Mad Like Alyce

Health, A History: My unhealthy relationship with food and weight

Six months ago, I had my Shattering Glass moment, and have since made some huge life changes, taking steps towards living healthier. But as I started writing about these changes, I realized that there was a lot of background to why they make a difference to me. And the more I thought about it, I realized that this background might have a lot in common with your stories. Weight is something that has become so engrained in our society, and so enmeshed in our self image. I decided it was time to share this part of my journey and introduce you to a really toxic relationship I have been involved with since I was 10 years old. An unhealthy relationship with food and weight.

This is a topic that could span 10 blog posts or more if I really tried. The perception that being thin = beautiful or even that thin = healthy. It is a topic that has been written about hundreds of thousands in magazines and newspapers and online forums. An topic that has been discussed for decades, and likely, centuries. A topic that has spawned millions of dollars for businesses capitalizing on the issue, from gyms, to diet plans, to food delivery services, to pharmaceuticals. The topic of weight.

I’ve gotta admit. I made it to this point in this article, and had a million things clamoring for the next line. The truth is, this issue goes so deep for me, as it does for many women. I could talk about the first time I recall “feeling fat” or noticing that I was a different shape and size from other girls at school. About how I was never able to shake the feeling that I was too heavy to be considered attractive, even when I (looking back now) really looked incredible in high school. How I would take multiple weight loss “supplements” in high school that always made me feel shaky and sick. How I dried to drown my misery and pain in college with cookie dough ice cream, and ultimately was left holding an empty carton and being just as miserable as before with an additional helping of guilt ladled on top.

Clearly, I have a poor relationship with food and more specifically, with weight. Or my perception of weight. I will get to that later.

Weight & Food

Don’t get me wrong, I love food! I love to cook, and there is nothing more delicious than a meal that I have put work into and can be proud of. I had been very physically active in high school, and could consume a Taco Johns super burrito on a daily basis without seeing any change to myself. Once I hit college, I didn’t have much of a grasp as to what to feed myself (which I think is actually pretty common) and would instead focus on exercise to compensate for my increasingly unhealthy eating habits. I had lost a lot of weight in middle school by doggedly exercising at home every day in addition to ballet classes and school sports. I had my determination, and thought that would be enough.

Then, after a car accident before my sophomore year of college, I found myself unable to exercise. Doctors recommended complete bed rest and relaxation as the pain continued to mount in a frightening manner, and comparatively, so did my misery. With a flood of medications messing with my body chemistry and complete lack of understanding of how to fuel myself, I continued to chase my misery with a spoon. The weight piled on.

Weight & Dieting

Over the course of the next two years, I tried a lot of diet fads. Most were met with a complete lack of success such as Slim Fast shakes (ick), The Atkins Diet (a bit extreme for me, and I didn’t feel like it was sustainable), Jenny Craig (who has this kind of money?!?!? And how is prepackaged processed food going to help me?).

When I turned 22, I’d had enough. I was so physically uncomfortable, and hated being inside my own skin. Finally, I saw a picture of myself at my mother’s wedding and something snapped.

rsz_at_moms_wedding

No joke, I hate this picture. But I keep it as a reminder.

I hardly recognized myself, and was struggling to find clothing that was comfortable. Certainly, I didn’t feel that I looked good in anything, comfortable or not. At 213 lbs, I joined Weight Watchers.

And I didn’t lose weight. At first. It look almost a month before I actually started to see results. But, I did notice something right away. After my first meeting, I went home armed with a plan. I made a meal and calculated my points. Then went through my entire cupboard and marked everything in there with the points value. Weight Watchers gave me something, which the other plans did not. Control, and a measurable means to evaluate that control. In the course of a year, I lost 40 lbs without exercise. I hit my lowest weight in years right as I graduated from college.

rsz_down_40

Took this when I was trying on all of my clothes from the previous summer. Hardly kept a thing!

Then I moved across the state and started a new job. A great job, but an extremely stressful job, with too many hours, too much stress, and no outlet. With my college routine shot to pieces, I scrabbled to make something resembling a new routine and clung on with both hands, managing to only gain 10 pounds of it back throughout the next year. But I knew that I was unhappy and incredibly unhealthy mentally, and I needed to make a change. I moved back across the state to Sioux Falls and managed to snag my dream job at a company that, finally, valued people more than profit. Finally, I was at a place where I could focus on getting healthy, in so many different ways.

Choosing Health vs. Weight

But sometimes you have to choose what you want to heal. And this time, I chose to heal my self mentally. Starting in March last year, I began a weekly counseling schedule to finally tackle the PTSD issues I had been for so long ignoring. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and I turned to an old friend to comfort me… food. This time in the form of Swedish fish or Oreo McFlurries. Don’t ask my why, but after a difficult counseling session or the triggers that I simply couldn’t ignore any longer, all I wanted was comfort food. That would help me. And help myself I did.

Over the last summer and fall, I gained 20 pounds, putting me within shooting range of my highest weight ever. But this time, it was different. Sure, I was uncomfortable. But this time, I wasn’t on pain medication. This time, I was in a healthy relationship. This time, I was in a healthy environment. Most of all, this time, I was in control. It didn’t always feel like it, but I knew I was doing what needed to be done. I wasn’t happy turning to food. But I was happier with myself overall. I knew I was headed in the right direction, even if the weight gain was a bit of a detour. My destination was sound.

I have made lots of lifestyle changes, sure, but I think the biggest change happened long before my moment of motivation in January.

rsz_xmas_booth

The harsh comment came in on the beard photo from my Christmas Photobooth. But seriously, how many chicks can rock a Santa beard?  Im going to go with “nailed it!”

rsz_xmas_photo_booth

Even through he was right and I had gained a lot of weight… I still really enjoyed these photos, and for once was able to see me and not my weight.

It happened when I identified that I was getting healthier, even if I was physically gaining weight. I started taking steps towards my unhealthy weight relationship breakup long before I made the physical changes that show it.

Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

Instagram

  • "Jumpsuit jumpsuit, cover me."
Im mildly obsessed with the new TOP single, and actually have a cosplay in the works based off of the music video. Question to you guys, would you be interested in seeing progress pics for some of my work? I feel like I don't focus on one thing long enough, and by the time it hits the blog, its been ages! Let me know in the comments!
#twentyonepilots #TOP #skeletonclique #losingmyfreakingmind #isitoctoberyet #jumpsuit #trench
  • "Time to wake up." I have probably listened to the new TOP song over 100 (200? 100? Who's counting?) times by now. October 5 cannot get here fast enough! I wanted to pull something fast and simple together. #twentyonepilots #TOP #skeletonclique #losingmyfreakingmind #isitoctoberyet #jumpsuit #trench

The whole look was done with #mehron body paint. This wig also has me feeling my emo high school days... wig from Rockstar Wigs, but i'm not sure exactly which style it is.
  • "We've been here the whole time. You were asleep." No better way to jump back in to some makeup looks than being inspired by one of my all time favorite bands. Who else has "Jumpsuit" on repeat? 
#twentyonepilots #TOP #skeletonclique #losingmyfreakingmind #isitoctoberyet #jumpsuit #trench
  • "Sometimes, you just want things to stay the way they are forever. But you can’t. And they won’t." - Girl in Space

Because i'm trying this thing where I post each look in 3's to keep my Insta page even, and I seriously can't express how hauntingly gorgeous the intros are for each Girl in Space episode. I'm re-listening to the episodes now, and I so excited for 109 since I have NO CLUE what is going to happen! Also, after a few weeks without looking at them, this is one of my favorite pictures, and I can't believe I didn't post it first!
  • "Yeah, I’m glad I’m back, too." Episode 108 of the @girlinspacepodcast  left me with SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Is Kai alive? Where the heck is Thor? Who is the "lion's paw?" But the biggest unknown is just how important the dwarf star "Ra" is likely to become in the plot of 109... and is why Ra is included in my makeup! The warm glowing orb on my eye is in reference to my suspicions that Ra will soon become a much more relevant part of the Girl in Space plot very soon. #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering #savekillbot #prayforkai
  • Galaxy in action! Quick peek at the movement of the makeup before I put on my wig, which covered a lot of the detail. Gotta love that "sunshine" glare on the shiny black surface! I bought a finishing powder this week to hopefully counteract this in the future. Or just back away from the light.... :P
  • Disappearing into the music...
I was really digging my latest playlist when I started my galaxy makeup last weekend, so I started blacking out everything besides my face to procrastinate taking off my headphones. I took this photo halfway through to see how well I would blend into my background, and kind of liked how this "progress" shot turned out. Funny thing was, this was the last pic where I had a true infinite background, my camera (phone) couldn't quite hang once I was fully blacked out. Time to consider a real camera?
  • Let yourself be found... Another shot of my galaxy inspired by the @girlinspacepodcast. If you haven't heard of this AMAZING audio novella, I highly recommend... trust me, you are in for a treat! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering 
This look took around 3 hours, and while I love the images with the wig, it covered up a lot of the detail. If you try a galaxy look, allow yourself some patience. It didn't look like a lot until I was well into adding color. Take it slow, and keep layering colors, and suddenly it will start to take shape!

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets.
  • Find me... This galaxy makeup is inspired by my FAVORITE audio novella,@girlinspacepodcast, though I may be a bit biased. If you haven't yet started listening, you are in for a treat! Enter the world of the character "X" aboard the Cavatica, as she monitors the radiation from the Red Dawrf Star, Ra. Alone.

Season one is still in progress, so there is plenty of time to join the fun! #girlinspace #findme #nomurdering

This look was completed using @mehronmakeup paradise paints from the standard, pastels, and brilliant pallets. Honestly, this is the most color intensive look I have done so far, I had cosmetic wedges everywhere! I pulled it together with a @rockstarwigs long curly in Very Berry.

@madlikealyce

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