Photographs · Thoughts

How Will We Ever Be Happy With Our Bodies?

W-1-3

the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur 

i reduced my body to aesthetics

forgot the work it did to keep me alive

with every beat and breath

declared it a grand failure for not looking like theirs

searched everywhere for a miracle

foolish enough to not realise

i was already living in one

W-11

Photo: Mila Ritz

Treat your body like you treat someone you love. Someone who loves you back. You should want to take care of it because it takes care of you. Make sure it’s healthy and happy, because that gives you health and happiness.

I’ve been through ups and downs with my body, and at times I’ve treated it very poorly. I went from being happy and healthy to the opposite when I stepped into the modeling industry. You can read more about that story here.

Everyone always seem to blame “society”. Like we don’t realise we’re part of it. Society isn’t “them”, it’s all of us. It’s the comments, the unrealistic goals that’s never real, and the judgement if you ever say you are happy with yourself.

It starts with us. It will always start with us, you and me. Appreciate your body for what it always was supposed to be. A miracle. Amazing in itself, exactly how it is.

You’re here, aren’t you?

SM · video

Having a Child With Selective Mutism – Video

So a lot of people wanted to know more about my Mom’s feelings, struggles and so on when having me, a daughter, with Selective Mutism. What was it like for her, and what did she go through? I’m sure a lot of you can relate, and I hope this video makes you feel less alone ❤

Please write any questions or requests for any other Selective Mutism videos in the comments, and I will remember until next time! Thank you for watching!

mental health · selective mutism · SM · video

Selective Mutism – My first YouTube video!

So I have finally filmed my first YouTube video about Selective Mutism! In this one I talk about my story, but I did try to make it short and simple – just so you can get to know me a bit better, but the main thing was to reach out to you guys struggling right now… This video is more of an introduction and I would really love it if you could ask me questions or let me know of what you want me to talk more about in the other videos!

I really hope you like it and that you possibly can benefit from my videos, both this one and the next ones! Thank you for watching ❤

Food · personal

Let’s Talk About Food

When you’re young it’s easy to not consider the importance of taking care of your body and the consequences it might bring you later if you don’t. Choosing good, healthy, and sustainable food has multiple benefits. It benefits you. It benefits the animals. It benefits the environment. Our planet.

As a 17 year old, I got the opportunity to travel as a model. Before traveled, I got “trained” in the modeling industry. My mother agency (your base model agency) that I was with at the time, was telling me what I had to do to be “good enough”. I always knew in the back of my mind that what I was doing to my body was not healthy or good in any way, and my body also tried to let me know – but my ambition and dreams were bigger, and I eventually got very good at convincing myself and everyone around me into thinking that I only did what was necessary, in a “healthy” way. 

B4D1427E-F793-4AF9-9777-DF53F0E752C9

Photo: Susanne Pettersen

The reason why I’m using a lot of quotation marks, is because it later became obvious to me that the food I ate and didn’t eat, left huge marks on me. The way you choose to nurture your body – what food you put on your plate – is the most important choice you make for yourself, and you take that choice every single day.

Now I know that it does not matter if someone is –  older, younger,  more successful or powerful – than you, it does not mean that they know what’s the better choice for you and your health. Listen to your body. Food is the drive for all your thoughts, strength, ambitions – your life and everything it involves. 

Be aware. Be aware of how much or how little you’re giving to your body, be aware of what happens to your body when you choose to give it hot dogs and Coca Cola, and most of all what exactly it is you are allowing your body to use as fuel – what it consists of. 

As a 15 year old I could not get myself to understand the importance of the right nutrition. Looking back I see now that I felt invincible and did not think that any of the choices I made regarding food back then could ever have the power to stay with me forever.

I tried to convince myself and everyone around me. I became good at that. Until it all became too visible. Until my body said stop. 

E4663A7E-0023-4833-AF8F-5ABEB5C08578

Photo: Susanne Pettersen

It will always, eventually, come to a point where the body forces you to stop or you’ll break down – completely. Either it’s too much food, too little, or too toxic… It comes to a point where it’s too late and you can’t just go back and “fix” what you have done to your body. The body that always tries to protect you, fix you and tell you when something is not right. You only get so many chances to listen. 

So what did all of this give me? What happens when a young, healthy and strong body suddenly stops eating after seven in the evening? What did it do to a happy girl full of ambitions, life and dreams when food became her worst enemy? When she chooses to exclude natural carbohydrates like rice and potatoes from her diet because then “I’ll be thin enough”?

It gave me pain. It gave me a lifelong illness, ulcerative colitis. A stomach constantly fighting against something that’s not there in the first place – leaving me with unnecessary pain that will never leave. Making it more important than ever to give my body the right nutrition, and giving me no opportunity to neglect my body any more, because only the best will help me. It gave my mom tears and fear. It gave my friends a distant friend that slowly disappeared. It gave me sadness and emptiness, tears and loneliness. 

It also gave me something else. It gave me a lesson, a tough and lifelong one, but a lesson. It gave me an understanding.

We all have a responsibility. I have a responsibility. 

9600A305-B316-4B44-A6D2-F0B3A0DD62A9

Photo: Susanne Pettersen

Bad food and food habits pose a bigger threat to health globally than tobacco, alcohol,  drugs and unsafe sex combined, but while there’s an age limit for alcohol and warnings about death on cigarettes packets – what is there for food? Toxic, unhealthy food? Nothing. There are commercials for it. It’s on kids menus.

There are so many people out there today that have a complex relationship with food – and I used to be one of them. It is difficult, tough and all-consuming. 

I wish I would have been kind to my body. I know for a fact I would have appreciated everything so much more. Everything that gave me real and true happiness. The new countries, the amazing people, every single experience. The things that still give me butterflies looking back at.

I would love to be able to go back in time and have a long conversation with myself, but then again – I am here now, a lot wiser, and with so much more experience. That counts for something. 

Imagine if we all could get rid of those thoughts… Take away all of those “this makes me fat, we have eaten meat since forever, it doesn’t affect me”… Imagine if we could change it into “what is actually good for my body, what will give me the correct nutrition, how can my body function the best way possible”… – And from there knowing that all the positive changes will show on both the inside as well as the outside.

The world isn’t where it should be when it comes to plant-based and sustainable food, but together we could all get further. We are the ones who can make a change. Everything is about what we want, what we are buying, what we need. What if we could ask for the best, not just for us, but for the earth as well?

D5862A16-76A3-4217-8AFF-5211725866CC

Photo: Susanne Pettersen

But how can we make it simple? We constantly have newspapers, bloggers, nutritionists, parents, teachers and even doctors telling us one thing is good one day, then bad the other day.

What is good food? Food that is good for your health, for animals and people in the supply chain – for the planet?

Food journalist for NYT Michael Pollan summarises the science and says that the short answer to what us humans should eat in order to stay maximally healthy is – “Eat (real) food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Less is more. Less ingredients, less food additives, less mass produced products that can stay in your cabinet for months without turning bad. And yes, less meat.

More simple, clean and natural foods. Food that grows, that doesn’t come in a box and that has ingredients you know of. Food that can rot. It’s a natural and good sign. Eat more plants, seeds and grains.

When you are stuck with an illness and your only option is to eat what in reality is good for the human body, and not what people necessarily tell you – you start to realise the importance and huge impact it has, which is hard to see when you’re constantly getting pulled in different directions the second anyone talks about the word “healthy”.

The reasons why I have been eating more plant-based food in the past years have been the welfare of the animals and for my own health. I have also had many discussions with my closest people about it, and a lot of them, I surround myself with today,  have gone through a journey of their own and found reasons to choose a more plant-based lifestyle, which makes me very happy now that I know how much the food you eat can affect your health. Through documentaries I have learned how the meat industry affects the environment and our planet. Globally it is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and in developed and emerging countries it is perhaps the leading source of water pollution. It truly needs more attention. Recently is has made an even bigger impression on me, as I now know more about the impact is has on our planet. By meeting Gunhild Stordalen, Executive Chair and Founder of the EAT foundation, I have been inspired to learn, read and educate myself more on the environment side of it all.

Please – love yourself by choosing the right daily fuel. Last, but not least – Don’t forget about our planet!  

2E690675-CE63-43B4-A359-BEB5BEBD9010

Photo: Susanne Pettersen

mental health · Photographs · selective mutism

Is There Anything You Want To Know?

So after speaking and contacting different people around the world I have figured out the best way to reach a lot of people and spread more knowledge about SM for right now is to make a YouTube video.

I am really doing my best to be able to have talks about it and see people face to face because I think the affect is bigger, just from my own experience. I really want to be able to visit schools and talk with people working with kids, because that’s where the knowledge so desperately needs to be in order to help… But a great way to start is social media. And I also want to be able to inspire others that are struggling right now, and I know I could reach them with videos.

So with that, I want to know if there is anything you want to have answered? Any questions you have? My first video will mostly be about my own story and how it feels like growing up with selective mutism and not getting the help I should have gotten from the system and school… Write any questions in the comments, and I will answer them in either this video or the next one!

000BD36D-7C03-4170-A07C-872CED3801E4

923ED447-B534-4DC4-8DA7-E730C083C946

7D7AA4F8-6710-488E-9CCB-664FCAF46B3D

Photo: @susiphotographer

Gjerne skriv ned spørsmål på norsk også, jeg tar de selvfølgelig med!

mental health · selective mutism · SM

God Morgen Norge – Selektiv Mutisme

I dag hadde jeg mitt første tv intervju angående selektiv mutisme. Jeg er så takknemlig for at jeg får muligheten til å dele min historie, og være til hjelp for andre som sliter akkurat nå. Jeg vil gjøre mitt aller beste for at kunnskap, støtte og hjelp blir spredt. For at kompetansen rundt denne lidelsen øker, og unger slipper å føle seg utrygg i hverdagen. Slik at de kan bli møtt med forståelse, og ikke fortvilelse.

Det var utrolig godt å ha Heidi Omdal ved min side, for en utrolig fin og inspirerende person. Veldig stolt av å kunne være på God Morgen Norge med henne.

77C8EDE5-A70D-467A-BF76-941E517BCB72

C121A360-C8AB-4C1F-9281-77B2EFF4E2F1

1784CA1F-9578-409B-9D8A-488EFAE954EB

Trykk her for å se intervjuet!

Med det håper jeg så mange som mulig vil være en del av foreningen av selektiv mutisme, gjerne trykk her for mer informasjon – så håper jeg vi kan spre enda mer kunnskap og støtte sammen ❤

Har dere noen spørsmål angående gjesteforelesning på skole/universitet gjerne kontakt meg på fma11824@gmail.com.

Yesterday I had my first tv interview about selective mutism. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share my story and spread knowledge. I want to do my absolute best to help and make sure people struggling with this anxiety disorder right now will not feel alone. I want the school system and the support system to understand it. I want people to keep finding out, researching and doing their best to improve where they can so that no kid or parent has to be left alone and left out like my mom and I.  

Any questions regarding selective mutism and my story please contact me by email; fma11824@gmail.com.

mental health · selective mutism · SM · Thoughts

Skal du jobbe med barn og unge, eller gjør du det allerede?

4C6B49F6-6744-465F-8907-54CF79A1A176

Skal du det, så håper jeg du tar deg tid. Tid til å forstå, hjelpe og støtte. Jeg håper du er villig til å ta til deg ny lærdom. Lærdom om de som plutselig en dag kan sitte foran deg bak en pult, på en lekeplass eller når de en dag kommer til ditt kontor for hjelp… Dere er med på å skape en barndom med inntrykk og utfordringer – en følelse av håp eller av nederlag.

Alle kan alltid gjøre litt – og jeg vil være med på å skape mer forståelse. Mer forståelse bak den stille jenta, eller han som ikke prater. En angst lidelse som ikke har fått den oppmerksomheten den trenger. Ikke en gang når den er der, så klart og tydelig, foran så mange mennesker.

Hvis du skal jobbe med barn og unge, eller gjør det allerede – vil jeg veldig gjerne komme til din arbeidsplass og dele min historie. Jeg vil prate om mental helse og selektiv mutisme. Jeg vil sette mer lys på den stille og rolige ungen som prøver å gjøre seg usynlig, fordi de trenger like mye hjelp og støtte som de urolige og høylytte.

Jeg vil veldig gjerne høre fra deg/dere, så har dere noen spørsmål eller vil at jeg skal komme til dere for å holde gjesteforelesning – send mail til fma11824@gmail.com. 

Håper å høre fra dere!

Are you going to be working with kids and teenagers, or are you already? 

If you’re going to I hope you take the time. Take the time to understand, help and support. I hope you’re willing to learn. Learn about the kid that one day might be sitting in front of you behind a desk, at the playground or coming to your office for help… You are part of creating a childhood consisting of impression and challenges – a feeling of hope or hopelessness. 

Everyone can do something  – and I want to be a part of creating more understanding. More understanding towards the quiet girl, or the boy who doesn’t speak. An anxiety disorder that still hasn’t been given the attention it needs. Not even the times when it’s right there, so clear, in front of so many people. 

If you are going to be working with kids and teenagers, or you’re already doing it – I would love to come to your workplace and share my story. I want to talk about mental health and selective mutism. I want to put the attention towards the calm and quiet one constantly trying to disappear, because they need just as much support and help as the loud and restless ones. 

I would love to hear from you, so if you have any questions or if you want me to come to your workplace to speak – please send your email to fma11824@gmail.com.

I hope to hear from you!