Feeling The Freeze!

So it seems that summer is over and the temperature has started to drop. I’ve always loved the sun and the long summer evenings so I guess it’s no surprise that I’m not particularly looking forward to the upcoming autumn and winter months.

But it’s no way near the complete dread I’d be experiencing several years ago. I never thought it was possible to experience such cold. Wearing several layers of clothing plus a coat, with a duvet around me and sitting by a radiator, I still couldn’t get warm. And this wasn’t even in the depths of winter, it was only October.

Visiting someone’s house I would famously park myself on their radiator, keeping my coat on, with hands around a hot drink, to stop my teeth from chattering. I would just listen as they spoke for I felt I had nothing of value to say. My mind was empty of news, meaningful or jovial conversation. It was full of thoughts of how freezing I was … and of course food.

On the days where I thought I couldn’t cope with the cold any more, I went to my local leisure centre, at a quiet time of day, and used the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Just feeling the heat hit me as I walked in was pure ecstasy, the relief of not feeling the pain of constantly being cold was indescribable. Though I still felt tortured by Ana, I could smile a little.

But I couldn’t stay there forever. And I dreaded returning to reality. The reality of starving myself, feeling exhausted and ice cold … for what?? Because a voice in my head told me I should. I can’t believe I thought so little of myself that I believed Ana for so long. She was never my best friend, she was my enemy, willing me to destroy myself.

Think to your past, your friends and any fall outs you’ve had. Did they ever go so far as to encourage you to end your life? I’m guessing not because what kind of best friend does that?

If you’re unhappy and realising that Ana isn’t the best friend that she promised she’d be, get in touch. I can help you kiss her goodbye.

Free Gym Memberships Won’t Help Long Term Obesity!

It makes me so frustrated when I see news headlines from the Government about all this money that’s being invested into bringing obesity down because of the costs it has on our society. They are looking at providing free gym memberships, looking into labelling processed foods in supermarkets, looking at educating people about what’s healthy and what’s not. Looking at the foods themselves and taxing unhealthy, sugary… foods to try and discourage us from buying them. And it makes me so frustrated the amount of money that’s being spent on these things because ….. that’s not what it’s about!!

What it’s about is that we are struggling with our lives, we are struggling in our mental capacity to cope with stuff that’s either happening in our lives now or in our past, particularly in our childhood. And we are using food as a way of trying to cope. Some people use other things like alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex which temporarily makes them feel better.

It doesn’t matter what the label says, it doesn’t matter how much that certain food costs, it doesn’t matter whether we have free gym membership. An obese person isn’t stupid, they are aware that they are unhealthy and need to change, they are not doing it simply because they enjoy food more than someone else, they are not greedy or lazy. It is a mental battle just like with compulsive overeating, binge eating disorder, anorexia or bulimia etc. In a lot of cases a person is of a normal weight so it might not look like they have an issue, but just because they don’t look overweight or underweight, their head is still the same, their mindset is still the same. They are still tortured by food, by thinking about food.

We need to address, the root cause or the real reasons we use food, the traumatic stuff that has gone on for us that we are still struggling with, the negative beliefs that we have about ourselves. Those feelings of being unworthy, undeserving, unloved, inferior, not good enough. Those are the things that we need to work on, because the rest are symptoms. And the only way to permanently get rid of the symptoms is to get rid of the cause.

All this money being spent in other areas may help some people for a short time but if that root stuff is still there, we’re going to go back to the same behaviours and the same patterns. I just wish that the government and NHS would wake up and invest this money into mental health because that’s the best way forward, to make a real difference. Because let’s face it, in a society that is so weight and body focused, being classed as obese is not going to help us feel more positive. Is it?

I’m Eating But I Want To Scream!

Have you ever sat at a table with family and friends and felt their eyes on you, watching to see if you’ll eat something? The pressure is immense and there’s a part of you that wants to people please and make everyone feel better. But the other part is screaming blue murder and wants to throw the plate against the wall and run out of there.

Why can’t they see what’s going on in my head? It’s obvious to me, my head feels like it’s about to explode, why can’t anyone else see?

You battle through and you eat, just a little but you can immediately sense everyone else breathe a sigh of relief. Phew! It’s OK, she’s eating. Well do you know what? It isn’t OK, not by a long way. Everything is still the same for me, I still have the same fears, they’re not gone.

It’s crazy because for one moment, you let other people win, you go along with they want, they fight the voice in your head. It’s only later that the guilt will come, and there lies the next battle.

But when are you going to win? When are you going to do what’s right for you? Not Ana, not anyone else, you. Do you even know what’s right for you? You’re being pulled in so many different directions, it’s hard to know who to believe.

Maybe you don’t feel able to change things, or it’s just too hard, that you tried before and it didn’t work, maybe you still think you’re in control and your ED is still helping you?

Eating disorders are complex but there is always a reason why you restrict/use food. You can start trying to eat more, but just because you’re physically eating, your mind set will be exactly the same. In order to have any hope of real recovery, the underlying/root causes needs to be dealt with.

If you’re unhappy and realising that Ana isn’t the best friend that she promised she’d be, get in touch. I can help you kiss her goodbye.

The Rules and Rituals When You Live With An Eating Disorder

How many rules and rituals do you have regarding food, eating, weighing yourself, body checking, exercise? It really is endless isn’t it and unfortunately the list of rules grows over time.

For some reason, we think that:

-Eating the same ‘safe’ foods

-Cutting them up into small pieces

-Eating very slowly and tidily

-Weighing ourselves each morning at a certain time

-Constantly checking our bodies for fat

-Doing a strict routine for a set time at the gym (and then a bit more just in case we slacked off at any point) even though we’re exhausted

-And many more (I could go on forever!)

will keep us ‘safe’, in control and will hopefully ensure we lose more weight. Our ultimate fear being that we put on weight.

Who tells us that the key to our happiness is through losing weight? That we will be ‘safe’ if we just continue to restrict? Of course it’s Ana. But how much is enough? Has she told you that? You’ve been working so hard at losing weight for so long, that’s all you’ve thought about for so long, surely you should have reached happiness by now? Has someone moved the goalposts because I swear she said ‘just get down to X stone/kg’ but that was a long time ago and she still wasn’t happy. I even gave up my friends and social life so I could focus more. When you work hard at college or university, you get a certificate at the end. Well I worked harder than you’ll ever know, for a lot longer and what did I receive? Just more torture, feeling alone, with no way out, no hope.

But there is a way out, believe me. You are a lot stronger than you think, you’ve made it this far. Maybe it’s time to place your belief in something/someone else and look for real happiness.

If you’re unhappy and realising that Ana isn’t the best friend that she promised she’d be, get in touch. I can help you kiss her goodbye.