Happy New Year everyone!! 2019 is upon us, and I can’t wait to see what great things are going to happen this year.
For me, this is the year of me trying new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone; and what better way to start than by doing something I’ve never done before! Cycling. Now, I know what you’re thinking, how can I have never cycled before??
Well, that’s not 100% true, the last time I had a bike I was 6 and it still had stabilisers on it with pink tassels on the handlebars. So in my mind, I’ve never really done any cycling. Especially not on my own bike now that I’m an adult.
RED January was founded by Hannah Beecham after she found out how your mental health can benefit from exercise; she found this through helping her mother through the darkest of her depression with love, support and by working together towards a goal (The Walk The Walk Midnight Marathon).
Why am I taking part in RED January?
One of my new years resolutions for this year is to raise some money for charities that I have had a personal relationship with. And one of those charities is MIND.
I decided to take part in this challenge because I realised that I’m actually reasonably active; this is due to having to do physio for my back (that’s a post for another day) and developing a healthy relationship with exercise since recovering from anorexia, and it has definitely improved my mental health.
And also because I’ve just received my first every bike, I’m now cycling to work every day! So it makes sense that if I’m already being active every day and feeling the benefit, why not raise a little money in the process??
So that’s what I’m doing this month. Even on my birthday, the 17th! Taking part in RED January doesn’t sign you up for having to force yourself to do something terrible every day that is harrowing. The only requirement is that you do something active everyday in January, if you don’t like running, you can go for a walk, what if it’s raining and cold outside? You could do some yoga, find a workout on YouTube or simply dance around your house just in your pants if you want. That active part is up to you.
Now, since today is the 5th January, I’m about to go do day 5 of the blogilates 100 Ab challenge (wish me luck! I’ll be doing a follow up of this at the end of the month so stay tuned!) and then go for a bike ride if it’s nice outside.
Oh, and if you wanted to sponsor me, you can find my JustGiving page here! I know we’re all tight on money since Christmas is over, so don’t worry if you can’t donate, why not sign up to do the challenge yourself with me?
Hello my lovelies! I hope you have all had a happy Christmas and a very peaceful few days in the lead up to the end of the year! And of course, because we’re coming up to the New Year, New Years resolutions are popping up all over the place.
Which brings me to this post. For as long as I can remember, I have made New Years resolutions each year; and EVERY SINGLE ONE has been about how my body looks and my weight. It’s always along the lines of: I will lose weight, I will drop a dress size, I will change my body, I will go to the gym 6 times a week, I will stop eating certain foods etc. etc. etc.
This year I REFUSE to make a resolution about changing my body.
Now, some of you who are subscribed to my blog will know that I have spoken out about my body image issues and having suffered with Anorexia (see my previous post about it here!). Well, this past year I have been lucky enough to get some help and support and I am happy to announce that I am in recovery!
Writing this post came from seeing everyone’s resolutions on social media, with the majority of them being about their bodies and how they want them to look; and before I started my recovery journey, mine would have been like that too. I started thinking about what I want for the new year ahead and for the first time in.. well forever, I don’t know what my resolution should be if it isn’t about my appearance.
Here’s why I’m refusing to make my new years resolutions about my body:
My body does NOT need to change to be beautiful. It already is.
Resolving to eat less food/calories is stupid, food is fuel and we need energy to do all the amazing things we want to accomplish.
Food is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it’s just food.
Taking up less space does NOT mean I am a better human being.
Losing weight does not solve all your problems.
Spending hours in the gym trying to make my body into something it’s naturally not supposed to be is useless. And boring!
Here’s when it’s okay to make a new years resolution about your body:
Deciding to get help with a medical condition or something you’ve been struggling with.
Deciding to love your body.
Resolving to develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise. And no I don’t mean deciding to go on a so-called ‘healthy’ diet that makes you hate yourself and feel guilty for eating!!
So, because I am not making any resolutions to do with changing my body here are some resolutions that I AM making:
Riding my bike to work instead of driving so I become more confident in cycling. (I just got my first bike this Christmas!)
Continue writing my blog, it’s by far one of the best things I decided to do this past year and I absolutely love it!
Learning to love my body more for everything it is and does.
Wearing clothes that I feel comfortable and confident in, regardless of what other people think.
Those are just a few of my many resolutions for the new year; and I just want to share with you how much I truly appreciate every single one of you for reading, commenting, liking and interacting with me on here. You have made my year so happy and I can’t thank you enough for all of your support! What’re your new years resolutions? Let me know if the comments!!
I hope you all have a great New Years Eve and a very Happy New Year! Love,
P.S. Thank you for voting for me and all of the other amazing bloggers nominated in the UKBloggerAwards!!
*disclaimer – this could contain trigger warnings*
If you’re wondering why I’m writing this post, it’s because it’s something that I relate to a lot. If you’ve read my about me page or my previous blog post – Anxiety, Body Image Issues and Me you’ll know that I struggle with my body image and food. And this past week I finally went to my doctor to talk about it.. Which I will tell you right now, was terrifying.
So, what happens when you’re developing an eating disorder.. Well it’s not something you decide one day, like deciding you want to go for a bicycle ride. It’s something that happens over time, and often you don’t realise what is happening until it’s already developed.
There are several different types of eating disorders out there, and no two are the same. The most common ones you hear about are:
Binge Eating Disorder
Although the above three are most commonly spoken about, the other eating disorders although spoken about less, are equally as important and common among people. The other eating disorders are:
Avoidant or Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
The first time I realised that something wasn’t quite right was just before Christmas 2017, it was cold outside, I was 7 pounds away from what I had decided was my ‘goal weight’ of 9 stone 7 pounds. I think it was the week before Christmas and one morning out shopping I realised that I was extremely anxious about having Christmas dinner. Anyone that knows me, knows I would happily live off roast dinners, and that Christmas dinner was what I looked forward to the most. So naturally, suddenly worrying about my favourite meal of the year sort of hit home that something was not quite right.
I think part of the reason I was anxious about eating Christmas dinner was because I didn’t have any control over what was in the food. Before I lost a load of weight I wouldn’t give a monkeys about what was in it so long as it tastes nice. Because I didn’t have control over what was going in the food I was worrying about how much fat, oil and what I considered ‘bad’ food I would be eating.
I think I was a little in denial about what was going on at this point, I knew something wasn’t quite right, but I refused to admit that to anyone.. Including myself. So, Christmas finished, I ate hardly any Christmas dinner (and I basically only ate the vegetables and about 2 roast potatoes!!) than I would normally would, and worked out to try and burn the food off.
When I eventually admitted to myself that my relationship with my weight, body image and food was not good, I spoke about it with my family, friends and work family and they all were very understanding and supportive with what was going on with me.
Some of the symptoms of eating disorders I was demonstrating were the following:
Religiously counting calories and ‘syns’
Binge eating and then feeling incredibly guilty
Excessive exercising to deal with the guilt of eating
Restricting what foods I do eat (images below are what I typically eat in a day)
Feeling guilty for eating
Immense fear of gaining weigh and not continuing to lose it
Obsessive with making my own food
Constantly looking at workouts, low calorie recipes
Denial of hunger
Starving myself in the evenings so I would weigh less the next day
Weighing myself continuously, every morning, sometimes evening and sometimes even more than twice a day!
Obsessively checking how fat and unattractive I felt I looked
Anxiety around meal times
Distorted body image (this one is a weird one for me to write because I know I must have it, but I just don’t see how my body image is distorted because fat is just how I see myself)
Seeing certain foods as ‘bad’ and ‘good’
Feeling of having no control or complete control around food.
It’s a long list I know!! But the thing is, all of these things don’t just happen over night.. They develop over time. Now, although it’s a long list, a lot of these things overlap within each other, and the good thing is that I’ve realised that these behaviours are not healthy. Below is what I would eat in a typical day, and it’s not great, and by realising this, I know taking the first step to getting better is the right thing to do; which is why I am now getting help.
Small bowl of porridge with 1 strawberry and a small banana.
Pear with Strawberries and Fat Free Yoghurt.
Wholemeal Toast with Scrambled Eggs.
It was not easy asking for help. It was in fact incredibly nerve racking and it felt so weird talking about what was going on in my head. I felt ashamed and strangely guilty of my eating/weighing/body image problems, but after talking to my GP, family and friends, I felt much less ashamed, guilty and alone.
The thing with getting help for eating disorders is that you assume you have to visually look like you’ve got an eating disorder and have a BMI extremely low; but that isn’t always the case. I have now been referred over to a service for young adults with the hopes that I will be able to get some help and potentially see a dietitian in the future if wanted.
If you ever think that you might have an eating disorder you should always go to your GP and ask for help!
You may be wondering what happens when you go to the doctors about potentially having an eating disorder. Well, when I did go to my GP for an appointment I was asked to tell my story of what has been happening to begin with, after that, I let the doctor know what symptoms of eating disorders I was suffering with (I took a list of what I wanted to mention in with me so I didn’t forget, my lovely co-worker suggested that and it definitely helped!), then we checked my oxygen levels, temperature, weight, BMI and I have been booked in for some blood tests to see if I have as a result of my eating habits, become deficient in anything. After going through all of that we decided that it would be a good idea to be referred to a mental health service for young adults (I’m 22).
Once I came out of the appointment I felt so much better knowing that I was going to get the help I needed I would highly recommend it to anyone worrying about any aspect of their mental health.
Anyway, that’s enough jabbering!! I’ll do a follow up post when I am in treatment for my own issues and keep you all updated with what’s happening!