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Posts Tagged ‘Weight’

It should be Fun Friday today but this morning I found Inside the Body Beautiful: How Fat Works on youtube! Good old youtube.

So if you want to watch it all then here it is, if not my part is from about 18 minutes in. Let me know what you guys think!

Hayley Emma

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Last night Inside the Body Beautiful aired on BBC3. Thanks to all of you that tuned in, and hopefully people in other countries can view it online in the near future.

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I watched it with from behind the sofa with my family. I mean, my family weren’t behind the sofa… I’d seen it last week as the Producer travelled down to Bristol to show me, yet all I could remember was the shock of seeing myself on screen and from different angles. As in, I don’t have to see myself from behind. I never see my back or what I look like sitting down. And that was difficult.

So far I’ve had positive responses (hooray!). As I said in my last post, I did it to raise awareness for binge eating disorder and EDNOS, and if I could help just one person then it was worth it. A friend texted me last night to say that I’d helped her understand binge eating more, so to me, that’s a win.

I also wanted to get across that Binge Eating Disorder is an Eating Disorder, and EDNOS, just like Anorexia and Bulimia. It doesn’t mean a person is lazy, greedy or ‘just likes food’. There’s an actual psychological problem behind it, as with other Eating Disorders. People comfort eat, restrict or purge for different reasons, it’s not always so straight forward as they want to eat more, they don’t want to eat or they want to eat and then… want to purge. Because … that doesn’t really make sense, does it?

But accepting that you may have a problem, be it an Eating Disorder, disordered eating or comfort eating, there are so many ways to combat it. I personally chose person-centred therapy and my binge eating has improved in the last year. Feeling bad about myself, thinking i was just greedy really didn’t get me anywhere, so if you’re going to comment and try to shame me or any readers about their eating and bodies, then your comment won’t be published.

If you would like some more resources to get more of an idea about Eating Disorders and stuff, please check out my Useful Info page as there’s some … useful info over there.

I’d be really interested to know what you guys thought of it, then next post I’ll stop talking about how I’m now a TV star and get back to discussing when I’m going to start collecting cats to fulfil my crazy cat lady destiny.

Hayley Emma

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In a week, I’ll be on national TV.

I am pooping my pants.

For you English readers, Inside the Body Beautiful – How Cosmetic Surgery Works, the first of a two-part series, is on tonight on BBC3. It explores ‘the science beyond the most popular beauty and cosmetic treatments’.

Inside the Body Beautiful – How Fat Works is next week and … I’ll be on it. Yeah. Not nervous at all.

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I’m seeing a clip of the program tomorrow so I know what will be shown so I won’t have to watch the television hiding behind a cushion ready to cringe at any moment. Although that will probably still happen.

I’m not sure whether I should put it on my Facebook. I have let my friends know, but it’s a toss-up between – do I let everyone know so no one will be surprised to see my face, or just let anyone who wants to see it …see it?

The whole point of me taking part in this documentary is to spread awareness of binge-eating disorder and EDNOS, as well as compulsive overeating and negative body image, particularly associated with obesity.

It’s not for popularity, and I don’t know what I’m expecting. I really hope that someone will see the program and understand why they overeat when they try so hard to lose weight, or that they’re not alone in wanting to hide from the world because they think they’re physically disgusting.

I know there will be others, who see it and scoff, claim I’m making excuses and really it’s as simple as eating less and exercising more. Unfortunately, I know from first-hand experience that it’s not so simple, psychological reasons often play a vital role in losing weight and keeping weight off.

I used to be ashamed of my body and my Eating Disorder. I still am, to a certain extent. I’m by no means recovered, but I’m on  my way to something I didn’t know existed.

I’m so much closer to a healthy weight now, thanks to person-centred counselling, than I ever was with LighterLife. I’m a long way off, but how I’m handling situations and processing emotions is different, and that is the key to being happy and healthy for me.

For the people in different countries… yeah I don’t know if someone will put this program on youtube. I will find out whether it’ll be available online and where, and I’ll record it, but I’ll have to have a think. I’d really like to pop it on this blog, because I know some of you want to see it, but then I copyright issues may crop up. So we shall see.

Hayley Emma

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Possibly triggering, talk of Anorexia and weight gain/loss, from the perspective of a younger me, who didn’t know details about Eating Disorders.

There was a girl in college who some assumed was Anorexic, myself included.

During my first year (and probably hers too) she was extremely thin, so much so that when she walked past she was a talking point. Her legs, which she always covered in tights and shorts, looked like they’d snap with the slightest force.

After a while I stopped seeing her. I thought maybe she had gone into treatment, maybe left college or even been in residential care. Not knowing anything in-depth about Eating Disorders back then, only having watched documentaries like Thin and Dana: The 8 Year Old Anorexic, I began looking for her. After all, as fascinating as an emaciated body is, I also felt a strong connection with Anorexia that I never fully understood until I started writing and reading blogs.

 

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The next year I noticed this girl who had the same colour hair, the same style, was the same height and had same face, but she was bigger. She was, I’m making an assumption here, overweight. Not by a lot, but she was noticeably bigger, most likely because she was fairly short.

I couldn’t believe it. I stared at her whenever I saw her. I couldn’t help it. In my mind, Anorexia was all about control, how could she have lost control? Surely she couldn’t be ok with her weight? But she was walking with so much confidence, I couldn’t understand it.

I longed to ask her but I was afraid she’d tell me it was none of my business. Which it wasn’t, as it still isn’t. So why do I bring it up? Because I saw her the other day. After staying at a heavier weight for at least a year, she was slimmer. But healthy-looking.

And I realised, I assumed she was Anorexic when I wasn’t as clued up about Eating Disorders, but that generalisation has stayed with me. I automatically assumed she was Anorexia, whereas now I think maybe she had Bulimia, or Binge-Eating Disorder, or EDNOS. Maybe she was a yo-yo dieter, or maybe she went through a rough time, a grievance or something that made her eating habits change and her weight fluctuate.

Or maybe she isn’t disordered at all, and the weight gain and loss was just natural, maybe she was just going through different stages in her life.

And it reiterated that it’s not possible to tell by a person’s appearance whether they have an Eating Disorder, never mind which Eating Disorder. Nor is it possible to tell what’s going through someone’s mind.

Do any moments stand out in particular when you realised how weight obsessed or Eating Disorder obsessed you are?

Hayley Emma

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In this song, ‘Pretty Girl Rock’ Hilson sings about her beauty and how girls can be jealous of her.

First of all, I think it’s great when someone has self-confidence and can believe that they are beautiful, whether they’re fat, thin, whatever. So although the British part of me is saying “how conceited!” the body image obsessed part of me is yelling “hooray!”

Secondly, I don’t take this song seriously.

But thirdly, it draws a parallel to Samantha Brick. Keri Hilson, however, got there first.

It’s the idea that if I woman says she’s pretty, and another woman either doesn’t like her, treats her differently or disagrees, then she is jealous. There’s no other explanation. Because, obviously, Keri is pretty, there is no denying that, so jealousy must be the reason that people disagree, right?

Even though I don’t hate anybody because they’re beautiful, I’m sure pretty girls don’t always get positive attention. I’m sure some women are jealous, but then with lyrics such as : ‘Pretty as a picture / Sweeter than a swisher / Mad ’cause I’m cuter than the girl that’s with you’ and ‘Girls think I’m conceited ’cause I know I’m attractive / Don’t worry about what I think, why don’t you ask him?’ I’m not surprised you’re getting negative attention, Keri, because you come off a little rude.

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Beauty is subjective. Keri Hilson is very beautiful in my opinion, but someone else might only find her mildly attractive, and another person will find her ugly. I think she’s got a nice figure, someone else may say it’s amazing and others may hate it. Nothing is going to change the definition of beauty, because it can’t be defined. It depends on your personal opinion. So why do we put so much of our self worth on whether we look beautiful to other people?

I don’t hate Keri Hilson because she’s beautiful. I think this song is about self-confidence and superficiality, and as I said, I’m not going to take it too seriously. What I completely agree with is that no one should be judged purely on their looks, and we shouldn’t judge ourselves on our looks either.

In my first CBT session I was asked to draw a pie chart of how important things in my life are. Needless to say, weight took up a good 90%, leaving little room for anything else. So all of my achievements, the Uni course I was on, my family and friends, my hobbies only got a share of 10%. Ever since I’ve been working on trying to lower my fixation on weight so I can spend more time appreciating my other attributes. Weight is still a huge part of the pie. But as long as I continue to place all of my self-worth on my weight, I won’t be happy. I will never be perfect, and I’m learning to embrace that.

It’s natural to make snap decisions about people based on their looks, we all do it to some extent. I’d love to be able to change it though, by encouraging people to question why they assumed the guy with dreadlocks is a hippie, or the girl covered in tattoos is aggressive. And to note just how many times their pre-conceived judgement was wrong. Just like if I was jealous of Keri Hilson, I’d ask myself is it my own insecurities that are making me jealous? Why does her beauty matter to me?

What do you think, are we ever going to stop judging people on their looks? Or are we, as a society, set in our ways?

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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This week I’m posting something positive everyday for operation well-I’m-beautiful-why-do-I-give-a-fuck? Because this week I’m exposing my upper arms in public (!!) and I need all the positivity I can get. The following post starts off negative but it gets happier, I promise.

This takes a lot to admit: I’ve gained 4 stone in the past year. Probably more, as I weighed myself months ago, but that weigh-in was followed by a binge, my last proper binge, and I’ve got too many social events planned to weigh myself again. By this I mean if I weigh more than I did a couple of months ago, I’ll be a hermit for at least a week.

I am ashamed at my weight gain, but it’s not surprising. I gained weight in my last year at Uni, my bingeing becoming more frequent, so did my overeating. I walked everywhere in Plymouth and it became more difficult, I stopped having the energy to walk places unless I was on a sugar high.

When I came home from Uni, having dealt with increasing Depression I stopped walking everywhere. Bristol is a much bigger city and buses and cars are necessary. Not only was I depressed about my weight, but I was disappointed in myself because the CBT I received and body image therapy hadn’t been enough, and in my eyes, this was my failure. I was going back to the place where all my issues with food started, where I didn’t have a job, and with the knowledge that I’d just been through Uni, supposedly the best years of my life, feeling like the frumpy oddball in the corner.

Basically, I had failed at life.

Depression increased as my activity levels headed in the opposite direction and bingeing and overeating became an everyday thing. I didn’t have a focus to take my mind off things, I couldn’t get a job and had no money plus huge student loans to pay off, and I was getting like, 18 views a day on my blog.

My Hair Had Gone Fluffy. The Less We Say About That The Better.

So I stopped going out, blaming myself for everything and wallowing in self-pity, with bouts of hoping for magic weight loss. Then, before I knew it, it was September andGraduation. I look back on Graduation as the worst weekend of my life. It was excruciating. My Dad filmed me walking on stage and shaking some woman’s hand as my name is called, and I walk down the steps and round the hall with my head down, avoiding eye contact. My parents said the sadness was written all over my face, that I looked as if I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

The night of Graduation I did not want to leave my hotel room, yet I knew I would regret it if I didn’t, and also get a lot of flak for missing the last night out.

A group of us went out to the student union and attempted to get drunk. It was freshers week, and for all of you students or ex-students, you’ll know freshers week is crazy busy full of first years getting ‘off their tits’.

I was stood at the bar in front of a group of lads, probably first years, 18 year olds wanting to get pissed and sleep with some equally drunken girl. One of the drunken guys at the bar got his drinks and started to turn back and sidle through the crowd to his mates. He held the drinks high enough to avoid bumping into someone, which happened to be above my head. I tried to shy away, some beer spilt on me. A bit went in my hair but most of it sloshed down my dress, the first dress I bought from a plus size shop for a night out. My Graduation night. Which I already felt was a complete disaster because at this point, I was 2 stone heavier than when I left Uni.

He didn’t apologise, but walked off, and one of his mates said “she looks better that way” or “It’s an improvement”. It wasn’t possible for me to be more embarrassed.

I was about to leave after that. If I was slimmer, my initial reaction would have been to turn around and make some comment which contained the words ‘fuck’ and ‘off’ but I couldn’t be feisty, because they had verbalised what I’d been feeling. In my mind they were completely right. They hadn’t even said anything about my weight, but any comment at that moment was enough. My only option was to go to the bathroom, sit in shock (whilst having a wee, I’d had a couple of drinks by then, you can’t blame me) and leave without telling anybody. I could go back to my hotel room and have a major cry, the cry that had been building up in me since I’d woken up that morning and realised that I’d had 4 months to lose weight and I hadn’t done it. Again. 

As I was waiting for the acceptable time to walk away from the bar so that the guys didn’t know they’d gotten to me, I stopped myself.

At the time I didn’t think too much about it.

Fuck it, it’s my graduation night, I’m not going to let some piece of shit first year’s comment make me leave the SU. I’ve been getting pissed in this place before he was even born! Ok, that was an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.

I hadn’t seen my friends for months, so I got my drinks and left, and I did something I would never have done before – I told my friend what the guy had said. She was sympathetic, and then we went and sat down.

And that moment, my friends, is exactly how I know that I’m going to make it.

My Graduation, a day where I was supposed to feel proud of my achievements, was full of self-hate. The evening, which was meant to be a special night of celebrations, was full of self-hate. But I stayed. I stuck it out. Self-hatred and all.

And that’s the point.

Every fibre in my being didn’t want to go to Graduation. I lied about being excited about it, I smiled falsely at every opportunity. I let people take pictures of me, knowing very well that my double chin would make an appearance despite the turtle neck thing I do to hide it. But I still did it.

At the time I didn’t think I had a choice. If I didn’t go to graduation I would get so much shit from friends and family, so I thought I had no choice. But I did – I could have said I wasn’t well. Or that I was on holiday or something. It would have saved money, and I know that my immediate family would have understood. I had the choice, and I went. I faced my fears head on. Yes I suffered for it, I felt awful for weeks. I cried to my mum a lot and I didn’t leave the house for a while. But I wasn’t the girl who cried and ran out in embarrassment. I was the girl who feigned disinterest and got drunk.

I’ve started to realise (I know, 22 years and I’m only realising I have a choice in stuff?) that I do have a choice.

I’ve noticed an old friend who’s a bit of a dick has lost weight and gotten a girlfriend. Everytime I saw something new on facebook I felt terrible. He’d lost weight (something I’ve failed at) and despite being a dick, he’d got himself a girlfriend?!

So I deleted him.

I don’t need that shit. I don’t need to feel bad about myself because someone I used to be friends with is outwardly doing better than me.

Bam! Deleted. I’ve taken control of my life, one less negative on my list.

My friend’s getting married this week and I’m bridesmaid. I’m terrified of showing my arms and being in front of so many people and having to go out for a hen night when I’m accustomed to staying at home all day every day. I could have made an excuse before we got fitted for our dresses, or even dropped out later. I could have accepted that my friend would think less of me for not making an effort for her big day. I could have chosen to drop out, but I didn’t. Her friendship means more to me than continuing to let people down last minute because my anxiety gets the better of me.

I chose to push through the issues for her wedding day, and to be as good a bridesmaid as I can possibly be under the circumstances. I am not perfect, but I’ll be there.

Bam! Decision made. I will not continue to run from situations that scare the shit out of me.

A couple of weeks ago me and my Mum signed up for Race For Life (which was postponed by the way due to the weather. Everything you’ve heard about England and weather is true). I wanted to do Race For Life to raise money for cancer research, but also to have a reason to be proud of myself. I struggle with low self-esteem, but walking 5km is undeniably a good thing, as is raising money for a disease that affects so many.

Bam! I signed up to do it, and I’m keeping to my word… whenever it’s rescheduled for.

I’m not an angel, none of these decisions were easy – it took me months to delete the old friend, i’ve asked to wear a bolero for the majority of my friend’s wedding day, and it took me weeks to build up the courage to sign up for sign up for Race For Life.

The point I’m making is now I know I have a choice. If I’m asked for a night out but don’t feel comfortable doing this, I have a choice whether I want to push myself and go out with the possibility that it might be good or it might be bad, or I can choose to stay in my comfort zone.

This is my choice.

And that’s why personalised recovery (what ‘recovery means to me might not be what ‘recovery’ means to you) is possible. I am making choices which will determine my future, only I can stay with my disorder and only I can kick its ass.

Emma

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