My Anorexia Recovery And Self Care

My recovery has developed very quickly since August. Initially I was on a weight gain regime, then onto maintenance, and now I’m learning some flexibility.

My nutritionist agreed that I could try a new food this week. We didn’t specify what that should be, but that I could choose it on the day.

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Yesterday I ate at East Street in Rathborne Place, just off of Oxford Street in London. East Street has a menu of many Asian foods. I chose a hot and spicy Thai chicken dish with Jasmine rice. Now that’s the kind of food I want to eat more off. It was delicious. The service was quick, friendly and accommodating (I changed tables because I felt a draft where I initially sat), the food was tasty, and the restaurant was stylish.

I needed some new clothes, and purchased a fab pink jumper and matching pink shirt, pink really suits me, but my real self-care was buying a bath bomb and soap from Lush.

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This was a reward for me having the courage to follow my heart and move to London. The photo of the bath bomb isn’t good, but the bath was. I smell like a fizzy lemon. Truly lush.

It was cold and wet in London yesterday. Not my favourite conditions to be outside in, but there’s always a photographic opportunity if we seek it out.

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Anorexia Recovery – Christmas – New Foods – What Is Hunger

Right now I’m very pleased with the progress that I’m making. Food is certainly something that I’m enjoying. The obsessive thoughts that I had around food have decreased considerably, but they are certainly intense when my emotions are strong.

The most difficult time over the Christmas period was when shopping the day after I arrived in Cork. I had a shopping list for breakfasts, lunch and snacks, but I found being in a new shop, in a new town and being around so much food was challenging.

hdrplProfiterole, cheesecake and Ben and Jerry.

I heavily over-ate one night whilst I was in Cork, and I had a couple of nights where I had a few chocolates. So what! It’s no big deal, and I didn’t go into guilt and shame.

I had several foods I hadn’t eaten for a long time, which included Chinese and Asian street food, ham, tomato and salad sandwiches, a full English and Christmas Dinner.

IMG_20181223_222144.jpgSingapore special chow mein.

I cooked Christmas Dinner. I love cooking and I was very satisfied with my cooking. Roast lamb, roast beef, sprouts cooked with bacon and pear, honey glazed parsnips, glazed buttered carrots, fluffy roast potatoes and breaded mushroom for starter. I’m very impressed with the progress that I am making.

IMG_20181225_152729.jpgI cooked this Christmas Roast. 

It also feels like my weight has stabilised. I don’t weigh myself, but I don’t think I’m putting on anymore either – which is a relief.

I’m going on holiday to India next year, so I need to be flexible with my eating, and I want to learn to eat according to hunger and fullness. I experience hunger so infrequently. I didn’t feel it at all when I wasn’t eating, so anytime when I feel slightly hungry or slightly full is a time of excitement for me. I’m focusing intently on my stomach and tummy before, during and after eating. I’ve now had two very subtle feelings of fullness. I can’t believe how excited I feel at feeling hungry or full. Life is bizarre.

IMG_20181223_180751.jpgI can’t believe how wonderful a ham sandwich tastes.

Things are going well. I still get some intense thoughts about eating or restricting, and shopping disturbed me so much that it triggered my neuro-muscular condition, but overall my recovery is going well.

Eating Disorder Recovery And The Holiday Season – Anxious

I’m going to stay with supportive friends over the holiday period. I’m feeling excited to be spending time with them again.

However, I’m very anxious about changes in my routine and having different foods for lunch and dinner. My breakfast and snacks will remain the same.

What can I do to stay safe?

  • Attend the online mutual aid groups that are working for me
  • Stay in telephone, WhatsApp and email contact with others in recovery
  • Be honest with my friends if I am struggling
  • Prepare lunch and snacks to take out with me – I can’t choose food in the community if I’m hungry, it panics me
  • Read recovery literature
  • Focus on this meal. The only meal I can eat is the one in front of me
  • Expect emotional discomfort – it’s OK to feel

I’ve also discovered that a recovery group called anorexic and bulimic anonymous have a 24 hour meeting that I can pop into for as long or short a time as I want to. anyone with a desire to stop unhealthy eating practices can attend. It’s from 10pm (EST) on Christmas eve till 10pm  (EST) Christmas day. It’s on zoom and the meeting code is 862 815 9185.

I’ll also be in touch with my nutritionist/therapist, I speak with him on Christmas eve. The friends I am staying with are incredibly laid back, and they are not concerned whether I eat from my plan or eat with them. So if being flexible, and eating with them isn’t right then I can revert to my plan.

Wishing all a happy Christmas.

Resources

United Kingdom

United States Of America

Canada

India

Australia

 

Change And Growth – Grateful For The Generosity And Love Which Means That I Now Have Professional Support

This week I felt so frustrated with not finding a dietician who could work with me over Skype at a price that I could afford. I didn’t quite give up though. I had the inspiration to contact Lynn Crilly. I discovered her on Twitter two or three years back, and followed her posts. Lynn, set up an organisation called Hope With Eating Disorders, which is now called Hope With Mental Health. As well as being a counsellor working with people with eating disorders, she has a daughter who is now in recovery/recovered (they have different meanings, and individuals use their preferred term in a positivistic way). When I was admitted into an inpatient unit for the treatment of anorexia two years ago Lynn sent me a copy of Hope With Eating Disorders. I  was stunned by her kindness, especially because we had only exchanged a couple of messages on Twitter. Hope With Eating Disorders is a book which Lynn wrote for families who have a loved one suffering from an eating disorder. The book is an honest, but deeply loving account of her family’s experience of living with a child who is really sick with anorexia. It discusses the  difficulties, tension and struggles which the family lived through, as well as her daughters progress as she gradually began to change, get well and recover.

sdrFig tree

I felt overwhelmed with gratitude because somebody whom I barely knew had been kind enough to send me a book which they had written. But what really touched my soul was the love which is apparent in Lynn’s style of writing.

cofFruit bearing fig tree

So I emailed Lynn this week and explained my situation. She called me back and said that she had spoken with a few people that she knows from other organisations, and gave me a couple of numbers that I could try. The first one I called is willing to work me, so I now have professional support. She also put me onto her Hope With Mental Health YouTube channel. Her family are the vloggers, and the love that shines through was beautiful to see.

cofOrange

Yesterday whilst walking into town, I was crying with gratitude. I felt in awe at the love and kindness which I have received from Lynn, and witnessed within her family.

I am aware that I am growing and changing with regards to my anorexia and all of the behaviours associated with it.

cofApple

Today is the sixth day that I have followed the style of meal plan which the eating disorders unit followed when I was there two years ago. Ok the three meals and snacks are just eating more of the same things I have eaten for months. But my calories are far higher, and although I have a rough idea of what they are I am no longer counting them. Oh yes, I nearly forgot, I have introduced two new foods, porridge and jacket potato with tuna-mayo. I’ve got rid of the food I had hoarded, and my kitchen is now one which is condusive with developing a healthy relationship with food.

Reaching out to members of the 12 step recovery group hasn’t been easy. But I have called two or three of them, and a couple of us speech message each other on WhatsApp. I really value the meetings, the identification with other anorexics and bulimics means that I no longer feel shameful about, or alone with my eating disorder

cofMelon

I have hope that I can recover, but I also remain aware that I’ve had hope before. I’ve made progress for a while and then fell back into anorexia. I am trying to focus upon today, this day is all that I have, and today I am ok.

The photos of my plants are included because they are growing with me. I especially like the apple and melon which I planted as seeds.

The following two links are for Lynn’s website and the Hope With Mental Health YouTube channel.

Lynn Crilly

Hope With Mental Health YouTube channel

If you think or know that you have an eating disorder and you are not  receiving help or support, please be aware that help is available and recovery is possible. Please speak to your doctor or talk to a trusted friend. There are also eating disorders charities around the world which provide help, guidance and information.

UK Based Eating Disorder Charities

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

Men and Boys Get Eating And Exercise Disorders Scotland

International Eating Disorder Charities

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

Peer Support groups

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous

Smart Recovery

Over-Eaters Anonymous

Eating Disorders Anonymous

Making My Kitchen More Condusive To Having A Healthy Relationship With Food

As well as getting rid of the foods I had hoarded, I have been cleaning my kitchen. On Tuesday I cleaned my cooker.

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Then yesterday I cleared out and cleaned the fridge and freezer. I hadn’t done so for over a year.

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Today I have cleared and cleaned the surfaces, draws and all crockery and utensils. Everything now has a place.

sdr

Tomorrow I will be cleaning the floor and hoovering the rest of the house. Despite living in it, I cannot believe what a shit tip I had left the kitchen in.

I have a very poor relationship with food, and I know that in order to recover my eating will change over the next few months. That’s going to be a whole lot easier to reinforce if my kitchen promotes a positive attitude towards food. I’m also going to wash my cup and plates up each time that I use them.

Do You Know Of, Or Are You An Eating Disorders Dietician? – First Day Of Recovery From My Eating Disorder

Firstly, I am looking for an eating disorders dietician who is willing to work over Skype. I had a look on google for dietitians in the UK and they were well beyond what I can afford. I have a contact page, so please feel free to contact me if you are in a position to help or point me in the right direction.

Secondly, today has been a big day for me. As far as I am concerned it is the first day of my recovery from Anorexia. Today I have sorted through and got rid of the food that I had hoarded from October last year til April this year.

It’s common for people to obsess about food when they have been lacking the food that they need to survive, and this is a common experience for people with Anorexia Nervosa. Hoarding food that isn’t going to be eaten is also a common experience.

I knew that I needed to get rid of it, and I also knew that it was hidden all over the house But it has shocked me just how much there was. I will be donating it to a local food-bank, and I have also taken some to one of my neighbours.

I had such a strong emotional attachment to my hoard. Before I have let friends visit or stay over, I have made it clear that the house is full of food and they are not to touch it. One friend has been encouraging me to get rid of it for ages, but I haven’t been able too, the thought of doing so has been terrifying.

Today there were some foods that I really didn’t want to let go of. I had to go through the pile that I was going to keep repeatedly so that I let go of foods that I didn’t need. There are a few things that I will genuinely use as snacks, so I have kept them, but it took a long time to get rid of the stuff that would never be a genuine snack. Some of the things that I was trying to justify keeping, but there is no such thing as half recovery, they had to go.

I have made videos as I have gone along, its part of the record of my journey, my illness and, fingers crossed, my recovery. I have received so much support from my peers, who have become my friends, and also from many fellow bloggers. I thank you all deeply. The turning points have been the sudden decline in my health whilst on holiday in London, and a kind friend pointing me towards a twelve step fellowship which is specifically for people with anorexia and bulimia. There are also a couple of vlogs that I have been pointed too by people who are in recovery or recovered from anorexia. I will add links to them below the video.

I am so grateful for all of your support, and today, I am grateful for my willingness, courage and strength. I am so proud of myself that I bought myself a bunch of flowers. I honour my willingness, courage and strength.

I have also stuck to my meal plan for the past two days. Cant believe it. Its so good to have done that. But the food that I eat is not nutritious, but I am stuck with the fear of trying other foods, which is why I need a  dietician that specialises in eating disorders. I know how to eat healthy, but its needing someone to guide me through the fear and to take control of my eating plan.

cof

 

Here are the links.

Megsy recovery

Tabitha Farrar

UK Based Eating Disorder Charities

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

Men and Boys Get Eating And Exercise Disorders Scotland

International Eating Disorder Charities

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

Peer Support groups

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous

Smart Recovery

Over-Eaters Anonymous

Eating Disorders Anonymous

 

 

Need To Write – Feeling Vulnerable – Change

I feel an urgent need to write. It’s a bit of a weird thing have a compulsion to write, but it’s better than s compulsion to starve or binge. Although I’ll keep it short or it will just be an aimless ramble.

Letting go of the controlling anorexic behaviour, working with my team, accepting I’m sick, and actually wanting to recover – it’s a big internal shift for me. It’s left me feeling quite vulnerable and unsettled. Don’t get me wrong, it’s really positive and I have genuine hope. But I feel vulnerable.

I was with a friend and was due to be away for a few more days, but I had to come back to my safe space. I needed the routine and familiarity and my own routine. It wasn’t easy to say to my friend, but a strong and positive thing to know what I need and to be able to do.

I even dusted this morning.

cof

All is ok with the plan, I’ve stuck to it so far, and I’m not obsessing about food, starving or binging, which is nice. I’m actually looking forward to getting my calories up to a normal and healthy level. It will be a gradual process, but with larger increases than before.

Fragments

I’m still keeping up with photography and coursework, although I’ve needed to back off a little. I’ve just developed a series of photos for coursework, and I’m just considering how to blend them into the montage as required.

Wishing you a fab weekend.

Fragments

Fragments

My Eating Disorder Today – New Plan/Old Plan

My physical health, emotions and eating have been chaotic since my health deteriorated in London. I had to return home early from London, my health got worse and had a couple of days where I couldn’t walk, binged for 8 days and ended up in A and E because of concerns about re-feeding syndrome, and then three days of not eating.

If nothing changes, nothing changes.

I’ve reached out to a peer support eating disorder recovery group, and logged in online every day. Seeing people who are in recovery has given me so much hope. Change is very scary but hope and goals help.

Goals

  • Stay out of hospital
  • Keep enjoying photography
  • Complete my studies
  • Travel to India next April

These are all very important to me, and if I don’t change then none of them will be achievable, so these remain my focus.

When I was in an inpatient eating disorders unit a couple of years ago they had a meal plan of three meals a day and three snacks a day. It worked for me while I was in there, and for a few months afterwards.

My psychiatrist and I have decided it’s time to put this in place again now. It maintains blood sugar, because I know what I’m eating and when it makes it easier to avoid either binging or restricting. Binging is really common when food is increased after long periods of restricting. The brain sends out all kinds of chemicals to try to restore nutrition, so knowing where the next meal is coming from helps psychologically to avoid binging.

We’ve also increased my calories by 25%. It’s scary, a big leap, but I’m still way under what I need to maintain weight or build nutrition. If I want to stay out of hospital then I need this increase, and the next, and the next.

This is all so easy to say, and so scary put into practice. Today I’m going to follow the plan. I don’t know if I will tomorrow or the next day, because all any of us can live in is today. If I succeed today, then I have a better chance tomorrow.

I have developed some close and supportive friendship with my fellow OCA students, and other WordPress bloggers. I really appreciate your kindness and support. Thankyou.

cof

Anorexia And Managing Food On Holiday – Yay Two Shows Booked – Action Man

I am in the early stages of my recovery and have a long way to go before my nutrition and calorific intake are healthy. I’m still on 660 calories and the photo is of my food intake for today. I have ciabatta with either peanut butter or marmite every day, and have done for months. Each time I’ve increased my calories I’ve added cookies, belvita or nature valley (low bulk with higher calories and easier to cut/split so that I don’t go over my calories).

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These are foods that I feel safe with and any consideration of eating something different leaves me feeling unsafe.

Going away from home is risky when it comes to eating disorders. I have a very rigid routine at home. I eat at 5.15 pm and watch an episode of pointless and then an episode of a box set while I’m eating.

My holiday means that I can’t be certain I’ll be able to eat at the same time, I won’t be able to sit down and watch those shows as I will be out, and I won’t get the ciabatta with peanut butter or marmite. My default mode when I feel unsafe is to not eat. I don’t ever feel hungry so not eating is easy, but it’s also what’s had me hospitalised on three previous occasions.

I’ve spent three days discussing this on the phone with my friend N. My plan is:-

A) Prawn sandwich (340-360 Cal) topped up to 660 with cookies.

B) London is a big city and there will be loads of places which will sell low-calorie Panini or wraps.

C) I’ve packed my cookies already, so if I don’t feel safe with A or B then just have 660 cals of cookies.

I’ve booked two shows today. I’m off to see The Book of Mormon and also The Jungle, which has a narrative based upon life at the former refugee camp known as The Jungle in Calais.

On Monday I’m going to try to get tickets to attend two different football matches. Although I’ve planned trips to museums, formal gardens, nature reserves/zoo, galleries and meeting people, I’m not paying in advance as I’d like some flexibility.

I’m going to add a travel category and upload little bits and pieces when I can. This little guy wants his photo taken every day.

cof

If you have, or think that you may have an eating disorder and need help then talk with someone who you trust, and see if they will support you to see your Dr.

Most countries have eating disorder charities which provide support, information and resources. Help is available and recovery is possible.

United Kingdom

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

Bulimia

This is a photo about bulimia, an eating disorder and serious mental illness. It is a sociology photo and is in the category of sociology photos.
(please click on the photo for a full size image) Bulimia is an eating disorder and a serious mental illness. In between 10 and 20% of people with bulimia will die from this illness. It depletes electrolytes and this can induce a heart attack or organ failure. If you think that you, or someone you care about may have an eating disorder then please seek help from your doctor. There are many eating disorder charities throughout the world. In the UK please see BEAT eating disorders for advice and support. Help is available and recovery is possible.