#pcos, Body Love, Mental Health, Self Love

So, I’m Bigger Now. Does It Matter? | Weight Gain & PCOS

I’ve talked about my weight gain and my reaction to my now bigger body before, but just a few short minutes ago while I was talking to my husband, I had that oh so famously Ah-Ha moment, and I want to share this with you.

The conversation came up when I was telling my husband how I’m scared to see people from my life that was there to witness my “skinnier” and “fitter” days. I’m scared to hear what they’re going to say. I’m scared that one of the first words out of their mouths is going to be: “Boy, you really let yourself go.” or “You are so much bigger since the last time I saw you.”. All my life, I’ve never been skinny enough. I couldn’t wear this or that because I had a slight pooch. What are they going to say now when my slight pooch has turned into a lot of love in the trunk. I caught myself trying to explain that I have little control over my weight gain. It’s a health thing. It’s hormonal. I’m doing everything in my power to be healthy and 80% of the time I am, but my body is working against me. It doesn’t matter that I’m beyond active, that I don’t drink or smoke and barely consume junk food. Heck, I barely eat candy anymore. That doesn’t matter, because I’m a big girl now. I’m fat. As I was trying to explain or make excuses for my new body, anger started to boil deep inside my gut. Why the fuck am I connecting my worth as a person to my weight? Why the fuck does it matter? I’m sick of tired of feeling like I can’t wear skin-tight clothes or anything that shows my ‘fat’ because it doesn’t suit my body type anymore. I’m sick and tired of feeling that I need to hide my body. I’m sick and tired of beating myself up or hating what I see in the mirror. I have said all of this before. I’ve tried countless thing to accept my body and love my extra love in the trunk, but you know what, it was a lot easier to sing that tune when I was skinnier. Now, when I’m noticeably bigger (30kg heavier), it’s really fucking difficult, and it shouldn’t have to be. It’s really fucking sad because even when I had those abs when I flexed, I still didn’t like what I saw. I still didn’t wear those skin-tight clothes or showed off my body with confidence. I still felt ugly. It just doesn’t matter. I’m not going to be remembered for my body when I die. It’s not going to matter if I was short, tall, skinny or fat, heck let’s throw in yellow- or purple-skinned. My outer appearance is going to mean jack shit when I’m dead. It’s what is on the inside that matters. That’s what you should care about. And more importantly, that’s what I should care about.

It’s funny. I’ve never (Well, if we want to get technical I have for a few seconds but that was more a reflection of my own demons than about that girls’s actual body.) looked at anyone and judged them for their outer appearance, but why am I doing it to the person I’m supposed to love most in this world, me? I still have a long way to go, and I’m going to start challenging myself when it comes to accepting my body as is. I wasn’t put on this green and blue earth to constantly deprive myself of pleasantries, starve myself, and wish my body was different. I was put on this earth to be me. So, when anyone brings up my bigger body or my weight gain, I’m not going to go in attack mode or try to explain myself. Instead, I will ask: “Does it matter?” and if they say “yes” then that tells you more about them than anything else. You’re so much more than your outer shell.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Love, Cassy xxx

Body Love, Story Time

Celebrating My ‘Imperfections’ | The Story Behind Five Of My Scars

This is a semi-random blog but I thought it would be nice to have something more light-hearted as a nice little break after I shared about my struggles with infertility. Those blogs tend to be a little intense, to say the least, and I need a breather. My website needs a breather. This blog was inspired by my cat who just celebrated his second birthday. A few weeks ago, Speculoos scratched me on my palm and it scarred. A few days ago, he scratched me on the same hand and this one will probably scar as well. I scar very easily. For the longest time, I was ashamed of all my scars. They’re unsightly. As my body grew with my nearly unstoppable weight gain (PCOS sucks!), I was confronted with a lot of stretch marks. I have angry red stretch marks all the way down my inner thighs and don’t get me started on the tummy stretch marks. My self-esteem took a dip and I find myself always covering up. I wanted to hide these marks. My body is tainted and ruined. As some time has passed, I got pretty annoyed at this trail of thought. It’s so incredibly tiring and I don’t have the energy for this bullshit. Who gives a fuck about some scars and stretch marks? I have other things to worry about. My scars are unique. They tell a story. My stretch marks show growth. They show my struggles and one day they will show that I carried my children. I should be proud of them. And so, I’ve decided to choose my top five scars and share the story behind them. Quite a bit of these scars have faded over the years, some you can barely even see anymore.

Scar One

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The wound on my knuckle is a fresh one that I got from gardening.

Long ago, in a distant land, a little girl was too short to reach the kitchen counter… The little girl…uhmmm…she…nevermind. I would’ve continued in this writing theme but I don’t know how to make this shit funny and I’m tired. I’ve talked about this scar before (years ago on my now deleted Instagram) and it’s still one of my favorites. I always wanted to help my mom and one of her biggest pet peeves was dirty dishes laying around. So, as a little girl, I would gather all the dishes and put them in the sink. By putting them in the kitchen sink, I mean throw them in because I can’t reach the counter. I had a little step and sometimes I would get the step so I could reach and other times I would just hope they don’t break. It’s a miracle that the glasses didn’t break every single time. On the day I got this scar, my brother was babysitting. We decided to clean up a little bit and I went around the house to collect dirty dishes. I threw them into the kitchen sink while my brother wasn’t looking. He, without checking, filled the sink with water and soap. I hopped on my little step and helped wash the dishes. A broken glass nicked me on my hand and I cried. I don’t remember it hurting a lot but it bled quite a bit and this scared me. I must have been seven at the time. My brother cheered me up and distracted me from my oouchie by making me a cast. Back then, I really wanted a cast. Someone in our life had a cast a while back and I thought it looked so cool. My memory is a little foggy but it could’ve been my dad? My brother’s DIY cast was toilet paper (to catch the blood) and clear tape. He wrapped my entire hand and for the rest of the day, I was quite happy to show off my cast to anyone who would spare a glance. I think I even asked him to make the cast again the next day. It’s a fond memory and over the years the scar has helped me a lot with directions. I’m super bad with telling you what’s left and right and to this day I will steal a glance at my scar to check. The scar is on my right hand. In school when we learned about directions (north, south, west, and east), I often used my scar to cheat on tests. My scar looks like an ‘O’ which stands for Oos (East in Afrikaans). I love this scar and would never dream of covering or removing it even if I could.

Scar Two

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My nails were so pretty before I had to cut them because of you guessed it, gardening. Onno is off this week so we’re trying to finish our backyard. I will probably write a blog about it.

Scar number two is on my other hand. It’s a scar that I had more lows than ups with as everyone constantly thought it was a self-harm scar because of the placement. I self-harmed very briefly (I didn’t feel that much relief from it) but those scars never took. The scar is also a reminder of when things were bad and this used to bother me a lot. I originally got my wrist tattoo to hide this scar but the design didn’t quite work out because of the less than legit tattoo artist. I’m a bit surprised that now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t love this scar too much. It brings up some bad memories but I’m in an emotional and fragile state at the moment so it could be bothering me more than usual. The story of receiving this scar is a semi-silly one. I was eleven and over the weekends I would take over the dining room table and play with my barbies. I will play out a fantasy world and story and every part of the table was a different part of the world. I used to stick these little fairy dolls onto my barbie’s stomach with tape when she would be pregnant. I had a lot of fun. The dining room table was right before the front door and in the summer, we would often leave the door open for some fresh air. One day, a wind caught it and I saw the door start the slam shut. It’s one of those doors with a really pretty window in the middle and I knew that if it slammed shut and the window broke, I would be in a lot of trouble. So, I ran for it and stretched out my hand to stop it. My hand went straight through the window and it broke all around me and nicked my wrist. I remember I was too scared for being in trouble then upset about the pain in my hand. My stepfather at the time somehow blamed me for everything and yelled at me as I bit back the tears, cradling my bleeding wrist. While my mom cleaned up the broken pieces of glass, I cried in the bathroom and cleaned my wound…Yeah, maybe it isn’t the best memory. I normally don’t mind it as much. I barely notice the scar but when I stared at it as I was writing the story of how I got it…it’s a lot. It’s really sad. If I could remove it or cover it up, I will. I actually plan to eventually cover up my wrist tattoo and I will take that opportunity to hide it under the ink.

Scar Three

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If you strain and really look you can see the scar. It’s incredibly faint and I’m kind of sad about it. Also, excuse the leg stubble.

Now, this is a good memory. I actually got the same scar twice because I’m really bad with directions. The first time I got this scar I must’ve been seven or eight. Back then I loved nothing more than taking a drive with my daddy on the back of his motorbike. It was just after my parents’ divorce and back then I would only see my father every second weekend. My father picked me up on one Sunday for a short little drive and he was running late to something on the way back and I quickly hopped off the bike, kissed him goodbye and went straight to my room to cradle my leg which I burned on the exhaust pipe. I remember being so scared my mom would be angry at me that I cried over the burn on my leg for a good ten minutes before a close friend of mine came into the room and saw my leg. She called my mom which then raced me to the bathroom to apply some cold water on it. My mom called my dad and he recommended to add some butter and ice to it. It left a scar that faded over time but just before it could fade completely, I climbed off the wrong side of the bike and burned myself on the exact same spot. Luckily, we were on our way to the doctors for my dad and the doctor quickly applied the correct treatment and I just sweated it out. It still hurt like a bitch though. The scar is quite faded by now but boy do I love this scar. It reminds me of my precious daddy and the fond memories we share over my childhood. I remember in Highschool this one boy actually recognized the type of scar and asked if I got it on a motorbike. We bonded over it as he had the exact same scar on his leg. He was quite impressed with my comfortability with bikes and it gave me a great ego boost at the time. I wish I’ve learned from my mistakes but I will most likely burn my leg on the exhaust pipe if I ever climb on a motorbike again. I’m really bad with my directions and I ALWAYS forget. My dad had his bike for a few years after the last burn and he would always climb off first and express that I have to climb off on the other side. On my defense, the exhaust is on the right and I’m right-handed…

Scar Four

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I had to outline my scars because some of them were so faint they are nearly impossible to see. The mark next to the outline of a scar you can’t see is one of my birthmarks.

The story of how I got this scar is so funny. The scar has faded so much over the years you can barely see it so I’m actually going to deep dive in my old photos and see if I can find it. Wish me good luck! Okay, I’ve resurfaced one hour later and I’m wheezing and cringing at the same time. I went in deep and I only found one picture where you can kind of see the scar. I promise it was super prominent.

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You can see it a bit more in this picture but back then I was tan all the time and it would blend in with my tan. It’s so strange to see myself before any of my tattoos. I was 15 in this picture by the way.

Before I jump in and tell you the story, I figured I should share some of my favorite pictures I stumbled upon when I went down the rabbit hole. The rabbit hole was so deep I even found some old selfies with the high school boyfriend.

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Someone thought she was so edgy. I can’t. It’s so cringy. The unmade bed really takes it to a new level. I was fifteen maybe sixteen in this picture.

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I laughed so hard when I saw this one. My dark past…the duckface phase. Burn it. I was eighteen in this picture.

AND NOW DRUMROLL PLEASE FOR THE BEST PICTURE THAT HAS EVER BEEN TAKEN OF ME. IT’S PURE PERFECTION.

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You’re welcome!

I got this scar when I was thirteen (maybe twelve) years old and it’s another burn scar. Most of my scars are either from something sharp cutting me or something hot burning the shit out of me. For years I used to eat instant noodles after school. It was my favorite snack time and thinking about it now makes me feel so uncomfortable. Unhealthy is an understatement. This peculiar time, I made my 2min noodles (South African slang for instant noodles) and rushed back to my bedroom because my favorite show was on; Mew Mew Power. I sat down to quickly and the hot noodles spilled all over my leg and burned the shit out of me. It hurt like hell. It was a really bad burn, a second-degree burn. The entire burn was a big blister and it took weeks to heal. Unfortunately for me 2 weeks after I got the lovely burn, we had a school trip. It’s was a bit to early for me to swim but when I saw all of my friends swimming, I felt so sad that I couldn’t join them so I did and the grossest thing happen. The skin of the burn just slid off and disappeared into the filter of the pool. The wound was angry and pink. It wasn’t super painful but it scared all the boys and the girls got angry at me because the attractive lifeguard saw it and ushered me over to get first aid. Years after the wound, my friends would often tease me and call me 2min noodles. It was fun times.

Scar Five

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Out of context, this picture is a bit strange. I made a funny because I posted a really nice picture of myself everywhere and this was the picture I send to my best friend. They were taken seconds apart. Anyway, you can see the chin scar in this picture so I get to share it publically. Yay!

This last scar is probably the one I felt the most self-conscious about mostly because one day a beautician pointed it out and said it ruined my face. I tried everything to lessen the appearance of the scar. I applied really expensive body oil which is supposed to make scars and stretch marks disappear almost instantly. The very same beautician that made me self-conscious of the scar was the one who sold this product so that’s great. Humans are great. I got this scar when I was fourteen years old and like most chin scars, I tripped over a loose rock and scarped the shit out of my chin on the pavement. It bled like crazy and I remember coming back home with blood all over my neck and my mom didn’t bat an eyelash. I’ve always been a little rough and would often come home with some wound. I simply rinsed off the blood and after my mom checked the wound and gathered that I didn’t need stitches, we cleaned it and applied a band-aid on it and that was it. The funny part (maybe only to me) was that I was chasing after a boy when I tripped. I don’t know why I find that that part funny. The scar might be prominent at times and I certainly hated it when I was younger but now, I don’t mind it. My husband has the same scar on his chin. He got his when he tried to do tricks in the pool and hit his chin on the edge. He was around the same age as I was when he got his chin scar and I find this fact so adorable.

And that is the stories behind five of my scars. Scars shouldn’t be hidden or seen as something dirty ruining a clean canvas. It’s the story of your life. It’s the bumps and bruises that shows your story. It shows that you’ve lived. The same can be said for stretch marks. You should always celebrate your ‘imperfections’, only then will you find your true strength.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Before you go, I would love to hear the story behind your favorite scar.

 

 

#pcos, Body Love, Mental Health, Self Love

I’m A Worthless Human Being Because I Gained Weight

20 February 2019

I’m writing this blog after a really difficult day. I realize that these are my toxic thoughts now but I need to write about this. Writing is my therapy and maybe by writing out all my thoughts, I might gain a new perspective on things. I don’t know but I need to get these feelings out.

Today I found out I weigh 90kg. I feel sick to my stomach. I feel disgusting. I feel like I should go crawl into some hole and hide. No one can see me like this. No one can know I weigh so much. When I saw that number on the scale I wanted to cry. I bit back my tears and told myself, cry about this tonight. I’ve gained so much weight in this last year that it’s been an incredibly hard pill to swallow. After the big weight gain where the scale climbed 2-3kg a WEEK for two months, I thought that was it. I’m 20kg heavier but I will lose it. I was diagnosed with PCOS soon after that and it’s been one ugly mix of emotions since. I felt horrified that I gained so much weight. I immediately changed the way I dressed or constantly tugged at my clothes because I didn’t want people to see the obvious weight gain. Hello, oversized everything. And now, when I’m already so fragile, I find out I’m 10kg’s higher than that. I can’t hit that 100kg mark. I can’t.

And I’m scared. I want to lose weight because I want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin but I’m terrified I will become obsessed with fitness again. It was truly horrifying that the pressure of maintaining the weight loss or fitness journey did to my mental health. I get so overwhelmed these days. So much extreme thing has been happening to me this last year that I’m barely keeping my head above water. I can’t add that weight loss pressure onto my shoulders again. I will break. I’ve found a system that is taking steps towards the right direction but it slow and forgiving. It’s all that I can handle at the moment but it’s not enough. I’m not doing enough. I’m still gaining weight and I’m disgusting. I need to starve myself. I need to drink just smoothies for months straight. I need to eat, drink and sleep fitness again. I need to eat nothing and just drink water. I need to make myself throw up when I eat candy. I need to. I need to. I need to. These thoughts are disgusting. I look at my body and I hate it. I hate how that is just another thing in my life that I can’t control and I hate how it doesn’t feel like my body anymore. I hate how I’m scared someone will point out my weight gain out and I hate how I no longer feel beautiful. I hate that this weight gain makes me feel worthless. Like my life has no meaning because I have back rolls. I hate that I feel this way and I want to change but I don’t know if I can handle it now. It’s a constant toss up of 1) go big or go home or 2) one day at a time. I’m struggling to find a middle ground. I’m struggling to get out of this ugly and toxic loophole. I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I don’t want to be this big anymore. I tell myself I will be happy when I’m back to my fit body but the truth is, I wasn’t fucking happy back then. I still thought I was fat and worthless. I still bit back tears when someone pointed out my stomach. But now…it’s worse. Back then I felt confident and proud at least 70% of the time. Now, I feel like a worthless human being. I don’t really know what else to say. I think I’m just going to go to bed now. Maybe I will feel different tomorrow? I’m just so tired of feeling like this. It’s too much. Life has been so much. When am I going to catch a break?

***

It’s the next day and I don’t have clarity. I don’t really feel much better. I realize that I’m inching into a depressive state and what I thought yesterday wasn’t entirely true to what a really think deep down…but yeah. I still feel the pressure that I need to do something. What I’m doing isn’t enough and I’m scared that it will all get too much. I woke up, hungry. Already, my thoughts are like sit the fuck down you fat fuck. You’re not worthy to eat. It’s ugly and toxic. These feelings will pass and I refuse to surrender and do anything I will regret. I will fight these thoughts and feelings. I will fight this negative voice and when I come out of it the other side, with a clear and positive mind I will make adjustments to my way of life that isn’t anything too crazy. And eventually, over time, I will lose some weight but who knows? Maybe I will never weigh 60kg again and that’s okay…I guess. It’s baby steps.

Sorry that this blog is all over the place. I just feel like it’s something I should share. Maybe someone who struggles with the same thing or has struggled with the same thing will have some advice. Who knows?

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS, I’m adding this as an afterthought because I don’t want to make anyone feel bad about their bodies. I’m not saying if you weigh 90kg you’re ‘fat’ and ‘worthless’. Nor if you weigh more than that. THIS is how I feel about MY body because of my weightgain.

Mental Health, Story Time

My Worst Bitchy Moment Ever

I will be honest. I paused before publishing this blog. What if people start to see me as a bad person? What if my true intention that I want to achieve with this blog gets lost? What if I didn’t do a good enough job to explain myself properly? This is nerve wrecking but I’m a big girl and I’m not ashamed to confess that I made a mistake. I said some things that was wrong and I didn’t mean any of it. I think what’s important about growing up is not being afraid to admit when you’re wrong and trying your utmost best to make it right. So enough stalling. I’m going to click publish and just hope the message will be received.

***

My worst bitchy moment ever, happened a few years ago here in the Netherlands. Onno and I just started dating and we went to Starbucks for a drink. We were in that awkward stage of the year where it’s sometimes hot but you better be prepared for rain. At this point of my life I was a few months in my fitness journey and finally losing weight. I still didn’t have the confidence to show skin or any of that. My warped way of thinking was if I can’t pull it off then someone bigger than me certainly won’t be able to pull it off. You’re allowed to slap my past self. I think about this often. I honestly and truly wish I can take back those words and I can only imagine how much it hurt this girl and if I can ever meet her again I would definitely apologize.

In front of us in the Starbuck line, a bigger girl was wearing a black shirt with a open back. I loudly said that oh wow she’s wearing that? Like I can’t pull that off and I’m so much skinnier then her. Yeah. I said that. Out loud. She could hear me. Imagine the worst bitchy voice you’ve heard in a movie, that was me. She did hear me and talked to her friend next to her in Dutch. I have no idea what she said as back then my Dutch was really rusty. I however didn’t stop there. Oh no. It gets worse. I then pressured Onno to agree with me. The poor guy was so awkward and didn’t know how to tell me to shut the hell up. It truly was my worst bitchy moment ever.

I felt so horrible about my own body I felt like it was perfectly okay to hate on this girl. A real life troll. The thing is losing weight isn’t going to magically give you body confidence and self love. You’re not magically going to become a better person because you lost a few pounds. I’m not saying I’m a horrible person but that moment…I sure as hell wasn’t my true self.

I’m truly sorry for hurting your feelings. I was a bitch and I didn’t mean a single word I said that day.

The point I want to achieve with this blog is that people change and sometimes people say things without a filter without meaning them. Sometimes you hurt someone even though you never meant to do so. The best thing you can do is apologize. Correct your wrongs and learn from them. Don’t make the same mistake again. Become a better person. Today I pause and consider my words more.

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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Body & Soul, Body Love, Self Love, Story Time

Why I Stopped Wearing A Bra

I haven’t worn a push up bra in over a year. 18 months to be exact. The reason why I decided to ditch the boob holder was pretty simple. One night, after a very long and exhausting day I came home and the very first thing I did was take my bra off. I can bet some good money that most women who wear or have worn a push up bra or a bra in general know exactly what I’m talking about. That incredible feeling of pure bliss as the bra goes flying through the air.

After hours of wearing the wire and fabric concussion; it left a dent in my skin. It hurt like hell. My skin was bruised and sensitive. It wasn’t my first time nor would it be my last time (well it was but that’s not a part of my point) that this happened. Much like the eureka moment with my shaving habits my thought process followed along the line:” why am I wearing a bra?” I was around eleven when I started developing breasts. I remember my mom started to encourage a sport bra but at that point I didn’t see the big deal of it. Or well till an older boy in the neighborhood made a comment about my growing breast. So I started wearing bras but the comfortable ones. Eventually I switched to push up bras for more support and a day wouldn’t go by without a bra. Approximately six years the first thing I would put on in the morning is a bra. It would also be the first thing that goes.

Anyway back to my aha moment. Why am I wearing a bra? Well because I’ve been wearing a bra since my boobs grew. It seemed very logical. It was expected to wear a bra. If you have boobs and you go out in public you have to wear a bra. It’s something society enforces ever since I can remember. At this point in my life I was making conscious choices about my body. I didn’t want to do anything to my body that I truly didn’t want to do. Do I want to wear a bra? It was a big hard no. I can’t express the level of comfort I feel without a bra in my life.

Free the boobies and go braless!

Now it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the world of braless. I’ve gotten quite a bit of a response to my lack of bras.

“You can see your nipples.” Oh I didn’t know a nipple stand when it’s cold isn’t a natural body function. Insert a gasp.

“Your boob are saggy.” Maybe but what does that have to do with you?

“Your cleavage looks gross.” See the worry in my eyes.

There has been so much more but honestly my response is that this is my body. This is my choice. If you don’t like being braless than that’s you honey. If you don’t like seeing a women without a bra than that’s you sugar. If you think I look ugly or less feminine without a bra than that’s you honey. But here is the thing. This is my body and I will decide if I want to wear a bra or not. I have no idea if I will never wear a push up bra again. Maybe in a few years I decide to incorporate them again but for now I will stick to my sport bras.

I also want to add this as a little side note: there has been some scientific research about the subject. Here is a link to an article — https://www.women.com/shannon/lists/8-little-known-perks-of-going-braless-every-woman-needs-to-know

Otherwise my advice to you is to just take a second and decide for yourself if you want to wear a bra or not. Challenge what society expects from women. Take control and make your own choices when it comes to your body.

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