We are officially into the new year now and hopefully everyone is happy and well.
Just a disclaimer to you all before you continue reading, this isn’t me telling anyone what to do or who to be, this is just me speaking about my opinions and if you don’t agree then that’s Okay!
At this time of year, I’ve been seeing more and more posts about serious health kicks and dieting. I’m all about being healthy and I hugely praise those who want to get to their perfect image or just be generally well in their health. But what is perfect?
This is a serious question that I have for anyone reading, because for me this image of an ideal, perfect body etc. can be extremely dangerous.
This time last year, I did exactly the same as what others are doing. I was flicking through my social media and seeing all these images of toned, tanned bodies. It was sickening to feel so inferior to this perfect image. I needed to do something about this so that I felt body confident and mentally happy about my appearance.
I started focusing on my health and weight back in January 2017. I tried dieting before but had always fallen off the wagon and then followed a downward spiral!
This time was different. I looked in the mirror and literally hated what I saw… I have never had the confidence to wear what I want or do what I want because I was so body conscious. I was so determined to really try to be what I thought I wanted.
At the beginning of my journey, I weighed 10 stone 12. My diet consisted of a fairly healthy diet regularly, but I never held back when it came to junk food and sweets! My first change in my diet was to completely cut out all gluten products. I had always suffered from bad bloating and I started to worry that perhaps gluten was the cause. This wasn’t the case after all, but I cut this out for 3 months and felt less bloated due to the reduced amount of bread and other wheat products.
By March I was at 9 stone 10. Across the 3 months, I was exercising daily for 15 mins to half an hour each time and this was following Charlotte Crosby’s Fitness DVD’s.
My fitness levels were increasing and I felt happier with my weight and happier with my health, but I still wasn’t 100%. So I continued on.
My family and boyfriend at this point were getting worried. They could see that an obsession had started with the weight loss and working out. In my mind, I thought, there are worse things to be addicted to! So I decided to carry on and by May I weighed just under 9 stone. I had stopped cutting out gluten and had resorted to eating the bare minimum, ensuring I was reading all the ingredients included in foods and counting calories. I couldn’t stop.
In June I had toe surgery, which left me with a month out of any exercise! I was scared to eat because I knew I couldn’t burn it off. I was worried 24/7 and I was worrying everyone around me. I knew it wasn’t right.
Although I felt healthy and fit, I wasn’t eating, I would go a whole day without food through the fear of gaining what I had lost. I couldn’t go out for meals or eat at social events. I had to be watched when I ate or prompted to eat. It didn’t stop. In July I got to 8 stone 11. The happiness I felt was amazing! I felt so good but it didn’t last long, the stress of trying to keep the weight off continued to bear a strain on my life.
Now I’m 8 stone. And have been diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa.
My focus for 2018 is to get healthy the right way and seek the help that I need.
The effects of social media have made things immensely difficult for me because I still don’t see myself in that perfect image. The constant portrayal of diet pills and airbrushed photos has become a nightmare for me. I know I can’t blame it all on social media but it is a huge factor which has resulted in all of the above.
My family is becoming increasingly concerned and it’s becoming an illness that I’m struggling to cope with. In my head, I feel fine and I can’t see the harm but I see the faces of my family and I see how I worry them.
I would have liked to end this post on a happy note and say that it’s all sorted. Unfortunately, I’m still struggling. From personal experience, please don’t do what I did. Don’t resort to the diet pills. Don’t follow fad diet regimes. Be healthy, be fit, be happy, but do it the right way.
For anyone else going through the same or similar, please don’t hesitate to leave comments or email me. I find support can be very helpful. I know that talking won’t necessarily change how you feel but at least we know that we aren’t alone.
Please seek help before it goes too far.
I have included a link below for a helpline that supports those with eating disorders: