This is a place of encouragement, a place to discuss body image, insecurities, self-esteem, and everything under the umbrella of fighting self-hate and finding self-love.

No matter what you look like, what color, what gender, sexual orientation, what size or however many "flaws", healthy, not healthy, working on it, abled, disabled, we are all human, we all deserve to be happy, we all deserve to love ourselves. With this blog you will see all kinds of REAL bodies, REAL people, REAL stories.

-PLEASE READ FAQ before messaging

-BE AWARE some posts may be triggering depending on submissions, check for trigger warnings and tags. Also any harassment will be met with blocking and a report to Tumblr Support

 

Hey babes!

I just wanted to quickly pimp out this AMAZING project called Pretty Sick Art that one of our longtime supporters, SarahCate is doing! She’s doing these gorgeous illustrations as you can see here for people who have various disabilities and chronic illnesses. It’s an awesome idea and brings great visibility to the chronic illness community!

Straight from the blog:

  • Why “Pretty Sick”? I belong to a group online called “Pretty Sick” the idea being that folks with chronic illness can still feel and present and enjoy being “pretty.” It’s a place that gives those with chronic issues a forum to share tips and advice not just about living with chronic pain and illness, but about makeup and hair and all the “pretty” things that society tends to not equate with these kinds of problems.

  • Why Illustrate the Chronically sick and disabled? Because there is an abhorrent lack of representation for folks with disabilities and chronic illnesses. I want to change that. But it’s not just about… posting a photo of yourself and hoping someone sees it. It’s about CREATING visibility. Creating ART featuring disabled bodies, creating ART featuring our mobility aids, service animals, medications even.

This blog deserves a lot more followers than it has, and she’s always looking for new submissions! She’s got quite a bit in the queue right now (and she’s only one person!) but the more visibility a project like this can get, the better! 

Also, check out Sarah’s online shop, or if you want to donate a little cash in exchange for an illustration, you can find her info here!

http://prettysickart.tumblr.com/

Love,

Amber :)

wheeliewifee:

When I see this picture I can see how exhausted I am. 
I can see that I hurt.
I can see the dark circles and bags under my eyes. 
I can see the unwashed, tangled, hair. 
I can see my first wrinkles. 
I can also see what a damn FIGHTER I am.
I can see the half-smile.
The determination to push through and find humor and positivity.
I can see that I look different now, but I can see that being battle-worn is nothing to be ashamed of. 
I am strong. I am brave. I am still beautiful. 


 It took becoming disabled and very sick for me to learn to love my body. 
That may sound strange, but I learned the hard way that hating and attacking myself was counter-productive. 
2011 was a rough year for me. My health was failing, my physical abilities were diminishing, my life was turned upside down, and every instinct inside of me was screaming self-destruction. I tried to end my life in January of 2012, after about a year of waging war with my newly disabled body. The moment I woke up from the coma I realized I had to change. 
Everything had to change. 
I changed the way I talked to myself, I changed patterns of hateful thoughts, I changed the way I expressed myself in my relationships, I changed the way I approached my conditions, I changed the way I looked at health and beauty and worthiness. 
I started treating myself with gentleness and patience. I began to approach my sick and crippled body with love and concern. 
Since the suicide attempt, my health has only gotten worse. I am now looking at a diagnosis of a serious and degenerative brain disorder, which means that my life is going to continue to change and my body is going to continue to fail. 
This also means that I have to work even harder to love and accept myself. 
My journey is not over, it never will be, but I am SO grateful for all that I have learned this past year. Especially for the amazing Stop Hating Your Body community, and how you have encouraged and inspired me along the way. 
Thank you for your support, and for the incredible work you are all doing on your own paths to self acceptance. 
Stay strong, lovelies!
- Stacy  

wheeliewifee:

When I see this picture I can see how exhausted I am. 

I can see that I hurt.

I can see the dark circles and bags under my eyes. 

I can see the unwashed, tangled, hair. 

I can see my first wrinkles. 

I can also see what a damn FIGHTER I am.

I can see the half-smile.

The determination to push through and find humor and positivity.

I can see that I look different now, but I can see that being battle-worn is nothing to be ashamed of. 

I am strong. I am brave. I am still beautiful. 

 It took becoming disabled and very sick for me to learn to love my body. 

That may sound strange, but I learned the hard way that hating and attacking myself was counter-productive. 

2011 was a rough year for me. My health was failing, my physical abilities were diminishing, my life was turned upside down, and every instinct inside of me was screaming self-destruction. I tried to end my life in January of 2012, after about a year of waging war with my newly disabled body. The moment I woke up from the coma I realized I had to change. 

Everything had to change. 

I changed the way I talked to myself, I changed patterns of hateful thoughts, I changed the way I expressed myself in my relationships, I changed the way I approached my conditions, I changed the way I looked at health and beauty and worthiness. 

I started treating myself with gentleness and patience. I began to approach my sick and crippled body with love and concern. 

Since the suicide attempt, my health has only gotten worse. I am now looking at a diagnosis of a serious and degenerative brain disorder, which means that my life is going to continue to change and my body is going to continue to fail. 

This also means that I have to work even harder to love and accept myself. 

My journey is not over, it never will be, but I am SO grateful for all that I have learned this past year. Especially for the amazing Stop Hating Your Body community, and how you have encouraged and inspired me along the way. 

Thank you for your support, and for the incredible work you are all doing on your own paths to self acceptance. 

Stay strong, lovelies!

- Stacy  

This is the body of a 21 year old woman with an invisible illness/disability called Cystic Fibrosis. Since I was a child I have struggled with depression, self harm, anxiety, and my disease. I began cutting myself when I was 11 years old and am now a month clean of it, the longest I’ve gone since I was 11 was a whole 6 months. I’ve never felt normal or good enough. I didn’t start growing boobs until I was about 15/16 and didn’t have a waist until just this past year. I’ve always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. For a long time I thought I was should have been a born a boy. My periods are exceedingly irregular because of the fact that I am -usually- malnourished, and once I went an entire 7 months without a period. In addition to that, because I am always on antibiotics I have chronic yeast infections. It’s gotten to the point where I sometimes wish I didn’t have a vagina, I just cry and scream in pain from the yeast infections. And I often feel as though I’m not good enough for my boyfriend because he could find some normal healthy girl who didn’t have these problems and could actually regularly have sex with him. My disease causes bloating in the abdominal region, and there has been numerous times people have asked me when I was due (as in they thought I was having a baby) because of the bloating of my stomach. Many people with Cystic Fibrosis, including myself are what they call barrel chested, which means your rib cage is a bit more round than others, which has always caused me to wear over shirts and hoodies to hide it.I have also a port a cath in the right wall of my chest that people always assume is some sort of deformity, because society thinks only people with cancer have port a caths. This picture I’m showing you is the first one I’ve ever seen of my body that I was happy with. I am 4’10”, and t the time of this picture, I was at a really low weight for myself of 97 lbs. I’m now up to a much healthier 120, and I’m having a really hard time looking at my body in the mirror again, because it just doesn’t seem to look right to me, I know it was an unhealthy weight, but I was finally happy with what my body physically looked like.But my main reason for posting this is that THIS is what an invisible illness/disability can look like and that I think a woman with an invisible illness can be both attractive and sexy, regardless of what society tells them. I look like an average everday run of the mill person (well mostly). But there are days I can’t get out of bed, shower, do anything. I have to take MANY MANY medications and treatments each day to keep my lungs, pancreas, and liver working. There are days where I can’t get dressed on my own because my hands are so swollen and painful I cry when I try to move them. This is me. This is the body God gave me. And I’m proud of it, flaws and all. It may not be a perfect body, and I may want to just give up because of all the struggles it gives me sometimes, but I’m learning to love it. A year ago I’d never publicly talk about my disease like this, let alone show a picture of my body like this. Tumblr, The CF community on here and Stop Hating Your Body have been big factors in my increased self confidence. So thank you! And I hope this helped someone else with similar body image issues.

And if you want to learn more about Cystic Fibrosis, check out CFF.ORG or my health blog at prettyclavicles.blogspot.com 
BE BRAVE! JOIN THE BODY PEACE REVOLUTION!

This is the body of a 21 year old woman with an invisible illness/disability called Cystic Fibrosis. 

Since I was a child I have struggled with depression, self harm, anxiety, and my disease. I began cutting myself when I was 11 years old and am now a month clean of it, the longest I’ve gone since I was 11 was a whole 6 months. I’ve never felt normal or good enough. I didn’t start growing boobs until I was about 15/16 and didn’t have a waist until just this past year. I’ve always felt uncomfortable in my own skin. For a long time I thought I was should have been a born a boy. 

My periods are exceedingly irregular because of the fact that I am -usually- malnourished, and once I went an entire 7 months without a period. In addition to that, because I am always on antibiotics I have chronic yeast infections. It’s gotten to the point where I sometimes wish I didn’t have a vagina, I just cry and scream in pain from the yeast infections. And I often feel as though I’m not good enough for my boyfriend because he could find some normal healthy girl who didn’t have these problems and could actually regularly have sex with him. My disease causes bloating in the abdominal region, and there has been numerous times people have asked me when I was due (as in they thought I was having a baby) because of the bloating of my stomach. Many people with Cystic Fibrosis, including myself are what they call barrel chested, which means your rib cage is a bit more round than others, which has always caused me to wear over shirts and hoodies to hide it.

I have also a port a cath in the right wall of my chest that people always assume is some sort of deformity, because society thinks only people with cancer have port a caths. 

This picture I’m showing you is the first one I’ve ever seen of my body that I was happy with. I am 4’10”, and t the time of this picture, I was at a really low weight for myself of 97 lbs. I’m now up to a much healthier 120, and I’m having a really hard time looking at my body in the mirror again, because it just doesn’t seem to look right to me, I know it was an unhealthy weight, but I was finally happy with what my body physically looked like.

But my main reason for posting this is that THIS is what an invisible illness/disability can look like and that I think a woman with an invisible illness can be both attractive and sexy, regardless of what society tells them. I look like an average everday run of the mill person (well mostly). But there are days I can’t get out of bed, shower, do anything. I have to take MANY MANY medications and treatments each day to keep my lungs, pancreas, and liver working. There are days where I can’t get dressed on my own because my hands are so swollen and painful I cry when I try to move them. 

This is me. This is the body God gave me. And I’m proud of it, flaws and all. It may not be a perfect body, and I may want to just give up because of all the struggles it gives me sometimes, but I’m learning to love it. A year ago I’d never publicly talk about my disease like this, let alone show a picture of my body like this. Tumblr, The CF community on here and Stop Hating Your Body have been big factors in my increased self confidence. So thank you! And I hope this helped someone else with similar body image issues.

And if you want to learn more about Cystic Fibrosis, check out CFF.ORG or my health blog at prettyclavicles.blogspot.com 

BE BRAVE! JOIN THE BODY PEACE REVOLUTION!

Hello, from your new mod

I just want to write a quick note to introduce myself again, and to thank all of you for the warm welcome I have received! 

You have been so kind, and have made my first few weeks on the “job” a breeze. :) 

For those of you who missed Amber’s lovely introduction, my name is Stacy. Here on Tumblr I am known as WheelieWifee

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(my primary blog, which I never use, is WheelieintheKitchen, so any likes, replies, or follows show up under that name, FYI)

I am a full time student, majoring in social work and political science, and my husband and I run a little Etsy shop, The Paper Poppy Store

I live in Utah with my husband of almost 2 years, my service dog, Cash puppy, a chihuahua, and 3 cats! 

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I have been disabled since July of 2010, and started WheelieWifee one year ago in an attempt to find some support in dealing with the major life changes that followed my injury. 

StopHatingYourBody was the FIRST blog I followed, and Amber was the first person who followed me. This site has helped me SO much in my journey, I am absolutely delighted to be a part of it now! 

Please let me know if you have any questions, or just stop by to introduce yourself! I am excited to get to know each of you: 

http://wheeliewifee.tumblr.com/talktome

Loving Your Body When it Doesn’t Love You (part 1)

wheeliewifee:

Maintaining positive body image with disability, chronic illness, and chronic pain

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Body positivity is especially difficult when your body is not a healthy one.

 When you spend every moment fighting pain, struggling with basic tasks, and rearranging your life around your limitations, it can seem impossible to think of your body as anything but an enemy. Acceptance probably seems far-fetched, and love surely sounds like a joke; however, I’ve learned that it is crucial.

I spent the first eighteen months after my disabling accident desperately trying to cope with the changes in my body, and my initial focus was solely on recovery. I focused on research, diagnoses, treatment, and cures, and when none of the professionals could help me I slipped into despair. I had placed every single one of my metaphorical eggs into the “basket” of healing, and when I continued to decline I became completely lost.

It was not until I shifted my focus from healing my ailments to healing the relationship with my body that I found peace.

The journey is different for everyone, but I am going to share a few of the things I had success with along the way:

  • Accept Your Body (in it’s current state, limitations and all!)

I am a very visual learner, and so for me this took a very concrete form. I created an art journal where I utilized many art therapy techniques which I learned in eating disorder recovery in my early twenties. I drew pictures of myself with exaggerated positives and negatives and I made collages about pain and disability. I wrote lists. Lists of things I was still physically capable of, lists of (reasonable) goals, lists of strengths, lists of positive things and things I love. I also wrote letters. Letters of love to my younger self, letters of apology to my disordered self, letters of recognition and appreciation to my current body.

For you this process may be less visible, but it is just as important. Unresolved conflict, grief, anger, and self-hatred cause internal turmoil and interfere with the goal of self-love. Attempt to identify where you have nagging, negative, emotions and figure out a way that works for you to resolve them. 

  • Accept Your Disability

This is similar to the first one, but different in that the goal is to focus on your limitations. As strange as that may sound, it is a vital step.

When I stopped obsessing over getting “better” I was able to make life so much more livable. Accepting the label of “disabled” actually opened many doors for me, because it enabled me to recognize my restrictions and then work around them to empower myself!

It is very difficult to sort our accommodations until you know acknowledge that you need them.

Instead of fighting your body, learn to listen to it and figure out what is needed to increase your quality of life.

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StopHatingYourBody has it right when they call self-love a revolution; it will trickle into every aspect of your life and positively impact your relationships, your happiness, and even your health.

This Valentine’s Day, love your sick and disabled body, and watch as it changes your entire world. 


Part 2 will discuss beauty and hygiene, and Part 3 will go more into relationships. Let me know if you’d like me to add a topic! 

art credit one and two.  

Say hello to our newest mod!

This is Stacy!

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Stacy’s been a member of SHYB for a long time, and among the posts she’s submitted, she’s also provided some incredible art for SHYB as well! She’s a gorgeous individual inside and out and she has a lot to bring to the table, we’re SO happy to have her on board!

Here’s some background on Stacy in her own words!

"The world of body image struggles began very early for me; I was self-injuring at only 7 years old, and was in full blown ED mode by age 12. I spent 6 months in an eating disorder treatment hospital when I was 19, and I’ve spent the following 8 years working diligently to heal the broken bonds between my body and me. I made great progress, and have been fully recovered from Anorexia and Bulimia for more than 6 years, and I have not cut myself in almost 4.

In 2010 I was in a car accident which resulted in a variety of permanent injuries, including herniated disks, severe nerve damage, torn ligaments, trauma-induced fibromyalgia, and even more that is still undiagnosed. During the last 2 years I’ve continued to decline, and a result I now spend almost all of my time in a wheelchair. When I lost my health it felt like I lost everything; from big things like my career, my health, and my mobility, to more unmeasurable things like my wardrobe, my respect, and my confidence. It felt like I lost all the ground I had gained through my ED recovery, and I was right back to loathing my body. I became extremely depressed, and attempted suicide in January 2012. After I survived, I realized that I had to do something, and soon. I developed a “Body Peace Project” which was a very genuine effort to apologize to my body, to forgive myself, and to accept my current condition. I also began to be an advocate for others with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and that activist work was tremendously beneficial for my own mental health.”


Please feel free to give Stacy a warm welcome while she gets acclimated to being a mod. We’re so excited to welcome her to the SHYB family and we’re looking forward to the future!
 

Love,
 

nuestrahermana:

Resolutions - 

This is my first video :) There aren’t any captions on this but here a run down of what this is all about:

Resolutions for the new year:

  • Self care as a large part of self preservation including: continuing to battle for my right to exams, doctors who are competent, specialists…. Not feeling guilty about taking care of myself… Remembering to honor my own body… Giving myself love like I would to anyone I care deeply about
  • Being Honest. Honesty with myself and with others…only keeping those I can be fully honest about my body and my entire being with. Honesty as a way not to internalize isolation or damaging views on my own self worth as a person with chronic illness.
  • Continuing on with my small business but also involving others in it for help and expansion. 
  • Community - surrounding myself with POC with disabilities/chronic illness, QPOC, general chronically ill community…on the internet and in person. 
  • Final point: Fuck the idea that if you are not ~independent~ you are unworthy as a person. Remember this and not forgetting that interdependence and community is beautiful. It is not damaging or makes you less worthy as an individual.

*Special thanks to Fabian Romero who inspired this with their awesome resolutions video posted recently 

wheeliewifee:

My 2013 New Year’s Resolution Revolution! 
More: water, fruits & vegs, art, SEX, writing & reading, self-care, dates w/hubby, LIPSTICK, and movement (walking, wheeling, weights, stretching)
Less (or fewer): foods that make me sick, pills (more natural treatments), sleeping in & late nights, spending $$, sugar, TV, computer, iPod
I will wear what is comfortable and makes me happy— not only what is flattering. 
I will stand up for myself to doctor’s and ask for the accommodations I need!
I will remember that I am NOT a burden. 
I will continue to train Cash Puppy as a service dog. 
I will improve my time management skills. 
Most of all, I will be EASIER on myself, and continue the progress I have made in accepting my body and loving my life. 
Happy 2013, Lovelies! 

wheeliewifee:

My 2013 New Year’s Resolution Revolution! 

More: water, fruits & vegs, art, SEX, writing & reading, self-care, dates w/hubby, LIPSTICK, and movement (walking, wheeling, weights, stretching)

Less (or fewer): foods that make me sick, pills (more natural treatments), sleeping in & late nights, spending $$, sugar, TV, computer, iPod

I will wear what is comfortable and makes me happy— not only what is flattering. 

I will stand up for myself to doctor’s and ask for the accommodations I need!

I will remember that I am NOT a burden. 

I will continue to train Cash Puppy as a service dog. 

I will improve my time management skills. 

Most of all, I will be EASIER on myself, and continue the progress I have made in accepting my body and loving my life. 


Happy 2013, Lovelies! 

chronicillnesscat:

[image: Chubby, angry-looking cat sitting in a wheelchair.  Text reads: “Please sign the petition to have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome recognized as a disabling condition by Social Security!! You’d be helping many people who are suffering, and who are often unable to purchase private insurance because of ‘pre-existing condition’ exclusions. http://tinyurl.com/byacwo3 Also, you’d be making this cat happy, because she really loves ‘her’ wheelchair. And, trust me. You don’t want to see her unhappy.”]
Please feel free to grab and re-post this image anywhere — I am hoping that if we can get enough people on Flickr/FB/Twitter/LJ/DW/G+ to share the petition link, we can reach our goal of 25,000 signatures by January 2, when the petition expires.
Thanks SO much for your support! Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome can have a devastating effect on your life and health. It can be, quite literally, crippling.
Some people with EDS need braces to hold their heads upright, because their neck can’t support the weight of their skull. Charlie is a Canadian man currently fighting medical bureaucracy trying to get appropriate treatment for his severe EDS.
And, yet, it’s nowhere to be found in any of the U.S. government/Social Security listings of diseases which can be considered as a disability (based on degree of impairment.) Yes, it’s a rare disease — but not as rare as many of the ones on Social Security’s listings of disabling conditions.
Many patients with EDS been told by doctors that they’d vaguely heard of EDS in medical school, but had never seen a patient with it. In part, that’s because it’s uncommon — but other people go undiagnosed for years because doctors miss the signs that could have gotten them appropriate treatment and saved their mobility.
Please sign and signal-boost, if you would be willing.

chronicillnesscat:

[image: Chubby, angry-looking cat sitting in a wheelchair.  Text reads: “Please sign the petition to have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome recognized as a disabling condition by Social Security!! You’d be helping many people who are suffering, and who are often unable to purchase private insurance because of ‘pre-existing condition’ exclusions. http://tinyurl.com/byacwo3 Also, you’d be making this cat happy, because she really loves ‘her’ wheelchair. And, trust me. You don’t want to see her unhappy.”]

Please feel free to grab and re-post this image anywhere — I am hoping that if we can get enough people on Flickr/FB/Twitter/LJ/DW/G+ to share the petition link, we can reach our goal of 25,000 signatures by January 2, when the petition expires.

Thanks SO much for your support! Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome can have a devastating effect on your life and health. It can be, quite literally, crippling.

Some people with EDS need braces to hold their heads upright, because their neck can’t support the weight of their skull. Charlie is a Canadian man currently fighting medical bureaucracy trying to get appropriate treatment for his severe EDS.

And, yet, it’s nowhere to be found in any of the U.S. government/Social Security listings of diseases which can be considered as a disability (based on degree of impairment.) Yes, it’s a rare disease — but not as rare as many of the ones on Social Security’s listings of disabling conditions.

Many patients with EDS been told by doctors that they’d vaguely heard of EDS in medical school, but had never seen a patient with it. In part, that’s because it’s uncommon — but other people go undiagnosed for years because doctors miss the signs that could have gotten them appropriate treatment and saved their mobility.

Please sign and signal-boost, if you would be willing.

Update on the website & forum board!

thegirlinthepinkwheelchair:

Currently, it’s not being hosted by an original domain. I wanted to wait until the website was completely mapped out before buying domains. Regardless, it is up and running! I posted a story that was emailed tonight. 

You can find the website here. The forum “Pink Girls” is currently underwork and will be posted sometime this week! I’m so happy to have a space to connect with fellow women with physical disabilities, chronic illnesses, etc. 

Once again, if you have a story that you want to share please email me at:

thegirlinthepinkwheelchair@gmail.com

I also am looking for continual writers, too! If you would be interested in posting weekly or monthly stories, please include that in your email. If so: please send a photo, include your name, a mini-bio, and explain your physical disability or (and) illness. You’ll then be featured under “Our Writers”. Please note: I understand how some women with physical disabilities are wary with sharing photos, so excluding a photo is completely understandable! It is up to you!

I also want to clarify that this will always remain the advice blog. I am the advice columnist of this blog and strive to answer all messages as fast as possible! You can always come here to ask questions and seek advice. Within a small amount of time (hopefully), this will have its own domain as well. 

So, please check out our first story! Leave a comment, some feedback, etc. and remember to submit your own stories, too!

Love,

TGIPW