Sorry for the smell

TMI beware!

After thinking long and hard about the type of awareness that is important in relation EDs I have concluded that acknowledging the wind/gas issue is one of my priorities!

I’m getting back to regular eating after a bit of a blip (I let jars back into my life and have pretty much eaten toast and PB/jam/marmalade for most meals for a few weeks) and my stomach/bowels are not happy with me. I’m trying really hard to be positive but the stinkiness is trying its best to ruin my day.

I would like to apologise to all the people in my real world who have had to suffer the smells with me. I have no control over it. It sucks. It is one of the rough bits of recovery no one talks about.

So here’s my awareness raising – I’m pretty much farting my way to recovery, and yes it’s gross but I am trying not to be ashamed of it!

(But if anyone has any tips that don’t involve changing my diet please share!)


What awareness do we want to create? EDAW2018

It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week which brings with it inevitable reflection for many of us who have experienced EDs. It’s natural for us to want to use our own stories as a means of creating awareness. This can be very useful, but it is worth spending the time thinking about how to do it in a constructive way and think about what kind of awareness our actions might actually create.

  • Posting an underweight to healthy weight before and after picture reinforces the misconception that you need to be underweight to have an eating disorder (you don’t)
  • These pictures are also likely (but not always) to be ‘most dramatic’ for those with anorexia- this reinforces the idea that anorexia is the primary/most common eating disorder (it’s not)
  • These pictures don’t create any awareness that EDs can be experienced by those in larger bodies (they can)
  • Even pictures of people of moving from ‘small’ body to larger body, or ‘regular’ size body to larger body or ‘large ‘body to larger body (basically all combinations!) suggest that EDs are just about bodies and weight (they’re not)
  • Giving details of weight, severity, calories restricted etc fuels the comparative nature of EDs for those still suffering, and could suggest to someone reading that you have to be eating a certain amount, or weight a certain amount or have experienced certain symptoms to be concerned (you don’t – EDs present in all sorts of ways)
  • Glamourising severity (however determined) may make people who developed EDs but received early intervention which worked and prevented them developing more serious presentations more reluctant in sharing their story. This therefore undoes the work that EDAW is trying to achieve- we need more stories of how early intervention worked, not less. Severity is not a badge of honour, recovery is.
  • Discussing the illness without discussing recovery does not create any awareness of how difficult recovery is, and how much support might be needed from family/ friends/ general society. Tell people about what helped, about how structured eating was necessary, about how talking about behaviours such as binging/ purging reduces shame, about how you need accountability from your support system, or whatever it is that is helpful for you. Try not to make this only food focused. 
  • Similarly to above, discuss what helps in terms of services. Being inpatient is one kind of treatment, please don’t equate this to severity and glamourise it. Discuss how you found a knowledgeable GP/ primary care doctor (after a few goes probably!). Discuss how regular appointments helped keep you on track. Discuss how recovery can be messy and stop and start. Discuss how voluntary organisations provide additional support (e.g. groups) not available elsewhere. Discuss the self-help literature which helped (and not those which might harm). And if you haven’t received any of this – discuss how this is frustrating and ask how you might be able to contribute to change. 
  • Equating recovery with muscles/ strength (i.e. photos from the gym or at home) again equates the illness with the body only, and suggests that the primary benefit of recovery is a muscular figure which diminishes all the other amazing benefits that come with recovery, not to mention the fact that many people don’t want to, or can’t achieve this physique.

Eating Disorders are horrific illnesses, those of us suffering and those caring for us know that. This week is an opportunity for us to share that with the world, but with that comes responsibility for what type of awareness we create. Please think carefully.

Okay morning rant over! I’ll also link to last year’s rant! When the before and after don’t look so different

This isn’t what I wanted for my life 

I go to bed tonight with a sore throat, a heavy heart, wet eyes and bleeding skin.

This isn’t what I wanted for my life. I thought I was stronger than this right now. I thought if I kept fighting it would be okay.

I know this is just a knock. I know it’s a bad day, a bad night. I know I will wake up tomorrow regretful but renewed. I know I will keep going, but right now I can’t help but think that this is not what I wanted for my life. It doesn’t matter though, what I think tonight, what matters is tomorrow morning getting up and facing it all again. 

I will wake up in the morning and face it all again because that is what recovery is, step by step, day by day. What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while, and everyday I shall try. 

Tonight will pass and tomorrow will come, at least I can be sure of that.


Give it time 

On Monday 18th January 1993 I declared in my first ever diary that I was too fat and I was going on a diet. (In fact I wrote ‘I’m to fat’ – clearly I wasn’t proof reading my entries!)

That statement was the beginning of a near-lifetime experience of disordered eating. 24 years have passed -which is probably more than a lifetime for some of you- and I am still working on recovery. 

It’s taking a while, I have sprints and bursts, and then pauses and set backs. I’ve taken some diversions along the way. I’ve thrown myself in fully, then pulled myself right back out and run and hid. However I can say that for the past few years I have been really trying. I don’t even know what the destination is somedays, what will recovery will look like for me?,  but I know I’m working towards something that is better than before. 

I owe it to the young scared version of myself to aim for a life without fear of food and hatred of my body. I can’t re-do the past years but I can set the tone for the next however many I am lucky to get. 

I’m prepared to be patient and to give it time. I gave ED so many years, why would I not commit to giving recovery the same? However tired I am of fighting, it’s still a better day than without trying. 

So on Wenesday 28th June 2017 I shall declare not that I’m too fat, but that I’m too determined to not see this through. Recovery- I shall give you all the time that it needs. 

(And now I shall go meet my friends for pizza and wine because when you can do that on a Wednesday for £10 why would you not?!) 


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!


The carbs with every meal experiment

I had my official weigh in today and the 20 or so Nak’d bars I ate over the last few weeks have made no difference- which shows the experiment worked- the worst is not necessarily going to happen!

The challenge for the next two weeks is carbs at every meal. I’ve been managing this for the most part recently (it took a long long long time- years- but I have finally un-demonised carbs-well, most of them) but never consistently, usually 2 meals out of 3 in a day, or a run of few days but then a few blips.

The aim is to have carbs with every meal for the next two weeks, so 41 meals, 41 opportunities to show I can do it. And then at my next appointment I will see the impact on my weight. I’m not worried about portion sizes, that will come later down the line, for now just need to have carbs on my plate and then in my belly 🙂

This may result in some weight gain, my counsellor has prepared me for that, as I’m adding it to my meal plan on top of everything else, but the experiment is to see how much impact it really makes, and to see how I deal with this.

In between this I’m only to weigh myself once (she wanted no weighing but I’m a fierce negotiator when I want to be!)

Anyone else challenging any ED beliefs/thoughts these days?


Why am I running? What are my reasons to run?

So today I ran a marathon. Eek. I’m a bit worried about announcing that to the world (or WordPress!) as most of you know that marathons and EDs don’t mix.

But I have to explain. This time last year my friend asked me to pace her around Belfast.  I had just had my not-a-marathon experience and was unsure if I’d ever reach the distance again but said if I was well I would. I was well before Christmas, then the break up stuff happened and ED stuff got harder but my running remained slow but consistent so I agreed. I said I would help get her to the start line, and to half way and we’d see after that.

What happened was that we ran strong together until mile 22 and then i started to struggle. She said she’d wait for me but I was very clear- this was her run, her goal was to do her best, my goal was to help her do her best. I let her go saying I would catch up but after a little while I realised I really wasn’t well enough for it. For a mile I agonised over knowing I was going to miss an hour marker, but then I just felt so sick I had to stop, and I thought to myself, why am I running? What are my reasons to run? 

No. 1 was to get my friend to the start line, to the half way and to mile 20. I did that.

No2. was to enjoy the training and to not let it make me feel bad. I did that.

No. 3 i couldn’t think of a number 3. Those were my reasons why and they were great reasons. I had met my goals, and now needed to show off what I have learnt about being kind to myself, about being okay with not meeting my ridiculous expectations, about being able to enjoy the moment. 

So I slowed down, and finished 13 minutes slower than my friend, and 3 minutes slower than I would have liked. But I crossed the finish line thinking, who cares? I did good today. People can think I’m making excuses all I like, but it was better for me that I slowed down than I pushed through. I have shown I can learn. 

Yes this journey through ED is taking me far longer than I would have liked. Yes I feel like I’m taking all the detours. Yes I doubt that I will get there. But I will keep on trying and I feel damn good about that. Today I ran a marathon, not ED, not self-hate, not self criticism, just me and my feeling great about me self! 

Recovery after so many years is a long and winding road, but as long as I’m still on it and facing the right direction I figure I have got this. 

I have got this.

And now sleep! Zzzzzz 😉