Sunday, 24 February 2013

People


As I walked back from town this morning, I couldn’t help but reflect. You know those perfect Sunday mornings in which the sun shines heavily in your eyes, and you listen to your iPod.
Last night, I had the pleasure of sharing stories and discussing who people really are with Tanya. I walked back today thinking, do we really ever know anyone? We all carry a story, where we’ve been and what life has dealt us. We are so much more than a ‘body and beating heart’ as she so brilliantly phrased it. It’s a pleasure to sit and listen to others sometimes and simply learn about what makes them who they are. It’s also a lovely, warm feeling knowing that you can share your story with someone. It’s not an easy thing to do; revealing personal events, some carrying great joy, some carrying great sadness.
This also required some reflection. We all carry unwanted baggage around with us. Experiences we’d rather forget or block out. Many would say these experiences are what leads us down a path of destruction, as we search for (in many cases) unhealthy coping mechanisms. But what I’ve realised is, I know where certain behaviours come from. I can pinpoint events which have led to certain personality traits now. They say that knowing where your problems come from means you have a much better chance at solving the issue. But how? What happens once you’ve identified the triggering problem? You can’t erase it so how exactly do you go about fixing things?
And more importantly, if we are coping, do these things need to or actually ever get fixed? We are all individual so if we fix everything we are headed towards a ‘perfect’ world. Something that does not exist. And without all of these personal experiences, I would never have spoken to Tanya or many of the other wonderfully inspiring friends that I have now. So, would I ‘fix’ things?
I like that we are all writing our own stories. It gives us meaning, and makes us tick. It’s what makes the world so fascinating.
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Monday, 18 February 2013

Numbers

I honestly do not know why I continue to weigh myself. I have actually maintained within 3-4lb since January 1st. I never like the number I see. It's always a little over or a little under the weight I am aiming to stay at, meaning I am letting a measly little number dictate my mood for the rest of the week. Usually annoyed/depressed if it's over, and somewhat happier if it's under.
But maybe, just maybe, I'm getting tired of living like this now. My clothes still fit me and hey, I enjoyed a fudge KitKat chunky last week. And you know what, Kate Moss, THAT TASTES BETTER THAN SKINNY FEELS.
Sad as it may seem, I do follow a weight chart (more numbers, I know) but this one runs out April 8th, 3 days before my birthday. Coincidence? I think that is long enough to know whether I can maintain this weight, right? I may get scared and chicken out but I am going to take this opportunity and make a pledge to myself that this is when I ditch the scales.
If I think about, surely it only has benefits. No more pleasing a voice in my head because what I don't know can't and won't hurt me. When I asked what the ultimate aim of an recovering anorexic was during one appointment, the answer I was given was to ditch the scales and just pop into boots every now and then to be weighed for curiosity, and then continue living. And maybe she's right. While I'm pleasing a set of numbers, I'm not 'living', I'm simply 'being'. 

On a different note, I am loving that the sunshine has made an appearance. It is a definite reminder of why I chose to come to this Uni. The campus is truly beautiful

















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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Why recover?

As part of EDAW, many people are posting their recovery stories, inspirational quotes and goals for the future. Not many people actually know about me in real life. They may have guessed but they've never seen any proof or heard me being honest about it. I guess in a way, I am still very much affected by the stigma attached to this mental illness, which is sad. Even my own Dad doesn't know.
I have, however, seen many lists/diary entries being shown from people who have been recovered, from the time when they were very ill. I know I keep this blog, but I don't have anything on paper that captures what I went through. Maybe writing it down made it more real - who knows? 
I am thinking about starting something now though, just to document my own journey for myself. Some bits I may post on here, some bits I might not. 
Last night I saw a someone's list that they made in hospital, including 10-15 reasons as to why they wanted to recover. I might have already entered recovery but I'm still going to do this :-)
So, here are 10 reasons as to why I will fully recover

1. Graduate with a degree
2. Get a job that I love doing
3. Sing on stage again, and actually have enough energy to do so!
4. Have my own loving family
5. Enjoy travelling. Different cultures, climates and continents
6. Help and inspire others to recover
7. Enjoy going out with my friends (get a social life back!)
8. Enjoy special occasions such as Christmas, Easter and Birthdays
9. Learn to love myself
10. Live a happy and healthy life!

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Friday, 8 February 2013

Healthy or disordered?

For the first time, in a very long time, I'm actually beginning to like my size. My wardrobe is beginning to fit properly again, and I'm becoming more daring with my fashion choices. I don't like covering up, and I feel like I don't have to any more. I am considered a healthy weight, so technically, I could maintain this?
That's the thing though. I'm still manipulating this weight. Right now, I'm very much in recovery but I would still say I have an eating disorder. But the thing that plays on my mind a lot, is whether I should be eating cake, biscuits and chocolate? I know it's normal but what if I genuinely prefer fruit or yoghurt?
I read other people's experiences, and if they choose fat free over full fat, then they are still classified as having an eating disorder? When does that stop being an eating disordered behaviour and when does it become healthy? Surely I need to be healthy now after years of doing extreme damage and putting it through huge amounts of pressure.
I also recently joined Yoga. I haven't engaged in any exercise, apart from walking, in a long time, and that's because I genuinely didn't want to lose weight, which I think is a good thing. However,I am becoming a workaholic - maybe it's my personality and wanting to constantly achieve more - but either way, all I am doing is attending Uni, completing assignments and working a part time job. So, I needed something else and I can honestly say, it's not for weight loss purposes. It's to relax, tone and strengthen ;) Would that be considered disordered by a professional with my medical records?
I think there has to come a time when I have to stop caring about what 'rules' define eating disordered thinking; what a certain diagnosis says I am or am not. Because, if I'm a healthy weight and genuinely enjoy eating turkish delight muller light with blueberries and strawberries (which by the way, is beautiful!) over a eating a chocolate bar, then there shouldn't be a problem :-)
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Thursday, 7 February 2013

Perfection

It's not often you engage in deep conversation with a friend, or anyone for that matter, so when you do, I guess it's only natural to reflect on it afterwards.
Following a conversation from a good friend of mine, I was reminded of the social factors which can influence an eating disorder. It occurred to me as to whether any of these contributed towards my own illness.
I work in a newsagents, and during the worst days, I was very drawn to reading magazines with 'size zero' flashed across the front pages. They fed my mind and encouraged more weight loss. I never actually thought they were pretty as such, but did long to look that way. I didn't ever think I was attractive when I finally realised I'd reached this size either. I guess it was this idea of being perfect. This size (and smaller) is what the media was, and is, portraying as beautiful. Of course, to create these beautiful images, photo shopping and editing is key. Comments to models regarding losing more weight is definitely present, but this is so that professionals can create the 'perfect' piece of work, and ultimately make money.
The thing is, perfection doesn't exist. It never has and it never will. So where does this inhumane idea of perfection even come from? Who decided that the 'perfect' size was a certain set of measurements - and why are they always getting smaller!? It is dehumanising and has given everyone permission to judge everyone based on size. When you have an eating disorder, your identity gets lost. You become a set of numbers, which quite frankly, are never good enough for you. I actually said half way through this conversation that a woman I find very attractive is one of my best friends. She's a 10-12, not a size zero.
This industry is damaging both the women that they are working with AND the general public. I am well enough now to say that I haven't picked up a copy of cosmopolitan or heat for a very long time, and I know that I don't intend on reading one ever again, but that can't be said for everyone.
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Saturday, 2 February 2013

25 Facts about me

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog a little bit, and that everything I seem to post is negative in some way. So, I thought that as I've seen a few of these around, I'd share 25 fact new facts with you :-)



1. I recently started Yoga classes and have realised I am the least flexible person, ever.
2. I am actually a natural blonde
3. I love anything with a moustache on it!
4. I've had the honour of singing solos in Venice, Paris and Valkenburg (Holland)
5. You will never see me without any nail varnish on
6. I have way too many sweeteners in my coffee
7. I have recently become obsessed with watching films
8. I love Poptarts
9. My favourite past time is reading
10. I own too many pairs of pyjamas
11. This year is my first holiday abroad without a 'responsible' adult
12. I know all of the words to the musical 'Wicked'
13. I haven't missed an episode of Embarrassing bodies or Supersize vs Superskinny
14. My favourite authors are Jodi Picoult and John Green
15. Since eating chocolate again (after a 3 year ban), I no longer understand the hype around it - it doesn't taste that good any more :-(
16. At the moment, I am loving listening to James Vincent McMorrow
17. Before I go to sleep, I always have a hot chocolate!
18. I have a younger brother and an older step-sister

19. I have three piercings - ears, belly button and helix
20. I cannot wait to move out of halls and live in a house!
21. My middle name is Louise
22. I consider myself extremely organised
23. I prefer my brother's hoodies, to my own
24. I have to speak to the same three people at least once a day - even if it's just to make sure they are alive!
25. I got bored of Harry Potter by book five!
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