Friday 6 November 2015

Dear ED ( eating disorder)..... it's ME!


  I am only guessing but you may have thought of your eating disorder (ED) as a friend. ( I remember that I did!) Because it is always there, no matter how hard life is or happy life may be ED is always there. Sure, it can be annoying but it gives you a sense of comfort, a stability because one thing that you know for sure in this situation is ED.Right?
 And that will never change.... Unless, you turn your attention to that tiny little voice inside you...yes that one...and you know whose voice that is? It's yours! 
It is the voice that cannot be heard because ED's voice is so much louder and stronger. You may have already forgotten what is your own voice sounds like and which thoughts are yours and which are ED's.  
 We all want to have "good friends" in our lives. And one of the qualities of a "good friend" is that they let your voice being heard. 
Of course there is no friend perfect (says ED in your head right now), but you do have the power to choose what kind of friends you would like to be with. So, why don't you get a pen and paper and write a letter to your ED. Write it out how you feel and why your relationship is so important to you. What is that ED means and gives you. Then may want to tell ED what you don't like...what is that that you don't get from ED or indeed you have lost but want back.
 After that you can keep this letter handy to read whenever you question your journey with or without ED.

You may decide that you want your voice back, and you have lost so much and want things back and even more you wnat more in your life....You can achieve that!  Start walking towards those goals today...after all what's the worse thing that can happen if you try....?

Saturday 4 April 2015

‘The voice' that holds you back.

Why is recovery not as attractive as most people may think it is...?

Before I begin to explain why I think recovery might not feel such a glorious option to most ED sufferers, I want to tell you that I am for pro-recovery. I do believe that there is freedom and life beyond an Eating Disorder. And let's be honest here, having an Eating Disorder is not life at all!

I have suffered from anorexia for the first twenty four years of my life. Anorexia was there even when it did not control my eating style. I remember having a voice in my head telling me that I was never good enough and I was unlovable. I was only about 8 years old when I harmed myself  for the first time, because I felt that I deserved to be punished for not being good enough.( Despite of being best at everything that I have ever did at school or sport or whatever else ). And I never had weight issues. On the contrary, I had always been teased for being too thin...I even had a nickname: ‘bones’. Despite of my nick name I ate like a ‘horse’ it was a mystery why I was so skinny...Who would have thought that just by being tense and unhappy inside can burn up so much calories......! All that self hatred.....
At the age of 15, those self hating thoughts became actions. I would regularly commit self harm and starve myself as the "voice" inside my head told me that I did not deserve to eat. 
It seemed that my mission was, to prove that I am not good enough! I gradually begun to fulfil all those thoughts and ideas that I had about myself. Some of my grades dropped, my relationship with my first "real" boyfriend became messy....I became messy. I guess being a perfectionist served anorexia well, as I wanted to obey it perfectly and I wanted to prove that I was good for nothing. 
As I got deeper and deeper into destroying myself, I also got further from my dream to solve my parent's problems (finance and relationship) and to become a doctor.
And when it finally became clear that I could not save my parents from their financial difficulty, ‘the voice’ told me that it was the very proof, (right in front of me) that I am good for nothing and deserve nothing but pain. 
Believe me, starving is physically, emotionally and mentally painful. And crazy as it may sound, I thought the only way I could feel a tiny little "good " about myself was, when I followed ‘the voice’ in my head a hundred percent.

However, the real torment only just began when people got involved in my eating disorder world. Because, they wanted me to get better. ( Well, look better.) I felt I was being torn; because I wanted to be a perfect patient and a perfect person who follows 'the voices's orders. Often the conflict was too hard to bare that only hurting myself -physically- brought me some sense of relief. I often thought that the only way out was, to kill myself. But those thoughts about my self execution  filled me with guilt and shame....which then just pushed me to punish myself even harder.
Recovery meant one very obvious thing; I had to eat! It may seem a very simple task, but when you have your own personal "watchdog" living inside you, whom makes you accountable for every single bite, for every single gulp....well, then it is not as easy. I can still remember how my hands were shaking, literally, when I tried to put food into my mouth. 
My heart raced and the beating of it my ear was so loud that I could here nothing from the world around me. Sweat ran down my forehead and my clothes became damp. 
At the same time ‘the voice’ inside my head kept shouting at me: " What do you think you are doing?  What makes you think you deserve that? Look around yourself, you hurt everyone, you do nothing that is good, you achieve nothing and will never become anything. You do not deserve to eat.......You do not deserve to live!”

Just imagine for a moment to experience all this everyday with every single byte.... Would you be inspired to eat? Would you want to go through with all the physical and mental pain?

Recovery also meant that I had to face my past and my present situation, all that I have lost during the time that I let anorexia take away from me. I had to face and re-live some painful memories and experiences. I had to accept that all that 24 years will never come back and I will never have the chance to live it again. It was very painful to just think about what I have managed not to I let my dream of becoming a doctor being destroyed by anorexia. And ultimately, what all these meant for my future....What was I to become? Who was I? And who will I be without anorexia?

Recovery from anorexia was one of the hardest thing I have ever done.... It was scary, hard and often lonely. But nothing to compared to the loneliness living with anorexia. And it was 
worth it!

Nevertheless, I wanted to share this with you because I want those who have never been there, to get a glimpse of the inner world of somebody who is suffering, who is imprisoned by eating disorder. 
Because, we judge all to easily ( I even judged my own self) and we seem to think that with "willpower" anybody can break free. “ Why can’t you just snap out of it”, I have often heard people say to me. But there are so many reasons that can hold sufferers back from breaking matter how tormenting their life may became with the eating disorder.

Eating disorder is a very complex condition and there is so little and effective help available, but there is one thing that we can offer to those who suffer; love and compassion. With that there is hope that they may accept life and who they are and put up the fight with the illness.

Saturday 10 January 2015

You are enough! New steps...not a new you!

 Probably you have noticed one of those advertisements, that are popping up especially at the beginning of the New Year, which suggests that you need a "new you" -New Year, New You!- it says.
Before you start frantically nodding( whilst feeling bad about yourself ) to this advertisement in agreement. I suggest, you take a step back and think about what happened at the last time when you've tried to change yourself because you felt bad about yourself....
 If you are similar with most of us, you might had some disastrous result with all that changing business. 

I wonder if you know why...(?)

What I realised was, that I cannot make a positive change out of something that is fuelled by self-hatred and negative self-talk.

When you want to change the most important thing that you need is encouragement, positive support and love. 
If you are blessed with loving people around you,  you may have the right support system, But even if you have all that love and support from the outside but you still have those negative self-talks on your inside,  you will find that the only thing that is going to change is the level of your frustration. Which then going to create an even stronger self-dissatisfaction. And now you can see the vicious cycle where you've got yourself sucked into.

My second big discovery was, that I actually did not need to become "new"!
 Yes, I needed some change in my life..and I believe I will always have something that need to be I was not born being perfect ( but who is??). 
However, it is not to become the 'new me"that would change all those things that need to be improved in my life. I have habits that need to change and I can do that with one step at the time. And that has nothing to do with me becoming something that I am not. If anything, I need to be me, so that I can take full ownership over my achievements. 

I encourage you to instead of fighting becoming a 'new you', to embrace and accept yourself! Take steps in a new direction that would change those habits and qualities that you would like to change. Do it because you want to have a happier, healthier and better quality of life.
Get excited about those new steps, and pat yourself on your shoulder because you've not just recognised that you need to take new steps and perhaps a different path in your life, but you are willing and ready to do so!

Do it, because you want it, and not because you are manipulated into thinking that you are not enough. Who You are is good enough!

Sunday 4 January 2015

What have you traded your eating disorder for...?

Before I write any further, I want to clearly state that full recovery IS Possible!

What is being 'recovered' from an eating disorder means? At the present we do not have a definition for recovery. It has been said that everybody has their own meaning of what being recovered means to them.
Perhaps you can take a moment and collect your thoughts on what recovery means to you and examine how far you are from that place, what would need to happen in order to get there, or whether indeed you are at that place already.

Once you enter the " I am recovered status", you are out there to be looked at and more likely you will be judged by others, whether you really have recovered from your eating disorder. This is something that you cannot avoid and have to learn how to handle. 

Let's not worry about what other people think about our recovery status, and how they see us. Believe it or not that doesn't matter at the end of the day. But there is one thing that matters is You!
I want you to look at yourself and ask yourself this question: " Am I recovered? Am I free ?"

If your answer is "no", there is no need to beat yourself up for it! You can recover! It takes time, but you need to believe that you are not a "hopeless case"! I was told numerous time, that there was no way that I will ever recover, but by writing all these here to you, I am proving everybody wrong!  When you put all that energy that you put into your eating disorder, to your recovery instead, you can and you will recover.
( You can find out how to do that, and/ or if you need support, you can find help as well, through -use the contact form for free information and support- you can also follow these organisation on facebook :

If your answer is "yes", then it is great news and you must be living your life to the full with all the challenges, ups and downs and joy that life throws at you. I am thrilled for you!

But hang on for a second, I do not want to doubt your recovery... However, I want you to be really recovered when you say: " I am recovered". Why? Because that is the ultimate goal for you if you really want to live and enjoy life. When you are recovered you  become a walking example for those who are still fighting for their freedom! Would you want to look up to somebody who isn't what she or he says is?

I have been there myself, I thought I was recovered...and I have said that I was recovered, when in truth I wasn't. Having said that, I know that it was part of my recovery. So, I did not have to feel guilty about my confusion...but the truth is I did feel that way ( once I recognised that I was in fact still just on the way to recovery) as I knew that some people looked up to me and were encouraged my progress. I had to be honest and admit that I was still steps away from 'freedom'. I found that rather hard...because I wanted to be there..I wanted to be recovered...and I wanted to help others and longed to be an empowering example. If you are anything like me, then you might have realised that it is not that simple to know whether you are recovered or not. I heard that everybody have their on meaning of 'recovery'..... That might be true... I don't know... I guess, I am hard on myself and I want to have the "perfect" recovery. Just as perfectly as I was obeying my eating disorder, the same way, with the same perfection I want it out of my life.

Let me share with you when I thought that I was 'recovered' looked like in my case.
I ate "healthy", the healthy that is out there by experts.... I did not count I thought, I was recovered. I exercised, mostly run two or three times a week, which considered being "normal". But If you would've asked me whether I eat because I run or I run because I ate, the answer would have been, "the later".
I had a two year old son at that time, so, I must have been "recovered",. considering the fact that during my anorexic years I was told that I will never be bale to have children.... So, having a child must mean that I was recovered, right...? I amazed everybody how "well" I looked considering that I had a baby, suddenly I became the "good example" and inspiration to all new mothers out there. I was complemented and told that this is how all mothers should look and do....! Did that make me feel good? Well, yes! At first. Then I started to feel I began to ask myself the question...."Are you really recovered?"
 The truth was, that If I didn't have time to do my "recommended amount of" excersise  or that "heathy meal", I was tense, grumpy and somewhat hard to get along with, to say the least.Of course like everybody else, I told myself that it was important to have my "me time".. now and then....away from the baby...that I needed to relax and get the tension out of my system.... And all that is true and important...but there are different ways to achieve calmness, it doesn't have to be involved with pulling weights, and running miles.
The reality was, that I trade my eating disorder for being "super healthy" and a "super woman".

 To clear any confusion here, I am not saying that you cannot do and enjoy sport once you made your recovery. I just hope that you have noticed the "enjoy" part that I wrote. You enjoy whatever activities you do, and you don't freak out if for some reasons you cannot do them.  
You eat and enjoy it and but not whilst thinking that eating is only "ok" because you will at some point do some workout...and then all will be fine. It is fine to eat and enjoy it even if you cannot walk 5miles after that breakfast you ate. It is ok to look "good" ( whatever "good" means), it is ok to look tired, stressed, have a bad hair day, and believe it or not it is fine to have a "bad" body day. We all have it... men, women... there is no human being who would feel completely satisfied in their body every single day.  

I believe, when you are recovered, you actually enjoy whatever you do and you have developed coping strategies for those "not so good days".... Just because you are recovered it doesn't mean that you will have no "bad" days. You will not be immune to hard times, but you can cope with whatever life brings.

You no longer need to do timeless workouts to prove your worth, or shop until you drop to make you feel better, or drink, or lock yourself away and hide...or do whatever it is that actually do not give you lasting peace and satisfaction. You no longer have to be the toughest kid on the block nor do you have to be the "everything is sorted out around me".

When you are recovered you feel free to be who you are!  When you are recovered you can and you do embrace yourself including your imperfection.

Are you there yet? If not, don't stop until you get there because you are worth it!