Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Anxious on a whole new level

 What is Anxiety? Well, it’s when your heart pounds before a difficult exam or competitive match. That moment before a date when you have butterflies in your stomach. When you get nervous about stepping into your bosses office or you are concerned about family issues. These are all natural reactions… But when they reach a whole new level and worries, fears, or anxiety attacks seem overwhelming and are preventing you from living your life the way you’d like to, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Luckily there are ways you can ease the anxiety and control the attacks. You have the power to take back control of your life!

Anxiety disorders are a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, they can look very different from person to person. Like with most other Mental Illnesses. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Someone else may struggle with a disabling fear of driving, or uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension, worrying about anything and everything.

Despite their different forms, all anxiety disorders share one major symptom: persistent or severe fear or worry in situations where most people wouldn’t feel threatened…

So tonight we asked our followers a little bit about Anxiety and the 6 types of Anxiety Disorders currently defined. First we started by asking them what Anxiety feels like to them? Which anxious moments have they faced?

  • A burglary
  • Facing the parents
  • Exams
  • Job Interview
  • High School graduation
  • Everything

We’ve all experienced most of these feelings… fortunately for most of us, these feelings pass relatively quickly. For someone suffering from anxiety, it generally lasts much longer – sometimes even after the person has left the situation that sparked the panic. So we asked our followers what they do in these situations to calm their nerves and breathe a little easier.

  • Excercise
  • Call a friend
  • Suck on a sweet
  • Coloring books
  • Think positive thoughts
  • Write
  • Listen to music
  • Breathe

These are all great self-help tips that can become life changing habits. In order to take back control of your life and actually enjoy it rather than live in fear of it, sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and face the source. Yes, I know… it’s not easy! But it is worth it! Imagine being able to do all of the things you once loved to do and spend time with those you love without constantly looking over your shoulder waiting for the other shoe to drop… this is possible. Most anxiety disorders are extremely susceptible to treatment.

In the next couple of #TopicsToDiscuss we will be taking a deeper look into the different Anxiety Disorders, namely:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder (Anxiety Attacks)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Phobia
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

And you are all invited to join us on twitter and share your views on all of these subjects.

Please also remember that  many people with anxiety disorders also suffer from depression at some point. Anxiety and depression are believed to stem from the same biological vulnerability, which may explain why they so often go hand-in-hand. Since depression makes anxiety worse (and vice versa), it’s important to seek treatment for both conditions. If you want to talk, we’re here for you and you can also check out this site to get a bit more info and support Anxiety Help Guide

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The Easter Bunny Did It

I remember being about 4 years old and running through the garden asking my mom “am I hot or cold” as I looked everywhere for that deliciously sweet egg that for some odd reason a bunny was leaving in random spots – secretly I hoped that I could follow the trail to the Beacon Chocolate Factory. Those hollow chocolate eggs coated in hard white sweetness were my favorites and back then no one really cared about the toxins in permanent markers so my mother (or as I thought back then: the Eater Bunny) drew cute faces on all of them that almost made me not want to eat them… almost…

Jump to a 10 year old me hanging out with my much older cousins at my grandparents house. It was great! My mother always went way out! Her sisters not so much but she involved all of my cousins – even the much older boys who were too cool for everything else. And we had really elaborate hunts that involved several misleading clues and booby traps. And then there was The Easter Bunny! Caltex was right down the road from my grandparents house (aka close enough for my mother to let me go with the minimal supervision of my cousins for about 20 min without flipping out). This lead to my grandmother mysteriously running out of carrots all weekend and in a non related incident we just happen to stumble among a large stock pile of Caltax Easter goodies. Good times…

When I was 22 and living in the UK I was really not into Easter as I was really far away from my parents and family. So a friend and I were hanging out with Pizza and movies while checking out twitter and the awesome Tony Hawk flooded my timeline (back then I only followed 100 people so if you tweeted more than 5 times a day, it felt like you were flooding my tl). He had an awesome world-wide 24 hour marathon of an Easter Hunt going and people could win skateboards and all sorts of brilliant goodies!! I thought this was so great of him; to take the time to excite his fans.

For the last 2 years I have been organizing my own low key Easter Egg Hunt at work. Last year I only hid 60 and it seemed like more than enough but it’s grown and now there are 200 that I hid and another 200 being hidden by my colleague tomorrow. This year has a little twist that has really helped amp up the excitement and team work aspect of it all. It’s rather cool to see adults jumping up and down when they finally find their first one or when they try to look casual as if to say “who me? looking for an easter egg? no… I’m to old for that” while secretly checking every corner and behind every door. Last year I could get away with hiding things in plain sight, this year, that was a little more difficult… Really had to challenge a few of them, which in turn challenged me and gave me the same excitement that they were getting from the search. I am proud to say there are still a few that have not been found yet!

I hope that when I’m a hundred and four and have grand kids around me during this particular holiday, that I will still have the same excitement I do now and that I will still be able to appreciate how something so simplistic and uncomplicated can bring so much joy.

Happy Easter!

Reality of Recovery

There are so many people still suffering in silence. That’s more astonishing when you consider how many people use the internet every single day and have access to knowledge and support and help, yet it does not always seem like enough.

One of our aims with Don’t Lose Your Grip is to give others who are going through or have been through the struggles that we are facing a platform to speak openly and honestly and most importantly in a judgment free environment. Our weekly #TopicsToDiscuss does just this.

Tonight we back to our routes a bit and reminded our followers that we do these discussions because we have been there… It really is that simple, we have been in similar situations and we want know how much opening up about these issues that are considered taboo has meant for our recovery.

From a personal perspective: I haven’t really been eating in a healthy manner and I can feel it throughout my body. I can feel my energy levels dwindling and my control slowly dissolving. I know that this is not acceptable and that I can’t go back to the beginning of my eating disorder struggle. I can’t go through all of this pain and loneliness again. I can’t start all over again. I can’t give up all of my triumphs in one foul sweep. I simply can’t! For the last week I have been eating only my 3 favourite foods. And only eating half portions… This scares me. I know how hard I have worked to get to this point of not allowing my eating habits to control me; I know how many times I cried and begged for help without anyone being able to read the signs and I don’t want to go through it again; I don’t want to go back to that lonely place where I hate myself.

By now I’ve realized that I am not alone in my struggle and whatever I’m going through, there is probably someone else out there who feels to same. So we asked our followers to share their recovery fears with us. These were some of their fears 

–          Not knowing when you will relapse

–          Fearing the relapse

–          Not knowing if it will ever happen again

–           The fear of losing my strength

–          That doubt in my mind that I never did fully recover and it will happen again

–          The fear that I’ll never actually beat it, that it’ll just be sitting there waiting for me to mess up again

It comes down to realizing that there is still so much about eating disorders that people have not been able to articulate or understand. These are all things that you won’t find on a recovery pamphlet. People don’t talk about the reality of recovery openly enough. This sets us up for a dangerous fall because we have no idea what to expect and that builds so much anxiety and fear. We need to talk about these issues more openly! We really need to get to a stage where people do not judge you for the label of your disorder.

And then, as soon as you open up about your disorder, everyone wants to ‘fix’ you. And as they through their ignorant comments about, they don’t realize that they are actually hurting you a lot more. This is why we asked our followers what the worst advice was that they have received regarding their eating disorders. This is what they shared

–          “You’re doing it for attention; you’re being so selfish”

–          “Just get over it”

–          “Just eat one”

–          “you need to get some chips inside you”

–          “You’ve got to have SOMETHING!”

–          “When you’re at work, leave your issues outside”

–          “Go on a diet”

–          “your being pathetic now, grow up”

–          “you are too fat to have had an ED”

There were a few extra implying that you can just switch your disorder on or off whenever you feel like it. Plus a few where they were told that it was their choice to suffer from an eating disorder. These ignorant comments saddens me… if you do not understand what someone is going through, don’t patronise them by spewing out the first phrase that comes to mind. If you really want to help, give them a hug and tell them the truth: tell them that you don’t understand and that you just don’t get it. At least that way we have the opportunity to give you more information and let you in on the other side of ED; the side that no one really talks about.

One of our followers commented that some think we do it for attention. So when people die from EDs, is that for attention seeking too? It really hit home how much these simple little phrases can affect our choices and lives. Simply by allowing an ignorant and negative comment in, we’re placing ourselves at risk. Going on a diet to reduce the amount of food intake or your weight can result in an over correction and lead to anorexia or bulimia and all the way back to over eating again. Finding a balance is hard under any circumstances but when you have this shadow of an ED constantly following you around; it makes the subject a lot more sensitive. When someone mentions food, your mind automatically races to figure out what they are implying about you; how this mention of food will affect you and what everyone else expects you to do about it or how they expect you to react to it… That is a lot of thought that goes into just one bite. There is a lot more to an eating disorder than just eating.

The emotions that are involved are far more powerful than the physical aspects. The scars that we hind behind our ED are the ones that last the longest and you can be on the healthiest eating plan in the world but if you do not take care of the emotions behind it, you cannot succeed. We asked our followers which things have resulted in their relapses. These were just a few

–          SCALES!!!! They always renew the obsession with getting on multiple times a day

–          Magazines like Vanity Fair which forces the idea that being super, dangerously skinny is beauty

–          Too many bills to pay and pressure of everyday life

–          Normalisation of junk food always tells me I’ll be able to eat it this time… because other people can

Realising that the things that most people do not give a second thought to affects you this much is tough… Trying to remove them from your life or finding ways around the pressure is just as tough and when you have to do all of this while being judged, it a hundred times worst. That lead us to ask what has helped our followers find the strength to keep fighting and we got two very clear answers

–          Support from friends or family

–          Music

Having someone who can remind you of all of your strength and beauty when you cannot see it, is extremely powerful. Having someone to go to when nothing makes sense is very useful and knowing that you can build up a relationship of trust where they see you for more than just your diagnosis, is truly amazing. Support is a big part of recovery.

We have been big advocates of the power of music from the get go. We have always believed that music is just one more way to express how you feel and remind you that someone else has also been there and experienced the same trials and emotions and they made it… If they can do it, so can you. Music gives hope when words fail. Also the reason we’re dedicating our #InspirationalSongOfTheDay competition to #20DaysOfRae by Rae Earl.

So what did this 2hour conversation between friends in a safe environment mean? Well, maybe nothing to you… But for me, it was great to talk about the things that society tells me to keep secret and it is nice to be reminded that you are not alone every once in a while. It validates the feelings I have by showing me that I am not the odd one out. It reminds me that I have a lot of support.

Ok, so it’s not exactly a world changing event but it’s a start… It’s a place for people to express what’s on their mind without being afraid of the judgement and everyone is welcome.

Reason To Smile

It’s easy to get bogged down by the weight of daily life. Whether it is work that is piling on the pressure or family dinamics complicating your thoughts or simply just one of those days… we all go through it and often forget that we can change our outlook.

We have the power to adjust the way we approuch the world and if we choose to, we can see the glass as half full rather than half empty. But we have to choose to see it that way. Generally I try to approach things with positivity but when you are plagued with depression, it’s not always that easy. I think I try to over compensate for the depression by being incredibly hyper active in my positivity – when I can muster it up. This week I have been able to fight back against my depression with a little more results than usual so I am making the most of my positivity and hoping it will rub off on the people around me.

With that, we, at Don’t Lose Your Grip have decided to challenge all of our followers to kick start the day with a positive thought. There is a reason to smile in every moment, sometimes you just have to look a little harder… So be part of the positive energy and tweet out your #ReasonToSmile every time you log on to twitter.

Sending loads of positive energy your way

Innocence Where There Is None

We have all been through some tough stuff growing up; some of our issues are more obvious than others; some are way too easy to hide but ultimately we all have our own daemons to face every single day. So it’s not hard to believe that we lost our innocence a really long time ago.

But there was this one place we could go, we could just be ourselves – sometimes a little more confident self – and not have to worry about the judgement of others. Here’s the best part, everyone has access to this amazing place because it’s all wrapped up in two little words: social media.

Yeah, that’s right: Twitter, Facebook and Skype are just some of the places where so many of us have found a voice and the confidence to be honest with ourselves about all of the confusion we have to live through. If you’ve never felt alone or lost you probably wouldn’t understand the appeal of spilling your guts on the internet in the hopes that just maybe you will find someone out there who is willing to listen and maybe even help you understand yourself… That first moment when someone else accidentally (sort off) blurts out their inner most emotions and you recognise them as your own, that moment is pure bliss. Just knowing that you are not alone in whatever pain you are facing is such a relief!

Many people in the field of psychology are of the opinion that putting a lot of people with ‘issues’ in one room will only lead to chaos and a full-blown meltdown but then there are those of us who have set out to prove them wrong. See, from experience I can tell you that it’s not always easy to watch your new-found friends being sad or trying to make it through that dark place because it reminds you of how easy it is to slip back into old habits. But there is safety in numbers and nothing can keep all of you down for long… So sooner or later, after the crying and some random fighting, you end up just talking…

Being allowed to breathe and smile and laugh and cry and sing all in the same moment is a real gift. You get advice from 20 different sources so you only have to take the one that suites you best aka the one you would have made anyway, it would just have taken you longer. You get to debate the existence of Pluto in its capacity as a planet while discussing your favorite song on YouTube and pouring your heart out to someone who has also been there…

Those moments of laughing over our elaborate gourme sandwiches and trying to sync our live streaming videos while video dancing on Skype… those are the moments that can get you through the bad times. Having 12 conversations at the same time and confusing the hell out of each other… those are the moments that give you strength when your pillow is stained with tears. Playing your favourite music artist in shuffle mode just to see how many times you can get your songs to match with someone on the other side of the world… those are the moments that help us smile when we seem to have no other reason to.

Those are the memories I cherish. In those tiny moments of happiness that seem to last forever, we get to experience ‘innocence’. Something depression or being bullied or feeling alone took from us; something we forgot we ever really had.

If you have a moment where you can find someone who has survived what you are currently going through, then you are lucky. Take it and keep it and remember that you may feel alone right now but when you are willing to open up, you will find that you are a lot less alone.

Stop Self Hate

As you guys know by now we’ve been pretty focused on Don’t Lose Your Grip and spreading the word about trusting your own self-worth and helping others to find theirs.

The great thing about our Twitter account is all the people we’ve met. The way the world is going it seemed to me like we were the only ones who were this annoyed with the way people were treating each other, as it turns out: we’re not alone!

The responses we’ve been getting has been overwhelming in such a great way and it’s brilliant to see how so many people are willing to be open and honest about all of their problems and sharing their hope and strength not just with us but everyone involved. One of the people I came across recently is Kendra Sebelius. She’s started a movement called ‘Stop Self Hate’. Like ours it’s relatively new but the concept has been around for ages… Basically, being mean to yourself is easy but being nice to yourself takes work. Any of you P!nk underdogs out there will remember Alecia saying the same thing on her Try This tour DVD, as well as with one of her latest songs ‘F***ing Perfect’.

Stop Self Hate is focused on teaching you and me and everyone who’s willing to listen, how to change the voices in their head and well, stop the self hatred we keep holding on to. Simple things we can do every day, it truly makes a difference… The greatest thing I’ve learned over the last 3 weeks of our project is how quickly it spreads: if you can love yourself and be confident and comfortable, you give the people around you permission to be confident and comfortable too. It’s actually quite simple! Which is why I find it laughable that we as the human race didn’t figure this out sooner?

Seriously! How ridiculous is it that we can create all sorts of crazy electronics yet we can’t find the courage to be nice to each other or even ourselves? So I applaud Kendra and every single one of you who are willing to step up and put in the work to be nice to yourself and stop self hate! We are at an incredible impasse and we have this amazing opportunity to change the world back to a place we actually want to live in. Take this opportunity!!! You know I can make it about saving the world or saving your best friend but ultimately it comes down to you. You can’t take responsibility for the entire world, trust me it’ll drive you crazy. However, you can take responsibility for yourself and you can stop self hate and you can allow yourself to be amazing!

So you, yes I really do mean you reading these words somewhere around the world! Do yourself a favour and check out Stop Self Hate and if you’re part of the Twitter universe you owe it to yourself to follow @stopselfhate and @voiceinrecovery.

Just on a side note though: There are some really amazing people in this world and they are doing brilliant things that you and I can be part of. I applaud Chrisselle for her honest vulnerability every single day and find tremendous inspiration in it. I wish all of you could meet her and draw strength from her the way I do…

As always, you know you can reach me on twitter or at @dontloseyourgrip.

Much love,

AM

More than you need to know about me

So while I was away on a little African Safari, twitter was all caught up in #100factsaboutme. Besides the fact that I hate missing out on things [one of the reasons I am not a fan of sleeping] my friend Chrisselle has honestly and with intense vulnerability written down 100 facts about herself, so I figured, I ought to step up and do the same…

Part of me wants to just copy and paste Chrisselle’s list because, excluding 11 facts, we’re pretty much on the same wave length. But I will attempt to find a hundred original facts about myself. Good luck reading this!

  1. I’m an only child
  2. I have brother issues
  3. I’ve always loved being short
  4. My family is my biggest strength and my greatest weakness
  5. My happiest moments involve playing on the grass
  6. Tequila and Vodka are my friends
  7. I don’t like drinking but I can out drink most people and this is mainly due to being part of the hotel industry and partially because as a South African I never backed down from a challenge
  8. I have skeletons in my closet that no one will ever even look for
  9. Yellow is my favourite colour because to me it represents gold and winning
  10. I’m a typical Gemini and wouldn’t have it any other way
  11. I am weary of Virgos, simply because I tend to trust them most and they tend to hurt me most
  12. Since I was 12 I wanted to be a movie director
  13. Reached that particular goal when I was 18
  14. Changed that dream when I turned 19
  15. I never saw getting a drivers licence as ‘freedom’
  16. And that’s probably due to the fact that I never thought I’d reach my 19th birthday, so found it sort of pointless to believe in ‘freedom’ I could only attain when I’m 18
  17. I’m a twitter addict! And I wouldn’t have it any other way
  18. I don’t actually know what my follower counts are but I can tell you what intrigues me about every single person I do follow
  19. I love talking and that is one of the reasons I started my blog, because writing is just another form of expression
  20. I use to drive my photography teacher crazy with my intense interpretations of every image
  21. But that was also the reason I was head-hunted before I graduated high school
  22. I can’t believe how pompous this list is making me sound
  23. Anyone who really knows me, knows I don’t get offended easily but once you manage to offend me, it’ll be tough for you to make it back into my good graces
  24. I’m instinctively protective so be warned that if you target my friends you are guaranteed an enemy in me
  25. I don’t believe in buying love and if you try to buy mine, I’m instantly annoyed
  26. Needles to say I’m not that great at receiving gifts because I question the thought behind them
  27. I guess the same goes for accepting compliments or maybe I’m still just having trouble believing that I deserve all the amazing things going for me
  28. I’m still mad at my mother for a lie she told in 2007 even though I completely understand why she lied
  29. My dad and his brother has far more in common than anyone realizes and I’m the only person to have had the privilege of seeing all the sides there is to them
  30. I dislike feeling vulnerable which is why so many of the things on this list is very superficial
  31. There is nothing more amazing than falling asleep in the arms of someone who loves you
  32. I have an incredibly high threshold for pain but a ridiculously low tolerance for it
  33. Out of my entire body, my favourite thing is my tongue
  34. My least favourite is my hair because I cannot control it but this in return makes me love it too
  35. When I was still living with my mother we use to fight constantly and eventually [after trying every self help tactic with utter failure] I started a mental diary of our fights and came to the conclusion that every fight involved my hair. Either I was doing or washing my hair at the time or we were talking about it or simply just thinking about it.
  36. Telling my mother about this strange conclusion resulted in my hair becoming an off limit topic and magically it really decreased our squabbling
  37. There are only 3 people on this planet who can call me ‘sweetie’ without me responding in a hostile manner… I don’t know why
  38. I despised being called a baby. My mother did it once [granted I was still a baby and only about 13months old] but 20seconds later I through my bottle of mild against the wall and completely shattered it. I haven’t drank milk at night since and my mother hasn’t called me a baby since
  39. I’m running out of things because Chrisselle already wrote 89 of them…
  40. I’ve already had 2 cups of coffee while trying to write this
  41. My three favourite animals are Cheetah’s, Polar-bears and Zebra’s [also the reason I write them with capital letters]
  42. It feels like I’ve written way more than 42 facts about myself
  43. At this moment in time I have 34 unread messages in my inbox on Facebook
  44. My favourite day of the week is Monday, mainly because it buys me time to get everything done before the end of the week
  45. Needles to say, Friday is the most annoying day to me because it just reminds me of how many things I did not make time to do and Sundays were just a nuisance because I was so close to Monday but still stuck on a very unproductive day.
  46. I quit playing netball when I was 12 and told my head master I would only play again if they fired our coach who were swearing at my friends and made than feel less than worthy. They only did it 2 years later. My friends and I swapped to hockey and were much happier.
  47. I’ve never smoked or used any drugs besides doctors prescriptions
  48. I’m actually suppose to take pills for nausea but since I don’t like the loss of control that comes with being on medication my entire life, I’m refusing too
  49. I use to faint at least once a week, now I’m slightly better at pre-empting the strike
  50. The first time I drank coffee was at an outdoors camp when I was 10 and I only took 3 sips
  51. The longest I have been awake continuously without sleep was 86hours
  52. Hour 36 always seems to be the one in which I’m most tired but everyone around me thinks I’m most alert. Go figure.
  53. My biggest pet peeve is when someone leaves the dish towel in the sink
  54. My OCD nature is over ruled by the calming effects of the oceans waves and my grandmothers soothing voice
  55. This fixation is also the reason I appreciate the universal remote!
  56. I couldn’t live without cheese or chocolate no matter how bad it is suppose to be for me
  57. I thrive on stress and find an odd strength in being overwhelmed
  58. I am also the best person to have by your side in a chaotic situation
  59. On the other side of the coin, I am not the person you would ask advice such as: which hair scrunchy goes with these shoes.
  60. I slaughtered my first chicken when I was 4years old
  61. When I had my tonsils removed the only thing I ate [mostly because my mother let me] was salt and vinegar crisps and Vienna sausages
  62. One Christmas my mother forbid my dad to buy me yet another remote control car, so he bought me a Barbie car
  63. Despite the fact that I am 100% tomboy, I was also the president of the Barbie club when I was 5-7
  64. I belonged to more clubs in my lifetime than I can count
  65. I’ll try everything once… I was even a cheerleader for 3 days… then I came to my senses
  66. I wrote a Java programme that shuffled cards when I was 17, might not sound like much but if you understand null-pointer exceptions you’ll appreciate my frustration
  67. To me the coolest thing about London Underground is its potential to fake your own death
  68. If something happened to my laptop, I really really would cry!
  69. There are only a hand full of people I would allow to operate or even touch my cameras
  70. I had a 10 year feud with a women 15 years older than me because I felt that she stole my uncle by marrying him
  71. Many years, lots of conversations, several snakes and three cousins later, she is on my list of 5 women I couldn’t live without
  72. I’ve always loved Haley Joel Osment and despite working with Spielberg twice before his 10th birthday, my favourite of his films are still Pay It Forward and its amazing message.
  73. When we played Power Rangers I always fought the boys to be red ranger. [original power rangers, not the new stuff]
  74. My favourite glass in our house was made out of plastic and had palm trees on and we got them at an aviation show when I was about 4… a lot happened that year but standing there with my dad and seeing how proud he was of his country and air force made me love him even more
  75. I attribute a lot of my values to movies I watched when I was younger
  76. I still live my life by 4 rules I made on the playground before I could even write my own name
  77. On my mother’s side of the family, we are 14 grandchildren [oldest already has 2 kids and the youngest was born less than a month ago] and on my dad’s side, I am the only grandchild
  78. I absolutely hate cancer and since 3 different types run in my family I am at incredibly high risk
  79. I am not afraid of dying but I am afraid of not finishing
  80. If I sleep more than 4 hours, I get incredible headaches and my eyes burn like I’ve been playing computer games all night
  81. I do believe in premonitions [or whatever you want to call them]. Mainly because dá jè vú is not a big enough word
  82. I have literally watched Mulan more than 146 times… in one summer!
  83. I have squatted in an abandoned building with other artists, mainly because of the intriguing image James Cameron and Jessica Alba created in Dark Angel
  84. I also made out with a French lesbian at a 60’s style Country Night…. Long story that I still have trouble not laughing about
  85. I have lied to protect someone I love very much and even though I will not take back the lie, I hate that it makes me a hypocrite
  86. 86.   My favourite quote is: Imagination is worth more than knowledge for imagination is what you do with knowledge
  87. 87.   I whole heartedly believe that it is still possible for us to achieve world peace… it’s just going to take a lot of work but I’m up for it!
  88. 88.   I’m not sure I believe in love at first sight however I have loved the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with since I met him
  89. 89.   I’m not one of those people who love loads of music artists; I simply just love music as a whole. However, Alecia Beth Moore [aka P!nk] is one artist I truly admire as a person as a whole and will proudly call myself an Underdog for
  90. 90.   Really excited that I finally made it to the last leg of this list
  91. 91.   I once called my manager/ friend at work on a Saturday morning; hung up just as she answered; called again and in all my slobbery crying glory asked her for advice on dealing with my mother and her boyfriend. Her response: say what you have to then say you have got to go and just hang up. As simple as it sounds, that answer really did save my life
  92. 92.   When my grandmother was first diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, I chased all of my aunts out of the house for fighting. To the extent where they were sitting on the lawn across the street, not even daring to enter my grandparents’ yard. I am still pretty chuffed about this
  93. 93.   I know things about my friends that they will only discover themselves in a few years
  94. 94.   I always wanted to live in a castle with secret passages, mainly so I can rollerblade indoors
  95. 95.   I have never bought clothes I could not climb a tree in
  96. 96.   If my pillow falls off the bed, I will be awake before it hits the floor… I’m normal that way
  97. 97.   Even though my friends are awesome, I still occasionally have trouble remembering that I can trust them
  98. 98.   I’m out spoken and I have no problem backing up every word that comes out of my mouth and as a consequence I get pretty annoyed when someone walks away from a fight
  99. 99.   I love building things and pretending to be an engineer with my brilliant grandfather

And last but certainly not least:

  1. 100.                        I love my life!

 

So, now you know a few more things about me… probably more than you wanted to. But it would be even better if you took the time to ask me directly about these or any other things you may have heard about me. You can always get me on twitter at @am_mf or recently on @dontloseurgrip [the amazing charity event @iwrestledahammy created to change the world].

As long as it took me to write this incredibly boring post, I can’t help but laugh at the fact that you actually had to read it.

Thank you,

AM

@MrKennethTong’s Retraction

The conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe that Mr Kenneth Tong’s retraction of all his obscenities is just his way of back paddling.

For those of you not exactly in the loop, this guy basically enraged half the world by stating that thinner is always better. He also went way overboard by stating that there’s such a thing as ‘managed anorexia’ which is where he picked up most of his haters. This debate about body image and eating disorders have been going on for about a week now and last night @MrKennethTong proclaimed via Twitter that it was all a hoax. That he only did it to prove a point. Basically he endangered hundreds of lives and billions of minds to win a bet.

If you think I’m giving this guy way too much credit, then maybe you haven’t been paying attention to social media! This man, whoever he may be, proved that you can go from nothing to world famous using less than 140 characters. Another example of social marketing gone wrong is this Australian company who decided to use a tragedy like floods to gain popularity and well, needless to say instead of people liking it, they were looking for the ‘just donate asshole!’ button. If anyone in the 21st century still doubts the importance of social networking, you’ll probably catch up next week when all of this news makes it to your TV screen…

To get back to the dipshit who managed to bring up insecurities in SO many people simply by typing a few letters on a keyboard, while hiding away behind his computer screen: I’ve been wondering why we as a population got so upset? The majority of the world believes that inner beauty is what really matters. So if we believe that we should not judge each other and that no one should be allowed to judge us then all that remains is, well… us. Did we get so upset simply because we walk around judging ourselves all day? Did this guy accidently manage to stumble upon something we all thought wasn’t a problem anymore? Honestly I cannot explain why we all got on our high horse, advocating self love and looking deeper than appearances, unless we did it to convince ourselves. Why else would everyone on my twitter feed have thrown in their two sense?

I actually think Twitter was the best place for this debate to start. Firstly because of the shear amount of human traffic: you can’t deny that news spreads quicker and feedback is instant. Secondly and slightly more importantly: how many of you actually know what the people on your feed look like? I can honestly say that out of the 90 people I follow, I only know what a handful of them actually look like. So, on a site like Twitter, the temptation of judging a book by its superficial cover is completely removed. With social media it is your opinions and thoughts that create the appearance not your age or body size. Did we accidently manage to create the start of an utopian-like world by getting so into social networking? Maybe, maybe we still have a long way to go. Maybe these outrageous comments have sparked a trend to ensure that people never stop standing up for their beliefs or at least remain willing to fight for their opinions.

In the end it doesn’t really matter what Mr Kenneth Tong really believes because he’ll still be spending this week and a great deal of his life talking to the media about eating-disorders. No matter what his intention was, he got people to think and that’s never a bad thing…

Sharing my view,

AM

I’m Fat!

I’m thinking of writing a cook book! Ok… not really. As much as I love cooking, I still have no idea what I’m doing; I’m just winging it.

If any of you are wondering how I managed to get an A in home-economics without picking up the culinary art, well it’s quite simple: my best friend was the top teen chef in the country! We’d do projects together and I’d just do the salads along with the washing up and measuring… I left all the real cooking to her. I use to see food as just an irritating waste of time and occasionally I still do but that’s only because I’m forced to over think it. I have this annoying little liver condition called Gilbert Syndrome. It’s not a big deal, in fact if you look it up in a medical journal it’ll only tell you two things: one being its name and the other to not misdiagnose it as Jaundice. Basically my liver can’t produce the chemical that removes all the bad stuff that get trapped by biliruben in your bloodstream. So when my biliruben levels get too high, my skin becomes yellow and I pretty much feel nauseous all the time.

When I first discovered it, I didn’t find it difficult to change my entire lifestyle because I knew if I didn’t I’d be in bed all day feeling like death warmed up simply for the sake of eating a few French fries. So I cut out all things fatty and everything remotely sweet, except cheese and Smarties and replaced it with loads of fruit! I also drank insane amounts of water. Even though all these things made me feel better during normal daily activity, it still didn’t prevent me from fainting once a week and since I refused to be on pills for the rest of my life, I had to find other ways of dealing with nausea.

The point I’m getting at is that we all have different bodies and they react differently to all sorts of food. For instance, if I eat a teaspoon of sugar I need to drink 5 glasses of water just to balance it out. It’s really annoying when someone asks you if you would like a cookie and you have to spend a minute analyzing whether this moment of pleasure is really worth it! Thankfully not everyone is forced to think about their food as much as I am but subconsciously, it’s what we’re all doing. Society has taught us that we should feel guilty for eating anything that’s not green or has been cooked with something other than water; that added spices like salt should make you feel bad and even eating meat is practically a crime. Well that’s pathetic! No one can tell you what you like or what to eat!

No one has the right to make you question your food choices or doubting your beauty! Yes, of course eating only greasy food is bad for you, which is why your body will give you a clear indication when it has had enough. And yes, if you have trouble walking up the stairs to your room, then maybe you should practice that a few more times during the day but this is all very subjective. You cannot judge yourself by anyone else’s standards nor should you ever allow anyone else to make you feel like you’re not measuring up to their standards…

I like the food I eat and as long as I do it in balance, it’s all good. I’m not thin and I really don’t think I’ll ever be thin but I’m happy. Yes I could do with a few more sit ups but that’s just because I’m comparing myself to the way I looked when I was 16. We don’t stay 16 forever ~ which I’m really glad about! Our bodies change throughout our lives and we need to realize that. Your body isn’t the only thing to you; it isn’t even the main thing. If you lose a finger nail, will that make you any less you? No! Of course not, because there is so much more to us than our finger nails and our hair and our dress size.

 We have the ability to think and feel and care and make choices! These are the things that matter not the shell it is all kept in. My grandmother use to say: “What other people think of you is none of your business.” At first I thought she was just clueless but then I thought about it and it made sense. We live in a world where we are so afraid that people won’t like us or that we don’t dress as well as that person or make as much money as our neighbour. None of these things really matter! There are people dying in our backyards and wondering where their next meal will come from and instead of trying to figure out how we’ll ever manage world peace, we spend hours in front of the mirror criticizing ourselves and breaking down our self confidence simply because we have forgotten how to see the people inside the Levi Jeans. We see all these superficial things and think that that is what makes a man. Guess what? It doesn’t!

Looking perfect and feeling perfect are two very different things! I’m amazed I’ve written this much without quoting a P!nk song. Obviously we all have days of feeling like we just don’t measure up and it’s exactly for those moments P!nk has written the song F***ing Perfect! “You’re so mean, when you talk about yourself, you are wrong! Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead.”

 Listen to the lyrics and believe every word! We’re all f***ing perfect and unique. If the people in your life can’t see it, then they don’t deserve to be in your life!

Sharing my view,

AM

PS: This post came as a result of my disrupted Twitter feed. Some guy who thinks he has the right to judge everyone else and tell them they are not worth as much as the person who wears a size zero, upset a lot of my friends and I just hope one day he’ll be able to look himself in the mirror and realize he has to change the voices in his head. Yes, I’m talking to you Mr Kenneth Tong. FYI: It really annoys me that I have to refer to such an ignoramus as ‘Mr’ but hopefully we’ll get @MrKennethTong silenced on Twitter!

PPS: Check out this amazing blog by my friend Chrisselle (aka @iwrestledahammy)

Size zero must go! http://j.mp/hpEe2o

Talking to strangers

When we’re little our parents spend a lot of time trying to teach us right from wrong and how to be responsible and safe. Then we grow up and somewhere along the line we discover that they weren’t always right…

My mother use to tell me not to speak to strangers. It seems very simple and logical. I’m sure I’ll tell my kids the same thing one day. But when you’re 4 everyone is pretty much a stranger so if we were to take it literally, we’d never make any friends or even be afraid to raise our hand in the classroom because our teacher qualifies as a stranger to some extent. So how do we know that some people are bad and dangerous and fall into the category of stranger when we’re little and somehow when we’re all grown up, we end up surrounded by strangers we’ve let in only to realize they will hurt us more than the ones we wouldn’t let in?

If I honestly look at my life right now, one of the best parts of my day is to talk to people I have never met and most of them I probably never will. Talking to random strangers about everything to the extent where most of them know me better than my family ever could. In case you’re not caught up yet: I’m talking about Twitter. I get to talk to people who have nothing in common with me except our matching free time. I get to experience the world from someone else’s perspective. And then one day you wake up and something really exciting happened and instead of calling your best friend or your mother or your favourite cousin, you can’t wait to share it with this stranger on the other side of the world, you can only recognize through their ip address.

So this is what our mothers tried to protect us from? Of course I know that’s not true… They just don’t want us to get into a car with a guy will kidnap us. Or maybe they’re afraid that we’ll meet other people who will influence us more than they can… This is fair enough but in a way they are narrowing our view and pretty much forcing us to rebel and run from them in order to find our own perspective. Think about it, it’s not that farfetched! They want to protect us by keeping certain things from us and it works… for a while… As a parent it’s hard to define where that line is. Do you answer every question your children ask even when you think they are too young to know the truth or that the truth will hurt them? Well obviously my answer is: Yes! But then again, I don’t have kids yet!

My parents answered every question I ever had and I appreciate it because I like knowing things but it also made me older than the years I carry. If I had to choose, I wouldn’t change it but maybe I’ll want to protect my kids for a bit longer, instead of dealing with them as adults when they are only 4… As far as strangers go, I think we should all go back to being little kids and trusting our inner voice to know which people we can trust and which we should stay away from… Maybe our civilization is moving in that direction, where we are more willing to share our deepest thoughts and fears through blogs to anyone who’ll read it. And actively converse with people whose name we barely know about the daily ins and outs of our lives through Twitter and have public fights and conversations for all to see.

We live in a world where you can find out almost anything about anyone if you look hard enough and it’s like we’re not afraid. Not afraid of being judged or hurt or laughed at. If we can do this on the net, does that make it easier for us to do the same in real life? Has the internet become so intertwined in our lives that it can no longer be considered separate from ‘real life’? Is it a good thing that we’d rather vent our frustrations to a million strangers on a website than fight it out with the people we share a house with? Maybe, maybe not…. Maybe it just gives us a way to come to grips with what we’re actually feeling so that we can skip the confusion and annoying bickering and skip straight to the deep stuff and making it all better.

I like talking to strangers and learning something new, not just about them and their lives but usually I also end up learning something about myself. I’m also learning to trust that not everyone is out to hurt me and even if they do, I’ll survive!

Just a thought,

AM