Thursday, July 14, 2016

Behind the Scenes With BoPo Babes: Peach_E_Paige

Welcome to my new blog series! I will be going behind the selfie sticks, tripods, and self timers with some of my favorite body positive babes. I suspect if they're not your favorites yet, they will be soon!

They love everything that is good and beautiful, and they are often surrounded by material pleasures. They enjoy cooking, music, romance, working with their hands. – Maybe instead of writing my own article on Courtney I could just continue to list traits about the Taurus. Of course, that would not only be lazy, but unjust. You need to hear her story.

Courtney, aka @peach_e_paige, recently moved to Lexington, KY to pursue a post secondary education. This involved packing up everything she owned in her car and driving from Florida by herself. She’s working three jobs to keep herself afloat – all of which include her standing on her feet and working with her hands – no desk jobs here!

“Long story short? I am trying to build a future for myself from the ground up so I can earn a degree in Pharmacy/Writing to better help the educational and medical communities around the globe; implementing methods to educate and provide resources for those women without proper tools who have experienced sexual assault, physical assault, and rape so they can properly heal themselves. Also, to rise up against the board of education asking for reformation on how attacks on campus are handled for the attacker and survivor.”

With over 3,000 posts on her Instagram you will find everything from bikini shots and mirror selfies to landscapes and food porn. She calls herself “Pro Body.” Glancing through her feed and only looking at the images though is not seeing the whole picture.

“Originally my account was nothing more than a place to post pictures and words too daring for Facebook. Slowly, as time progressed, it has become much more than a place to dump ideas, but more so to create and inspire. I keep my Instagram account afloat despite all efforts to shut it down at times because it holds me accountable. I try to post something relevant, honest, or emotionally daunting at least 1-3 times a week. My captions are always written first on my phone or laptop before any pictures are shot. I believe there is more of an impact in my wit, wisdom, and truths than there are in my images.”

Littered throughout her captions are comments on society’s view of fatness in regards to health, self love encourage, commentary on internet trolls, and advice on how to live a body positive lifestyle. Health specifically is an area of Courtney’s self love journey that she speaks about openly and regularly. Her relationship with food has been a rocky one.

“My disassociation with healthy eating habits began as early as 7th grade. I distinctly remember a time I was eating at a pizza buffet with friends from my home school association club and my anxiety spiked because all the other girls ate 2 slices, while I ate 7. In order to advert their attention to my choice to eat 7 slices of pizza I challenged the boys to an eating contest. Thirty minutes later I had gorged on 16 slices of pizza, feeling sick, stressed, and ashamed, I went home and threw up. Knowing from then on, I would probably struggle with food but knew of no one to turn to. My obsession with control over my food to help calm my anxiety, cure my loneliness, or channel my rage spiked at the age of 20 when I weighed my heaviest at 405lbs during my time in Memphis, TN. It was not until my visit with a nutritionist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL in the spring of 2015 that I sought proper help for my inability to stop myself from eating excessively.”

She went on to learn that these symptoms were characterized as binge eating disorder. For reference, bulimia is defined as an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by self induced purging. Binge eating disorder is binging without purging and it is one of the most prevalent eating disorders among adults. It is also one of the least researched and spoke about. From what has been found, body image can be linked to this disorder; however, it can also be caused by environmental factors and the impact of traumatic events.

 “I do not feel as if this disorder is as commonly talked about because of it's association with overweight communities in our society. Fat people, men and women, are seen as lazy, pathetic, and unable to exhibit control. In some cases this is the truth, in others, like mine, it is not. I lead a very active lifestyle, I understand and enjoy all food groups and their suggested portions; what I cannot control without the help of physicians or a counselor is my trigger to over eat, or binge when feeling threatened.

 More and more I wish to speak on this because it is overlooked in our society, yet just as dangerous, if not more so than it's counterparts Bulimia/Anorexia. This crippling disorder can ruin lives, and for a period had a grip over mine until I began my healing process.”

She uses Instagram as a part of her recovery and encourages others to view the social media app as more than curated edited pictures. “This community has gifted me with the inspiration and courage to speak out on things I would have taken to my grave; for that, I am eternally grateful to this movement for shattering that once prevalent reality of living in fear. Truthfully, this way of living keeps me from resorting back to days when I would spend hours compulsively overeating, (performing) self mutilation through cutting or burning, or abusing alcohol. (Before), the pain helped me focus. The pain kept me centered. I would later come to realize I have a severe case of ADHD, and Agoraphobia which is often related to victims of self mutilation. My Instagram posts allow me to focus on my intentions, and keep me distracted; keep my fingers busy and mind streamlined. 

This community is a large part of my road to recovery. In many ways it keeps me level because I have to focus on someone, or something else other than my itching desire to destroy something I have despised & misunderstood for years.”

Beyond Instagram, she finds solace in talking to her mother, Abby Lee. She lists her mother among her self love idols, inspired by her “devout commitment to her physical health despite frequent and unexpected illness, her spiritual health, and family.” She finds taking a bath and listening to music therapeutic as well. Something she does in the real to inspire self love in others is to speak to people in various love languages.

“I love to send my friends texts, place random phone calls telling them I love them, or do my best to support their goals with my time, money, or acts of service! When I manage to get my head out of the sand I will go to the ends of the Earth for those I know and love to let them know they are worthy, valued, and seen.”

She stresses the importance of the sense of community with the body positive people online. We’re not all here to just post pictures of ourselves.  “When in doubt, reach out! More often than not I have found the online community to be very welcoming, and willing to answer any questions or throw extra tips & tricks your way if you only ask.”

From personal experience, Courtney is a very good friend to have on your side.
  Lightning Round
What’s your favorite good mood song?
  • I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
What’s a movie that never gets old?
  • Tie between Her and Lord of the Rings – Return of the King
What’s a book you could read repeatedly?
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Favorite ice cream?
  • Butter Pecan
Favorite brick and mortar store?
  • Kroger, hands down.
Favorite online store?
  • Anthropologie.
Favorite drink?
  • Gin and Tonic with a dash of lavender
Do you have any hobbies?
  • Traveling, going to comedy clubs, volunteering at animal shelters, and reading.

Until Next Time,
post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment