I'm the CEO of Veise, and I struggle to be kind to myself
I’m Angelica, the CEO and founder of Veise. I know the picture above is something we don’t typically post, as we haven't started talking a lot about body image on our blog yet, but I felt that this was important today.
That’s me. Right there. Clocking in at a whopping 105 lbs this morning on my 5’6” body.
If you saw me at the grocery store today, barely able to hold myself up, relying on the shopping cart to keep me from falling over, my yoga pants baggy on my tiny frame, and my struggle to pick up my grocery bags or even muster up enough strength to give my rewards number to the cashier at Earth Fare, barely able to speak loud enough so she could hear me? You’d think I had an eating disorder, or a drug problem, or at best maybe I was severely hungover, or maybe I wasn't all there mentally.
None of those are the case though.
I have multiple auto-immune diseases including Sjogrens Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Raynauds that attack my muscles, joints, central nervous system, and moisture glands. I fought for 2.5 years to get my body into remission through my diet, when prescriptions only made things worse. Fought to stay there for two years, and then had an awful relapse/ flareup on Monday that left me unable to get out of bed, walk, talk, eat, drink, and in a state of constant convulsions, shooting/ stabbing pains, muscle inflammation, and unbearable migraines.
I’ve lost 7 lbs in 2 days, and if I’m lucky, I’ll stop losing weight today and I won't continue to keep losing 2-3 lbs per day like I typically do during flareups.
It's Almost Like Reverse Anorexia
Being that I come from a background where I struggled with eating disorders for a good portion of my life, I typically beat myself up when my body is in a flare up and not absorbing nutrients or calories, even if I’m eating.
I hate my body when it looks like this, because I FEEL like I'm too skinny, even though there’s not a whole lot I can do.
I'm scared that people will THINK I'm too skinny and that I have an eating disorder, even though I fought for 10 years, without any outside help, to heal my mind and overcome that part of my life.
It used to crush me. The thought that every time my body wasn't absorbing nutrients, people would think I was anorexic when I was this skinny, and sometimes even skinnier. Again, without a whole lot of control over what was happening.
Your Body Helps You Achieve Your Goals
I thought about the BE KIND TO YOURSELF stickers we send out with all our packages when I walked by my mirror yesterday, half bent over, unable to fully stand up because of the inflammation on my lower spine and the spasms in my upper legs, crying and trying to breathe through the pain, pleading with the universe out loud to make it stop...
Once I was able to get myself into bed again, even though I was still convulsing, crying, and feeling like someone was stabbing me throughout my body, I was like “ya know what, eff it.”
Your body has been through so much, and look at what you’re still able to accomplish. You have a serious auto-immune disease that leaves you unable to function as a real human being sometimes, and look what you’re doing. This is a great body and it’s done a lot of great things for you.
This vessel that helps move you towards your goals every single day and that has brought so much joy and adventure and laughter into your life - why are you mad at it? Why do you put so much unnecessary pressure on how it looks? Why have you spent sooo much time hating it? And picking and prodding at all the things that you perceive as flaws?
Who gives a flying pigs arse if anyone else thinks you’re too skinny. They don’t know what you’ve gone through and that your body is trying to recover. Hell, they don't know what you're currently going through.
I'm sitting here typing this, shivering because I feel cold, while simultaneously sweating through my clothes because my body is confused AF about what's going on right now.
You can’t expect anyone else to understand, and that’s ok. It’s about you understanding and accepting yourself. Saying even though this may feel uncomfortable, I'm going to do it anyways because that's what's right for me, and other peoples opinions about my appearance don't have any effect on my life, unless I choose.
Then choose for them to have no effect on your life.
Change The Conversation
I woke up this morning with a huge smile on my face, because when I went to move and get out of bed, my legs worked again. They were wobbly, but I could mostly walk.
I looked in the mirror this morning and even though this is when I took the picture, I was so happy to be able to walk, I decided I was going to own this skinny ass and make today an absolutely amazing day.
I've been weak all day, but I was literally grateful to be alive for another day, getting to do what I love, sharing my stories, and getting to help others push through their obstacles and gain confidence back through amazing skincare and words of encouragement.
It sounds so simple. To be grateful to get the opportunity to live another day.
I spent a lot of days in my life, not wanting to live any more days because I had no purpose, I had no passion, and I was too concerned with all the things I hated about myself.
It took me actively changing the conversation in my own head to change the way that I viewed life, how I viewed myself, and how I viewed others.
Be Kind To Yourself
Be Kind To Yourself is about not only the little things in your life, but the big things too. It’s a lifestyle. It’s changing the conversation in your head, and choosing to see the good in situations, even when they’re scary or hard, or hopeless or your mind is telling you otherwise.
Be Kind To Yourself is about choosing to pick all the positive parts about your body. It's changing the conversation with yourself, so when you think about the parts you don't like? Tell yourself you like them anyways, and choose to love those parts. Accept every bit about yourself because WHY are you wasting YOUR precious life wanting to be someone else?
Have you ever thought about all the things that you thought were wrong with you, that maybe those things are what make you really good at being you? I'm not saying don't ever stop improving yourself because I don't believe in staying stagnant in the slightest; but focus on being healthy, expanding your knowledge about things that interest you, and about bettering yourself.
OBSESS OVER BEING HAPPY.
The world needs more confident women who accept themselves the way they are, and aren’t afraid to talk about it or show it ❤️
Wow…thank you so much for writing this…I really needed to hear it, especially today! I too suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogrens Syndrome and Raynauds and have since being diagnosed at 10 years old. I’m currently 38 and unfortunately I’ve had to add Multiple Sclerosis, Crohns Disease and the blood clotting disorder known as Factor V Leiden to my list of auto immune diseases. I often time (honesty, more often then not) HATE my body due to the horrible pain, inflammation and so many other negative things that it causes me. But I after reading your post and really thinking about it…you’re RIGHT! Why am I wasting my life and the precious time that I have left on being angry about something that I absolutely can not fix! I need to start being thankful for the things that this body still allows me to do, the things that its helped me accomplish in the past and the many things that I hope to accomplish in the future. I also wanted to let you know that you are an absolutely beautiful person… inside and out! I’ve been that lady in the grocery store barely able to walk and I’ve had to deal with the stares and the comments about my sometimes slurred speech (it’s due to my dry mouth and arid tongue caused by my Sjogrens), my wobbly gait (caused from Multiple Sclerosis) and so many other things. I’m here to tell you that the people who choose to stare, make assumptions based on the seconds that they’ve seen you and have the audacity to make rude comments to you have absolutely NO idea the hellish pain and suffering that your enduring and so truly don’t deserve a moment of your time or an ounce of your attention!! Thank you again for having the courage to write this post…it’s helped me more than you could know! ~Kris