The wonder of strawberries

Strawberries are back on the menu and life is better for it!

For some weird twisted eating disordered reason strawberries were always a ‘not allowed’ food. I think it was part of me liking them and therefore they were considered a treat that I was not allowed. 

However, this summer brings strawberries as a snack/dessert and I’m enjoying them nearly everyday! Plus they’re grown in the UK so I don’t have environmental flying fruit guilt. 

I wonder what other foods I had miscellaneously banned which might turn out to be amaxing?!


A nugget of gold from my counsellor 

I’ve been lying low the last few weeks which generally means I haven’t been having a great time- just the usual low mood eating disorder crap coupled with horrendous body image as I have gained some (necessary, according to my counsellor) weight. I felt like I was just stuck in the same kind of place I’d been in before and with nothing new to share about it, just needed to ride it out and hope it passed. 

I had a much needed session with my counsellor yesterday and she has managed to inspire a kindling of fighting spirit. She reminded me that all the horrible voices are thoughts are part of the illness and while they might grow stronger as I fight them, recovery will be what eventually silences them.

I talked about how awful I feel at what might be my set point and how I don’t think I can tolerate being there, that I have too many bad memories of feeling so rubbish about my body and about how out of control I felt that I didn’t see the point in getting there to bring that all back- if I’m going to feel rubbish I would prefer to be a lower weight and rubbish. 

But then came the nugget of gold wisdom from her- she reminded me that I have never been well at that weight before. So while I have been at that weight maybe about 4 times, at all of them I was still purging, or bingeing and purging. I have had this eating disorder for 20+ years now, really my body doesn’t know what it feels like to be well for any extended period of time, I can’t predict that I will feel the same as I did before as it won’t be the same as it was before, I wasn’t structured eating, I wasn’t not binging, I wasn’t not purging, I wasn’t not restricting. 

This little fact gave me hope that maybe things will be different this time and that I need to keep trusting the process and be open to the possibility that maybe after all of this things will be okay. I just needed something to cling on to to convince myself to keep going and I think she provided it in that once sentence. I need to remain optimistic that maybe I can gain weight and actually be okay with it. Eek!

Why does being told ‘I’m doing well’ make me feel sad?

This is a genuine question! I saw my GP today and he mentioned he had seen my notes about me going into panic mode after being weighed. I told him it threw me completely for a day but I managed to pull it together and get back on track. He said it’s clear that I’m learning from the process and that I’m able to reformulate experiences with a recovery mindset now. He told me I’m doing well and that I will beat this as long as I stay motivated and engaged. 

I left the appointment feeling sad and anxious. I took the feelings on a run to get to make sense of them. I had a bath with them, lighting some candles and doing ‘self-care’ to get used to them. I ate dinner with them, even though they were telling me not to. I’m now in bed, but they are still there, looking at me, trying to bring me down. 

I’m worried about how bad being told I’m doing well makes me feel.

I’m worried I’ve become attached to my counsellor and GP and that if I get better I will miss them. Am I feeling sad about that inevitable loss? 

Is it ED twisting my thoughts telling me that doing better equates to being greedy and weak?

Am I angry that being told I’m doing well simplifies the torment I go through some days to make the ‘right’ (for life, not ED) decisions?

Why is it that being told I’m doing well makes me feels this way? Am I just being attention seeking? 

Is this ‘normal’? Does anyone else feel the same? I want to get better, I want to make progress, yet I don’t want to be told I’m doing well. What is up with that? 

Answers on a postcard…

Getting back up after a knock 

Tuesday was a hard day, and while I felt a little better yesterday I did hide in bed all day and throw routine out of window. It perhaps wasn’t the best idea but I just had no capacity for anything else so I just gave myself the day to feel down but on the understanding that today I would get back to it.

I don’t really feel like embracing the world today but I’m going to do it anyway. I know what helps me so I need to implement it even if it feels hard. 

  • I got up with my alarm
  • I made a proper lunch and snacks
  • I had a pre-run breakfast and prepped my 2nd breakfast
  • I’m going for a run now
  • I chose a nice outfit rather than defaulting to safe baggy clothes
  • I’ve written a manageable to-do list for the day
  • I’m meeting a friend after work even though I feel like hiding
  • I have planned a proper dinner

The drop from feeling great to being down is always a rough one, but I need to accept my brain doesn’t always play ball with me and that this will happen. What matters is my reaction to it. A knock like this could have previously taken me weeks to come out, but I know more now and I know that it won’t happen without effort. 

I’m drawing on all the great strength I find through you lovely blogging people, and sending you all good vibes for anything you’re facing today x

The hard bit

I increased my meal plan and added in the carbs. Even though I don’t feel like I  should eat more or could bear gaining weight I did it. And so I gained weight, not a massive amount but a definite increase. I freaked out. 

This was the goal, this needs to happen, but it still felt terrible. I think because I didn’t feel or look  ‘underweight’ then real recovery wouldn’t involve gaining. Who was I kidding? The wasteland between underweight and anorexic is purgatory, my lovely counsellor would never let me stay there. So I trusted the process, I did it, and now I feel awful.

I understand I have to go through this bit, I’ve been here before, but I wish I could make people understand how hard it really is.i want to be a healthy weight, but I don’t want to be anything more than this. I love my life at a healthy weight, I see all the benefits, but the moment you put me on the scale I crumble. 

This is the hard bit. This is the piece people don’t recognise, going from healthy to healthier. This is the bit where I grit my teeth and hand on and hope people understand. 

I want to be recovered, I want ED out of my life, I’m going to trust the process, but right now, …well this is just the hard bit ….

Baby steps

The little things add together eventually. They feel so massive at the time, but so insignificant in the big picture, but on reflection they are what makes recovery.

I had a slice of toast before swimming today. I spread it with peanut butter that I can now keep in my cupboard.

I swam until the time I needed to get out for work, even though it was less than I wanted. 

I had lunch 20 mins early because I knew I wouldn’t have time later.

I ate 2 biscuits that weren’t planned because they are yummy and I was hungry. 

I drank wine at the theatre (semi-drunk blogging!) because it was free and I don’t care about the calories. 

I will sleep well and tomorrow I will keep to plan, because I am free to do that, and I trust the process. 

One win at a time. 

Saturday night at the supermarket

Today I’m just sharing a win with you guys. Short version: I bought a rice pot, I didn’t binge or purge,I feel like a superhero.

I was at a friend’s house for tea and cake yesterday late afternoon. It was at an awkward time so threw me a bit in terms of meal planning. I had planned on having my afternoon snack there and was going to have a slice of cake as she bakes amazing cakes and I feel safe eating her stuff. 

I had the cake and then also had quite a few candied nuts. They weren’t on the plan but I’d never tried them and once I had one the ‘danger binge coming’ switch went on. 

I rationalised with myself that I would make the cakes and nuts my dinner as one solution (hello restricting ED), but I was worried that I’d be setting myself up for a rough day tomorrow as my body does not like any restriction at the moment.

Then I thought that I was planning on going to the supermarket anyway afterwards so I could buy something quick to binge on and purge everything (oh yes hello binging ED’s twisted mind where the solution to eating too much is eating more?)

By time I got the the supermarket I hadn’t quite made up my mind what to do. It was dangerous me being there but I had run out of key foods at home and have study plans for today (Sunday) so I really didn’t want to have to go to supermarket then. 

I walked down the aisles in the supermarket contemplating what to do. I really didn’t want to binge/purge and feel rough the next day, yet I was feeling so guilty about the nuts and yet also knowing that they weren’t enough for dinner that I was exposing myself to a binge later anyway. 

Eventually I realise that I could strike a balance, I could get a ‘treat’ for tea that would satisfy the binge urges but not makes me need to purge. I picked up a fresh lentil rice pot quick meal, I would never buy these normally as I don’t buy ready meals and they are £3 for something I can make myself for far less, but I knew I wouldn’t go home and make a proper dinner so I bought it along with the other stuff I needed. It felt rebellious buying the rice pot because I’d never had one before but it was a safe meal in terms of calories and was actually nutritious food. 

It felt powerful making a good decision. I was smiling to myself thinking how far I have come, that I could now be in a supermarket with the opportunity to either restrict or binge/purge and that I am choosing neither. I was literally grinning to myself! I came home and cooked the rice pot and ate it mindfully at the table and then had some fruit for dessert and then watched some Netflix before falling into bed content with my decision making. 

This morning’s self is very grateful to last night’s self for making a good choice and setting me up well for the day. 

Recovery is one win at a time, and all the baby steps are starting to join together. Hurrah!