Having a Body I Love and Loving the Body I Have

Being young and feeling young are two entirely different concepts, and feeling young is something I’ve not yet experienced. My mom has always joked about my “old soul” being a result of my reincarnation; my past self must have been through quite a bit because it seems as though I was born with an everlasting dark cloud hovering over me.

Because of my lack of youthfulness, it never occurred to me until recently how young I truly was when I first began displaying signs of anorexia.

Imagine a young girl, hardly old enough to shower by herself, staring into her bathroom mirror and examine her body as if trying to determine whether or not it was a nice one. After living in a world where eavesdropping on Mommy and her friends meant hearing them all complain about the so-called flaws on their body, this young girl has difficulty ignoring the fact that her little body may not be perfect, either.

Exercising became an important aspect of my life due to my early-on desire of being desirable. I was determined to be the most athletic because that had to mean I was the skinniest, and to this day I can remember the first time I referred to myself as “fat” in the fifth grade. I have the same body now at sixteen years old as I did when I was eleven. That’s how early and how quickly I developed.

I live in an era where social media dictates how one feels about themselves and others. It had been easy to ignore my body issues so long as I didn’t have to acknowledge the lack of insecurities of others. Unfortunately for me, it was impossible for me to be apart of my own generation without going home from school every day and seeing pictures of my peers loving their lives—and, more importantly, their bodies—even more than I was hating mine. Looking back on it now, all I can ask myself is, “Why were my friends all posting bikini pictures on their Instagram at twelve years old?” None of us were even out of training bras yet. But when I would see girls on Instagram or Snapchat (Facebook wasn’t a place for these pictures since our parents were using it and God forbid our parents know how we’re presenting ourselves online) complaining about their bodies, it was hard for me not to compare myself.

She was always skinnier. The boys were always talking about her butt. Why doesn’t her stomach roll over when she sits down? How does she wear tank tops without having her armpit fat hang out of the straps?

Soon enough, just the thought of food was beginning to make me feel nauseous. It was easy, really, to convince myself not to eat: when one sits at a lunch table surrounded by girls who were more undeveloped than Donald Trump’s healthcare plan, it’s easy to say, “Yeah, I really don’t need this PB and J today.” And, when one can find tips easily online in regards to keeping yourself feeling full for the longest time possible, it’s quite easy to start implementing those tips into everyday life.

I exercised more than I chewed, however chewed more than I ever swallowed, and yet nothing could compare to the amount of time I spent throwing up the food that I had to eat in order to lessen suspicions. It’s exhausting living with a sort of lingering sadness at all times, but it’s even more tiring having to hide it from the rest of the world. Everybody has obsessions that they’re embarrassed about; mine was the idea of being the thinnest person I knew. But no matter how skinny I got, it was never quite enough to satisfy my expectations of myself. Eventually, I didn’t just want to be skinny; I wanted to be dead.

My parents are more observant than I give them credit for. I knew they cared and I knew they were worried. I could not tell you the amount of times I caught my mother sobbing into my father’s chest after yet another skipped meal. Nothing they did, however, could make me eat. My body wouldn’t allow me to eat without feeling unbearably sick. Eating hurt more than starving. Looking in the mirror hurt the worst of all.

Not being able to recognize myself in the mirror has been, and, I think in some way, always will be one of the most challenging things I’ve had to experience. Eating disorders are not completely physical; mentally, one cannot distinguish between reality and what they’ve made themselves out to be. I made myself out to be a lot bigger than I ever have been, and the belief that I was so large caused me to try and lose weight that I didn’t have to lose.

Because I didn’t have any weight to lose, I really only got down to about ninety pounds in the months that I was obsessed with losing weight. This was frustrating for me; even though I was ninety pounds, I didn’t feel thin, and I felt stuck in my process of trying to lose weight. This frustration led to an emotional shutdown that I struggle with even now.

After eight months of this twisted game I was playing against myself, my parents began sending me to counseling. To this day, after years of counseling, I still struggle with body image. I still weigh myself each and every time I enter my bathroom. I still examine my body every night before stepping in the shower. What can I say? Old habits die hard. However, now I can accept and am even learning to love myself and my body. Yes, my hips dip in where they meet my thighs and sometimes, I look like I have some love handles. But I am not afraid of having a food baby anymore. I do not dread the way my thighs expand tremendously when I sit down. The way my stomach folds when I hunch over, I’ve realized, happens to everybody. My body is normal, and as much as I may hate it sometimes, it’s the only one I’m ever going to get. Why spend my entire life hating it?

BB, CC, or DD: Deciding What’s Best For You and Product Suggestions

Everyone’s different: this is a widespread idea that, in the modern day world, is becoming more popular and even exciting as our society progresses towards a more  accepting one day-by-day. And because each of us is different, everybody needs different skin products. Genetically, our skin will react differently to different ingredients within products when contact occurs. For example, most foundations make my skin either very clogged and acne-prone, or dry and flakey. Ultimately, it was time for me to quit wasting my time and money on a product that clearly wasn’t working, but as an insecure teenage girl, I still felt the need to be using some sort of face product that covered the faults in my face without causing anymore.

 

That’s when I came across some awfully interesting alphabetically-named creams. Among these are BB, CC, and DD creams; and for the record, they all serve very, very different purposes. I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, yeah, Raintoast, let’s just get on with the compare and contrast, okay?” And you’re right. So, here it goes:

You may be best off using BB (Beauty Balm) cream if:

  • You’re looking to moisturize your skin.
  • You’re wanting light-coverage.
  • You want to minimize your pores.
  • You’re looking to brighten your skin.
  • You need a generally oil-free product.
  • You want your minor faults to fade over time.
  • You want SPF coverage.

You may be best off using CC (Color Correcting) cream if:

  • You struggle with splotches or discoloration.
  • You’re slightly oil-prone.
  • You’re looking to lightly moisturize.
  • You want a medium coverage.
  • You’re wanting a smoother complexion.
  • Reducing redness is important to you.
  • You’re absolutely dying for some radiant skin.
  • You’re wanting to cover and eventually diminish acne scars and blemishes.
  • You want SPF coverage.

You may be best off using DD (Daily Defense) cream if:

  • You need an anti-aging product.
  • You’re wanting to moisturize.
  • You want sheer coverage.
  • Having a buildable coverage is important to you.
  • You want a matte finish.
  • You need a product that acts as a protectant against harmful things such as too much sun and skin-clogging oil/bacteria while still maintaining a moist feeling.

Of course, these are general descriptions of each type of cream, but if you see yourself drawn more to a specific one then believe me, it is worth a shot on giving up the foundation and investing in a generally more efficient product. If you’ve decided on a cream, but can’t decide on a brand or specific product, here’s a few suggestions:

For BB creams, give the following a try:

  • Physician’s Formula: $15
  • Clinique Acne Solution BB Cream: $36
  • La Roche-Posay Effaclar BB Blur: $30
  • L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier: $8
  • Maybelline BB Cream: $6
  • Estee Lauder BB Cream: $42

For CC creams, give these a try:

  • Erborian CC Crème: $44
  • Physicians Formula: $15
  • Bobbi Brown CC Cream: $46
  • Mary Kay CC Cream: $20
  • Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream: $37
  • L’Oréal Nude Magique Anti-Redness CC Cream: $14.50

For DD cream use, these may be worth a go:

  • Julep DD Cream: $36
  • Le Maquillage DD Brightening Cream: $16.79
  • DERMAdoctor DD Cream: $38
  • Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse DD Cream Spf 30 Cream: $22

As you can see, the farther down the alphabet we go, the pricier the product gets. In my opinion, both CC and DD cream products will end up at the same price as BB creams are as demand increases and new companies begin exploring our lovely alphabetical makeup products. Until then, go out to wherever you buy your makeup from, pick up a tube of whichever product would be best for you personally, and start your journey into a fresh-looking face that doesn’t ruin the fresh-feeling you so badly desire.

Apple Cider Vinegar– an unrecognized gift from the universe

Recently, I’ve seen a huge craze about coconut oil and all of the benefits it has on the  body both internally and externally. One thing, however, that I don’t see being acknowledged as one of the best (and cheapest!) natural ingredients you can use for your health and beauty is apple cider vinegar.

Now, I’m not going to act like I came up with this concept all on my own. In fact, I originally saw it on Pinterest after searching for a DIY skin toner after I ran out of the ProActiv toner that I had been using as a part of my daily routine. There were a lot of options that came up, but one that really stuck out to me was the apple cider vinegar/water mixture.

That’s really all there is to it. Depending on how prone your acne may be determines how  much apple cider vinegar to use with what amount of water. Because I’ve been struggling in the last six months or so with some pretty stubborn acne, I did a mixture of half and half with water and the apple cider vinegar.

I was amazed with the results that came soon after starting this toner. While my skin is still red, it isn’t as bumpy as it was before and therefore, easier to cover up. Because acetic acid is a crucial substance involved in ACV, ACV contains a whole lot of antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Obviously, you don’t want fungus or bacteria on your face, clogging your pores, right? That’s what I thought. So it only makes sense to put a product on your face that will kill viruses, fungi, and bacteria. On top of that, your pH levels are put into balance, which causes your skin to be neither too dry or too oily.

That’s just the benefits of the skin (which I have experienced personally), but what about the other benefits? The only other things that I have used apple cider vinegar for is as a hair mask/shampoo, as it gets rid of dandruff. Just like with facial skin, the ACV will make sure that your scalp isn’t too dry nor too oily. All you have to do is mix 1/3 cup of
ACV with 3 cups of water, and dandruff be gone!

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For other benefits that I have not personally experimented with, ACV can increase energy, improve digestion, and increase weight loss. Apparently, ACV will cause a decrease in appetite and therefore cause you to intake a fewer amount of calories. On top of that, drinking two tablespoons of ACV combined with a glass of water will prevent body fat buildup. Whether or not ACV truly works for weight loss, I can not attest to. However, with all of the articles I’ve read thus far about the benefits of ACV, all claim that this truly works.

Yes, there are more benefits to ACV than this little article. However, I only felt as though I should write about 1.) my own experience with it, and 2.) what seems to be the most popular uses. If you have any other uses for apple cider vinegar, please leave a comment below and help ya girl find some more cheap ways to improve her life 😉

-Raintoast