Count On D

Last night D and I headed over to M&S to buy some dinner. Ed always like to join us on these trips. They normally go somewhat like the following:

We walk in and check out all the Dine for 2 deals. Normally we can never agree on the same thing, D preferring Chicken and Bacon and me preferring some kind of bland salmon option. So we wonder around every aisle looking for something to agree on. We never do. So then we decide to just choose our own thing.

The problem with buying pre-prepared meals is that the calorie count is stamped on the front. The calorie counter on the front of meals, with the dreaded little circle telling you the exact amount of fat, sugar and salts, haunts me every time I go shopping. I hate them. I really bloody hate them. I find it really tricky to just buy something I like the look of. Normally, I choose whatever has the lowest numbers and the most green segments of the circle. They say that nutritional information helps you ‘Live Well’, I would beg to differ.

Last night after choosing to have our own things, I headed to the ‘Count on Us’ aisle- a range of meals that have been specially developed to be low in fat and calorie controlled. We were always told in the clinic to never choose the ‘Light’, ‘Diet’ options as these are for people on a diet…. I however, am not on a diet. 

I don’t know why I find that concept so difficult top grasp. I think it’s because I always put myself on some sort of a diet growing up. I used to read dieting blogs and tips while I was in school and I dreamt of being able to join weight watchers or do some kind of Atkins diet. I loved projects and goals and I guess I just saw dieting as another project. I vividly remember starting each week telling myself, ‘right, this week will be a good week’. Even if I made it a ‘bad’ week, I would start again the next monday. In sum, I feel as though I have been on a diet for as long as I can remeber.

Last night, after having chosen my ‘Count on Us’ ‘diet’ meal I went and found D. He knows a lot about Ed and was quick to point out that I was making a bad choice. I tried to justify it because it was a pasta dish and so it was a fear food. Irrelevant, said D, It’s still the diet range. I tried to argue with him but I don’t know who I was trying to trick. I knew as soon as I had picked it up that it was bad choice and not pro-recovery. So after a deep breath and a bit of help from D I put the ‘diet’ pasta down and got myself a carbonara! D and I had the same thing, enjoyed dinner, and felt satisfyingly full.

Team D&J: 1,  ED: 0

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#fearfoodfriday

Me and my friends from the clinic (Fight Club) still keep in regular contact with each other on our whatsapp group. A couple of days ago one of the girls suggested we all try #fearfoodfriday. The idea is simple: Every Friday we all have to tackle a big fear food. I thought it was a great idea and given that my New Years Resolution is to face my fears I really had no reason to say no!

So yesterday was our first ever #fearfoodfriday and I am so happy to report that it was a great success 🙂 Plus, what made it even better was the fact that we were all in it together and could support each other.

I found the decision of choosing which fear food to tackle a tricky one. I have a list on my phone which I refer to whenever I am feeling brave. One of the things on the list is a Krispy Creme doughnut. I used to absolutely love them as a kid but can’t remember the last time I ate one. Given that my Dad always used to joke that he wished he could force feed me doughnuts , I figured I would start with a Krispy Creme as it is a big challenge for me and would hopefully make him happy!!

After standing outside the shop for about 10 minutes, the girls set me up with some fighting talk and I walked in a bought the doughnut. In fact, I bought two! My friend D loves ‘to rattle Ed’s cage’ and so he can always be relied upon when it comes to facing the fear foods. Like most guys, he has no problem whatsoever tackling the likes of doughnuts, pasta, pizza or cake! So now, like most things, we make a good team when it comes to #fearfoodfriday!

So from now on every Friday, with the support from Fight Club and D, I am going to face a big fear every week.

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Goodbye 2013

With 2013 drawing to a close I have been reflecting on the past year. 2013 has had it’s challenges. I began a road to recovery and have had my fair share of up’s and down’s. I have had to change the way I do things, the way I see things, the way I live my life. I have had to embark upon a journey, which at times has seemed never ending, and somehow had to find the strength to keep pushing forward and keep fighting every day. However, despite giving me a lot of s**t, the past year has seen some good times. I spent 6 months in Paris with one of my best friends and had some of the best times of my life (Thank you D), I met a new friend for life who I couldn’t live without (thank you again for everything S), I celebrated my 21st Birthday, I became a proud member of “Fight Club”, I had my first ever “holiday romance”, I moved into a house in Bath with 5 great friends and I have began to start experiencing freedom and learning to live again. So whilst I am not too sad about 2013 coming to an end, I am forever grateful to all of my family and my amazing friends for getting me through the past year. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Tomorrow comes a New Year and with it comes a fresh start. In order to mark this fresh start I have a New Years Resolution:

Face My Fears & F**k It 

I am going to make a conscious effort to keep facing my fears as I strongly believe that the key to recovery is to Face Everything And Recover. As well as facing my food fears, I am also going to face fear in other areas of my life. To get an early start I went on a date last night (Something I would never have done a year ago), and I can honestly say I had a good time. It was a nice reminder that life is a whole lot more fun when Ed isn’t running the show. 

I am also going to try and live by the rule of F**k It! To explain… my sister bought me a book for Christmas called “The way of F**k it”. In the blurb it says: “Saying F**k it and giving up on things that are causing you pain; saying f**k it and following your dreams, no matter what other people think: this is the Way of F**k it. And Following this Way can transform your life.” The book offers short, inspirational thoughts that you can use to bring the wisdom of F**k it into your life.

A few of my favorites are:

  • You don’t have to get it right all the time. F**k it.
  • Stop judging everyone and everything. F**k it. It’s just boring.
  • Say F**k it and eat it.
  • So I’m different. F**k it.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. F**k it. There are always ‘better’ and ‘worse’ people out there.
  • F**k it. Do the thing today that most scares you.
  • Say F**k it and cancel your gym membership
  • Say F**k it to excelling at work: explore the average; revel in your weaknesses.
  • Say F**k it and catch a train to somewhere you’ve never been before

So this year marks what I hope will be a new beginning. I know there will still be down days. I know I will still need to face challenges. And I know that Ed is unlikely to leave me alone. But the difference today is that I am stronger and happier than I was a year ago and I am going to continue finding the strength to keep fighting. The best thing that happened in 2013 was learning that embracing freedom and living life is a whole lot better than a life with Ed. If facing my fears and saying F**k it from time to time can help me down this road to recovery, then that’s what I will do. So Goodbye Ed and Hello Me! Ed took the limelight in 2013, 2014 is mine!

Happy New Year!

“Everything will be ok”

A couple of weeks ago I had two final interviews in London for grad jobs and last week I found out I didn’t make the cut on either. Admittedly, I didn’t make my life easy by applying to two of the best ad agencies in the world. However, I did make it to the last stage of both and so I need to celebrate that success.

 

On the way home I rang my friend and I was feeling a bit low. I didn’t think it had gone that well and when I hung up the phone I could feel myself wanting to cry. A young guy was sat next to me and he said ‘I’m sorry to interrupt but I just wanted to check if you were ok. You look really upset’. I said that I was ok and he went on to tell me that working is really hard and it is tough out there and he understands (Not that he was listening to my conversation or anything….!). He then went on to say that he wanted to give me a gift to make me feel better. He had a Polaroid camera and he said I had a beautiful smile and that he wanted to take a picture of me smiling so I could look at it and remember, “everything would be ok”.

 

It was very sweet and I was touched by his kindness. In fact, he definitely made my day and the picture is up in my room so I have a constant reminder that “everything will be ok”.

 

And he was right. Although I got declined for both of the jobs, I believe everything happens for a reason. Now, I have decided to take a year out and enjoy my summer after graduation. After a fun summer I am going to get a job for 6 months and save up some money. Then, in January, my best friend and I are going to travel the world! Plus, I am confident in my ability in what I want to do and I know that I can reapply next year and hopefully be successful.

 

I have always wanted to travel and I always feared that when I grew up my biggest regret would be the fact I hadn’t seen the world. However, I am so confortable with routine, always aim high and so scared to break the norm that I applied to jobs and was all ready to follow the standard A levels to Uni to Grad scheme route.

 

I believe that not getting these jobs is perhaps the best thing that could have happened to me this year. If I got the jobs, I would be starting work in September. Instead, I am now facing a 7 month trip discovering the world.

 

It has taught me that like I need to face my fears when it comes to food, I also need to start embracing fear in other areas of my life. Not starting work straight away and moving back in with my parents (sorry mum & dad) is a scary thought for me. It makes me feel like I have somehow failed at something. But instead of letting that fear stop me, I am going to embrace it.

 

Life is about more than getting the best grades and getting the best job and earning the most money. Sure, those things are great, but I’m never going to be lying on my death bed and wishing I had got a better grade at uni or worked more hours. I will however look back and wished I had enjoyed my twenties, had fun, experienced freedom and embraced everything life has to offer.

 

My year off is going to be a year to grow up and a year of freedom. One thing I have learnt recently is that my anorexia has definitely stunted my emotional development. I was numb for so long from proper emotions that I didn’t properly “grow up” and develop like some of my peers. Plus, being ill put me back into the role of a child. I turned 21 and went into a clinic. I wasn’t able to look after myself, and yet I was meant to be an ‘adult’. While everyone else was out partying and travelling last summer, I was learning how to eat cheesecake and pasta. While everyone else was having relationships with boys, I was in an abusive relationship with Ed. I needed professional support in order to perform, what for most people, is the simplest of tasks.

 

So, I am going to see my year off as a year of personal development. A year of freedom. And a year of fun. I will be independent, grow up, learn more about myself and have a bloody good time doing it!

 

So, to the guy on the train from Paddington to Bath, you were right… “Everything will be ok”. 

Fighting Talk

The past few days have been a little tricky. When that happens I never know what to write on here as I always said I’d only use this blog to record positive steps in my recovery. But the truth is, I have really been in the need for some fighting talk.

 

Fortunately, one of my friends text me today saying: “To dare is to lose your foothold for a moment; to not dare is to loose yourself”. It was a great reminder that the only way I am going to recover is if I face my fears… FEAR: Face Everything And Recover. 

 

The past few days have been tricky and so I have turned back to Ed to try and cope with the stress and worry . However, the truth is that restriction is no longer a coping mechanism. It didn’t help me deal with the stress, it made it worse. It didn’t help me work harder, because I didn’t have the energy to concentrate. It didn’t stop me worrying, it just gave me another thing to worry about. In fact, I achieved nothing. It just made me horrible to be around, distracted, distant and isolated. All in all, it totally proved that by not facing my fears and by not daring to fight Ed, I lost myself.

 

One of my friends even said over the weekend, “it’s nice to see you smiling today, I haven’t seen that in a while”. It was horrible to hear that. When I am not holding Ed’s hand and letting him lead me along, I can laugh and smile and be a nice person to be around. I am going to keep fighting and keep daring to face my fears because if I don’t, the only thing I will loose is myself. 

FEAR

FEAR: Face Everything And Recover

I’m sure I’ve already mentioned that I don’t want to reach my target weight and still have an eating disorder. What I mean by this, is that I don’t want to reach my target weight and still have a fear of certain foods.

The further I walk down my path of recovery, the more I am beginning to believe that the only way I will ever be able to call myself ‘recovered’ is if I have faced ALL of my food fears. Only then will food hold no control over my life. And only then will Ed not be able to scare me and try and drag me away from recovery.

In the past two days I have proudly faced 4 fears. Although each challenge was hard at first, I did end up enjoying the things I had once loved. Plus, with every fear I face, Ed’s grip on my life weakens.

One of my friends said to me today ‘don’t led Ed steal your enjoyment’. And she’s totally right. We all have one life, and if the solution to getting my life back is being brave and facing some fears, I’m ready to be scared.

And I thought spiders were my biggest fear….

This week I decided that I don’t want to reach my target weight and still have an eating disorder. My solution? Start facing my fears. If I wanted to stop eating disorderly I realised that i need to eradicate my fear of certain foods.

I once read that ‘You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’

So this weeks challenge is facing my fears. I have to admit that this is something I couldn’t do alone. If I get to choose what I am eating, I am still unable to away away from the safe options and test myself. So I handed over complete control to my mum and dad. This week they are choosing everything on my plate. I used to think that spiders and roller coasters were frightening, but nothing felt as scary as when my mum made me eat a croissant for breakfast, a jacket potato for lunch and cheesecake for pudding. But I did it, and I am still here to tell the story today. In fact, I managed to face All of these fears in the same day.

As a result, I now have three foods that don’t seem as scary and slowly food is beginning to loose control over my life.

So even if you think some foods are your biggest phobia, don’t let the food take control. Feel the fear and do it anyway.