What is keeping us from ourselves?

I guess it doesn’t matter how many times I tell women how beautiful they are. It doesn’t even matter showing them how amazing their bodies are, regardless of their weight. Recently, I was lucky enough to speak at a radio show with the Wise Women Canada, and I honestly thought more women would come to me — but no, they didn’t. I’m not frustrated; I’m sad. Do you know why? Because I go for a walk with my son every day at the park, and I see so clearly the difference between the women who feel confident, and the ones who don’t. I always have my flyers and my business cards with me, but I just feel like they would through it out in less than 5 minutes.

So please, talk to me. Of course my work is not for free, but that’s really not why I’m trying to reach out to you (I have a son to support, so unfortunately I can’t do it for free. But I’m pretty sure my price is the lowest you will find in Montreal.)

You know who’s the person who helps me the most? My husband, Jeremy. Even when I was pregnant and huge, he would look at me and tell me how beautiful I was. Not a day goes by without him looking at me and telling me, “damn, you’re so hot!” Yes, I’m lucky to have him. But if your husband doesn’t say that to you every day, I DO.

You’re hot, you’re beautiful, you’re amazing.

This is one of my favourite scenes, EVER. It’s from the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” Please, watch it (it’s less than 2 minutes! Come on!).

 

That’s my message to you (and myself, obviously).

Love,

Roberta

 

What’s the point of all this craziness?

Last time I saw my therapist, she asked me very interesting questions, such as: “what’s the point of loosing all this weight?”, “what’s your reward for weighting so little?”, “does it make you feel better about yourself?” etc. The more I think about it, the less I can find a reason to all this suffering. No, it doesn’t make me feel better about myself because, no matter how much weight I lose, it’s never, ever enough. Having an eating disorder is like being best friends with the devil — and he never shuts up. Ever.

The lowest I got was 42.8kg (94.3 pounds), and I look at myself in the mirror and saw a big, obese person — regardless of the numbers or my clothes barely fitting me anymore. Having a mental illness is the most exhausting thing in the world, because you always have a war in your mind.

So why be like this? Why be like me? I know we can’t choose not to think about certain things, but we do have the power to shut up some thoughts, before it’s too late. I’ve been photographing so many beautiful girls after I started my project “La Peau Sauvage” and I wish they all knew how amazing they look. Hopefully, I’ll help them see how stunning they are, regardless of their weight and body type. I’ll make this my life mission, if necessary. I know how much I suffer every day, and I don’t want anyone else to feel this way.

Back to my therapist’s question: what’s the goal, what’s the reward? I don’t know anymore, because I’m lost — I can’t find my way back. But YOU can! And I’m here to help all of you. You can send me messages here, we can chat in private by email and, if you live in Montreal, we can definitely schedule a photoshoot.

Here’s where you can find me:

Don’t feel shy to reach out. Our conversations will be completely private.

Lots of love to all of you!

La peau sauvage: the idea behind the project

Women are always under a lot of pressure. We’re expected to be great wives, amazing mothers, great cooks. We are supposed to know how to iron clothes, to smile and be polite to strangers (especially if these strangers are your husband’s friends) and to dress accordingly. And, obviously, this is a huge bullshit. But what I hate the most is how we feel like we need to lose weight (or keep our weight) all the time. That’s what got me sick years ago with my eating disorder — and that’s what keeps making women feel less attractive day after day. I mean, have you ever stopped to pay attention to the most famous models around the world? They probably weight as much as one of my legs — if not less.

So I’ve decided to start the “la peau sauvage” project; which is an ongoing photography project where I’ll photograph women of all ages and body types — regardless of their weight and height. My goal is to make every woman feel beautiful; is to give every woman a chance to have a nice photoshoot, to feel sexy and attractive. That’s exactly what “la peau sauvage” is: beauty in its essence.

Here’s the link to Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peau_sauvage

And to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peausauvage

A printer out of ink

I don’t own myself anymore. No one can see it, but I have chains all over my body; it’s no longer mine. I’m looking everywhere, searching on every corner, but I can’t find it — I’m lost. Lost. They got inside and stole everything: my tenacity, my freedom, my heart; even my (in)sanity. Now it’s empty, it’s all gone. Each and every part of me belongs to someone else — someone else but me. I became a broken machine, like a printer out of ink. Yes, a printer out of ink. They used me to print their papers, without any appreciation, and now there’s no more ink. I can’t print anything anymore. What saddens me the most is that I printed all their papers, but none of mine — mine are all blank. I wished someone would say, “it’s not broken, it’s just out of ink,” but I guess it’s easier to say I’m broken. Well, maybe I am. Maybe it’s impossible to fix me after so much damage. I can’t function anymore.

Being a mom with an eating disorder

It’s been 16 years since I was diagnosed with Anorexia. I have my ups and downs, obviously, but it hasn’t been easy. It’s an everyday battle, a constant war I have to fight in my head to stay alive. Before it was hard; now, it’s even harder — I have a baby.

The most difficult part of having a mental illness is how hard it is for other people to realize you’re not choosing to be like that. “You have to eat to be strong for your baby.” Yes, I know; It’s part of my battle. People say that, thinking it will help, but it only makes it worse. It makes the guilt almost unbearable. I look at him so fragile in my arms, depending on me to survive, and here I am not being able to eat. “If I died, he wouldn’t even remember me,” I tell myself every day — but it also doesn’t help.

During pregnancy I was able to eat normally; even I was proud of myself. Of course there were days when I didn’t want to have a full meal, but at least I ate. “It’s for the baby,” I told myself; and it really was. But now he’s not inside of me anymore and, unfortunately, I’m not breastfeeding — my motivation is gone. There are days when I can’t even open my mouth; it’s shut, it’s sealed.

Having an eating disorder is punishing. “Eat and fight your head. You have to be stronger than that!” If only people knew that’s the same as telling someone with cancer to fight it and let it go. (And before anyone says anything about my statement, I’m a cancer survivor. So yes, I know how cancer is like.) Trying to explain gets tiring, so you start to hide yourself from the world. Only I know how many times I’ve said things like “I already ate, thank you” or “Mmmm that looks delicious! I’ll try it next time!” Before it was bad, but now I look at my baby and feel even worse. Guilt starts building up the moment I feel good for not eating anything — now I always feel guilty, regardless if I eat or not.

Every day I wake up thinking “I won’t care about it anymore,” and every day I fail. I see people eating and I simply can’t understand the pleasure they feel. “How come they’re not ashamed?” I ask myself and envy their satisfaction (in a good, wistful way). I miss my childhood years, when I didn’t know the pain, shame and guilt I feel every time I eat. I just hope I’ll be able to fight it over and over again; I hope I’ll keep myself alive for my son and my family. I know it will never go away; the day I look at myself in the mirror and not see a fat person will never come. I’ll never look at food without getting anxious and trying to figure out how many calories I’ll be eating. It’s a curse.

I’d like to thank my husband Jeremy for always being there for me, and my family and friends for trying to help. I know it’s hard, and I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry. I don’t know how to stop.

Painful heart

This is for you who thinks you’re not worth it — but you are. Here’s to all of your blank nights, blank days and blank souls. Cheers! Let’s drink to all your sadness. All your lonely days, and your lonely nights. Let’s drink to all your misery; let’s drink to all our misery — all at once, all at the same time. Every time you think you’re alone, you’re not. I’m here with you, we’re here with you. Embrace the sadness, embrace the dark. There’s no light, there’s no happy ending. It’s just you and me; it’s just you and the rest of the world. Everybody is sad, there’s always something missing. Happiness is just around the corner, but you keep reminding me of what sadness feels like.

Everybody wants to eat better

Not so long ago, Gymbirds posted an article I wrote for them about small changes to optimize your weight loss. Surprisingly, a lot of people liked not only my article but also my post on Facebook; which made me think about how many people actually want to lose weight and eat better, but are too overwhelmed by over information. The problem is, there are too many rules and people get lost. Then, what happens? Not everyone has the will to keep on track; most people let go of eating healthy because it’s either too complicated or too hard to know what to eat and when to eat it.

I’ve always had this need to help people eat better; and I don’t even have to think too hard to know why. You’ll need three things: 1) Learn to say “no” to foods that will bring you no good; 2) Learn how to pick the right foods; 3) Seek motivation to eat better — I know it’s easier said than done, like most things in life; but if you find the will to start being healthy, your body and your brain won’t even want to eat unhealthy foods anymore. (That part doesn’t apply to PMS — you will want it, but won’t eat it.) 

I’ve always read books and articles about eating healthy, super diets, all kinds of diets, etc. But no author has ever made a huge difference in my life like Jolene Hart did with her book “Eat Pretty.” I highly recommend all of you to buy it; and she’s not even aware of my existence, therefore, there is no one getting payed to say that. I recommend it because it has taught me things in a simple way; a way someone who is not a nutritionist will easily understand. And that’s what I want for all of you; I want you to challenge yourselves to eat better!

One of my favourite parts of Jolene Hart‘s “Eat Pretty” book is when she gives us a list of “Beauty Betrayers” foods, which are the ones we have to start avoiding in order to eat better. Here’s the list of foods you should start leaving behind from now on, according to Jolene Hart.

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine (Green tea is still ok, though.)
  • Canned foods with BPA
  • Dairy (Foods made from cow’s milk.)
  • Fried foods
  • Gluten
  • Grilled and overcooked foods
  • Meats (Fish not included!)
  • Pesticide-sprayed produce (Buy only Organic foods!)
  • Processed foods
  • Soda
  • Sugar (Artificial sweeteners included!)

I’m not saying it will be easy; but I’m also telling you it’s not as hard as you think. The list of foods you can eat is waaaaaaay longer than this one, trust me. That’s why I recommend her book to everyone I know. You can buy it online: http://www.jolenehart.com/eatpretty 🙂 — Yes, I’m a super fan of hers!

Alongside eating better, you have to care about your digestion. Here’s two simple rules for you: 1) Chew at least 30 times; 2) Don’t eat fruits at least for two hours after your meal. I hope this can help you at least get started!