Thursday, 30 December 2010

what a difference a year makes....

Look back 12 months ago and where was I?  I had not long come back from a holiday in Egypt with my husband and friends, spent a great Christmas with the same people and was looking forward to meeting up with some old school friends at my reunion.  If anyone had told me that I would spend a large part of 2010 restricting my diet, obsessing over how I looked, lying to those I love and putting myself through such physical and emotional pain I would have laughed in their face.  But unfortunately this is what happened, and what a waste.  I can never get that time back but I can make a damn better job of the next 12 months.
I have made a video of photos taken over events in the past year, most taken when I was happy and content with myself but others tell a different story. You wont be able to see the pain behind my eyes but I felt it.
For me 2011 will be a year of moving on and not looking back.
I wish for myself for the year ahead, the same as I wish for all those close to me.  Health and happiness.

Monday, 27 December 2010

I survived Christmas :)

Christmas Day and Boxing day are now over so I can sit back, relax, deep breath and reflect on how things went.

Despite being surrounded by food from the moment I awoke on Christmas morning to the evening of Boxing day I coped pretty well.  Being surrounded by the positivity and support of those closest to me helped.
I had made sensible choices around what food was on offer and also planned what I was going to eat beforehand.  Even though I had rather a lot of bubbly (would be rude not to!) the urge to overeat was not there.  I even woke up this morning not thinking about what I could or could not eat today!!!
Granted my pattern of eating may have been erratic but given the circumstances I think this acceptable.
I so want to wake up tomorrow feeling the same way.

Santa was very good to be this year. I received a huge amount of cupcake related gifts, shower-cap, mugs, cake stand, soap and the compulsory Christmas socks :) 
My highlight had to be Boxing Day when I opened a gift from two of my closest friends.  I opened a box which said 'extreme' on the front.  This was from the same couple that last year had bought me a sphering/zorbing experience.  My face was a picture when I opened the box and began to read out the letter...'You will be attending a charity bungee jump event where you will jumping from Clifton suspension bridge!!'   Absolute horror, I hate heights, hate flying and struggle to walk over bridges.  Panic was now setting in. All eyes were on me when I was told to look at the web link to register my gift..www.makemyheartflutter@gotcha.co.uk.  I had been well and truly had.  I can honestly say I have never been so happy to have NOT received a gift before.   The look on my face was priceless.
I hope you have all had a good and stress free Christmas time.  For those of you continuing the fight stay strong and be positive.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy christmas everyone..

Well Its 3.20am, Christmas morning, the family are asleep and I am sat here moulting feathers from my angel costume all over the sofa!!  Santa has already been as there is a stack of pressies under the tree  :)  Well although my halo has slipped slightly I have been a good girl for most of the year!
Christmas day tomorrow, well it is actually Christmas day now but when I eventually go to bed then get up about 3 hours later the day will be here.
Potatoes are peeled, sprouts sorted (pre-packed and 4 minutes in the microwave,,ssh don't tell)  Meat is defrosting, all I need to do is eat it.
I am feeling pretty positive about tomorrow.  My body is changing shape and I can tell the difference.  I almost need to undo the zip before I pull my jeans down, my boobs are slowly reappearing and the tell tale hip bones are surrounding themselves with a little padding.
How do I feel about this?  Not too bad...a little scared sometimes but on the whole a lot more accepting of how I look and how I feel about my body image.  How  I look does not determine the person I am, or how others will see me.  I am looking forward to this Christmas, spending it with friends who do not judge, who know me for the real person that I am and who are there ready to support me or help when I may struggle.  To all of you I say thank you, I couldn't do it on my own.
A very merry Christmas to all of you, I wish you all happiness and inner peace.  It is a difficult time of the year and hope you can stay strong. xx

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Camera never lies.

I have been looking through some photos taken of me over the past year, New years party, Halloween and my school reunion, and I am mixed with emotions.  Through photos you can revisit wonderful experiences, good times with friends and family, but you can also remember the pain, the hurt, the sorrow, feelings of hopelessness, fear and dread for the future and disgust at the person you have become.
I choose to keep my 'thin' photos, not because of how good I think I may have looked at the time but as a reminder of what a souless empty shell my eating disorder turned me in to.
Who was I kidding to think I looked good??  Obviously myself, my inner voice, my insecurities, my failings, my need for perfection, achievement and control.  I am still very underweight, by body apparently thinks it is still in starvation mode but I am dealing with that.  I may have only gained 8 pounds but I feel so much healthier physically and emotionally.
I am now comfortable with challenging my thoughts, with correcting myself....being critical over how I look but in a more positive way.  I have a determination to beat this, an inner strength and motivation.
I need to live not merely exist!  I cannot live a life ruled by food.

I saw my dietitian today who suggested an increase in my protein, carbs and dairy which I am lacking.  I have taken this on board and will try to increase my daily intake.  I know this will be hard and some days I will struggle, but my mind set is I CAN do this and I WILL do this.....I have so much to live for, so much to give and I am fed up with wasting so much energy on something which is a shit existence.
I used to think of anorexia as my friend, my comfort blanket.  It was something I was in control of and made me feel secure....rubbish...it controlled me...if I let it.
Christmas in a few days and I have lots of plans, lots of positives and am looking forward to it.  Cheers. xx

Sunday, 19 December 2010

reasons for recovery

After such a positive few days and the Christmas festivities to look forward to, I woke in a brilliant mood.  The snow is still on the floor although you are taking your life into your hands when venturing outside.
It was difficult to gather the motivation to eat today, primarily as I didn't feel hungry!  It is very difficult to make yourself eat when you are physically not hungry and not in the mindset for food...so I sat down and wrote a list, a list of reasons to eat, reasons for recovery and here it is..

1.  To live and not just exist.
2.  To be healthy.
3.  I want to enjoy social times with my family and friends.
4.  I do not want to be different or have a label.
5.  I want to get back at work and have a purpose.
6.  To be able to focus on daily things without thinking about food all of the time.
7.  To feel warm again.
8.  To be a positive role model to my son.

There will no doubt be more I can add as time goes on but i think these are my priority.  I deliberately did not put 'To look good' as I am trying to take the focus away from how I look on the outside and to put it onto my physical and emotional health and well being.  I hope that if anyone reading this is going through food and body image issues at the moment can maybe take something from this and focus on the positive sides of getting better.
When you write a list of pros and cons of having an eating disorder there are no real benefits!!

Take care and keep well. xx

Saturday, 18 December 2010

What a wonderful day.

One week until Christmas and outside looks like a picture postcard. We now have the snow the met office promised and I love it.
There is something to be said for walking in crisp fresh snow, and on the sea front it nearly reached the tops of my wellies!  As I watched people going around their buisness, christmas shopping, children throwing snowballs, everything seemed so much brighter. Maybe it was the glow from the sun on the snow or maybe it was that I was feeling a little more ease with myself, more content and happier with who I was becoming.
On Friday I started the day with Breakfast, had lunch and something in the evening.  I had to make a conscious effort to eat and it is not coming naturally.  I hate to say it but my Nurse was actually right, eating regularly eased the feelings of wanting to binge and although It was a struggle I succeeded in one day of regular and normal eating.  
My initial thoughts are again to restrict the following day to compensate for the calories consumed, but I need to stay motivated, set my sights on my goal of returning to work in the new year and regaining my health and fitness.
Someone said to me today, at least when everyone is wanting to lose weight after Christmas I can start on the tins of chocolates...how I wish for that day, and I know it will come.  Just hope there will be some purple ones left!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Beaten by a sandwich!!

What a day!!  Occupational health appointment received for first week of January to discuss my return to work. Ha, I thought, envisage the help of my eating disorders nurse...no such luck!
As lovely as she is,she would not put her name to encouraging me back to work.  I can see her point....have I gained a reasonable amount of weight...NO.   I am actively eating regularly...NO..... But..I feel well. I am so much better in myself.
God I want to be normal and wish this all away.
So...this afternoon I feel hungry, off I traipse to the local pasty shop, too late, all the good ones have gone!!
Venture home and  tuck into a cheese, salad and pickle sandwich.....living hell!! Who would have thought a sandwich would cause such a commotion.  I did try, try very hard, but only managed about a quarter.,  This was the first non-diet food I had eaten in months and it was like hell on earth, a dead weight in my stomach.
I moved on to this evenings meal, again a struggle, a small amount a mountain to conquer!!
This evening I went to a friends house for karaoke...great fun but I was shocked when I saw the video he took of me.... I could see the bones on my chest, my collar bone, the veins in my neck... a shadow of the bubbly, luscious person I was a year ago.  What happened??  I don't know...but I do not like it. I need to turn this around, for myself, for my health, my family and my friends.  i do not want to  be a shadow of my former self, to have my thoughts overwhelmed with that of food, to have my day determined by what I eat, what I weigh and how many calories I consume.  I detest my sad existence, my feelings of worthlessness, my envy of others, my need to be thinner, prettier, better...and now I am going to bed, to think, to dwell, to sleep....and tomorrow...who knows!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Weigh Day.

It was with feelings of trepidation that I went to my appointment with the E.D nurse, the first weigh in for a month.
As I demolished my scales at home I had only my somewhat distorted view on my body shape and size to gauge what I would encounter when I stepped on the scales.
Thankfully we did the formalities first and It was not as bad as I thought....I had gained what was determined as a reasonable amount within the community, and for myself, enough to be able to cope with without completely freaking out!!
I had not had a wonderful few weeks, and had not done as well as I maybe should have but no point beating myself up over it.
I was surprised at my reaction as I became quite upset over the feeling of losing a part of my identity, If I did not have my eating disorder what would I have.  Only those of you who have been here will understand this.
But I do have a life, a good life with supportive friends and family, most who have possibly put up with a lot from me that others wouldnt.
We looked through the pros and cons of moving on and staying how I am, and guess what??  There are not many pros to living your life with an eating disorder...it sucks.  I know this, but still there is this inner battle between eating and restricting. 
Why would I want to compromise my health, my family, my social life...there are so many good things out there for me I just need to let them in.
So start again....tommorrow is another day...I will plan my meals daily, little and often...one step at a time.
With determination and positivity I can do this, I want to do this.......Catch you alll tomorrow. xx

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Its the most wonderful time of the year..

Or is it???
Being Mrs Organised I have the presents bought, wrapped and under the tree.  Parcels ready to post and cards written.  Christmas day and Boxing Day menus planned, shopping list completed even know what were doing New Years Eve....but what about me...am I ready?
I love Christmas, the smells in the air, the frost on a morning, Christmas carols, soppy TV movies, friends and family, buying and giving presents...and yes I do love a little something in my stocking.
This year though it all seems a little daunting. Everywhere I go its about food!  Christmas meals with friends and colleagues, enough chocolate to fill willy wonkas factory. fancy biscuits, nibbly bits....Oh the temptation.
I have set myself 3 challenges over the festive period.

1.  Christmas dinner at home with family and friends. 
2.  Boxing day buffet at home with more family and friends.
3.  New Years Eve dinner at a restaurant!!!

So as not to set myself up to fail I have a few strategies in place to cope.

Try to eat small regular meals curbing the urge to overeat or binge. Avoid skipping meals in order to save up calories!!!  Does not achieve anything in the long run.

Cook food that I know I will be comfortable with eating, also means I can eat with others without making myself stand out as different.

The buffet will be the worst as I will want to eat the whole table...so have discreet word with hubby to keep in check how much I am putting away, especially after a few glasses of bubbly. Again I will also cook things that I am comfortable with.  Still find it difficult to recognise hunger and fullness...but will not beat myself up if I feel I have eaten too much.

Chocolates!!! This will be the nightmare as I will worry about eating the whole tin!! They will be in a cupboard, out of sight out of mind but available to Hubby and Son. :) 

I have eaten out with friends, but have been particular over what I have eaten, taken forever over the menu and have been paranoid that people are watching me.  The meal on New Years Eve is significant, I am trying to leave my disordered eating in the old year and move on to the New Year a stronger and more positive person.  I cannot promise, but I will try.
Something I have mentioned before is mindful eating.  I find it helps me to eat slowly, taking in the textures, flavours and smells of the food, being positive about what I am eating and concentrating on each mouthful. 
Try it.....it makes eating so much more of a sensory experience.
I wish those of you struggling at the moment a stress free Christmas and hope you kick your E.D into touch. xx

Friday, 10 December 2010

never underestimate Lasagne

Strange title I know....but very true.  To most of you out there, a lasagne is just that.  A pasta and meat dish with cheese sauce generally found in the chilled/freezer section of your supermarket, the local Italian or if you're really clever....you make it yourself.
I personally hadn't touched the stuff in at least 7 months....until last night.
It was sat patiently in the microwave (having escaped from the freezer) waiting to be nuked by my teenage house guest :)  Guess what?  As teenagers often do, she changed her mind and no longer required the company of said lasagne.
At the stroke of midnight, after turning into a couch potato and losing my cow slipper when coming down the stairs, the lasagne called out to me...I
I regained my position on the sofa whilst watching the second part of 50yrs of Coronation Street fork in hand....
'Oh no you don't ' shouted one part of me, 'Oh yes you do' shouted the other..well it is nearly pantomime season!!  I sat for a good 20 minutes staring at this lump of 'yuk' on my plate and I am not ashamed to say, it scared me...Booooooo! Bad Lasagne.
Totally irrational, but this meal is one you cannot hide from, each bit of food is touching the other, you can't really pick at it and its covered in the most evil baddy of all.....melted cheese.
But I did...I put on my fork and ate it..slowly and being aware of how it tasted....  Fee Fi Foe Fum...I smell and tasted something yum....
Well I did it, wasn't planned and it didn't kill me.  I did have nightmares though...serves me right for eating cheese before I go to bed!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

One step forward...two steps back

Just when you think you have things on track it comes back to bite you on the bum.....ok, I may not have much of a bum but it is still there.  I have tried hard to keep to a routine, have some sort of structured eating and have taken each day as it comes, but sometimes though life just gets in the way! 
It was not intentional, things happen, feelings and emotions get in the way of eating, then not eating numbs the feelings and emotions.
I have been away for a few days staying with friends, stupidly forgot my fresubin drinks, struggled with my change of routine and before you could say 'yes, I'll make it large,' ouch...there it was, a big bite.
I'm not saying it took a holiday, it didn't, I was just finding it easier to cope with.

The hardest thing is no one can see how your are feeling inside, what your thoughts are.....how you feel about the ways your body is changing.  I tell myself, 'its ok' but I know that isn't how I feel.
Tomorrow is another day, I CAN cope with a blip...I am still in recovery and will strive to continue.
I have my weigh in next Monday (cue scary music!!)  yes I am nervous, but I also know that it is the way forward, maybe I will ask to stand on the scales backwards!!
Will let you know how I get on.....wish me luck.

Friday, 3 December 2010

How are you...

How are you?   A greeting widely responded to with 'Im good thanks',
So ask me the question.......how are you?
Today I am feeling fragile waiting for the slightest knock to set me back,  I feel vulnerable and insecure, like those dreadful dreams you have when you go to school in your underwear!!!
Today I 'forgot' to eat, despite my initial positive move towards eating breakfast.  Things just got in the way. It was then so easy to again not bother, then not bother with tea.....hey, I feel better already.  Quick fix to numb the feelings....or so I think. I ate earlier, god Im stuffed, blag it, crumbs on the plate noone will know...but |I do!!  What is the point in lying to yourself?  It doesn't achieve anything. Tommorrow is another day....one step at a time.
 Anyone for muesli..  :)

Thursday, 2 December 2010

I have a plan!!!

An eating plan....
Throughout my times of disordered eating I would have 2 lists, what I would call safe food and banned food.
My safe foods would include rice cakes, salad, certain fruits, low fat cottage cheese, and diet yoghurt's.  I would generally pick one or two items, eat these until I was bored with them then move onto something else.
My banned foods would be everything but the above!!  I thought about food all day, from the moment I was awake until I was asleep. I dreamt food....
My day would revolve around what to eat, how I could avoid eating. I became obsessed with baking, buying cookery magazines and cook books.  I would love to cook and bake for others but not eat them myself.
It is a standard joke in my house that the thinner I became the bigger my husband got!!!
Meal times were a huge challenge, I would eat from a certain sized plate and on the occasions where my routine was disturbed or I could not control my food or portion size I became irritable, stressed and argumentative.  I felt bad, guilty, disgusting...and fat.
I craved food constantly, the battle between have and have not was horrendous, I cannot begin to describe the feelings that go alongside Anorexia.  I was scared of eating certain foods at certain times of the day, generally when on my own, I was terrified of becoming out of control, of eating too much.
  I would compensate for the blandness within my diet with spices and herbs, I adored coriander and craved salt.  Now things have moved on........
Foods from my banned list have now moved over to my 'safe' list,  I try and have regular small meals to alleviate the feelings of wanting to overeat.  I need to remind myself to eat and make a conscious decision to do so as I still do not recognise when I am hungry and also when I am full....this will change in time.
The feelings are still there...but getting easier to cope with...I believe that the improvement in myself physically has helped with my may of thinking.   I have strategies in place to help me cope with the feelings of anxiety after eating.....I'm doing one now.....whilst helping my muesli and yoghurt go down :)  I may take a bath, listen to music, go for a walk or text a friend.
I wish I could say that everything is back to how it was, but I can't....what I can say is I'm moving forward...I have a plan....an eating plan, and I'm sticking to it.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Mirror Never Lies….or does it?

The Mirror Never Lies….or does it?

When I look in the mirror, what do I see?
Who is that woman staring back at me?
Am I  happy, content, a picture of health.
Or a pitiful shadow of my former self.
My body is ravaged, my bones jutting out,
For gods sake just feed me my heart wants to shout,
My body lacks warmth, its cover has gone
I s that what I wanted a walking skeleton?
I don’t want it to hurt when I lay down at night,
I want to get better, continue my fight,
So I look in the Mirror and what do I see,
A fighter a winner, I’m beautiful…..thats me. xx
 Jackie Dec 2010





Things to be thankful for.

Life, health and happiness!!  Cliche I know but its true.  We take far too much for granted and although the old saying, 'theres always someone worse off than you' doesn't generally wash with me, it is so right.
So today I am thankful to be alive, to have a wonderful family and a supportive network of friends who I trust.
I am thankful for the online community of support groups who without I would probably not have got this far...
I am very thankful for the boiler man coming to sort out the heating as its bloody freezing!!
Just wanted to let you know that after last nights post, I have not crawled into a shell and stayed there, I have come back out to fight, to take on the challenge and eventually win.
I will not allow my feelings today control what I put into my body or what I don't put in.
I will take each day as it comes and grasp it whole heartedly.
I will bake cake.....and eat it. x

need spell checker for this one

OK, my blogging rules always stated No drunken posts!!! but I feel as the author It is my prerogative to deviate from this....
Tonight I feel confused, not sure where to turn or who to turn to...unsure of what tomorrow brings.  OK, far too many glasses of fizzy plonk and too much analysis of relationships play a part but there it is....me laid down, bare, vulnerable and open to suggestion.  This is the point at which I would transfer my feelings onto what I eat ( Neil. if you are listening I hope this helps)  My plan for tomorrow was to call my GP, arrange for me to be signed back to work bloody damn quick, but I'm unsure If that is the right thing to do.  My long term plans seem to condense into short term goals.  Is that what I have to look forward to.....I hope not!!
Anorexia is a coping mechanism, numbs the pain, shuts out the feelings... bollocks it does.....lies, all lies....it will still be the same tomorrow, no matter what I eat, how many calories I consume, how much exercise I do...the feeling inside is horrible, the tightness, the degradation, the unworthiness...god I am worth so much more than this...please someone just give me a button to switch it off.
And breathe.......tomorrow is another day.......oh, and I apologise If I come across as an attention seeking, needy person. xx