Venting time

These past couple of days have felt like Deja vu.

I am back at where I started. I am 28 now. I am unhappily employed. I compare myself to other people and their jobs. I’m a pro at evading. I’m 24 again.

What did my 24 year old self did that got me right back here? She planned and promised but failed to develop either discipline or commitment. She moved from one comfort zone to another. She kept it quiet, not wanting to disturb. She pleased people. She kept herself down by not acknowledging her abilities. She was afraid to shine. She avoided listening to her gut (even though it was screaming out loud).

What is my gut saying right now?

Don’t quit French lessons, you’re doing amazing and it has a purpose, I promise. Keep writing on your blog. Honour yourself by keeping your promises. Develop discipline. Work hard(er). Flee the country.

What would I say to my 24 year old self?

You will travel as much as you wish to (Missouri, NY, Chicago, Paris, London, and multiple times to the beach). The trips will exceed your expectations: reality does beat imagination. You’ll be very happy and unhappy because such is life (but happiness rules most of your life). You’ll learn French and succeed at it. You’ll get closer to real friends and discard the phony ones. You’ll lose 10 pounds in 5 months. You’ll enjoy taking care of yourself. You’ll binge on chocolates… and laughter and love. You’ll face rejection and write about it, and that will help you learn, hence grow. Love, your future, awesome self. “

 

 

 

 

Stuck to say the least

I’m in a job where I like what I do… most days. Some days I don’t feel like I’m growing or going anywhere and even though I wouldn’t have studied something other than Graphic Design, I sometimes wonder:

Why can’t I earn more money?

Why can’t I be independent?

Why can’t I be at my ideal, healthy weight?

Why can’t I have better exercise habits?

Why can’t I be braver to quit my job and find something that fulfills me?

Why can’t I be more talented, more beautiful, more centered and smart?

The answers to these questions are unknown. I hope I’m not just a mediocre human being who will always be mediocre in every aspect of my life.

 

The going to the beach post

I remember how I would fantasize about going on a trip to the beach with my younger cousins donning a bikini to show off my enviable physique. In my head I thought being fit and hot would make my cousins like and accept me. I would not picture anything else but them being amazed by my looks. Well, that trip just happened and even though I don’t look like I did on my mind, I do feel like it. You see, it was a wise person who told me that true self confidence starts from the inside out, not the other way around. And boy was she right.

I made smart, loving decisions on this trip. I decided not to let my insecurities keep me from enjoying myself. Yes, I have cellulite but that didn’t impede me from walking on the beach without a beach wrap. I chose to clumsily paddle-board instead of witnessing how others did it from afar. These decisions were so liberating for me, so groundbreaking! I remember going to the beach and hiding myself under the water, or not going in the water at all dreading the walk from the sand to where the sea covered my imperfect body. I embrace those imperfections now, I love them. How cool it would have been for me to realise this sooner! I would have not avoided trips and experiences like I did before recovery.

In this trip I realised how much more important it is to be a free, fun, loving person than having a “hot” body ever will be. I was visualizing the wrong picture before. I didn’t visualize the laughter, the talks, the fun games, the cool places, the dancing, the singing, the bonding, the L I V I N G.

I finally understand how much time is wasted focusing on stupid insecurities rather than on living in the moment.

Today I am grateful for recovery because I am getting to know and accept the real me and she is pretty damn awesome 😉

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“You’re perfect”

The best things in life are unplanned

This is us at the Standard Hotel Rooftop bar. This is the place where Beyoncé partied after the Met Gala. If I would have known this fact before I went in, I would have kissed the floor she once set foot on. 20140710_193203The best things in life are unplanned. We had planned to go to “Le Bain” at the Standard Hotel but it was closed for a private event. They sent us to the “Boom Boom Room” instead. We knew we were dressed down but went to take a look at it and maybe spot a celebrity or take a picture of the place. I mean, this is a bar where Miranda Kerr takes casual drinks at. 69a07e34377e469ccce1ab31d90d3705boom-boom-roomWe take a peek in awe and right when we were turning around to leave, the hostess tells us: “Actually you guys are perfect, the rule here are no sneakers or shorts, you can go in if you want to”. Inadequate would be an understatement to say how I felt when I walked in. People were wearing Manolos, Gucci dresses, perfect hair, and bags that probably cost more than my cellphone bill in a year. We went to the rooftop and there were no tables available but I wanted to take a look at the view and take a picture there. We took pictures, admired the view and right when we were about to leave, a woman who overheard that we were looking for a table approached us and told us that the 3 girls sitting next to her were about to leave. The woman was sitting at one of the best tables in the Rooftop:roomWe sat at the table and ordered a bottle of wine to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of NYC and confirmed that the best things in life happen unplanned and unexpected.

And yes dammit, we are perfect.

Picture taken by me :)

Picture taken by me :). Isn’t this magical?

The dreaded bikini season.

I believe things are exactly the way they are supposed to be.

But…

Sometimes I don’t understand why I was given this body I am in. It’s easier for me to love my body with clothes on. The issue is when they come off. I can hide imperfections with a dress or a high waisted skirt. I cannot hide my cellulite while wearing a bikini.

When a friend used to invite me to Cabo I DREADED the moment I had to go in the pool: everybody would see how unfit I really was, or try to look away in order not to be disgusted. At times, I would stand in front of the floor to ceiling window that led to the pool, lift my sundress up, look at my reflection and cried in silence. I never knew my ass and legs looked like that underneath the sunlight until I did that. I used to do that every single day as if expecting for it (the orange skin) to disappear overnight. It never did.

To this day I keep hallucinating trips that involve beach or a bikini. Even with those posts I write about loving my body, even by having tried to change role models, even by having stopped buying fashion magazines. I still don’t feel good in a bikini.

Tomorrow I leave for Missouri to attend my brother’s graduation ceremony. My brother mentioned something about a river so we have to bring our bathing suits. My brother is an athlete and his girlfriend has a softball scholarship so they don’t worry about bathing suits or bikini seasons. I get to spend most of my day sitting in front of a desk and haven’t exercised in a week and a half because I just got promoted and am still trying to adjust to the new position.

Yes, I got promoted, I have dated a few Tinder guys and all I can write about is my fear of wearing a bikini in public.

Second part of the post:

But, I choose today to enjoy my trip, enjoy the river, swim, dance, laugh and live just the way I look right now. If I keep worrying about stupid things I will never enjoy life fully. These quotes did the trick today. Now I am off to packing my bags and writing on my gratitude journal.

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My latest obsession

I am a bit worried. Every time I like something/someone I become obsessed over it. “Charlieissocoollike” is no exception. I’ve been watching all of his youtube material ever since I bumped into a video this blogger posted. I felt identified with what he says he’s going through in the video so I started stalking investigating more about him. I think he is really funny, witty and smart. His English accent is the cherry on top. Ok, I admit it, I have developed a crush with an adorable young youtube sensation.

Weekend beauties

Even though I suffered when it was time to go down to the pool because it meant my friends and other people would get to see me in a bikini, this weekend had some excellent moments that need to be savoured and remembered. Maybe if I choose to concentrate on the brightness and beauty of moments and things, I will be able to change my life permanently.

I traveled to Acapulco to a friend’s wedding and got to be a bridesmaid along with 4 other friends. I rented an apartment with 3 of my closest friends and we had a blast: everything flowed harmoniously, we laughed hysterically all weekend long, we played lots of games, drank wine, swam, ate only when hungry and enjoyed our time together. I tend to not take many pictures because maybe I’ll look fat in them but end up regretting that choice later. It’s amazing how much my overweight paralyses and stops me from doing things. What I am sure of, is that I have to learn something from this obsession with food, I need to listen to what this problem is trying to tell me. Encouraged and guided by my coach Lisa, I have been doing some journaling and it has helped me ENORMOUSLY. She explained me that I have 2 voices in my head: A (Adversary) and B (Beautiful). The B voice talks from a place of love, always, always and accepts and loves Erika no matter what. The A voice is loud, demanding and negative. I have been listening to that voice for the longest time so now I write a dialogue between the 2 voices in order to help my B voice become stronger and able to quiet the negative voice down. I went through my journals today and decided to remind myself of all the beautiful thoughts and arguments that have come from my B voice. So here it comes.

Dear Erika:

Remember to always be kind to yourself and love every bit of you. You are more than aware that you are the result of your thinking. All of those thoughts and words you’ve been telling yourself for years have taken you to where you are right now, so be patient and remember that only conscious and constant work will help you change your words, actions and behaviour, and it’ll take time. Your fear of being judged, rejected and questioned has led you to eat and ease the pain, you have built a shield. What you are right now is a result of self-induced abuse but you know better now and won’t let that happen anymore. You have finally decided to change but you’re still learning so don’t judge yourself, just love and respect yourself during the process. Your weight is here to show you that you are much more than a body; looks don’t transcend, your mind, heart and soul do, so nurture them. Concentrate on what is inside you, not outside. Think of what causes you to eat your words and your desires. Stop feeding what keeps you shielded and protected, it doesn’t allow you to change, it doesn’t want you to change but you do. Acknowledge, embrace and love the entirety of you, stop judging you. Enjoy your healthy body by taking care of it, exercising it, nurturing it, respecting and being grateful for it. Surround yourself with positive activities and positive people. Read, write on your journal and blog, live in the present, prioritise, let yourself grow and stop avoiding it. Don’t give into fear, always choose to face it and go in the opposite direction it tries taking you. Food isn’t alive, you are, food doesn’t have a voice, you do, food isn’t the boss of you, you are the boss of you, food is fuel for your body, let it be that. Remember comparison is the thief of joy, so stop comparing yourself to others. Remember to ALWAYS love yourself first. 

I love this quote, I admire impeccable style, I wish I were a remarkable designer, I aspire to look amazing in a black bikini, I hope I could love myself every day in the process of becoming what I know I can be.

                     Today was not a good day, sometimes I don’t understand why I immerse into negative habits and thoughts. My predominant thoughts today were those of a person who does not want to look in the mirror, go out or do anything whatsoever… I hate feeling that way and get scared of those thoughts that take over my mind. They paralyze me, they tell me to lay in bed and hide, to eat that apple pie, chocolate bar, deep fried chicken, to ignore the alarm clock and sleep, that as long as I’m not obese I can give into my cravings, that I don’t need to exercise. Reading this makes me realize how irresponsible and immature it sounds to blame my behavior on “a voice”, but when I let myself listen to it, I struggle to silence it. The only way to make that voice talk nicely to me is by doing what has to be done without thinking too much about it. Today I stopped myself from having TWO binges, TWO! What I’m doing to avoid them is staying out of the kitchen and entertaining in something other than food.

We celebrated our 1 year anniversary in our Design Firm and I’m proud of it but this little company we created a year ago has got me wondering still… I have many things to figure out yet job wise. We went to eat to a fancy restaurant, got a little drunk and ate deliciously, but there is a little voice that tells me I won’t last long doing this… I haven’t figured out if it’s the positive or negative one that’s been talking to me.

It’s 3am and I’m still awake, so I have to wrap this post up. I am finding writing to be extremely therapeutic and empowering at the same time. Thanks a lot for tuning in, dear reader, you contribute enormously to the empowering part. I hope I inspire as much as you inspire me.

Lots of love from: Erika.

xoxo

The “what others think” factor

I’m on a guilt trip right now: I just shared a pizza (a very delicious, greasy one) with 2 friends and even though I ate 2 pieces, I feel badly about it, there’s something about fatty foods that makes me feel guilty. The positive thing about it, is that I enjoyed it, ate it slowly and took the time to eat it.

I haven’t posted on the last days because I am finding it hard to set myself a blogger identity, I follow other blogs and find out that they’re so interesting, different, attractive, inspiring and followed by a lot of people (unlike mine, says my head). The same happens to me, Erika as a person, I keep comparing myself to others and end up feeling inferior. But you know what? I’m done with this self pity, negative posts, and thoughts for that matter. Yes, I’m becoming aware of them by writing about them but enough is enough!! I haven’t barfed since April and don’t plan on doing it anymore, no more hurting my beautiful body and mind.

On Friday I did something I’m proud of: I rejected going to a party with a very pushy and controlling friend who hadn’t told me the host of such party was a dude I hate, not dislike, but hate. I did what I wanted to do and didn’t put my friend’s opinion before mine, so I am really happy for me :).

Saturday was an extremely awesome day: I proved myself how powerful my mind is and how a positive attitude can affect the outcome of a day. I had a friend’s birthday party which didn’t thrill me at first but I chose to think differently and ended up having the best time! At night, I had been invited to celebrate another birthday in a fancy night club and really felt like going but by 12am, I started thinking of bailing: I have an aversion to those places because I tend to become intimidated by the looks of other chicks BUT, I chose to look my best and feel my best. Well, my friends, let me assure you that our minds are impressively positive and powerful devices when programmed accordingly. Not only did I have a blast that night, but I got hit on by (both unattractive and attractive) men (and boys), and managed to get me and my friend free drinks (without doing anything unwanted, don’t worry). I kissed a very nice, good looking Brazilian boy (he was 21, I’m officially a cougar) and danced with a bunch of other guys. I don’t usually kiss boys at night clubs, but this one was extremely cute and did I mention that he surfed and had an awesome body? So if I hadn’t kissed him, it would have been a shame. The rest of the night I danced with my friend (who is very skinny, flirty, young, attractive, hence successful with guys) and didn’t once feel unattractive or insecure next to her, I chose to enjoy myself and acknowledge what I bring to the table.

I also found a fashion blog  of a curvy girl who preaches self love, self confidence and looks damn good while doing it! She adds inspiring quotes on every post and her attitude in every picture is fierce. It’s really refreshing to find a fashion blog in which the protagonist isn’t slim, extremely skinny, or anorexic… instead she flaunts a full figure wearing bold outfits and an “I don’t care what you think” attitude. I have already become a fan of her blog and hope to develop her self-confidence and self-love.

What I struggle with constantly is the opinion of others: I live in a society where skinny people are worshipped and overweight people are frowned upon. I am totally into exercising and eating healthily but I am discovering that accepting my body and loving it the way it is, flaws and all, is an essential element to reach a weight goal.

I’m enjoying this positivism going on in my life, and I have only tasted a small bite of how great it can be so I am sticking to it until I have mastered it in every area of my existence.

I have to go now to exercise my ass off at the gym.

Thanks for reading, lovelies!

Kisses, Erika

I deserve to be my best friend

Ok, so I had a lovely dinner on Friday here at home, but returned to bingeing… nothing over the top, nothing to keep me up at night, but it was a binge nonetheless. Whenever I host a dinner or party, I pressure myself to have everything as perfect as possible, and end up feeling stressed. But I don’t think that’s what led me to binge, though. We ordered pizza, a friend brought delicious (but highly caloric) butter cookies and drank wine. I drank moderately, had 2 pieces of pizza, but then came cookie time and I couldn’t help myself: I must have eaten like 10 little heavenly stress-relievers.

What caused it: Comparing myself to my slim friends; feeling “heavy”; worrying about pleasing everybody; feeling guilty for eating pizza and cookies for dinner; thinking about my legs looking too fat with the dress I was wearing; feeling un-pretty and overweight; feeling less next to some friends; not being kind enough to myself.

I felt badly after the binge, but not as bad as I have felt before, and I kept repeating in my head how this binge had been different and how I’m stronger now. It was a new post-binge feeling: barfing didn’t cross my mind (yay me!). The barfing thoughts are fading away slowly but definitely, and I like that, I know this time it’s not a provisional farewell, but a definite good bye.

Daily exercise is now out of the question, and I had intended to count my calories in order to lose weight but today I realized how that turns my ” deprivation button” on and triggers the unwanted binges. So instead, I will try eating more slowly, enjoying my food, consuming smaller portions and believing that whatever I eat will nurture, energize and benefit my body.

Instead of turning my negative affirmations into positive ones, I will make positive affirmations, so here they come:

  • I’m a morning person
  • I am smart and focused
  • I love myself unconditionally

Thanks for reading and thank all of you readers and bloggers who make my existence more meaningful.

Love, Erika.