BYE SKINNY 

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I used to believe that if I was skinny then I would finally feel whole and happy. That I would be loved. Only when I reach perfection then I would deserve to be loved.

I could not be more wrong.

When I turned 27, a year ago, I finally decided to not diet again. My health does not require it even though I am slightly overweight. I want it to happen naturally because when food is my focus I lose sight of life. Food is my drug and unlike other types of drugs, I have to learn to co-exist with it.

So no more diet. No more trendy detox. No more fad diet and not just this summer but forever, I hope. I am healing my relationship with food.

xoxoxoxo

I.

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I made it through an evening

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When I started therapy I thought that at some point I would be completely free from the desire to use food as a source of comfort. It turns out, it is not all that easy.

Yesterday, I spent the day at work waiting for feedback on my last task. Nothing came. I started doubting my work, thinking : it must be crap, that is why I have not heard anything. It turns out my reviewer was simply too busy. I asked her for an update.

In the evening I wanted to do something for myself. When I arrived home, I grabbed my dog’s collar and the dog with it and headed for the beach. It was not crowded, just the way I like it. My dog did not behave well though. He is in heat again so it was difficult to manage him. He ran after a labrador, then a border collie and would not leave the collie alone. So I had to leash my dog. I felt a little disappointed because he was so good a few days ago. I guess it was not his fault. Just hormones. That said, I called the vet earlier this week for a chemical castration and scheduled an appointment already. This is to see if my dog’s behaviour improves. I really hope so.

Well, apart from my dog obsessed with sniffing other people’s dogs. It was a fun evening. I felt some triggers to reach for food as comfort and sleep it off but I stayed strong. The reason why I wanted to use food again was because I felt lonely. At the beach I embraced the vastness of the water, its calming sound and the fact that at anytime I can come here and regroup. That walk somewhat stabilised and strenghtened me.

I sometimes dream that one day I will go the beach and walk my dog while holding someone else’s hand. You know, someone I love and who would love me back. I have not found him and he has not found me. This makes me sad sometimes. I tell myself I just have to be patient. I will not put my life on hold and focus on something I cannot control, I have done that before. It has not worked. I will enjoy my life and surely we will cross paths.

In the meantime, there will be more beach walks on my own with my furry bestie.

xoxoxox

I.

Triggers dissipate

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Since my last post my triggers have lessened. When I reflect on my past with ED, I realise every time how far I have come. Especially mentally. Physically, I am still overweight for my height and I need to start exercising. Mentally however, I am more aware and relatively accepting of who I am. So even when there are bad days it becomes somewhat easier and quicker to bounce back to my one and only objective. Accept life’s challenges and enjoy life’s repetitiveness and spontaneity.

Last week and this week triggers decreased without me really constantly focusing on them. I just went about my days and included treats in my routine. Not edible treats but experiences. On my own: cinema, walking in the park, at the beach with my dog and with others: cocktails with a good friend and Thai food with nice colleagues. I also worked on my jewelry making, that always draws me back to a more balanced state with a grounded sense of self.

I have also decided that I will be sharing tips on my “me times” because I started experimenting with using natural beauty products and to encourage others who are recovering from, living with ED, BED, self-esteem issues, body confidence to take the time to care for YOU without resorting to the good old frenemy FOOD. You can find these tips on the category “natural care”.

Take care !

xoxoxo

I.

To my eating disorder … Go away !

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If only I could tell it to just leave. Leave forever and never come back. Don’t linger here thinking you will get a hold of me again.

This morning I had to get my yearly referral for my psychologist. New GP. So I had to explain my story all over again. Where do I even start? When I was 14/15 bla bla bla bla.

Of course she has my file but I still have to explain. So the waterworks started. Memories are back. Feelings are here. I am 28 now and I still cry when I have to re-open the wound of my eating disorder. Quite frankly, I want it gone. Everyday I struggle. When I make it to bed without having restricted, purged or binged. It is my victory.

Lately there have been more victories. I love that. I love my life and I am liking myself. Hey ! I am not all that bad.

I am here to vent. I need to vent. I need to tell eating disorder voices to go away. Leave ! you have no audience in my head and there is no space left for you in my life.

You all know it is not as simple as that. Even so, today I am victorious again.

xoxox

i.

Be kind to you

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The beauty of blogging is in the freedom to write or not write. I have not been writing lately for no particular reason other than it just has not been the right time and I have not been in the right mindset. That said, my struggle to “be” continues. At times the fight is harder and in rare moments I am able to find some peace. I cherish those moments. Walks by the dunes, staring at the beach, the sky, the stars, drawing, designing, making clothes.

Then, there, I fell free, connected, one body, one soul. My physical appearance no longer matters. My bulging stomach becomes an insignificant worry and the XXL clothes? Well … just another thing of this world.

Since I last wrote, I have moved away from London, traveled to Africa and now back in the Netherlands. It has been a long long journey. I started a new job, a tedious, toxic one, but that was my choice. Now I need to work on getting out of it and finding something better. Living a well deserved life demands effort.

When I am not drained of energy, I motivate myself towards my freedom. Towards being the person that I really want to be. Although that remains undefined, I know aspects of what brings me peace within. Creativity being one of them. Self-expression, whether confronting a small conflict or asserting my ideas is another.

Since I have been denying myself of that right to “be”, it seems easier to give in and settle with the mistaken habits, of being someone else; until I realize, all I am doing is giving my power away to invisible influences. Quickly, I lose myself.

So, the struggle continues. I suspect, there is a high probability that  this will be a lifetime struggle. Though I hope, it will become easier with time.

I used to think that I needed a break from the World because it was so mean to me. Truth is, I was cruel to myself. Then I had another realization. There will always be bitter times, the trick is to live it. Feel it. I do not want to forget or escape anymore. It has not worked. Bingeing, over-exercising, starving, trying to be perfect has not worked. Self-torture has failed. Self-love is surely the answer.

I hope to have a little more of it today, tomorrow and in all the other days I have left on this earth.

This I write to you and myself, so we both remember to “be”.

izaotee

Rain

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When London rains, I reconnect with the city. The double decker buses shine their devilish red just enough below the gloomy skies. The sounds of rain drops camouflage the urban noises that sometimes clouds even the clearest summer days. Everything slows down for a breath of life. The city finds its right pace.

London was designed for its rain. They compliment each other like a dress that fits perfectly on the right silhouette. Without these tears from heaven the city  has no soul, it is out of control. Red bricks clash with the grey concrete of all too many street, too busy, too much, too harsh.

I am relieved that it rained today. I have gone two days without a binge and one overeating. The past two days I drew, collaged, paid bills looked for a new appartment and drew some more. I felt alive again. Those were sunny unfamiliar days. Thoughts did not consume me. I was shining inside. The rain drew me closer to the world. It made me want to get out of my bubble with enough safety that I could belong just for a moment in London. But I didn’t instead I used it as an excuse to stay inside one more day.

This morning it became more challenging to move past the anxiety and worries. I have not binged or overeaten. But  I need some space. Time to contemplate. I wanted to go out view some appartments and pay more bills but deep down I do not feel motivated. So when it started raining, there I found yet another excuse to stay in.

I loved the rain more from inside my appartment.

So here I am admiring the city under its rain drops trying to stitch my mind and body so that it does not tear apart and crave for an escape because of unresolved real and unreal conflicts that I deliberately ignored.

There lies the struggles today

Izaotee

A thought for my father

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If you have been reading the previous post. You would know that I walked out to the nearest starbucks for breakfast this morning. You might think it would be a trigger. Yet, I learned that it only becomes a trigger if I walk in while in a vulnerable place inside. So fragile that all I would want to do is escape. Reach for that fix. Run away from emotions that make me human.  I only needed a change of scene. I stayed in my apartment all day yesterday and it smelled like regrets, guilt and binge.

No make-up on, hair like a cave woman, clothes not matching. I needed to get out. Get some perspective. Get some space from my space. Then, after my little morning outing and grocery shopping. I came back to my niche. I broke down crying while printing images for my design research and listening to music. I cried because I missed my Dad. The thought was triggered as I was processing the bad news I received on tuesday. My cousin past away and lost her battle with breast cancer. She was only 32 years old. Diagnosed at 27. She left her husband and two boys of 9 and 7.

I wasn’t really close to her at all. My family always teased me about looking like her. Especially as she gained weight. To who-else compare the newly chubby girl than with the old chubby girl? I hated that comparison. She was also the youngest and only daughter. Any death is sad though I was never very close to her. Even so, it made think about my father and his passing. The void that he had left. Times I wish I spent with him, words I wish I had said. I never allowed myself the right to grieve until I started therapy again about a year ago. I thought that just like my mother, I was at peace with his departure. A lie. I was tirelessly restricting trying to be the perfect daughter.

Now, I let myself, miss him in the comfort of my room or my apartment here in London. Away from the stares and opinions. I truly miss him. I wish he was here. I wonder how things would differ if he was. Would I have held my ground and kept myself together? Would I have continued to keep a facade, try to the best of my ability to make my parents and brothers proud? Or would the real me, denied of the rights to freely live still push itself out anyway and demand its place in my world?

In a way, I believe not much would have changed. I would still discover my love for arts, face my struggles with food, continue to doubt my abilities to deal with those in the legal field. With or without him. Even if he was and always will be a part of me and has left an unforgettable print in my life, I cannot help but become the true person I am meant to be. Denying myself the right to “be who I am” in his presence or absence would still lead me to self-abuse.

Caught up in my overthinking. I miss my father. As simple a thought as that.

xoxoxoxo

I.