‘health’ can be a dangerous disguise for restriction

With a plethora of health advice bombarding the internet from ‘health gurus’ or ‘life coaches’, who don’t appear to provide much evidence in the form of relevant qualifications..it’s easy to get caught up in the perfect healthy lifestyle they appear to advocate through social media, and consequently try to replicate their eating patterns. Having said this, I value the promotion of certain ‘health foods’ such as avocado, chia/flax seeds etc which all have multiple health benefits and should be welcomed and embraced in our diets, but it is the ‘cutting out’ and demonising of certain food groups I have come to have a problem with. I myself have fallen victim to this countless times, latching onto each morsel of new information and adding it to my ever expanding ‘health bible’ with the ‘do’s and don’ts’. I have recently come to think however, that through each elimination diet phase that hits the nation, one seems to have been forgotten. We have had grain free, gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, but what about care-free??

I should have started by underlining that some people HAVE to eliminate certain foods from their diet for health reasons such as coeliac disease or lactose intolerance, however, the line becomes blurred as people claim to require a gluten-free diet for example, cutting out obvious ‘demons’ such as bread and pasta..but when oats, sprouted bread and rye bread come into fashion, the intolerance to gluten they have suffered so terribly from seems to magically dissipate, with a new logical diagnosis of ‘wheat-sensitivity’.

It is also worth mentioning that for those who are lucky enough to not suffer from some kind of auto-immune disease, cutting out these food groups doesn’t seem to benefit us in any way, and only contribute to a restrictive mentality. It is easy to get swept up in the phenomenon, I was convinced dairy and wheat were the works of the devil, and since they cause so much bloating and weight gain in the ‘health gurus’ of social media, it obviously must have the same effect on me, so out the window they went. Now, looking at this decision from a more logical perspective after reintroducing these foods into my diet..why fix what’s not broken? I had to ask myself..

Do I like bread and yoghurt? – yes

Do they both provide essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and calcium? – yes

Are they a good source of carbohydrates/fats/proteins that your body needs to function? – yes

And do they make you feel uncomfortable or cause bloating? – no

Looking at these answers, the need to remove them from my diet to improve my health seems as beneficial as adding in a weekly ride on a pink flamingo.

I’m not saying I don’t promote a healthy diet, for example personally I generally eat whole grains over the refined ‘white’ variety to include more fibre and vitamins in my diet, as well as actually preferring them, however the age old health advice still stands that rises above all else..EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.

No food in isolation will cause ill health or excessive weight gain. Weight gain occurs from a calorie surplus..be that from fats, proteins or carbs. The success from low’-carb diets probably stems from fats and proteins keeping people fuller for longer, rather than the blood sugar spikes/crashes simple carbs can induce, but it is the resulting calorie deficit that is actually causing the weight loss. So if your over all diet is a healthy one, with all the necessary nutrients, and adequate energy to reach your goals, be that weight gain, loss or maintenance then you’re onto a winner. There are no ‘magical foods’, its all about energy balance- of course this doesn’t mean you should eat rubbish processed food all day as this will have other detrimental effects on health, hormones, metabolism etc.. but the general message is having some refined carbs/sugar now and then wont send your body into a meltdown or make you gain a stone over night. Just be mindful, happy and above all CARE-FREE.

After countless sleepless nights due to either hunger or anxiety I came up with a new mantra which made me and my mother giggle, but its actually a good question to ask myself at the end of each day to make sure im still on track. β€œOnly ever go to bed with a full stomach and an empty head” πŸ˜‰

Trust me when I tell you that is the perfect formula for a decent nights sleep!!

Thats enough for today…lots of love

Emma xo

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if you can dig yourself a hole, you can drag yourself out of it

You know those days where you just feel like crap?
Today has been one of those days..truthfully the past few days have followed suit. I hate having nothing productive to do with my day, it gives me too much time to sit and dwell on things and feel sorry for myself!

The first half of the day was spent moping around the house watching awful daytime tv and crying alot and in the past its been times like this where i would isolate myself. I already felt rubbish so why put that on other people right?? wrong.
I figured your mood is influenced by your thoughts, and your thoughts are your own. Currently ive been feeling down because on top of being bored i’ve been getting sick of constantly eating, i know i need it all but my whole day revolves around it and i dont seem to do anything else! If im not eating im sat thinking about the amount i have to eat and its draining! So logic would suggest if i switched my thoughts i would cheer up…this meant taking my mind of what was bothering me. So i popped on my coat and headed to my aunties house, it was only for two hours but i just sat, had a drink and chatted with my aunty, cousins and their little boy. It was so lovely just to have a change of scenery and its safe to say i didnt sit there feeling depressed like i would have done staying at home.

So the point i’m trying to get at here is we all have shitty days and thats ok! If you dig yourself a depressive little hole (which we’re all guilty of doing sometimes), you can stay there, only able to see the dark walls around you and inevitably continue to feel depressed..or you can drag yourself out and atleast allow yourself the chance to feel a bit better!

Lots of love, Emma xo

slow progress beats no progress

Wahoo, its that time of the week again!

gained weight again this week! but still not much further ahead in terms of being able to do more etc. Its gonna be a lot of gains before my lifestyle changes and i can finally start doing the things i like but atleast im closer than i was last week! I’ll be posting pictures every few weeks on instagram to show how im progressing, it also reminds me why i shouldn’t go back because i can see how far ive come in a relatively short amount of time! https://instagram.com/p/9Tgmx2v2Pe/?taken-by=finding.emma

Having said that, i have been applying for jobs so fingers crossed something comes up and then i’ll atleast feel productive during the day!

stay cheery kids,

Emma xo

You are your own treatment

Thinking back to that appointment at seacroft hospital on monday it turns out theres actually a fair bit more to say. The Dr i saw was an extremerly experienced man and although i have a thorough understanding of my eating disorder there was a few things he said that i found really interesting and were also suprising for me to hear so i thought I’d share them with you all.

Starting with the more negative side, although i obviously know i’ve been quite ill..it still hurts me everytime i hear someone say it..as though i’m being diagnosed all over again. As he spoke into his dictaphone to write his report, his first line was: “Emma Megan Hynard, 19 years old, severe recurrent anorexic, restrictive sub-type”. This reinforced the idea that anorexia takes away your identity entirely. Is that what i have become? Is that what i’ll always be known for? It felt like a criminal sentance, or even more morbidly what would be written on a gravestone. It hit home that if anorexia suceeded in taking my life, my greatest achievement would be letting it do so. This has happened multiple times, and it shows the extent of denial that comes with the illness. Although i know how dangerous being so underweight is, it continues to shock me everytime i hear it. Last year in hospital i was assessed under the mental health act (was a bit of a misunderstanding and for the record i wasn’t sectioned) and they stated the reasoning for the assessment was ‘high, imminent risk of sudden death’. It didnt’t matter how much I knew. There are somethings you choose not to let yourself believe, and that was one of them.

Another thing he mentioned was something my mum has said time and time again. He was saying how putting someone into hospital against their will is a balancing act between psychological risk (i.e. being sectioned decreases motivation to get better, as an anorexic can only recover in the long term through their own decision to do so), and the physical risk of leaving them without medical help. He went on to say how treatment for anorexia bluntly consists of keeping me alive until i make the decision to get better on my own, and that is the only way recovery can happen. This couldn’t be more true..there is no ‘magic hospital’ or treatment..you can put somebody in every eating disorder unit in the country and they will not get better if they don’t want to. In my eyes hospitaliation has been purely to stabalise me physically..and if i have the mental capacity to get better that can and will happen at home.

On the bright side, aside from osteoporosis (which i mentioned in a recent instagram post you can see here https://instagram.com/finding.emma/), his research has shown the other effects of an eating disorder (including fertility) are usually reversible with restored weight. This is a MASSIVE thing for me as i was terrified i had ruined my chances of ever having children, and although its too soon to say whether i can, i have hope and sometimes thats all you need. The danger of not having hope is people often lose the motivation to get better as they no longer see the point. So just remember its never too late to turn things around!

Onwards and upwards

Lots of love, Emma x

a bit of me time..(i.e. a relatively unproductive day)

Today has consisted mainly of running errands..well the kind of errands of my currently boring life which means doing some food shopping and getting my blood taken again hahaaa but i took my weekly arm stabbing ritual as an opportunity to sit in a lil coffee shop near my doctors for a bit (westmorland coffee house-if you havent been i highly recommend), grabbed a flat white, sat on a comfy sofa and had a little me time. No phone, no laptop, just me myself and my coffee. I have to say it was quite nice, after yesterdays hectic day (i’ll get to that), it was a relief to just wind down, and made me grateful that i could relax..as there was a time not too long ago when my head would be far too consumed with the stress of eating/not eating/exercising etc. to just be able to sit and watch the world go by..little pleasures..Emma likes them.

Back tracking a little to yesterdays shananigins. I had an appointment at the Seacroft hospital in leeds, and although the doctor made it clear no one could force me to go into hospital (i.e i cant be sectioned), his ‘recommendation’ was that i become an inpatient of my own accord, as he didnt believe i could get better on my own in time for uni next year. After all my hard work and progress these past few weeks that really felt like an unexpected slap in the face. For the record, i am not planning on going into hospital at all, but he also said that if i dont put on ‘X’ weight within the next month, it would all be reconsidered again, by which point the choice may no longer be mine. This absolutely terrifies me. Gaining weight doesnt terrify me, but the pressure of having to gain a certain amount in a given time frame suddenly makes it stressful! What if i get a stomach bug? What if i eat the same but my weight gain plateaus as it has in the past? Then I will be thrown back into hospital due to circumstances out of my control! And as we all know, being in control is a mahoosive thing for me..be that good or bad..it’s part of my personality that i have to learn to use in a positive way.

So im afraid its not the most positive post in the world but its honest. Im human, i get scared and i get stressed. I did try to cheer myself up by thinking about things i love..looking back at photos in disney since thats literally my favourite place in the world..but then i just got sad because im not there hahaaa

Until tomorrow, Emma xo

Choices

Ok so i wasn’t planning on doing another post today but i saw this picture on instagram and it summed up a lot of feelings that have risen today..

12070903_932282960176890_228440507_nOne thing that keeps driving me insane is people or society stating how someone else should be/look..in my case, on the one hand theres the obvious example with magazines articles bashing celebrities that have gained weight and promoting ‘detox’ diets etc encouraging people being underweight, then on the other hand people keep setting a certain weight they will consider me ‘recovered’. This drives me insane. Firstly because recovery is about SO much more than the weight, the low weight is merely a side effect. And secondly I completely understand the importance of being a healthy weight and healthy mind set, that goes without saying, but along with the required indicators of health such as energy levels, my periods returning, healthy blood tests, healthy bones etc. ultimately the weight i maintain is a choice for me to make. It is my body i have to be comfortable in and others may consider me still too small, others too big, but in the words of joey triviani they are moo points. Like a cows opinion – they do not matter. I want to continue on this journey of recovery to recreate myself and find happiness, not to become someone elses idea of ‘acceptable’..and so it shall be.

rant over for tonight!!

Lots of love, Emma x

Weigh day Monday!

Anyone who has been in an inpatient unit will know that monday is doom day. Generally speaking it is the day you are weighed, meal plan for the week, and there are usually a bundle of meetings where decisions about your care (including home leave) are made. Being a creature of habit..monday is still the day where i weigh myself at home, and make any changes to my plan (diet and exercise) that need to or can be made with the help of those in charge of my care, depending on my progress. (I am lucky enough to have the help of some friends with a wealth of knowledge on fitness and nutrition).

So today i can announce that after nearly a week on my nw plan the weight is on the up! I’m not going into numbers as it could be triggering to some readers but i have gained within the recommended amount. Not too much, not too little..just the right boost πŸ˜‰

One thing the rTMS in london has definately helped with is reducing anxiety. I was excited to see these results rather than being worried! It was reassuring and a massive relief to see my hard work has actually had results and i am a tiny bit closer to my goals! My nails are growing, my skin is better, my blood results have improved, i am enjoying the food i’m eating and i have much more energy! All good things people..all good things!

So thats todays update πŸ™‚ Have a fabulous week everyone!-saw a quote on instagram thats proper cheesy but i love it…Work hard. Stay humble. Smile often and Love forever ❀ ❀

Emma xo

PARTYYYY

So last night was my sisters engagement party and it was fabulouuusss

Firstly, a congratultions to katie and jonny on their engagement! And secondly well done and thankyou for putting on such a lovely party, so much effort went into it!! It was a spanish style party with sangria, tapas and spanishy decorations hahaa they had photos put up everywhere of their relationship over the last few years, and little tapas boards for people to write messages on that they can put up on the wall when they get their own house which was a really sweet idea!

It was so lovely to spend time with family and friends and everyone had a great time! It was slightly disheartening not to be fully involved in the sense i ate before i went, and came home at the end of the party rather than joining some others in town but it was a decision i felt was best for my health at this moment in time. I’ve found an important part of recovery, especially having done the cycle a fair few times now, is spotting potential triggers for a relapse/step backwards and avoiding them. So although a big part of me wanted to eat with everyone else and drink/party to the early hours, and i may have felt slightly silly or a bit of a bore not doing so, i recognised this would lead to some form of restriction or compensatory behaviour. Not to mention it would have really taken it’s toll physically to drink too much and be out that long.

A friend of mine said to me this morning “keep going in the right direction”, and this really resonated with me. As although i might feel that progress is slow, and i’m not yet quite where i’d like to be..my goal is still in sight as long as i dont turn around and head back down the wrong path.

So all in all it was a lovely evening and i cannot wait for the wedding!

Lots of love, Emma xo

Job hunting

well finding a full time job is quickly becoming the bane of my life…

looking for some kind of receptionist/office job but i am literally having NO luck whatsoever! i have zero money, nothing to do with my day and it is majorly stressing me out! On big reason i coudnt go to uni this year was that i had zero money to go with and the loan doesnt cover much..and at this rate i’m going to be in exactly the same situation come september!

Trying to stay sane, seeing all the famalam tonight at my sisters engagement party so that should cheer me up! I just keep making baby steps at the moment, i dont want to throw myself into too much too soon in terms of recovery as this always results in me going backwards..small steps forward are better than large steps back! So ill be eating my tea before i go to the party rather than eating whats there..this may seem like a ‘failure’ or ‘disappointment’, but i know myself well enough now to know that at this stage the anxiety of eating there would cause me to restrict for the rest of the day, which i cannot afford to do at this stage having just started a new eating plan that is working! So there we have it.maybe the next party ill be ready to make that step, but i’m still going to have a good time πŸ™‚

lots of love, Emma xo