Mac Miracle Kids events have been some of the appearances I’ve made so far in my reign. Mac kids walk & wheel, Mac Miracle Kids Plane Pull, Bell Media Meet & Great, McMaster Medical Team Reunion, and my documentary by McMaster on my story, just to name a few. These events have a special meaning to me because I am a guest of honour at them, not only because of my title but because of my journey.
I became a McMaster Children’s Hospital, also known as a Mac Miracle Kid shortly after being crowned Miss Teenage Burlington. The hospital had been searching for quite a while for a young patient who was willing to openly share their story about being treated at McMaster for a mental illness, to promote the hospital’s emasculate caring teams but more importantly to inspire and promote others to seek help and assure them that recovery, especially when done at McMaster is not only possible, but also gives you the potential to thrive.
Even if I wasn’t given the opportunity to share me story to the depths that I have, I would’ve said yes because all I’ve ever wanted to do is help others with whatever they’re dealing with. However, McMaster pulled out all the stops for me, I’ve been able to share my full story and educate hundreds, if not thousands of people so far on eating disorders, mental health and bullying, all thanks to Mac. Proud doesn’t begin to describe what I feel as I more than fulfilled the promise I made at provincials when I said and wrote if given a title I would work to publicly promote and educate as many people as possible on my platform.
Being an advocate for mental illness who has lived through my own as well as a loved one’s mental illness, I consider myself to be blessed that I can now connect to those suffering on a much deeper level. I’m the first one to tell you no one will ever quite understand the thoughts and disconnect a mental illness patient battles constantly until they live it themself. So I’d like to say a huge thank you again to McMaster Children’s Hospital for naming me a Mac Miracle Kid and I can’t wait to continue working with you all, I’ll never be able to fully express how thankful I am that I’ve been given multiple opportunities to not only advocate but also relate with others and be a symbol of hope and prosperity. Recovery is possible and was all thanks to McMaster Children’s Hospital. Thank you!
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Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

At some point your body will give up. No longer will it be able to pump blood throughout your body-so you’ll swell, no longer will your heart be able to beat and function properly-so it will slow down and produce stabbing pains, no longer will you be able to walk up the stairs alone, or even get up from a seat without requiring help, in fear of blacking out.
So you experience all this and more, and then what? Well I, as I understand so do many others, knew I had to start increasing my calories, but still being sick I didn’t allow myself to eat much more than 500 calories daily while I tried to recover myself for about 3 weeks. The result, which is very common, was more weight loss which also meant more damage to my body. I had also developed huge fears of so many types of food, to the point where I would throw fits over them. And after I passed out at summer school the last straw had been drawn, in fear of losing their daughter, my parents staged an intervention at Bayridge Counselling Centre in Burlington, where I was sent straight to the children’s emergency in McMaster Children’s’ Hospital, to find myself admitted to the eating disorders ward within hours.
Not all sufferers require a hospital stay, but when your heartbeat is in the 20’s to 30’s in beat per minute and your body mass index is 13.4 the hospital is probably your safest choice to jumpstart your recovery. However the mental state of someone in the heat of their eating disorder will very likely be quite resilient to treatment, especially that taking place in the hospital where there is absolutely zero control on their part and a 100% likelihood of weight gain, “diminishing” all of an anorexic or bulimic’s hard work, their worst nightmare coming true. That is how I looked at it and from talking to other girls from across the world who’ve also been through an eating disorder, many patients would describe it quite similarly to how I do. So like I said before, often an intervention or something along those lines has to take place to get the person the help they need in order to save their life. In my case it was easier in the sense that when you’re under 18 years of age you cannot refuse treatment or discharge yourself against medical advice, believe me, I’d know considering I tried at least 3 times while being treated in the hospital. So an intervention is an easier way to get someone suffering from an eating disorder (or any mental illness) to get better.
I’ve given you a lot of facts and stuff about my own recovery, but for those currently struggling, in the height of your illness or teetering with recovering, I want to tell you why choosing recovery is the right choice!
Like anything worth having in life, recovery is not easy. There will be tears, arguments, and lots of fears. You’ll want to quit at times and yes, you very well may miss the control or being dangerously underweight, but all these feelings are temporary. Do you know what’s not temporary? Death. Or infertility, osteoporosis, or needing a pacemaker because your heart is unable to beat properly on its own anymore. Sure you might regret choosing to gain some [much needed] weight but do you know what you’ll regret more? Severing relationships because you refused someone’s offer to help or because you isolated yourself from everybody. Chose recovery so a year from now you can look back and say “I can’t believe that’s how I thought,” so you can realized how sick you were and how impaired you were, so you realize all the good times, smiles and laughter you missed, yet how many you’ve caught up on, so you can step out of the darkness for good. Do it so you can have the energy to go shopping and chase your dog around the street, so you can take advantage of everything you have at your fingertips and all the opportunities that come your way. So you can go out with friends and family and not stress about what will be on the menu-how many calories everything has, or how you’ll hide that you aren’t eating, do it for the normal, regular habits. Recover to erase the fear from your loved ones’ minds and hearts and recover so in 10 to 20 years when you wake up you’re waking up to the glowing smiles of your spouse and beautiful children, rather than waking up hooked up to oxygen and dialysis machines, fear what 6 meals the nurses will bring you that day. Most importantly, choose recovery so you CAN wake up tomorrow and for years to come.
Now I’d like to share different types of treatment with descriptions, this is very useful to people with loved ones who are currently ill!
Outpatient treatment – patient receives treatment from a local clinic in their community, a doctor’s office or in a hospital. They have appointments usually weekly with a therapist (mental health professional), general physician or pediatrician, a dietitian, and a psychiatrist. In outpatient treatment the focus on gaining weight towards restoration, and healing the brain and mental illnesses. This is a good choice in my opinion because patients don’t have to be away from home and their family, they can recover with some level of comfort and familiarity. However, outpatient treatment is only a good choice if the patient is medically stable.
Inpatient/hospital treatment – When you live in the hospital while being treated, you are in inpatient, I was an inpatient. Inpatients DO NOT leave the hospital while they are being treated, they must be treated in hospital because they are medically unstable and in many cases, like my own, are life-threatingly ill. Sometimes people 18 years and older who are not willing to agree to treatment but are in a life-threatening state will be admitted by family or a medical professional and put on a “form” so they cannot leave until they are stable. Inpatients are watched over 24 hours a day by nurses and meet daily with their medical team (a therapist and/or mental health professional, specialist eating disorders physician or pediatrician, a dietitian, and a psychiatrist). There are strict scheduled meals with certain calorie counts, patients must be supervised at every meal and finish every last bit, otherwise they receive a calorie supplement drink. Patients are supervised when they use the washroom, group therapy, family-based therapy, and distraction mechanism.
Residential treatment – Similar to inpatient but for medically stable patients-they do not require the medical attention those in the hospital do. It’s about weight and mind restoration, as opposed to stabilizing and then adding weight, which is more the method in inpatient. People in inpatient may also have certain disordered behaviors that need to be watched for and corrected such as over-exercising or purging. There is more focus on recovering mentally from the illness than there is in inpatient because residential treatments are stable and usually ready for that.
Day Treatment – Again, this is a recovery method for those who are medically stable. Day patients spend their week days at the hospital in the eating disorders inpatient ward and go home to sleep (when I was in the hospital the day patient kids were at the hospital from 7:45 am to 5:45 pm). If the patients are school-aged, they do their work at the hospital during day patient treatment, it’s used as one of their distractions. Similar to inpatient treatment, all meals are strictly planned, scheduled & supervised, and their recovery consists of therapy, calorie increase (weight-gain), and family based therapy, they also use group therapy and art or games-based therapy methods. Instead of daily meetings with the medical team, day patients usually meet with them weekly and usually “graduate” to outpatient treatment.
Lastly when it comes to staging an intervention, if you believe you or your loved one is in a life-threating state, please go straight to the hospital or at least your general practitioner, and even if you are stable at least you can be referred to a treatment centre. If the sufferer refuses help or treatment, you can also get the help of a councilling centre (like my parents did) who can help you with determining if they are stable or not and next steps/locations for treament. And if you believe you or the sufferer is stable please check this site for treatment centres near you http://nedic.ca/providers/on
I thank you so much for reading this, I hope & pray that you or your loved one receives the medical attention and treatment they need to recover from overcome the demon of an epidemic that is mental illness.

Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

Here are all the answers to the questions I received plus a few I added!

Favourite celebrity & why?
Carrie Underwood because I love how she has continued to stand firmly in her faith, she’s been open about her own [eating] struggles, and her music is meaningful and one of my favourites.

Celebrity crush?
Austin Butler & Cody Simpson (I met him on my 15th birthday!) *heart eyes*

What is your favourite quote?
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. –Isaish 43:2 (Old Testament)

What make up brand do I use?
I’m not going to lie, I use whatever brand is on sale at Shoppers, later this week I’m going to do a detailed post about my make-up routine and each product/brand I’m currently using.

Favourite part about pageants
I love the rush of confidence that hits me on stage, I love meeting new friends, speaking out about what I am passionate for, trying to make my mark & make a difference, and of course feeling like a princess.

What Christian denomination are you?
Anglican

Do you do any volunteer work?

Yes! I volunteered at the Burlington Special Olympics, I volunteer at a local daycare, I’ve volunteered serving the homeless & at kids programs at my church, and I volunteer at events with Niagara cheerleading.

Favourite thing about cheer?
My favourite thing about cheering competitively the energy on the mat at competitions and more importantly is flying. There is honestly no feeling that comes close to the feeling of being in the air, whether I’m pulling a stretch, hitting a motion, spinning up, dismounting, or doing a basket, the high is auxillerating. My favourite thing about cheering in the OHL is that it’s super unique and I get to interact with tons of cool people, like the fans & sports media professionals.

Future goals?
I want to continue to raise awareness for eating disorders/mental health & bullying, as well as encourage others to receive help and reach recovery. I also want to get my college certificate and start up my business. And like I said in my last post, I hope to travel, teaching less fortunate children around the world.

Lowest weight during your eating disorder?
78 pounds

How many languages do you speak?
Fluently- English
But I also took French grades 4-10 so I can understand it & I took Italian which I can also understand but honestly, speaking it isn’t my strongest point

Favourite snapchat filter?
PUPPYDOG !!!

My Fitness routine
I don’t “force myself” to work out excessively because that can be considered “disordered” but when I work out I do a lot of treadmill, I also try to get some squats in and I ALWAYS stretch, mainly for cheering.

Favourite hockey player?
I chose Taylor Hall as my favourite like when I was like 9 and he was still playing in junior, but I don’t really have one at this point xoxo

Favourite NHL team?
Edmonton & Toronto

Favourite places to shop?
Free People, Forever 21, peppermayo.com (there’s more but obviously I’m drawing a complete blank right now lol)

How tall are you?
I’m just 5’4”

What is your dream job?
Business owner and/or some kind of job working with kids

How many kids do you want?
At least 4 biological & 2 adopted

What are you most nervous for in the pageant?
I’m just overall nervous about messing up, but to be honest I just hope I can represent my platform and those struggling to the best of abilities, I want to be able to bring the point across of “Sick not Weak” which means while we may struggle with our mental illness it does not mean we are impaired or should be look down upon, per say. I just hope I can & have been able to articulate that you can get better and people with mental illness are not “tarnished.”

Favourite colour?
[Light] PINK !!

What are you most excited for going to college?
I’m so excited for a new academic structure and getting the opportunity to finally make some new friends and establish new relationships in a different & more mature environment. I’m also looking forward to being in more of an adult role so I get to challenge myself more!

What’s your favourite restaurant?
I love love love the Ikea restaurant hahaha guess I’m a cheap date.

Favourite song?
Country Girl by Luke Bryan

What was your natural hair like?
Natural colour is super dark auburn brown & natural style is tight & thick ringlets (I lost the majority of my hair’s thickness when it fell out during my sickness)
Would you ever go back to brunette?
I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought about it, but I’m quite content with blonde at the moment.

Do you have a boyfriend?
NOPE

Favourite vacation spot (so far)? And where do you hope to travel?
Favourite place so far – Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Where I hope to go – Los Angeles, Italy, Slovakia, Australia, and Texas

Middle name?
Marie

College program
Small business and entrepreneurship (1 year) at Mohawk College in Hamilton.
Are you more of country girl or city girl?
Well currently I live in a subdivision in the greater Toronto area, so at the moment I think I’m classified more city girl but I think my mind (and heart) are more country girl material.

Anything you want to try for the first time?
Surfing!

What sports have you played?
Hockey, lacrosse, soccer, figure skating, flag football, gymnastics, cheerleading

Where have you cheered?
Burlington Gymnastics Centre, Supreme Cheerleading, CheerForce Wolfpack, Niagara Cheerleading (OHL Niagara IceDogs)

Are you still cheering in college?
Yup! I am doing competitive cheer again at Cheerforce Wolfpack & I’m also cheering in the Ontario Hockey League for the Niagara IceDogs.

Biggest insecurity?
Still my body. I’m now able to recognize those thoughts as bad thought and not act on them (starve/purge to try to lose weight, etc.) but I still struggle with my body image thinking “I’d be perfect if there was less fat here, if this was less round, if my bum and chest were bigger…” but those aren’t the features I was blessed with so I just remember my positive features, the fact that I’m healthy, and of course the fact that I pride myself in being a good person, which might sound cliché but I’m secure about my personality, my morals, ethics, and integrity, which is really what matters.

Any advice to people getting bullied?
More times than not people knock people down to try and build themselves up, they too are insecure. However that doesn’t make it ok, but you can’t control it, right? It’s so important to let others, especially adults know what’s going on and then it’s important to keep your head up and not sink to that level, know that nothing anyone says determines your worth. Avoid toxic people and keep pushing through because you will reap the benefits of being a good, kind person, no matter what trials you face.

Will you do other pageants after Miss Teenage Canada?
Definitely, like I said before I love the rush, feeling like a princess and being able to advocate, now that I’ve started it’s not something I could imagine giving up anytime soon, I’d miss it way too much!
Summer plans after the pageant?
Hopefully I will get to go to Boots & Hearts at the beginning of August, lots of relaxing by the pool & at local beaches. Also, I hope to get to do some modelling work in the USA and then I have cheer camp at the end of August!


Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

I don’t usually post events and stuff like that on my blog, but I think this is too cool not to post!
A couple weeks ago (June 16) I was fortunate enough to have been invited to meet & speak with the mayor of Burlington, Rick Goldring and City of Burlington counicllor, Blair Lancaster, who was also Miss Canada 1973. It was extra special because not only did I get to explain the details of the pageant and my platform to them but I also got to have an amazing, inspirational talk with Mrs.Lancaster. Along with pageant advice, Miss Canada 1973 talked me through bullying and helpful ways to cope with it, as most bullies never grow out of it. She also gave me a lesson on confidence, grace, and elegance on and of the pageant stage, and so for that meeting and those special well-wishes I am forever grateful!

Blair Lancaster, myself, City of Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring & my mom

Blair Lancaster, myself, City of Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring & my mom

Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

I’ve shared a lot about my story, my journey, and what I’ve gone through physically, mentally, and emotionally, so now I’d like to introduce more about my personality and interests by sharing some facts about myself! Additionally, I’ve decided to do a Q & A blog post later this week so any unanswered questions you might have can be asked in the comments section of this post, messaged on my facebook page ( facebook.com/missteenageburlington ) or emailed to me at missteenageburlington2016@gmail.com !

Anyways, let’s begin with the fun stuff!

• My birthday is July 26, I will be turning 18 a couple days after the pageant
• I have a twin brother named Luke (he’s 3 minutes older) *roles eyes*
• I have a younger sister named Daniella (she’s 14 years old)
• I have a dog, named Dakota, he is a 5 year old miniature American Eskimo
• I am a strong believer in my Christian faith
• My dad & I try to go to church every Sunday
• I have a modelling contract with Max Agency in Toronto
• It took me 4 attempts to get my G2 drivers license
• I graduate high school last week (June 29)
• I graduated as an honor student
• I will be starting a 1 year program in September at Mohawk College in Hamilton (details to come in another
post)
• The Miss Teenage Ontario pageant in January 2016 was my first ever pageant
• I am a patient ambassador for McMaster Children’s Hospital
• My natural hair colour is dark brown, I’ve been bleaching it for about 3 years
• I played hockey for 14 years; I played rep, select, summer, all girl, and also was the only girl in an
otherwise all boys league for a few seasons
• I dreamed of getting a dual citizenship to represent the Slovak women’s hockey team in the Olympics after
watching them get crushed in 2010
• I played rep lacrosse for 3 years
• I played forward in both hockey & lacrosse
• I’ve been cheerleading competitively for almost 8 years (at Cheerforce Wolfpack)
• I am a flyer for cheerleading (I get tossed & held up in the air)
• I am entering my 2nd year cheerleading for the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League
• I volunteer at a daycare which I also did my grade 12 co-op at
• My favourite music genre is country (it’s honestly the only type of music I listen to 98% of the time)
• I’ve never been outside of North America
• I’m allergic to dairy, gluten, and have sensitivities to many proteins, especially red meat
• I love cooking & baking (my signature dish has got to be jambalaya)
• MY FAVOURITE FOOD IS GNOCCHI – gnocchi is like a type of pasta, its soft, little Italian dumplings made
primarily with potato and some kind of starch to bind them together, served with some kind of sauce (my
favourite is plain tomato sauce) AND IT IS TO DIE FOR
• My first career goal is to open up my own clothing boutique
• I love animals – sea animals are especially fascinating to me
• I changed my mind at least 6 times deciding what I wanted to do for my post-secondary education
• My brother & I were born 6 weeks premature; I weighed 3 pounds at birth and Luke weighed 4 pounds
• I’ve lived in Burlington my whole life
• My background is Italian/Slovak
o My mom’s parents were born in Southern Italy and immigrated to Canada after World War 2
o My dad’s dad was born in the former Czechoslovakia and immigrated to Canada during World War 2, the part of
Czechoslovakia he came from is now a town in Slovakia
• I’d like to travel to Slovakia in the near future to teach underprivileged children
• I played flag football for my elementary school in grades 7 & 8
• I’ve always dreamed of living in the country
• I’m constantly begging my parents to become foster parents & searching for adoption agencies who need
volunteers (if anyone from an agency or centre is reading this please contact me, I’d love to be involved)

Flying at Cheerforce Wolfpack on Open 4.2

Flying at Cheerforce Wolfpack on Open 4.2

Flying at Niagara Cheerleading open gymWith my brother, Luke at our grade 12 graduationmyself & my little sister, DaniellaAt Ripley's Aquarium in Torontomy dog dakotaplaying rep girls hockey in grade 7

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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

a couple weeks before being admitted to hospital with a failing heart & shut down organs

a couple weeks before being admitted to hospital with a failing heart & shut down organs

I know what you’re thinking, but this is G rated…
What I am referring to is bulimia. Bulimia is a type of eating disorder where someone will self-induce vomiting, take drugs to make themselves sick, and as a result expel what they consumed, and heavy fasting after eating is also considered bulimic. Bulimia is often accompanied by binging disorder, in which people over eat, consuming large amounts of food in a very short-time, which can trigger depression and/or guilt. Sometimes bulimia is not as much about body as it is about perhaps a coping mechanism, similar to “comfort eating,” but to many it is very much an eating disorder.
Here is where I come in. This is something no one knows, yet. Not my medical team, not friends, and not even my parents. Last year, when I was in summer school (Conveniently located across the street from a Shoppers Drug Mart), fast tracking to get early credits, I was also in the heat of my sickness, but since I was going to school, I needed nourishment (occasionally), so after about 3 month of starving, I discovered laxatives on a website PROMOTING eating disorders, TOXIC, I know. Anyways, all I would allow myself to eat at the time was steamed cauliflower, brussels sprouts, or raspberries but only one serving, and right after I’d have to take A FULL PACK OF 25-50 LAXATIVES I bought at the Shoppers across the street from summer school earlier that day. Why though? I was convinced that any and all calories consumed would turn into fat on my body, so sick I was unable to grasp the fact that calories = energy and our bodies need energy to function and survive. See that is what eating disorders do.
But why just now am I choosing to share? I always felt like people would think of me as gross for taking (over dosing) on pills that make you excessively vomit and “expel what you ate”, and I knew my parents would be livid, not to mention scared out of their minds. Even in the hospital on my first day after being admitted one of the first questions the doctors asked was “have you ever made yourself sick or taken anything to make yourself sick?” I straight up lied, assuring them I “didn’t even know those existed,” in fear of having to stay in the hospital longer and also making my parents upset.
So to answer the question, why am I sharing now? It is because now with a clear mind, I realize the danger I put myself in, on top of starving myself. I realize now, that’s why my electrolytes were life-threatingly low, part of why I was passing out and having heart problems. I now realize that at any given time, I could have lost my life, overdosing and putting myself through excruciating pain just to be empty so I “couldn’t gain weight” from my 1 serving of vegetables every 3 days. I want to share this part of my illness so I can be true to fighting eating disorders & mental illness, I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t have thoughts of fasting, wanting to lose weight, or even purging when I feel low, but I chose to be positive and look at how much more I’ve done and achieved being healthy. Having said that, I want to be able to help as many people struggling as I possibly can, now that I’m healthy one of my biggest hopes is to help and inspire others to become healthy, even though it will never be an easy path to follow. My goal is that after reading this, some people struggling will be able to see how dangerous and unnecessary purging and laxatives really are, how our bodies really do need to absorb that energy, and also how pills of any kind, should not be taken unless prescribed, not to mention ever being over-dosed on. I also hope that people with loved ones who they fear are struggling will find this article helpful and I hope that the noticeable symptoms I experienced that I’ve listed below will be useful for those struggling.

Noticeable symptoms & side effects of anorexia AND Bulimia
-extreme (rapid) weight loss
-sunken face
-sunken eyes (black underneath)
-pale, grey or yellowish skin
-dry skin
-hair loss
-loss of monthly period
-mood swings
-isolation
-fear of certain foods
-avoiding meal times
-over exercising
-weakness
-fainting/dizziness
-protruding bones
-infrequent bowel movements
-lanugo (fine layer of hair across the body)
-heart palpitations
-irregular (slow heart beat)
-swelling of ankles, knees, face (indicates very poor blood circulation, meaning the heart is no longer capable of pumping blood through out the body)

Noticeable symptoms more specific to bulimia:
-eating huge amounts of food all at once
-“hiding” after eating
-stress or anger after eating
-prolonged heavy vomiting and/or diarrhea
-obsessions/weird cravings for certain foods
-weird receipts or bags from drug stores

Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

imageWith pageant week quickly approaching, I am definitely feeling the pressure that comes along with such a huge responsibility. From trying to reach my fundraising goal and trying to attend more events to trying make the audience reached for my platform even larger, I’m definitely super busy right now, but that’s not really the struggle I’m going to talk about today.

As you know, my platform is awareness for eating disorders and mental health along with awareness for bullying. And my platform is really what got me into the pageant because I wanted to be a voice for those struggling alone and in the dark. As soon as I got out of the hospital I started preparing my platform and within 4 weeks I had applied to Miss Teenage Canada, and at that time I was on a high, I was still schooling from home and hadn’t really been “out in the real world” since before my hospitalization. Now here I am, eight months after being discharged and while I’m still physically healthy, it seems that bullying has once again gotten to me and I feel like the best way to prevent me from spiralling again is to share it.

I feel very alone ALL of the time. At this point I honestly do not have any friends from school, previous relationships and peers comments about my body and personality have started to haunt me again and I find it difficult day to day not being a “normal teenager” and by that I mean not having anyone to hang out with or talk to, I mean of course I have my amazing family but that desire to fit in as a teen is not being satisfied, and I’ve just felt “extra.”

To be fair, I rarely go to school, basically only once a month for class because I took summer courses last year so I just have a co-op at a daycare and then two spares, so I’m not skipping, I just fast tracked. But it seemed my eagerness to complete my education had kind of isolated myself, so I recently started going to my school just to try and socialize, but once agin I found myself being straight up ignored or dismissed by many peers, so this weekend I was at a loss and it was rough. I know this post seems dark but bare with me, there’s a message.

A lot of tears where shed this weekend as I loathed in my struggle to fit in, as I worried that things will not possibly change, even when I graduate high school in two weeks, but then when I regained my composure I realized that wether things change, for the better or for the worse, is up to me. Sure maybe I’m not going to be best of friends with toxic people from my past but what’s stopping me from going new places, trying new things, and meeting new people? Why would I stop living my life and hide away in my room again when I’m blessed with so many opportunities at my fingertips? I know things aren’t going to change overnight and life’s going to have its ups and downs, I know that’s there’s a lot of good and bad days ahead, but I’m convinced that with a positive outlook and a loving heart, anything is possible. Lastly, I want to assure you that nothing stays the same forever and that you can overcome your challenges, even when they aren’t even completely within your control just know that nothing is forever and with your head held high the right attitude, you can take on anything. However, like I say so often, if your struggle is deeper, more mental (and even if it’s not a mental issue) there is no shame in asking for help and there are so many people more than willing to help you at all costs.

Take care everyone and I’ll talk to you soon!

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crowningWhen I was first crowned I honestly wanted to wear my crown EVERYWHERE but as I posted pictures from crowning and events and even when I wore my crown and sash to events, I realized there’s a certain judgement that is passed on us pageant girls.
Perhaps in these times and our area people are unfamiliar with what pageants really stand for, how hard we work to earn our titles, and especially what would posses us to wear our crowns in public?
I was (and still am) so proud of my title, it’s not something I want to hide, so I was shocked when my peers saw me wearing my crown in public for the first time and laughed and told me to my face “what are you doing, playing dress up?” When I think about it, before the pageant I would have taken that comment to heart, I would’ve been SO embarrassed, but at that moment I realized how much stronger of a person this pageant and my title have made me.
Being a title holder, wearing that crown, it means I’m a public figure, I need to be a good role model but more importantly I am human and as humans we will all face judgement. However, I digress, back to how the pageant has made me stronger, not only have I had to speak to huge audiences (we’re talking 5000+ people) about my battle with anorexia, but I’ve also had to be so much more careful with how I react to people’s words and actions. For example, when I feel confident and post a bikini picture on Instagram it’s my way of being body positive, accepting recovery and encouraging it, and of course judgement is passed but I have to rise above it, acting out or calling people out would be horrible for my image, the same goes in face to face interaction.
My point is, wearing the crown comes with high expectations and living up to those expectations has helped me mature as a young, respectable young woman and role model in society. And I think that everyone woman, wether she holds a title or not, should act as if she has her own crown, and as I mentioned crowns come with responsiblity and expectations, that every woman wearing her crown should strive to meet and exceed so we as young woman can build eachother up, not tear down!

Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

Many people have commented on my blog posts asking for more about my personal struggles so here it is!
From the depths of despair to a symbol of hope, that is how 17-year old Christina Kapusty describes her life over the last year. The desire for perfection, the self-loathing and a horrible body image resulted from years of nasty comments about her weight. As the bullying intensified, the cumulative effect became so unbearable that Christina just stopped eating. A journey began in April 2015, that would lead Christina to near-death by fall. Now back from the brink she wants to use her experience to raise awareness about bullying and its devastating impact, while encouraging an open discussion on mental health issues.
Starving, binge eating, blacking out, a racing heart and the slow shutting down of her organs to a point where her heart rate was only 19 beats per minute describes the terrifying ordeal that Christina, and her family, underwent over the course of six devastating months in 2015. Years of progressive bullying had taken its toll, making Christina emotionally fragile and defensive. Motivated by her experience, Christina sought and won the title of Miss Teenage Burlington in February 2016, and with that position wants to help reduce the stigma of mental illness and encourage other teenagers to get the help they need.
After twice being sent home by her local hospital, Christina was so terrified, weak and afraid of dying, that she asked to go to McMaster Children’s Hospital. As she walked through the doors she nearly collapsed. As a result she was in triage within minutes, and shortly thereafter was told that she would need to stay; she was too sick to go home. Severely malnourished and dehydrated, Christina’s organs were slowly shutting down; her heart rate was in the 30s. Being admitted to McMaster Children’s Hospital that August 25 saved and changed Christina’s life. Her journey was often harrowing with both the treatment and recovery having many ups and downs along the way. Christina had to get worse before she got better.
A team of specialists in eating disorders lead by Dr. Christina Grant, and a range of other specialists including pediatric cardiologist Dr. Claudia Almeida were responsible for Christina’s care. Restoring her physical health was critical before the team could work with Christina to address the underlying causes of her illness. Six months after discharge, her body has recovered, and emotionally she is stronger than ever. With the support of her family, Christina wanted to be public about her experience. By doing so, Christina has already helped two others to get help rather than killing themselves.
Giving back to McMaster Children’s Hospital and the team that saved her life, while also being very public about both bullying and mental illness has given purpose to Christina Kapusty, Miss Teenage Burlington. “Someone has to… not hide it, so that people can reach out for help.” That is the message that Christina wants to deliver and she will use her experience and title to do so, even as she works to graduate from high school this spring, and compete for Miss Teen Canada in July.

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Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington

As teenagers I think it’s almost nature that we so badly want to please others, conform to what society has deemed as ideal. Chasing these ideals is a recipe for disaster because no ones perfect and likely they say, you could be the brightest, juiciest peach and someone still won’t like you. But as teenagers we may have a hard time grasping that fact, that we can’t please everyone, not everyone’s going to love us. So we go head, listening to people’s opinions, those that we want to please and change ourselves in hopes that they’ll like us more.
It’s no secret I’ve dealt severely with body dysmorphia and self-esteem issues, but more recently I learned the impact that toxic people and relationships can have on our mental health. Wether it’s a friend, boyfriend, family member, or aquantance, if they’re telling you to change, be something you’re not, run away from them, as fast as you can, they are going to hurt you and your mental health.
I’ll give you a personal example. Someone I really valued started knitpicking at my appearance, the colour of my hair, my skin tone, my make up, and worst of all, my body-“Christina you’re too skinny, it’s gross,” “you have the body of a 10 year old boy,” and my 2 personal favourites (can you sense the sarcasm?) “You better be in the gym everyday squatting, fix that situation behind you,” and “maybe you should ask OHIP if they can find a breast augmentation since your anorexia kinda got rid of them.” It’s unexceptable to say these to anyone, regardless of wether or noth they’ve had or have an eating disorder. Words like these can destroy someone, they had me contemplating changing how I look, contemplating relapse, but I didn’t let those words or that person win, and you can’t let anyone else’s words make you doubt or change yourself either.
I’ll tell you why. Because you were made to be yourself, made beautifully as yourself, if you change you aren’t being your own kind of beautiful, you’re being someone else’s kind of beautiful but they’re not the one looking in the mirror every morning so why should they matter? You’re worth so much more than what any negative person says about you, you’re beautiful, in your own kind of way, do what makes you happy not someone else and if someone really cares for you they’ll support you, they’ll love you no after what, if you’re not hurting yourself doing and being what you love, a true friend, a relationship worth having will build you up, not tear you down.

Written by: Christina
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Posted On: Categories:Miss Teenage Burlington