Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Doing This For Me

I think if you're familiar with who I am as a person/my social media/etc., you know I'm a pretty open book, I like to share stories and experiences cause just like a lot of other people at age 25.... i'Ve BeEn ThRoUgH aLoT.. lol but actually, I feel we all have a great opportunity to use social media to share experiences, talk about struggles, and talk about our solutions to these struggles in order to grow. I feel that majority of my experiences I've shared, have been pretty surface level and vague because I didn't know how to say the things I wanted to say and I also couldn't have possibly unpacked my life the way I am able to now. With that said, I'd like to start this one out with a disclaimer: the things you're about to read can be incredibly triggering for those who have struggled with or still struggle with eating disorders, drinking problems, diet pills, and mental health in general. I promise this is indeed a fairytale and there is a happy ending, but, the beginning and middle are far from that. So if you need to quit reading for your own health, please do so now.

When I was 16 years old, I remember comparing myself to other girls for the first time. I was a Sophomore/Junior in High School, had only ever kissed one boy (the important things in life), and I definitely still had some baby fat. This was the year that I developed an eating disorder. I wanted so badly to look like the all the pretty/"popular" girls because I thought that would help me attract boys and feel better about myself which 1. I feel so sad about looking back and 2. Growing up in Arizona is a bitch bc literally everyone is pretty and it's annoying LOL. I started eating less and less and less and taking more and more diet pills. At my lowest point, I was skipping breakfast (I've never been a big breakfast guy), eating LITERALLY one grape for lunch at school, and then was working week nights at a restaurant so I would tell my parents when I got home from work that I had eaten dinner at work (I hadn't). On top of starving myself, I was taking ~12 diet pills a day. I wasn't happy, I had no energy, but I was losing weight so I believed that it was worth it. These extreme behaviors continued for probably about a year, until one day, I walked downstairs to my mom's office sobbing with multiple bottles of pills in my hands and told her I couldn't continue doing what I was doing anymore. A few days later, I had my first appointment with an Eating Disorder Specialist... the things this DOCTOR said to me, will haunt me forever. I remember feeling so vulnerable and just wanting help and this doctor had the nerve to tell me that I was fine, healthy, and "could lose a little more weight if I wanted to" at this point, I believe I weighed about 105-110 pounds. Needless to say, I never went and saw that woman again.

At the end of my Junior year, I posted this photo on Facebook. This photo is how I discovered that not only was I suffering with anorexia but Body Dysmorphia Disorder. The first comment on this photo was "Look at how skinny you are!! It makes me sick lol!!" to which I replied "i think i look plump..." and it was true, I genuinely believed I was fat in this photo.. those shorts were too big for me and were literally a size 0. What was to come next is something I will also remember for the rest of my life.. a message I received on Facebook from an old friend. "Hey Katie, I know the two of us aren't very close but I was looking through some of your newer photos in comparison to some of your older ones, and begun to worry. You've lost a lot of weight and gotten very thin 😞 it worries me...... I thought maybe you'd gotten sick and lost the weight but then I noticed some of the comments of a photo of you getting a henna, someone sAid "you look so skinny!" and you replied "I think I look plump." that was the comment that made me worry. I've written this message to you a number of times but haven't had the courage to send it until today. . . you may think it's out of line for me to say this to you or make assumptions and in some cases it is....however, I'm not like most people, freshman and sophomore year I was struggling with anorexia nervosa, the summer of freshman year my weight plummeted to 84 pounds, I was hospitalized for a week and a half, due to Dehydration, malnurushment, and low heart rate..... I could've died at any second. After I was released from the hospital I spent the next 3 month in an intensive eating disorder treatment center, I gained the weight back. . . But sophomore year I relapsed, my weight dropped again and my doctor threatened to send me to the hospital, I began eating normally again and returned to a healthy weight.....junior year went well, I ate almost normally, weighed a healthy weight and felt good, then the summer hit and at the moment I'm struggling. I'm telling you all this because I don't want you to meet the same fate I did, when I was in my eating disorder people would tell me how tiny I looked, how they wished they were my size and ect..., I would've loved for someone to tell me that I looked sick and needed help.... I don't know what's going on with you, I don't know if you're sick, if you lost the weight healthfully, or if you have an eating disorder...... I am going to tell you that you looked beautiful before, never EVER have you been fat, you're such a beautiful girl. Sorry for my bluntness." This friends words hit me.... hard. I wasn't ready to accept any of it, so I lied, said I was okay, but thought about that message every day for years. I wish I could hug this old friend and thank her for what she did for me because at that point in life, I needed someone to show me that kind of love and care. I wish I could say that after High School ended things got better. But, that'd be a lie.

Arizona State University is truly the home of the most beautiful/fit/sexy 18-22 year olds in the country and if you disagree with me, hit me up because I'm happy to help find you an eye doctor. At 18 after 2-3 years of already struggling with an eating disorder, things got worse. I compared myself to absolutely everyone and would spend HOURS in the gym averaging about 2-3 hours of walking at a 15% incline and 4.0-4.2 speed. I had to make up for the alcohol somehow... right? I wasn't eating a balanced diet, I wasn't loving myself, I was just doing cardio because I believed that was going to make me feel satisfied. By Sophomore year of college, I was back in therapy and went to my first and only Eating Disorder Inpatient/Outpatient Treatment Facility. I was scared shitless seeing the other patients, I told myself they were skinnier than me, that their problems were worse than mine, and never returned. Looking back I know that wasn't true but I also know I wasn't ready to address my problems. Junior year was probably one of the worst and the best years of my life, I went into my Junior Year so in love with my boyfriend of about 6 or 7 months, more relaxed about working out - I'd go when I felt like it but more often than not I wasn't, and I finally was eating more. Looking back to that time in my life, I believed I was whole, I believed I was satisfied because I had a boyfriend who made me forget about all of my problems. I thought I was on top of the world. I thought my problems were going to just disappear because the guy loved me and would never do anything to hurt me. (I think we've all heard that one before) This boyfriend - who at the time I made my entire world.. broke up with me the day I was flying out to my Uncle's Memorial Service. Love that for me. The weeks that followed were full of a lot of booze, a lot of acting out, and waking up to the Police in my room because I had told people I was going to end my life. I was a fucking disaster. The great news is.... right around the corner was a new boy... well not a new boy... a boy I had known since our freshman year but we had HATED each other up until he commented on a photo of me that I looked pretty or something... idk but he was clearly very convincing because the girl who was such a mess from her relationship that had ended about two months before found herself making this guy her boyfriend after maybe a week of hanging out. I fell for him fast and hard. In the beginning, he made me forget about all my problems and mended my broken heart or at least the parts of my heart that were ready to be put back together at that point in my life. I felt understood for the first time. I told him things I had never told a guy before because I just felt safe. And at age 20/21, I was completely convinced that I finally was fixed because of our relationship. Things didn't end up working out and that shit rocked me. I had just turned 21 was broken hearted and started going out every night, binge drinking, eating poor, and skipping the gym because I was too hungover. These behaviors continued through the end of my college career. I went HAM if you will.

After college, I moved to Texas for my first adult job. It was the first time I had to pay all my own bills, buy my own food, and truly be on my own. I definitely did not manage this part of my life well. I stopped going to therapy because I didn't think I could afford it.... I could've, I just didn't make it a priority. I worked out I think 3 times that year. I drank. Excessively. I ate like shit. Gained about 40 pounds, stopped caring about myself, and just started to turn on the poor me act. These behaviors continued for about 2-2 1/2 years. About a year and a half ago, I finally decided enough was enough and got back in the gym. In 3 months, I quickly lost about 30 pounds, but.... I was back on the diet pills and only eating lunch every day which was a small piece of chicken with lemon juice and from broccoli. After those three months, something incredibly personal that I will likely NEVER share with the world happened to me and it messed me up... probably for the rest of my life. My motivation significantly decreased, I started eating like shit, gained back all of the weight I had lost plus some. But the worst thing that happened, was I started legitimately loathing myself. I didn't respect myself. I sheltered myself. I stopped smiling. I cried every fucking day. I thought about and tried to end it all more than once. I didn't know who I was anymore. All I wanted was to escape and you know what, wine helped. Wine was my best friend. Many nights, I drank far past my limit. Only to wake up to see that I had made a fool of myself on social media, via text, call, facetime, you name it. I did it.

5 months ago - I made the decision to stop drinking. It wasn't healthy, it wasn't productive, and it certainly wasn't the answer to my problems. When I stopped drinking, I started to address some pretty deep rooted issues I've had for a very long time. I realized that I had been putting on an act because I was insecure. I was insecure because I did not love myself. at all. The closest I was getting to Self-Love was fake ass posts about how I was loving myself more and that everything was all sunshine and rainbows in Katieland. I wholeheartedly believed that the more I told people that I was okay, the quicker my problems would just POOF away. Unfortunately, there is no tide-to-go stick for your problems. Through this mental journey, I have learned to release my unrealistic expectations of others because at the end of the day, you cannot force anyone to do anything, you cannot force someone to love you, you cannot force someone to support you, you just can't, and if you do find yourself in a position where you've forced these things upon someone, then is that really what you want? Forced love or forced support. I know I sure don't. I've made a routine for myself, I am up at 4am every morning, I spend about 30 minutes meditating and setting my intentions for the day, then I get ready and am in the gym by 5am. I work out for about an hour to an hour and a half - 5 days a week (most weeks) and I push myself. I don't allow myself to quit because I'm tired or because I'm feeling lazy, the gym is a mental game and what I have realized is as I work harder on myself/creating true mental happiness/my spirituality while I am quite literally just a home in bed journaling, the better my performance in the gym has gotten. I am lifting heavier for more reps. I'm not skipping different workouts because I don't believe I am capable of them. I complete every move, every rep because I am done cheating myself. I am done accepting less than I deserve. I am done being a sad miserable person because honestly ***SPOILER ALERT *** it's not fun. I am done being concerned with having a timeline for major events in my life. I am done measuring my self worth by what relationship I am or am not in. I don't need these things or accept these things in my life anymore because right now I've got myself and I'm truly finding out for the first time in my life what it feels like to love and respect myself. And through this process, I've learned that I'm really fucking awesome.

Moral of the Story is we all go through shit, but, if you don't take the time to dig deep into yourself, you're going to spend years and years searching for your self worth in places that I PROMISE YOU your own worth will not be hiding. If you know deep down that you need to make a change, take some time to evaluate the change and decide if you are ready to face some hard truths you may not have known about yourself and then simply, tackle them.

A final note - I've had some really amazing friends throughout my whole roller coaster of a life the past 10 years. They haven't quit on me, they've probably had many many times where they've been embarrassed to claim me, and I know for a fact they've had to address to people why they've stuck around. I don't know what I've done to deserve all of them. But someday/someway, I will figure out how I can repay them and I'm glad that they're still here for a much better version of me.

Oh and to my family - thanks for loving me unconditionally. You guys are my world. You were my strength when I wasn't able to be strong for myself. Couldn't ask for a better family to be a part of.

Thank you all for reading! If you made it this far, you deserve a sticker or something, so please go buy yourself one and wear it with pride.

Until next time!


Sunday, January 26, 2020

Self-Care Sundays

Happy Sunday, everyone! I cannot believe the last weekend of January has already come and *almost* gone!!! This month FLEW BY. Today we are talkin' Self-Care. For years and years for me and I'm sure many of you -  Sundays were all about hangover recovery, feeling like crap, and eating like crap. But that is not the way we are spending Sundays in 2020!!!! Sundays are for relaxing, recharging, and prepping/setting intentions for the week ahead. So without further ado, I give you my Self-Care Sunday essentials. *All items linked below picture*

Intentions Journal

Barefoot Dreams Blanket
The Universe Has Your Back

The MOST DELICIOUS Aromatherapy Candle
Charcoal Sheet Mask

Champion Women's Joggers

Tone and Sculpt App

Wim Hof Method

I'd love to hear from you! What are your Self-Care go-to's?
For more of my favorite things check out:


Saturday, January 18, 2020

January Must-Haves

If you know me, you know I am a shopaholic. Every event needs a new outfit and your in this cold weather (and all year TBH) skin deserve only THE BEST. So I thought I'd share/link a few things I am LOVING this month along with a link to my ---> Amazon Storefront <--- which I update as I purchase essentially my whole life on Amazon.

Enough chatter... I give you my Top 10 January 2020 Must-Haves (all titles link to the products):

Oversized Fleece Sweatshirt
**THE MOST COMFY** Capri High Waisted Leggings

$16 bag that will fit all you need for a day out

Rose Glow Cooling & Brightening Eye Balm
Crepe Erase Anti-Aging Hand Repair Treatment
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
PanOxyl Ance Foaming Wash
Double O Ring Belt
Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Face Drops

Happy Shopping!!


Friday, January 17, 2020

Greyson Carter

January 13, 2020 @ 3:47am was the moment in time that my favorite little boy on the planet came into the world and made me an Aunt. Every time that I try to put into words how fortunate I feel to have little Greyson Carter Rich as my nephew... I am at a loss because there is truly no perfect set of words that can explain what he means to me. From the moment I found out my sister and brother-in-law were expecting him, I knew needed to make some changes in my life and my habits. I knew I wanted to work to be a better role model for him, I knew I wanted to be stronger, healthier, and happier for myself. So while my sister was busy baking this beautiful and perfect little human, I worked to better myself in every way possible... and I am truly so proud to believe that I did. Greyson saved me and I will love him forever for that. (Plus he's just the CUTEST so how could you not love him) I am so excited to be the best Aunt I can be to him and to watch my Sister and Brother-in-Law play Mom and Dad, they're already doing it so well. Welcome to the world, Greyson Carter Rich! I cannot wait to play with you, to read to you, to learn from you, and to watch you grow. The best is yet to come. Xoxo - Auntie Kiki


Saturday, January 11, 2020

new year, new mindset.

Hi 2020, how are ya? 

I started my first blog post in 2019 with quite a similar introduction... I was nervous, excited, and hopeful that I was on the path to realizing what I believed I was made to do - create. I quickly discovered that content creation was not easy, however, I did not know that it would play a part in bringing to light a laundry list of inner demons that I needed to face and address.

The last post I wrote was on April 1, 2019 after a trip I took to Miami for my birthday. I spent SO much time crafting what I believed to be the perfect post about my trip and much like every other post was **SO EXCITED** to share with all my friends and family. The post ended up being my second to last ranked blog, only beating an incredibly short but personal post about my mental health which included an incredibly emotional video that I had sat down and filmed in hopes that someone, somewhere, would find it helpful. After these two failed posts and dwindling views on my YouTube vlogs, I started to question why I was even taking the time to write up these blogs that very few would read or would pretend they read and tell me it was "great". I questioned why I was spending hours and in many cases days creating vlogs. I questioned everything. April 12 was the last day that I created something that made me happy because I did not feel anyone cared and more than anything, I doubted myself and my abilities. I wasn't confident in myself or my path and was too wound up on what people were thinking about the stuff I was posting... what were they saying behind my back. Looking back, I feel sad for the girl I was just 9 months ago. I wasn't a person I would want to be following and I certainly wasn't a person I would want to get advice from. So honestly, I'm glad I quit when I did. I want to build a brand for myself, but, the brand I would've built is not what I would want for myself now.

Present day, I am confident in the woman that I am. I no longer need validation from others to feel that I am enough. I do not use alcohol as a crutch, a problem solver, a mask, a bandaid, or at all for that matter. We broke up lol. I have learned to love myself first. I've practiced dealing with my problems instead of running from them. I have taken the time to meditate on who I am and what road I am supposed to take in life and every time I circle back to my desire to create. I genuinely believe I am the truest form of myself when I am sharing (and sometimes oversharing) stories, talking about my struggles, and opening up for those who don't feel that they can. I am in a space now, that I am happy, I am confident, and I am ready to create again. I am ready to plan posts/videos, promote them, and check the views on them a million times. I am ready to feel fulfilled by this hobby again and not because someone else thought it was "great" but because I knew it was. I am doing this because it brings me joy. I am doing this because it just feels right. Do I hope that you will tune in, share with your friends/family/neighbors/pharmacist, and feel something from my content as well? Absolutely. But, if it turns out that you don't enjoy what I am creating, if you don't feel something by the words I am putting out into the universe... I can confidently say this time around.. I am okay with that, because at the end of the day, I am doing this for me.  I can't wait to share more about the insanely beautiful and wonderful mental, physical, and spiritual journey that I am on.

Happy New Year, Everyone!
Speak Soon.

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