Friday Thoughts: Eugenia Cooney Has Got To Go

Random

If you are someone who is sensitive to discussions of eating disorders or a fan of Eugenia Cooney, this one isn’t for you. Happy New Year, blah, blah, blah – 2021 is shaping up to be just as weird as 2020. Yay ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, a couple of nights ago I am rolling through YouTube trying to find something to watch, I don’t subscribe to a ton of channels & will find myself down the odd rabbit hole on occasion. My recommended videos are a variety of everything & nothing since I will watch anything excluding diet, weight loss, exercise channels, etc. because as someone who manages an eating disorder, this content can be tricky to ingest. Now & again, the YouTube algorithm will throw me the odd health channel probably because I watch a lot of lifestyle channels & it’s fine but I found myself absolutely disgusted when Eugenia’s most recent video popped up in my feed.

I don’t watch her, I did watch the Shane Dawson video, just never her specifically but she has been a name within the community for a long time. Unfortunately, her images are often used as inspiration or encouragement for people looking to fuel their disorders. It’s like – if she can be that skinny & not dead then I can too. She is stupid & blind to her disorder at best, dangerous & fully in control of what she is doing at worst. I personally believe that it’s the latter, she full well knows that her content is pro-ana, thinspo & fodder for perverts or the morbidly curious. By allowing her to have a monetized channel, YouTube is allowing her more accessibility to people of all ages & basically paying her to kill herself. What is even more twisted is that to my knowledge, she has never admitted that she has a problem which is incredibly misleading to her following, young people especially. Not only can she not admit that she has a problem, she probably never shares the graphic details of what her disorder is doing to her body. Instead, she presents herself as this cutesy, terminally delightful, childlike being who just wants to live her life. That’s fine, that’s complete bullshit but it’s fine – take it offline then & stop monetizing your mental illness.

Is she providing tips or commentary on how she maintains her outrageously low body weight? No, probably not but she is presenting this everything is fine faรงade that is dangerous. She is showcasing her illness, this glamorizes it & could encourage others to try & do the same. To me, it’s no different than watching your favorite beauty guru & wanting to become really good at makeup application so that you can be the next big guru. Since she won’t be honest about what’s actually going on, I can provide some insight into the physical toll that a long term eating disorder can take on a body – the shit they don’t tell you in school.

I was actively bulimic from 17 to 26 years old, I say actively because it’s something that I manage each day & choose not to engage in. I was never a binge & purge person, I would eat a regular meal & then expel it. I have occasional slip ups, going vegan has definitely been tricky because it puts a lot of emphasis on food & this can feel unhealthily obsessive but hasn’t caused any major issues. Eugenia is 26 now, when I finally started treatment at the same age, it was only after being fitted for a partial denture because many of my back teeth were falling out or so severely decayed that they had to be pulled. I didn’t care that I was freakishly thin, I liked the way that I looked, for some reason the denture thing really triggered me & finding out that my dentist was a recovering anorexic that encouraged me to take the next step. Thankfully now, I have been able to replace my teeth with individual dental implants on posts which was as an extremely painful (and expensive) procedure. Forcing yourself to throw up consistently also causes bizarre issues with the throat muscles & can lead to years of involuntary puking. I am 34 now, I cannot brush my teeth without throwing up or dry heaving. It’s embarrassing, not as embarrassing as some of the instances that occurred earlier in my recovery but it still sucks. Chronic acid reflux & bouts of IBS are other digestive issues that I experience on the regular. I have arthritis in my back, ribs & deteriorated bone density in one hip that could necessitate a hip replacement by age 40. The thing is, you can recover from an eating disorder but you’ll never be quite the same. It isn’t a game, it’s not just simply wanting to be thin & then being able to go back to a normal existence once you’ve attained your goal. There really isn’t a goal aside from wanting to be thinner & wanting others to notice that you are thinner. I’m not even considered an extreme case, long term but not extreme & this shit has plagued me for decades. It will always have an impact on my day to day life & seeing some little brat on the internet glamorizing a deadly lifestyle is infuriating.

There is no shame in admitting that you have an eating disorder even if you aren’t ready to deal with it. At the least, she could admit her issue & be honest that she doesn’t feel the need to seek treatment but be honest about it. Tell young viewers that it’s a shitty existence that makes you feel like shit all of the time. Tell them that your bones ache, that you can’t sleep, that it doesn’t truly make you happy. Tell them that it’s an existence that you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Let them know the risks; heart failure, organ failure, mood swings, chronic headaches, blindness, seizures, death – just to name a few. Eugenia Cooney is not living, she is dying. If she can’t admit this & censor her content then YouTube & other platforms need to step in & do it for her, I’m still so disgusted that I’m considering boycotting YouTube altogether. Parents can only do so much to protect their kids online & sometimes, thinspo content isn’t easily spotted, it can seem like a harmless inspirational quote if you aren’t wise to the community.

I don’t pity her, just like I don’t pity myself – eating disorders are mental health disorders but it’s something we can choose to deal with. I would encourage anyone struggling with an eating disorder to at least stop & really consider what’s going on, even if you aren’t ready to seek treatment – just stop & think for a moment. Consider a life that isn’t consumed by an eating disorder. It’s a much more beautiful existence. Sure, I am a bit fat now & feel about 80 years old sometimes but overall am much healthier & happier for seeking treatment. I hope that you are happy, healthy & just doing the best that you can โค

On The 25th Day of Blogmas: And to All, A Goodnight

Blogmas

Just a quick note to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas & if you don’t celebrate, I hope you at least got a day off ๐Ÿ˜Š It was a quiet day here with some cookie baking, two virtual gift unwrappings, cleaning & spiced wine ๐ŸŽ… Being one of those individuals who experiences a lot of anxiety over expressing enough appreciation, it’s somehow even more stressful over video ๐Ÿ˜‚ Am I smiling enough? Am I overdoing it? Probably…it was fun though, gift giving is my favorite part of Christmas.

This will be the final Blogmas post, taking it all the way to the new year sounds exhausting but I hope you enjoyed the festive content. I certainly had a lot of fun & will be getting back to my regularly scheduled Monday, Wednesday, Friday posts.

Let me know what you were up to today. Did you get everything you wanted? Are you planning any after Christmas shopping? I’m debating a LUSH order but simply cannot endure another Candle Day debacle ๐Ÿ˜‚ However you spent the day, I hope it was wonderful โค

On The 24th Day of Blogmas: Merry Christmas Eve ๐ŸŽ…

Blogmas

Merry Christmas Eve, I hope this blog finds you well & safe at home. The recent weather event always reminds me how lucky I am to have a warm home & roof over my head. The temperatures have plummeted & there’s nowhere I’d rather be than on my couch, watching holiday specials. This time of year tends to make me a little melancholy, when the lights come down, the tinsel is packed away & the tree at the curbside – the world looks a little sad. I leave my decor up through my birthday but the holiday feeling markedly dissipates after Christmas.

Anyway, I have two hours until mass & am watching my favorite holiday specials which of course begins with A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) an all around classic. A jaded Charlie Brown is on a mission to discover the true meaning of Christmas which he feels has been hijacked by consumerism.

Next, A Garfield Christmas Special (1987) with Garfield & Odie headed to the Arbuckle family farm for a good ol’ fashioned Christmas. I love Garfield, the old cartoons especially for the dry humor. This one is very sweet & endearing, another true meaning of Christmas trope but I still enjoy it.

It wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without watching a bitter Grinch breaking & entering then committing grand larceny ๐Ÿ˜‚ Honestly though, when one stops to really consider the plot of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) it is a bit nutty. How were the Whos just so chill when the Grinch admitted to robbing them?!

Occasionally, I will watch the old clay animation specials that we watched as kids but those make me a little sad too. It’s such an odd time of year, while it’s wonderful to reminisce, it always makes me blue. Also, I cannot do another Zoom anything. I was telling my sister that I’m not sad about being alone on Christmas because I’m a homebody but it’s hard for me to see the strain & sadness in other people’s faces. We’re unwrapping a few gifts tomorrow via Zoom but I’m Zoomed out.

I hope that you’re happy, healthy & just doing the best you can. Merry Christmas Eve โ„

On The 23rd Day of Blogmas: A Christmas Eve, Eve Snowstorm โ„

Blogmas

Dear Santa, I specifically requested an idyllic dusting, not a blizzard…

It’s a real barn burner out there; ice, snow, wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, no visibility. Lucky for me, I made it home just as the temperatures dropped & everything was coated in ice. I’m delighted to have a white Christmas but it’s a mess out there. Barring any unforeseen emergencies, I don’t have to be anywhere until Saturday & that is just fine by me. I have books to read, cabinets to organize & skincare to indulge in ๐Ÿ˜Š

First, I’ve ordered a number of airtight plastic bins to put all of my grains, bulk items & kitchen staples in. My kitchen cabinets aren’t terrible but I’ve been wanting to do this for some time & can finally get started.

Next, I have three books that I’d like to read before I go back to work. I’m about half way through Wundersmith, the second Morrigan Crow book & it’s good but I keep falling asleep reading. Nothing against the book, I’m just tired all of the time ๐Ÿ˜‚ I also have The Deep by Alma Katsu, author of The Hunger which was one of my favorite reads last year. It was sci-fi/horror meets the Donner Party. Her newest book is another twist on a historical event, this time the sinking of the Titanic. Lastly, Ghosts of the Tsunami is on my list, this chronicles the tragic aftermath of the 2011 tsunami.

Finally to the skincare indulgence, though I said I would not be purchasing any new skincare I did pick up some new products ๐Ÿ˜‚ In my defense, I had a coupon.

I’m sure there will be too much coffee drinking & junk television as well. If you have travel plans this weekend, be careful โ„

On The 22nd Day of Blogmas: A Holiday Would You Rather

Blogmas

I did this one last year & it was a lot of so I figured that I would revisit the questions this year!

Amilya Regular

A grandparent which, I will never be but I enjoy shopping for kids and checking out all of the new toys..

Amilya Regular

Elf ears, no question because though I like the look of beards, I’m sure that they are a pain to upkeep. Also, talk about an instant Halloween costume accessory each year.

Amilya Regular

Useful, I received a cold weather kit a few years ago and I still have it in my trunk and have used it many times. It has everything you need for a Minnesota winter; jump pack, cat litter, emergency blanket, water – it’s awesome.

Amilya Regular

How about neither? 2100 is going to be Water World and everything probably smelled rancid in 1700 but at least global warming wasn’t a thing and human population growth wasn’t out of control. Fine, 1700, I guess…

Amilya Regular

I think it depends, both are equally important. I would have to consider what would be more beneficial to the recipient.

Amilya Regular

The White House, just once. It’s one of few historical places in the US and I think it would be cool to see outside of a public tour.

Amilya Regular

I have done both and equally enjoyed both, honestly. It can be nice to stay home and not worry about bad weather or traffic but it’s also nice to go somewhere and not have to be the one who cooks, cleans and organizes everything.

Amilya Regular

None at all, I’m not crazy about parties in general but holiday parties are especially exhausting. Often times, it’s a bunch of people who might only see each other 1-2 times a year and there’s this obligation to care about what everyone has been up to. The question is, does anyone really care!? If we did, wouldn’t we hang out more? I much prefer holiday parties with close friends who I see often but could skip those too ๐Ÿ˜›

Amilya Regular

Snow! What is Christmas without snow? Although, if it could stop raining before it snowed, that would be great. Thank you, global warming.

Amilya Regular

I’ve never tried a fruitcake, that I can recall but I am assuming that it really is as bad as everyone claims and will just skip dessert altogether.

Thanks for reading, I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday week โ„

On The 21st Day of Blogmas: Least Favorite Holiday Things

Blogmas

I post something along these lines each year and most of it is hyperbole, I know and love that the holidays mean something different to everyone!

Forgiven๎€˜ Script

I know that it’s not raw eggs but I can’t with the texture of eggnog, the flavor or the smell. Why does it always taste and smell like there is booze in it when there isn’t? It’s milk, cream, sugar and whipped eggs, I can’t even. Also, booze doesn’t make it better.

Forgiven๎€˜ Script

I think that popcorn garland looks lovely but stringing it is a nightmare. I was terrible at stringing popcorn when I was a kid and repeatedly stabbed myself with the needle, I would never subject myself or others to this activity.

Forgiven๎€˜ Script

It’s creepy & everyone knows it, lets all collectively stop doing it.

Forgiven๎€˜ Script

I’m probably overthinking this but it’s odd to me that children everywhere are excited about their homes being invaded. I much prefer the kindly, charitable Saint Nicholas as opposed to the modern day, breaking & entering Santa. Who, by the way, doesn’t even eat the cookies that are left for him.

Forgiven๎€˜ Script

The milk and cookies thing – what a waste.

Forgiven๎€˜ Script

When I was a kid, it literally took my mom like 16 hours to cook a turkey. I have no idea why but it was Christmas Eve tradition that she would be up all night basting this stupid turkey. In my adulthood, I have found out that it does not take that long to cook a turkey – even a big one. I’ll never know why she cooked that thing so long.

Forgiven๎€˜ Script

Have you ever really listened to some of the lyrics to popular Christmas songs? Some are really bizarre, Winter Wonderland comes to mind. First of all, who is Parson Brown? Second, that whole are you married bit and the part time husband thing. Again, probably overthinking it but can someone write some new Christmas songs for the love of Parson Brown?!

Let me know what holiday traditions you could do without & thanks for stopping by๐ŸŽ„

On The 20th Day of Blogmas: Winter Wonderland Tag

Blogmas

Another tag you say? Listen, I’m tired & lazy. Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‚

Amilya Regular

The snow! I love snow, it makes the world so crisp and clean and quiet. I hate driving in the snow but I’m that person who will head out right after a storm when the roads are mostly clear but not clear enough for the city slickers and enjoy the mostly deserted city. I do get stressed out living in such a densely populated area, I much prefer cruising around small towns or country roads in the snow because there are less SUV driving jackasses. I love snowboarding, snowshoeing, running on snowy trails – I think you get the point.

Amilya Regular

Definitely scarves, I think they work more as an accessory than a hat. A hat means business, I’m probably going to be outside for a prolonged period of time and don’t care what I look like. But a scarf can be dressed up or down while still serving a practical purpose. Also, I have a huge head and most hats squeeze my forehead which is stressful.

Amilya Regular

Just one?! If I had to pick, it would definitely be Home Alone because it’s a classic. It’s one movie from my childhood that I distinctly recall watching with my family and it always puts me in a Christmas mood when I watch it. Hell, if I am feeling down or homesick in the dead of July I will put it on ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the house, the setting, the very plausible 90’s plot line – it’s just so good.

Amilya Regular

Probably red or gold sparkle or both.

Amilya Regular

I hate them all! None of them taste like they have an ounce of coffee, they are all sugar and syrup – yuck. Back in my early 20’s they had a drink that I really enjoyed but I don’t think they make it and I can’t recall what was in it. I like black coffee with a shot of cinnamon and splash of coconut whipped cream as my festive drink. The Starbucks holiday blend is very good too…I usually buy about ten bags so I have it year round.

Amilya Regular

Burt’s Bees lip balm, it’s the only lip product that keeps the sides of my mouth from splitting. My snowflake coffee mug that makes all coffee taste 100 times better and I swear keeps it hotter. My black lounging cardigan that’s actually just a regular cardigan that I wore so often that the elbows wore out and I can’t wear it in public anymore. It’s so thin and worn and soft, I am going to be totally bummed when it just disintegrates ๐Ÿ˜€

Amilya Regular

A robot vacuum!

Amilya Regular

Otis Redding’s White Christmas โ„

Amilya Regular

Nope – never do, never will.

Amilya Regular

Burt’s Bees Original lip balm for day time and the Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask at night. Can we talk about lip fillers though? I have these little lines that look like smoker lines but I’ve never smoked, they are from pursing my lips when I am reading or writing or driving – I don’t know why I do it but you know how your granny would tell you that if you made ugly faces that it would get stuck that way? Wrinkles, she was talking about wrinkles and she was right. So, I’ve been doing some research on lip filler and did you know that a risk of this procedure is that the filler can be injected into a blood vessel and your lip will literally fall off? If you know of any potent lip line products, let me know.

Amilya Regular

Not really, I have a festive turtleneck that doesn’t really look that idiotic. I just can’t purchase something with such a specific purpose that I can only wear once a year and don’t actually need.

Amilya Regular

Most every year and I cannot imagine living somewhere that doesn’t get snow. Also, update, still no snow here.

Amilya Regular

Tree Farm but really, pine scented anything ๐ŸŽ„

Amilya Regular

Same as usual, snowboarding – if South Dakota pulls through with some snow!

I hope you are having a beautiful day and if you do this tag, be sure to let me know โ„

On The 19th Day of Blogmas: A Vintage Recipe

Blogmas

A little background here, my parents were a lot older than most other kids’ parents in my age group. Growing up, we ate a lot of stuff that was seemingly from the Great Depression era, I don’t know why. Ham salad, aspic, chicken a la king, clam dip and the topic of today’s post, ambrosia salad or marshmallow salad since the kids wouldn’t eat whatever the hell ambrosia was. I have not eaten this in years and probably won’t be any time soon but here’s everything you’ll need to make this unique holiday treat.

Amilya Regular
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1 cups grapes, halved, green work best
  • 1 small jar of maraschino cherries, drained
  • 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained
  • 8 ounce can of mandarin oranges, drained
  • 2 chopped fresh bananas
  • 1 standard size bag of mini marshmallows
  • Chopped walnuts for topping, optional

I’m sure that using pre-whipped cream is also fine but my mom always used heavy whipping cream. She would beat the entire pint but only folded in enough to evenly coat all of the ingredients. The leftover would be set aside for pie topping, the heavy cream is probably the hardest part. All of the other ingredients can just be put into a big mixing bowl and folded together as you add the whipped cream. The acid in the pineapple doesn’t play well with the marshmallows so this salad requires eating almost immediately – it’s not a dessert, just slap it on the plate with everything else. In fact, by the time you get to dessert, the leftover fruits and nuts will just be floating in a pool of melted marshmallows and wilted whipping cream. I really liked walnuts as a kid but none of my siblings did so my mom only added a little bit to the salad and then had some additional for topping, I would just throw all of the walnuts right into the salad if you like them. It wasn’t Christmas without marshmallow salad and I think some of the kids even still make it for posterity’s sake but I can’t say that anyone really likes it. It’s a difficult flavor to describe and the texture is bizarre, definitely worth trying at least once in your lifetime though ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me know what recipes you remember from your childhood. Do you still make them ๐ŸŽ…

On The 18th Day of Blogmas: Office Christmas Dรฉcor โ„

Blogmas

That’s it’s it, that’s the post ๐Ÿ˜› Those little gelatinous window decals are the extent of the holiday dรฉcor in almost the entire building. Another admin at the opposite of the building has a lone Santa on her window. Usually, we all decorate our windows with lights & garlands but with so few people being in the building, it felt kind of pointless this year. I spotted these little decals for a $1 at the grocery store & figured they were better than nothing. The pack actually came with two snowmen but I wasn’t being careful & decapitated the other one when I was peeling it off the backing. That pretty much sums up how I feel about it ๐Ÿ˜› But couldn’t let the holiday pass without doing something.

It does make me little sad to not see any lights twinkling throughout the hallway or a grand tree in the lobby. I think it’s actually about a 10 year old tree that was donated by a former employee but it does look lovely when it’s all decked out. Ah well, next year’s display will just have to be twice as good!

People keep commenting on how clean my desk is, I’m only here three days a week & I wipe it down every time. But also I am very particular about my work area, it’s easier to focus. Did you decorate your workspace? I think retailers knew we all had plexi-glass to work with so they churned out all of these jelly stickers. Obviously, I had about another 10-feet to work with but I wasn’t in the mood. Maybe I will get a few more snowflakes for January, or I will just get back from vacation and rip them all down. Bring on Valentine’s Day! Could we possible be out of quarantine for the single worst day of the year? Wouldn’t that just make complete sense, finally, restaurants are fully open for you & your non-existent partner to enjoy a romantic dinner. I jest, I love Valentine’s day & am actually looking forward to it.

Do you decorate at work? I promise, we usually do a better job than this โ„

On The 17th Day of Blogmas: 5 Favorite Christmas Things

Blogmas

Quite literally every state around Minnesota has received a significant amount of snow, it’s as though we are living in a weather phenomena that is opposite of the lake effect. This is not what I signed up for when I moved here, in fact I thought that it would be winter all of the time. Nobody ever talks about the miserably hot, humid summers. It is quite cold & overcast but not even a flake in the next 10 days – no snow for Christmas. I’m bitter, I might even take the Christmas dรฉcor down ๐Ÿ˜› I have all next week off, I was supposed to go snowboarding but I think at this point it would be a trip to South Dakota to make it happen. I was going to post the 5 things about Christmas that I loathe but am posting 5 things that love to feel a little more festive instead ๐Ÿ™‚

Baby Chipmunk

Shout out to all of the homeowners in my neck of the woods who really showed out this year with the outdoor dรฉcor! I about drove off the road looking at a stunning tree display on my way home last night. Almost nobody decorated for Halloween & I was expecting Christmas to be the same but I have just been delighted by all of the light displays. Oh, except one, there is this old farm house on my way to work & they just have this 6-foot plastic snowman at the end of their driveway. It must be vintage because it’s face is crazy, appreciate the effort though ๐Ÿ˜€

Baby Chipmunk

One could probably enjoy a glass of mulled wine at any time of they year but I’m not sure that it would be quite the same. I love the smell of mulled wine, it smells like Christmas. Honestly, I only drink wine at the holidays so just wine in general is a holiday favorite in my book.

Baby Chipmunk

I started a tradition a few years back of going to a play or concert on Christmas Eve in downtown St. Paul. There is just something magical about St. Paul at Christmas time. The old homes & buildings all decorated up. Sadly, not only will I not be seeing a show this year, I probably won’t venture into downtown for a number of reasons in addition to the pandemic.

Baby Chipmunk

Old movies, new ones, old holiday specials – I love having the television on while I am cooking or cleaning. I didn’t realize how much I would miss this when I got rid of my television a few years ago. However, my tablet does just fine & it’s portable.

Baby Chipmunk

I don’t go to mass very often anymore but I love midnight mass. There is something beautifully calm about walking into an old Catholic church in the middle of the night. The Cathedral of St. Paul is stunning & I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few services there but there are plenty of smaller churches in the Twin Cities as well that hold beautiful Christmas Day services. I suppose I could attend my pick of services this year assuming they are all online.

What are your favorite things about Christmas? Anyone on the east coast here?! I hope you are surviving the storm โค