Helpful Reminders

For the past couple of days I’ve been visiting my friend in London and buying new summer clothes ready for my holiday in a weeks time.

As much as I love shopping and love clothes, there were points of our shopping trip that I found really painful. For a start, I am buying bigger sizes in everything. Secondly, I tried to find a bikini and hated the sight of my body when I tried any of them on.

Although I have been finding more freedom recently, deep down, I am still struggling with my body image. A part of me wishes I could go on holiday in all of last years clothes. However, I need to keep reminding myself of the following:

– Last year I had just left a clinic. I was still pretty ill. The clothes I wore last year don’t represent a happy time, they fit the body of a poorly person. Of someone who was struggling.

– Last year I wasn’t free. I was still largely controlled by Ed. Today, I have more freedom. So whilst I may be a size bigger, I need to remember that I am a hell of a lot happier.

– A size is just a number. I am worth more than a dress size. The size of my clothes is not a reflection of my worth.

– Size isn’t the only thing that people find attractive. The most attractive thing in a person is their personality. Last year, my personality was largely controlled by Ed. An eating disorder steals your personality until you are a prisoner in your own body. Today, I have my personality back. The attention I’ve got from guys has been a hec of a lot higher recently than it ever was when I was in the depths of my eating disorder!! Clearly, what makes someone attractive is when they can be themselves.

– Even when my body image sucks I need to just let it be. I can’t fight back and try and shoot the numbers back down. I need to acclimatise and get used to my body the way it is.

Writing all these things down is helping me gain some clarity and find my own voice instead of listening to Ed. I just want to be able to go on holiday, look in a mirror, and think ‘you look hot!’ I don’t want to look in the mirror and be sad.

I am fully equipped with some new clothes, all of which are a healthy size, and all of which are going to look great (at least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself!)

I hope you’ve all had a good week! X

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“Life is full of ups & downs. The trick is to enjoy the ups and have courage during the downs”

This week has been particularly difficult. My body image has been crap, the voice in my head has been loud, my thoughts have been obsessive and it made life pretty difficult. I sat in therapy on Wednesday in silence and just cried. It is very rare that I have nothing to say. I tried to explain how I was feeling but all I was feeling was sad and angry. Angry that this battle isn’t over and sad that the battle began in the first place. But what I need to remember is this:

“The problem is that you don’t just choose recovery. You have to keep choosing recovery, over and over again. You have to make that choice 5-6 times each day. You have to make that choice even when you really don’t want to. It’s not a single choice and it’s not easy.”

Marya Hornbacher

However, despite the sadness and the anger, I feel like I have managed to turn things around this weekend.

Last night was one of my best friends birthdays. Sadly, she has also had some of her own ED struggles in the last couple of years. I had been napping in the day and was in no mood to go out but I made the effort to go anyway… I am so pleased I did. For the first time in over a year I saw my friend back to her old self. She was drinking, having fun, chatting away and being totally normal. She looked great and it was so amazing to see. As I sat and watched I felt inspired. I felt inspired to keep on fighting. She was proving to me that life is more fun when Ed is not around. Life is more fun when you can be yourself. So I poured myself a drink and joined in. We had a great night out together and it was so amazing to feel ‘normal’ again with my friend. We have both fought bloody hard over the last year, but nights like last night prove that all the hard work is worth it.

Also given that I have tried to avoid Fear Food Friday for the past couple of weeks, I thought it was about time I made up for it. We ended the night in McDonald’s and so I took the opportunity to tick off another fear food. McDonald’s is one my greatest fear foods. Even though Ed hates me telling you all this, I actually like the taste of McDonald’s. So last night I had a burger and some chips and even a couple of chicken nuggets after my night out. I feel uncomfortable even writing this down, but hey, fuck off Ed. McDonald’s is also one of D’s favorite things so I text him to tell him I had finally had a McDonald’s! He was proud. That made me happy! Before we finish uni I have said that we will have a McDonald’s together, so last night can be considered practice.

Today is my housemates birthday. We kicked off the day with brunch… the biggest brunch I have ever seen. I joined in, I had what I wanted. Hey, I even ate cake for breakfast. It was great! I needed to get one up on my Ed this weekend and I feel like today has been a victory.

This week I have also learn’t an important lesson: I need to give myself time to ‘acclimatise’ to the new me. I feel like I am able to get to a certain point in my recovery and then I panic. I freak out and feel like I can’t do it anymore. I feel like I am getting to big and I start to feel too uncomfortable. As a result, I try and gain back some control with small restrictions or an extra gym session here and there. I think it will make me feel better, but it is only making this road to recovery longer. So I am going to try and stop the panic and give myself time to get used to my ‘new’ body. As my therapist said, I just need to give myself time to ‘acclimatise’ to how I am feeling and what I look like.

So all in all, this week has been full of up’s and down’s. For now, I’m on an ‘up’ phase. Let’s keep climbing!