What Is Classed As Selfcare?

What Is Classed As Selfcare?

It’s #SelfcareWeek ! And it’s got me thinking, what do we actually think classes as selfcare? For me, I typically start thinking about face masks and bubble baths. And well yes that can be classed as selfcare; but as amazing as those things are, there are hundreds of other things you can do. And over the last few days, I’ve been partaking in a few of these myself.

The thought for this post came to me whilst I was walking home from the gym; it occurred to me that even though I think of lots of luxurious things as self-care, there are lots of small things I do for myself that make me feel good, and these count too.

Here’s a few things I’ve been doing for myself that aren’t always considered self-care:

  • Going to the gym, and doing what I want there, if I don’t feel like doing the stair climber today, I just don’t do it and I refuse to feel guilty about it!)
  • Buying myself a hot chocolate when walking home after going to the gym.
  • Putting on my moisturizer.
  • Listening to the Peptalk app (I highly recommend this one for when you’re commuting and walking anywhere, it’s a great motivational tool!)
  • Watching videos by Glamour, Ladylike, As/Is and the Try Guys.
  • Self Affirmations.
  • Watching Nikkietutorials (believe it or not I watch Nikkie’s videos when I’m at the gym and they make me so happy!)
  • Cleaning my room.
  • Playing with makeup.
  • Putting on makeup when I’m not going anywhere!
  • Lighting scented candles.
  • Having a bubble bath.
  • Unfollowing any social media profiles that make me feel bad about myself.
  • Watching my favourite films.
  • Cooking my favourite food.
  • Singing in the shower.
  • Talking to friends.
  • Finishing work ON TIME.
  • Related to the above – not looking at work emails when I’m off work.
  • Making myself a great breakfast.
  • Blogging.
  • Painting, drawing and being creative.
  • Getting 7/8 hours sleep.
  • Wearing thermal socks.
  • Using a 99p face mask.
  • Chatting to my sister.
  • Seeing my Niece and Nephew on FaceTime reeking havoc in my sisters house.
  • Driving round to look at Christmas Lights when they go up.
  • Making myself a cup of tea.
  • Meeting up with friends for a chat/food/movies (basically spending time with the important people in your life)
  • Wearing my favourite clothes.

Honestly the list could go on and on. I love selfcare, sometimes I do still feel selfish or guilty for spending time on ourselves, but we really shouldn’t. We’re stuck with ourselves for life so we better take care of that person we see in the mirror.

And at the end of the day, if something makes you happy and feel good, it’s probably your own version of selfcare. We’re all different so it’s impossible to say that one thing will work for everyone; telling someone to go take a bubble bath to relax if they hate having baths is pretty pointless. It’s a personal thing.

Some of the things in my list you might not consider to be selfcare, but for me, they are. Just doing one small thing for yourself a day can make such a difference to your mood and wellbeing. And myself from a year ago would say something along the lines of “I’ll start next week or in the new year”, but that’s not how I think anymore, the time to start is now.

That’s all from me today, I’m off to go get myself a hot chocolate and sit in a blanket with a book. Have a great weekend lovelies! You’re all amazing!

Love,

Victoria Blog Signature

P.S. The UK Blog Awards are now open for voting! It’d mean the world to me if you could vote for me my lovelies!! 

UKBlogAwards Image

What happens when you realise you’re developing an Eating Disorder

What happens when you realise you’re developing an Eating Disorder

*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:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • 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:

  • OSFED
  • Orthorexia
  • Pica
  • 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.

After weight loss in old t-shirt
Here I am in one of my old t-shirts in November 2017, before I knew what was happening!

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!
  • Fatigue
  • 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.

 

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!

Hope you all have a lovely week ahead everyone!

Love,

Victoria x Blog Signature

Anxiety, Eating, Body Image Issues and ME

Anxiety, Eating, Body Image Issues and ME

Something you’ll find out about me sooner or later is that I suffer with a few mental health problems, so just putting them out there now, I suffer with anxiety, I’ve got OCD tendencies when it comes to food and I also have body image, weight and eating issues.

These problems or challenges as I’ve tried to think of them as, developed at different points in my life; when I was diagnosed with anxiety (several years ago now), I can’t say I was surprised. I had always been quiet as a child and was often forgotten to even be in the room because I never really spoke.

Every single parents evening at school I would be told the exact same thing – “Victoria is getting good grades and always listens to what’s being said but she needs to put her hand up and participate more”. Something that I never understood was that if my grades are up then why did they always want me to put my hand up more? I always did the work and homework and never misbehaved. But hey, I guess they just thought it’d help my confidence. I would turn red in the face just having to say yes to during the register.

Sometimes it felt like it’d never get easier for me to speak up and that’s probably due to the anxiety, I have a deep fear of making a fool of myself, disappointing people and just generally talking to people I don’t know very well.

Here’s the thing with my anxiety, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learnt to hide it (with lots of practice), so it’s not always obvious that I suffer with it. If you saw me with people I’m close to then you’d think there’s nothing wrong with me. If I’m comfortable with you I’ll just say whatever comes into my head. I suppose my anxiety around talking to people has got a little better over time, but I do know that I’m a better listener than when it comes to talking. (I can see I’m starting to rabbit on a bit about this now so I’ll move on..)

When it comes to my OCD tendencies and my eating/body issues, these are much more recent things in my life. You see, this time last year I was a size 18 girl who was going on 13stone+. I absolutely hated myself and how I looked then, and I’d tried all different diets and fads out there to try and lose weight. Long story short – nothing worked for me. I’d always wished that I could love my body and props to all the men and women out there who do love themselves, you’re an inspiration!

So for me I was in denial about how I felt about my image, I’d tell myself that I liked how I looked and I liked my size, but deep down I couldn’t stand to look at myself. Then one day came along and I decided to try the one thing I hadn’t yet done, Slimming World. I started Slimming World in July last year, and since then I’ve lost 3 stone and 2 pounds and am now a size 10. It’s taken loads of hard work and perseverance and I was lucky to have the support from my family, friends and lovely boyfriend. Now, as proud of myself as I am and that I do like how I look more than I did; I still hate seeing how wide my body is in the mirror(somethings never change I guess!).

After weight loss in old t-shirt
Here I am in one of my old t-shirts. You could use it as a tent!!

For me, going to slimming world has had positive and negative affects on my life. Positives are that I now eat a lot healthier, I work out 3-5 times a week, my weight is now healthy for my height (still think bmi is a load of rubbish though), I can share clothes with my mum and sister(big pros for when any of us are off out!) and I’m more confident in public.

The negatives that Slimming World has had on me are something I’m working on getting better. So although I have more of an awareness of what I’m eating – which is good to a certain extent – I now obsess over every little thing I consume, syn counting (a Slimming World method of counting ‘unhealthy food’ – like weight watchers points) has kind of taken over my life to the point where I can’t control myself when eating as all I think of is the amount on syns in food and I start freaking out when I don’t know what’s in food. I now feel guilty for every single bite of food I eat and feel the need to workout compensate for any food eaten, and I still see myself as that size 18 girl. I have an immense fear of putting all of the weight on, and I have to weigh myself every morning and see the number on the scale going down or I’ll beat myself up. Luckily I’ve got great support from my family, friends and boyfriends so I’m slowly getting a better mind-set towards food again.

Even though I’ve got all of these issues now I’ve lost weight, that’s not to say that if I had the choice to do it all over again that I wouldn’t go to slimming world, because I would. The good things for me have certainly outweighed some of the bad in my mind, and I’m trying to think of these bad things as challenges to overcome rather than just bad consequences of weight loss.

After all, I’m a lot healthier physically now than what I was, and that’s good; my mental health will always be a work in progress and that’s ok. I would say though, I feel like weight loss groups should have more of an after care for when people have lost lots of weight to tackle potentially developing things like eating disorders and body image issues. For now, I’ve decided to stop going to slimming world, and instead I’m focusing on staying healthy in my body and working on my mind-set towards food, and treating it like fuel to keep my body running.

I do just want to say that if you’re suffering with anything remotely like an eating disorder or other mental health issues then definitely go to your GP or a mental health service for some help and support, it’s totally worth the initial anxiety of talking about it.

Anyway, enough of my blabbering! That’s it for me about all of those things for now, I’ll maybe do a before and after post in the weeks to come… But we’ll see what happens. Thanks for reading and have lovely rest of the weekend!!

Love

Victoria x Blog Signature