Saturday, 30 June 2012

You Look Well!

'You look well.' A phrase which I would have recoiled at 18 months ago instantly turning it over in my head and changing it to the words, 'You look fat.'
When my weight loss was becoming obvious to those around me I did receive comments both of concern and others very un-flattering.  How I perceived these comments was dependant on my state of mind at the time and ultimately how I was feeling about myself.  I have been called a 'cambodian,' been asked if I would require 'caring services.' and been questioned continuously by people I don't even know the first name of, why I was so thin?
Recently I was approached by the relative of a friend who I hadn't seen for many months.  He started the conversation with the usual, 'you look better than last time I saw you,' and finished it with, 'are you in remission?'
I left the room in tears.  I was shocked not just because of the reminder of how ill I did look but also because he thought I had an illness which sufferers had no control over.  Ultimately I always had the control to put a stop to my Anorexia, but my head wouldn't let me. I felt ashamed......
Yesterday whilst shopping I again bumped into someone I hadn't seen for over a year. 'You look well,' she said.  I replied with 'thank you,'
I no longer questioned or doubted her statement, I accepted it for the compliment that it was, a fact that I was well and healthy. Her words did not push me to skip dinner or buy some bathroom scales.  They gave me a spring in my step and a smile on my face.



Word Of The Day. day 30 Community


I never thought I would attribute the fact that I had suffered from an eating disorder with something positive but this is it....Community.
I wouldn't have had the pleasure of 'meeting' such a positive group of like minded people whilst contributing to the 'bloggers challenge.'  I have learned so much about myself, I have had happy days and very emotional days.  I have grown so much in my emotional self over the past few months and have seen a part of me I am being to like.
I have been excited with each days new topic for writing, and have set aside a time to do this .
So thank you to Tracey, Arielle, Lindy B,Kylie-Rose,Jenn, Purple Dreamer, Sia-Jane,Jennifer, Kaz, Angela,Anne-Sophie and everyone else who have taken part. I admire you all for your braveness, honesty and inspiration.  Thank you xxx

Word Of The Day. Day 28. Mystery


Its A Mystery

Its a mystery.....
where does the flab go when you wear magic knickers,
why did they change the chocolate bar from Marathon to Snickers.
Why is a tomato not a vegetable but a fruit,
Why do I find Robert Powell 'cute.'
Why do we put so much emphasis on looks,
Why does Gordon Ramsay swear when he cooks,
Do Tortoises like  living in their shell,
I f you cut off my nose could I still smell,
If being thin will make you happy,
why do diets make you feel crappy.
Life is one big mystery,
the answer is, suck it and see...



Friday, 29 June 2012

Word Of The Day. Day 27 Travel


Lifes Long Journey

There's no map to guide us on our way,
Just our trust in others and what they say,
We'll find ourselves at crossroads, or even round the bend,
frustrated when all we do is reach a dead end.

We will see things that abhor us, or chill us to the bone,
feel the pain of others then wish we travelled alone,
We will make bad choices, but from these we will learn,
that life throws up surprises at every twist and turn.

There is no Trip Advisor, for life upon this earth,
No RAC to pick us up or tell us what we're worth,
You can't come back a second time so live it whilst you can,
With love, with joy, with happiness, that's what I call a plan :)

Jackie

“The beautiful journey of today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday.” 
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

Word Of The Day. Day 27 Bliss


Bliss.....that moment when you throw your arms in the air, let out an enormous sigh of happiness and you're not actually sure why :)

Sheer Bliss

The touch of bath bombs as they fizz against your skin,
popping like candy, melting within,,
lingering scent caressing with steam,
in a marshmallow, bubbly, chocolaty dream.

Finding your parked car after Glastonbury,
The purr of my cat when hes sat on my knee,
Clean sheets on your bed when you get out the bath,
The feel of a hug and the sound of a laugh,

Not having to stress about what to eat,
Not living a life of lies and deceit,
not counting numbers or standing on scales,
loving yourself in spite of your ails.



Word Of The Day. Day 26 Purpose


As I child growing up in the North East of England there were certain expectations put on me.  Male and Female roles were clearly defined within the Family, the Man was the breadwinner whilst the Woman looked after the children, cleaned the house, cooked  the dinner whilst also working to top up the family income.
There was the expectation that you would do well at school, go onto college, and furthermore get a career which the Family thought suitable.  You would meet a man, marry and have children, preferably in that order, living 'over the brush.' was out of the question. I did meet at least two of those expectations :)
I found my 'purpose' in life at around the age of 13. It was over the next few years that I became involved with the Girl Guides, the Church and the Duke Of Edinburgh Award, realising that my 'purpose,' was in fact to care for others and support those less able than myself. Since leaving college at the age of 18 I have supported adults and children with learning disabilities/Autism for 27 years.  I didn't reach the expectation of others to go to University, to obtain a degree and become a professional social worker, but I reached my expectations of having a successful and fulfilling career which I look forward to going to most days.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Word Of The Day. Day 25. Forgiveness


For all the hurt you caused me
I forgive you,
For the tears I shed and pain I felt
I forgive you,
For the childhood lost and aching heart,
I forgive you,
For the lies you told and pain you caused,
I forgive you,
For the anger I aimed towards myself,
I forgive you,
For making me feel bad and dirty,
I forgive you.
but I wont forget......
ever.

For not nurturing my body,
I forgive myself,
For abusing my body,
I forgive myself.
and I choose to remember,
for I am worthy of the love of myself.


Word Of The Day. Day 23 and 24 Soul and Face


What is my Soul?  This isn't something I have ever pondered on, despite having a belief in God I'm not a very spiritual person.
The nearest I have been to a spirit is in a bottle, and the only soul I have ever listened to was in Tamla Motown and The Supremes.
So this evening I sit and wonder about my soul, what it is, where it is, and what is its purpose.
If you are soulful, you must be full of it, soulless, lacking in it. Soul searching, looking for it!!
Maybe my soul is my doorway to my heart, as my heart is the doorway to my home. 


Mirror Mirror on the wall,
who's the fairest of them all?
Wow, not me? well I'm not shocked,
Do I look like I give a toss.

My twinkly eyes are a shade of blue,
I have enough teeth so I can chew,
My laughter lines could tell a tale,
Of rowdy nights and too much ale.

I may not have the face of Dior,
But every day I'm loving it more,
Each imperfection, each little spot,
Hey good looking, your looking hot.

Mirror Mirror on the wall,
Who's the fairest of them all,
Each and everyone of you,
I hope one day you'll believe that too.

Jackie x



Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Word Of The Day. Day 22. Home


My house is made of wood and brick,
windows, doors that often stick,
A nice TV, a comfy rug,
A squishy bed all warm and snug.

But these are all material things,
We cling to like Mums Apron strings,
Just 'stuff,' 'posessions,' things we own,
These don't make my house a home.

My Home is made of love and fun,
with memories of the things we've done,
The tiny child that I gave life,
The day that I became Kev's wife.

My home is not just in four walls,
or in my shoes, my bags, my smalls.
Its in the place where love does start,
My home is settled in  my heart.




Monday, 25 June 2012

Word Of The Day. Day 21 Fight



From the minute I came into this world I have been fighting.  I fought for my breath, my life when born nearly 3 months early weighing little more than a bag of sugar.
I fought for acceptance with my peers at school, I fought for a future with my education, my life and career choices. 
I fought for my child, for his future, for his happiness and will continue to the day I die.
I fought my demons,those that had hurt me, my negative thoughts, my damaging actions, my eating disorder.
I continue to fight.  I still fight my lack of self esteem and my negative self-image in a world which is so bloody image and beauty conscious.
I fight those in my head who told me I couldn't, I wouldn't but I have :)
I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, I will fight to show others that beauty is more than skin deep, that there can be life after an eating disorder.
I will fight WITH others, with those who have shown me who I can be.


Word Of The Day. Day 20 Compliment


I have never been great at accepting compliments for what they are, but I am getting better.  Growing up I remember a lot of 'you could do betters.' but not a lot of ,'well done!' Maybe they were there, maybe I just didn't hear them, maybe I just chose to hear the negative, maybe after a while negativity gets battered so far in that you never hear the good about yourself.  On the very rare occasions years ago that I may have received a heckle or wolf whistle I took it as someone taking the piss out of me, how could they be talking about someone so damn ugly!
I cant cope with being told how well I do my job.  Mandy take note, during staff performance reviews I am not looking smug, I have a nervous grin as I try to take in what you are saying.  Telling others they are doing a good job....easy :)
Thankfully things are changing, with the help of some special and beautiful people I am starting to see me for who I really am, and starting to believe in myself. Chances are, one of those beautiful and special people are reading this, so thank you. xx




Word Of The Day. day 19 Tears


I went to a conference a few years ago where one of the guest speakers was a young lady with Autism.  She spoke about her understanding or misunderstanding around tears.  As she had little empathy of others emotions she could not pick up on physical cues or body language around what she perceived as 'water coming out of someones eyes.'  She had been taught this happens when people are sad but also when people are happy.  I was always moved by this inability to grasp human emotion but could also feel a connection with often crying but not being able to understand 'why.'

Tears....
of joy, laughter, happiness, relief.
Tears,
of anger, sadness, frustration, grief.
Tears,
from a winner, loser, woman, man,
Tears,
of strength, not weakness, just who I am.

Jackie





Word Of The Day. Day 18 Laughter

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.  ~Woody Allen

Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.  ~Author Unknown

A laugh is a smile that bursts.  ~Mary H. Waldrip 

When I was little Dad had this little battery contraption called 'the laughing box,' it was wrapped in a  yellow cotton bag and when you pressed the button it played recorded laughter.  Dad found it hilarious, in fact he found humour in the smallest of things. I must admit it was very contagious and you couldn't help but start laughing when you listened to it.
So lets try it, watch this video clip and see if you can get to the third person without a little bit of laughter running down your legs :)


My Favourite Photo which remind me of laughter

Toby desperately trying to keep a straight face before Prom.



 
















                                                                                                        


Friday, 22 June 2012

Word Of The Day. Day 16 and 17 Beginning and End

I decided to incorporate beginning and end together, as for me the end of my eating disorder was the beginning of my life again.  So this is a poem I wrote in April 2011 which says it all really.

The Beginning of the end
Moving On
Its time to say goodbye,
To rid myself of a living lie,
I'm moving on. I'm biting back,
Best foot forward, right on track.

I will not mourn the friend Ive lost.
I hope again our paths wont cross,
What I love is inside me,
Not the figure in the mirror I see.

Good riddance to this shit disease,
The expectations I never achieved,
Perfection does not equal thin,
But biting back means I will win.

I’m stronger now, Ive fought the fight,
And now I ‘ll savour ever bite,
Farewell my anorexic friend,
Lets hope this truly is the end

Jackie 







Word of the Day. Day 15. Now



 If you want to make a change in your life, be it stopping smoking, looking for a new job, breaking a habit, giving up your eating disorder, why wait until tomorrow?   Take that first little step while you are thinking of it, whilst it is going around in your head.  Start your recovery now :) Yes it will be hard, it will no doubt be one of the most difficult things you have ever done but it will be worth it.

But in order to be in the 'now' and move on to our future we may need to look at the past.  Therapists I have seen have worked in the' here and now' , what is going on in my life that is making me feel like I do at that  time.  I have touched on feelings and emotions from the past but have dismissed them as painful and not wanting to go there.....maybe 'now' is the time to make that change for myself.



Thursday, 21 June 2012

Word Of The Day. Day 14 Love


I don't really love chocolate, my ipad or karaoke, I just like them rather a lot.  I love my Husband, I love my Son, I love my friends, my family and Charlie the cat. For me love is an intense feeling, I could imagine life without chocolate and other 'objects,' but not without the people in my life that I dearly love.
Love is about respect, tolerance,acceptance,understanding,compassion,forgiveness,actions, caring and feeling, not all hearts and flowers.
Love is holding your hair out of the way when you are unwell.
Love is taking you on and your Son :)
Love is accepting your faults and not trying to change them.
Love is supporting each other when things are going wrong.
Love is leaving the last cornetto for your husband to eat......OK, I admit i hid it behind the frozen chips so he couldn't find it!!  :) But I do love him.

Now loving yourself is another story.......


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

words and pictures

today myself and a friend decided along with a few alcoholic beverages to do a bit of 'therapy.' This involved writing positive things about each other and friends on post it notes up on mirrors.  Darn the cheap glue I had to stick mine up with sellotape!!!
So here is what we came up with.

This is what I wrote about my friend Jen.
I truly hope she believes all of them as she is a beautiful person throughout.


and this is what she wrote about me :)

This is for our beautiful friend Deb who I wish she could have been here to take part.  Again she needs to believe thew words.

This is Tracey and she is bloody awesome.  She is an absolute inspiration and has made me me laugh and cry on so many occasions.  Tracey you are a star.

After our post it note challenge we had a few wines (hic) got our kit off, wrote on each other in lipstick and took part in the 'this is my body' challenge. :)  I didnt even suck my stomach in!!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Word of the Day. Day 12 and 13 Crowd & Perfect


Crowd

My voice is not heard above the crowd,
I shout for help but the voice is too loud,
its all around me, I cannot breathe.
I am crushed by the oppression of the disease,

I look around, there's no one to see.
I panic, I just want to be free,
No crowds, just me but I cant escape,
Am I dreaming, will they be gone when I awake.

Jackie


Many times during my eating disorder I felt almost crushed by the presence of my illness, as if I was being suffocated, but also isolated and not heard. I would be crowded by the negative thoughts, the insecurities, the lack of self esteem and still feel completely alone. But I am not alone.  I have a brilliant support network of loving family and friends who I know I can call on when needed.  I no longer feel suffocated, or crushed but can breathe deeply and exhale.




Perfectly Me

I'm going slightly grey, 
distinguished some may say.
With crows feet round my eyes,
and dimples on my chin..and thighs!!!
By boobs are going south,
I have a very big mouth,
I have stretch marks on my tum,
as a reminder of the birth of my Son.
My bottoms like a peach,
and my toes I can still reach.
My eyes are a wonderful shade of blue,
I'm perfectly me 
and you re perfectly you.

Jackie 


Monday, 18 June 2012

Word Of The Day 11. Force



My initial reaction to the word 'Force,' was the links to aggression, violence and rape. Nurses in hospital almost forcing food down you, being watched over whilst you forced the ensure down your throat!! Then I thought of Star Wars I did....may the force be with you.
Darth Vader: He is here. 
Governor Tarkin: Obi-Wan Kenobi? What makes you think so? 
Darth Vader: A tremor in the Force. The last time I felt it was in the presence of my old master. 
Governor Tarkin: Surely he must be dead by now. 
Darth Vader: Don't underestimate the Force. 
Governor Tarkin: The Jedi are extinct, their fire has gone out of the universe. You, my friend, are all that's left of their religion. 
[answering a comm signal
Governor Tarkin: Yes? 
Voice over comm: We have an emergency alert in detention block AA-23. 
Governor Tarkin: The Princess? Put all sections on alert. 
Darth Vader: Obi-wan *is* here. The Force is with him. 
Governor Tarkin: If you're right, he must not be allowed to escape. 
Darth Vader: Escape is not his plan. I must face him, alone. 

The force to fight back, the force to take back the control from something that has damaged you and battered you for what seems like an eternity. Then to create a force field of support network around you.
Never underestimate the force :)

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.
Mahatma Gandhi



Word Of The Day 9-10 logic. Emotional



Logic

Eat less, Move more, lose weight.
Lose weight, be skinny, be happy.
Be happy, be confident, be loved.
Eat less, lose weight, lose control.
Lose control, lose brain power, lose logic.
Think about it....
food is fuel, your body is a machine,
without fuel you stop!!

Back in the mid 80's when eating disorders were a little misunderstood and I had a 'slimmers disease,' nothing was explained to me.  I was given counselling, stayed in hospital, re-fed but had little understanding of my eating disorder.
It wasn't until my referral in 2010 to a specialist ED Nurse that things clicked in to place.  When I read the Minnesota starvation experiment I began to understand what in fact was happening to my brain and why I was feeling how I was. Also having a dietitian to explain about food groups, muscle/fat etc.I need to add though, that I had to get to the point where I wanted to recover myself for me and me alone.


Emotional

Abuse
Ugly, worthless, stupid.
Words hurt more than fists,
Tears,
Give you something to cry about,
weakness, child, baby,
numbness.



Love.
Beautiful, smile and hugs.
Words of reassurance,
arms wrapped around you,
tears of joy,
strength and maturity,
feeling.






Sunday, 17 June 2012

Octopus, Earthquakes and Chicken Slouvaki. Greek Style

Pefkos 2012


I love the Greek Islands, and my first visit to Pefkos, Rhodes was with my Husband in the late summer of 2010.  Although it was an amazing holiday it was slightly tainted with personal issues.  I was at my lowest weight during this episode of Anorexia, at one point Kev wanted to cancel as the possibility of me being ill whilst away was so high.  I did manage to persuade him that this was what we needed and ultimately it was a break that we needed together.  The stress I felt whilst away was at times overwhelming.  The huge choices in restaurants, waiters pouring olive oil on your barely there salad and the dreaded lack of clothing in the heat!!  But I did it and I loved it.
So again this year, whilst recovering from a hip operation I made the decision to go back to Pefkos and enjoy it as much as I could with the assistance of a crutch!!
Un be known to myself our very good friends Deb and Glyn had also thought of Pefkos and we ended up sharing transport to the airport, was on the same flight, same resort and shared many cocktail laden late nights/early mornings.

So on the evening of June 6th we set off for Bristol airport after struggling to pack exactly what I wanted into just 15kilos luggage allowance.  Can you believe I could only take 3 pairs of shoes!!!
Our flight was at 9pm so we settled into the bar area until boarding.  Two pints of Guinness and several Valium later I was settled on the plane, dribbling on Hubby and well on my way to hollibobs.


View from the Plane, I actually sat next to the window.

After a 4 hour flight, some pretty dire aircraft food and a lovely purchase of duty free Angel perfume (had to be done)  we landed at Rhodes airport at 3.05am feeling like a hot hairdryer was being blasted on us.
I then had a well earned rest sat down in the airport and left Hubby to play catch the suitcase on the airport conveyor belt. With loading, transfers etc we arrived at our apartment around 5.30am, unpacked and hit the bed and was out like a shot.  Now I wont bore you with the whole week, and I don't have many photos as the holiday revolved around food and drink.  Despite being pretty mobile now the uneven terrain and hot weather made travelling any huge distance for myself quite difficult.  I was happy walking from room to sunbed, to bar, to restaurant to bed. Instead I will give you a short summary of the highlights, lowlights and very weird dreams............


Earthquake

Its Sunday 10th June and were sat at a lovely beach bar overlooking the sea, drinking cold Mythos lager and eating Greek salad.  The bar is full of people taking in the view, staff busying themselves with orders and then it happens!!  The ground starts to shake.
Now I have felt the earth move before, on my wedding night in kefalonia 2008 (No joke!) but this felt a lot different.  As i felt my chair shake and looked across at Kev, a Greek waitress ran out of the bar and you could feel and hear the tension as customers just looked around at each other not quite knowing what to do. As quick as it started it was over......
As I regained my composure and stopped swearing I looked across the Island to see smoke bellowing up into the air.  This was also attracting the attention of the waiting staff who were pointing and speculating.
Thankfully this was a small forest fire common in Greece and not the result of the earthquake.

view from the Lee beach bar

Smoke from the forest fire.
Earthquake overview :  A very strong dangerous earthquake occurred on June 10 at 15:44 local time along the Turkey and Greece Coast and scared hundred thousands of people in tourist destinations like Dalaman, Oludeniz and Fethiye. the earthquake was also well felt in many of the Greek Islands.

Flyers cafe Bar

Flyers was another small and friendly cafe bar with the added interest of a small microlite plane.  The owner had his own landing strip next to the bar and did low cost trips around the Island.  Luckily I didn't know this at the time as i would have jumped at the chance...Not!!!!
On our first visit to Flyers I was feeling a little under the weather.  A combination of late nights, too much sun, not enough water, too much alcohol and a stomach bug had taken its tole.  I attempted to eat what I had ordered but embarrassingly left all of it.  the wonderful owner Nicos thankfully was not offended, offered to make me something else and gave me melon to 'aid my recovery.'  A few days later he remembered me and asked If i was better.  This time I ate my lunch!




Food

I have a great liking for Greek food with the combination of flavours, colours and textures.  Eating out in Greece is so different to British culture. The Greeks adopt the 'siga siga' slowly slowly approach where as us Brits give you a two hour slot, pile you in and chuck you out!!!
There were plenty of places to eat within Pefkos but we had our old favourites we always went back to.
One of the biggest problems with Greek food is there is no standard portion size so we often over ordered, and most main meals came with both chips and rice!! We soon learned to ask for one or the other.

Spitaki

Photo taken at Spitaki 2010

This is a beautiful restaurant that we favoured many times on our first visit to Pefkos and is in fact the same place where I had my salad drowned in oil. e went to Spitaki on the first night of our holiday very late, after 11pm due to meeting up with Deb and Glyn and having a few too many pre dinner cocktails.  The staff welcomed us and despite already closing the grill allowed us to choose from the menu.  I got to try the courgette fritters again and actually enjoy them :)


Swordfish Steak in Dama Dama Restaurant

Kyma Beach restaurant

This so far has to be the best place I have eaten (my cooking included) so far.  It is situated on the beach front above the Lee Beach bar and at night has the most amazing views out to the sea. Unfortunately I misjudged the time I made the reservation and we missed the sunset, but the company, food and drink was compensation enough.

Champagne cocktails


I am happy honest
Feta Parcels with fig chutney and grape molasses


Chicken Slouvaki in a citrus sauce

White chocolate mousse in a caramel basket

Mille fieulle with raspberry sauce










Yum Yum


Friends

When we arrived at Pefkos we hadn't made fixed arrangements of when we would meet up with our friends. We would keep our phones on and see how it went.  The first evening was when we 'bumped' into each other and what followed was a week of going to bed at stupid O'Clock often not leaving the bars until gone 3.30am!!  We each spent the day with our partners, met up for dinner 3 evenings in the week and cocktails late in the evening with our friends.  We favoured Fuse bar, initially as it had free wifi but ultimately due to the friendliness and good humour of Kyriakos, affectionately known as Jack and his Brother Costa.  Jack was married to an English Woman from Coventry and had 2 beautiful children. Jack spoke with love about his Family, his life, his business. He was a pleasure to spend time with.



Throughout the holiday I had a bit of a dodgy tummy!! In fact I think I spent the majority of my holiday in the toilet. I was constantly being told to drink more water by Kev, Deb and Glyn and Jack at Fuse bar.
One evening we took a walk a little further into town before dinner to a garden bar called eclipse.  We sat down, ordered a beer and took in the atmosphere.  The waitress then came over, gave me a bottle of water and said, 'I have been told you need to drink this!!!'  I was baffled, thinking that jack was somewhere in the bar.  How blind was I!!  I hadn't even noticed Glyn sat across from us who was now giggling and trying to hide behind a plant!! 

Dreams

I have the weirdest of dreams at the best of times but none as weird as these two.
I go to the bathroom (again) to find the floor flooded, and the toilet cistern is hanging off the wall.  When I go outside to inform reception what I see before me is just a dark abyss, a hole with all the apartments fallen into it from the earthquake!!!

Another evening I dream I'm again on the toilet and I s@@t out an octopus!!!!!! Horrified i obviously feel the need to show Hubby who takes me to the Dr. A blood test reveals I have a parasite living inside me which has caused my stomach bug and has come out in the form of an Octopus. Weird!!!
Regardless of the tummy upset, strange dreams and mobility issues I had a brilliant holiday.  How wonderful to eat what I want and when I want. How amazing to lay in a bikini and not care.  Here's to August when I get to do it all again in Spain.  Yammas......