“You Look Well”

Hello again readers of my blog. Today I’m writing about the “You look well” or “You look healthy” or any other variation of the two comment that people quite often make.

The comment that many people with eating disorders find triggering, they find to be one their head twists to mean “Your fat” “You’ve gained weight.” or “Your getting a litttle chubby.”

But that is by no means true and not what is meant when loved ones comment these things. The “You look well” comment is meant as a compliment not as anything else your eating disorder may convince you so I urge everyone to see it as a compliment.

I myself got variations of the “You look well” comment on two occasions yesterday and I could have let it really trigger me, especially seeing as that morning I had stepped on the scales to see a ridiculous weight gain in the space of a week. But there’s no need to let it trigger you or set it back in any way. Fight against that voice in your head and think about it rationally and logically.

Looking well is a good thing. It’s a compliment.

Lets put this into context with my case from yesterday. I got the comment from my dad and my aunt. The last time my dad saw me was nearly 2 months ago now. I was borderline underweight in terms of BMI, so underweight in terms of where my body likes to sit. I was majorly stressed about possibly having ovarian cancer, had no appetite and wasn’t feeling all that great. The last time I saw my aunt was nearly 3 months ago now, I was feeling ill with probably endo pain and again slightly stressing over possibly having ovarian cancer and under my body’s natural set point range.

It is a damn good thing that they think I look well! It shows I am healthy, well to some extent healthier than I was back then. And asides from the physical aspect of it, because there is a very minimal physical change in my health in terms of symptoms. We should want to look healthy. And healthy doesn’t necessarily mean skinny. For most of us healthy does mean having a bit of extra body fat and not being at the minimum possible healthy weight for our height.

I feel as though especially as a vegan. I would rather look healthy than not, just to help in some small way to promote the lifestyle rather than turn people away from it.

So fight those eating disorder voices. Because looking well or looking healthy are all good things and in no way means you need to start restricting again!

Binging again?

Guess who’s back, back again.

Me of course. I always come back in the end.

Anyway today I want to write about binging, and more specifically the fact that I am binging again and what it is like to relapse into behaviours after recovery.

So over the summer I had a chronic illness flare up and lost weight. To below my set point and so of course my body is reacting. Leading to be now reactive eating/binging. Whatever you want to call it it is not pleasent and it does mess with my mood and make me even more bloated than usual. Which yes is possible. I’ve tried not having junk food around and turns out I then move towards binging on healthy food which makes me feel horrendously sicky the next day. Not ideal. And of course it’s cheaper to binge on bourbons than it is on Dates, Nakd bars and PB.

Binging was never a main eating disorder behaviour of mine. I did binge. When I was gaining weight in recovery an when I was really overexercisisng. But it’s never something I’ve turned to for emotional reasons or boredam. Or atleast I don’t think so. And that aspect of it I think is even worse and makes this whole fiasco more confusing. I’m engaging in an unhealthy behaviour, I have no control over myself with regards to food in the evenings and I have no idea why. There’s no reason for me to do it so why do I do it?

That’s the question that plays in my head every night after I’ve binged. Why? My life is better than it’s ever been. I have friends, I have drama, I have inapendence. The only hang ups I have with life right now are the fact that I’m doing a degree I don’t love and the need for a job or volenteering or something but being so anxious that these things are prevented in a variety of ways.

I have no reason to binge so why? And why can’t I stop myself or control myself? Sometimes it’s like there’s a devil on y shoulder egging me on. Telling me to carry on. Most of the time there’s nothing, no conflic between the rational me and that devil on my shoulder. I just do it because I’m fixated on food and I can’t control myself. I can’t help myself. I need to do something, but I don’t know what. I need to stop it because it’s a problem. It doesn’t make me feel good. Mentally or physically in so many ways.

The question is what? I am in a situation I have never really had to deal with to a large extent before and I’m stuck and desperate to change this.

 

Mental hunger?

Hello again, back with another eating disorder recovery focused post because since my period ended (so friday) I’ve been crazy mentally hungry but the physical hunger still isn’t where it was before I started feeling sick again.

I feel like if you google mental hunger you get given a series of articles about how to ignore your mental hunger or emotional hunger as it can sometimes be called. It seems as if having mental hunger is sinful. But that’s not true. Mental hunger especially during and after a period of restriction or illness is totally normal and in reality, is just our body’s way of saying it needs food, it needs nourishment to get us out of that caloric deficit we somehow ended up in.

There’s nothing shameful or sinful about it.Which I myself have found myself feeling in the past, like I was greedy for eating despite no physical hunger. Yet what I failed to realise is  Just like physical hunger, it’s something that we should listen to and we should respond adequately, giving our body’s the food it needs. The energy it needs because that’s all food is after all. It’s energy.

Normal people don’t always wait until they’re physically hungry or physically hungry enough. Normal people do respond to mental hunger at times because that’s what being carefree around food and eating as you fancy is. It’s being able to respond to all hunger both mental and physical.

So I encourage everyone experiencing this to embrace it and accept it. Your body wouldn’t want the food if it didn’t need it.

 

Feeling like a failure

We all know a lot of people with eating disorders are also perfectionists and I am not one of the exceptions. The problem is I see most people in the recovery community meeting the overly high expectations they set for themselves. Which, don’t get me wrong is great for them, but it doesn’t help much when your sat hating yourself because you didn’t get those grades. You didn’t get the straight A*’s you were predicted, you didn’t even get the A*AA you needed for your dream university. You actually didn’t get the grades required for your insurance. And they let you in anyway, but that’s not the problem. The problem is you didn’t do well enough. You didn’t do well enough to meet those expectations you’d set for yourself. So you hate yourself and you feel ashamed of yourself although deep down you know you couldn’t have tried any harder and whatever happened happened.

You find yourself comparing your failed results with others, others who did get those 3A*’s you we’re supposed to get, maybe even 4 with that A or A* in EPQ to top it off and it fills you with hatred. Even more so when the other brags on facebook about her daughter who for these straight A’s and had a part time job and trained for sport multiple times a week. You did none of that. You had no responsibilities but you still didn’t get good enough grades.  It fills you with hatred because your jealous and you hate yourself. It fills you with hatred because you have to be the best. You were the best. And now you’re just mediocre. This is why comparing yourself to others is so harmful yet I find it so irresistible at the same time. It’s a hard habit to break really but one I know I need to break if I’m ever going to have any friends and ever come to accept myself. 3B’s and all. Just typing that. 3B’s. It makes me feel ashamed of myself. To me, 3B’s isn’t good. But if anyone else had got that I would congratulate them. If my best friend had got 3B’s I would be pleased for them. So why isn’t it good enough for me?

This is the perfectionism trait that gets to most of us wth eating disorders and it can make or break us. The positive of the perfectionism trait is that it can lead us to achieve amazing things. On the other hand, it can lead to you not doing that essay or exam because you know you won’t achieve well enough. You know you’ll never be good enough. It can also lead to burn out. And lead to your whole world tumbling around you when you tried so so hard but still didn’t achieve those perfect grades.

You try to tell yourself it doesn’t matter but it still does. You try to tell yourself it doesn’t define your worth but it does. Nothing can change how much of a failure you feel like you are. Even when other people seem proud of you. And this is why  I feel like the education system can be so dangerous and harmful to people, especially perfectionists.

In both high school and college I’ve been told everyone can et straight A*’s if they work hard enough. And I’ve been told it by plenty of teachers. IIt really is quite a dangerous thing to say I believe because it ensues the belief in perfectionists even more so that if they don’t get the top grades there somehow failures and it somehow means they didn’t try hard enough. When really that is not true, especially in perfectionists who do try hard enough. it’s because some people aren’t clever enough to get straight A*’s. Some people may have undiagnosed learning difficulties, gone unnoticed because they were getting good grades all their lives. (I honestly think  I have some mild form of dyslexia and it’s only become more apparent since starting my A-levels, and especially during A2 year.The only reason  I haven’t got myself tested is because I’ve heard it costs £400.) They may have just had a bad day, week or year for any number of reasons. Or they may have been to a college with a very bad quality of teaching and no one got straight A*’s. (Again me)

The point is there are countless numbers of reasons as to why these self-set expectations may not have been met but the perfectionist will still beat him/herself up about it because the fact hasn’t changed. In the mind of the perfectionist they have still failed and failure is such a scary thing.

I’m not going to type here about how it’s all okay if you haven’t met your grades or everything happens for a reason because I know it changes nothing. But what I am going to say is that we all need to learn to accept ourselves, go easier on ourselves. We can’t always be perfect or the best. Self-acceptance isn’t easy but it’s what needs to happen so we can be okay when things don’t go to plan.

 

 

I’m Not Selfish, I’m Mentally Ill

Hello all,

Today I want to make a blog post about well the title says it all really. I feel it’s a common belief from the none mentally ill population that people are selfish, when infact maybe even unknowingly are suffering from a mental illness. Ive heard many a person say suicide is selfish. But they don’t give any thought into how a person who has reahced that level of depression is feeling. Yes it may come across as selfish but to a person with a mental illness. Suicide or any action isn’t for selfish reasons it’s because they can’t see any other way.

Lets just take an example from today that happened to me. Today I was mant to be going to the races and for lunch for my grandads birthday but this moring I couldn’t handle it. I thought about it. I really did think about trying to go. Trying to challenge myself so hard and I thought about ths not for me. But because I didn’t want to let anyone down. I didnt want to be a disapointment as per ususal. But I looed at some sample menues and decided I couldn’t handle it. I mean the fact that they were sample menus would mean a level of uncertainty in not knowing what I could have. What if there was nothing I liked? Nothing atleast half safe? On top of that there wuld be the calorie issue. This 3 course meal would lead to too many calories. Too many unknown calories. Again that uncertainty. Would I get the nutrition I’m after? Probably not. And it’s not just the food it’s the being around people and food all day. It all seemed too much.

And yes I felt guilty for maing the decision not to go and I still feel guilty just not as so now I’ve had some time to think and calm down a bit. I know my mum and brother think Im selfish for sure. Both saying I’m wasting money… And oay my brothers 9, he can be forgiven. But my mum. She knows I’m mentally ill. I would hope she’d be more understanding. Apparently not.

But whatever people think I’m not selfish. Im mentally ill and yes sometimes that may make me come across to others as me being selfish and rude but that is the way things are at this moment in time. The best thing I can do is to work towards getting better and maybe one day I’ll be able to go out to eat even where there’s uncertainty as to the menu, calories and atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 weeks in re-recovery

Hello everyone!

Today marks 6 weeks since I started recovering from my eating disorder again after relapsing and I thought I’d make a blog post abou what I’ve gained in those last 6 weeks. Other than weight of course.

  1. Probably the most important thing first. Happiness. I’ve finally started enjoying life and feeling actually happy.
  2. Fitness – six weeks ago 20 miniutes of hiit killed me I’ve done 30-60 mins every day since saturday and I’m fine. (todays workout was hard though) I couldn’t imagine ever being able to do that 6 weeks ago. Looking forward to starting up running again in the spring! (Winter running is not fun)
  3. Intelligence – I was two marks of an A* in my business mock. It came as such a shock to me. I know without the carbs that wouldn’t have happened.
  4. Enoying food taste and flavours – I’m slowly learning to appreciate food as what it is and not worry so much. It is still an issue but little changes are being made by the meal.
  5. Energy – I’m no longer constantly zombified!
  6. Sleep – I am sleeping better most of the time. Some night I do still only get 5 or 6 hours but it is better than the 4-6 I was getting before I started recovering again.

Just goes to show. Recovery is always worth it !

 

What is Real Recovery?

I’m writing this post today as I feel there is a misconception as to what so called “real recovery” is on social media sites such as instagram.

On instagram real recovery seems to be classed as following the minnie maud guidelines, always listening to hunger cues and cravings and being positive at all times.

THAT IS NOT REAL RECOVERY.

Real recovery is doing the best you can on any given day. Fighting your eating disorder one meal or snack at a time. Some days it may be listening to hunger cues and cravings and others it may be restricting because you really can’t do anything else. And THAT IS OKAY. That is fine so long as you pick yourself back up the next day, the next meal even.

What I’m saying is that recovery isn’t all glamorous it isn’t all positive. And you can struggle and be in “real recovery” you can be negative when in “real recovery.” So long as when you are struggling you pick yourself back up and never give up.

Real recovery is continuing to fight even though your heads a mess and the world seems to be turning against you. That is what real recovery is.

Binge eating or does my body really need it?

The last few days I’ve been suffering eventually uncontrollobale urges to eat continuously. Or so it feels.

I don’t even know why. And it makes me feel mentally so horrible. Like I’m out of control.Because I am.

FAT  Because I am. Like I never was anorexic because I’m not controlled enough and I never have been. It just makes me feel so bad. And makesme want to give up so much. Makes me want to go back to starvation becausthat way 500 calories or 250 calories preferably will be the only option. The option to binge won’t be there. I won’t put myself in situations where I may binge and I will always be armed with gum and diet coke.

Most of all I’ll be in control once more.Notthis out ofof control whale. This BINGE EATER  I’m convinced into. This Binge eater who hates herself even more now she’s eating.

Starving has always been so much easier. The easyway out of all my problems. The lack of love I get from my family, the loneliness I feel from that and only having one friend. The worthlessness I feel from neverbeing clever enough at school and never getting good enough grades at college.

None of that mattered  when I was starving…. and now it overwhelmes.

Energy requirements in recovery

I come to you today to discuss energy requirements in recovery.

2 years ago when I started recovery I did not for one second belive that I would need 3000 calories a day. I mean it’s excessive isnt it?
It really isn’t. To come out of my relapse I have been trying to listen to my body, it’s the best way forwards and yes while still counting calories. I found out I have been clocking up 3000+ a day.

This is so scary, it honestly is. My eating screams that it’s too much , that I shouldn’t be eating that extra afternoon snack or that extra pancake. That it will make me fat. I have come to realise that it’s not true. I have a raging appetite because Im under my body’s set point. I need to gain to feel well again. Too succeed in my A levels. I have also now come to realise that.

I completely messed up my law mck on thursday, despite doing plenty of revision and knowing all the material, apart from the last quesion… but my brain was not functioning in the exam I attribute that to not eating all morning. My brain was underfueled, of course it wouldn’t function the way I’d like it to.

On the other hand on monday I fueled my brain for my business mock. Turns out I was two marks off an A*! Amazing really, considering I’ve been a walking zombie all term and the time pressure in BUSS3. I never believed I could do it. But I did.

Our body’s need food, food is fuel. And food is meant to be enjoyed. If god didn’t intend for food to be enjoyed we wouldn’t have so much to choose from.

Stay strong my lovely recovery warriors and keep on fighting!

xxx

 

 

 

When recovery gets hard

Okay this title seems a bit misleading because all of recovery is hard, to an extent but sometimes things are easier than others and sometimes it gets dark. Sometimes the voice in your head telling you your fat and worthless gets louder – gets stronger.

Right now I am in one of those places. After counselling being hard yesterday eating to my hunger cues, eating the calories I need to get healthy and well again has been hard. And the thought of having to eat tns of unsafe and unknown foods this weekend is even scarier. I’m fighting a war in my own mind. To “eat normally” to be healthy and happy, to suceed in life and be free from my ED. Or to go back to starvation. To be that thin girl walking down the corridor, the one who never eats and survives on a measily 250 calories a day. Dinner only. Diet coke, water and coffee being all that is allowed before that time.

That option attracts me. Going back to starvation… I feel so fat, fat compared to other people. I just feel like there’s too much of me… like I take up too much space. Part of me wants to be noticed but other times I just want to be invisible. By being thin I guess I can achieve both.

My mum will pay attention to me… care about me worry for me. But then at college I can be invisible, not feel lie the elephant in the room. I can be there but not there because my starved speech means I wouldn’t have the energy to even try and converse. My brain would be so consumed with thoughts of calories and how to lose them that I wouldn’t pay attention to whats going on.

Restriction is so tempting but the real me knows it’s not an option and knows it’s not healthy. I guess I just need to fight