Dear Hope, I Want To Save You

This week, I took the opportunity to work with two business coaches.  Why?  Because I wanted to make sure I was doing my very best to get my message out to people, to make sure that they’d hear me, that they’d understand.

One of these coaches asked me to imagine my ideal client.  I told her I’d done that and I was looking to work with women with anorexia located anywhere in the world.  Brilliant she said but you might want to narrow this down a little.  Not because you don’t want to work with everybody but so that your message doesn’t get distorted.  What is this person’s life like?  What has she gone through?

So I thought about this and I’ve decided to call her ‘Hope’ and to write her a letter:

writing

Dear Hope,

I’m sorry that you’re struggling right now.  I know it’s been really hard for you over the years.  You’ve tried to be the best mum you can, whilst working and juggling everything and you’re doing a great job, but to you, it’s just not enough.  It’ll never feel good enough.  You’ll always need to do better.

You don’t feel special.  Or that you belong.  You’ve always struggled with relationships and whilst you long for someone to look after you, you like to remain in control and are fiercely independent.  You feel like you have to do everything yourself.  And although you always put yourself last, and place other people’s needs before your own, you still don’t feel worthy or that you have a purpose in life.  You have no idea how much others value you.  You just see yourself as a burden to others because of your anorexia.

I know you are exhausted, but you can’t stop for fearing of thinking about what’s gone wrong in your life and about food, of course.  The only way you’re able to cope is by using anorexic behaviours.  You feel safe when you’re restricting, you feel powerful, you feel invincible.  But you know that it doesn’t last and a binge is never far away, which brings with it the most fear and guilt imaginable.  You are caught in a cycle and you don’t know how to get out.  All attempts so far have ended in failure.  It’s safer not to try.

But you can do this.  And I know because I’ve been there … and I got out.  And the view from here is pretty stunning.

theviewisgreat

I can see that:

  • I am a great a mum/daughter/friend.
  • I am valued and loved by lots of people in my life.
  • I am special and unique.
  • I am worthy and have huge purpose in my life.
  • I am not second best to anybody.
  • I am safe and able to cope with life’s ups and downs without Ana in my life.
  • that the world is a beautiful place.
  • that I have a lot to be grateful for.
  • that my world is a lot better without Ana in it.
  • that recovery is worth the effort.

Hope, I know that you’re not feeling it just now, but I want to let you know that the above is totally possible.  Not just for me, but for you too. And I  want to take your hand and save you from the torturous world that is slowly killing you.  I know a way out Hope, I can help you get to a better place, you just need to take my hand and trust in me.

Kim x

I’m serious about helping women with anorexia, hence wanting to work with a coach.  I looked at my options, who would be right for me and signed up.  If you’re serious about finding a way out, you need to do the same.  If you want to see if I’m a good option for you, then reach out, and get in touch.

 

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Feeling The Fear

When I was addressing my own issues during recovery, I realised that I had a conflict of wanting attention but being scared of attention.  I wanted to be made to feel special but I also very much struggled with talking to people about myself.  I could listen to others all day, but talking about me?  My mind just went blank.  I just felt that I didn’t have anything of value to say.  I guess my confidence was pretty low and being asked the question “So what do you do?” by people that I’d just met at a social function, was my worst nightmare.  I didn’t feel enough, I felt judged, I felt that I was boring.  I found that a lot of people loved to talk about themselves and I took advantage of this by firing loads of questions at them, so the attention was off me.  But the thing was, it was my own negative thoughts about myself and my situation that were affecting me, affecting my ability to talk to people.

When I was a teenager, a girl from school said that she wished she had legs like mine.  That hers were too skinny.  I thought she meant that mine were fat.  But I had interpreted this event to mean that even when I’m not aware, people are constantly watching me and judging me in a negative way.  This affected me greatly and made me desperate to hide away and not be seen.

desperate-woman

These events in my life are certainly not isolated and I’ve had to work on quite a few.  But by continually working on my fear of being visible, putting myself out there, being judged, etc. not only in my personal life but in my work too, I am now confident about what I have to say.

I know that I can make a difference in people’s lives, that I can really help them.  But what if I kept that knowledge to myself?  What if I was too frightened to say anything to anybody in case someone said anything negative to me?  Nobody would know about me and my work and I wouldn’t be able to help anyone.  As a recovered anorexic and qualified professional, I know I am in a pretty good position to help others, particularly as I use a tried and tested method that I’ve used myself and with other clients.

I want to help as many people as I can, so I know I need to shout my message as far and as wide as possible, and this gives me courage.  So much so, that I fought my fear last week and did Facebook Lives over four consecutive evenings, working on issues such as ‘Thinking Food is Evil’, ‘Fixating on the Number on The Scales’, ‘Eating in Public/In Front Of Others’ and ‘Getting Rid of Food ie. Laxative Abuse, Purging, Overexercise’.  Comments from the group were positive and I really enjoyed doing them.  And I’m planning to do between 1-2 Facebook Lives each week from now on.

I know what it’s like to be fearful, but don’t let fear hold you back.  I feel I wasted so much time worrying about what other people thought of me.  But now I’m confident in me, there are so many opportunities for me to help others, and I want to make the most of this.

If you’d like to make positive changes in your life, but fear is standing in your way, please book a call with me today to see if I can help you.

Plus if you’re interested in seeing the Facebook Lives I’ve been doing with my group, and the future videos, sign up to my  Anorexia Support Group now.

Why I Work With People With Anorexia

I sometimes chuckle to myself about my ‘business’.  If I was presenting my business idea to a bank or Dragon’s Den or indeed Sir Alan Sugar on The Apprentice, they wouldn’t invest in me.  Not because I’m not good at what I do, or because I don’t get the results.  But because the risk is too high.

You see, I have probably chosen to work with people who are the most difficult to reach, the ones who do not want to work with anyone because of the fears involved, even though a part of them is desperate for things to change.  So why am I in business trying to help a market that in a lot of cases, doesn’t want help?

The answer is …. because that was me.  I was that person.  I was desperate for things to change but I had no idea how that was even possible.  I couldn’t even imagine how things could change that day let alone imagine myself in the land of Recovery and Happiness in the future.

I was the one with all the fears.  Fear of losing my safety, losing control, being made to restore weight, it just all seemed too much.  It was only when I hit rock bottom, that I eventually admitted that I was all out of options of trying to make things better myself.  My desperation had become greater than my fear, and I was finally able to reach out.

I ended up in residential treatment but when I was discharged four months later, at a more healthy weight, I was still scared and tormented because my mindset was still the same.  Physically, people saw me as recovered but I knew in my mind I was nowhere near.  Even though I knew I wasn’t happy when Ana was winning, she was still trying to control me and I still had to fight hard to resist.

The turning point for me came when I learned a tool called Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT aka Tapping).  It helped me let go of my negative emotions and to feel more relaxed and calm.  But the best bit was that it helped me change my mindset and my negative beliefs about myself.  This has been the key to my recovery.

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I feel now like my anorexia is like lava and I am a volcano.  I have lay dormant for a long time.  I am very aware that stressful times in my life can cause the lava to bubble.  However I now have this tool to help me deal with my stresses so that the lava settles down again.  I still feel in control of me.  I do not erupt.  That is one amazing feeling!!

So to answer the question, why I choose to work with people with anorexia, when most don’t want help?  Because there are people out there just like me.  Who are scared but are desperate.

Is this you?  I want to help you reach the same place as I am today using a tool that can start helping straight away.  Find out more now by joining my facebook group – Anorexia Support Group.  The link is https://www.facebook.com/groups/572012266320999/

Let Go of Ana But Still Feel In Control

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) aka tapping, is a simple to learn yet powerful tool that is great at helping you stay calm and relaxed. Sounds great in itself right, but there’s more.  You know that feeling when it comes to challenging your anorexic behaviours, the fear, the guilt, the anger, the frustration, and let’s face it, there’s plenty more emotions that come up.  It can also help you let go of these fears and guilt etc. so you can feel more relaxed about challenging eating something, not going to the gym, not purging, not weighing yourself, eating in front of people.  Whatever you wish to try and change.

But the real magic in EFT is when you work with a practitioner who helps you address the root cause of your anorexia, the negative beliefs you have about yourself that keep you trapped in your eating disorder. It also helps you let go of past events that you’re still holding on to and are still affecting you.  The things that have happened in your life that you feel you can’t control of cope with.

By doing this work, you change your mindset, feel more confident, increase your self esteem, feel more positive about yourself and feel able to cope. You then no longer feel the need to use your anorexic behaviours in the same way and they are easier to let go, without fear, guilt or any other negative thoughts or emotions.

With EFT you really can let go of Ana whilst still feeling in control!

Food Shopping: The Panic When Trying To Choose Something Different

I remember so many times, I’d think to myself, today will be different.  I’ve hardly eaten anything, I can allow myself to go to the supermarket and look for something I really fancy for dinner.  It can still be healthy but just something different.

So off I’d go, power walking with my headphones on, listening to music so that I didn’t have to talk to anyone.  To give me something to focus on, and to help relieve the anxiety I was feeling.

But as I walked around the aisles, all the choices in front of me felt so overwhelming.  It was as if all the food products leapt into the air and danced around me, teasing me.  Pick me, pick me, they cried.  There were so many but I couldn’t concentrate.  I didn’t want to think about any of them.  I started to panic.  I wanted to run.

But I also wanted to continue my challenge.  I was desperate to choose something different, to prove to myself that I could.  I continued walking the aisles, still listening to the music blaring through my headphones, desperately trying to relax and stay calm.  Just pick something … anything, I told myself.

I picked up various items only to put them back due to having too much fat, too much sugar, too many calories.  I tried to imagine what certain foods would taste like but all I could taste was the guilt that would come afterwards.  I even looked at Weight Watchers ready meals thinking there might be an agreeable option.  But no, nothing there.

Filled with despair and anxiety, I found myself back in the fresh produce section.  Oh the comfort, oh the joy.  I immediately started to relax. I felt safe again. I didn’t care about the challenge.  I didn’t care that I’d failed because I also felt that I’d succeeded.  I picked up some vegetables and salad stuff and carried them quickly to the checkout.  Oh well I did try I told myself.  I can always try again tomorrow.

woman-at-grocery-store

I was being ruled by my eating disorder.  I was succumbing to its demands.  I didn’t have the strength to fight it.  It made me feel safe, even though I also felt tortured.  My mind was full of conflicts that I couldn’t think straight.

It was only when I addressed my mindset, all the negative beliefs and thoughts that strengthened my eating disorder and kept me trapped, that I started to see the truth.  I saw that I was good enough, I wasn’t inferior, I could cope with responsibility and I certainly wasn’t fat.

Feeling more positive about myself meant that I no longer needed to restrict or use other anorexic behaviours in order to feel safe or in control.  I now felt safe and in control anyway.

Anyone with an eating disorder will know that we can sometimes challenge our behaviours but it doesn’t change how we feel.  Choose to feel positive.  Choose to feel confident.  Choose to be happy.  Know that you can do this, without losing control or fearing gaining weight.  Let me show you how.

I have recorded a FREE 5 Day Video Series which teaches you a simple yet powerful tool to help you ‘Stay In Control Of The Way You Eat’.  It also shows you how to challenge your anorexic behaviours.  I just wish I’d had access to this before those trips to the supermarket.  Click here if you are interested.

Anorexia Nervosa: The Wish To Change

 

When I was struggling several years ago, I was given a self help book called Anorexia Nervosa: The Wish To Change.  I remember reading through the pages and although I related to every word they were saying, I just didn’t seem to be able to follow any of the steps they suggested.  It was nice and safe just reading them, but to actually try to do one of them, just felt too difficult.  It felt impossible.

I wrote a journal at this time and recently found an exercise that I’d tried to complete.  It was an exploratory exercise looking at the effects of weight gain.  Just the term weight gain used to send me into a panic!  I now prefer the term weight restoration with my clients.  Anyway, we were asked to think about the costs and benefits of different aspects of weight restoration.

change-fear

  1. You may be more hungry:  Benefit: feel more justified and acceptable to eat.  Cost: may overindulge and not be able to stop, may feel ravenous, not get that full feeling and feel totally out of control.
  2. You may be less hungry: Benefit: feel in control. Cost: difficult to eat.
  3. You may be less pre-occupied with food: Benefit: would be a wonderful feeling of freedom and less torture.  Cost: none.
  4. There is less chance you’ll binge: Benefit: not consuming extra calories, not feeling guilty or ashamed.  No continuous battle to try and stop.  No bloated, fat feeling.  Cost: None.
  5. You will look healthier: Benefit: people will worry less about me.  Cost: they’ll comment on how I look and I’ll think they mean I look fat, not healthy.  They’ll be happier because to them, I look healthier, but the battle will still go on in my head.
  6. Other people will worry about you less: Benefit: good for them not to be burdened by me, they’ll be less watchful over me.  Cost: difficult for me if they think I’m recovered but I’m not.
  7. Lose my anorectic identity: Benefit: If I’m recovered, I’ll feel fine and free. Cost: I’ll feel less safe and protected.
  8. Become more aware of what anorexia has cost you: Benefit: makes it easier to fight against Ana now and in the future. Cost: sometimes you know what it has cost you, but it’s not enough to change.  In future, I may feel regretful, guilty about others and feel completely selfish.
  9. You will be on the road to recovery: Benefit: feeling of freedom and less torture; feeling more positive about the future.  Cost: less in control, anxious about weight.
  10. Often feel full: Benefit: none, but could be OK if satisfied and if I got a normal fullness after eating ‘enough’. Cost: very scary, lack of control, feeling bloated.  I wouldn’t want to eat more if I felt full but would need to try if I hadn’t eaten enough.  It always leads to guilt, messed up feelings which opens the floodgates for more food which can lead to bingeing.

everything-you-want

So I was feeling a huge amount of fear, guilt and shame around eating and I didn’t feel able to deal with this on my own.  I spent four months in a residential eating disorder centre, and although I felt better, because my body and my brain had been nourished, I still had lots of negative thoughts running around my head.  Those fears were still there.  It was only when I dealt with the negative beliefs about myself and the areas of my life that I struggled to control, that I found I didn’t need to use my eating disorder in the same way, and I wasn’t full of fear at the thought of letting it go.