be kind to yourself

Sorry it’s been a while! Kept getting distracted everytime i went to write a post!

Anywhoooo, things are looking up! Since london i’ve been able to be increasingly kinder to myself, in every aspect..firstly and most obviously with nutrition and being able to stop punishing myself physically by restricting food, but apart from this treating myself in other ways such as getting my hair done, doing my nails etc has helped me enormously (although admitidly its done little to help my mini financial crisis ;))
I never thought i’d get to a point where i dont feel terrible about myself but i feel the best i’ve ever felt since anorexia kicked in..granted its still not the happy carefree life i had once upon a time but that is finally in sight!

Another thing i’ve been able to do is stop focusing on the aspects of myself i dont like, and try to bring out the traits that i do..for instance i always saw myself as quite a caring person so i’ve started volunteering again! i used to be quite sociable so i have made an effort to spend more time with friends and family whenever i can! Each little thing adds up..we only have one life at the end of the day so dont waste it torturing yourself!

A little bit of self-love goes further than you think πŸ™‚

Lots of lovee, Emma xo

 

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festive day!

It’s been a while since i’ve posted but in all honesty i haven’t had all that much to say! Today however has altered that entirely!

I spent the day at Leeds Trinity with my lovely sister and had a little wonder around the christmas markets. I was so determined to do something to challenge myself mentally, as although i don’t mind the idea of having enough calories to gain weight anymore..having those calories from ‘bad’ foods is still something i struggle with..despite the fact I only have those foods once in a while as part of a balanced, healthy diet. Clearly this is extremerly anorexic thinking as sugar is not poison and everything in moderation right??

So we had lunch at wagamamas and it was loveeellllyyyy! We had a pitter patter around the german xmas markets (although we’re going to go to the manchester ones next time), but the real challenge arrived unexpectedly..in caffe nero..

we went in knowing what we wanted..katie wanted a hot chocolate and i had decided to treat myself to a mocha, however when we got in there was a new ‘festive menu’ which had a praline latte neither of us had tried..katie decided to have that instead and despite actually fancying a mocha I decided to go with the flow with it being a christmassy day and all. Soon after though, i realised that the ‘praline latte’ was actually just a festive name for a hazelnut latte you could get any time of year..and not only that but there is a sugar-free hazelnut syrup available. So now, not only did my chosen drink have more sugar than the one i actually wanted..but i was about to consume over 40g of sugar in a drink that could have been sugar-free..

I kept my shit together at the time but it really shook me up. I spoke to katie about it though and she really helped me put it in perspective..

1: i need the extra calories anyway to gain weight so its irrelevant
2:i didnt know at the time i ordered it so i cant be annoyed at myself for something i didnt know3:it may seem like alot of ‘added sugar’, but in general i dont have alot of added sugar so once in a while isnt going to do me any harm..its sugar not arsenic
4:i handled it well and drank it anyway which is a massive step forward mentally…there may be other situations in life where you have to eat/drink something you wouldnt normally have or even enjoy but you dont have a meltdown..you just deal with it..and if its something you can control you know for next time.

so all in all it was a lovely day and most importantly i did the best i could to reach my no1 goal which was to make my sister proud which i hope i achieved!!

Lots of love…Emma xx

switching off..

I saw a video the other day of a young australian model explaining why she is quitting social media and i found it really honest, ensightful and inspiring. In short, she emphasises how social media (particularly ‘insta-fame’) is not real life, and it is a massive misconception that anyone will gain true happiness from a certain number of ‘likes’ or ‘followers’. The link to her video is here for those who want to watch it fully —->http://nextshark.com/essena-oneill-instagram-truth/

What particulatly hit home for me was her plea for people to get out and actually LIVE..meet people, do things you love etc. A massive part of my eating disorder has been isolating myself from family and friends, with my main priority being able to control the food im having, even through recovery. Although its important for me to track my food intake to ensure im having enough etc, i want to be able to ‘switch off’ so to speak…for instance when i go on holiday/over xmas, and food not being priority..not having to think about it..just living and enjoying time with family and friends.

So I’m putting this to the test this weekend which i will spend enjoying bonfire night with my aunty and cousins, i will not track what i eat and will have what they are having..its a start on reducing anxiety in letting other people make my food as i need to accept i cannot have full control 24/7 as thats not how life works. It will also show me that ‘switching off’ for a couple of days will not do me any physical harm…i will not put on a stone over one weekend (although that would be rather handy) and i will not fall to pieces even if i have some foods i wouldn’t usually include in my diet..its okay to have treats now and then..ESPECIALLY when you have weight to gain! hahaa its about making memories with my family and that is what I intend to do πŸ™‚

I’ll let you know how i do πŸ™‚

Emma xo

‘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

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