Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thank you! (What It's Like To Be Fat--For Me)

Wow! I am absolutely speechless at the response that my previous post about my weight issues has gotten! It has over 2,300 views, which is absolutely insane! I don't think I even know that many people.... To every single person who liked, commented, shared, sent me a private message, texted, and called: thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I want to sincerely say thank you. Before that post, I literally NEVER talked about my weight to anyone apart from my mom and sister (and even that was a rare occurrence). But now that I've been open about it, my whole perspective has changed. I wasn't aware how much love and support was waiting for me if I just opened the door.  I knew that I had amazing friends, but I had no idea how much you truly loved me and were seeing me for me all along :)
The fact that someone could resonate with even a little part of my post means the world to me. I thought I was so alone in my thoughts and feelings, I had no idea so many people experienced the exact same emotions that I felt. And to those who have faced similar issues, I encourage you to share your story. This has been such a liberating experience for me and I hope you can experience the same type of love and acceptance that I felt. That being said, if you know me, you know that I have a lot more to say, so be sure to my follow my blog in order to see more posts about anything and everything.
PS: And to anyone who struggles with PCOS, weight issues, or being in the spotlight, always feel free to message me! We're all in this together *cue High School Musical jump*


Thursday, September 22, 2016

What It's Like To Be Fat--For Me

      Hey y'all, it's me, your fun-loving and carefree friend Erica. But wait...did you also know that your friend Erica is fat? This is the part of the post where you either say in your head "duh" or "omg no, you're not fat." I appreciate all the people who just said "duh" because those are the people that are actually being honest with me and themselves. It's ok to think it, I've been fat for my entire life, it's not a surprise to me. (I've actually only ever called myself "fat" out loud one time in my entire life.) It's such a weighty (pun intended) word, and I hope that one day it holds less power over me. Anyway, I've always envisioned doing a post like this one day in the future after I've lost tons of weight, become a yoga instructor, and I'm a famous #fitstagramer. But let's face it, that day is never going to happen. I'm writing this post to tell you what being fat has been like for me.
     Alright, so let me take you back to when Erica was a fat little kid. Childhood is such a fragile time in a person's life, and for a little girl, it's even harder. But I was ok. I was never the type of girl to look at a magazine and think "wow, I want to be skinny like her," or "she is so much prettier than me because she's thin." My mind never really operated that way. It sounds SUPER silly to say it, but I actually owe a lot of credit to Raven-Symone and her show That's So Raven. Raven was so funny and cool...and she wasn't a size 2! She looked like me (why representation is so important in the media!!), and to me, that meant the world. One of the main reasons I've probably never had an eating disorder is because of Raven and the images of other plus-sized women in the media.
      So fast forward to middle school...puberty, boys, hormones! All the fun stuff in life! Everyone around me started losing their baby weight, getting boyfriends, and experimenting with different personality types. But there was a huge problem for me, I wasn't losing any weight, in fact, I was getting bigger. My self-esteem was so fragile at this point. But again, I'm not the type of person to sit around and cry about it. I just told myself, alright that's fine, I'll just be the smart and funny friend. So that's what I did, I was a straight A student, a top musician, and I was always making my friends laugh. At this stage in my life, I chose to see myself not as the lead in the movie, but as the sidekick who provides the comic relief and meets the diversity quota for the production company. And that's how I've lived my life from then on, and to be 100% honest, it hasn't really bothered me. Sure, there are moments of frustration and anger but I've never been completely devastated about my weight.
     There have been so many times over the years when I say to myself, "that's it, I'm losing weight, I'm going to exercise every day and eat so healthy, I'll make Gwyneth Paltrow jealous. And I've done it and been successful before! I'll start to see the effects of my efforts, I'll start to lose weight and then a little switch in my brain goes off RED ALERT RED ALERT!!!! ERICA IS FAT ERICA CAN'T BE SKINNY!!!! Mentally, I just shut down and I stop exercising, stop eating super healthy. I've always cast myself as the sidekick and mentally I've never been ready to make that leap into the leading role. There's a part of my mind that becomes petrified of attention. I don't want anyone to say "hey, have you lost weight" or for any male to say "wow Erica is kind of pretty." That is something that I become petrified of. Because I've never had that type of attention before and my mind just says, "stay in your comfort zone, you're happy here."
      Another element of the story, which kind of runs parallel to my weight loss efforts, is my dilemma with doctors. Since puberty, I've been to so many doctor's appointments about my weight issue. The first thing they do is ask you what you typically eat in a day. So I would tell the doctor and they would say "hmm it doesn't make any sense why you weigh this much, let me check your thyroid."  I would have my thyroid checked, everything would be fine, and then they would say, "no, nothing's wrong with you," AKA "it's your fault, you're just fat, you just need to exercise." Then when I was 19, I went to the doctor here at Barnard because I had a cold that just wouldn't go away. And I started to chit chat with the doctor about other issues that I had: acne, irregular period, and being overweight. That doctor thought I might have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which is basically a hormone imbalance that causes your insulin to function improperly. It causes you to have acne that is untreatable by topical measures, an irregular period, unwanted hair growth (I actually don't have this symptom thank goodness), and it makes it hard for you to lose weight and easy for you to gain it. So basically it's a super fun combination!
     It turns out that I did have PCOS, which was a godsend diagnosis for me. It made so much sense to me why all my friends growing up were so much skinnier than me, why I could literally eat the same thing every day and still gain weight no matter what, and why losing weight was so difficult for me. But here's the rub, a diagnosis is not a magical gift, it doesn't simply make you skinny. Recently I've been working slowly to lose weight because I don't want that little trigger to go off in my head and stop all my progress. There are so many mental barriers that I need to get over, let alone the physical ones.
     The reason that I'm posting this, and posting it now, is because I feel like I haven't been living my life and that there are so many misconceptions about people who are overweight. While watching a movie with my friends, one of the characters complained about being overweight to which my friend said, "well, he should just lose weight." But being overweight is so much more than that. You live your life so differently than other people. You are constantly aware of what others are thinking about you and you live your life afraid of being the star of the show. I guess the conclusion of this post is that I'm tired of living my life out of the spotlight. And I wanted to share the story of my experiences to show people that the issue of being overweight is not one-dimensional, there are so many facets and layers that so many people will never come to understand, but hopefully this makes you understand me a little bit better.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ipsy Unboxing: March

About two days ago I got a very welcome surprise in the March ipsy had arrived! Here are all of the products I got.
I'm not thrilled about the design of the Glambag this month, but I'll still use it for travel.
The first product I got was this bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Get Ready, a blue-y pink. Full-size price: $18
Here's a swatch of it: 
Next is the Chella Eyeliner Pen in Indigo Blue. I'm really excited to try this, as I think it will bring out my blue eyes. It's also really nice that they give you a full size.
Price: $24
Up next is the pixi Flawless Beauty Primer. This product is slightly tinted and is supposed to add a glow to your skin and be hydrating, which isn't the best for my oily skin, but I'll give it a go. It is oil free and suggested for all skin-types, though. 
Full-Size Price: $22, Mini Price (what ipsy gives you): $9
And finally, I got the NYX Love in Rio eyeshadow trio in Segredos de Giselle. I love the colors in this trio, but when I swatched the colors, they did seem a little chalky. 
Price: $6

Overall, I'm really happy with the products I got this month, and I'm excited to start using them!
Total Price: $48 
I counted the lipstick as being half-price, as it's a small sample. For $10 a month I think ipsy is a no-brainer for beauty lovers. I mean, $10 for $48 worth of new products plus a cute bag! I can't wait to see what comes next month!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Top 5 Favorite Beauty YouTubers

I can't in good conscience start my blog without giving credit where credit is due. I've essentially  learned everything I know about beauty and fashion from watching beauty videos on YouTube. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem...haha so I just thought I would go through my favorite YouTubers if you're looking for new people to watch or you have yet to discover the destructive vortex of beauty videos. I honestly think that every girl should watch at least one beauty guru or look at beauty blogs (*wink) because I know that personally they have given me so much confidence. So here are some of my faves...
1. missglamorazzi (Ingrid)
Ingrid was the first beauty guru I ever started to watch on YouTube. I found her through watching her ex-boyfriend Luke's videos, but once I saw one of her videos, I could not stop watching them! I think I honestly spent an entire Saturday watching them. I like Ingrid's videos because she has similar skin issues to mine, like oily skin and hyper pigmentation, so I know I can always trust her recommendations. She has a very classic and girly style, which I like to apply bits and pieces of to my own wardrobe. She also does a lot of DIY (or GIY, glam it yourself) videos, which I have done a few of, and they're great. Overall, I think Ingrid is great for product recommendations, hairstyle ideas, and outfits of the day, but her makeup tutorials are fairly basic.
 2. FleurdeForce (Fleur)
I watch Fleur's videos mainly for her fashion hauls. She also has a very girly and classic style, but she likes to take risks, especially in terms of jewelry. In terms of beauty, she generally makes high-end recommendations, which I like to stay away from. For some reason, I find her videos very calming haha. She provides great gift guides around Christmas time and I would say you should watch her videos for her fashion and beauty hauls.
3. TanyaBurr (Tanya)
I AM OBSESSED WITH TANYA BURR. Now that's cleared up, I can tell you that I absolutely love Tanya's videos mainly because she's a professional makeup artist. She has some very technical makeup looks, but she is great at explaining the basics, like contouring, and how to do winged eyeliner. Tanya is absolutely gorgeous and has a very bubbly and adorable personality. You can't help but smile when you watch her videos. She has a classic style, but once in a while she'll take risks with patterns and edgy pieces. Tanya has very vast product knowledge and uses a wide range of products from high end to drugstore. Overall, I would watch her videos if you're looking to expand your makeup skills.
4. Zoella (Zoe)
I mainly watch Zoe's videos for her fashion advice. Her style is very Zooey Deschanel-esque, which I love to incorporate into my own wardrobe (in a more tone-downed way). Zoe has only done one makeup tutorial on her channel, and she usually just wears a classic cat eye, but she has great fashion videos and has some great hair tutorials. She also recommends a lot of great makeup products in a large price range.
5. EleventhGorgeous (Tracy and Stefanie)
It took me a while to warm up to Tracy and Stefanie because they can be a little overbearing at first, but I'm glad I stuck around because they are absolutely hilarious. I love their ipsy vs. Birchbox videos, which inspired me to subscribe to ipsy! They're basically unboxing videos, but you can really see that ipsy provides larger and better samples. Tracy and Stefanie also love them their drugstore hauls! They pretty much exclusively use drugstore products, which is great because the products they use are easily accessible and cheap. And when they do use a high-end product, you know it's good because they wouldn't waste their money. Recently, they've been putting up some really great hair tutorials, which I've been all about. 
Sorry this post was a bit rambling, but I hope you found it helpful! Some of my other favorites you should check out are pixiwoo and beautycrush. 

Hello, Internet!

Hello, everyone!
I have just discovered the motivation to start a blog, which seems to have hit me about a decade too late. I really enjoy all things beauty and fashion related and I absolutely love to watch TV. I'm from South Florida and I will be moving to NYC in the fall to attend Barnard College, so I'll probably post about city life and adjusting to college. I envision this blog to give all-around lifestyle advice including product recommendations, look books, and random daily musings. I have no idea if anyone will ever read this, but I'm excited to get started!