Monday, December 28, 2015

For Audrey flower decal manicure

Summer has officially arrived in Australia (it has been scorching here in Melbourne), which means it is time to update my manicure and pedicure shades for the warmer weather.
In winter I typically wear deep, vampy shades, so I am excited to swap dark lacquers for more vibrant hues.

I love trying new shades and experimenting with interesting colour combinations, but there are many times when fatigue and pain (or even the fact I just can't be bothered) means I have to keep things simple.

Cute flower decals are perfect for the times when you want to zhuzh up your manicure without much effort. After a few coats of polish, I stuck on these gorgeous decals to add some interest. I think they go perfectly with this shade from China Glaze called 'For Audrey', which is an ode to Audrey Hepburn.

I just adore this Tiffany inspired turquoise polish. It lives up to the hype and has become my go-to polish for spring and summer. It is a definite must have for polish enthusiasts.

This is a spring manicure I did back in the day when I had gel applied to my nails at a salon to make them stronger and help nail polish last longer. I found these snaps when I was going through some old photos and was reminded that I forgot to blog about this pretty polish. (Better late than never is my motto.)

I have since stopped getting my gel treatments as I found that my nails grew crazy long too quickly, making it a little difficult (and expensive) to keep up with getting the regrowth filled. I do miss having super strong and shiny nails though, so I am thinking about getting a DIY kit and having a go at doing them myself. That way I could stay on top of the regrowth better and maintain an optimal length for crafting and daily chores. It would be so much cheaper in the long run, not to mention more convenient too.

I plan on bombarding you with 2015/2016 bright summer manicures soon. I hope.




Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Christmas Wish List

I’m always interested to know what other people have put on their Christmas wish list; turns out you are too. Seeing as my 2014 Christmas wish list was a hit, I thought I’d share the products that have made it onto my must-have list this year.
I am probably one of the easiest people to buy gifts for. If it’s a present from a baking, book, makeup, craft, or clothing store, chances are I’ll love it.
But seeing as though it can be overwhelming for someone to shop in places like a craft or makeup store when they are not into those things and don’t have a clue where to even begin, I like to put together a handy guide to help point my family in the right direction so they can purchase gifts more confidently. Aren’t I nice?
Every year I spend time putting a lot of thought into my Christmas wish list. If possible, I like to make sure that I have a wide variety of products at different price points to give my family plenty of options.

Hopefully you’ll discover some things that you might want to put on your wish list next year, or at the very least, find some gift giving inspiration.

Here are some things I’d love to receive this Christmas:

Books and music

Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans

I am extremely keen to read this story about a woman who has overcome the hypocrisy and politics that sometimes occurs within church communities, and how she found her place and purpose in the church again.
Unfortunately, Christians can be some of the worst people sometimes. There have certainly been times in my life when some Christians have made me feel ashamed to call myself one.
While I haven’t personally encountered the problems Evans has, I think I’ll still be able to relate to her on some level as I am terribly unhappy in my current church. I have been hurt so many times and I’ve reached the point where I just don’t care very much for going anymore.
It’s a long story and I’m not sure yet whether I’ll blog it, but at the moment I am trying to decide whether to tell a pastor how I’ve been feeling and give this church another chance, or if I should just walk away and find a church that I completely love. I’m hoping this book will help make what I should do a bit clearer.

Hope Beyond Cure by David McDonald

This book seems like it will be a great read for me. It’s about a Christian pastor who received a terminal cancer diagnosis which then lead him to turn back to the Bible and question: “Is God there? Does He care? When there is no cure, does God still offer hope?”
This year has been one of the worst years of my life; I have felt extremely hopeless and depressed. I need to read this book.
Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge

This book sounds like it’s a heart-warming read.

Elevation Worship Wake Up the Wonder

Their music often gets me through the bad days.

Colouring books and pencils

If you’re following me on Instagram, you will know that I’ve been getting into the colouring in craze lately. I’m addicted, and love these stunning books: Secret Garden by Johanna Basford, Beauty in the Bible Adult Coloring Book by Paige Tate Coloring, Faith in Color Adult Coloring Book by Pearlyn Choco for Paige Tate Coloring.

My colouring in motto is: when in doubt, add glitter and metallic. So I need some Derwent metallic pencils to add to my colouring stash also.


Craft supplies from Kaisercraft

All That Glitters paper pad, All That Glitters specialty paper in golden butterflies, All that glitters collectables, Fairy Dust paper pad, Fairy Dust collectables.
 These collections are so pretty and I can’t wait to create with them.

Nail polish

Great Barrier Reef nail polish by Sea Siren Cosmetics, Reflection holographic polish and Bellissima glitter polish by Emily de Molly.
Can you believe that I don’t own a holographic polish yet? They look incredible!



I need a good quality bronzer in my life, STAT!
What’s on your wish list?

image source:
Although I haven’t been able to blog much this year, I’d still like to say a big thank you for your support and kind words. I am so grateful that you’ve stuck around and encouraged me to persevere and not give up.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happier, healthier 2016. Love & cupcakes.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Decadently fudgy Christmas tree brownies

I usually feel more miserable than merry around this time of year, but I am happy to say that I am finally excited about Christmas again.
I really didn’t expect to be feeling more cheerful and less discouraged right now, so it’s lovely to be looking forward to Christmas and the new year for a change.

It feels so strange though. Strange, but GOOD.

I have quite enjoyed shopping for Christmas presents and have found myself wanting to do fun festive things.

I haven’t really done much bloggable fun and festive stuff this month though as I have blown most of my energy on seeing Taylor Swift (she was amazing), taking my father out for his birthday, and a few trips to the shops. Maybe next year.

I really wanted to have some Christmas posts up at the beginning of December but I had to focus on the aforementioned things. I have done a little bit of baking over the last few days though, so today I have a delicious brownie recipe to share.

I made these decadently fudgy brownies last month and my family loved them so much that I decided to make them to give as homemade gifts for Christmas.

To make my brownies festive I cut them into triangles and decorated them with green icing and m&m’s so they looked like Christmas trees.

As much as I wanted to have perfectly decorated and fancy looking brownies, I had to keep it simple. I’m not entirely happy with how they turned out (they looked better in my head), but I think I’ve done okay to have produced something that is still delicious despite the summer heat and bad fatigue days.

I had trouble photographing these brownies as the icing and m&m’s started melting within minutes. Oh the joy of baking in summer in Australia! In future, I think if I want to photograph baked goods for a blog post I’m going to have to do it in the cooler months when food doesn’t melt so quickly.

They really do taste far better than they look though, I promise. They are impressively fudgy and they won’t disappoint.

Given that these brownies are incredibly simple and quick to make; they will probably be my go-to Christmas treat for years to come.

I have adapted this recipe from magazine and Blissful Brownies by Love Food. It should yield 9 triangles.

Brownie ingredients & method:
150g unsalted butter, chopped
150g milk baking chocolate, chopped
4 eggs, lightly whisked
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 180 degrees or 160 degrees for fan forced. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and then line the base with baking paper.

Step 2: Place egg, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: Over a saucepan of boiling water, melt the butter and chocolate until smooth. Remove from heat and add to dry ingredients, mixing well.

Step 4: Pour brownie mixture into cake tin and bake for 35 minutes (brownies are ready when skewer comes out with crumbs clinging to it.

Step 5: Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into small, but wide triangles.

Fudge frosting ingredients & method:

4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon milk
2/3 cup icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
1 teaspoon green food colouring
Milk chocolate m&m's

Step 1: Melt the butter and then add the milk, sugar and food colouring. Stir until smooth and refrigerate until spreadable.

Step 2: Spread on brownies with a spatula and decorate with m&m’s.
I hope to have some more festive posts up for you this week but I may have to share some after Christmas.






Thursday, November 12, 2015

Floral dresses and family wedding fun

I am extremely behind on blogging due to difficulties with brain fog, physical and mental fatigue, and depression. I seem to be slowly getting my mojo back now though (praise the Lord!), and have finally been able to work out a feasible routine that enables me to get a tiny bit of writing done each day, so I am determined to catch up over the coming months. I have so much to write about!
After my last post I thought it would be fun to blog about the last couple of weddings I attended and what I chose to wear.

These blogworthy weddings were those of relatives that took place in December 2013 and March 2014. I told you I was behind on blogging!

I will not be sharing photos of brides though as I haven’t asked for their permission and I just don’t feel right about posting them on a public site.

My Uncle’s Wedding, December 2013

My uncle had a stunning, small and intimate outdoor garden gazebo wedding. Fortunately the weather was glorious – not too hot, not too cold.

It was such a bright and cheery summer wedding with a short and sweet ceremony, surrounded by gorgeous flowers and magnificent trees which provided a perfect romantic setting. It was just a lovely place to celebrate, enjoy some finger food, and have a laid back afternoon outdoors with family and guests.

I thought it would be appropriate to wear the latest addition to my wardrobe, a Jump floral print dress from Myer. It caught my eye while I was flicking through Myer’s spring catalogue a couple of months prior to the wedding, and I decided to order it online.

When it arrived I immediately fell in love with the soft pleats and its slimming effect. Given that Humira caused me to gain a fair bit of weight, making me feel frumpy, I wanted to wear a dress that made me feel fabulous. This dress did the trick.

It concealed all of my problem areas while retaining a classic and feminine fit. I received compliments and some of my confidence back. It was the perfect dress for a garden wedding.
My mumma got a new dress too. Floral dresses are the best kind of dresses.
While I was confident with my choice of dress, I wasn’t too happy with my choice of makeup. I foolishly decided to forgo a practise makeup run and wing it on the day; a very bad choice considering I had to get up and get ready early when my brain usually doesn’t function at its best. In addition to brain fog I also had to battle a bad feeling sick/fatigued day. This combination heavily contributed to a slapdash job of my makeup.

You think I would have learnt by now to seriously take these things into consideration, but no. Sometimes I still think like the old healthy me did.
In hindsight, given how pale I was that day, I think it would have been better to ditch the red lipstick. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful day I enjoyed celebrating.

My Auntie’s Wedding, March 2014

I was ecstatic about my auntie’s wedding. She has been through a lot, so it was beautiful to see her so radiant with joy on her special day. I am very happy that she finally met the right man to marry and spend the rest of her life with.
The lead up to the wedding was super exciting. I really enjoyed going wedding dress shopping with my auntie and mother and helping pick out a dress; it was such a special experience.

My auntie settled on an elegant dress with a beautiful buttoned train, which wasn’t the type of dress she had in mind, but it just suited her so perfectly.

I also worked very hard on putting together a handmade wishing well and couldn’t wait to give my auntie and new uncle a beautifully decorated table where guests could leave their gifts and well wishes.

It was the biggest and most challenging craft project I have undertaken, but I had a lot of fun planning and making it. I put a lot of time and love into it as it was a special, one of a kind wedding gift from me.

I took great delight in contributing to their wedding in a small way; it gave me a purpose and made me feel useful for a change.

The wedding was held at Nathania Springs, a venue nestled in the Dandenong Ranges. It was a typical chapel ceremony followed by a convenient on-site reception.

Doesn't my mother make a gorgeous bridesmaid?!
The chapel and reception rooms were nice enough, although a little too dark for my liking. The forest backdrop, however, did provide a tranquil atmosphere, and the chandeliers in the chapel added a nice romantic touch. Outside was picturesque and perfect for photos.

I was really impressed with the service at this venue. I thoroughly enjoyed the reception; the speeches were beautiful as was the food, too. Inevitably I overindulged as the dazzling selection of warm and cold desserts made it impossible not to. I even had some sparkling wine which is a rare occurrence.

I always feel like such a rebel when I do have alcohol given how many of my medications come with the warning label: THIS MEDICINE MAY INCREASE THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL. But I know I am usually fine with one glass on occasion; I just can’t make drinking a regular social habit (which is probably a good thing!).

As this was another family wedding, I didn’t want to wear the same dress that I wore to my uncle’s wedding. Wearing the same dress for family wedding photos is a no-no in my book. And besides, to my surprise, I managed to lose weight before my auntie’s wedding, so the Jump dress was a couple of sizes too big anyway.

I had to find a new party dress.
Initially I wanted to find a stunning semi-formal maxi dress to wear as I wanted to hide a stubborn uneven tan line on my shins from the summer. I looked in a few stores and didn’t find a dress that I was happy with.

As I wasn’t up for hours of dress searching, and considering that there wasn’t as much choice with maxi dresses, I decided to get the next shorter length dress I liked and apply fake tan to disguise the tan line.

So as a reward for my weight loss I treated myself to this chic, figure flattering, summery ‘Grace’ dress from a Review clearance outlet. It was my first purchase from Review and I was elated.

I had been wanting to buy a dress from the store for many years and actually wanted the Grace dress when it first came out, but for some reason I decided to wait until I lost some weight.
When I walked into the outlet store I wasn’t expecting to find the Grace dress as I knew it was an older style that had probably sold out. So I was very surprised to find it on the first rack of dresses that I looked at, even though there were only two sizes left.

One size that was left was a few sizes too big for me. The other size left was my pre-sick dress size and I thought I would be certainly pushing my luck to have it fit me. But I decided to try it on anyway, just on the off chance that it did fit.
I nearly squealed in the changing room as I was completely shocked and over the moon to find that I could finally fit back into my pre-sick dress size again! It was just meant to be. I am convinced that God saved that dress especially for me.

I’m glad that I waited until I lost some weight and didn’t have to pay full price as it made the purchase more special and exciting. It’s a dress I am now proud to have in my wardrobe. It reminds me of how far I’ve come and how much I have overcome. It gives me hope.
To conceal my pesky tan line I first tried fixing it myself with some tanning lotion, but unfortunately the tan turned out too blotchy, so I scrubbed it off and resigned myself to the fact that I needed professional help.

I ended up opting for a Tuscan Spray Tan at my local beauty salon. I took a risk and got sprayed the day before the wedding.
While I was excited about getting my first professional tan, I was also a little worried that it would turn out orange and that I would have to go to the wedding looking like an oompa loompa.

But I was right to trust my beautician, the tan was amazing! I was very happy with the colour; it wasn’t the slightest bit orange and it looked really natural.

I loved how it made me look slightly slimmer and feel more confident. I didn’t blind anyone with my pastiness or look washed out in photos for a change. It was definitely worth getting a professional Tuscan Tan.

Oh I do enjoy getting glammed up.
After my auntie’s wedding I found myself feeling a little sad that her big day was all over, as I had been excited about it for months and then, suddenly, there wasn’t much to look forward to.

However, I also do like that the weddings I have to attend are few and far between, as they exacerbate my symptoms and take me weeks, and sometimes even months to fully recover from.

*** FYI: this is not a sponsored post

Friday, September 25, 2015

I love my life more than I hate my pain

Author, blogger and ‘quit sugar’ advocate Sarah Wilson wrote a blog post late last year asking “Could female self-hatred be the real cause of autoimmune disease?” An extended version of it was published on, similarly questioning “Is self-hatred making us sick?”
The article enraged me.
Immediately after reading it I began writing through my infuriation but was undecided on if I would blog my thoughts and feelings. 
Early this year I revisited the few thoughts I had penned and for some reason decided to try and punch through my brain fog (which has been an epic struggle) to convert my thoughts into an informative, opinionated post.
Sarah Wilson’s words didn’t just get me riled up, they made others angry too, causing a social media storm.
She starts off speaking openly about her experience with Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s. While trying to “pinpoint the original physical cause” of her condition for over 20 years, she explains how she came to the conclusion that “if there is such a cause, it’s definitely got an emotional basis.”
Whenever asked what caused her disease she answers “Once all angles are ironed out – everything points to… anxiety. Or as I like to put it, a profound, visceral, itchy dis-ease with myself.”
I don’t have a problem with Sarah Wilson sharing about why she believes anxiety and a lack of self-care caused her to become ill. More power to her. But then she goes on to imply that women who have an autoimmune disease are most likely sick because they don’t love themselves.
That’s not okay with me.
Sarah enthusiastically and extensively highlights Dr Habib Sadeghi’s teachings – a man who’s convinced that self-hatred is the sole cause of chronic disease in women.
It’s evident that she wholeheartedly agrees with his belief that “Illness is what happens when women, the nurturers of humanity, forget how to nurture themselves.”
This isn’t earth shatteringly profound, it is pseudoscience.
She supports the doctor’s claim, explaining: “When you can’t be the ideal wife, mother, girlfriend, teacher, cook, church volunteer, corporate executive and activist at 20 pounds below your healthy body weight, what’s left but to silently (and subconsciously) hate yourself because you’re not perfect? And so… self-hatred causes auto-immune disease, which, boiled down, is the body attacking itself. So how to heal? With self-love…”
Upon reading this I had a little chuckle at how ridiculous it seems considering I was at my happiest before illness suddenly took over my life. I was bursting with excitement about finishing school and going to university. I was so full of hope. I loved my casual retail job, I loved my body, and I loved my own company. I loved who I was and I enjoyed exercising daily. Taking time out for some self-pampering was extremely important to me. I’ll admit I was a little anxious at times, especially in large social settings, but I never hated myself.
I did not get sick because I forgot how to nurture myself. I took really good care of myself and had a healthy self-esteem. I knew who I was and I knew exactly what I wanted in life; I was confident about the future and usually felt content and at peace.
And now, despite chronic pain, I still take really good care of myself. Self-love and self-care certainly have not been on the back burner. Eating healthy is a high priority. I have a beauty and skincare routine that I try and stick to as much as I can. I do a bit of yoga most mornings and I try to spend the limited energy I have doing creative things that nourish my soul and make me happy. I journal and allow myself to have a good cry every now and then. I make sure I take the time to reflect, meditate, and be thankful every day.
While I did struggle to love my life in the first few years after my diagnosis (a typical reaction to grief, anger, fear, confusion and sadness), I can now honestly say that I love my life much more than I hate my pain – and I hate my pain a lot! It has taken a great deal of time and hard work but I can truly say that I’m proud of the person I am today.
Sure, there have been many times when I have been an utterly miserable self-loathing mess but my unhappiness was caused mostly by medication side effects like low mood, depression and weight gain. Spending two years with an IUD in to help prevent Endometriosis growth really messed with my head. I was depressed, angry and irrational. Emotionally I was all over the place. When I began taking a stronger drug to help get my crippling Rheumatoid Arthritis pain under control, I suddenly gained 12 kilos and plunged into a pit of misery as a result. Going from a healthy size 10 to being overweight in a matter of months greatly affected my confidence and self-esteem that I ended up seeking help from a counsellor.
There have also been many periods when the constant pain and fatigue has profoundly supressed the love I have for myself and for life, but deep down it’s there, and it always resurfaces.
For most women who are chronically ill, self-loathing is a side effect of illness, not a cause.
I am certainly not still sick because I hate myself. I fight every day to love my life more than I hate my pain. I’ve worked incredibly hard over the years with a counsellor, exercise physiologist and a naturopath in attempt to try and better my health. If that’s not self-love then I don’t know what is.
I love the creative, passionate, independent, joyful, strong and resilient woman I am becoming. I am not still sick because I am not nurturing myself enough. I know how to nourish my “grasslands”.
As I type this I have sharp pain in my teeth and I feel like I’ve been hit in the face with a basketball. That’s not because I didn’t love myself nine years ago, it is because chronic pain is poorly understood. 
I’m all for self-love. I think it’s imperative, especially when you’re battling a chronic disease. I adore this quote from Daniell Koepke:

A little self-love certainly goes a long way when you’re facing constant pain. Love has extraordinary potential to reduce pain, depression and anxiety. A little self-love can certainly help you find peace in spite of illness and enable you to cope better.
I really do think that I’d physically be feeling much worse if I didn’t make self-care a priority and didn’t work on being kind to myself. Self-love absolutely improves wellbeing but it can’t always fix everything. I am still sick; my body isn’t functioning correctly. And it’s not because of a lack of love. If self-hatred was the cause of my chronic diseases, I would have loved myself well years ago.
Sarah Wilson also believes that she can spot an “auto-immune type”, stating: “They have an intensity about them, a desire to impress. They’re always the ones at the front of my lectures, frantically taking notes. They have an air of ‘I’m not good enough as I am.’”
So a person who prefers to sit up the front and likes to take detailed notes is more likely to be suffering from an autoimmune disease? Let’s get one thing straight: autoimmune disease can affect ANYONE. Just as perfectionists and people pleasers can have an autoimmune disease, so too can the most relaxed and laid back person sitting up the back of a lecture theatre.
I’ve been battling two autoimmune diseases along with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and while I can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes (more so for my own satisfaction), I don’t have an unhealthy desire to impress people. I certainly do not have an air of ‘I’m not good enough as I am.’ I also hate sitting at the front of lectures and much prefer sitting as far up the back as possible. I don’t “frantically” takes notes, and I think you’ll be hard pressed to find someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis (or any painful illness, really) who does. People also can’t tell that I’m sick just on a quick observation. Often they are shocked to hear how unwell I am.
It’s interesting to note that Sarah’s lectures are heavily based on food, health and wellbeing. She’s all about inspiring healthy eating and promoting the importance of “quitting the white stuff”, so there’s bound to be many people living with an autoimmune disease in attendance.
Newsflash: that’s why they’re always the ones at the front of her lectures! If she was speaking about life on mars and dinosaur fossils there would probably only be the odd few who have an autoimmune disease. Oh, and here’s a thought: perhaps the ones “frantically” taking notes at Sarah’s lectures are doing so because they just genuinely want to improve their nutrition and health?
The theory that certain mannerisms observed in Wilson’s lectures are always indicative of autoimmune disease is flawed. There are people who prefer to sit up the front in lectures so they can see and hear better, while some people simply want to decrease their chances of becoming distracted so they can get the most out of the lecture. Just because someone is attentive and passionate about what they are learning doesn’t necessarily mean they have (or are likely to develop) an autoimmune disease, for goodness sakes.
There are many people who are anxious and are otherwise well. There are many people who constantly feel the need to impress people who are also perfectly healthy. Therefore it’s narrow minded to assume there is an “auto-immune type”.
It’s wrong to lump everyone with an autoimmune disease into the one box and label them.
Wilson concludes the piece reiterating how self-love is the “key”, pointing out that “You can do all the tests, elimination diets and treatments you like, but boil it all down, there’s always a sneaky feeling that it’s more than the gluten or the toxin or the hereditary predisposition.”
She also reflects on why anxiety is responsible for her periods of disease flare-ups, explaining that “The only feeling there, behind the pain and shittiness, is a cringy, self-flagellating, forward-lunging anxiety. It's always there, whatever the flare. The same feeling.”
I don’t concur with all of Sarah Wilson’s viewpoints. I’m not the only one who found some of the presented points absurd. While there were some people who did appreciate her article, many were outraged and turned to social media and blogging to vent.
A writer on even discussed their gripe with it in a piece where they deemed Wilson’s comments regarding autoimmune disease to be untrue, unsafe and immoral. They emphasized a very excellent point I feel I’m testament to: “Disease doesn’t care if you are the most self-loving, self-caring person on the planet. It can strike you down at any time for no reason at all.”
Considering Sarah isn’t medically qualified, her piece came across as expert-y and consequently rubbed many people the wrong way. It caused confusion and controversy. While she didn’t actually say that our diseases are all in our heads, her piece implied that they are. I believe that the article simplifies a very complex issue. To myself and others, it read: Hey ladies! The solution is simple – you’ve just got to love yourself more, that’s what the real problem is here.

By referencing Dr Sadeghi, the article has lead a lot of readers to believe that Sarah also believes that self-hatred is the sole reason why women are sick.
It’s okay to say that self-love helps healing but it’s not okay for someone to say that self-loathing causes autoimmune disease in women.
I certainly don’t doubt that a deep-seated unhappiness and self-hatred has the potential to make one sick but directly linking self-hatred to autoimmune disease when self-hatred is not an issue for many women battling disease day in and day out is plain wrong, unhelpful and unsolicited.
I’m not at all surprised that Sarah’s piece got people fired up and left some feeling hurt and angry. I understand the backlash against the article given the angle the topic was written from. Assumptions and generalisations were made and I think that’s what annoyed people. Had it been worded differently many more people probably would have respected it.
In my opinion, I feel the articles would have been better received had Wilson said something like: And so… given my experience, I believe that self-hatred may cause autoimmune disease in some people. I think that constant self-loathing has a much greater impact on health than we realise.
But that wouldn’t get as many people fired up, would it?
If Sarah was self-reflecting and exploring the cause of her own condition it would have been more appropriate for the articles to be titled along the lines of: ‘Could my self-hatred be the real cause of my autoimmune disease?’ and ‘Is self-hatred making me sick?’
That’s not really click-bait though, hey?
I can’t help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind Sarah’s piece. While I don’t doubt that what she has shared came from a place of vulnerability, I do, however, feel like it was deliberately ambiguous to encourage debate.
After all, she’s a very clever journalist who knows damn well how to write to evoke an impressive response. News sites probably wouldn’t have republished it if they didn’t think it was going to cause a stir and drive traffic to their site.
The writer on Mamamia even questioned if Wilson was “just making outlandish statements in order to generate a response”, too.
The only reason I read both the original piece and the republished version was because of people’s reactions. It was pure click-bait.
Wilson defended her piece by stating on her blog that she was only posing a question and sharing her personal experience. She has stressed that she was simply pointing out the mind and body connection and that she doesn’t write “vulnerable autoimmune posts as click bait”. She also stated that she doesn’t know why all women get sick and is aware that self-love doesn’t cure autoimmune disease, claiming that in her piece she referred to self-love as a vessel for healing, not a cure for disease. She feels that her piece was taken out of context and believes that people didn’t actually read her original post, taking her message the wrong way and passing unfair judgement.
While some of the criticism Sarah copped was a bit mean spirited and aggressive, I do think that some people’s critiques were warranted. What did she expect? When you support a man who preaches pseudoscience there’s a high chance that people will kick up a stink. You shouldn’t quote a man who believes that self-hatred is at the root of autoimmune disease if that’s not what you are saying.
I read ALL articles for context and perspective. Multiple times, actually. And I didn’t agree with how this topic was tackled.
I am not disputing the connection between mind and body. I am fully aware that our emotions play a huge part in our health and that’s why I take a holistic approach to managing my illnesses. The brain does have a role in pain and I think it is pretty common knowledge that the mind can affect the body. Anxiety, stress and self-loathing will exacerbate autoimmune disease and flare symptoms; this I know. I myself, like Sarah have experienced flare-ups because of stress and anxiety.  If I get upset because of a negative experience I had with a doctor or I have a massive freak out about the future, the fatigue and pain can worsen for days.
Chronic illness is stressful. That is why self-love and good stress and anxiety management is paramount. I have to try and limit the impact of stress and anxiety as much as possible so that I can either prevent a flare-up or at least minimise it. Is stress or anxiety the culprit behind all of my flare-ups, though? No. Often chronic illness means frequent painful flare-ups. There are many factors that can induce a flare. For me it can be factors like overexertion and weather changes. Flare-ups also occur for no apparent reason. Acute episodes of pain, fatigue and inflammation are just a fact of life for those of us living with a chronic disease.
My concern with Wilson’s article is the negative impact it could have. It’s extremely misleading. It could cause people to assume that those who suffer from anxiety must hate themselves when anxiety and self-hatred don’t always go hand in hand. The way the piece was written may lead those living with anxiety disorders, who are otherwise perfectly healthy, to worry that their anxiety will eventually make them chronically ill – and the last thing those battling anxiety need is something more to be worried about. Some women may read it and blame themselves for being sick, and that’s just not healthy. Ignorant people may start assuming that chronic health conditions are psychological. Those of us living with invisible illnesses don’t need that; we have enough trouble as it is getting people to understand that we are in fact physically sick and that our bodies are not functioning correctly.
We also don’t need doctors telling us to go home and love ourselves out of being sick because it’s not possible. I once saw a doctor who dismissed my debilitating headache as a tension headache caused by stress and anxiety. “Women don’t know how to relax”, he told me. “Go home and stop worrying about it and your pain will go away”. It didn’t go away. Turns out the constant pain I was experiencing was nerve pain, which I now manage with medication.
We don’t need more doctors adopting Dr Sadeghi’s stance and palming us off as anxious self-haters – that’s medical negligence. We don’t need more labels. We are not all self-haters.
I am by no means attacking Sarah personally, she seems lovely and has great skin and hair to boot. I do have some respect for the woman. I have been following her popular (and controversial) ‘I Quit Sugar’ diet for over a year now and have benefited greatly from some of the health and dietary advice she shares. Her recipes have changed my life. She has helped me more than some doctors have been able to, and for that I am grateful. I greatly admire her courage, determination and honesty. I take my hat off to people who write about anxiety and chronic disease and share it on the internet, it takes a lot of guts.
The cookbook that has changed my life.

I just think that writers need to tread very carefully when writing about this topic and feel that this particular piece could have been worded better. It wasn’t a wise choice to praise Dr Sadeghi.
There is no denying that love is powerful medicine. I agree that self-love and daily nourishment play an important part in good health and that love can encourage healing, I just don’t agree with how Sarah Wilson relayed the message.
Personally, I think Dr Bernie Siegel said it best when he said “I am convinced that unconditional love is the most powerful known stimulant of the immune system. If I told patients to raise their blood levels of immune globulins or killer T cells, no one would know how. But if I can teach them to love themselves and others fully, the same changes happen automatically. The truth is: love heals.”
What did you think of Sarah Wilson’s article? How did you interpret it? Do you agree or disagree?

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