WTF is GISHWHES?

UPDATE: I added photos at the end of things my teammates submitted that were my favorites. Enjoy 🙂

I was going to just start posting pics on facebook but I think GISHWHES deserves it’s own blog post.

If you’re not familiar with GISHWHES then in the words of Fire Marshall Bill, “LET ME SHOW YOU SOMETHING!”
People do silly things for charity, like… run 5ks and.. walk.. and.. have “beef and beers” for animals (which I never understood),right? Why not do silly things for charity like… dress up like a storm trooper and get your nails done? Or get your grandparents to let you video tape their mud wrestling match? These are the kinds of questions that I think GISHWHES stemmed from.  GISHWHES stands for “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen”. And it is, people. It is.

Check out this video from the GISHWHES website:

Did that answer any questions you had? Probably not, right?

Well, I heard about GISHWHES last year after I became a late blooming Supernatural fan and started adding more SPN sites onto my tumblr account. It was GISHWHES this – GISHWHES that.. and I was all WTF is GISHWHES! And what is this obsession with kale?! (Though admittedly I do love me some kale)  So I subscribed to the website and was immediately intrigued.  It’s all about breaking out of the norm, shaking things up with fun and creativity, and doing good deeds! This is something I can get behind! Because, well, I hate running and I don’t like cold water. Plus I’m not so sure about some of the organizations out there that host the big 5ks and such, but that’s a whole other post.  This is about doing kind things, helping other people, and bringing silliness out into the open to break up the humdrum day to day boringness of life.

Plus it’s hosted by Castiel himself–Misha Collins! How awesome is that?

Sooo… when I started to hear those whispers.. “GISHWHES is coming…”
“…Registerrrr”
“Join a team..”

I decided to give it a shot.  And as soon as I registered, I became a little bit frightened.  Have you SEEN the things that these people are doing??? Bungee jumping with angel wings?! Dressing up in clothes made of fruits??? I’m not that adventurous OR creative!

I am, however, every competitive. So there’s that.

So I joined a team and we got to know each other through facebook. The team consisted of about 10 absolute strangers to me, my sister, and three of the Boondock Betties. On 8/2/14 the list for the scavenger hunt was posted… and then my life changed.
I was a bit overwhelmed.. 185 items! Images of videos of things worth different amounts of points! And some of these things were absolutely impossible for our team! I went through the list and picked out the most feasible ones first.. SPN nail art on hairy toes, sure I can do that! uhmm… do something nice for a neighbor? make an excel doc for Jared Padalecki? Yeah, I can do that! Then I figured… why NOT try to accomplish some of the more crazy items like:

  • Get a brass band quartet to play Carry On My Wayward Son on a median strip while commuters are in heavy traffic
  • Drive an invisible car through a fast food drive thru and order a diet water, among other things.
  • Get GISHWHES written in window lights on a sky scraper.
  • Have a food truck put cat food on their menu and actually have a cat order that item.
  • Dressing up like cookie monster and delivering cookies to kids in an orphanage or children’s hospital.
    (I was only able to accomplish one out of those listed there, but I did try!)

For the next 6 days, GISHWHES took over my life.  When I was at work, I was thinking about GISHWHES, when I was at home I was plotting for or participating in GISHWHES. My son added GISHWHES to our morning prayers and thoroughly enjoyed going through the item list with me and helping me create some of the items.  I put a hold on every other activity in my life aside from work and feeding my child to complete as many items as I could without losing my mind (though I did get close to it) all while keeping in contact with my team and loving the updates from Misha and Miss Jean Louise.  Twitter lit up with all the GISHWHES activity and I absolutely loved the back and forth tweets with Aisha Tyler and William Shatner and of course Osric Chau being awesome while we annoy Jared Padalecki!

Here is a list of what I was able to contribute for my awesome GISHWHES team, Team MADMENWITHABLUEBOX.

  • Create a brady bunch style group photo of your teammates mugshots
  • Paint Supernatural nail art on someone with hairy toes
  • Host a formal dinner party where all items above the table cloth except for the food are made of legos.
  • Register to be a bone marrow donor
  • Sing a duet of Eye of the Tiger while the other singer is standing 30 yards away from me
  • Race a baby vs my turtle
  • Drive an invisible car with a passenger through a fast food restaurant drive thru and order a diet water with my food.
  • Create and send an excel document to Jared Padalecki that would make him fall in love with Excel documents.
  • Write a short description of a random act of kindness from a stranger that truly happened to me
  • Do something kind and generous for another GISHER on a different team.

I did try to complete other items, but resources were few and time was short! For example, we spent an hour and a half outside trying to get lightning bugs to light up in a jar so that I could read huck finn!  They were too busy trying to get out of the jar, so we just let them go.

I reached out to musician friends to try and find a brass band quartet to play on the median strip, but even though I spoke to a few who were extremely interested in the idea, no one had the time to do it :-/

I spoke to an owner of a local food truck who told me he couldn’t put cat food on the menu for health inspection reasons, so I guess I can accept that

.I was rejected by the local Star Wars cosplaying group because they were overwhelmed by GISHERS trying to get them to lend their storm troopers to our worthy cause.

All in all I have to say that I have never asked so much from complete strangers as I have this past week. It was a little scary, knowing people were probably going to think you were insane or on drugs, but somehow when you say “It’s for charity!” that makes it all better! And when people realize that this is for fun and for the sole purpose of spreading joy and creating crazy things? They’re usually happy to be a part of it or at least just happy to know someone who is.

You should have seen the look on my face when I said to my roommates, “So uh.. later, just in case you’re wondering what’s going on… I’m going to be racing my friend’s baby against my turtle in the back yard…. but it’s for charity!”Yeah I couldn’t keep a straight face.

I want to say a special thank you to Rachel Schain and her husband Adam Greenspan for letting me borrow their baby for the race.  Thank you Sarah J for humiliating yourself with me in public and screaming Eye of the Tiger very loudly.  Thank you Tim Muraoka for also humiliating yourself with me in public going through that drive thru. Thank you to my brother Chris for videotaping me humiliating myself over and over again.  Thank you Vannda, Jodie and Amber for also being witness to the humiliation and helping build lego place settings and utensils for our “formal” dinner party.  Thank you to my son, Ethan, for laughing at me all the way and of course, thank you to my AWESOME team, MADMENWITHABLUEBOX for being ridiculously abnosome badasses.

I’m really tired now and I don’t remember half of what I just wrote, so I’m going to stop there and leave you with some photos of what my contributions were to the team. I can’t post all the photos my team submitted on here because it would take forever, but I will probably post them online at some point in the near future in an album for all to see. Enjoy! And until GISHWHES 2015!excellovesjared

 

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Photos my team submitted:

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What do you see when you look in the mirror?

I’ve struggled with body image issues all of my life. I’m not sure where they stem from, but I remember being as young as seven and looking in the mirror and thinking I was fat.  At that point no one had ever told me I was fat, no one had judged me based on my looks (yet! ..or as far as I can remember) and I really didn’t have anyone shoving it down my throat that I needed to be thinner. I just remember looking at myself sideways and wondering why my belly stuck out instead of being flat, why my cheeks were so round, and any other “imperfection” I thought I had at seven years old.

As I grew older and my world changed around me, my body image issues only got worse.  Enter the abusive stepfather and they increased ten fold. By the time I was seventeen I had been suicidal, depressed, and eventually anorexic.  I was 125 lbs and thought I was fat. I looked in the mirror and saw flabby skin, rolls, and never thought that I was attractive.  I started by counting calories and then eventually reduced my food intake to one small bowl of rice every other day. I hid it from my family, pretending to eat when they were around or saying that I ate already before I got home.  Everyone told me how great I looked because I had lost so much weight. I looked in the mirror and I saw nothing different.

The bout with anorexia only lasted a few months because thankfully when my dog came into my life my depression lifted and I also discovered veganism.  Having the puppy to take care of and learning about veganism gave me something other than myself to focus on. I didn’t think “Yay I’m going to get healthy!” I was just enjoying everything else so much that I started eating again. 

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Hiding my face from the camera..

So.. I was healthy again, getting back to normal, and weighing an average weight.  But when I looked in the mirror I still saw fat. If I felt pretty all it would take would be one look in the mirror or one photo to remind me that I was fat and ugly.  If you ask any of my friends for photos of me when I was a teenager, they likely won’t have any or in those photos I’d be covering my face. I never wanted my picture taken because I knew if I saw it I would criticize it and make myself feel awful.

But things were getting better! Right?  I was vegan, eating healthy, had a great dog, awesome friends, an AWESOME car, a job.. and then eventually a boyfriend->husband->family. I started doing kung fu.  Thought I was pretty healthy… but even at my smallest I still thought I was fat and ugly.  Now, after my kid I did put on a lot of weight as many women do when they have kids, and I have been working since then to lose that weight, but my point isn’t really about my actual weight. The point of this post is about how I see myself. How I saw myself then, how I see myself now. How I’ve always seen myself… I wanted to write about it because I think there’s a huge misconception out there about people with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).

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My old ’73 Plymouth Duster -sigh- I miss her. I don’t miss the bad breaks or the gas guzzling, though!

I have never been officially diagnosed with BDD, but based on the reading I’ve done (and based on the way this one psychiatric school keeps contacting me after I took their survey) I’m pretty sure it’s exactly what my problem is.  BDD goes beyond just thinking, “I need to lose a few pounds.”

BDD is when you obsess over the features you feel are imperfect. I won’t go into the symptoms and all that here because I’m not a doctor and it’ll make this blog post even longer, but I’ll explain it this way:

My brother and I were talking about one hollywood actress who keeps getting plastic surgery. He told me that he was so irritated and annoyed at people who constantly pay for surgeries when they were already perfect to begin with.  He didn’t understand why they felt they needed anything.  I told him that some people just don’t see what everyone else sees when they look in the mirror.  One might look at her and think she’s absolutely stunning and perfect, but when she looks in the mirror… All she sees is the imperfections.  She probably knows that people find her attractive and that’s good, but what SHE sees is not what she thinks is beautiful… and since she’s got the money? She can “fix” it.

I used to want to save up for plastic surgery. I was going to have my nose turned up, get a tummy tuck and take some of the jiggle off my arms. I always liked those cute button noses. I used to push my nose up and hold it there when I was a kid, hoping it would grow that way if I did it enough. I didn’t think anyone could possibly find me attractive because I looked “weird” and different.

I know that some people find me attractive. I know that in the grand scheme of things I’m not terribly ugly. But when I look in the mirror I don’t see someone who I find attractive.  In fact, I’ve just met my weight loss goal that I set over ten years ago and when I look in the mirror sometimes it doesn’t look like I’ve changed at all.  I just have to remove myself from the situation and remind myself that I’m no longer a size 14, I’m actually a size 8. A size 8 is small.  Therefore I’m not allowed to think that I’m fat.  If I let myself think that a size 8 is too big, then we’re getting into dangerous territory. When does it stop?

The great thing is I have amazing friends and family who are always there for me to help me see what I can’t.  Kung fu taught me to teach myself how to be confident, my family makes me feel beautiful, my friends make me feel important, and God makes me feel special (and not like special but like.. one of a kind 😛 ).  Over the years it’s helped me learn to recognize when I’m being unrealistic.  I still get depressed now and then, but I’m much much better than I used to be.   I still obsess over my flaws but it’s not debilitating, it doesn’t affect me as much as it used to , and hey! I even take pictures now 🙂

I feel like this is becoming a whiny blog and I don’t want this to be a whiny blog. I just wanted to say something about BDD and body image issues in general as well as mentioning eating disorders. 

Be kind to people who seem like they’re dealing with the same thing.  Tell them the truth, but be kind.  A lot of people told me AFTER I re-gained my anorexia lost weight that I had actually looked sickly when I was at my smallest.  I think they were trying not to hurt my feelings when I was starving myself.  Be encouraging, but don’t encourage the negativity.  Encourage healthy thinking and healthy living.  If you’re really concerned for their health and well being? Suggest counseling.

If you think you might have a problem with body dysmorphia and it’s disrupting your daily life you should seek counseling. Talking to a professional will help you get your mind on the right track. Surround yourself with people who love you and see you the way you wish you saw yourself. It’ll help.

I feel like I’m rambling now so I’m gonna stop there. Goodnight and good luck!