Sunday, April 6, 2014

Depression Rears It's Ugly Head

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I haven't been able to write much lately.

I feel like I haven't been able to do much lately.

This whole year so far consists of big events filled with days in between where I am useless and completely unable to function as a human being. Where I can go to a comic convention one day, but can't even manage to do laundry the next. Where I can have a big girls day out with my best friend one day, and not even be able to wash my face the next.

Depression brings up apathy, and that's how I know when I'm in a bad place. When painting my nails, blogging, or watching my favorite movies doesn't even slightly interest me. Depression brings up a mixture of agoraphobia and claustrophobia all at once, where I'm terrified of leaving the house but at the same time I feel sick and trapped if I don't get out.

I've been trying to get work recently. I wanted to financially contribute to my family, especially since it's been a hard couple of months. But after the one job I was offered turned south in a horrible way (that everyone but me could see coming), I haven't had much luck. I dyed my hair a "normal" color, I redid my resume and began applying for everything. But still no takers. No interviews. No calls.

That does something to your self esteem.

It also does something to your blogging.

Social media plays a part in the job hunt now. I began worrying that prospective job hunters were looking at me online and somehow realized I wasn't good for them. So I stopped blogging. I stopped writing honestly. Despite the fact that 1 in every 4 adults is diagnosed with a mental disorder every year. Despite the fact that over 2 million Americans have OCD and over 15 million have some sort of social anxiety. Despite the fact that blogging about my disorders helped me deal with them, heal through them. I stopped. Because stigma still exists and I didn't want to get caught up in it.

And then I got worse.

I've been letting anxiety take the lead now for months, and I'm so ready to take it back. I don't have the energy, or the will power, or even the know how to do that - but I will. Because somehow I've done it before. I've come out of this before. But something needs to change.

Because I'm exhausted from feeling afraid all the time.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I Am #NotYourBeforePhoto

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It's been a few months since I've actively blogged, and frankly during the last week I've been hesitant. One of my blogging idols, the amazingly beautiful Rachele had an empowering bikini photo of hers stolen and used to advertise for a weight loss company. As a self proclaimed body acceptance blogger I was mortified. It's not only illegal, but insulting and degrading. But frankly, it caused me to panic. I look up to bloggers like Rachele who put themselves out there so powerfully - and if this could happen to her, then could it happen to me? I didn't know if I could stand the heat of such an intense trial, and I wondered if I should stop blogging altogether.

But then I watched with amazement as the body acceptance community rallied around Rachele with fever, and I thought, if something like that ever happens to me, I am not alone. I have accidentally fallen into the most amazing community of strength and passion that I've ever known. People who have helped pulled my self esteem out of a wreckage and put me back on my feet with a foundation to stand on.

So I'm here, fat and blogging, and I am joining in with Rachele in the #NotYourBeforePhoto campaign - because I am perfect in my body, and I do not give anyone permission to use my photos, my body, or my life as their THINspiration!

Join in on the greatest community ever! 
Jump on the #NotYourBeforePhoto Campaign!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fotor: Free Online Photo Editor

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I used to love the idea of photo editing because, "Yes please photoshop that fat off my body!" But know that I know better and feel better about my body and have no need for a computer program to squeeze in my thighs, I STILL love photo editing programs. To me it's a strange form of personal art, especially when it comes to editing up some selfies. While I try to keep things like airbrushing to a minimum, I'm obsessed with the ability to brighten a photo, adjusting the warmth, popping the eyes, and excitedly flipping through all the different effects.

The people behind the online photo editor, asked me if I'd like to review their website and I said absolutely!

Fotor began with a hope that everyone could design their own photos online, without any difficult learning steps. They spent two years digging in and really perfecting their photo collage feature (which offers so many beautiful options!) and then they added in photo editing features, effects, text, free cliparts, cards and more.

I decided to take the site for a spin and edit a selfie from a few months ago!

One thing I immediately loved about Fotor, is that it's ALL free. Every feature including more advanced features like Curves, which is an amazing editing tool! With just a small adjustment, the lighting, shadows and colors in a photo can change, bringing the photo back to life!

Fotor allows you to easily crop, resize, sharpen, and soften a photo as well as adjust the lighting, contrast, and colors just in the first screen alone. It's a great one stop shop, especially for those who are more novices when it comes to editing photos.

Fotor's is filled with many options to take your picture to the next level for whatever purpose you need. Offering holiday features, vintage overlays, and the option to go black and white. One of my absolute FAVORITE features on Fotor, is the Compare button that allows you to see just how much you've edited.

As you can see here in my before and after, I took the original photo in horrible lighting in the wasteland that is my weed infested backyard. It almost looks like I'm being photographed through a dirty mesh screen. But with Fotor, I was able to put light back into the photo, sharpen it up a bit, and crop out the tumbleweeds at my feet.

In the Beauty editing section, Fotor offers one of my favorite tools:  Eye Pop. I have a natural green/grey/hazel eye that never comes out as clear as I want, especially through my glasses, so using Eye Pop is a big plus! Also in the Beauty section of Fotor, they offer tools to help cover blemishes, wrinkles, as well as adjusting and applying makeup to your photos. While I try to go as natural in my photo editing as I can (as far as keeping it real goes), I do use the blemish tool with eagerness because I have rosacea which causes red outbreaks on my skin and I don't like to look at them in photos, which I use to boost my self esteem.

One little thing I want to mention about Fotor's Text section, is that it offers both Online and Local fonts. THAT means that you can download your favorite fonts, and then Fotor will let you use them in their online editing program!

The great thing I've found about using Fotor is that it's not just a one and done website. Fotor is constantly updating, upgrading and bettering the site for it's users. They have multiple options for uploading your photos to social media, and even offer discounts to have your pictures printed! Not only that, but they also have an iPhone and Android Fotor App, a blog where they offer tips and tricks to taking and editing the best photos, as well as a new Desktop edition of Fotor to download!

I've been sold on the program for many reasons. It's ease of use, it's availability on multiple platforms, it's cost (Free!), but mostly because of it's constant improvements to the program. Fotor is definitely a site to look out for!


Disclosure: This is a non-sponsored review. All product was free. All opinions are my own, no product or monetary compensation was given to me by said company.
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