Another day in recovery

anorexia, recovery

A new body.

Anorexia is still a prevelant and constant theme in my life. I still identify with Anorexia as my illness however the context now is different. I’m a recovering anorexic, not suffering. I do feel this needs addressing because whilst the illness is being managed and restricted in a certain way its also still very much there. It isn’t as simple, ITS NEVER AS SIMPLE, as ‘you gain weight and you are cured.’ NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.

No longer is my life 100% flat out dictated by this illness, i’ve learned to battle and belittle its words. But this is a daily and general battle. I’ve likened it to Harry and Voldemort before, and really its a great comparison, they’re apart of each other forever, and thats sort of how i look at my life in recovery. Anorexia will always be there, whether or not its going to mark my forehead with a lightning shaped scar, keep me up at night and make me see things in my mind is another thing. But like Harry, im aware it could always happen. At the moment though, i’m winning.. not sure i’ve found all the anorexic related horcruxes in my life just yet though – i’ve certainly destroyed a few.

For me, to be really winning this anorexia recovery, it’s about maintaining my weight and keeping it up. It’s about eating and allowing myself to eat regardless of whether or not it’s going to make me gain 19 stone or not – it won’t.

As I write this, yeah, I’m probs still a bit drunk. But I went out last night and wore a dress I haven’t worn since 2014, whilst 2014 wasn’t my physical smallest I was certainly very underweight and certainly very tiny.  Come forward to 2019, a healthy weight and a better nourished body, my anorexia is very quick to make things difficult for me. I always recall this dress being form fitting, just I don’t recall having hips. I don’t recall my boobs not looking like pancakes. And I certainly do not remember looking down at myself and seeing A FIGURE. Before now my eyes would see straight up and down, a boring body that was undernourished and underweight. It’s a stark contrast to me. But honestly it’s probably not THAT much of a contrast to someone who hasn’t suffered or is living with recovery of anorexia. Thats one of the funny things with being a recovering anorexic – what i see is 100% worse than that of a non sufferer or recoverer would see.

It’s very difficult to get used to a “new” body.
I can’t really describe it. However I’m aware everyone gains weight or loses weight at some point in their life, so y’kno I’m not that only one.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, they don’t teach self love or kindness. They certainly didn’t teach me to love my new body.
My mind second guesses everything. It makes me believe that over night my hips are 12 inches wider. My face 20 times more fuller. My stomach bloated and bumpy. These things are obviously not true but it’s easier to write it on paper and break it down into rationality than it is to actually comprehend in my mind that it’s quite ridiculously wrong.

I always say the answer is to eat. And this week in particular I’ve upped my calories and started to add in extras that are uncounted (which is massive for me). Naturally such an action plays with my mind. It’s very difficult to get across how relentless ‘recovery’ is. It’s not just a ‘oh I’ve gained weight now I’m ok’ kinda gig. It’s more of an ‘oh I’ve gained weight, I need to deal with this everyday and continue to fight against myself to keep this weight up and keep eating and keep fighting and keep eating and keep fighting’.
I feel that if I saw my body, on another person, I’d probably be envious. Thing is, most of my clothes still fit, im not fat. But anorexia is always shouting the dreaded word into my head, I can silence it mostly, but it’s relentless.
The key really is to get out of my head, focus on positivity and remember EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY. Feelings, people, places – even whatever my current weight is. Is temporary. So it’ll pass.
It’s important for anyone to know and recall that when they’re having a difficult moment. It’ll all pass.
We are greater than our physical beings anyway. But as I’ve said, this isn’t taught in therapy.

Again the answer is to eat. Always eat. I had a good week – in the sense of winning anorexia. Every day I’ve eaten more than my given calorie intake, which isn’t as high as it should be anyway. I’m in a place now where I feel these actions, repeated, will help me become as well as I can be. To focus on a future, whatever it will bring.

My new life motto is ‘whatever will be, will be’.

And it will.

So there

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Christmas in Recovery

anorexia, recovery

Christmas in recovery.

Now I’m talking about the post outpatient/inpatient recovery. The recovery that comes with no proper medical or psychological support.

I’ve spent the last six or seven months living my recovery life. There’s been ups and downs. Just earlier in the month I was back to eating less than 700 calories and previous months I’ve been able to lessen my controls and eat at abnormal time – crazy, right? I know.

Recovery isn’t a straight line.

But neither is life.

For me they’re the same thing.

I’m too embodied in calories and exercise that it’s more than second nature to me now, it’s breathing.

What’s is key to focus on in recovery is little wins and victories. So for me being able to eat somewhere different – like my Mams. Or being able to quickly adapt what I want to eat subject to the situation. For example I was out with a lad once and he asked if I wanted an ice cream – of course I bloody did, but I hadn’t planned it. In that particular moment I was able to adapt and accept the ice cream. To the outside world, those not affected, it can seem unproblematic. But for those of us who suffer, something so small can arise great difficulty.

For me, that was a moment of a small win. Not something I’d done before but also something that told me the universe had my back. That this illness wasn’t going to hold me back in living my life anymore.

So thus we proceed on to Christmas.

This is the first Christmas in three years where I’ve not had a diagnosed illness over my head.

This is the first year I’ve been free.

I went to my Mams, I didn’t do any of the food prep, any of the food buying and I did ZERO food dictating. We even had our dinner earlier than planned.

And it was ok.

More than ok in fact, it was bloody good. I’m getting emotional writing this because I know that’s all my Mam wants, for me to be happy. And we’ve finally reached a place where we can see I’m totally and completely on the path of happiness toward a brighter and bigger future.

But in terms of recovery. Probably quite coincidental but also quite fitting is that my sister got a DNA kit which required her to measure her heart rate. Now going through the eating disorder clinic I had this measured anywhere between once and three times a week, mine has always – for at least the last ten years, been around 50-60. But we measured ours yesterday and mine hit 70. A sign my body is working. An out there slap in the face massive screaming announcement that my body is actually working.

I mean, my periods still don’t really show my body is working, they still barely exist. And I’m still relatively cold all the time – but these are outside symptoms. My heart rate gave me a shock.

It was originally my blood and heart rate that gave my starvation game away, so to see a number as high as that was a small victory.

This therefore set me up for the day.

Eat as you want, it’s Christmas.

Honestly though, do it.

If you think you’re over eating then remember every mouthful is a step toward a healthier body, a healthier mind.

Earlier in the day I had a conversation with my live-in ex boyfriend and I cried a bit, simply overwhelmed by the day and what it’s always meant to me.

But why did I cry? I’m stronger now.

It was because I was hungry.

Being hungry affects the mind so much. Don’t work on an empty tank, it’s exactly like what they say about running a car on no fuel. YOU WILL FUCK YOURSELF UP.

Fuel yourself so you can rule yourself. Rule your life and own it. Show it who’s boss. Life is great, life is good and life is yours.

I tried to listen to what I wanted yesterday. I had my dinner, I had my low calorie ice cream. Then I finished off the tub of custard, had an assortment of biscuits and went a bit far on the vodka.

I started with intent to restrict but then realise life is for living. If I can’t let go on Christmas then when can I?

I think Christmas is a great time to start anorexia recovery. Others see it negatively because they’re so much food and it’s overwhelming. But I say embrace it.

By trade I may be a pastry chef and someone who is always surrounded by food so it’s less daunting but Christmas was when I kick started my own recovery.

You can do it too

As Christmas Day went on I laughed. And as my ex boyfriend pointed out, it’s my real laugh.

Something we’d all become unfamiliar with.

I’m not gonna lie, I love to laugh, I love to feel that real laugh he spoke about, it feels good.

Laughing is relaxing and fun, it helps the day feel like Christmas.

This is the first Christmas in god knows how many years that I’ve laughed.

I hadn’t planned on having any more food, I knew I’d want some, but I hadn’t planned it.

Long story short – I did. And for anyone suffering or recovering it’s so hard to deal with the thoughts and feelings of overindulgence. I can feel it from having an extra half a biscuit, or extra gram of cereal. So I know the downfalls.

Yesterday was different

I knew I was listening to my body and adhering to my needs and desires.

As cheesy as it sounds I kept saying to myself that Christmas time is a time to EAT, DRINK and BE MERRY. It was a great mantra to have, and it helped me so much.

Due to my living arrangements my focus this year wasn’t applied to presents. So instead when I woke up I sent texts and messages of thanks to my friends. This may be something I do more regularly, even to the people I don’t speak to a lot, as it makes both parties feel better and thanks and gratitude are what life is about.

This Christmas I’ve had many people in my life unexpectedly give me things, advice and love. And it’s focusing on that, because that is all love, that powers me through my days.

I love watching Love Actually at Christmas and to be honest and super cheesy, the opening lines ‘Love is all around’ IS SO TRUE. Love is all around. Place your hand on your heart and feel it. The more you think about your heart, the more you feel it and the more powerful it becomes.

Love is my next step in life. I want to love unconditionally and invite into my life the love that I give. Whatever means that may present itself through (hopefully another dog or 6)

To wrap this up like a present, I’d like to say I didn’t believe I would have come this far in a year. Last year my weight was pathetic, my health shot and my mind completely fucked. This year I don’t know where my weight is, I might take a hammer to my scales. I’m healthy, I’m HAPPY, and I know my mind and look after it.

Living in recovery is possible and it doesn’t have to be a negative thing.

Life really is great, it’s here for us to live and for us to love. So just bloody do so.

2018

anorexia, recovery
I started this blog to raise awareness for anorexia and mental health. And I’ll always continue to do so no matter what point I’m at in my life.
It’s that time of year again where we all begin to become particularly reflective. Christmas always was a reflective time for me due to multiple deaths in the family, windows being put through and other negative commotions. I was always the type to focus on how negative previous years were and allowed that to overpower the present.
This year is different.
I’m in a different place.
I’ve never been in this place before.
It’s brilliant though, I can say that.
I have a future, a bright one – we all do.
I’m aware how positive thoughts and vibrations create positive realities.
I walked into a job that was the exact hours and salary I wanted. No struggle about it.
I broke up with my boyfriend and began to feel free and happy. Again, no struggle about it.
I began to live my life and not just survive. Every day is ana adventure not a struggle.
This time last year I could barely get out of bed and into my daily exercise routine, my calorie intake was pathetically low. I was unhappy, I was unwell and I was unable. Unable to live.
In this new phase, going into a new year, everything has changed. I’m a different person and everyday is a new and bright day. Everyday is a chance seize the moment and a chance to start afresh.
I’m so thankful for all that has happened and is behind me – it makes me the person I am today and aligns me up to where I need to be and where I am going.
I manage my issues differently, I see obstacles as detours, everything happens for a reason and all toward putting me on the path that’s easiest and most clear.
I’ll be spending the first half of 2019, living with my ex boyfriend in a situation that most people label ‘awkward’ or ‘odd’. But most families and home lives are unconventional and this is just a part of my life that’s going to result in making me and even better and even more strong person.
What I really want to put forth is that regardless of the situation it’s always what YOU make it, a situation is only ever how you feel and think.
I’ll be spending 2019 getting back into the swing of a full time job – managing my eating and exercise in a new way and one that allows for a full time life that will permit me to live my life to the means I want to.
I’ll be working to work toward my own house, my home and my own way of looking after and providing for myself.
2019 will be the first year I will be going into fully believing that the only person I truly need in my life is myself, and the only one I need to love and look after for happiness, first and foremost of course, is myself. Whilst I unconditionally love others and look after them too, I know that without looking after myself and loving me that I taint the unconditional feelings I present toward others and risk my person happiness.
Things change, people change, the world changes. If we choose to embrace it then life is exhilarating and exciting. If we choose to fall down at the hurdles and see them as difficult then that so happens.
The way we think is right. If we think we can, we CAN. And if we think we can’t, we can’t.
It’s all in the thinking.
Thoughts and thinking are the most powerful tools we have and can use and harness.
As I leave 2018 behind I can use everything I’ve learned to make whatever is in front of me become the most fun, the most rewarding and the most positive.
There’s many people who read these blogs that would never believe I could be at the light at the end of the tunnel – i certainly didn’t think so. But there’s a light at the end of everyone’s tunnel, you just have to work to get there. Believe in you and look after you.
It all starts with you.

Bridge

anorexia, recovery

Build a bridge and get over it.
Really, it is that simple.

And by simple I mean extremely difficult and awfully painful. But in essence, its that simple.
This last week I appear to have had a slight epiphany. No-one can change me except for me. 

Whilst with my weight and physical anorexia I was always aware this was something I had control over, my mental angst, anxiety and suffering was always something I relied heavily on others to soothe.

And well to be fair, that was bullshit.

I woke on Monday, emotionally hungover from another weekend of suicide threats, emotional distress and constant crying. And something I guess clicked. I needed to try to change myself. Thus far I hadn’t really tried that hard to maintain any of the techniques any therapist had taught me. So from Monday I decided to try.

I’m good at reflecting back on situations now and analysing them, so now I try to look into the situation at the time and see things in a different light. I’m in a fortunate position where I’m quite privileged, I have unconditional love around me and a family that bend over backwards to ensure my head doesn’t get as messy as it has done.

Whilst Monday was my ‘new year, new me’ day, I could feel all my emotions just there bubbling away under the surface and a few times tears ran down my face without warning. But it appears to have gotten a bit easier.

So point number one; only you can change you.

Point number two; fake it till you god damn make it.

My home life isn’t something I ever tried to hide my true feelings and thoughts from, so thus I fell prey to my own mind. Its a tricky little web to get tangled with but ultimately I can only blame myself for not acting against these thoughts. I’m now learning that its practise that makes perfect and that challenging those bad thoughts is really whats needed to prevail. It was very easy for my illness to become me, I stopped leaving the house, stopped travelling places, stopped allowing myself to eat different things and I lived by my routine. I fell victim even more to ill mental health. No matter how much psychological help there is available the only person who can change me, is me. 

Perseverance is key: point number three.

Don’t half arse things. No-one wants half a meal, half a hair cut or half a conversation. So put the effort it. I’d be cliche and say ‘reap the rewards’ but i’m yet to reap any rewards yet. Half arsedness won’t work.

It was only today at work I finally said it out loud: ‘build a bridge and get over it’. If I spend all my time dwelling on my ill feelings and thoughts I won’t change them, so now its time to act.

I do think that I needed a good reason to try to do this and I found it. No longer do I want any of my relationships to suffer, or for my dog to have to console me on a Friday, Saturday AND Sunday night. Its not healthy for either parties, and whilst I understand this is an illness, its one I can try to manage and stamp out on my own. 

In reality you can only get better if you want to get better, as I said if you half arse things it just doesn’t work. And thats only something the sufferer can act on. Up and till the last couple of weeks I wonder if I actually ever wanted to get better. Its only in the last few weeks have I become hyper aware of how I may or may not affect others with my illness and actually wanted to change to protect them.

I started writing this post around three weeks ago when I decided to change. And I can report back now, that whilst its not been as difficult as I thought, that it has been tiring and theres still a lot of things that bother me but I’m trying to react in different and more healthy ways. By keeping busy and distracted I’ve managed to silence suicidal thoughts and tried to be a bit more positive.  Its a massive task but slowly who knows where I may end up. 

Weight

anorexia, recovery

We all have weight, it’s inevitable. It’s like having eyes and a nose. We have it. Some of us differ to others and we’re all different in our own ways. Something similar amongst us though is how we use weight to define our worth.

For me, up and til this year, I weighed myself almost daily. And whilst my weight was low and I was able to control It to a degree – and my fluctuations not able to range as much as a healthy weight, it still changed as it pleased.

Would you try to control your heart rate?

No.

Why?

You can’t.

And weight, to some level, is the same as this. Our bodies are, pardon my French, weird as fuck. I went to see Michael McIntyre recently and he pointed this out – yawning? Weird AF.

Our bodies will do what they do. It’s just a part of them working and doing their job.

I can understand why we try control it, to me control feels GOOOD. Decreasing the number on the scales always felt GOOOD. With multiple O’s. But that was never helpful. Defining ourselves through weight is really just bullshit.

Post weight restoration im more of myself, personality wise, than ever.

There’s a movement going about on instagram orchestrated by Jameela Jamil, it’s called the #iweigh movement. And in it people post how much they weigh. Not in pounds, stones or kilos. But in realness, characteristics and positivities. It’s really a good movement to get behind and I’m heavily contemplating, the next time I’m asked what I weigh, to say 2 dogs, a 3 bedroom house, AMAZING pastry chef and chocolate adventurer. We’ll see how that one goes down though.

I gusss one of the points of the movement is that weight does not define our worth – WE define our worth. We define it through our trials and triumphs. Our life experiences and our ways of handling them and ourselves.

As i come to the end of my time at the Eating Disorder Clinic, my weight plays a lot on my mind.

I’m actually just under a healthy weight for where the clinic want me to be, much to my mistake. And whilst I’m allowed to go to the gym and try to tone up and gain muscle, I’m aware I need to gain weight to do that.

Am I comfortable with that? No.

But to think of it rationally, if it’s how I want my body to look then I have to look at the scales from a different perspective and realise the number doesn’t define my worth. It shows of my efforts and bids to get better, but it doesn’t define my worth.

I lived so many years having my days depend on the number on the scale. If it went up, it was a VERY bad day. And if it went down. It was an ok day. I wasn’t ever fully happy when it went down as I was scared it would go so low there was no turning back.

My question is why do we abide by scales and weight when it doesn’t really define our worth?

What do you weigh in worth, what are your triumphs and tribulations, what are your accomplishments and skills?

Truth is, I don’t care what other people weigh. I never have done. So I assume it’s quite the same for most other people.

We can’t tell how much a person weighs from looking at them, so why does the number matter?

It doesn’t.***

And that’s something, after 8 years of being in a toxic relationship with, I’m ready to break up and start afresh. But just like real toxic relationships, it’s one that just won’t let go of me so easily.

***it kind of matters for health purposes but that’s it, NOTHING more.

Then and Now

anorexia, recovery

IMG_2649.JPG

 

 

I never really wanted to do a before and after photo, but I’m doing this for myself and to raise awareness. I guess I would say this is a before and RIGHT NOW photo. There aren’t major differences between myself then, and myself now. I still have the same struggles I just manage them differently and use different coping mechanisms. I’ve learned how to EAT and LIVE as opposed to starve and survive.

I am still 5 feet small. On the left I am very underweight, malnourished, starved and over exercised (and drunk). The right is now. Same dress, different mentality. Not much difference, ey? Actually, if anything, I look better now, I GUESS.

 

Many people believe Anorexia to be an extreme physical illness. It’s not. It’s an extreme mental one that has physical symptoms. Whilst I hit the criteria for the physical side, others do not. You can’t tell by looking at someone if they have an Eating Disorder or not. As can you not tell if someone has any other Mental Health illness or not. Many times, like others I know, I’ve been told ‘oh but you wouldn’t think it to look at you.’ Well no, you wouldn’t think it, because I don’t eat in front of people nor do I, or did I, walk around with my body on full show. So how could anyone diagnose something that’s going on beneath the surface? You can’t, that’s how. There’s an assumption with mental health illness that It brings about a certain appearance and certain personality traits and actions, these assumptions make an ASS out of YOU and ME, never assume, everyone is a fighting a battle that we can’t see – whether it physical, emotional or mental. It is always important to try an approach people with an open mind in a bid to reduce stigma and break down barriers and walls. It might be difficult as the society and media around us has grown to teach us automatic stereotyping of one another, but if we all try, we can do it.

 

But now, I write to myself;

HEY SANDI. Your cheeks may be fuller, (a small bit), and your tummy not hollow and concave. But your collar bones still stick out. You still have absolutely no boobs and your legs are still short AF. Whilst your thighs may be acquainted and try to become friends with one another (something I knows serves you great distress and dismay) it’s a sign of ‘recovery’. The picture on the right is a girl who isn’t starved and isn’t undernourished. It’s a healthy girl. If we remember the girl on the right, in constant stomach pain from malnutrition, eating less than 500 calories a day and exercising in secret, is that really living life? It might feel comfortable and safe but that’s Anorexia, again, making you feel like you need to restrict, and you need to control. But remember that brings pain. The reality of this photo is that weight has been gained but you need to see it more importantly as HEALTH and LIFE have been gained. Every one of those pounds from then until now (let’s be honest Sandi it isn’t THAT much) is trying to provide and work toward a better future. So, let it. As your good friend has told you ‘don’t look back’. When you look at old photos of yourself, remember the constant stomach pain, the tiredness, the lack of emotion, the lack of food, the overpowering COLD of simply surviving and be thankful you aren’t that girl anymore. Be thankful that you chose the recovery path, thankful that you tried to eat and thankful that you DO eat. Be thankful that your body can now handle doing a gym class and manage to keep itself a little bit warmer – you know you hate the coldness of starvation and malnutrition. It hurts. What you need to realise is that you haven’t changed all that much, whilst the scale has gone up it hasn’t gone up all that much – be honest, it hasn’t. And you can still wear some of your old clothes. Look forward, not back.

 

This is a before and RIGHT NOW photo because I don’t know if I’ll ever truly recover. Right now, every day, every thought, wants me to go back to starvation. It wants me to eat the bare minimum and go hours without any food. Right now, I’m more scared of restoring a few more pounds than ever. BUT I know that if I ever want to have a life, have children, I have to maintain this weight. A body any lesser than what I have isn’t fit for creating life and that’s a sad reality I live in fear of everyday, too.

The only choice I have through all of this is whether to fight or surrender. And I swear, it’s the battle of all battles. Every day is a war and no day can pass without me scrutinising my body or my food.  Recovery is relentless, it’s an angel on one shoulder and a devil on another, its left and its right, up and down. The line isn’t straight, nor is it always forward.  I’ve said it before, but Anorexia recovery really is like quitting smoking or another life consuming addiction, Anorexia is every day, every moment and every breath. It’s a friend and an enemy and an entire society. For someone who is now managing their Anorexia, I can say that It feels like I’m piling loads of heavy car and trucks onto a frail and fragile bridge and just waiting for the bridge to collapse under the immense pressure of all the vehicles its upholding. I’m always ready to snap and always ready to break, I wonder if this will now be my life forever more; having Anorexia just waiting in the wings and ready to come back and take centre stage at any moment.

Blog 10

anorexia, recovery

I’m hyper aware the recovery I’ve made thus far is only a partial one. My physical ailments have eased up, my weight has been somewhat restored, and I’m no longer permanently cold and tired.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it so many times again. My Anorexia still weighs heavily on my mind. This recovery process, for me, is still very much part of the illness. There are constant setbacks, constant worry, never-ending self-abuse, harm and doubt. It’s an endless circle of vicious, dangerous thoughts.
I write this as I close on a particularly difficult day for me. It’s sunny outside, the sun is high and hot in the sky and bodies are on show and skin is on display. I’m in possession of a ‘new’ body and so in need of newer, better fitting, summer clothes. Whilst all my tops and dresses still fit me, I feel uncomfortable in my old shorts and jeans. I replaced my jeans a while ago, however the shorts I haven’t managed to.
Stupidly enough, I choose a hot, sticky and sweaty day to buy and try new shorts. I bought two pairs in the sale section of H&M, just before I got to work. Long story short, the shorts were actually smaller than the jeans that I was wearing however their size bigger. Naturally, my anorexic mind took straight over. I was fat. My thighs must have BALLOONED. I must have become a whale. That is seriously what I think everyday. My clothes don’t hang off me anymore – they fit, so I must be huge. As soon as I got to work, I sat down and didn’t move for 20 minutes. Normally I would sit down, have my morning bagel, yogurt and fruit and then go down to work. But not today. I was overcome with a sickness, I could feel it in my stomach. I felt disgusting. I felt huge. My mind and feelings make me think and feel that I’m about 70 stone and a half, as opposed to what I actually weigh.
I am not used to this body, I am not used to a not underweight figure. I’m not used to clothes fitting or not being freezing in the sweltering heat. Previously on days like today, I would have still felt that chill from within. Today was the first day I’ve noticed I haven’t felt just so cold in a while, but instead of that being a good thing and a sign of my partial recovery, it reminded me that I was fat.
I really never wanted to be ‘one of those’ women who thinks they’re fat when they’re still wearing small sized clothing, or when they aren’t even fat at all. Unfortunately, I am.  Even when I was properly underweight, when the scale number got less and less I still felt like I weighed more and more. What’s more challenging in a partial recovery is knowing that I am only managing my Anorexia and not recovered from it, it’s harder to explain to people why I don’t look so ill/so bony/like I’m about to collapse. It’s a challenge I do like to accept, however. I feel by doing so it is raising in a better understanding and awareness that Eating Disorders affect any size, and its simply only when it’s gone too far that the physical symptoms start to appear.
I joined the gym a couple of weeks ago, and whilst my going has been sporadic at times I’ve managed a few classes with a bit of routine. Immediately it showed up in my blood tests; I’d been over exercising. To the naked eye there’s no tell-tale sign for this, again another proof that Eating Disorders are invisible. Every day is a challenge, and every day is a struggle. Today I struggled.
After I sought to not eat my morning bagel and snacks, I decided that was it. It was back to my Anorexic ways. Id deleted food from my food diary that I’d planned today, and I increased my already high level of exercise. I let both my mother and then-boyfriend know. In my mind it was a decision that needed to be made. At the time I felt neither really understood or helped the situation. They didn’t make me feel better or worse, I was rekindling back with the extreme restriction and starvation of Anorexia. But as time went on, my decision began to bring me anxiety and unfortunately, I could feel my concentration at work falter and I’m really trying my hardest at work at the moment, so I felt disappointed in myself. I felt less than myself. I knew what I had to do and who I had to speak to. There’s been several setbacks before this one where I haven’t spoken to who I needed to and just continued to lower my calories in preparation for an extreme restriction, but this time, I called them. I rang Julia, my psychologist and asked to be called back after work.
As I walked home, I tried to put my mind into a rational sense; I’ve not even gained a stone, the weight I’ve restored is necessary, my hair is stronger, my body is warmer, my bum no longer is flat, the shorts I bought today were SMALLER than the jeans I was wearing today which were a size smaller than the shorts anyway. I tried to fight back. And so, I did. Fast forward to after speaking to Julia, I managed to turn my thoughts around and eat what I’d planned previously for the day. Being proactive in recovery is important and it isn’t something that I usually participate too much in, but I won’t get anywhere if I keep allowing setbacks and irrational thoughts to sink in.
When I got home, I put on a playsuit that my mum bought me last year. It still fit. It fit pretty much the same as it did the last time I wore it. I even did a ‘comparison’ photo, of then and now. And the difference was actually minimal. Even though the picture shows me little difference, I still doubt that what it shows me is true. This is the reality of anorexia. It won’t ever let me feel thin or skinny, it won’t ever be happy with the number on the scales. The only number it would be happy with is the number DEATH. The only way to live is to try fight it and continue to try and have days like today where I challenge myself and Anorexia. Its bloody awful, and excruciatingly difficult. Maybe one day I’ll be fully recovered, but for now I guess I’m learning to live my life with a partial recovery and accept my feelings and emotions and challenge the negativity.

I end the day having spent some time in the sun, something which I truly love, doing a 30 minutes beginners yoga class and eating that bagel I missed earlier with a slathering of chocolate peanut butter. My struggles are still here, and I still restrict and control every day, but I’m hoping the future is bright and the future is coming.
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