Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eating Disorder Recovery

Invisible. Fat. Ugly. Whale. Worthless. Chunky. Not good enough. Attention Seeker. Outcast. Stupid.

Let's stop and reflect and take a moment to let all those words sink in. Read them again. How do they make you feel? If you were to be called any of those words, what would your response be to them? Would they make you feel all warm and fuzzy? Would you feel more positive about yourself? Do those words make you want to continue to happily go about your day?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, there is something wrong......

Eating Disorders. Uh oh, there is a topic our society feels that it is not okay to talk about. People with eating disorders are crazy right? Those kind of people are just dying for attention. Wow, look at that girl, she is a stick and thinks she is obese, what is her problem? I would totally kill for a body like hers.

Eating disorders are rapidly growing among adolescents and young adults in society today. They are more common among girls, but the amount of guys dealing with them are also beginning to increase more. Psh who do they think they are, right?

To define eating disorder, google puts it as the psychological disorders that can be characterized by abnormal eating habits. Uh oh... that also puts eating disorders under another topic we can talk in our world.. mental health problemss.. ahhh red flag.

Negativity is always assciated with the topic of eating disorders. But as someone who has recovered, or is still recovering. I do not think everyone actually understands what it can be like to live with an eating disorder:
YOU NEVER FEEL LIKE YOU ARE WORTH IT OR GOOD ENOUGH. This is a common problem with those who are dealing with eating disorders. You tend to constantly bring yourself down because you feed off negative energy from those aaround you. You feel broken, hurt, used,and like no one cares about you. You require attention or love that you have never been able to receive because you have lacked it for so long. You want to feel loved but you have been trained by either parents, friends, or peers, that you can never be and now it is just ingrained into your mind.
YOU WOULD BE PRETTIER IF YOU WERE TINIER: Having an eating disorder typically tends to be a persons way of feeling that they have control over their life. Often people may have problems at home, work, or school, and feel like their life is beginning to spiral out of control, so in order to grab onto some part of making sure they can have control of their life they dictate their eating habits.

PERSONAL STORY: Personally, I dealt with Anorexia Nervosa throughout my four years of high school. I was constantly depressed and no longer felt like I was accepted right at school. I struggled with fitting in at home, and extra curriculars as well.I felt like my life had no meaning and I was being a Zombie. I slowly went through the day not speaking, not living, just existing. I wanted to have control over my life and I wanted people to think I was beautiful and worth it. I did not decide to make this change the best way however. I began to cut calories. And by cutting calories I do not mean just a snack here and there. I really cut them. 500 calories a day max. try not to even reach that. In my mindset I thought I could be happy by being skinny and I would do anything to make sure I could at least make that happen. Skip breakfast, skip lunch, little snack, skip dinner. Dont eat, be strong. Thats the mindset I had. Thats how many people who deal with eating disorders feel.

This issue needs to quit having so many stereotypes around it,.. and needs to quit being shoved under the rug. It needs to be talked about. People need to feel happy and loved. They need our help to show them they are wanted. THEY ARE ENOUGH.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

We enjoy you a latte

When people start getting to know me, they can usually describe me in about two words: COFFEE ADDICT. I find that one of the most perfect ways to relax and just enjoy yourself, is with one or perhaps even a group of friends, and being surrounded by all different kinds of different sugary drinks or pastries, I have went to various coffee shops over the years, but I have never found one that I enjoy more than Muggswigz, a small coffee shop located in downtown Canton, Ohio.

Muggswigz has been in business for over ten years. It is owned an operated by Alex Haas. Alex originally grew up in downtown Canton, Ohio, close to where the shop is now located. He developed a passion for the coffee and tea world partially during his college career where he studied chemistry and psychology, and continued to broaden his coffee and tea infatuation as he traveled throughout India, and parts of Europe. After his artistic, cultural, and practical understanding for the tea and coffee business was achieved, he decided to move back to Canton and open up a shop to share his love with the rest of Ohio. After opening up in downtown Canton, his business has had the opportunity to expand else ware, allowing him to open up in more locations and add new types of recipes to his menus. 

SOOO..... what does this joint actually have to drink? There are so many different items that this rad place has to offer. You can quench your thirst with a pot of one of their teas (I'm pretty sure they have like twenty of them: Blueberry?Banana?Orange?Mint?), you can enjoy one of their delicious smoothies if you are looking to keep your fizek in check, or you can choose from many of their specialty drinks such as: Fuzzywig, Vanilla Cloud, Living La Vida Mocha.... Still not sure if you are impressed? you could also make your own customized beverage. You name it? they do it. If you also enjoy food like I do, you can also choose to indulge in one of their delicious sweet treats. HINT: YOU NEED TO TRY ONE OF THEIR CINNAMON ROLLS YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!!!!! 

During the past two years I have lived in Canton, I have completely lost track of how many times I have found myself walking through Muggswigz's doors. A dear friend of mine, and I, are regulars at this little shop and can always be found there during our weekly visits at a specific day and time, Going to Muggswigz each week to chat, play games, meet new strangers who have very interesting different tastes in coffee, and interact with a staff that feels more like family than any family I have ever been a part of, makes life a whole lot, or should I say a whole cup, of bliss.


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Monday, July 25, 2016

A Camp That Changes Lives Forever

What is OTI...

OTI (Ohio Teen Institute) is a drug free leadership conference that is designed for high school students and adults. This conference provides high school age students with effective skills to help them learn how to become positive leaders in their school and community and also allows adults the opportunity to learn skills that will help them develop prevention based programs with today's youth. At the conference, participants are put into small discussion groups (we call these family groups) where they get to shares ideas, play games, and truthfully start to bond like a real family would. They also get to participate in workshops that are designed to help them learn new skills (adults focus primarily on prevention planning), share their talents with each other in the yearly talent show, and also have a dance where they have loads of fun without having to use drugs or alcohol.

My story and how OTI has shaped me...

The first time I had ever heard anything about OTI was during my junior year of high school. One of the leaders from a club I was involved in during high school known as PANDA, had known about the conference and kept encouraging me to go and check it out. At first I was very skeptical of the idea of going to some conference that I didn't know much about, where I would only know a few people, and that was pretty far away from home. I kept pondering the idea over and over again and decided to give the idea a shot. Little did I know before going there how much this camp was going to change my life for good. During my years of middle school and high school, I was super shy, only had a few friends, and struggled severely with depression and thoughts of suicide, and later on in high school an eating disorder. I felt as though I was alone in the world and there wasn't a single soul out there that truly cared about me or would care if I were to disappear. When I walked into OTI my first day of camp I was completely speechless. There was such a positive atmosphere all around me, the people there were the friendliest people I had ever met, and everyone was so accepting. This camp opened my eyes and showed me that there were people out there who truly cared, and that I didn't have to live a sad life full of darkness and pain. When I try to explain to people why OTI makes me happy or try to explain how the camp makes a person feel, I am usually never able to put it into words. The content feeling you get there is mind boggling and amazing that you can only begin to understand it if you are actually there and get to participate in it. In the last three years I can definitely say I am no longer the same person I once was before going to this camp. I am actually confident in myself, I can talk to anyone I come in contact with, I try to live a very positive and happy lifestyle, and I try not to let the negativity that once hurt me get to me anymore.

What OTI means to me...

Over the last three years I have been to three camps and I can definitely say that each camp has always been  more amazing then the one before. My first year I was a participant in the camp, my second year I got to be apart of the youth staff and this year I got to be apart of the intern staff. While being in each role, I have gotten to see the camp through different pairs of eyes. When I was a participant I was a depressed teen looking for close friends and a safe haven and was able to find both, during youth staff I got to be the crazy energetic person who got everyone pumped up and ready to go, and being on intern staff I got to do a lot of work and helped figure out how to get different parts of the camp running. Even though there are so many roles in this camp, I believe that there is one common purpose we all have. Yes the main one is to live a drug and alcohol free life and learn leadership skills, but there is also another. This purpose is to unite with people from different backgrounds, ethnicity's, religions, etc and learn how to make our world a more positive and better place to live. No one in this world should ever have to wake up wishing it were over or wonder if there is even a purpose out there for them. Making the world a better place starts with having the mindset and motivation to make the world better and starts to become better when we start acting on that mindset and motivation and getting others to partake in it with us. OTI is a camp that teaches people how to do this and makes a difference in individuals lives as well as mine, and helps make life so much more brighter and a more positive place to live in.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Not Your Average Coffee Shop

Since moving to Canton, Ohio I have tried to adventure around and explore different sights the area has to offer. One of my all-time favorite things to discover however, are new coffee shops. There is something about a coffee shop that just makes me feel content with the world. One day I was staying with a friend, when she recommended to me a coffee shop in downtown Canton that I had never heard of before. So of course, I had to definitely go and check it out.

Downtown Canton has all kinds of different places to discover, especially in the art district. This spot is also home to the coffee shop known as "Cultured Coffee and Waffles." The coffee shop used to be just known as "Cultured Coffee" until recently a knew owner took over and decided that he wanted to change things up a bit. The shop offers all kinds of different coffee specialties that you would expect when walking into a coffee shop. It also offers 14 different waffle flavors, like the "Grandpa's Grilled Cheese Waffle" or perhaps a favorite from the Ninja Turtles, the "The Pizza in a Half Shell." Not only do they have special waffle flavors, but they also offer you the chance to create your own special waffle. This cute shop has an array of seating, allows you the chance to play video games, or even gives you the option to play any of their many board/card games.

A dear friend of mine and I decided to  visit "Cultured Coffee and Waffles" and absolutely fell in love with it. The coffee and waffles were amazing, and we enjoyed the atmosphere the place gave off. We also enjoyed competing with one another by spending the morning playing games. I would highly recommend this shop to anyone! Go and give it a chance, you will not be disappointed.