Monday 13 June 2016

My Body Confidence Journey

My Body Confidence Journey eating disorders mental health support help

I have been wanting to do this post for ages, but I kept putting it off. Why? You, may be asking? Well, I just didn't know how to write it in a coherent and organised way, that would actually make sense to you guys. Equally, I have never received any help from a medical professional or any formal diagnosis for what I am about to talk about. I didn't want people judging me for saying I had an eating disorder but had never been diagnosed.

Whether I did or did not have an eating disorder. I will tell you one thing, my eating habits were pretty unhealthy and at some points pretty dangerous too! I have come a long way and want to share my story with you. So if at least one person gained something from this post, that would be great! We all experience highs and lows with our body confidence but no one is immune from a so called diet, spiralling out of control into something very dangerous.

Side note; I am not going to be sharing any numbers in terms of my weight through this post. As by going through it myself I know how triggering it can be. I hope you understand. I would also share more photos but I really don't have any, the ones from Christmas 2012, in this post was when I was at my worst so I shared them. Here's my body confidence journey...

My Body Confidence Journey  Pintrest help support mental illness eating disorders

Where on earth do I begin? Well, I guess I will give you a bit of background information about myself and my eating habits. I have always had a bad relationship with food. I am an extremely fussy eater. I don't eat most things that normal people do and I restrict my diet to very few meals. So this kind of doesn't bode well, does it? 

Asides from this, I have also had a very obsessive attitude towards food. What I mean by this is that I would binge on one food, eat it for weeks or months on end and then suddenly the next day hate it and I couldn't stomach it anymore. I did this with so many foods, and I still do it do this day. However, the main food that I did this with which sticks in my mind is chocolate chip cookies. This may seem really insignificant to some people but for me, it's where it all began...

In year 7/8 at school, I was a healthy weight. I was happy and enjoyed life. However, I started to binge on these cookies. I remember sat in front of the telly in my PJs, eating 10 cookies at a time, which was practically the whole packet. I used to do this most nights. The reason I remember this binge more than the others is that what followed it was a lot longer, unhealthy and painful.

I don't remember why or when exactly I started to cut down my eating. However, I do have one memory while staying in a Travelodge hotel. The mirrors are obviously different than what I have at home. I noticed my rib cage was sticking out and I liked it but I wanted it to stick out more I guess. After that, the weight kept coming off.

It started with just cutting out parts of my lunch, which quickly spiralled into me not eating my lunch at all. I kept eating breakfast and tea, so I did not alarm my family, however, I never finished a meal. I left more and more each time. Even if I was hungry I couldn't bear to finish a whole meal. I also started to stop drinking- in fear this was also making me fat.  

Every day I weighed myself. I constantly wanted to loose more weight. I had a number that I was relatively happy with but if I increased straight away I wanted to loose more weight, below my 'okay' number. And then the compulsive body checking came into action. I would always check myself out in the mirror, feeling bones, breathing in to see more bones. Disgusting I know.

It didn't stop there. When I used to run up the stairs I would feel for the bones under my leg, likewise when I would sit down. I used to feel for the bones in my arm and ankles as well as collar bones. When I could feel them this gave me a sense of hope or self-satisfaction I guess.

I used to watch supersize vs superskinny and anorexia journey videos on YouTube as 'fuel' for my obsession. They would mention numbers and I would use this as a guide for myself to make sure I was thinner than them. But even if I was, I would then worry I would put the weight back on- I would never be satisfied. This is why I am adamant I do not mention numbers in this post as I know how toxic it can be. 

The worst part for me though was when I started the exercise. If you know me then you know that I do not do exercise. PE Lessons traumatised me for life. When I started developing an unhealthy exercise routine in the hope I would loose more weight this is when it suddenly became more real to me. I would make sure I did all the fast paced, high energy routines on just dance on the Wii and even during parts when there is no dancing I would jump up and down to 'keep losing the weight' and I remember checking my tummy throughout the whole thing.

To add to all this; I was very tired, cold, I constantly counted calories and then my periods stopped. My whole life revolved around food. If I had to eat out of my usual routine my only thought was when I would be able to lose all the weight again. I had to have control over what I was eating.

Christmas 2012 (which you can see in the photos) was probably when I was at my worst. I am look so ill and pale. There is also really big bags under my eyes from where I was so tried. Two days after Christmas I started to come down with a cold, which rapidly developed into a very bad cough. A cough that sounded like whooping cough. Now most children, including myself are vaccinated against the disease. However, because my body was lacking such important vitamins from my poor diet, my immune system got weak. I had 3-4 weeks off school with this illness- it was hell, the worst pain I had ever been in. It sounded terrible and made me very sad.

During this time, I had to eat. I felt my appetite go up slightly and I started to put back on the weight. I obviously relapsed a few times, but I never got as low or as Ill as I was. I still do some of my old habits today I'm not going to lie. I still like to be in control of what I am eating and I do get annoyed when my routine is distributed. But I don't weigh myself anymore like I used to or exercise with the hope of losing weight. I can't sit here and say that I eat all my meals of the day, as I would be lying.

But I am so much better than what I used to be! Although I never know if I will go back to the way I was, at this current moment in time I am happy and healthy

Thanks for reading, as always x

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