Anonymous asked: What happened on Friday lovely? (Of course you don't have to answer if you don't want to) I'm sorry it seems to affected you so :( I hope you're okay x
I tried to answer this without going into too much detail but it’s difficult so have omitted as many details as I can (because input would be helpful- i feel like I am in the wrong) (TW obviously)
- me (on focusing on LIFE not calories!)
I was right about fu*king everything up and ruining things on Friday.
My therapist is too angry to even speak to me which I thought maybe I was misinterpreting when we “spoke” on the phone yesterday but we just had our normal session and I didn’t get a chance to speak because the entire session was all about her and how she is left feeling and the impact on our relationship when I put myself at risk.
We normally speak on the phone on days we don’t meet but she said she needs a break from me so no contact until I am back from Barcelona next week.
I haven’t had space or time to process what happened on Friday or the feelings that led up to that or the feelings I still have. Or yesterday and all the stuff going on this week.
She didn’t mention the emailed bog post about the lunch date I had on the weekend (which was HUGE for me) so I am guessing she was too angry to even read my emails or just too busy, which seems standard lately (we still haven’t finished my review…)
I am so upset right now.
Just feel like I got fat = whole surge of emotions I can’t really cope with too well = a few messy situations = I am left alone with them.
My brain is interpreting this as “people cared more when I was thin”.
Smaller was safer, better.
People had to stick around to make sure I was okay. Now they SEE I am “okay” and I just disappear into the background.
Anonymous asked: Wow, you've struggled with anorexia for so long. Could I ask when you developed your ED? What are some of your best tips for recovery?
I developed anorexia when I was 12 and I turn 32 on Thursday (yikes…) so yes, a while!
My tips for recovery- bear in mind I am not “recovered”- but things I find really helpful are:
Hope that helps a little x
Having a really difficult day.
As much as I try to remind myself that I don’t WANT my old body back, it’s so fu*king hard to tolerate this.
Right here and right now, my body doesn’t feel like my own. I look in the mirror and I see my 12-year old self staring back at me and I panic, thinking, "what have I DONE?"
I never struggled with body image until this year and this “stage” of recovery. Ever. In almost 20 years of anorexia, my size and shape has never been something that I have thought about. Weight, I have fixated on. Numbers are tangible and make sense. I can change them and organise them and move them around like Lego pieces and I have approached weight the same way I approach food (calories = numbers.)
I like patterns and shapes and calculations and weight and food provide endless hours of this. But size? Not so much.
But the last 7-8 months, size and shape HAS become an issue. My weight hasn’t stabilised (I am not “weight restored” and it jumps inconsistently. I don’t trust my body and I don’t trust numbers and I don’t trust anything right now and what I see staring back at me is a body that has changed dramatically and I look healthy, I look normal, I look…like everybody else and I feel invisible.
I was feeling pretty desperate this evening and a quick google search led me to this article which discusses this very thing (you mean, it ISN’T just me?!):
(brilliant article below cut)
Accepting your body means accepting that it’s going to change through recovery. You can’t stay broken and unhealthy forever, you have to let your anorexic body go.
Honestly, it’s so obnoxious, but body image really is the last thing to get better, but it does get better. I’m beginning to experience that myself now. I’m really proud to hear how far you’ve come. You’re a rock star!
Look at all these amazing changes you’ve made this year, the number means nothing, focus on the progress you’ve made and the steps you’ve taken towards LIVING. Think where you could be this time next year, not in terms of weight but in terms of freedom xx
You are both amazing. Thank you. xxxx
TW (Monday weigh-in- no numbers mentioned and not that negative but ya know)
My weight went up way more than I was expecting today and I am panicking beyond words. My weight has been zig-zagging over the last few weeks and overall maintaining but today was a higher jump and feels way too much and I am beyond terrified.
I also made the mistake of looking back at this time last year and seeing what I weighed then and comparing it to know and feeling suddenly aware of every inch of my body being bigger, rounder, the space around me so much smaller.
I remember very clearly that exact week because my birthday is this week.
My birthday last year, I had lunch at Pret with my mum and ate something I knew would trigger a migraine and something I didn’t really like but I ate it because it was “safe”. I was still getting migraines several times a week at that point so it wasn’t a huge deal. I also had my treatment review that day but I wasn’t able to go because it was at 4pm and I hadn’t managed to start going out in the afternoons yet because my routines were too rigid so I stayed home, chain smoking nervously awaiting the outcome of my review. Then cried myself to sleep.
This year on my birthday, I am flying to Barcelona with my mom and my step-dad. I’ve picked out a funky vegan bar to go for dinner where I don’t know the exact menu but I know they serve 6 kinds of veggie burgers and it’s known for awesome music. I have late-afternoon coffee dates with friends this week to have mini celebrations which were unthinkable before because by the time my walks were over, there was such a small gap to do much else before I had to be home.
I get minor migraines once every 3-4 weeks now- partly because of changes in my diet and the medication I am on but undoubtedly also because I am overall healthier.
I no longer smoke. It’s been 11 months since I last picked up a cigarette.
I don’t like looking back because it’s so easy to romanticise the past. Look back with rose-tinted lenses at how life used to be. Smaller was better. thinner was happier.
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder".
There’s a difference between a glimpse at a rear-view mirror and really turning around and staring through a microscope at what has been left behind. Because the truth is, what HAS been left behind is far more terrifying than anything that lies ahead.
My body has grown in proportion to my life.
I am not happy about my body or my weight. But nor am I interested i going back to where I have been.
I don’t know where I go from here.
Anonymous asked: Hey do Henderson's do things that are gluten free and vegan? Like sandwiches or salads? I'd love to go in myself and look but the anorexic bit of me doesn't want to get cornered into buying or looking before im sure whats there. I know that sounds weird! But I thought you might know already :) I've been in the restaurant before yum yum :) x
They definitely have plenty of vegan options though you never really know what they will have in the deli part where I have been going (I have a nut allergy so that ruled out the one vegan sandwich on offer today). I don’t pay a lot of attention to what is also gluten free but I am going to assume based on the bistro menu (view it here) that they do have options though it’s probably hard to plan exactly what they will have? (That is something I struggle with- really glad I had tried the “savoury + salad” options with my support worker before today).
It’s not one of those places where they pounce on you as soon as you walk in the door so it would be absolutely fine to stick your head in one day and have a wee look at what kind of things they have
EDIT: they definitely have baked potatoes in the deli part with salad fillings and some of those are definitely going to be gluten free and vegan
I love the idea of approaching our bodies, ourselves and really our lives with curiosity. Curiosity is exploration. It’s not judgment or criticism or disappointment.
No one feels like this! What’s wrong with you? Wow, only you’d be hungry after having such a big meal. You’re anxious. Again! Why can’t you just stop eating? That small remark hurt your feelings? Seriously? You can’t be tired after such a short workout.
It’s none of these things. Curiosity is simply the thirst for knowledge and insight. It’s paying attention and sharpening our senses. It’s asking questions. It’s going beyond the “My body is disgusting” and “I can’t do anything right” statements.
Instead of berating our bodies and ourselves, here are the many things we can get curious about:
- the foods you like and don’t like — what are my favorite flavors? spices? sweets? what food will I not miss — ever! — if it dropped off the face of the earth?
- how you feel after eating different foods — do I feel energized or lethargic? does my stomach hurt? do I get a headache? do I feel great overall?
- mistakes, at work, at home — why did I make this mistake? was I too tired? distracted? should certain systems be in place to protect against this kind of mistake-making? what did I learn? what will I do next time? what could I take away from this experience?
- your favorite things to do on the weekends — do I prefer vegging out? riding my bike? cleaning and organizing the house? going out or staying in? being with others or savoring solitude?
- your thoughts — what am I thinking today? where do these thoughts come from? do they serve me?
- your feelings — what am I feeling today? why am I feeling this way? where might these feelings stem from? how can I feel this feeling healthfully?
- your favorite self-soothers — what things tend to make me feel better when I’m upset? what makes me feel worse?
- your hungry and satiety cues — why do I usually eat way past fullness in the evenings? is it because I don’t eat enough during the day? am I stressed out or overwhelmed and using food to cope? why do I have a hard time eating when I’m hungry on some days? what about the days I do listen to my body? how do those differ from the days I don’t?
- self-compassion — why do I have a hard time being kind to myself? what are the small ways I can be kinder to myself? what nice thing can I do right now for myself and someone else?
- physical activities — am I still enjoying the activities I’m doing now? am I getting bored? am I having fun moving my body in this way? what are other movements I can start experimenting with? how often would I like to be active this week? how does being active make me feel? what is my definition, my version of “being active”? what movements make me feel alive?
- bodily sensations and states — where might this tension be coming from? what might be contributing to my fatigue? how can I make time to take more breaks during the day? when was the last time I felt this way? what is my body trying to tell me?
By virtue of being a human, you are multilayered, interesting, complex. When we take the time to get curious about our thoughts, feelings, favorites, passions, perspectives, mistakes, musings, we can discover a new, beautiful world, which we might’ve never even considered in the midst of self-criticism, nit-picking and body bashing.
What will you be curious about today?
For a while now, I’ve been able to look back at my life 2-3 years ago and think that although at times I really miss my “old” body, I don’t miss it enough to go back to my “old” life I was living 2-3 years ago.
I think that today is the first day where I have thought that I prefer my body now. Not because I *like* it, but because my body when my weight was lower represents a time in my life that was just so painful.
It’s painful to look back on.
And it’s impossible today to think about my smaller body without also recalling all the memories of what “life” at that weight also entailed.
I don’t miss it at all.
Any of it.
Despite feeling like this, I have spent the last hour looking at menus with nutritional info so I can compare everything and pick what I am having for lunch on Tuesday.
Because if I don’t plan exactly what I will be doing, then I have no control over what happens.
And if I have no control over what happens, then….bad stuff happens.
….this is about more than just weight and food, SO MUCH MORE, but as trite and cliched as it sounds- weight and food is something I can absolutely plan and control.