myself eating it, and telling myself I was now full.  I know...crazy.

I lost a LOT of weight.  I was 140 when I started and considered myself fat (hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!)  I got down to 115 before I had to stop weighing myself (no scale at college) and still "needed" to lose more.  Both of you know me, but I am 5'10".  I was probably 115 when I was 10.

That is a taste of the physical crap I went through.  None of which holds a candle to the emotional impact.

I hated myself.  I never looked in the mirror without seeing fat.  Mind you, at this time my nickname among my friends was Skeletor.  I could not think about anything but how fat I was.  It was also all I talked about.  Yep, one o' those losers.  When I walked into a room, I immediately did a scan to see who was fatter than me and, more importantly, who was skinnier.  I hated both groups.  The skinnier for being better than me, the fatter for being lazy and not having any self-control.  I knew they were all judging me.  I knew they all thought the same of me as I did of them.  I judged everyone, including myself.  Every social situation, in my mind, was a competition to see who was the skinniest.  I didn't want to be friends with the "skinnies" because I would look fat next to them, and I didn't want to be freinds with the "fatties" because I didn't want their terrible habits to rub off on me.  I didn't see ANYONE for who they were.  I didn't see MYSELF for who I was.  Everyone was a number on a scale or the inside of their jeans.  Period.

I have talked with enough recovering anorexics to know that we ALL thought this way.  That is how I know this same thought process is happening in anorexics today.

There was a turning point.  Recovery was a process.  IS a process.  I have come so far.  I have gained back a healthy weight...and a little cushion.  That was the easy part.

The hard part was (is) looking in the mirror and being ok with it.  Each pound I gained was horrifying.  I would look in the mirror and panic at what I saw.  I would see the pudge, I see the muffin top, I see the cottage cheese.  I see the thighs.  It was (is) very easy to see. 

The hard part is to choke down the panic...because I still to this day feel the panic I felt back then when I thought I saw a flaw...and see the woman in the mirror who is so much more than the number of miles she ran that day (0), or the amount of saturated fat she ate today (can't say no to that burger and fries!).  She is beautiful.  She is funny (sometimes).  She is intelligent (duh).  She is talented (I can do anything I want to).  She is healthy (purple is a fruit).  She is curvatious.  She has gone through years of healing to get to the point where she can say these things about herself.  She now beleives those words more times than she does NOT believe them.

She also see's others very differently too.  Thankfully, I do not scan the room anymore.  Weight is not the first thing I notice about a person when I meet them.  I get to know people.  I haven't judged another person for their weight in years.  Although, I do get very sad when I see the symptoms of anorexia in those around me.  I want to shake them, hard.  I want to tell them that they don't have to hate themselves.  But, they wouldn't believe me.  I wouldn't have.  I didn't know I hated myself.  I couldn't see it.  Neither can they.  I only see it now.

So Pintrest.  I say to you, "I HATE your motivational exercise quotes, mostly".  Some are not so bad.  But most say something along the lines of...

"Someone busier than you is running right now."

Generally making me feel like a failure for not exercising RIGHT NOW.

Exaclty the mentality I struggle with EVERY day to overcome.  Glorifying it.  Eating me with guilt, the same as those like the me of 18 years ago.  Feeding their crazies.  Fueling the problem.  Passing it on to young girls out there who maybe, like me at that age, haven't yet given their weight a second thought.

Then there are the Curvy-Loving quotes, which are ok, but you read the comments people make about them. One person actually wrote,

"Fat people are gross."

I just want to slap this person.

Your weight is just that...a weight.  It isn't a measure of the kind of person that you are.  It doesn't determine how you should be able to see others.  It doesn't make you better or worse than anyone else.  It isn't tombstone worthy.

So please, those within the realm of my influence (my children), DO NOT PROMOTE THIS THINKING.  The fact that there are so many quotes on the subject means that it is already out of control.  Please stop it where you can.  Do not teach your daughters to think about their weight.  It isn't important.

Please do not misunderstand.  There is nothing wrong with exercise.  I do it once a week...religiously.  But I will not let it take over my life again.  I couldn't even if I wanted to, I'm too busy (shut up Pintrest!).  And that's ok with me.  For today.

Friday, March 9, 2012

So Proud

Near the beginning of the school year I went to parent-teacher conferences where Stevie's 3rd grade teacher informed me that Stevie was not taking tests every week on the books he was reading. 

I kindly informed her that it was because he had been reading the 5th Fablehaven for the past 3-4 weeks.  She then not-so-politely told me that those books were too advanced for him and that he should be reading books on his level. 

Being the kind of person who LOVES authority figures arguing with me, I went home and told Stevie to ignore her. He finished the book, tested on it, and was given the highest reading level of all the kids in his class...purple, whatever that means.

Last month, to my utter delight, Stevie chose to read The Hobbit, all on his own.  I told him after he finished the book and passed the test I would rent the 1977 cartoon version.  Well, we are watching it together tonight.  I am SO proud!

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