Tag Archives: Recovery

My Body Image Confession

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I have never lied about my past and the fact that I had an eating disorder (twice) that nearly took my life.
I never regret telling people my story because I am proud of how far I have come.

On the outside I look like I have made a shining recovery from Anorexia. I help friends, family and strangers get over their body image discomforts but I do one thing that is holding me back from loving my own body and slowing down the progress of recovery that only a few people know; I call myself fat.

In fact I say” I feel fat” roughly around twenty times per day. At first I thought that this was a good thing, opening up and being honest to people. I felt as though it was some kind of release from within to voice how I felt but what I am actually doing is convincing myself that what I am saying is true. Just like affirmations, but instead of them being life changing and positive these affirmations are self-destructive.

I have given up all of my eating disorder habits but this one has stuck like glue and it’s time to give it up.
Not only is it hurting me, it’s hurting my friends and family. And let’s not forget that when people talk negatively about themselves, the listener begins to feel self-conscious too. This is something I often forget when I’m down in the dumps.

I’ve had to dig deep and figure out why I do this to myself. Why I keep convincing myself that I’m fat when I am nothing but a normal healthy weight.

The answer is the Ego. I actually call my ego Fred so I call tell the difference between my true loving self and not mistake myself for the life sucking voice in my head (Fred I’m talking about you!).
Yes, it may sound silly that I have given my Ego a name but it really works and helps you realise that you are not the loud voice in your head!

I look at woman of all shapes and sizes and say how beautiful they are, but why am I an exception? Simple, I’m not.
My body shape is just as beautiful as everyone else’s, there are no exceptions, no excuses and no denying that this isn’t true.

One thing that helps me is by looking at my Positive Body Image board on Pinterest. By looking at these inspiring images and quotes every morning (or multiple times a day when I need them) helps me feel empowered and inspired about my body.

Have a look at my board or create your own body loving board for when you need that little bit of inspiration too.
So I am making a commitment to drop the “Fat Talk” and I hope you can join me and do the same.

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Lisa xx

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What My Period Taught Me

I’m one of those people who is a little too open and honest about personal topics. The topics that other’s would consider awkward.

So people who know me weren’t surprised when my news of getting my period (after being absent for 2 years) nearly went viral.

Now I completely understand that it’s not glamorous to talk about your menstrual cycle, I get it. But what is glamorous, is being healthy.

Getting my periods was my indicator that I was at my ideal weight .My body was absorbing all the nutrients it needed to function properly and recover from the neglect and abuse I once put it through.

I don’t agree with an exact goal weight that comes from using the BMI. Everybody is different and functions better at their own individual weight.

One of the many arguments with my doctor over the years was about getting me to my “goal” weight. Go figure! (no pun intended).

My doctor was all for the pill. In fact, every doctor I spoke with recommended the pill.

This was because when a woman doesn’t ovulate and her hormones are out of balance, calcium and other nutrients aren’t properly absorbed by the body. This then can lead to fragile, brittle bones  and one day osteoporosis.

So by going on the pill and reaching a certain weight that is based on the BMI is exactly what I was being forced to do.

I didn’t want anything to do with the pill. I didn’t want a synthetic period that hides the real issue as to why I’m not getting my own period. I was also aware that the pill takes away many other nutrients from your body and don’t even get me started on how it affects my mood.

Using the BMI as a reference often got me fixated on a certain number based on others when I should be learning to listen to my own body.

I’m glad I stood my ground and stood up for my beliefs on this one.

I have learned to trust my body and not to compare it to others. I won’t lie and say it was easy because it was painfully hard, and some days it still is but knowing that the hard work has paid off, I know now that it was worth it.

Something common among people who suffer from eating disorders is their interest in health and nutrition.

Friends and family often don’t understand this because it is completely contradicting.

Many suffers of anorexia are very knowledgeable about nutrition. Many pursue it as a career, but in the peak of their illness, the meaning of health is disordered.

Its common that suffers often started their diet with the intension to get healthier which then turned into an eating disorder.

When the results from a new diet become visible and your health and energy levels are improving it’s easy to get carried away and take it further.

Not everyone requires the same nutritional needs. This is also why I am against common weight loss diets and programs because everybody is different and requires specialised programs to suit their own unique needs.

For example, the diet and exercise program that once helped me shed a little weight, gave me more energy and helped my overall health and wellbeing became toxic when I stuck with the diet for a long period of time.

When your body weight drops below a healthy level, the fat around your brain also drops so the way you think is altered.

When all fats, including the healthy fats are completely removed from your body, you are more prone to depression. Your body won’t receive all the nutrients that it needs. Energy levels drop and before you know it your overall health is spiralling down and soon it becomes out of control.

So even when people, like myself ate extremely healthy foods during anorexia and through recovery it doesn’t mean that your “healthy” diet is healthy for you or the person next to you.

This is the one thing that took me a long time to deal with.

Through recovery I ate an amazing diet.

Friends and colleges were amazed by how many nuts, avocado’s, seeds and oils I ate every single day and said if they ate that much they would balloon.

Why anyone would say that to someone with an eating disorder is beyond me but as much as that pained me to hear those comments, my body needed those nutrients to help my brain and my body recover.

With all of those amazing healthy fats and wholesome nutrition, I put on weight but it happened extremely slowly. I didn’t balloon at all. (Though some days I felt like I did, which was all in my disordered thinking).

So now that I have reached my goal weight and on the way to being glamorously healthy, what now?

Stay tuned…

As always, I love reading your comments!

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Filed under Body Image, Health

Would You Like Salad With That Oil?

 

My old house mate was visiting his family about 1 hr north of me, and said we should catch up for lunch.

For most people, catching up with a friend whom you haven’t seen in a long time would be exciting, but for me it’s so much more.

Yes it’s exciting, but it’s also a nerve racking, skin scratching, panic making event that makes me want to hide in my well known wardrobe.

What will he say when he finds out I’m vegan?
What will he think of me when I say I can’t have a drink?
What will I wear!?
Will I explain to him that I’m in recovery?
Oh bloody hell, look at the state of my nails!
What if I get lost and crash on the way there?

I needed to calm down and I was overdue for a mani and pedi. Because there isn’t a vegan & cruelty free salon that I have seen (oh that’s a great business idea!) I decided to do my own mani and pedi . I bought cuticle scissors seeing as I have watched it being done many times before and it doesn’t exactly look like rocket science.

Anyway, as it turns out, it’s harder than rocket science and when performing such drastic measures, make sure tissues and band aids are on hand (no pun intended).

So after being reassured that I won’t die on the drive there and that I won’t be forced to eat meat, I said my dramatic goodbyes to my dog and hit the road.

I made it there safe and sound. I sometimes get in the habit of judging my thighs when I sit down so today I made sure I didn’t (you’re welcome, fellow drivers).

You see, although I am proud of being vegan, I do still stress over what people will think of me. So today I just tried to make my eating, not such a big deal. The game plan was to just shrug it off.

So when ordering lunch today, I asked him to order me a salad. When I did this I was thinking, god does he think I ordered this because of my ED?  Does ordering just a garden salad look typical?

I didn’t want any dressing on my salad, but I didn’t ask him to tell the waiter when he ordered because I didn’t want to seem fussy and a pain.

And this my friends is where I learnt my lesson.

So my salad was vegan – score. It was fresh -score. But it was smothered and swimming in oil.

A little bit of oil on my salad is okay but it was swimming and I am not comfortable with this.

I didn’t want to seem like a bother or be a pain so I put a confident smile on my face and acted like nothing was wrong and ate it.

When I got into my car and on the drive home, my heart was pumping pretty damn fast.

I know oil is good for you and I eat oily foods all day, every day, but I wasn’t ready for this..yet!

So although I didn’t cry, kick or scream at the restaurant (you’re welcome everyone) I did, however, feel crap all afternoon.

When I really think about it, I felt mostly crap because I didn’t speak up about what I wanted. I didn’t want to be an inconvenience, and I didn’t want to seem fussy. I felt embarrassed about asking for no dressing!

I realise now that the message I send to the universe is that I’m not worthy of what I want. This has to stop.

I shouldn’t have to apologise for being vegan and asking to leave out the cheese and if they could have the dressing on the side (please).

I need to work on being confident when asking for what I want. But geez it would be so much easier if everyone somehow knew what and when I wanted something!

 

As always your comments make me smile 🙂

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Filed under Body Image, Social Pressure

Finding Serenity in My Sundays: Healthy Mind Program

First off, I want to thank you all for your kind emails and comments about my wellness journey (W.J).

It’s very heart warming to have all of your support.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I feel that it’s time to incorporate the next step of my journey.

I have always been a fan of positive affirmations and have said them for years, though I have never been constant and kept the practice up on a regular basis.

I often promised myself to say daily affirmations. One week after my promise I realised I’ve completely forgotten, didn’t have time or couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I’ve been in this situation many times, but now I feel it’s time to put all of the excuses behind me and follow through!

The reason I didn’t commit to this practice at the start of my W.J. is because focusing on a new eating plan without slipping back is a full time job. Although it may seem easy to some people to include affirmations into their everyday life, it hasn’t been that simple for me.

Although I still feel that fighting my demons is a full time job, I also feel that it’s time to tackle some more.

Saying affirmations in my head isn’t something I struggle with. Saying them in the mirror or out loud or using them within meditation has always been challenging for me.

I have created a program that is fail-proof, so I have no excuse for not continuing with this.

I’m an all or nothing kind of a girl, so my program is deeper than the usual affirmation lessons.

So without further ado, I, Lisa Dunbier, solemnly swear to continue the below program and schedule everyday for a minimum of one month.

I plan to continue on with this program well after the month, but I would like to update you in my W.J.  within a month’s time.

Here we go!

Daily Affirmation Program and Schedule

I will use the same affirmation for the whole day. I will be posting the daily affirmation on Twitter so be sure to follow me (@therawserenity1) so you too can reap the benefits of this wellness practice.

Morning

While standing in front of the mirror, look into your eyes and say the affirmation out loud 3 times.

Mid morning / Lunch

Say the daily affirmation out loud. Repeat 3 times in a row.

Mid afternoon

Say the daily affirmation in your head. Repeat 3 times in a row.

Evening

Set aside a minimum of 5 minutes to close your eyes and clam your mind.

In your head say the affirmation 3 times in a row.

Then visualise that you are looking and standing in front of yourself. Walk over and give yourself a hug.

Stand back and imagine a golden light glowing between your hearts connecting you together.

Fail proof tips:

Set your phone to remind you to say your affirmations’.

If you are at work, this practice will encourage you to take a lunch break and a green smoothie coffee break to say your affirmations.

When saying the affirmations out loud at work between mid morning and lunch, you don’t have to shout them. Go to a quiet area or bathroom and say them there.

I will be starting my program on Monday 6th August and I hope you can join me. You can start any time and continue for a month from your start date.

As always I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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Update: Wellness Journey

It’s been a couple of months now since I have moved out of the city and into a small town close to many beautiful beaches and land to start my journey of health and happiness.

Since then my anxiety has reduced dramatically, I’ve become more in tune with myself and my body has become stronger and healthier.

The goal is to find my serenity and live my best authentic life.

The first step was to look after my health, as I have caused quite a lot of damage through my eating disorder.

Although my journey is to find peace within all areas of my life, I decided to start with just the main priority instead of doing everything at once and getting overwhelmed.

Coming to accept the fact that I need to put on weight, and keep it on without stressing and relapsing is one of the hardest things I have had to do.

The other day I was having a “moment” and let myself have a big cry. I started to ask myself questions to get to the bottom of why I am so stressed about putting on weight.

I’m obsessed with health yet I have an illness that causes me to fixate on something so unhealthy and dangerous; it doesn’t make sense.

I realised that I love curves on women. Its makes them women and not girls anymore, but eating disorders are like a drug; they take control of your thoughts.

Just like a drug, I have had to come off this unhealthy lifestyle and the symptoms from the withdrawal are what I’d imagine to be quite similar to those coming off a certain drug.

The urge to return to the habit heightens to a point where your body starts to ache and you feel like you can’t possibly go on without it, but the urge eventually passes and you have won the battle.

The urges continue to come back but the longer you abstain from the habit the easier the urges pass.

Just like any addict the temptation of returning to the “drug” may always be there but with dedication to fight for your freedom, you can say goodbye to the past because the future is clean.

Within the two months of starting my wellness journey I have abstained from the urges to befriend my eating disorder and have managed to put on weight which has increased my health.

As the weight is going on, Negative Nelly is having a bloody field day in my head but I don’t plan on giving in.

Although I have been winning my battles, the anxiety and stress is causing me to feel anxious and unmotivated, which is why I feel that it’s time to incorporate the next part of my wellness journey.

I am excited to tell you about this next step and the details will be up this time next week!

Finding Serenity in My Sundays post will be on my best source of inspiration. Till then be kind to yourself.

Lisa x

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Filed under Body Image, Serenity