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New year, new me…says who?

It’s been way too long since the last post. I don’t know why, but I felt a bit of anxiety every time I thought about writing a new post. I want to most more frequently, but I also want to be of high quality. Anyway, there were an abundance of blog posts, videos, social media posts, etc. regarding new year, new you, new goals, blahblahblah. The Gregorian calendar was created as a way to measure time. And in fact, religion took part in this creation. Just think, all these years we’ve been ruled by a religion that not all follow, and almost seems cult-like (unpopular opinion; I don’t mean to offend anyone or get into an argument with over this).

It falls into the holiday season of large companies and now even singular people, to make money. Cards, clothing, gifts, food, drinks…the list goes on. The biggest thing with the new year are people losing weight. Because apparently, as soon as January 1st hits, magic happens and one can now all of a sudden are aware of the behavior and the negative habits will disappear.

I would rather it be encouraged to reflect on ourselves on a monthly basis, or even twice a year if monthly is too much. It’s much more reasonable and realistic to set short term goals for long term gains — no matter what that may look like for somebody.

To help myself with this, I subscribed to something called LUNARLY. I really like what they were promoting – a monthly subscription box to “sent with each new moon, promoting self-care and plant-care with specially curated houseplants and ritual items.” Not only is getting packages in the mail exciting, but I thought this is particular would encourage me to review what intentions I had written for myself the month before, and if I had achieved what I said I was going to do. If not, what mistakes did I make so that I could accomplish it the next month? And then make new goals. This recursive process I believe strengthens growth for oneself.

I’m really excited to try this and encourage others to take time to themselves and not follow what others say you should do to see results. Everyone is literally different, so that crap on Instagram doesn’t work for everyone.

Again, no offense or harm was meant towards anyone. We all have different experiences and thoughts. We can have these opinions and still get along and help one another.

All the best.

xoxo Manda

Credit to Seeker for history of Gregorian calendar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV5g-sZOKIQ

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I feel so sad

What has my life turned into? How am I 30 years old living with an old man that waddles around my house half naked? On top of that, I have no friends whose home I can escape to for a break. How did I let this become my life? I feel so alone and wasting away. My dogs are the only ones who experience my love and kindness. I want to share that with others too. I believe I could make a difference in at least one person’s life just by being a good friend to them. But I’ll never meet or hang out with anyone. Not in this environment.

I always had a hard time making and keeping friends growing up. I’m not sure why. I think I was and still am judgmental of others. i understand as we grow, friends move away and interests and priorities shift. The friendships that stay intact are the ones where both parties make an effort. I was the one lacking. I was the one severely depressed and anxious and didn’t even know. So much time had passed before I even realized I was no longer in touch with those I used to spend hours on the phone with. I am so sorry to all of those I’ve neglected. I deeply regret it. I hope to someday reconnect.

I’m not sure what to do about this. Maybe I’m making too big of a deal about it.

xoxo Manda

I tried EMDR therapy, and it change my life.

I’ve suffered from disordered eating for as long as I can remember. I loved food and forever will. I remember whenever there was a family event or outing, my focus would always be on when we were eating. And try to spend most of my time eating snacks to avoid interaction with people. Even in family videos, you’ll see me running off to the side to eat something. I was always a chunky child with a funny walk. I had that shape that you knew would never be bone skinny. I was never really concerned about how I looked; I just felt like I was always a bit bigger than the other girls in my class. I even got made fun of in fifth grade for having a big butt (which now is a trend). I went through a growth spurt and slimmed down around the age of 14 when I joined the tennis team. I had danced since I was five, but tennis was more intense and caused me to lose weight and shape up in a healthy way. I almost didn’t realize it was happening until my dance teacher had said something. I wish at the moment, I took the time to take inventory what was going on with my body. After that moment, years and years of damaging my body would occur.

During the rest of my high school years, I maintained my weight mainly due to tennis and dance. I never really honed in on my “diet” or what I ate; I was just someone who loved eating fruits and veggies. As healthy as those foods are, eating way too much of them may not always be a good thing. But what would eventually harm me would be the habit of sneaking food (mostly chips or sweets) into my room at night after everyone was asleep. I never recognized why I was doing this, but looking back now, it was because I was anxious and wanted to feel comfort. Apparently I associated food with comfort. I don’t remember what my weight was, but when I look at pictures of myself now, I was tiny. Not underweight, but definitely in a comfortable place that I should never have been focused on it in the first place.

Moving on into my college years, I did this a lot more – the sneaking food and binging at night. I’m someone that loves being alone, so having roommates in college was not ideal for me. Especially when it’s forced. The good thing with college though, is that I walked A LOT. So this helped keep my weight down while I was binging. Although, it’s probably not good that all the walking was masking the problem I had.

I would notice little by little that my clothes weren’t fitting me like I had wanted to. So I started to learn about lifting weights. I wasn’t like the other girls who used cardio machines; that was just too boring for me. So began the phase where I would lift weights as much as I could (which isn’t good for someone who didn’t really know how properly make a weightlifting program and progress in strength). And I also would eat weird foods labeled as “organic” or “low fat” or weird crap like that thinking it was “healthier.” I didn’t really know how to make a proper meal. My mom was a homemaker and always fed me every meal, which was balanced. Even though I probably could have just made the same things she would, I think I was just too lazy or too anxious.

So I’m sure many can relate going through life focused on food and weight. I don’t even remember WHY or what caused me to start being concerned about it. But I do know that my binge eating in secret was as a result of my anxiety. It was getting to the point where it wasn’t even about the weight I would gain, but how awful I would feel emotionally. I couldn’t focus on work, I couldn’t lift weights, my mind was just so foggy.

I listened to a podcast where the host had talked about her binge eating disorder and doing EMDR therapy to resolve it. She said she no longer sees food as comfort, but as food, a form of energy. So I looked into it, and found a therapist that specializes in this. Our first session was in mid-December 2020. I told her why I reached out and what I was hoping to get out of it. We “cured” my anxiety in just 4 sessions. I couldn’t believe it.

This just can’t be real. I’ll write in more details how things have changed in my next most. But I want others to be aware that this type of therapy exists and may be able to help you with whatever you’re going through.

Thanks for reading.

xo Manda

Holiday season – the time of year to buy stuff for others just to have it returned

I wrote this title while standing in line for returns at a department store. I watched as those in front of me pulled out fresh and new clothing from plastic wrap that was clearly ordered online, and sent as a gift. Now I can’t say anything too badly because I, myself was there to return a gift I had gotten for Christmas. But it just made me think about how absurd holidays have become to be.

Now I know this doesn’t apply to EVERYONE but these types of people definitely make it known that they celebrate. I’m talking about the ones that plan weeks maybe even months ahead. Now don’t get me wrong, I love celebrating things and I love the warmth and comfort holiday season can bring. I just think that should be done year round, not all shoved at the end of the year.

Anyway, getting off track from my point. Which I guess is that I wish we wouldn’t obsess or feel obligated to give gifts during this time. It produces so much STUFF that will eventually get thrown away or forgotten about in the back of a closet. And maybe this will help prevent the guilty feelings in others for not having the ability to produce presents for those in their lives.

I want to conclude by stating that this was not meant to be a judgement on anyone, or to make anyone feel bad, or cause offense. This is strictly an opinion of mine, and wanting a change in society to see the gift of giving and appreciation all year long.

I hope for all to have a wonderful time, but also safe, during their New Years’ Eve festivities.

xoxo Manda

Photo credit: Any Lane from Pexels