Understanding Anxiety

So, this post is a bit different to all my other eating disorder related ones but is one that I think that affects almost everyone at some point.

Ever used the term ‘I feel anxious’ in a situation of worry or nervousness before going into an interview for example or putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation that causes you to have these overwhelming feelings? A survey from the Psychiatric Morbidity says that 3 million people in the UK at present have Anxiety. Those overwhelming feelings of your body being out of your control, your emotions heightened and even the smallest things cause you to feel Anxious. I think it’s something that almost everyone has experienced at some point in some situation and it’s becoming somewhat normal. However, I think understanding it and how to deal with it, is not so normal which is where people get lost. In this post I’m gonna share with you some symptoms of more severe anxiety and how it can affect people in their daily life as well as ways that I’ve found help me and I hope will help someone else. For someone who’s never experienced it before, it can be overwhelming, embarrassing (which it shouldn’t be), and confusing. So, I hope you enjoy and learn something new x

Anxiety is an emotion, but can become a mental illness when it becomes too much. The feeling of fear, worry and unease about a situation or circumstance. However, when this becomes really overwhelming and starts taking over things you do on a daily basis, it can become too much to deal with. Usually when talking about anxiety as a mental illness, a lot of people relate the psychological symptoms with it such as, being tense, worrying about things that will/might happen. These emotions when turning more severe can become entrapping driving someone who’s had anxiety for a long time to think negatively about themselves. Not doing enough, behind everyone else and anxiety is stopping them but not knowing how to get out, the worry that people can see their anxiety which makes them more anxious about it, negative images of the self, fear of failure etc… These work in a cycle. It’s a scary thought and a viscous cycle that can be hard to break.

However, what a lot of people don’t know is how these mental symptoms can become physical ones when it gets too much. Sometimes, worrying about things can be so overpowering that it makes you physically sick and ill. Things like, nausea, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, insomnia and more; and some people go through this on a daily basis. Ever been in an interview for something that was really important and felt like you were gonna be sick because you were so nervous? When that feeling happens to people who have severe anxiety, it can make them really unwell. I’ve had experiences of anxiety relating to my eating disorder and body image when I didn’t and couldn’t leave my house in certain clothes because I was anxious that people outside would look at me negatively and it would make me uncomfortable which has made me physically sick before. This is the severity people underestimate and why people are embarrassed to talk about it; because it’s ‘small things’ that are ‘stupid.’ Nothing that makes you feel good or bad is stupid or embarrassing. Sometimes it can be triggered by a thought, feeling, event, but sometimes, nothing triggers it and that’s okay. This overwhelming confusion can make you push people away and I think a lot of people don’t usually associate distance with Anxiety when it’s so common; it’s hard for some people to leave the house sometimes, or to step out of their comfort zone. Sometimes feeling worried or overwhelmed creates fear which stops you from doing the most you can do, seeing people, and you just want to take yourself out of this situation and be alone. Writing this, I sort of see the link between Anxiety and depression and how it can manifest. I think we speak a lot about anxiety and people know what it is. However, a lot of people don’t know how to deal with it because that’s not as commonly heard when I think it should be. So maybe things that help me, can help you…

How do I deal with it and could it help you?
So I’ve suffered from anxiety which goes up and down in severity for about 9/10 years and I’m gonna be honest, it took me so long to realise what works for me. The first thing I do is try and distinguish whether it was a situation, feeling, that made me feel that way and why it did that. I then try and deal with it, and see how I can perhaps fix that situation to eradicate the anxiety. If there’s times where it feels really bad, I try to distract myself. However, I find that for me this is only temporary and can only last so long. Don’t be afraid to find the root, because it helps understand it which gives you more control of the anxiety and therefore more ability to help it which isn’t easy to do. Another thing that helps me a lot is escape doing things or being with people I love and distract me fully. Going to the gym and running is a good one. Also, talking. Let everything you’re thinking out to someone and they might be able to help you understand yourself better because sometimes the overwhelming worrying thoughts can be hard. It’s important to talk about it if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s a weight of your shoulders. If speaking is hard, write it down. Some people find it easier to let all their thoughts on written down. Don’t bottle it up, it becomes too much and if it’s new and you don’t understand whats going on or what to do, a lot more people experience anxiety than is assumed so someone you think might not know, actually knows. Someone always always understands.

This was a random post but I hope my tips that have worked for me help someone. Feeling anxiety, especially when it’s bad, can be one of the worst, most difficult feelings to get out of; even if you experience it a lot or have never experienced it before. It’s normal, and it’s okay and there are people who get it and know how to help. (I’ll post some numbers/websites below) I wanna end on a good note and with a quote I always go back to as well as a few other quotes that people have come up with that describe anxiety in their own way to hopefully help people understand.

Keep an eye out for more posts x

“It’s like not realizing you’ve been holding your breath so you have to constantly remind yourself to breathe.”

“It’s like you have no control; it’s feeling constantly uncomfortable in your own skin. It is isolating, lonely, and it’s soul-destroying.”

“In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”

03001233393 – Mind Contact number
86463 – Mind TEXT service

 

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BEATing the British 10K – how I beat my eating disorder

Hello Everyone,

Been a crazy last few months finishing this year of uni, but nether the less, I have done it and onto the next year…

So I wanted to write a post about the British 10K! Those of you reading who follow me on social media know that myself and 2 other friends of mine ran the British 10K Sunday just gone, to raise money for Beat the Eating Disorders charity (will attach their page below). Those who follow me and know me personally also know that I love going to the gym so surely a 10K run shouldn’t be too bad right? The thing is, I never usually run, and running for such an important cause and having had an eating disorder, I put so much pressure on myself naturally to do well. So I thought I’d share with you:

a) How I prepped and how it went
b) Why this run was so important in raising money for Beat and what everyone’s fabulous donations does and goes towards.
c) Why this run was personally important to me in establishing my relationship with exercise after having had an eating disorder and what it meant to me to complete it.

Okay so first pointer… how did I prep and how did it go? Well.. I’ve been in Ghana volunteering in a psychiatric ward in a hospital (will write another post on that and how anyone interested in it can do it!) so I haven’t actually had the opportunity to train that much. As I said before I usually go to the gym a lot but I never really do much running, I lift weights which make me feel mentally and physically strong. So when I came back from Ghana, which was about a week before the run, I just did some running every other day, trying to up my mileage every time I ran as the time got closer. I was so excited to do the run, but so nervous at the same time because of how much I wanted to complete it. I’d not actually ever ran more than 6-7k before the British 10K which made me really nervous to do it, because I really wanted to run all of it and I’m the kind of person that when I set my mind to doing something, I have to do it.

So it got to the day, and I was so nervous at the start line but I started. The atmosphere was indescribable. Random people shouting my name and cheering everyone on, the music and drumming going on through central London created a vibe that made me forget how far I was running. Despite the 30 degree weather, I started finding it hard when I got to about 8K. Knowing I was so close to the finish line made it harder, but we pushed and with the help of Jennifer and Georgia, we did it. It felt so amazing to cross the finish line as my own personal accomplishment as well as the money we’d raised for Beat.

On that note, what does the money raised do for people with Eating Disorders? Well for those of you that don’t know Beat is an online charity that supports those suffering from eating disorders. They have online services and helplines that those who want to call can, and can speak to people. Alongside that, they also aim to educate people on eating disorders taking the focus away from physical symptoms and recognising that it’s as much a Mental illness, as much as depression. Beat doesn’t however, receive any government funding and relies on all the generous donations of people like you and me to keep their very very important services running. I only discovered beat after I had my eating disorder which is sad and I wish I had discovered it before, so raising money, as well as awareness, for such a positive and needed charity was important to us. So starting out with a £500 target which we upped at least 3 times to a final goal of £1,200 we went over our target and raised £1,350 which is enough to run Beat’s support services for a whole day. Having had an eating disorder, this is like music to my ears and the thought of even just a day of support for people makes us all so happy and makes running 10K to worth it. So thank you, and if you haven’t donated and are want to please find the just giving page below, we’re closing our donation page soon but a last few donations would mean more than explainable. (link will be below)

So moving on to why to this run was personally important to me is a big one. I’ve mentioned earlier that I put a lot of pressure on myself to complete this run a certain way. For people who don’t know much about Anorexia, exercise can be a big part of it in the sense where you eat, and regardless of what you eat, burning it off is crucial. It varies for different people. For me personally, I had to make sure I was as active as I could be so that I burnt more calories than I consumed. This was important to me to make sure I felt like I was always losing weight. To this day I still exercise a lot but what my eating disorder has taught me is that the relationship you have with exercise is so important. Gym is one of the things that didn’t work for me when I wanted to lose weight before my anorexia. But that was because I wasn’t doing it right, and went in there with the mindset of ‘losing weight fast’ (which is of course okay if that works for you) but, for me that triggered more thoughts which spiralled out of control. Luckily, I now love the gym for the right reasons for me. To make me feel strong mentally and physically, a space to breathe and let go of stresses, and this is the relationship I’ve always wanted with exercise. Saying that, there are still days where I struggle. Today, gym has become a fashion statement, and the focus on body image is bigger than ever, and looking a certain way has almost taken over the importance of going to the gym for a healthy lifestyle. This can still make it hard for me, even though I’m no longer sick.

So thinking about that, running this British 10K was an important step for myself in being able to say that I have a good relationship with exercise and doing it for the right reasons and I think I did. Having in mind the huge amounts of people who don’t get help for eating disorders/can’t afford it, and the importance in a charity like Beat who help out so much and are so easily accessible which means no waiting lists (which are beyond ridiculous, maybe I should do a post on this…) it’s so important to keep charities like that going, and with that in mind, even though it was HARD, how could I not do it? It also feels amazing for me personally and feels like such an achievement in regards to my eating disorder. 4 years ago I would’ve looked at the signing up page online and completely ignored it, thinking I could never ever do that because of the Anorexia, and because of how unfit I was even before I got sick. So I guess I can say it’s one of the ways the Anorexia has been a blessing in disguise in helping me get fit, and learn about fitness the right way and doing something good with it..

It feels so good to say that having had an eating disorder and being on my journey to recovery, I have ran the British 10K for Beat, an Eating disorders charity. And there’s many more of this to come hopefully.., Thank you for reading, and now that I’m off Uni, and have said “I should write a post on this” so much, I guess there’s new posts on the way. Here’s some of the links I mentioned, and some photos.

X

 

https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ebedbeats10k.

 

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‘Body Image’ adding a voice to the face…

Earlier this week, I got the chance to speak out on BBC news about my opinion on body image and how it’s personally affected me. I can’t believe how much coverage on this issue is being given on TV and it makes me so happy that people are finally speaking about this because, it’s so real. Take 2 mins to watch my take on body image…
For me, body image was one of the main reasons that me wanting to lose weight spiralled out of control into my eating disorder. Not the only reason, but definitely one of the most prominent ones. My reflection and how I see myself, is something that will always have a little trigger button to it for the rest of my life. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin, something that will take years; to rely on only myself to be happy with what I look like and who I am.
Recently this month, a few young people had petitioned for a while for the government to take action towards the portrayal of body image and I agree. To advertise a perfume, you don’t need a male or female model to show how something smells? This creates a perception to us that everything in life is image orientated, when it’s not and shouldn’t be. It’s hard in a society that’s so image focused to find your place of self-acceptance. My advice to anyone who’s trying to do this (and i still am, it doesn’t happen overnight) is to build yourself from the inside out, surround yourself with loving, caring, appreciative people who like you for you and not your image, and do what you like. It gives you an internal thrill and fills you inside so that eventually, what’s on the outside wont matter anymore.
Finally a response has been given by the government (wish they were this fast with other issues too…) and there are going to be changes to the portrayal of body image in the media. This needs to be done because when I log onto my Instagram, everyone looks the same… The government also wants to put in place posters/media displays on body image awareness because it is one of the strongest mental thoughts there can be; being aware about it, is only a step forward because you feel like it’s not just you.
I’m so glad I got the chance to share my experience and take on body image and that, even though there’s so much left to do about eating disorders, something is being done.
See you soon
X
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What makes Anorexia diagnosable; is that acceptable?

So today I had a bit of a realisation… It’s a bit random after my last post, but it needed to be said while I’m in the heat of the moment…

As everyone’s who read my blogs knows, I had Anorexia 3 years ago. That’s really not that long ago if you think about it, especially for me to be saying I ‘had’ anorexia. It took ages to develop, so surely it doesn’t just go away that easily right? I’m going to be brutally honest…

When I finished my 6 months CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) for Anorexia, they let me go like a duck in the water, I felt free; ‘OMG I’M FREE AND I’M ME AGAIN’. My BMI was within the healthy range, and my hair grew back quickly, I was ‘happy’ according to the NHS’s mark. All those stupid forms I filled in SO MANY TIMES (I’ll attach an image below for those who don’t know what they are) about my mood and anxiety, were now irrelevant because I was healthy! Was I though, said who? If I had said I still didn’t feel ok, would they have kept me in CBT longer? Once you’re a healthy weight, you’re miraculously ok apparently… This isn’t the case AT ALL. 3 years down the line, and only today have I realised that most of my daily behaviours, especially those around food, are behaviours I used to have when I was anorexic. It’s lead to me pose the question to any health, eating disorders expert, NHS member, mental health worker, the stupid system we live in, (don’t get me wrong the NHS does a fabulous job and we’re so lucky to have such an advanced health system but, in terms of mental health, it needs work) what makes anorexia acceptable and is that criteria really what makes someone anorexic? If I’m a healthy weight, am I still anorexic?

Before I start, lets look at the facts and what’s the criteria to be ‘anorexic’?

According to a lot of articles and pages I read online, these are the ‘symptoms’ of anorexia and if you have these, you’re anorexic:

  • Exercising excessively
  • Below a certain BMI – 17.5 but may change based on gender.
  • Not eating/restriction of food intake

So, to be diagnosed with Anorexia you need to have some of those symptoms and a few more. www.verywell.com is a website that just gives you information on Eating Disorders and they have this on their website: “For patients who do not meet full criteria for anorexia nervosa, Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder may be an appropriate diagnosis.” I’m sorry, what? ‘For patients who do not meet full criteria’ – am I applying for a job interview or filling in a form? I am not under-weight now and still have anorexic symptoms, when I was at my worst, I did not exercise excessively, I did eat, very little but I did. It was only when I stopped eating and my weight was at its lowest that I was acceptable to be ‘anorexic’, I finally fit the criteria! If this is the case then what entitles you to having an eating disorder? People at their WORST, won’t be given the anorexic title, and so don’t get diagnosed, which means they’re left neglected until it manifests becoming something worse. A year post-recovery, I still had A LOT of the symptoms I had during my eating disorder, I was in and out of my GP, asking to be seen, to be understood, to be heard. I was told I had anxiety, it was stress and everything would be ok, it was depression, it was everything but an eating disorder because when I stepped on those DREADED scales, it was ‘correct’. What is correct anyway, says who? It’s stupid because the reality is, I could be overweight and still have an eating disorder. I still control my food, I still can’t look at my reflection, I still find it hard to eat in social situations no matter how much of a front I put on. I always tell one person who I’m with when I’m eating out how nervous I am about eating and that’s so bad because food is everywhere. I can’t hide anymore. It makes me ashamed that I have to do that because ‘I’m not anorexic anymore’ says who? Who makes this criteria and how much do they really know? To the stupid doctors who told me that I have every other mental illness under the sun, made me feel like shit, like no matter what I did I couldn’t avoid this dark cloud above me every time I tried to be free, who made me feel like the most messed up person in the world, who didn’t listen to me when I said I would rather be dead than alive because I couldn’t do it anymore, who didn’t even consider asking about my food or anything related because I was a healthy weight, WAKE UP. Anorexia is a MENTAL illness. MENTAL. That means its in your head. It creates this tunnel vision and filters your sight. You can only see through it and no other way.

What really is Anorexia then? If someone’s weight isn’t low to the point they’re just skin and bone, what makes someone anorexic? It has to do with food of course, but that’s not the main issue. During my sick time, I ate, not what I wanted to, but I ate. It’s all in your head. It creates this idea in your head that you have to look and be a certain way and are never good enough. Even when you restrict. This applies to everything in your life. Got a grade back? It’s not good enough. Got some new trousers, they aren’t loose? Not good enough. Tried to socialise but you couldn’t do it? Not good enough. You’re never good enough or worthy of anything when you have anorexia. You feel trapped inside this body that isn’t yours and you can’t get out. You get glimpses of what its like to be the old you but you never get to go there which is unexplainable. It’s looking in the mirror and feeling physically sick whether you’re under or overweight, running to the toilet and being sick. Its hating a part of your body so much, squashing and squashing and SQUASHING it in the hope it will just disappear. Feeling guilty about eating an apple or something healthy. An Anorexic’s mind is consumed by all these ideas of perfectionism, control, self-esteem, and food. It twists your thoughts so that everything you do is bad and nothing is ever good. It doesn’t matter the digits on the scale, or the digits on the blood pressure machine. How can you define a mental illness with numbers?

Having said all of that… I then want to say, from experience, how I feel an eating disorder should be diagnosed. This is only my view, I’m not a professional or whatever, it’s just based on my experience and highlighting how important even the small things are. Firstly, I think an eating disorder shouldn’t be labelled an ‘eating disorder’ it should just go under the category of all other mental illnesses. Depression isn’t labelled ‘low mood disorder’ so why are eating disorders? Secondly, just because you’re a healthy weight DOES NOT mean you don’t have an eating disorder. Scales don’t define your mental state. This is what went wrong for me, I was finally a healthy weight after 6 months and was dropped, because I was ok, when I wasn’t. The current diagnosis system is losing people to eating disorders. It’s one of the most dangerous mental illnesses, the one that causes most deaths, do you know why? Because it’s not labelled as a ‘mental illness’ but as an ‘eating disorder’ when food isn’t at the core of the problem. After all, it is a MENTAL illness.

 

Image result for low mood form

This is similar to the form i talk about earlier, can’t find the actual one online

 

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Story 3; Depression

Hiiii again! Hope everyone is good. Sorry for the delay, uni is very demanding at the moment!!

This post was a hard one to write but I wanted to do it because I know how common depression is, so bare with me and remember everyone’s journey is different, this is just my take on it…

I’m going to be honest, I don’t know where to start with this one. Let’s start with: what is depression? I looked on the NHS website, online for a legit diagnosis but there doesn’t seem to be any. Surely this speaks for itself – so many people go through it but no one can define it? The NHS says that its more than ‘a bad mood’ and these are the symptoms: Continuous low mood or sadness, feeling hopeless and helpless, having low self-esteem, feeling tearful, feeling guilt-ridden, feeling irritable and intolerant of others, having no motivation or interest in things, finding it difficult to make decisions, you find social situations hard sometimes and other times they’re 100% ok, and there is more. (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/symptoms/) PLEASE READ THEM BECAUSE EVEN I WAS SURPRISED. The ones that stood out to me are: you are sad but you don’t know why, feeling hopeless and helpless, you lose motivation to do the things you used to love doing, there are so many things going on in your head but you can’t get them out to let people help you and then you can feel alone. There’s so many relevant ones and even ones that I myself think about everyday and didn’t even know they were under the ‘depression symptoms’. It’s weird that people use these terms and the word depression to take the piss out of something, ‘you look so depressed, cheer up’, and comments like these are the reason that depression isn’t taken seriously. It makes me really angry because being sad and being depressed are two DIFFERENT things. You can’t just ‘cheer up’ when you’re depressed because it consumes you and becomes your life-style its not just something you can change like that, I wish it was but it’s not. By using these mental illnesses as a casual label, people diminish their meaning so its not taken seriously and this is the problem about mental health. It’s not a joke, it’s not something you use to ‘laugh about’. It’s you not being in control of your mind, your thoughts, your feelings, its like living with 2 people inside you and not knowing how to escape it. Its pushing away the people closest to you because you’re not worthy of having relationships/friendships because you’re not good enough. Its not doing the things you once loved because you’re not good enough.

When I got diagnosed with anorexia, I knew I had an eating disorder. I never thought of it as a mental illness and that’s a problem that society does. An eating disorder is a mental illness above anything else. Just because you’re not literally underweight DOES NOT MEAN you are not sick. The same applies for depression. Just because there are no visual marks or pointers to show you are depressed, then you’re not. That’s not how it works. Just because I don’t have scars to take steps to ‘show I’m depressed’ doesn’t mean I don’t have a constant battle in my head with this part of me that controls me and takes away who I really am. This is yet ANOTHER problem with mental health which raises the question, how much has really changed? If people still look for visual marks of you being ‘mentally ill’?

Ok so rant over…

After recovering physically from my eating disorder, I fell into deep depression. There were so many things going on in my head that I couldn’t get out to let people help me because I didn’t know how to – something therapy for Anorexia didn’t teach me to do which resulted in depression and me feeling neglected and alone. I can’t even describe to you what it feels like. I punish myself for not sticking to what I was going to for no reason, I only see myself as a ‘faliure’ which poses the question, why bother with anything? I know some people reading this will think ‘just think positively’ but you CAN’T. You’re not in control of your thoughts, they’re filtered through a dark, misty lense that you can’t move or clean. I will think like this today, and the next day I’m fine and the bubbliest person in a group of people. But please be aware. Someone once told me ‘the loudest, most hyper people are the ones who have a lot to hide with that humour’ and it’s true because I used to do that. (Maybe not EVERYONE but it’s a common thing coping mechanism for people who are struggling. It can feel like ‘putting on a front’ most of the time, pretending you’re ok so people don’t ask questions that you don’t want to and aren’t able to answer. It made me push some of the closest people to me away, and even to this day I still do that, and I can’t tell you why. You learn to be comfortable in your own company and want that only especially on down days.

Depression can come across as though people are ‘attention seeking’ or ‘isolating themselves’ but what people need to see is that its not what you want to do. It’s something you learn to do that becomes your place of comfort and your way of dealing with things. It’s hard because in society, a lot of misconceptions have been made about people ‘attention seeking’ and people suffering with mental health problems tend to fall under that category which makes me feel so sick. Why are people being given this label, when they’re struggling? When they think they’re better off not here for reasons that are not their fault?

I’ve googled some quotes that people shared about their experience with depression and what it feels like: ‘You feel like a ghost… not part of the real world’, ‘Nothing is fun anymore’, ‘It’s like someone else is in control of your mind and has the power to make you feel worthless and numb’, ‘Not feeling any internal emotions, or anything at all but emptiness’, ‘it steals your confidence’. There were so many more, and it just goes to show how common it is and how rubbish it can really make you feel.

Please take the time to really look at the people closest to you and if you recognise any of this in them, sometimes, the people closest to you are going through so much, want help but just don’t know how to say it. Having 1 person asking you ‘are you ok’ just out of the blue can be the start of that little glimpse of hope for that person, and believe me, it helps and only takes 2 seconds. Depression makes you lose who you are and going through the process to find yourself again is a long painful one. It makes you question – who am I and where has the real me gone?

I just want to say, for anyone reading this who connects with any of these feelings now or has done; please don’t hesitate to message me, thank you for being here to read this and even though it doesn’t feel like it right now, there is a way out. It’s taken me a long time to get where I am now, and I’m still not where I want to be yet…

P.s take a look at this video which made me feel empowered:

ttps://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=what+it+feels+like+to+live+with+depression&&view=detail&mid=E30FED5CC5D104694D79E30FED5CC5D104694D79&&FORM=VDRVRV

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Why I HATE January – bigorexia, anorexia, and my advice…

A bit late but better late than, never right? Happy new year! I hope everyone had a good new year and a good time off everything that usually keeps you busy. I’m back with a new post that follows briefly from my last one, where I mentioned this month being the world famous ‘diet month’. This is only going to be a short post as I’m on the train back to University and if I don’t pay enough attention, I will get off at the wrong stop because I’m clumsy like that…

So, it’s a new year, and everyone is boasting about ‘New Year New Me’ as always. January marks the opportunity for a fresh start, the opening of a new chapter, and focusing on the best version of you. With a fresh start and a new month, comes the adverts and promo’s I see everywhere about losing weight and getting in the gym which is why I like to call it the ‘diet month’. I regularly go to the gym anyway which was and still is an important step in my recovery from my eating disorder, but seeing all of these promos about it everywhere puts me off and makes me feel like I’m behind, like I need to exercise more to keep up with society and this image of what it means to be ‘healthy’. I’m conscious of days I choose to go to the gym because (I think I’ve mentioned this briefly in another post) I have to be in the right mind set for it. Not in the mind set to ‘lose weight’ but in the mind set to want to go there because I know it will make me feel clearer in my mind, and powerful in my strength physically and mentally.

It’s frustrating for anyone who likes the way they were 5 days ago in 2017, and doesn’t want to change anything about how they are or how they look. It puts pressure to feel like they have to get up and join in with this ‘new year new me healthy lifestyle’. I understand that the promo is to make you literally start afresh, and work hard but what the media fails to understand, is that it puts pressure  on people who don’t want to do that. Especially on those with an Eating Disorder or having had one, it can be triggering. Just as you learn to love and accept yourself for who you are, suddenly there are pictures and videos EVERYWHERE on how you should look, and behave this year which is confusing I can’t even tell you. It’s hard to explain but for someone with an Eating Disorder, and having a perfectionist mindset, naturally when you go through such mental pressure, you want to look the best all the time, and CAN’T look any other way because it’s just not allowed in your mind. And if you don’t, you’re failing yourself. Even on days where you might feel the slightest bit ok with how you are, (when I say slightest, I mean SLIGHTEST), you look on BBC NEWS and see them advertising a diet plan, or how much sugar you should eat in a day – which of course is being considerate and educating people on healthy amounts – but it does NOT ACCOUNT for anyone who suffers mentally with food. AT ALL. By telling us how much sugar we have to eat, someone with an eating disorder, will just straight away feel like they eat too much of it, or feel like they’re doing something wrong. To see things like on BBC NEWS which you watch to EDUCATE yourself with what’s happening in the world, makes you question, what can you watch? Where can you look without being confronted with food? Nowhere. I know if it was me, 3 years ago seeing things like that on TV thinking the way I did, I’d be really questioning why I even bothered and how shit I looked, even though looking back now, I didn’t look shit, I was sick.

How I deal with this month having had an eating disorder, is by leaving the media alone. Avoiding Instagram and places where you’re more likely to see anything like that. Even though it can be hard to avoid because social media is like a drug, resist it and work on yourself and just doing things you love away from the media, that’s what keeps me alive anyway. Focus on things that make you feel good about yourself and like you’ve done something good.

As well as applying for people with an eating disorder, the same thing applies for people without one who just don’t want to change how they look, and have just gained self-confidence. The way this world works, is backwards. As soon as you feel ok, it hits you with something in the face, to remind you that you don’t look like what you’re supposed to look like. – Let me ask you though, what are you supposed to look like and who said that you’re supposed to look that way?- It makes you feel bad for how you are as a person, and like you’re not good enough because you don’t look like THEM which is nothing near OK… this applies to men too. More so today, men have an image they have to live up to more than they did even just 5 years ago. ‘Bigorexia’ has become something really relevant in today’s society, putting pressure on men to be big, and muscly otherwise, they aren’t ‘manly’ enough. These expectations are too much and unrealistic, and just made to make people feel like they’re not good enough. Read this article on bigorexia to open your eyes to what society is doing to us without us realising:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/mens-health/11881644/Bigorexia-are-gym-obsessed-men-suffering-from-a-disorder.html

One thing that I haven’t yet, but want to realise soon and am in the process of doing it, is understanding that getting off your phone, away from your laptop, reminds you of what it means to feel alive like I said earlier. I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to focus on helping other people through my blog, in general, and getting involved in things I’m passionate about. Leave behind worrying what people think about you or how people will read something you do. Do it because you want to and that’s it. Even if it’s something small, do it. Self-love and acceptance is key to happiness; I’m not there yet because it’s not something that happens from the 31st December 2017 to the 1st January 2018 just like that. It’s a working progress… Write down your goals for this year, add to them, stick to them, tick them off, and see yourself progress without even realising.

If you have/have had an eating disorder and are struggling this month, take time to think about why you wanted to get better or want to, and remind yourself of the little things you do on a daily basis that you love, what you’re passionate about and let that take over your mind. Please anyone also message me if you’re struggling, a problem shared is a problem halved, and we can help each other…

As a little taster, I think my next post is going be another story, one that I think a lot of people will connect with well, it’s not going to be easy so be patient with me as I figure out how to write it….

I said this was going to be short… lol oh well. Luckily my stop is next, so see you all very soon

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Final post of 2017 –

I’m reminiscing on a crazy 2017.

I’ve met some people that I now know will be with me forever. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a whole new world and realising that you don’t need all the things we have in our world to be happy, but just the small things. I’ve had some incredible holidays this year with the most special people. Most of all, I made the decision to start this. It was a hard thing to do, and I had a lot of the stories already written without posting because I didn’t know how to address such a taboo issue… Mental health is so important. It can be harder on the person than a physical illness which is what people don’t see. Physical illnesses speak for themselves, but a mental illness can’t be spoken. Literally, and sometimes because there are no words to describe your state of mind. I thought… why keep all of these thoughts in, when you can self-express while helping others.

A few lil notes…

This upcoming week is a hard one for anyone with an eating disorder, even me who’s at the stage I am at now. The first week of January is known as the ‘diet’ week where everywhere in the media, people advertise on how to lose weight etc. My advice and what I’m going to try to do too… is stay low on social media and just do what you do best. BEAT support have a twitter page that offers a 3pm-10pm (I think) support where anyone can message them to speak to someone if you’re having trouble. (I’ll put their @ and link below).

Today itself can be a hard day, I know it can be for me too with all the pressure of trying to be better in the new year, and be a better version of yourself, improve little things about you is everywhere on social media. I know anyone reading this, and feeling somewhat similar has already been trying to do that all of this time so, maybe today, take a break from all of that. Look back on the good times this year, and the not so good times and remember the lessons those moments have taught you. Take next year to focus on yourself, and do things you love, that make you feel alive.

Thank you to every single person who’s taken the time to read any blog post of mine, & for every message. It really is such an amazing feeling knowing its not just you who thinks this way. I’ll be back next year with some new stories… and some more advice on how I deal with my battles; for now, happy new year!

https://twitter.com/BeatEDSupport – @BeatEDSupport x

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