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!

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  • How appropriate that I dressed up as Sally at the haunted house last night, because I was featured as Sally on @liquidcosplay in the same day... Halloween no less! I love love love this costume, and it’s the one that got me started in cosplay and makeup. #halloween #cosplay

#Repost @liquidcosplay with @get_repost
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If you've got it, haunt it. Here's @madlikealyce as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. 🎃 Visit her page for more great cosplay!
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#nightmarebeforechristmas #nightmarebeforechristmascosplay #sallyandjack #sallystitches #sallyragdoll #halloween #halloweencosplay #halloween2018 #happyhalloween #EverydayIsHalloween #CreepItReal #repost #cosplay #cosplays #cosplayer #cosplayers #cosplaying #cospositive #cosplaylife #cosplaygirl #cosplaygirls #girlswhocosplay #cosplaybabe #sexycosplay #cutecosplay #womenofcosplay #girlsofcosplay #curvycosplay
  • You would think that I would have done makeup on all of my family at this point, but sadly that is not the case, however, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do my brother's makeup after the haunt had opened Saturday night! He managed to pull together an incredible maroon clown outfit, and I am really pleased how the makeup looks! I personally like the messier clowns, and it worked well to have brighter pink-ish hues toned down by smudges of black and watering down the paint overall. 
#clown #clownmakeup #hauntlife #hauntedhouse #halloween
  • My first ever zombie for Halloween was a shotgun bride, and although it was a real bridal gown with real shotgun damage, I just used 3 or 4 latex bullet wounds. It was fun, and a great introduction to using prosthetics, but it wasn't really accurate to what I would have had for damage with an actual shotgun wound. So years later, I made up for it by re-creating a more realistic wound of where the shoulder and partial face would have been torn up by the blast. Personally, this is my favorite zombie creation to date! #zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiebride #shotgunbride #zombiecrawl #woundmakeup
  • Ready for my closeup!!! Getting ready for Sioux Falls Zombie Crawl tomorrow!!! #zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiecrawl
  • OK you guys, this is where I love the internet. I created this zombie 2 years ago and had (kind of) forgotten about it until just this week when someone re-created it... and she is on the other side of the globe! Seriously, it made my my entire day/week/month, and reminds me why I love doing this. <3 <3 <3
#zombie #zombiemakeup #zombiecrawl #halloween2018
  • Its GO TIME PEOPLE! T-Minus 7 days to HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEN. Im running on fumes and caffeine, but it is 100% worth it. I love working at the haunted house, and am beyond thrilled about this coming weekend. I still have 2 costumes to finish and 2 zombies to do, plus some donut deliveries (a great fundraiser... friends scared of clowns? Send them donuts a-la-clowns). One more look at this first clown because I was obsessed with this wig from Rockstar wigs... I WILL find a way to use it again in the near future. #hauntlife #hauntedhouse #clowns #halloween2018
  • I had a request to recreate a clown mask as a makeup so it wouldn’t be as hot to wear in the house (swipe to see said mask), and it was quite the learning experience. I made this about a month ago when I was still trying to use the cream paints that the haunt had, though I’ve since decided to buy more of my own water paint to use on my actors. The base here was the basic white clown grease paint, and while I loved the coverage, it felt awful to wear, and it was incredibly difficult to add fine details with cream paint or shadows. So my first and last grease paint clown! 🤡 I still think it’s important to share our failures as well as the successes... this is still far better than what I might have created even just a year ago! #clowns #hauntedhouse #halloween
  • Hey Guys! I've been quiet on Insta so far this October, but its because IM SO BUSY and i'm pretty much in Halloween Heaven. Between finishing my first commissioned costume (its super simple, but I completed foam armor for the first time!!!) and doing makeup at the haunted house, i've hardly had time for sleep... and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
This is one of my first clown practice runs. I tried doing 30 minutes or less, and initially I wasn't planning on posting. Having a few days of the crazed makeup chaos that is getting ready for house open under my belt, I have a new appreciation for what details you can and simply cannot complete in such a short time period, and kind of like the grunge this clown pulled off. Not everything you will create is perfect, but thats how we all learn! #clowns #hauntedhouse #halloweenmakeup #halloween2018
  • I think this barrel look could make a great clown character.... am I going over to the dark side and starting to like clowns?!?! Only time will tell, and there are still 20 days until Halloween! #nightmarebeforechristmas #halloweentown #lockshockandbarrel

@madlikealyce

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