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Archive for October, 2012

This formerly bigger girl completely gets how ‘fat chicks’ are portrayed and, subsequently, feel. Katie is brilliant and funny, and this post gets a big fat thumbs up from me. (See what I did there?! Wit is my middle name. Sort of.)
Hayley Emma

Sass & Balderdash

I’ve been everywhere on the overweight spectrum; I’ve ranged from being chubby to being obese for most of my life. It’s only within the past year that I’ve lost weight and fought, scratched, and clawed my way into smaller proportions. I’m all too familiar with the fruitless pursuit of reasonably cute XL-sized shirts, the rummaging for jeans that fit well everywhere, and the struggle to feel confident in the paltry amount of clothes I found that actually fit. Such is the plight of a fat chick.

Apparently, I’m not fat anymore. The number on the scale is telling me this. My friends, family, and co-workers have likewise made me aware of this, too. I know they’re all right. Rationally, I’m cognizant of the fact that for the first time in my life, I’m at a healthy, average weight, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly stop being a fat…

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Alexa Chung is known for her fashion choices, praised by fashionistas for her innovative style. She started out in the modelling industry and turned to presenting, being on Channel 4’s Popworld. I’ve been pretty impartial about Alexa Chung throughout her career, not being hugely into her style, although she seems funny and likeable, but I’ve always wondered if she was naturally very skinny or unhealthily so.

These thoughts used to irritate me back in the day before therapy and working on my own body image, now however, I see her as a talented woman who’s definitely fashion forward, but who’s style I wouldn’t want to emulate.

However, she’s earned my respect with her outlook on body image. She hasn’t praised her own body or claimed to be completely happy with herself, but she’s been really down to earth about a situation that must have been difficult for her. I read this Jezebel article and then this Fashionista article about Alexa Chung and her troubles with Instagram.

In April, Alexa Chung made her Instagram private after posting this photograph (source) of her and her mum. She received comments claiming she was too thin and unhealthy-looking.

Making her Instagram private is a prime example of how Alexa Chung doesn’t like to think of herself as thinspiration. A quote from this article about a certain comment reads:

Chung responded to the comments – an example of which reads: ‘I’m going to be very honest. I look at this picture and think “This is a woman not eating.” Thus, I worry for women everywhere’ – by writing “Hi, I am here. I can read.”

In the interview with Fashionista, Chung said:

I just get frustrated because, just because I exist in this shape, doesn’t mean that I’m like advocating it and being like, ‘I look great.’ How do you know I’m not looking in the mirror and going ‘I wish I could gain ten pounds?’ Which is actually quite often the case.

(Source)

I’ve known quite a few people wanting to gain weight rather than lose it, and they weren’t disordered. I couldn’t fathom it before – if your body is the ideal, why would you want to change it? But Chung said it eloquently – just because someone is skinny or fat, it doesn’t mean they like the way they look, let alone think that is it the best way to look.

She also said:

I think it’s about time people stopped judging women on their appearance and more on their intellect. Like you can appreciate my style without having to appreciate my weight. It’s not actually mutually inclusive.

THANK YOU. I’m not a big fan of her style personally. Her body shape, height and weight all suit the style of clothes she wears, but if she liked pin up style clothes, does that mean she shouldn’t wear them, because of her lack of curves? Of course not, just as someone who is plus size loves the Indie look should dress that way if they like.

What do you think about this? I have thought that she looked very thin, maybe even too thin, but is what I’ve just written any more appropriate to when Karl Lagerfeld called Adele a ‘little too fat’?

Hayley Emma

 

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I’ve thought of quite a few blog posts in the past fortnight, but every time I’ve sat down to write them I’ve stared at a blank page.

Although I’ve had a few ideas, I’ve felt like I’ve been carrying what I think might be the key to fully understanding my Eating Disorder. I’ve been carrying it round with me for a week, unsure of whether I should write about this without having had a proper discussion with my therapist.

Last week I was 20 minutes late for therapy. At the time I was upset about a difficult situation which I’m pretty powerless in, and I was tired from work. I found it difficult to drag myself out of bed and so was late, and then there was traffic, so my Dad took pity on me and after battling through the traffic, took me to therapy.

I said it was my fault and I should have gotten up earlier, but I didn’t realise how annoyed she was going to be, since most weeks I’m on time. It was no big deal, right? She said everything happens for a reason, but I thought maybe it was just really busy traffic and then she said:

“I’m not offended, but I know if you were going somewhere you were really excited about, you’d be on time.”

I nodded, but I thought “No, I wouldn’t.”

The discussion led to whether I thought this, as in therapy, was working for me. I left the office having to seriously think about what I wanted.

I considered leaving. Maybe therapy wasn’t for me? I felt like I’d been covering the same thing for a couple of weeks not really keeping up with the progress I’d made but not regressing either. Maybe having a job had lifted some of the Depression and I was in a better place, financially and emotionally?

But then I thought about how I’d have to really change my eating for good, and most importantly, how I’d lose weight. And what if I lost my job, or had a rough time at my job? In the current climate it’s very possible I’ll be unemployed again as soon as next year. It’s just so uncertain. What if I’m then plunged back into this swamp of Depression, jobless, struggling to leave the house and avoiding all of my problems until I’m even more overweight than right now?

As much as I want to sort it out myself or just get over it, I haven’t managed to do that before. If I’m hoping things will be different just because  I want them to be, then I have learnt nothing over the past couple of years. Lighterlife is a very attractive option which I might have gone back to, had I not gained this awareness into Binge Eating and Eating Disorders.

And then it hit me, I wouldn’t be on time to an event I was excited about. I cancel on my friends all the time because I get so anxious about what could happen whilst we’re outside, mingling with people who can see my body. It’s horrendous, and I never feel comfortable even though I want to see my friends. If I carry on the way I’m going, no one is going to want to meet me anymore, because I’d probably cancel and waste their day.

And honestly, the mess I’ve made of my house. I have been so messy and, there’s no other name for it, a total slob when it comes to cleaning that mess. It’s awful, i leave wrappers lying around, don’t put my clothes in my wardrobe but chuck them on the floor. I’m disgusted with myself. I am not this person. I’m not a clean freak by any means but I like things tidy, I like to be organised, I like to get to places early. And yet I’m not like that.

I kind of, sort of, hate myself… a little bit.

And it dawned on me, that giving up therapy now, following the same route I’ve taken before isn’t just going to suddenly change because I hope it will.

I have to make the change.

I missed therapy last week because I was in bed. I struggled to get out of bed, but who hasn’t when it’s still dark outside, and cold? But people get up, because they have to. Otherwise they’ll be late, or they’ll miss work etc, and there are repercussions to these actions.

Today I sat in front of my therapist and explained all of this. I’m scared, because moving forward on a different path means the unknown, and for whatever reason, I’ve wanted to avoid that for years. But on the other hand, somewhere new has got to be better than where I’ve already been.

Hayley Emma

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Since I’ve gotten a job I’ve noticed my social anxiety has significantly reduced. I’m going out usually 5 days a week, and leaving the house that often would have brought on a mild anxiety attack just from thinking about it.

Although going out and facing people, meeting colleagues, e.t.c have made a huge difference, I think having a job has boosted my confidence in so many ways. I now walk to and from work with more of an identity.

I am no longer unemployed, overweight and eating disordered, I am now … employed, overweight but working on it, and eating disordered but in therapy. I can now afford to join a gym, and although I have less time to go, I feel I have more of a reason to make an effort. And I’ve felt that with every aspect of my life.

For the past 3 weeks I haven’t been so focused on chocolate, or bingeing. I’ve gone to buy classic binge food almost without thinking about it, but as my therapist reminded me “you don’t have to buy it.” And I haven’t. Teamed with more exercise due to work and generally just getting out more, I’ve lost some weight. Nothing to write home about, but enough to remind myself that I can do this.

I can walk away from an impending binge, and I can lose weight, and I can have an Eating Disorder free existence. Or as ED free as possible for me.

Since unemployment is an international issue, how has being unemployed/employed helped or hindered your Eating problems?

Hayley Emma

P.s. I’m still adjusting to working and so please bear with me with infrequent posts 🙂

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Fun Friday! Oh how I have missed fun friday.

About a month ago this advert came out for Marks and Spencers…

As soon as this came on TV I noticed the Plus Sized model and was elated. Another plus size range in Marks and Spencers – I have yet to check it out in person, but I’ve had a lookie online; I was quite intrigued. For those of you who don’t know, Marks and Spencers is a department store which is mainly for the older person, but is constantly changing up it’s clothing lines to incorporate all ages. And sizes now, which is brilliant!

Already won over by the Plus Sized model, I looked up the advert on youtube to analyse weight and body shape (obviously) and then I spotted…do mine eyes deceive me? A mature model. Gorgeous, silver-haired, I didn’t even notice she was older until I looked properly!

As this article states, the model’s ages range from 20 to 57 and sizes 8 to 16 (UK). Brilliant, I love this. Diversity for the win.

How do you feel about this advertisement, from weight, age, ethnic origin to fashion?

Hayley Emma

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I started my new job a couple of weeks ago and enjoy it, but I’m exhausted because of it. I wish I could go into detail – actually you know what? I’ll be completely honest.

I seriously thought about shutting down my blog because I’ve lost a bit of faith in the blogging community. Blogging used to be fun and interesting. I understand so much more about Anorexia and Bulimia, Binge Eating and EDNOS than I ever could reading a text book, and I’m so grateful for this. It’s also lovely that there are bloggers out there who have gone through such different experiences and feel they can share them with supportive readers who will help just by reading, even though they may not realise it.

We all know there are risks to blogging – there are strange people out in the world and the internet gives them access to us. As well as the supportive, pro-recovery or people not sure what to do, there are people who are so deep in their disorders that they feel a need to share their happiness with the world.

As much as I don’t like this, glazing over everything not so glamorous and emphasising how great it is to not eat or be thin (it’s interesting how you don’t get that so much with binge-eating, right? I mean, there’s nothing glamorous about being so uncomfortably full you have to take deep breaths and lay down. And then the end result is usually weight gain.) as much as I don’t like this, I can understand it.

What I can’t understand is when people share their experiences of recovery and health, and then are sent ‘anonymous’ emails. A couple of weeks ago I made a brief return to blogland and left again, because, as I’m sure many of you will know, Greta’s boss received an anonymous email telling her about her blog etc.

That right there is disgusting. And yeah, I meant to put ‘anonymous’. This kind of behaviour is disgusting because Greta wears her heart on her sleeve, and gives a lot of people, including myself, encouragement that an Eating Disorder free life is possible.

As I started a new job a couple of weeks ago, I feel it would be foolish of me to write details about it. I don’t want to say what sector it’s in, the city, anything that might give away some details. So that means I can’t blog about something pretty fucking significant in my life, because someone somewhere might try to sabotage me, like someone attempted – and FAILED, may I add – to sabotage Greta.

I thought about making this blog private, but one of the many reasons that I write is so that people like me who feel they suffer by themselves, can read it and realise they’re not alone, like I’m not alone. And I’m stubborn  I’m not going to stop blogging because someone might possibly attempt to hurt my feelings or use my problems against me in real life.

I Just Thought This Was Funny. And I Don’t Even Like Bacon.

 

So I’m back blogging now. I’ve had my rant, and I’ve posted a funny passive aggressive note, I feel a lot better, so yeah. Thank you for bearing with me, I am genuinely excited to catch up on blogs and find some new ones that may have popped up since I’ve been gone.

 

Hayley Emma

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