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Acceptance

I think I’ve finally made peace with myself.

The realisation has just hit me out of nowhere.

Yes I have bad days, but most often my mind is free from the oppressive chain of worry. Free from the persistent negative thoughts that would incessently whirl around in my overactive mind. Free from constant self criticism, continually searching for ways to improve myself rather than being able to live in the moment and appreciate everything I have.

I don’t care what people think of me anymore. I don’t care what people think about the decisions I make. I don’t care what people think of the way I look. I certainly don’t care if people think I looked better when I was skinny, because my God I feel so much better.

I can concentrate. I have energy. I don’t feel weak and faint. I want to socialise rather than lock myself away. I’m not cold all the time. I can sleep. I’m less anxious. My mood is better. I’M ALIVE AGAIN.

And not only that, but I’m actually starting to like my body again. I’m beginning to not only accept, but appreciate the rolls and bulges that have emerged over the past few months. I’m starting to like my jiggle and the extra junk in my trunk. My wobbly thighs and podgy tummy remind me of all the good times I’ve had eating and drinking without a care in the world. They remind me of smiles and laughter. They’re a strength not a weakness, and I intent to continue growing in more ways than one!

 

Perspective

I’ve been working in a local GP practice for the past 3 weeks, and it’s been such an eye opening experience that I wanted to write a post about it.

To start with, the area I’m working in is extremely multi-cultural, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many different people from so many different backgrounds and ethnicities. Today I had a lovely chat with a Polish lady, through an interpreter, who’d given birth to the most beautiful baby boy only 12 days ago. Last week the sweetest elderly lady, who’s originally from Iraq, brought me a parcel of the most delicious home baked kleicha, something I’d never even heard of, never mind tasted before. Yesterday I went on a home visit to see an elderly lady, originally from Ireland, and heard her stories about growing up in Cork as one of eight siblings. The list goes on, and it reminds me that there are so many different cultures that surround us every day that we’re often so blind to. Taking the time to learn about how other people live, and in some cases being able to incorporate certain aspects of that into your life, is so important. So many people, including me, are often so caught up in their own world that it’s easy to forget what a huge world the live in, and how much there is to explore and learn.

This is also a deprived area. People struggle day to day with things many of us take for granted. Going on home visits and seeing how people make the best of what little they have, living in areas of violence and crime with so few resources. I can now see just how privileged I’ve been. Yes I’ve had a rough time over the year. Yes my family has struggled for money at times. Yes I’ve struggled with my mental health. But I’ve been blessed with a roof over my head and a meal on the table every day of my life. I’ve been blessed with a family that would do anything for me. I’ve felt loved and cared for. I’ve been supported. I’ve had what so many people could only dream of.

The GP I’m working most closely with set up a running club 5 weeks ago, following the couch to 5k programme. She’s big into running and 5k is a doddle for her, but she set it up for her patients. For her patient with anxiety, depression and chronic pain, who struggle to get out of the house most days. For her patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, you name it. And tonight she invited me to join them, and I’m so glad that I did. I took up the front with the members who like to run, and buddied up with Ramu, motivating each along the way. Some of the members just walk, and that’s ok too, because for some of them that’s the only time they’ll leave the house that week. The powerful sense of community and friendship between a group of people who 5 weeks ago didn’t know each other was actually quite moving. I can’t wait to go back next week.

So tonight I’ve come home, made a banging dinner (a Linda McCartney pulled pork 1/4 lb burger with a brioche bun and BBQ sauce, and a huge fresh salad), put my feet up and just taken the time to reflect on just how lucky I am, and everything I have to grateful for.

Try it, just take a step back for 5 minutes and appreciate everything and everyone you have…

Social Media

Social media has received a lot of bad press recently, and rightly so in many cases. Cyber bullying is a big problem, and sometimes it seems that there’s no escape from the constant stream of other people’s lives, which in the vast majority of cases are a distorted version of reality, leaving many people feeling that their lives aren’t worthy. But I actually want to write a post about the positive effect social media has had on my life in recent months.

Social media should be about surrounding yourself with content that makes you feel good. Delete all the shit that makes you feel small, unimportant and unworthy. For me that was fashion pages, airbrushed models, exercise fanatics and diet promoters. Whatever it is for you, just get rid of it.

At the beginning of the year I discovered the amazing body positivity community on instagram, and it has genuinely changed my outlook on life. Inspiring doesn’t even begin to describe the vast expanse of amazing people, sharing amazing stories on this platform. The eating disorder recovery community is equally incredible. People openly working through their illnesses, their ups and downs, but mostly their success in achieving happiness and peace. Now I know that I’m not alone. Now I can see just how many people have beat this, giving me the knowledge that I can do the same. Now whenever I’m feeling down, I know that as soon as I’ve read a few posts from the incredible people I follow I’ll feel so much better. Thank you to each and every one of you.

There are too many accounts for me to list all of those that have helped me along the way, but I just though I’d put a handful on here for anyone who could do with a daily boost of positivity.

Body positivity:

bodyposipanda

omgkenziee

nourishandeat

_kelly’s

_selfloveclub_

positively.kate

iskra

perfectly_acacia

Eating disorder recovery:

recover4freedom

sundaesforthesoal

lottie.loving.life

icecream_queen

frombones2bold

 

 

Getting To Know Myself

Hi everyone, sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve actually been doing really well the past week or so. Following my Gran’s funeral I figured it was time to sort myself out a bit. I’ve been eating well, exercising less, and visibly gaining weight, which although I find hard to accept I can now see that the benefits absolutely outweigh the drawbacks. I’m not anxious all the time, I’m not spending hours calorie counting, I’m enjoying indulging in good food, I’m not drained, I can concentrate, I’m not feeling faint all the time, and yes it still crosses my mind and it still occupies a lot if my thoughts, but it isn’t weighing me down in the same way it used to.

My boyfriend came over for a surprise visit this weekend, and omg we had such a good time. I think this weekend was the first time I’ve truly experienced the true flavour of recovery. I could feel that I was happier, I was laughing, I was messing around, I wanted to do things. We went out for drinks and dinner and I just had what I wanted. We made the most delicious chocolate and hazelnut cake, which I’d have flat out refused to have done a few months ago, and we devoured most of it. We made poached eggs on toast for breakfast. We made for dinner  burgers. We just did what we wanted. It was such a breath of fresh air to see what life can be like when you just let go. JUST LET THAT SHIT GO!

The most exciting part of this is that I’m starting to get to know who I really am. This blog is called the real me, and that’s what I’m now starting to discover. Now that I’m starting to set aside all the stupid rules I’ve accumulated over the years that previously governed my every move, I’m beginning to make my own decisions based upon what I actually want, not what I ‘should’ want. Now that I’m starting to practise self compassion, I’m able to be kind to myself and do what’s right for me, not what the rule book would usually say. I’m breaking free from the chains I’ve become so familiar with, and the real is starting to taste the freedom she’s been deprived of for so long. Progress.

 

Hitting The Wall… Again

So it was my birthday yesterday, and my gosh have I had a lovely few days celebrating. On Friday I had a house party at my uni house in Nottingham, which was so much fun. Everyone was on form, and I had such a lovely night (ending with a delicious big fat pizza). My housemate made me the most incredible lemon drizzle cake (which I had copious amounts of for breakfast on Saturday) and they bought me a gorgeous bracelet and an essential oil room diffuser, which is just so up my street, I love it! Then I came home to Manchester ready to go out with my friends from home. We went for a delicious Mexican dinner, and then went bar hopping around the Norther Quarter… Again such a great night! And today I went out for lunch with the family and stuffed my hangover face with a huge Sunday roast (after which I then came back and devoured more cake… my sister made me an amazing dark chocolate and peanut butter cake and the most incredible avocado cake). So all in all, it’s been a pretty fantastic birthday weekend. I am so incredibly grateful for both my family and my friends. I genuinely don’t know where I’d be without them. In fact, I’d been planning on writing a post about exactly that until I hit the wall again this afternoon. Why is it that when everything seems to be going well, that suffocating, stomach churning feeling of darkness always seems to find its way back. to me.

After lunch, we went to my Grans house to pick up some photographs to take to the funeral service tomorrow. To be honest, none of it has felt real up to now. I said goodbye, held her hand, and gave her a kiss in her hospital bed once she’d passed, but it still hadn’t sunk in. I suppose it was being at the house with neither Gran or Grandad there that made it hit home. Gran would always be in the living room or pottering around in the garden, or Grandad would be sat on the edge of his seat watching the horse racing or working on something important in his office. But now neither of them are there. They’re really gone. I’m not usually one to outwardly express how I feel, but I just sat and sobbed my heart out this afternoon for the first time in a long time.

From that point on, it was just a downward spiral. My mind went into self destruction mode, as it usually does, and I started questioning what I’m doing with my life. I’m in my fifth year of medical school and I don’t even know if that’s what I want to do anymore. It doesn’t make me happy. The idea of it makes me happy, but the sad reality is, being a doctor isn’t actually just being a doctor, it’s being a politician, it’s being an office worker, it’s stress, it’s anxiety, it’s working nights, it’s missing out, and it never stops. It’s ruthless, and I just don’t know if I want that anymore.

And my God has today been a negative body image day. I thought I was ok with having eaten the pizza, and then the cake, and then more cake, and then a big fat roast, but then I looked down and saw the colossal thighs I’ve developed, the bloated stomach, the flabby arms, and the double chin. And what did I do? Eat more of course. A fuck load more. What is my problem?!

I have my first appointment with my dietician on Tuesday, and my first appointment with my new therapist on Friday. I’ve not seen a counsellor in a while now and I think I’m about to boil over. I always used to laugh off the idea of therapy, but I’ve come to realise how useful it is for me. To be able to offload (kind of like I’m doing on here), and to have someone tell me that it’s ok. That it’s normal to feel and act this way when you have this disorder and suffer with depression. So I’m looking forward to that.

Sorry for the rambling, but all in all I guess I just feel sad. I feel a little lost, and I’m not quite sure when these feelings are going to go away for good. All I can say is how thankful I am for my beautiful family and friends. Without your support I wouldn’t stand a chance.

What Is The Meaning Of Life

This is the deepest, most mysterious question than no-one can really answer. What is the meaning of life?

I’ve experienced death recently, and its got me thinking about life. We only have one life, and when that ends, what was the point of it all. What was the point in any of it if we didn’t enjoy it. So you worked hard, slogged away all your life, saying no to the things that would have made you happy to pursue something you felt you had to achieve. But for what? When it gets to the end I want to look back fondly at all the times I spent laughing with the people I love, not at the years of resented hard work, stress and worry.

I’ve come to realise what’s really important. It’s not being a high flyer, or being at the ‘top of your game’, it’s being happy. Simple as. So screw all these social pressures. No more am I going to feel pressured to look a certain way because the media tells me that’s what’s desirable, and no more am I going to work myself into a frenzy trying to be a high achiever because for me that’s just stress, worry and a spiral back into depression.

I’m tired of taking life too seriously. I want to experience all that the world has to offer, and break away from this self destructive bubble of perfection I’ve become so entangled within. It’s time to live life the way that’s right for me, not the way that we’re led to believe we should live our lives. For example, as much as I hate everything that it stands for, we’ve been watching love island at Uni, and my God is that the furthest thing from reality. Today wasn’t the best body image day for me and I found myself looking at the girls and thinking Christ, I could never compete with that. But you know what, that’s not real. That does not depict real women, or a natural body. That is not what we should be striving to achieve. We should be embracing the bodies we have been blessed with and ENJOYING LIFE without being hung up on maintaining that perfect image because quite frankly, that’s boring.

Anyway, the moral of this post is just do what makes you happy, because when it comes to the end that’s what really matters.

Granny

This surreal feeling surrounds me, it doesn’t seem real that you’re gone. Life is cruel, no doubt about it, but when I think about it we’re lucky. We’re lucky to have been blessed with you as a part of our lives, and we’re lucky to have so many happy memories that we can turn to at any time of the day or night.

I’ll always remember your passion for the beautiful garden, you’re favourite place. How, without fail, you’d always feed the birds (your garden was their favourite place too). The pond, and watching the tadpoles grow into frogs. I’ll always remember your gift for making the best soup in the world. Your love for jazz. Reading the paper every day, and your crazy cross-word solving skills. I’ll always remember the sweety pot underneath the telly and making sure to put it back with the handle up, the way you liked it. Watching pointless and eggheads. Your love for the tennis… I can’t believe you’re missing Wimbledon this year. The countless family parties in your conservatory and soaking up the sun in your garden, although you’d always be under a parasol. I’ll always remember how much I love you and what a huge part you’ve played it my life. I’m truly thankful for every minute.

So Granny, I know you’re not going anywhere, but just know how much you meant to us and how much you are loved.

Oh, and give Grandad a big kiss from me.

Why

I’m about to leave for the hospital, but I just had to get this off my chest before I left.

I’m at a really low point, I’ve never hated my body as much as I do right now, and I’m frustrated with myself. For 2 nights in a row now I’ve got back from the hospital at about 9pm, and I’ve binged until I’ve felt ill. WHY?! I know how it makes me feel, and yet I do it again and again. The restricting has lessened but the bingeing is just increasing. It’s like food is this forbidden fruit, and as soon as I have something ‘bad’, everything is out the window.

I was feeling so bad this morning that I made the fatal error of weighing myself for the first time in 6 weeks. Oh dear. I’m actually too embarrassed to say what the number was, but I’ve certainly not weighed this much in at least 3 years. The only good thing is that I know I’m not going back to restricting the way I used to, I just can’t stand the misery, and I do love food too much. I’m just struggling with the lack of routine in terms of food, sitting around for most of the day swamped with thoughts about food, and just sort of grazing through the day, unable to resist.

I just don’t know what to do with myself, or where to go from here. I’m disgusting.

Low Point

This is a short one. I don’t have much else to say other than my self hatred is sky high, and my self worth, self love, and self esteem are rock bottom. I don’t know how I’m ever going to be happy with this extra weight. I don’t know how I’m ever going to be ok with not being the skinniest person in the room anymore. I don’t know how I’m going to live a day without food being constantly on my mind. I’m not giving in to the little voices telling me no anymore, and I love that freedom, but I feel equally bad, gluttonous and out of control. Especially at the minute.

There are so many more important things going on in my life right now, but I think the long days in hospital with my Gran are allowing my mind to over think things. I don’t have my usual routine and I’m spiralling.

 

My Head Is Screwed Up

Head head currently feels like this.. asldihvjknjwlrhgctaiulwefhmowJFXMw[m[woprGM

It’s running in circles and won’t shut up. I’m not feeling good, but it isn’t a good time. My Gran is critically ill in hospital and I’m taking time off Uni to be at home/at hospital with the family. This devastating turn of events has happened so quickly, and although knew Gran was ill, this has taken us all by surprise. We know we’re going to loose her, but I don’t think it’s quite registered with anyone yet.

My head is spiralling, and my mental health is suffering. I can feel the grasps of anxiety working its way back into my life, and my relationship with food has taken a turn for the worst, but in a different way this time. All I can seem to think about is food to take my mind off things. I don’t know if it’s ’emotional eating’ or a way of distracting myself, but I’m just eating and eating, wanting food when I’m not even hungry. Maybe it’s because I’m finally allowing myself to eat rather than restrict and so my mind is saying quiiiiick eat everything you can because tomorrow you’ll go back to ‘behaving’… but yet again each day I just indulge. I just can’t find a balance. It’s all or nothing and it’s driving me mad. Where’s all my self control gone? I feel like such a phoney, such a fake, I’m supposed to have an eating disorder and I just can’t stop thinking about food, and giving in! My self hatred is through the roof right now. I am disgusting. I can’t bear to look at myself. If I catch myself in the mirror I get a horrible sinking feeling as thought I’ve ruined all my hard work. And I know that’s silly because weight gain is part of recovery and I’m LOVING eating I really am, but my God I hate myself at the same time.

I think the way forward is to focus on eating big  meals that fill me up, rather than falling into the same old trap of skipping breakfast, or choosing the minimum amount at lunch to save calories, because that only leads to snacking (which is ok but at the minute that just leads to binging)

Wahhhh, basically I’m just frustrated with how I’m feeling. I have so many things whirling around me in my head I was going to explode if I didn’t write it down. Apologies  for the word vomit, but if anyone reading this can relate, you’re not on your own!

I can’t say that tomorrow is going to be a much better day with the situation we’re in, but all I’m going to focus on is absorbing myself in every moment I have with Granny. I’m so lucky to have so many precious memories with her… got to look for the silver linings haven’t we.