I Met a Girl with Anorexia and she Stole my Heart

I met a girl with Anorexia Nervosa and she stole my heart.

An advantage to working in a service profession like health care is the abundance of life-learning opportunities presented regularly.

I’m specifically referring to the “been there, done that” phenomena, where wisdom is gained as a result of a persons constant, often unintentional, but necessary involvement in the lives and struggles of others.

Social workers, health care professionals, teachers and law enforcement officers are a few vocations profoundly effected by this phenomena… for better or for worse.

We’re presented with the sometimes vivid and painful reality that unconsciously prompts us to assign a human face to many situations and events.

Gifted a diverse perspective that can’t be learned, as it’s the exclusive byproduct of experience.

We’re humbled.

Constantly reminded not to take anything for granted.

I honestly covet the reality of it all.

Life is predictably unpredictable.

So, no I’m absolutely not a person who fusses over superficial things like hair, make-up and nails or desires to carry the latest designer purse, and it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s because I don’t think it matters a lick in the big scheme of things.

It’s incredibly unimportant to me, thanks to my own menagerie of past experiences.

I will never swim or even wade in the particular shallow puddle of superficial vanity.

As long as I can remember, I’ve always been disconcerted by the thought of women manipulating their appearances in the quest to attain a certain holy grail body image.

The most obvious example is predictably– elective breast augmentation– done exclusively for vanities sake.

I find it superficial and flippant as a result of having associated with countless victims of breast cancer.  Women who’ve willfully surrendered their bodily parts as a means of survival.

Women filled with gratitude to have been given a second lease on LIVING.

So yes, I’m inherently guilty of forming  judgmental comparisons when it comes to the frivolous primping of ones outer shell.

Everything is relative, unto itself and as to where it happens to fall in the big scheme of things.

My biggest objection to the glorification of the perfect physical image is the simple fact that beauty is not an earned trait, it’s merely the result of the incredibly random genetic lottery.

Case in point- pretty people are born with an advantage… and that sucks.

It’s unacceptable that our culture continues to worship a random variable that has the indisputable power to make or break the lives of so many beautiful spirits.

The $64,000 question is— what role do YOU play in all this?

Have you ever really taken a moment to analyze your own thoughts and actions?

Actions absolutely speak louder than words.

When you take part in certain activities or portray a certain attitude, you condone the behavior, thus encouraging the end result…  to a certain degree.

I’m not pointing a finger at the newest dieting or exercise craze, it’s more about the expedited evolution of plastic surgery, tanning, hair removal, teeth whitening, hair extensions, the explosion of the day spa concept and the mere notion that some women indulge in weekly mani’s, pedi’s and facials as if they’re necessary medical treatments.

What was once considered to be an extravagance is slowly edging toward what we now consider to be the norm.

In fact, it’s not at all unusual for professionally manicured and polished fingers to reach out and hand you say, their public assistance card.

I said it. No disrespect intended.

And, I’m not saying that women of lower incomes do not deserve these things. My point is that when a certain standard of living becomes commonplace, people make sacrifices to acquire what society deems the norm.

I’m a nurse who keeps her fingernails trimmed-right-down-to-the-nubs and never ever wears polish. My hands may not be a pretty sight, but my soul swells with pride over the regular accomplishments realized by these extensions of myself.

For me it’s not about the visual image at all. I simply feel satiated because of who I am.

And, no it’s not my intention to shame, nor am I suggesting that you stop having your nails did.

It’s not the act as much as it is the shallow attitude carried and spread by some people, even if it is unknowingly.

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Recently, I had a personal encounter with two vaguely familiar dirty-rotten-lying-thieves by the name of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia.

Sure, I’ve known about them for pretty much ever, but I didn’t really know about them on such a personal level: a level bearing an innocent face and sweet fragile personality.

The common denominator in both of these debilitating and potentially life-threatening illnesses is the constant assault to a persons self esteem— by overwhelming societal influence.

Society sets the bar for what’s normal, expected and rewarded, so when the end-result is unrealistic and often unattainable, problems naturally ensue and people are broken.

Oftentimes destroyed.

The sometimes subliminal or hidden messages which promote the glorified Barbie image are everywhere and they’re inescapable.

As long as society continues to covet and idolize physical beauty, the decorative physical shell which contains us, will forever and always define us.

How we act and respond to any situation determines whether we’re contributing-  hence fueling the Barbie charade.

The purpose of this post is to prompt you to do a self examination of not only your own values and ideals, but more importantly… your actions.

Most of us are guilty, at least to a certain degree.

For example, gentlemen, actions like lifting an eyebrow, winking, casting an approving look, nod, whistling, or making a flirty comment or gesture to the opposite sex is absolutely an infraction.

You’re guilty.

These seemingly harmless playful messages are etched in (especially girl) children’s brains from the day they start interpreting social cues.

A (girl) child’s self-worth is partially formed as a result of societal osmosis.

Your actions are subconsciously being recorded and measured by your daughter and by society every. single. day.

Every instance cancels out whatever positive message you may have intended to portray.

**I know a young girl who claimed that her friends and/or siblings were consistently given compliments and positive attention regarding their appearance, where she was given very few to none. In turn, she was made to perpetually feel like the ugly step sister or homely friend. When it was brought to my attention, I evaluated the behavior, and sure enough, she was dead on. Although, unintentional it happened and unfortunately this young lady was left to reap the consequences of well-intended compliments meant for everyone-who-wasn’t-her.

Not only does exclusion hurt, it chips away at the very fragile foundation of our self worth, sometimes causing profound irreversible damage.

On the same token, a dad can jump through fiery hoops to convince his plus-size teen that she’s beautiful, loved and valued, but his efforts are null and void the instant his eyes widen at the sight of a shapely lady in the tight sweater or when he likes a sexy photo or makes a flirty comment to someone on Facebook or Instagram.

Your girls, nieces and granddaughters are absolutely paying attention to everything you do.

Every single tidbit of external data flowing into a persons consciousness is measured, ultimately resulting in the final appraisal of their own self worth.

The Wonder Women image below is AWESOME, sensitive and realistic.

While a woman may whole-heartedly intend to support this positive image, she nullifies her intention the moment she takes a selfie in a bikini or slinky evening dress and flaunts it on social media in a blatant quest for likes.

Sure, most people have had their event photos inadvertently turn up on social media sites. It’s a product of the times…. our every move is being recorded.

The differentiating factor is your own deliberate calculation to sell portray yourself as a super-model mom, sex goddess or the new menopausal Miss America

Don’t let your own self-esteem issues victimize the next generation.

 

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Young fragile egos thrive on attention, so it’s easy to understand how attaining the coveted look can be so consuming and self-destructive.

Beauty is the key to attention, love, popularity, respect, overall success and happiness… because society continues to inadvertently say so.

What we do and how we act absolutely affects the next generation.

So…. Middle-aged Mommy’s,

We all appreciate and respect the overwhelming pride you feel that you’ve met the challenge of reclaiming a trimmer version of yourself, after a decade of walking around like a pregnant jello sloth.

Kudos, moms are people too.

You look fabulous and it’s been duly noted. 

It’s your choice how you chose to showboat your own accomplishments.

If you’re older than 30, you may consider becoming more mindful to the fact that your actions create a ripple that touches, and invariably effects everything in it’s wake.

Lead by example.

Whether actions are intended to deliberately cause harm is often secondary and inconsequential.

It’s water under the bridge.

I realize that I’m likely to get hoards of hate mail from women who enjoy fitness and/or engage in healthy dietary practices, so let me reiterate that this is not about you.

Healthy living and cosmetic vanity are two entirely different animals.

To view everything that crosses your path from only your own self-serving perspective is to be an egotistical pompous ass.

The world is a BIG place.

It’s not always about you, so get over thyself.

If this post inadvertently offends any of my middle-aged friends, family or acquaintances, then so. be. it.

I’m a person who says exactly what I mean and stands firmly by my convictions no. matter. what.

Even if it means standing alone.

This is about (mostly) young ladies whose self esteem continues to be assaulted every single day of their lives thanks to societies continual validation and high appraisal of physical beauty.

My loyalty absolutely belongs to the next generation.

C’est la vie.

 

Lastly, for you my young friend to whom I dedicate this, she who looks in the mirror and fails to see the intrinsic beauty in herself-

You are important.

You are valued simply for being you.

You are smart, funny, artistic, talented, considerate, genuine and truthful.

You are one of a kind.

You are tall, short, round, lanky, graceful and sometimes even awkward,

You are 100% YOU… which in itself is absolutely enough.

You’re a coveted and valued child of the universe.

Barbie dolls are made of plastic and filled with nothingness, you on the other hand…. are an amazingly combination of over a zillion uniquely charged particles that create a priceless gift to the world that is you… much like the twinkling stars in the sky make up complex constellations.

You emit a unique brightness that is unlike any other star…. simply because it’s YOU… and that will always be enough.

 

 

**ADDENDUM- The following is a petition started by a daddy blogger, Pete Wilgoren demanding that ridiculous zero sizes like 0 – 00 – 000 be eradicated by large corporations like Old Navy and J Crew.

Check it out here-

http://dadmissions.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/dadmissions-take-your-super-skinny-size-triple-zeros-and-shove-em/

Sign the petition here-

http://www.change.org/petitions/old-navy-j-crew-and-the-nation-s-top-clothing-retailers-take-a-pledge-of-responsibility-in-clothing-sizing

 

ABOUT Extreme Mom Facebook Pages and Groups

As you may already know, the most ACTIVE and current Extreme Mom hub can be found on Facebook.

It’s updated more frequently than this WP blog simply because posting is convenient and it’s much easier to navigate.

If you’re interested you can check it out here- https://www.facebook.com/ExtremeMom

Anyway…

Last week I added two social networking GROUPS to the Extreme Mom Facebook family called Extreme Mom Lounge and Extreme Mom Laundry Room- Rants & Advice.

The purpose of this post is to introduce, explain and archive the same groups missions.

Not at all my usual blog post. Apologies to my WordPress subscribers for that.

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These groups are distinctly different from the primary Extreme Mom Facebook page as they’re intended to be a more interactive and supportive forum. They’re also PRIVATE meaning you must request membership and the content of these pages- posts and comments can only be viewed by members. Your boss, husband and family members can NOT view it.

How refreshing and therapeutic.

You’re cordially invited to stop by and hang out.

ABOUT the LOUNGE…

Extreme Mom Lounge is a subgroup of the Extreme Mom Facebook page and blog. It’s the VIP lounge where you can sip Martini’s, guzzle beer, eat popcorn and speak fucking candidly.

You’re encouraged to post, interact and make friends.

Social networking and support at it’s finest.

Although it bears the like name of my blog Extreme Mom, it is not exclusively for moms. It’s more of a grown-up hang-out for men and women alike .

The lounge is also the main communication hub for all that is Extreme Mom- the WordPress blog, Facebook page, Google plus community, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest boards. Members are guaranteed to get all notifications and posts, unlike fb PAGES which are randomly selected by the fb Gods themselves.

Again, as a private group, ONLY members can view posts and comments, meaning your Facebook friends, family, boss or kids in your class do NOT have access.

Pretty sweet.

Facebook PRIVACY… at last.

A FUN place to hang out.

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DISCLAIMER- I reserve the right to DELETE anything I deem horrific or hateful.

Also, no raunchy or graphic sex stuff. If it borders on porn… DON’T. There are plenty of special kinky sites on the Internet for THAT.

You can ADD or INVITE whomever you like… as long as they’re not involved in the signing of MY paycheck.

The views and opinions posted on this page are not necessarily those of Extreme Mom. Individuals are solely responsible for their own content. Post and comment at your own risk… I will not necessarily mediate or get involved in disputes.

Questions and/or concerns can be messaged to me through the Extreme Mom PAGE.

I don’t know about you, but my regular fb newsfeed makes me want to gouge my eyeballs out. Let’s take the DREADFULLY BORING repetition out of Facebook.

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ABOUT the Extreme Mom Laundry Room- Rants & Advice (Group #2)

I also created a spin-off group of Extreme Mom Lounge called Laundry Room- Rants & Advice.

Incidentally, this was done after a bar fight broke out and plenty of panties got knotted up.

It’s the Extreme Mom Lounges brassy uncensored cousin.

The table where the bad cool kids sit.

It’s an ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK zone.

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Clearly some people have the need to LET LOOSE without reservations. We’re going to attempt to keep those things confined to the LAUNDRY ROOM page and OUT OF THE LOUNGE.

Unfiltered rants go here.  Judgement free.

Have at it.

Need advice or an opinion? Ask here.

*Extreme Mom is in no way accountable for the advice offered by others, because let’s face it, their well-intended counsel could be complete and utter BULLSHIT.

One thing is certain. Many people NEED this outlet. It’s therapeutic, therefore POSITIVE.

People with uninhibited personas and brassy dispositions may feel more comfortable here.

The advantage is- you can chose NOT to join the spin-off group (EM Laundry Room) or you also have the option to JOIN and keep your notifications turned OFF.

Your choice.

If you’re easily offended do not join this group.

The DIFFERENCE?? – I will continue to maintain the original Extreme Mom LOUNGE group as a break room- a place to RELAX, unwind, share snarky humor and meet new people. The lounge is intended to be the more upbeat  positive atmosphere.

No bashing, bickering or blatant fuck-you posts on the Extreme Mom Lounge group page.

Please feel to join BOTH groups. Just be mindful of WHAT is posted WHERE.

This is a private group. If you’d like an invite- type Extreme Mom Laundry Room-Rants & Advice or Extreme Mom Lounge into your facebook browser to get to the groups home page and click REQUEST MEMBERSHIP.

Once you’re a member, you can add friends to the group if you desire.

All trolls, rule-breakers and bullies will be ejected through the Extreme Mom trap door (that empties into the sewage tank) immediately.

Keep Extreme Mom on the list of Top 25 Humor Blogs by clicking on this suspiciously happy looking lady down there. Even better- CLICK to leave a COMMENT  on the Top Mommy Blog Site.

Thanks. Xoxo

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Social Media… The Modern-day Big Bad Wolf

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Reason #2 Zillion- Why it totally sucks to be a teenager in TODAY’S society-

Social networking.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Everybody has one.

Your friends friends business is in YOUR face as soon as you log on.

Blame the six degrees of separation theory- the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. (As defined by the all-knowing Wikipedia)

Possibly the age of too much information.

A detailed photo replay of the entire event that you weren’t invited to is delivered directly to YOUR iPhone through your friends friends.

Unintentional thoughtfulness or something like that.

Of course a person has the right to invite whomever they chose to their social functions.

Exclusion just stings a tad more when it’s publicized.

It’s the new frosty era of IN. YOUR. FACE.

It’s ironic that teenage girls, the world’s most overly-sensitive creatures can also be the coldest and most insensitive.

I’d rather shovel cow manure with my bare hands than have to endure the social injustices of being a teenager today.

As parents, we’re helpless spectators obligated to relive and endure every excruciating moment.

It sucks.

If I had one wish, it would be to change bodies with my teen like Anna in Freaky Friday.

*Ping!*

That was a lightbulb flickering over my head.

Can you imagine?

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