Thursday, August 21, 2014

change is good

It has been a super hectic working week- I calculated that I have worked fifty hours in the Chinese medicine clinic already. I have been so busy and stressed, but it's a good thing- I'm earning money and contributing financially to the household income, something I haven't been able to do for a couple of months.

My new income is also happily contributing to an Amber Sceats ring, a Dreams In Colour scarf, and my first ever tattoo (spontaneous, I ducked into the tattoo parlour on the way to an appointment with my psychologist). 

I haven't had any bulimic episodes for over two weeks and I am eating normally and maintaining a healthy weight, so I think that deserves a treat...or three...anyway, celebrations are in order! I now have the energy and stamina to work, and go to the gym, and not need to sleep for half the day. 

A tiny heart (but I actually have a big heart!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

work trial

Hello! I have been absent for a few days because I have been super busy!

I have been having a trial working in the Chinese Medicine clinic for the past few days. I have been exhausted from nine hour days, but I want this job! The practitioners are all so lovely and it's a really nice space; herbal tea for the clients, nice meditative music playing, beautiful treatment rooms. I have never tried acupuncture or cupping but I want to put both on the list of new things to try this year! I like mixing up the herbs for the clients too- some of them (the herbs, not the clients) smell so good, like cinnamon and peppermint.

Trench coat and heels for work

Leopard heels
I am unfortunately home sick today (have been fighting a bug all week!) so it has been a bit of a quiet day`. So far I have slept a lot and watched "What To Expect When You're Expecting," a movie that I have seen before but like watching again because I like pregnancy and birth and all that stuff. 

I have also eaten an entire packet of Arnott's Spicy Fruit Roll biscuits, among other things. I just went crazy and couldn't resist! My belly is all bloated and sad but I am refusing to give in to bulimic urges. I have come so far already, don't want to throw it all away just because of some biscuits. I have to trust that my body will just digest them and pass them through without any "help" from me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

job interview today!

Today at 2pm I am going for a job interview for a receptionist role in a Chinese Medicine clinic. I am super excited because they are all about acupuncture, fertility, and helping people to fix various health problems via natural methods. This is my jam, y'all!

This place is like the Canberra version of Natalie Kringourdis' The Pagoda Tree. And readers of this blog will know that I love Natalie Kringourdis from afar. She is so enlightening and supportive of women working through their health and fertility issues. A talk she did was my inspiration for going off the oral contraceptive pill, and I am feeling really good since I did that.

Wish me luck...!

I'm not wearing this giant hoodie to the interview, obvs

Saturday, August 9, 2014

sunday funday

This weekend has been a relaxed dream. Yesterday I got my hair cut (shorter!), went to the gym for an excellent arm workout, read "Textbook Romance" by Zoe Foster- it's awesome- and watched two episodes of "The Bachelor." Oh, and spent time with my love! The time that I spend with my husband is the best time.

Bed head and faux fur coat
Today has been relaxing too; a huge sleep in followed by a Sunday morning market trip with Mum, then cuddles with Luke and Toto, then another market trip (I usually go twice on a Sunday, to two different markets).I got kale, baby spinach, apples, a blood orange because I don't think I've ever tried one, then we got meat (not for me!), bananas, grapes, sweet potato, salted mixed nuts and coconut water at the other market. The fridge is extremely full!

Huge daikon
Happy Apple stand
I also made a green smoothie and a green smoothie bowl with toppings for tomorrow's breakfast, so I hope it goes okay. I put chia seeds, goji berries, seed mix and shredded coconut on top. I may also add some sprouted cereal tomorrow. I have never made one before but I have seen them heaps on instagram and they look so pretty and yummy! Will let you know. 

Now we are heading off to see an ice hockey match at the local ice skating rink- we did this last week for a date and it was really fun.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

i'm so fancy

Today I stayed at home in a huge t-shirt and leggings, applied for a job at a Chinese Medicine clinic (fingers crossed for an interview!) and got my hair did. Thanks Cheynee! 

I also cancelled my childcare course and took my name off the temp register- I tried a couple of shifts working in childcare centres but it's just not for me. The kids were cute and all, but I really can't escape my passion for nutrition and natural medicine! It's all I want to do. I just have to get focused and make headway with my Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy (I deferred for a little while post-hospital).

Food today has mostly consisted of a lot of snacking! Quest protein bars (my poor overworked kidneys), almonds, sultanas, and cereal. Totally inspired, I know! I really have to get back into cooking interesting food and having fun with it like I used to. My relationship with food is a little strained at the moment as I am still getting fully on board with recovery, but hopefully we will patch things up before too long.

Blonde refreshed

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

craving chocolate

I had an insatiable craving for food today, mostly chocolate! My stomach was a black hole and I ate my way through a bagel, dried fruit and nuts, a crumpet, muesli with almond milk, a protein bar, a smoothie, chocolate...some days I guess you just need more calories than other days. I am learning to listen to my body and try to eat what I want instead of what I think I should eat.

Loving being blonde

I had a childcare class tonight but I didn't learn much, we're just easing into the term and it's mostly just introductory stuff. Yesterday was nice because it was my Mum's birthday (happy birthday Mum!) and I went out to lunch with her and my sister. I ordered rosemary and brown rice cakes with a beetroot and feta salad, it was pretty good. Later on in the night we had a family birthday party- it was roast chicken with vegetables and gravy, although Fern and I abstained from the gravy and chicken. It was a difficult night for me as I ate a large portion of birthday cake, and I feel sad to admit this but I caved into my stupid bulimic urges and ended up in the bathroom afterwards.

I think that in order to recover properly I have to make sure that I am more mindful about what I eat so I can digest it happily without any eating disordered behaviour. Something to work on for the future! I am so close to being recovered I can taste it (no pun intended) and I just have to keep starting fresh and working until I get there.

Monday, August 4, 2014

gaining weight

I just want to talk for a minute about my weight gain and the effects that it has had on me mentally, physically and emotionally, in case there are people reading this that are stuck in a skinny rut and are afraid to climb on out. 

In the last three months I have gained seven and a half kilograms and I don't think I've even reached my body's "happy weight" yet. To be fair, I may also be gaining muscle as I have really gotten into weights at the gym lately (extra muscle would be awesome!). I am beginning to really feel appreciation for my body and what it can do.

I started to gain some weight back when I was admitted to hospital (pre-admission my BMI was 17), where I was subjected to regular meals- some of them were even supervised by nurses, as my nemesis bulimia reared its ugly head around this time- and was encouraged to gain weight. I allowed myself treats that I haven't had in years; Mars bars, custard tarts, a few hot chips pinched off Luke's plate. I relaxed a little. I gained a little.

First night in hospital

Since leaving hospital at the beginning of April, I have continued to gain weight and I am not letting it freak me out at all. I weigh myself once a week if I even remember, and the number holds no power over me at all. It is so interesting how letting go has given me a new lease on life- if only I had known this earlier I could have saved myself a lot of mental anguish! I am still struggling with bulimia, but every time I abstain from those behaviours I feel proud, strong and healthy. And I am getting better and better at abstaining every day. Getting healthy for the win!

Me and my sister- love you Fern

Three or four months ago this weight gain would have freaked me out and sent me into a spin, and I would have desperately fallen into the cycle of multiple weigh-ins per day plus intense restriction of food until it dropped into an acceptable range (in my mind). I can't even imagine how distressing my current weight would have been for me back when I was in the pits of an eating disorder. I told myself that I would never weigh over 55kg, which I can see now was a silly goal. My weight at the moment is 61.4kg and I am 173cm tall, so I am within a healthy BMI range now. And I am so much happier for it.

Energy for friends!

To be honest, I feel so much better about my body now than I did when I weighed less. It's like my goggles have slipped off and I can see myself as I really am, instead of the big beached whale I saw when I was thinner. I feel more womanly and more feminine, two things which are important to me. I can go to a party and dance for hours if I want to. I can go to the zoo without having to sit down on a bench after a short walk. I can go to the markets in the morning with Mum without freezing to the bone. I can eat lollies in bed with my husband without feeling panicked and awful. Life is so much richer now that my eating disorder has been forced to detach itself from me (with help from my husband, family and psychologist!).

Bigger and happier

To anyone struggling with an eating disorder or anything of the like who reads this blog, challenge yourself. Eat a treat and see what happens. Sit with that uncomfortable full feeling and test it out. Nothing bad will happen, I promise. Even though my weight doesn't appear to have stabilized yet, and I am still getting into the habit of eating regularly and healthily, I no longer worry about that stupid number on the scales. I am learning that people value you for so much more than your thinness or your ability to starve; people value your sense of humour, your empathy, your love. 

Holding a friend's (heavy!) baby

Sunday, August 3, 2014

i'm back

I'm back! It has been a very strange couple of months since I last wrote. Life is never dull, that's for sure. I was in hospital for one month (the whole of May!) following a little breakdown and a subsequent diagnosis of ED-NOS (Eating Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified) and Borderline Personality Disorder with Major Depressive and Anxiety Disorders (say it fast!). I am sharing this information because I don't want to pretend that life is perfect (gives everyone unreal expectations and sets you up for disappointment) and plus I just don't like keeping secrets. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of!

Since I got out of hospital, life has been alternately relaxing and hectic. In the weeks following my hospital discharge I have: 
  • Quit my job at the weight-loss centre
  • Enrolled into and began a Certificate III in Childcare
  • Completed my first-ever childcare shift (and poo-ey nappy change!)
  • Switched from being vegan to being vegetarian
  • Gained seven and a half kilograms (and counting!)
  • Have seriously upped my strength training at the gym and am loving it
  • Have gone from natural brunette to blonde
  • Attended a four-week eating disorders program (government-funded)
  • Am beginning to get my social life back.
Winter cold!
Phew. I can feel myself changing for the better, and have been very lucky and blessed to have my husband and family around me in this difficult time. I have returned to blogging simply because it is a way to keep track of things, and it is nice to look back and reflect on life. 

Today I have cleared my calendar to just focus on cleansing. For me, this involves a nourishing juice/smoothie and homemade vegetable broth diet for the day, writing in my journal to try to get all my mind-junk out and onto paper, exercising (kicked out a killer arms workout this morning), and just generally taking care of my mind and body. I have also done a coffee grounds-and-olive oil body scrub and had a delicious shower to wash it all off, and I highly recommend this if you have a day free for pampering. You literally just mix up old coffee grounds with a bit of olive oil, take it to the shower and get messy with it. Smells yum.

Life is a lot different since I got help for my issues. I now have the energy to actually live and I am excited about it. Will tell you more and encourage anyone who is reading this to GET HELP for whatever is bringing you down. And of course I still have super difficult days, but overall things are looking a lot brighter and I know that I have people around who love and care for me. I will write more about everything that has happened to me in the next few weeks so you can understand where I have been, but for now I am just having a relaxing day hanging with my dog and looking after myself.