Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicago News Story about Binge Eating Disorder

Healthbeat Report: Uncontrollable Overeating

What I need to work on (a.k.a. everything about myself)

So maybe this post title is a bit dramatic. I really do feel like I need vast improvement in basically every area of my life though. Here's "the list" of everything I feel that needs work in my life:
1.) I need to recover from my binge eating disorder. This includes:
     a.) eating a healthy amount of calories (1200-1500) daily for my height, frame size and activity level
     b.) finding new coping skills
     c.) developing new habits to replace my highly ingrained ones
2.) I need to adopt as close to a completely vegan diet as possible. This may not be a necessary improvement as far as many people are concerned, but considering how I feel about animals and our current food system it is for me. Plus this diet will fairly easily be super healthy which would surely be a good thing for anyone.
3.) I need to adopt a more active lifestyle. This includes not only going to the gym and traditional workouts but also being more active in my general daily routines.
4.) I need to achieve and maintain a consistent healthy sleep schedule.
5.) I need to live within my means and work towards paying back all my debt.
6.) I need to work on my relationships. This includes refraining from isolating myself and reaching out more.
7.) I need to get organized in my home, my schedule, my time, and my mind! Everything right now feels like chaos.
8.) I need to work on my career. I need to start saving to one day go back to school. In the meantime I need to work at my arts and crafts. If I can support myself as an artist I won't need to go back to school!
If I can achieve these top 8 goals I believe that not only losing 100 lbs but also getting rid of (or at least getting under control) my anxiety and depression would be automatic.
This was a set I put together on polyvore of my New Year's resolutions for 2012.

Pretty much nothing has changed. I think I'm ready to get off my butt and make it change. The only thing giving me motivation is that I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I am a mess

The other day I was asked how old I was and I had to do the math. That’s how much I’ve been ignoring the passage of time lately. I turned 34 four months ago. The last several years seem like a blur.

I still feel like a teenager in a lot of ways and I still live like one somewhat. I’m married to a man-child that loves to play as much as I do and I’m childless by choice. I worked my way up to management at my day job a few years ago but got overwhelmed by the responsibility and work load. I’m now working an entry level position by choice, despite my bachelor’s degree and almost a decade of experience in my field.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since my childhood. I have good days and bad days but I never really feel “better”. My depression causes me to sleep for days at a time with no energy to do anything productive. It makes me avoid my family and friends and shut myself off from the outside world. Conversely, my anxiety gives me insomnia and late night panic attacks, and paralyzes me from doing anything at all. It prevents me from trying new things and causes me to avoid any social situation that involves those people not in my immediate family.   

me from the front
I’m easily 100 pounds over my ideal weight. I have binge eating disorder, which is the most common but also most un-diagnosed eating disorder in the United States. I started compulsively overeating at the age of 11 and was just a little overweight until the age of 19 or 20, when I started steadily gaining and didn’t stop until I reached 226 pounds on my 5 foot 3 inch frame.

I struggle with hoarding and compulsive shopping. I am an “aspirational” hoarder, buying craft supplies for projects I never start, books I never read and clothes I hope to someday fit into. I have massive credit card debt and I’m constantly struggling with money due to my shopping issues.

I have an addictive personality, meaning I seem to “acquire” addictions easily. In addition to eating, hoarding and shopping I will become obsessed with certain television shows or websites and spend unreasonable amounts of time and energy on them, letting my responsibilities and regular routines fall by the wayside.

I feel like I’ve been struggling for years to “fix” myself, to get organized, to be productive and to really live. I’ll do good for a few days and occasionally even weeks before I fall down the rabbit hole of me again.

I’m turning 35 in eight short months and I really want something to show for it. Next October, a year from now, I don’t want to look back and say the last year was another blur with the same old problems that never got any better.

I’ve had this blog for awhile now and only posted in it occasionally, specifically about my arts and crafts projects, ideas and inspiration. I called it My Altered World because of my love of mixed media and altered art projects. I’ve decided to change it up a little and make it a blog about altering my whole self---body, mind, spirit, home and lifestyle. I still plan to include lots of arts and crafts posts because supporting myself as an artist has always been my dream job, and I intend to keep working on that goal even if I never do make it.

My goal as of now is to post at least 3 times a week. Hopefully I can build up to even more. Please join me on my journey to a better me. I welcome support, questions, and respectful criticism.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Etsy For Animals: UP ON TRENDS: Tribal and Native Inspirations by AlteredGirl

Etsy For Animals: UP ON TRENDS: Tribal and Native Inspirations by AlteredGirl

My newest column for Etsy for Animals. Discusses current trends and the lovely items Etsy for Animals offer that fit those trends. Etsy for Animals members donate a portion of their profits to animal rights causes and charities!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

UP ON TRENDS: Natural History

Etsy for Animals-Up on Trends: Natural History by Altered Girl
Check out my latest UP ON TRENDS column, featured on the Etsy for Animals blog!