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

New day ! Wednesday

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I was nervous about fashion class yesterday. It was a field trip. Gaining all this weight back and more reminds me of embarassing moments. Times when I couldn’t walk as fast as the rest of the class. When I would pretend to laugh and complain inside if I couldn’t enjoy hiking with my brother. When I was picked last at team sports. I had urges, thoughts about a cookies and more. I was genuinely hungry. So I had a cereal bar.

At coffee time after our retail research I had a chai tea latte. It was in a food hall at Selfridges. I was surrounded by food while stressed in class. Not the best of all situation. During our discussion I thought about a box of pop tarts. Well because I heard about them in movies and wondered what they would taste like. Buying a whole box would not be wise in this moment of weakness.

When the class ended we all walked out. I was the fattest. Embarrassed to buy that pop tart box. I walked out. In the streets on my way home I felt proud. Once again for not giving in.

One day I hope food will simply be an accessory to my life. Not the whole outfit.

Frustration = Progress ?!?

These days I get frustrated at myself for all the self sabotage.

I am in Italy, on a course for specialists in my field. A honor one might say. It boosts my self-confidence a little to know that my potential is recognised for something. It is also an opportunity to make friends, to network. I do not know most of these people. I am trying, trying to make friends. But I seem to expect too much. They have all paired up now. Set new ground, have a buddy and stick to their buddy. They paired me with a room mate. Once again we don’t fit. We do not share the same interests. But it does not stop me from doing what I want what I like.  I am just a little disappointed regardless. I never get the social aspect right.

Eating in Italy is obviously a highlight of this trip. Eating is also my worst fear at the moment. I wish I could enjoy a freaking plate of pasta without fear. Fear of gaining the weight back, of becoming bulimic again if I ever let myself enjoy the taste.

My therapist worked up some courage in me on monday night and I went for dinner. It was a disaster.

My second dinner was around a table with friends I enjoyed talking to. I though I had built a close relation with them, but again I was disappointed when I saw them already paired up. Already set in their new friendships. I wasn’t. What is wrong with me that noone would want to pair up as a friend even for a few days. It saddens me.

I was sat next to an Italian girl, she ordered for me, I had grilled King Prawns, Zucchini and Aubergine. I guess the calories of the grilled prawns, didn’t finish it. But I was proud and happy for having sat through that dinner.

There were lies, many lies actually. I invented that I was allergic to Gluten so I can’t have too much bread or pasta and that I don’t drink. The not drinking is quite true. I gave it up because of my religion, but also because of the calorie content.

At least I had dinner that I did not cook, around a table with people that is a little victory in itself I think.

I walked home in the Siracusa wind, tired but somewhat proud.

This was the last time I had dinner with others during my trip. It became all too much.

Challenge: eat with family: check

I actually managed to have dinner with my family last night. They were preparing no oil, grilled and boiled food when I arrived home. I was not in control of anything and must admit I was a little anxious. But I breathed, thought about the benefits and the love they had for going to lengths and having a healthy dinner. So I ate with them. I feel as if I made a huge positive step.

NOT SICK

Light bulb

On monday evenings I spend about 45 mins in therapy. This week I was brought to the realisation that I am “not sick”. The first time I had an ED episode was at 15 years old. I was frail, underweight and nearly hospitalised if it was not for my family insisting that I come home and “heal” there. This time it is different. I am not frail, not underweight and a young adult.

The main reason I sought therapy in February was because, I felt I could not manage the stress of my life. I have too many worries, too much uncertainties and I saw signs of (controlling food, planning etc) coming back. Scared, worried, advised by my cousin (a doctor, who knows a little about my ED past thought with all the weightloss some neutral support would help. That was the best advice I have heard. 

Before therapy

A year and a half ago, I weighed 82kg for 152 cm. You can do the math and know I was in the morbidly obese range. I had been that weight for about 9 years. It gradually increased after my ED (Anorexia episode) then Bulimia (no purging) combined with depression and turned into Binging. Binging went on for years hence the weight gain.

In march 2012, I was desperate to be healthy and feel confident so I called a dietitian. I went on xenical for a few months which helped speed up the weight loss. But what was most remarkable was no xenical. It only helps a little. It was the LIFESTYLE CHANGE.

I learned what the right healthy food were (not their calorie content) and how to composed my plate. Since, I am more knowledgeable in making the healthier choices. Something I was never taught or acquired through habits. My family is not very healthy. I combined this with a personal trainer at the gym and I am now in love with working out. Now that I have reached my goal weight, I have a lot on my plate. Unemployment, unfinished projects etc… Then I felt I started controlling food again.

Anyway why the title I am NOT SICK.

Because, I am NOT . So scared of being anorexic again, or bulimic or binging again. I swayed to the end of the spectrum where I think a little too much about food.In therapy I actually hate talking about food. But pressed by my therapist, it actually did a lot of good and put things into more perspective.

I am OK because … 

  • Yes I am careful about what types of food I’ll have: oats instead of cheerios
  • Yes I exercise almost everyday but no excessively
  • Yes I plan and count the calories using an app on my phone but I am not the only one

What now? 

  • The only person who thinks I am SICK at the moment is MYSELF
  • This thought makes me ANXIOUS about what OTHERS will think if I chose an apple not a chocolate bar
  • I need to be CONFIDENT about my choices, stop caring about what others will think

It sounds easier said that done as always, but unless I stop comparing myself to what is a normal behaviour I could never accept that mine is a reflection of who I am and this is my normal. 

This week I shall accept my normal. I am older, wiser. I know the danger of starving myself or indulging in food. I know there is no perfect day. So I will live in my normality.

❤ izaoty<3