Life is good

It feels strange to be back blogging again. Reading my last few posts, it is clear I wasn’t in a great place the last time I wrote. I am happy to say that things have changed

I’ve faced a lot of changes in the past couple of months. After having left uni I had a job lined up for six months before going traveling. They told me on the day I was to start that they could no longer offer me the job.

I don’t like it when things don’t go to plan and it really upset me. My back up plan was to do temp work to save money for traveling. I did some waitressing, leaflet dropping (that really was soul destroying after graduating from one of the uk’a top universities) and some other bits and bobs. For some people, this would have been fine but it didn’t work for me. I had no routine and the work was extremely unchallenging. I like having a challenge and I like seeing results. That’s why I work hard. However, that’s also partly how I became anorexic. Having an eating disorder and maintaining an eating disorder isn’t easy. It’s hard work. It’s a challenge. But you see results. You see the numbers go down, you see your clothes getting loose. I used to think this was an achievement. I am grateful I can now see otherwise. Because I had no challenge at work my eating disorder stepped in.

I could tell things had started getting bad again. I was tired, miserable, scared of seeing my friends for dinner, scared of eating and obsessing over exercise. I told myself it wast a big deal and that I could never let it get like it used to. However, deep down I knew something had to change.

My dad always tells me that everything happens for a reason. When I was really ill I found this hard to believe. However, I am starting to have more belief in fete.

A couple of weeks after realizing that things had to change a job offer came up. It was for a digital marketing role which is exactly the industry I want to go into. What’s more, the role was for a company that own 20 gastro pubs and restaurants. The interview process was quite tough and there were a lot of stages. But in the end, I got the job. I still can’t quite believe it.

In the interview process I talked about my passion for food and baking. In fact, I even took muffins to one of the interviews (they were the best muffins I had ever made- I took it as a sign!). Given how much I had been struggling I felt like a bit of a fraud. But f**k it. I do love food. Anorexia isn’t about disliking food, it’s more complicated than that. I am a foodie at heart, not an anorexic.

I am now two months into the job and I couldn’t be happier. I eat out three times a week minimum, I visit about 5 pubs a week (I swear my friends think I just pub crawl for a living) and I spend my day sorrounded by foodies. I no loner have the option to skip meals, I am paid to eat out. But the important thing is that I no longer want to skip melas. I thoroughly look forward to eating there times a day (sometimes more!), and I am reconnected with the foodie inside of me!

As part of my role I also have the opportunity to write blogs. My first blog for the company was recently published and it was a great success. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of this blog too but writing about my love for food, as opposed to my fear of food, was quite an achievement.

The other big change in my life is that I have a boyfriend. Yes, the unimaginable has actually happened and me, the girl who puts up steel barriers to anyone that shows her the slightest glimpse of affection, actually has a boyfriend. This is actually the first time I have admitted it. I refuse to call him my boyfriend and he refuses not to call me his girlfriend… Makes sense!? I am so terrified of the ‘b’ word! I was always the girl who never had a boyfriend and now I am very lucky to be going out with an amazing guy.

I’ve grown up on a lifetime of rom coms and always dreamed of meeting a guy like the films… Cheesy I know, but it’s the truth! People always say you find the right person when you’re not looking. I never got that- I mean when you’re single, how can you not look!? But maybe people are right. I’ve ended up dating one of my best friends from uni. He lived next door to me in halls and I met him on day one of uni. He has liked me for a long time but I always made excuses to not give it a go. However, to say he has played the long game is an understatement and now we have ended up together! Hats of to him! It was infront of my eyes the whole time, but I wasn’t ready before. However, now that I am in control of my life, have a new found confidence, and have the ability to feel emotions other than anxiety and fear, i have let someone love me. It feels great.

The last thing i want to say is that I am writing this blog on the way to Paris. For those of you that have followed my blog for a while, you will know that Paris is a bit of a crime scene. It is in Paris that my eating disorder took over my life and took me to rock bottom. I have mixed emotions with the city. On the one had it is beautiful and I had some great times there with some amazing people. On the other hand, I also had some of the darkest and hardest moments of my life there. Some streets I can’t walk down without remembering the pain I went through. Others continue to surprise me with their beauty. I am looking forward to going back this time more than ever before. This time, Ed is being left behind. I don’t need him anymore. I have real people who love me for who I am. I have found healthy ways to cope with life’s challenges. Plus, Paris is a foodies dream and I am ready to make the most of every second.

I am sorry for not blogging more often. I found that I used this space to get through the hard times and I am fortunate that recently they have been far and few between.

I hope anyone reading this can take away at least one thing: life throws challenges at the strongest of us. At the time we may not know why, but in the end, everything happens for a reason. If you’re in a place of pain right now, keep fighting. Life can be very beautiful when you’re looking through clear eyes as opposed to through the corrupt eyes of an eating disorder. Keep fighting and keep believing and wonderful things will happen.

Lots of love,
X

‘A Party Without Cake Is Just a Meeting’

Cake and Baking were two of my favourite things before Ed took them away from me. Whether it be sharing a cream cake with my Grandpa, making cupcakes for the school bake sale or a good old Mr Kipling, Cake always made me happy. So when my Therapist told me I need to start trying to enjoy things more and do the things that used to make me happy, cake popped to mind.

It upsets me that Today Cake is a challenge and instead of making me happy it makes me feel guilty. However, I remembered that challenges aren’t always meant to be fun and so I went for coffee and cake with a friend on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I was feeling in a good place and after a bit of pondering over what to have, I chose a lovely slice of Carrot Cake. Ed was quite loud while I was choosing, but once I was sat down, chatting with my friend and having a good laugh I managed to turn down the volume. In fact, I would go so far as to say I enjoyed myself…. Me: 1 Ed: 0.

This week however I wasn’t so ready for the cake challenge. Tuesday evening marked the final of The Great British Bake Off. I have been following the programme with my friends and was looking forward to the final…. Until they planned to celebrate the final with a cake party. Everyone had to bake a cake and take it to the party and then during the final everyone would try each others cake and choose a winner. Everyone was so excited by the idea but it filled me with dread. Would I even be able to hear the TV over the sound of Ed’s screaming? Would it look weird to only try one cake as part of my food plan? I was being weighed the next day, surely cake will make it go up? How will I eat lots of cake without restricting the next day?

Considering all these questions I decided it was best not to go. That was the safest thing for me given the couple of days beforehand were a bit shaky. However, I didn’t want Ed to have all the glory so I did manage to bake a cake of my own. It was my housemates favourite cake so that made my decision on what to bake nice and easy! My plan was to watch the programme at home and eat one slice of cake and still enjoy┬ámy evening.

Unfortunately things didn’t go totally to plan. What I hadn’t realised was that Arsenal were playing football that night. Living with four boys, it was hardly surprising that they all headed straight to the pub to watch the game. This left me home alone as my other housemate had gone to the cake party. I got so upset on Tuesday night because while I was by myself alone in my room trying to find the strength to fight Ed away, everyone else was having fun together. Enjoying themselves like 21 year olds should. I was unable to even ice my cake let alone eat it. I still haven’t even watched the final because I thought it would be too depressing to watch it alone while everyone else was having fun. And even though I know it was my choice to not go to the party, I couldn’t help being angry, upset and frustrated with the fact that my controlling Eating Disorder was stripping me off the ability to have fun with my friends.

I have to thank my good friend S. She saved me that night by telling me that If i can’t fight for myself, do it for her. Treat me as I would treat her. Would I ever tell her to restrict on her food plan and let Ed win? No. So I did fight for her and I had a dessert and managed to keep fighting. I knew that if I restricted it would make the next day so much harder. Although I am quite upset that I couldn’t find the strength to fight for myself, I learnt that it doesn’t really matter what your motivation is for fighting. Just do whatever it takes. Whether you are fighting for your friends, for other people in recovery, for your family or for yourself, just don’t let Ed win.

I also successfully Iced my cake yesterday and shared it with my friend (it’s his favourite cake). So I got there in the end.