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Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Well… it’s been a little while.

I’m not going to apologise for not posting, and I’m also not going to say things will go back to normal. I’ve enjoyed not blogging, but I’ve also missed it. The truth it, I’m not so sure I want to blog about my Eating Disorder anymore.

I’m not cured, but I’m not in the place that I used to be. I’m currently trying (and succeeding) to lose weight, exercise and become altogether healthier. I came to a point where I realised that if I really wanted to ‘get better’ then I’d have to separate myself from my Eating problems, and not let them define me. I had an opportunity to do another documentary to raise awareness for binge eating and EDNOS but it didn’t feel right. Whatever I do, it has to be for me, and I’m not so sure if blogging about bingeing – which I technically don’t do anymore – is really for me anymore.

I’d love to blog about weight loss from a disordered perspective, but I think I have to get comfortable with the idea before. I feel like I’m walking a very thin line, and I’ve gone back into the world of calorie counting and ideal waist measurements with more of a level head. However, I’ve gone into these things with a level head before and come out a binge-eating, heavier mess.

So I’d like to keep this blog going, because I know there will be people out there who relate to eating struggles, but I don’t want to force it. I thought I’d write this post to let you know where I am at the moment, and if you wouldn’t mind checking in occasionally, that would be great.

I hope you’re all still battling on.

Hayley Emma

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Yeah so… I am still alive.

I’ve tried to write a blog post numerous times, but I can’t seem to sum up what is happening at the moment.

Because… I’m doing really well.

After resisting binges left right and centre, being able to remind myself that I don’t need extra food, having that little voice in my head instead of just this screaming for me to binge… I haven’t felt the urge to binge as much.

I haven’t had to talk myself out of a binge so often, it’s as if the voice persuading me to binge is interrupted by a resounding NO. No, actually it’s not. I think saying NO to myself for over a decade and then sabotaging myself is a key pattern to my Eating Disorder. Being able to reason with myself has been something I’d never tried before.

I can binge if I choose, but it is a choice. If I eat this chocolate bar/3 bowls of cereal/huge bag of popcorn, then I have to take full responsibility for it, whether it leads to weight gain, or sinking into depression. But as well as this, it means I can take responsibility for if I don’t binge, it means I’ve done something to be proud of.

My therapist explained when I first came to her I was in a child ego state. I’d left Uni and moved back home with my parents, I was unemployed, had no money and so no independence, I wasn’t being very sociable, I was gaining weight… it was all going downhill, and I couldn’t stop it.

I didn’t want to save myself, I wanted someone to save me. I wanted it all to go away, and I didn’t want to have to work for it, because why should I have to? Not everyone has an Eating Disorder and Depression. Why did I have to deal with it when other people my age were getting on with their lives, and I was sliding backwards?

But now I’m thinking as an in control adult. I have a job (for now), my eating and weight is my responsibility, so now I can control that as well. I have an income, and I do things I stopped doing, like cleaning, things that I don’t want to do but I do because that’s what being an adult is all about. I don’t want to talk myself out of a binge when I feel the urge, I just want to grab the food and go. But I do talk myself out of it, because otherwise I’m choosing to binge, choosing weight gain. And I don’t want weight gain. I want to lose weight, and become fitter and healthier.

So that’s where I am right now.

How has your Eating Disorder progressed?

Hayley Emma

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I’ve never been a big fan of New Years Resolutions. My resolutions have always been to lose weight, and why stop there? To do better in school/college/uni, to dress better, get a better job, be a nicer person but be more assertive, do more for charity, meet a guy, make some more friends, be better friends with the friends I’ve already got… the list goes on and I end up doing nothing.

And I don’t like that these resolutions normally don’t last past march. Starting a diet on the first of January of a new year has always meant I was setting myself up to fail. Making a radical change was never going to last the test of time because the first of January became the first day of the rest of my life…No pressure.

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I deemed 2012 the year of change. 2012 meant becoming healthier, going to therapy and sorting out my ED riddled brain. This time last year I’d been on antidepressants for 3 months, weighed more than I’d ever been, was unemployed and thought I’d hit rock bottom. I was bingeing regularly, causing my family concern, and I rarely saw any friends.

During 2012 I gained even more weight, but I’ve also lost some weight. My bingeing got worse, as did my depression because I was facing problems I’d never faced before. Therapy meant I was ‘sitting with it’ rather than bingeing it away, until it got to a point where even bingeing wasn’t stopping me from feeling.

But 2012 is also the year that I took part in a documentary. It’s also the year that I revealed my arms for the first time in years as Bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding. It’s also the year that I got a job and maintained a job, despite that I’ll be made redundant in  the not too distant future.

And most importantly, it’s the year that I found the root of my bingeing problem. I haven’t binged in months. I’ve overeaten, I’ve made bad choices, but they’ve been my choices. I now realise that I control more than I realised. If I binge now, it’s my choice. I still feel the burning, unwavering urgency to binge, because bingeing is the only think that will make it better, but there is a little voice that’s growing stronger each time I listen to it, pointing out that bingeing will in fact make the situation worse. And that actually, facing the shit things will mean that you can move on from the shit things, rather than letting them fester and gnaw at you until bingeing becomes a coping mechanism.

me2013

So 2012 has been the year of change. Some of it was negative and although that sucked, like, properly sucked, I’ve also had some positives. I can honestly say 2013 doesn’t need a title, because I don’t know what’ll happen in that year. I’m in control of my eating, I’m sure my progress won’t be continuous, because life tends to chuck in stuff to trip you up, redundancy being one of them. But I’ve had the year of change, and now it’ll be more change, and maintaining the changes I’ve already made.

Do you have any new year’s resolutions? How was 2012 for you?

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 🙂

Have I got a cracker for you.

I just found a brilliant sit called Eating Disorder Life Problems and like ED Treatment Problems and Eating Disorder memes… it’s brilliant! My favourite:

What it’s like to have an eating disorder.

 

This one is for Fiona:

What starting recovery feels like.

This one is for Greta (it involves a cat):

How I think people watch me eat in public.

This is for Missy, because you handle situations so well!:

“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”.

This one is for Rabbit Hearted Jo, just because I thought it might make you laugh:

In treatment, that one creepy patient.

And this one … is for Fiona again:

How I feel, every second of every day.

What do you guys think of Eating Disorder memes and gifs and generally having a laugh at EDs expense?

You’re welcome.

Emma

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I thought I’d keep this post short and sweet with a little bit of corny thrown in.

 

This.

Life has bitten me on the ass, with my Eating Disorder, financial struggles, unemployment struggles. And last year my life was slapping me around a bit.

For the past couple of weeks though, I feel like I slapped Megan in the face. And by Megan, I mean life.

It’s not breezy, it’s difficult and several times a day I feel like there’s no point in fighting back.

And life hasn’t hit me as hard as some.

The important thing is I’m fighting back now, a lot harder than just a couple of weeks ago.

I am ready for the difficult times ahead, because anything is better than staying where I’ve been for the past 10 years.

Who’s willing to join in with the fisticuffs?

Seriously guys, I’m gonna need some back up.

Emma

P.s. I love Megan. And who wouldn’t take 9 puppies?!

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(Image Source)

What I’ve already done is yo-yo dieting.

I was 13 when I first stopped bingeing and cut out all snacks. 3 meals a day, nothing else. I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t want anything else, and I did a very old and hilarious workout video, the mother of all workout videos… Jane Fonda. I can remember the songs, the frequent “woo”s and “yeah!”s, and the men who were very into skin-tight workout wear.

(Update – I’ve looked for this on YouTube for years since we lost the video, and I finally found it! Uploaded 2 months ago, this little gem. Me and my mum are going to do this tonight!)

That was a good time. I lost 1 ½ stone, people complimented me and it was the first time I noticed a difference in how people treat you when you’re bigger compared to when you’re smaller.

I remember getting home from school in the days before and after this period – because it didn’t last – and eat small 5,7,10 chocolate bars in one go, hurriedly stuffing them into my mouth and hiding the wrappers down the back of the sofa or in different bins in the house. Hardly a vomit-inducing binge but I felt a sense of compulsion, a loss of control. (People with Binge-eating Disorder will know that stages of not bingeing would be temporary. (Dr Fairburn explains this in Overcoming Binge Eating))

The feeling of being free from your Eating Disorder, although I didn’t know I was disordered at the time, is incredible. I knew I was controlling what I was eating, I was exercising and enjoying it rather than using it as a punishment, and saying no to food I’d usually binge on was empowering. I felt slightly superior. I was taking control of my life (As much as you can at 13).

This is how I felt during every diet that resulted in weight loss, especially LighterLife. But this feeling was short-lived. Something would click back into place.

After all, a disorder does not come and go, the symptoms can fade or evolve.

The periods of control would worsen the bingeing, and I’d gain the weight I’d lost as well as some more for good measure. If anything proves that restrictive dieting doesn’t work, it’s yo-yo dieting. If you have lost weight and you have every reason to be happier with your body, and then as soon as you finish the diet you put the weight back on? I’m pretty sure that’s a major hint that the method of weight loss didn’t work. It could be an emotional attachment to food or being overly restrictive and therefore the results are unsustainable.

Right now, I’m learning how to eat ‘normally’. Regular meals which minimise the risk of bingeing and healthier meals that don’t upset my blood sugar levels. Exercise is less punishing and more enjoyable, laughing when I make a mistake is an important part of realising that it’s my health and well-being I’m trying to improve, rather than aesthetics.

I know this is the right way forward, but the urge to diet and go back to my old ways are creeping back in. I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve done that before, it didn’t lead me to permanent weight loss, and it’s my attitude that needs to change, rather than the diet.

I’m gritting my teeth and sticking with baby steps to success. When I think of re-learning how to eat properly I think I should be moving faster, but since planning 3 meals a day is overwhelming, let alone incorporating regular healthy snacks, it’s necessary.

Are you doing things you aren’t comfortable with? Do you have the urge to go back to what you were doing before, in the hopes that it’ll turn out differently this time? Tell me I’m not the only one who’s fallen into this trap!

Emma

P.s. If anyone decides to do the Jane Fonda or Pump It Up workout please let me know which one if your favourite, both are on YouTube (the Pump It Up workout has a few more parts).

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