“Understanding how a narcissist works is the key to living or working with one. If you can understand his or her behavior, you may be able to accept it as you realize their behavior is NOT a result of anything you did or said despite them emphatically blaming you. If you can accept their behavior and not take the abuse and other actions personally, you can then emotionally distance yourself from the narcissist. If you can emotionally distance yourself, you can either cope with the narcissist or garner the strength to leave.” ~ Alexander Burgemeester, The Narcissistic Life
The beginning of a relationship with a narcissist can be very deceptive; in most cases, a narcissistic relationship begins just like any other—with the standard phases of initial attraction, infatuation and eventually falling in love.
What is a toxic narcissist?
The most commonly understood definition of a narcissist is a person who has a very inflated opinion of him/herself. In fact, most every conscious human has some level of narcissism, which at its most basic level is simple self-interest. But that’s different than the kind of narcissism we’re talking about when we are talking about toxic narcissists.
It is a toxic narcissist we find ourselves dealing with in narcissistic abuse situations. Also known as a malignant narcissist, this term refers to a toxic, verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive person who may or may not have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder.
What type of person does a narcissist go for?
What kind of person is ideal for a narcissist? There is no single “type” that a narcissist typically goes for, technically—there are no parallels to be drawn among the partners of narcissists as far as height, weight, eye color, race, or any other physical or cultural characteristic.
While there seems to be no “ideal” or “standard” mate/friend/spouse for a narcissist, there are certain similarities between the relationships. For example, the narcissist typically begins a new relationship with a “honeymoon” period, during which everything seems perfect, almost too good to be true.
Living in a relationship with a narcissist can be anything from exciting and exhilarating to soul-sucking and traumatic. And it usually is one or the other—depending on what day it happens to be. You might compare it to a type of emotional rollercoaster.
And a narcissist cannot exist without someone to adore, submit to his will, be available at his whim, and willing to disparage herself to his benefit. His whole identity really depends on it—it’s called narcissistic supply.
So what draws a person into this type of relationship and keeps her there?
Common Qualities Among the Partners of Narcissists
“The inherently dysfunctional ‘codependency dance’ requires two opposite but distinctly balanced partners: the pleaser/fixer (codependent) and the taker/controller (narcissist/addict,” writes Ross Rosenberg. “Codependents — who are giving, sacrificing, and consumed with the needs and desires of others — do not know how to emotionally disconnect or avoid romantic relationships with individuals who are narcissistic — individuals who are selfish, self-centered, controlling, and harmful to them. Codependents habitually find themselves on a “dance floor” attracted to partners who are a perfect counter-match to their uniquely passive, submissive and acquiescent dance style.”
While physically, culturally, and otherwise, the victims of narcissism aren’t the same, there are certain qualities that typically unite them. I’m going to use the “she” pronoun here, but note that there is no single sex that is a typical victim (although, to be fair, men reportedly make up the majority of narcissists).
First, she must be insecure or at least have a distorted sense of reality, if you expect her to stick around. Otherwise, she’ll be out on the first or second exhibit of narcissism, early on in the relationship.
She will likely often belittle and demean herself while glorifying the narcissist and putting him on an untouchable pedestal.
As a result, the partner becomes the victim, which works fine for her—she has a tendency to punish herself. Maybe she even feels like she “deserves” this life of torment.
She’s his eternal scapegoat, always put-upon and putting her own needs last.
“It is through self-denial that the partner survives,” says Sam Vaknin, a self-proclaimed narcissist. “She denies her wishes, hopes, dreams, aspirations, sexual, psychological, and material needs, choices, preferences, values, and much else besides. She perceives her needs as threatening because they might engender the wrath of the narcissist’s God-like supreme figure.”
Victims of narcissism often call themselves “people-pleasers” or “diplomats,” but the truth is, they are often so downtrodden in relationships that they just become changed, reactive versions of their former selves.
“When you are the partner of a narcissist, you are there to project the image he wants for you—that he wants his partner to project,” writes Diane England, Ph.D. “Of course, your house and lifestyle probably fall into this category, too. They are all about making statements to others he wishes to impress, not about providing you with the type of environment you might find comfortable or restful–an environment that feeds your soul.”
Can a narcissist also be codependent?
Contrary to popular belief, narcissists are not necessarily the opposite of codependents. In fact, while they appear to be completely different than their victims – polar opposites almost – they actually have often experienced very similar traumas to the very people they victimize. Often the victims of childhood abuse and/or neglect, the majority of narcissists could really identify with their victims and their own issues – if only they had the empathy to do so.
For example, both narcissists and their victims experience certain symptoms of codependency, such as the overwhelming feelings of shame, living in denial of their childhood abuse and neglect (or of their own current issues), control issues, dependency on others for their self-worth, issues with setting and overstepping boundaries and communication problems. Ultimately, while it seems counterintuitive, narcissists are definitely codependent – they just manifest it differently than their victims. The difference is that narcissists seem to turn inward, while victims seem to turn outward, with the love that they’d normally have given their parents and other family members, had they been allowed.
Do you know someone who is in a relationship with a narcissist? Perhaps you recognize yourself or someone you love in this post.
Get help with narcissistic abuse recovery, right now.
The QueenBeeing SPANily, Official – We consider this to be the best narcissistic abuse recovery support group on the web. Offers several subgroups and features a vigilant, compassionate admin team full of trained coaches and survivors, supporting more than 12k members. SPAN is an acronym created by Angie Atkinson that stands for Support for People Affected by Narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships.
Other Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups– We also have separate groups for each stage in your narcissistic abuse recovery, as well as some for those who have moved past recovery and are evolving into the next stage of their own life. Survivors have unique and individual needs, even when they’ve moved on – so we’re still here for you.
One-on-One Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Coaching – If you prefer to get more personalized support in your recovery, you might like to schedule a session with one of our coaches to plan and execute your own narcissistic abuse recovery plan.
Find a Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Therapist – If you’re looking for a therapist for narcissistic abuse recovery, either because you cannot afford coaching and want to use your health insurance or because you have additional issues you need to address that do not fall within the realm of coaching, you will want to find the right therapist for you – and as far as we’re concerned, that therapist must understand what you’ve been through. This page offers assistance to help you do exactly that.
Who doesn’t love to snack? But if you’re not careful, doing so can cause big trouble for your diet. If you frequently eat between meals, those extra portions could have a big impact on your health – either positive or negative. They will definitely play an important role in helping you to manage your weight and take in all the nutrients your body needs.
So why do so many people find that when they snack throughout the day they’re actually heavier at the end of the week? Well, it’s quite simple, really – they’re eating more calories overall. Right?
Well…sorta. See, USDA studies show that many Americans who snack are taking in about one-third of our daily empty calories from those afternoon candy bars and late night refrigerator raids.
Do you know what that means??
That adds up to most of us are consuming two to four times the recommended limit in solid fats and added sugars. TWO to FOUR times!
It’s enough to turn your stomach (to flab!). So what are you gonna do about it?
The Mayo Clinic suggests keeping snacks below 100 calories. “Generous portions of fruits or vegetables can easily help fill you up while staying below that calorie count. All of the following servings have fewer than 100 calories:
Medium apple: 95 calories
Small banana: 90 calories
Two kiwis: 84 calories
20 medium baby carrots: 70 calories
20 grapes: 68 calories
Medium orange: 65 calories
20 cherry tomatoes: 61 calories
Medium peach: 58 calories
Medium red pepper: 37 calories
20 pea pods: 28 calories
For comparison, one reduced-fat cheese stick has about 60 calories to 100-calories, but it also has 4.5 grams of fat. While the protein and fat may help curb your appetite, a single cheese stick may not be as satisfying as, say, 20 baby carrots, which add up to nearly 10 times the weight of the cheese stick, and have 70 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.”
Blissfully Healthy Ways to Eat More and Still Lose Weight: The Magic of Snacking
I say we revolt! Let’s turn those numbers around! But how? Oh, don’t worry, as usual, I’ve got a plan for you. See, by learning how to choose smart snacks that are good for your health and well-being. Try these blissed-out tips to get started.
Blissed Out Eating – How to Make Better Food Choices
Focus on whole grains. Bake your own treats or look for packaged food that lists whole grains as the first ingredient. Whole wheat flour has more nutrients and fiber than white flour.
Take the sweet and the salty down a notch. Reduce sugar and sodium. Many junk foods are loaded with sugar and sodium. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit instead.
Balance it out. Plan a balanced menu. Think of your snacks as miniature meals that need to include all three food groups. Along with complex carbohydrates, add in lean proteins and healthy fats.
Eat the WHOLE thing! Opt for whole foods. You may be tempted to simplify things by just grabbing an energy bar or buying cookies that are labeled low fat or low sugar. In fact, many convenience foods are less healthy than the label suggests. Buy natural foods like raw nuts and plain yogurt. (Then again, if it’s a matter of convenience, don’t beat yourself up if the energy bars work best for you. Do what you need to do, yo!)
Drink up. If you’re pressed for time, you can snack on healthy beverages. Tea contains antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients. Water will keep you hydrated and feeling full. For heartier fare, whip up smoothies in minutes with vegetables, natural peanut butter, or other goodies.
Eat more produce. On average, we’re eating 3 servings of fruits and vegetables compared to the recommendations for 7 to 13 servings. Snacks can help you fill in the gap.
Find substitutions. You probably have certain snacks that you crave the most. If they’re high in sugar or saturated fat, consider how to adjust them. Oven-baked fries are much slimmer than the fast food version. A square of dark chocolate is lighter than a doughnut.
Keep an eye on your portion sizes. It’s easy to consume as many calories as a full meal if you’re scarfing down potato chips or cheesecake. Measure out a single serving instead of eating out of the container. And if you’re good at eyeballing, check yourself every now and then, especially if you see something crazy happening on weigh-in day.
Don’t eat mindlessly. Stay in control by giving your full attention to your food while you eat it. Enjoy the process of cracking nuts and eating them one by one instead of wolfing down a whole package while watching TV. Spoon out leftovers onto a plate and pull up a chair rather than eating with the refrigerator door open.
Take it with ya. Pack a bag. Carry sensible treats around with you to avoid desperately searching for something wholesome in vending machines or gas stations. Pack a cooler with carrot sticks and yogurt drinks.
Don’t get hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Manage stress and boredom. Distinguish between true hunger and appetite. Do you eat for entertainment or to comfort yourself when you feel blue? Pick up a hobby or invite a friend out for a walk instead.
Keep a journal. If you need more help, a snacking journal can track how much you’re really eating. Spot the triggers that make you want to overindulge and develop strategies for dealing with them.
Choose healthy but yummy snacks that stabilize your blood sugar and give you the energy you need to cruise right on through your busy day. Good-for-you, whole foods and advance planning will help you to stay fit and healthy while you graze between meals.
Project Blissful is a whole-life makeover that helps you become the best possible version of yourself. Author and certified life coach Angela Atkinson has herself lost more than 100 pounds without surgery or hard-core weight loss drugs. In this book, she shares all of the intimate details on how she lost the weight and what she does to keep it off.
Plus, you’ll learn:
How to start losing weight today (and without feeling miserable in the process)
How to love yourself healthy and thin
How to find your ideal weight and reach it without pain
How to lose weight without traditional exercise
How to baby-step your way through small habits that add up to big results
I don’t know about your neighborhood, but where I live right now? It looks like the North freaking Pole – but it’s really the good old MidWest. See what I mean?
Anyhoo, the snow (as beautiful as it is) also comes with cold, and with cold comes less movement.
Whether it’s because you’re snuggling under blankets to stay warm or because you can’t get outside to do your usual workout (like me) or go to the gym, you might find yourself hunkering down on a snow day.
But while the occasional snow-induced missed workout is okay, too many can really mess with your weight loss mojo. And believe me, I know what I’m talking about.
With that in mind (along with my own plight today!), I decided to share some really useful tips I’ve been using to get through my fitness routines.
That way, along with the wind chills, I can avoid the ever-dreaded winter weight gain. It’s all too easy to unconsciously pack on the pounds during winter.
Many of us are more likely to spend most of our time indoors taking part in sedentary activities and eating comfort foods- at least when it comes to the super-cold days, am I right?
If you ask me, the best way to put a stop to winter weight gain is to combat its effects before it even begins.
Try these HOT tips to stop winter weight gain in its tracks:
1. Work out indoors. Whether you purchase yoga DVDs or an elliptical machine, get moving each and every day throughout the winter.
* Take 30 minutes out of your morning to exercise. Feel free to take the weekends off, but if that’s when you have less restraint with your eating habits, take two days off midweek and exercise weekend mornings.
* Make it a couples event. Pop in a salsa DVD each morning and work out with your partner. It’s fun, flirty, and the perfect way for couples to spend quality time together every day.
2. Make meals ahead of time. Sometimes, when the weather is depressing, your desire to cook will vanish. This causes you to reach for the phone and dial the pizza place or Chinese restaurant for delivery. Instead, if you have precooked meals in the fridge, you’ll naturally eat healthier and save money, too!
* On a Sunday afternoon, take the time to prepare two or three meals and freeze them. Make vegetable soup, whole-wheat spaghetti and meatballs, or your favorite casserole and tuck it away in the freezer. Before work, simply let the container defrost and pop onto the stove as soon as you get home.
* If you’re not in a cooking mood, plan several meals for the week and, at the very minimum, group your ingredients together to save a bit of time.
3. Stock healthy snacks. Snacking is inevitable, especially when you’re stuck indoors, evening after evening. You might as well prepare for your snack cravings and stock up on healthy and satisfying snacks.
* Run for the baked goods! Though they’re often laden with calories and fat, you can often find fat-free and low calorie versions at specialty bake shops. Treat yourself to apple pie, angel food, and granola.
* A serving of apple pie generally contains approximately 300 calories. However, this is just approximately 50 to 100 calories more than you would consume eating a Kit Kat bar, Reese’s peanut butter cups, or 6 Oreo cookies. That slice of pie should keep you full for much longer, but keep an eye out for unnecessary saturated and trans fats.
4. Eat party and comfort foods in moderation. Even if your family is consuming heaps of awesome bad-for-you foods, you’ve got a choice to make. Indulge a bit if you must, but for the most part, if you’re trying to ward off the winter weight gain, just keep it reasonable. A controlled amount (say, a single serving) is acceptable as long as you hold yourself accountable in your food tracker.
* Have a glass of water before your meals and load your plates with vegetables, lean meats, and a small amount of fatty foods. Wait 20 minutes after your first plate. If you’re still hungry, reach for a second plate. (FYI: I use this one and almost NEVER actually go for that second plate!).
* If you’re hosting dinner, take charge and prepare calorie conscious meals. Rather than baking a ham for dinner, make lemon herb turkey. Rather than using mayonnaise in your potato salad, go for an Italian potato salad with vinaigrette as the binding agent.
In reality, all it takes to combat the winter weight gain is attention to detail and some indoor activity to keep you fit. By keeping these pointers in mind, you’ll be beach-ready even before the spring season strikes!
This stuff supposedly helps you lose weight fast–and who doesn’t want that? Although I’m down more than 100 pounds since launching my Project Blissful, I still need to lose around 30 to get to my final goal.
So, yeah–I was excited to give it a shot, and I felt like sharing my experiences would help my readers out–so here we are. I’d also like to express my gratitude to Jamie for introducing me to this stuff, because it has certainly already had some really positive effects.
Well, I’m ten days in. So here we go: an honest review from a real person of My BFF Body Shift from MTM Body.
The first day, I took two pills right before breakfast. After a couple of hours, I noticed I felt really hot and my stomach felt a little like it was “working” on something (ok-honesty–it was working on a big poop–HA!).
At first I wondered if I was getting sick, but it passed and I felt fine, only to have a similar hot feeling a few more times throughout the day.
Side Note–I later found out that is a pretty normal reaction to the pills–at least at first. See, part of how these My BFF Body Shift things work is through a process called thermogenesis–which is defined by FreeDictionary.com’s Medical Dictionary as “the production of heat, especially within the animal body.”
diet-induced thermogenesis–a portion of dietary calories in excess of those required for immediate energy requirements are converted to heat rather than stored as fat. Some types of obesity may be related to a defect in this mechanism.
My BFF Review: Can Bee Pollen Really Help You Lose Weight?
I think, based on my research, that a lot of the weight loss effects are related to the bee pollen in the My BFF Body Shift supplements–which I understand can stimulate the metabolic processes, speeding up calorie burn.
It also has lecithin in it, which I’ve read helps dissolve and flush fat from the body–so it can aid in detoxifying your body. (Probably why it makes you poop more!)
Bee pollen is also supposed to help your skin look better/younger, according to reports from Dr. Lars-Erik Essen, a dermatologist in Sweden, who treated many of his patients successfully for skin conditions, including acne and wrinkles with it.
The high concentration of B vitamins could also help you live longer, according to some researchers. Bee pollen reportedly causes side-effects like enhanced energy, stamina and endurance–and it has been touted as an aphrodisiac and fertility aid, among a long list of other physical benefits.
(By the way–this probably goes without saying, but if you’re allergic to bees or honey, you probably need to stay away from anything with bee pollen in it.)
Does My BFF Body Shift Really Work Like the Manufacturer Claims?
For me, so far, it’s working pretty much as I’m hearing it’s supposed to. On the tenth day in, I’ve lost a couple of pounds (despite it being the week of the month where I usually gain a couple of PMS-induced pounds) and I feel great. But the pounds lost are less important to me than the fact that I FEEL better.
My BFF Body Shift Review: The Pros
Appetite Under Control–Even in the Face of PMS Week
My appetite has been under control for a long time (you have to get control in order to lose 100 pounds, you know!), but during this PMS week, I usually allow myself two to three days of a few indulgences (not excessive!) and it is usually fine. But this week, I’ve been just fine. Sure, the cravings for protein and chocolate are there–and sure, I’m treating myself as always. But now, I’m just finding that a few bites are doing me just fine–whereas before, I’d eat the burger or low-fat concrete with a smile on my face. It’s a good thing!
Digestive System Running More Smoothly
I am one of these people who can literally start feeling the stomach bloat within the first few bites of anything containing onions, peppers, beans and a whole bunch of other various yummy foods, so this one is BIG for me. I typically take a fiber supplement to keep everything on the regular (usually the Walgreen’s version of the fiber/calcium combo supplements), but since I started taking the Body Shift, it hasn’t been necessary.
And the usual gas and bloating (because, let’s be honest, I’m not giving up awesome veggies/fruits, etc. just because of a little bloat) is significantly reduced too–thankfully, since I was seriously considering buying stock in Gas X for a minute.
So within the first probably 48 hours I was FEELING slimmer–and I attribute that in part to this whole digestive regularity aspect of the supplement.
Skin Feels Brighter, Tighter
Ok, I’m gonna be honest–this could TOTALLY be my imagination–and I’m not qualified in any way except that I look at my own face pretty often–but I feel like my skin looks better. Seems like it’s a little brighter and a little tighter on my face–and even other areas are tightening up pretty nicely.
Like I said–this could be just something I am seeing because I want to see it–but from my perspective, it could be related to the claims about skin improvement and anti-aging properties of bee pollen.
Size Six–First Time in 17 Years
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That’s right. I have been holding steady at a size eight for months. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not–but the other day, I bought a size six jeans and they fit just fine. First time since before I got pregnant with my oldest child. I’ll take it. 🙂
My BFF Body Shift Review: The Cons
Cotton Mouth–You won’t forget to drink your water when you take Body Shift–your mouth gets really dry on this stuff. But, to be fair, when I do drink enough water, I don’t have this problem. So maybe this one ought to be on the pro list, sorta.
Punished by Poop–I notice when I eat things that are higher in fat, I poop more. I guess this is related to the claims that this stuff gets rid of extra calories for you. It’s not debilitating–just sort of makes you think before you eat–which I guess is also not that bad. But it can feel a little annoying!
Super Sweats–You will sweat when you take this stuff–in short bursts. I call them hot flashes, but as someone who hasn’t yet experienced menopause, my friend Lori (who is in the midst of it) tells me that I haven’t experienced anything. Now that I understand WHY they happen, I’m not so frustrated about it. But when you workout or exercise heavily, you might find yourself sweating a little harder than usual.
Tummy Trouble–For the first few days, I intermittently experienced a little bit of an upset stomach, but this has since resolved itself.
So that’s that. I’ve also been doing some research on how to take the My BFF Body Shift in order to get the best and most potent possible effects, so stay tuned for a post detailing my findings very soon. I’ll also return with more updates on my progress as I continue testing these things out.
If you’d like to try them in the meantime, you can get $10 off with the coupon below, or leave a comment if you’d like a sample pack and I’ll send your request on to Jamie at MTM Body.
Have you tried any of the My BFF weight loss products? What did you think? Would you recommend them to a friend? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.
Where do you go when you don’t feel like you’re going anywhere in your trip to being a healthier, smaller version of yourself? What happens to you at that moment in time where you’ve tried (what seems like) everything and nothing is working? Where does your mind and body take you when you’re stuck?
This is always a risky area for me. I would say for a solid eighty percent of my time I am on autopilot. To quote my pal Carolyn, “It’s just what we do now”, meaning going to the gym, eating properly, not binging, not freaking out about every little inconsistency or speed bump in the path, is our new “norm”. It’s just what we do. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The other twenty percent of my time is split between the extremes.
Fifteen percent of that time is spent ‘dorphined up, feeling like I’m taking on the world and conquering it bit by bit. Nothing bothers me. Nothing could stand in my way. I have a great attitude and hold my head up high.
In steps that pesky last five percent of my time, which is where I’ve been feeling for the past week. That last five percent is the part that says “you cannot win this game no matter what you do”. I’m living on “screw it” street in my little village and it’s such a dodgy area. There’s bums on the corners… big bums who haven’t seen a Stairmaster in years. There are seedy people in the shadows just lurking about waiting for you to trip up so they can dart out and rummage through your bag, stealing your hidden snack. The street pharmacists are on the corners handing out your drug of choice, be it cheesecake, chips or chocolate. Or worse yet, a cocktail of all three.
So where do you go? What do you do? Who do you turn to?
My first line of defense, and I didn’t even realize it until I started writing today, is my husband, Marco. Today, these words actually left my face and entered his ears.
“I’ve been doing horrible with my food. I just feel like saying screw it all”.
Those words were actually audible. To another human besides myself. I really said that to him. That’s when I realized he’s always my first stop on the self-destruction train. I like to run my ideas of giving up past him first.
It’s actually laughable as I write it because of course I’m never going to stop but maybe I just need a break. A break from what?
I’d like to call my second line of defense to the stand – Carolyn. You’ll remember her from this post.
She’s who I turn to next. She’s going to read this, as I run most of my posts past her before publishing and she’ll have some brilliant encouraging words to say. Or a punch in the arm, you know, whatever she feels will work at the time. Never fail though, she’s walking the walk and talking the talk with me.
Keeping in mind that this is still only a mere five percent of my time, sometimes I realize my funk is a bit funkier than I like it to be and I pull out the big guns.
When I left Novarum, the center where I got help for my food issues, they had me write a list of things that just worked for me, mentally and physically. It seemed so silly at the time to write it all down, they were so fresh in my mind, but I did it. I tucked it away in a book and just keep it there.
That’s my “big guns”, a piece of paper with words of wisdom that I wrote myself.
“Following this routine makes me more calm about food choices.”
“I no longer hide my eating or have that shame that was associated with hiding and eating.”
“If one of my goals ends up backfiring, that’s okay. This is all just a huge experiment to find that best fit for my life, which will change and evolve as I do.”
That’s just a few of the items on that yellowing piece of paper that I use, third line of defense, to keep me centered.
It is so much more than words on paper though. It takes me back to the basics. Back to where I started winning this thing. Back to the really simple ideas of changing the way I thought about food, myself, myself with food, food with myself and all things related, which in the end, was everything.
I get back to the beginning of this chapter in my life and re-read it like a favorite book.
Then I keep on keeping on because that five percent, that little flash of time, has had its moment of glory and I know how to move on.