Archive for September, 2012

It’s been a busy week.

Last week I went to the gym and was shown round the equipment by a trainer. It was great because now I can walk in there without thinking too much about it and hop on a machine and get going. Before I had to stand on the cross trainer and figure out how to turn the effort level down, which made me feel

a)      Stupid and

b)      Extra self-conscious

I went with my Dad – who looked completely fine after the session, whereas I looked like someone shot at me in the face with a paint fun full only of red paint.

Going to the gym was difficult but I did it, and I’m going to just have to put up with the anxiety because it’s going to benefit my mental and physical health.

I also started my new job, and the people seem really nice. I explained about not being available to work sometimes because of therapy and they were completely fine and empathetic about it. I genuinely can’t wait for my next shift.

Aswell as these things, I’ve calmed down since my rage at people not understanding my situation, and I’m getting back to kicking ass. So far avoiding certain foods, not having them in the house etc is how I’ve dealt with bingeing problems, but it’s challenge time.

I don’t want to go the rest of my life not being able to have sugary cereal in the cupboard because I feel I can’t control myself. It may be fine for other people, but not for me. I’m planning meals ahead of schedule, which is crucial now I have a job, and I’m taking risks that I have previously avoided. I’m shit scared, I won’t lie.

My challenge is to bake some breakfast muffins and keep them in the house without bingeing on them. I could freeze them or something, but if I could keep them over a couple of days without overeating then that would be a huge step forward for me.

Have you challenged yourself recently?

Hayley Emma


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I had a difficult session yesterday, it was the first time I contemplated walking out of the therapist’s office.

I’m not that great with anger. It takes me a lot to get riled up properly, mostly because of the ultimate pet hate, which is:

1)      When someone talks in the 3rd person.

Hayley gets very annoyed by this. Hayley feels that people should stop talk do you know what? I can’t even do it. I can’t even write in the 3rd person because it pisses me off so much. It just screams delusions of grandeur.

This irritates me so much that my none of my family members would ever talk in the 3rd person because my rage would overflow and I would have to leave the room.

I’m exaggerating (I’m not) but this is how the majority of my anger is dealt with. It’s jokey anger, I’ll laugh as I cringe and go to my room to be alone if I’m frustrated. But I’ve realised that people not understanding me is a real source of anger for me. I find shouting and slamming doors futile: why shout at people who don’t understand? It’s not usually their fault.

I thought that my therapist understood me – I think she does now, now that I cried for almost all of the last session with frustration because it makes perfect sense to me that taking part in a documentary is easier than going for a walk for 30 minutes everyday.

I know some people don’t understand Eating Disorders. When I studied PTSD for my dissertation I didn’t understand how someone could be transported back to when the trauma happened and relive it as if they were there. I can read about it and empathise, but I’ll never understand it like someone who has experienced it.

And still, some people with Eating Disorders hold down full time jobs and wear shorts in summer and can go to the beach without too much distress – this isn’t my experience, I can’t fully understand that.

Going for a half hour walk everyday is… indescribably difficult. I think I finally put the joking aside and was able to show my therapist just how excruciating it is for me to leave the house. I have to pick what to wear, what I’ll feel comfortable in, regarding weather – I don’t want to be too hot but I also don’t want to show any skin. Do I take my mp3 player? It could help block out the outside world but what if I get out of breath and I’m breathing really loudly and I can’t hear myself but others can and they know I’m unfit and overweight and they’ll think I just overeat because I like food? And where do I go? If I go to the shops will I be able to not buy chocolate, and if I do how much do I buy, and will there be popcorn? And what will the sales assistants think of me? What if they say anything? And if I don’t go to the shop where do I go? And what if I get tired or panic or what if I don’t walk anywhere?

The thoughts that remind me of anxiety cat just go on and on, so that I don’t go for a walk and then I’ve failed. And then I feel terrible. Misunderstood and a failure.

And I have failed at walking for 30 minutes everyday, because my therapist suggested we make it 15 minutes everyday, and now I feel like a head case, and so so far from being able to cope with food, and losing weight, and being happy.

I like to have a bit of clarity and a meaning behind my posts but on this one I’m kind of stumped. My therapist said it might be my behaviours are so ingrained (I’m been hiding my body and hiding away inside at every opportunity throughout the last decade) that it’s going to take a lot of time and hard work to finally change.

I’m sick of waiting though, of dealing with these problems. What if I can’t get better? What if I’m doomed to yo-yo in weight until I give up altogether and collect cats for every year of spinsterhood? I’ve succeeded in weight loss before and it was euphoric… but the gain was so horrible that I don’t want to go back there again.

Eurgh. There. I’ve had an unedited moan. Any words of wisdom would be very helpful right about now.

Hayley Emma

P.s. Does anyone know what happened to Eating Disorder Memes?

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I’m a bad blogger.

I felt like a broken record last week, I didn’t want to write about how down I felt or moments of achievements. I kind of wanted to stop writing stuff and do them.

And … I did.

This summer has been full of risks: Filming the documentary, going to hen parties, showing my arms at the wedding (I still can’t believe I actually did that). I didn’t know these things were going to go well, and I still don’t know how the documentary will turn out, but I took the chance in doing them because I know I’d regret it if I didn’t.

A couple of weeks ago I came to the frightening conclusion that in order to move forward, I’m going to have to do a lot of things I really don’t want to do. I knew this deep down, but I was kind of pretending these things wouldn’t be so bad. I was wrong.

I’ve already done things I didn’t want to do, and the depressing part is that I’ve got to keep doing them. Most of the time I want to watch a DVD with a hot chocolate and a blanket. But not taking risks hasn’t gotten me anywhere, and although I may stumble and fall, surely that’s better than staying put.

My downfall is that I think about things too much. Eventually a trip to a friend’s house becomes an obstacle course, each obstacle becomes an opportunity for social embarrassment and worse, another reason not to try. This results in an attempt to leave the house and the inexplicable urge to run and hide. And by run and hide, I mean take cover and eat something.

The moments when I have triumphed have been the moments I haven’t thought too much about. Working myself up over showing my arms only made me anxious, thinking about all the possible outcomes of going out on a Saturday night did not help me get ready and go.

The smaller triumphs like walking in public or booking a trip to Plymouth weren’t completely over-analysed. If I’d have thought about every little aspect I wouldn’t have gone, and I’ve avoided situations because of this.

But lately I’ve been a tad reckless – applying for jobs, going to Plymouth, flirting. And it’s all worked out well for me – I’ve got a job, part time, which I’m really pleased about, I got to see a lot of people I haven’t seen on my trip to Plymouth which was great, and I flirted and was not publicly humiliated so … that’s always a positive.

That’s not the end of it, though. My next task is to start my job, and then I want to go to the gym.

The thought is terrifying, and so I’m not thinking about it. Like Nike says, Just Do It.


Mind you, it’s not easy. I’m a beginner.

Hayley Emma

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