…. and nearly ready to talk.
I'm pretty lost right now. I am torn between who I was, who I am and who I am scared I will always/never be.
I thought I could push my past aside and move through my insecurities and "character-building" experiences to become the person I know I can be; the trainer/motivator/counsellor helping people build confidence and experience the buzz that doing something positive for your wellbeing
Fuck it. It's all bollocks. Even when I reach the point of being so frustrated I turn to this as an outlet, I am still spouting the same bullshit I tell others day in, day out. Well, no more. You don't know me. Neither do I! But the point is, I can say anything here. Maybe I should; clearly my previous methods of dealing have not worked thus far.
So this is it. My blog is taking a creative diversion. I'm sure one day I will get back to writing about my career aspirations and fitness tips etc, but right now I need to get my head straight. In order for me to do this, I think I need to write about the incident that turned my life on its arse 6 years and 7 months ago.
I was raped.
Now, I get this is not what you clicked here to read and that's fine; I understand. This is a completely selfish move on my part. I am also going to be a massive pain in the arse and leave things here for now. Tonight I am enjoying one last alcoholic beverage before I give up drinking again for a while (alcohol + depression, anxiety, eating disorder and PTSD + a full time job, 3 year old and partner = unhealthy mix). I will address the matter further, but just for now I am going to enjoy the relief that comes with knowing I am finally going to tell my story with 100% honesty. No glossing over, no softening the blows to spare the feeling of others.
I hope you will join me x
I suck at being healthy.
I have a wardrobe full of gym gear most girls would kill for. I own enough kitchen gadgets to run a clean eating cafe out of my own front room. My garage is not to house my other half’s car; oh no. It is a gym, complete with a concept 2 rowing machine and a kick-ass treadmill.
But do you know what? today I had a shit day at work. I have a half marathon on Sunday and tonight I ditched my hill sprints for a bottle of Baileys and a bag of salt and pepper cashews.
I do not feel better for this. I feel full of guilt and have already resolved to get up at 6am to run, but if I think logically I know damn well I will have a mild hangover and a belly full of sugared cream (oh dear lord what have I done?!!).
I have not blogged on a regular basis for one reason and one reason only; I feel like a huge fraud. I am a qualified PT and I love fitness; nothing beats the rush of lifting more weight, or beating a previous time. I love cooking healthy food and I care about what I put into my body. I am a mum now and I need to be around as long as I can to cause my son no end of grief. The problem is, I only care half the time. The other half, life just smacks me back down again. I have struggled against self-harming as a teenager, depression and anxiety, PTSD after rape and an eating disorder. The fact that I am as functional as I am is a huge achievement, but I will never see it that way.
This post is rather self-indulgent, but for the first time I am not going to apologise. I am not going to typeit all out only to delete it again, and not write anything at all for another month.
Yeah, life sucks sometimes. But sod it. I didn’t decide to train as a personal trainer to work with meatheads; I trained to work with people who are where I was 8 years ago. I was obese, completely clueless and bloody miserable. So what the hell am I so afraid of? Why am I so scared of others judging me? Why is anyone?! (If anyone actually has the answer to this, don/t share it with me. Make your millions from it, as you truly deserve to do).
So from now on I promise this; no more bullshit. I will post pics of my gluten free, no fat, no sugar post-gym breakfast on insta, but I will also post photos of the dirty chinese and JD and coke that happens after a crappy day at work and my son projectile vomiting all over the car.
My new goal is to inspire AND console. No-one is perfect. I’ll bet less than 1% of people that actually try, with UNWAVERING WILLPOWER, will ever look that good in a bikini.
Life is too short.
Here’s to honesty!
It has been over 1 month since my last post. I am not going to lie; I have been putting it off. I have fallen off the wagon in a spectacular way.
I had a wonderful trip to Florence mid September with my other half. For the first time in years I ate and drank whatever I desired without feeling any guilt. I mean, how often do you get to eat Spaghetti Carbonara the traditional way? (Without cream, for the non-purist!) I may have also consumed my bodyweight in Gelato…. but I did not regret a second. I have no idea if I will ever make it to Italy again and I wanted to make the most of every minute.
The minute I stepped off the plane in the UK, everything was back to normal. I ducked and dived my way through the crowds to grab myself a skinny cappuccino at Costa and instinctively reached into my bag for my sugar free toffee flavour drops (which of course I took on holiday, but never used once). I was consumed with thoughts of what we were going to have for dinner when we got home, knowing that there wouldn’t be any fresh fruit or veg in the house. My other half insisted on ordering a pizza as a well known brand had opened up just down the road. I went along with it and ordered, but even before it had arrived good old Mr. Guilt had turned up to give me a punch in the gut. I felt so bad that by the time the food had arrived, I was so convinced I was a massive failure that I ate the whole large pizza even though I was full by the third slice.
It wasn’t until I started typing this evening that I realised where this post was supposed to go. I have been really struggling to get back into a routine since I returned from Italy and I think originally I thought it was because I had had a few days off from exercising and had managed to misplace my willpower. I was miserable, unmotivated and back to bingeing every few days.
Now I think I have had a mini epiphany. During my time in Florence, I didn’t log my food. Not one calorie was accounted for. BUT, I did not snack. I spent my days walking around, admiring the beauty of a city who’s history you could spend a lifetime dedicated to investigating and still not scratch the surface. I occupied myself with staring at Michelangelo’s David and learning about the Medici family. I ate 3 solid meals a day, including Pasta with Truffle oil, Tiramisu and copious amounts of wine and I did not put on a pound. Because, for the first time in as long as I can remember, food did not dominate my thoughts. By not obsessing over it, I found myself more capable of going a healthy amount of time without it I wasn’t scared of being hungry, because I simply did not care.
How much of my life have I wasted agonising over my macro intake? How many hours have I spent on a treadmill punishing myself for yesterday’s celebratory meal for a family member’s birthday?
Where along the way did I lose sight of what actually matters?!
You can be healthy without being obsessive. You can achieve your goals without compulsively measuring every gram of food. You can cut yourself some slack.
I just haven’t quite accepted that yet.
This is a question I ask myself almost daily. I seem to be on a never-ending cycle of destroying and rebuilding. I flip from impeccable behaviour (working out daily, successful in my job and letting only clean foods pass my lips) to completely sabotaging my efforts by going on a binge. Once this happens it can take days, or even weeks to pull myself back together and drag my sorry butt out for a run.
I’m not going to lie; it takes its toll. My home life has suffered immeasurably since my disordered eating became an issue. I can no longer eat out without panicking about the nutritional content, yet will think nothing of buying a tub of ice cream and having it for breakfast on my worst days. My other half despairs when we go to Tesco as he knows I will pick up and put down all manner of junk foods, often making a last minute dash to pick up/put down junk food wilst he is trying to pack, pay and entertain a 2 year old at the same time.
You want to know the funny thing? I am obsessed with nutrition and exercise. I love it. I used to be obese but managed to lose 2 stone simply by walking to work, then carried on to go from a size 18/20 to an 8/10. I used to drink, smoke and eat whatever I could lay my hands on at 3am on my way home. Now I start my day with a green smoothie, can recite at least 10 things to do with chia seeds off the top of my head and my normal dessert is greek yoghurt with peach and flaked almonds.
In my quest for wellness I gave up all of my bad habits. No more 2 for 1 pizzas, my tobacco went in the bi, I joined a gym and I swapped my jaegerbombs for the occasional glass of red wine. This worked well for such a long time and thanks to this new way of life, in 2013 I decided to retrain and work towards leaving my incredibly dull office job to become a fitness professional. My progress was hindered a little by having a son half-way through my training, but as of May 2016 I became a level 3 qualified personal trainer.
Somewhere along the way, I forgot how to relax. My training regimes got ever stricter, my food more bland. I gave up drinking completely and stopped going out with friends as it would impact my gym time.
When my son was 11 months old, he fell down the stairs. I hope to god that I never again have to experience that level of sheer terror. He was absolutely fine, but the incident triggered a chain of psychological issues. I have always suffered from anxiety and depression to a certain extent, but this sent me flying. I couldn’t cross the railway crossing without running. When on the train I was convinced the doors would fly open between stations and his pram would get sucked out of the carriage. I refused to carry my son up and down stairs. This resulted in my being signed off from work for 3 months. During this time I started looking after myself a bit more and was in incredible shape.
When it came to returning to work, everything hit me all over again. My job role had changed drastically, I had to suffer a pay cut and I missed my time with my son greatly. It doesn’t require Sherlock to figure out how I coped…. with all of my other vices kicked to the curb and not conducive to parenting responsibly, I turned to food. Cheap, readily available and most importantly, easy to hide.
I am now 15 months on from that incident, but I have to say I think my issues were brewing for a long time. I am now in a daily battle of getting through my working day without losing my marbles, looking after a toddler, not falling off the healthy wagon and finding the energy after all of this to train for the various runs I keep entering!
I realise I have rambled on rather a lot, so if you have reached this far then thank you! Ultimately, the aim of this blog is to document my transition from office bod to personal trainer (as despite, and possibly due to my own issues, I am VERY good at helping others reach their fitness ghoals) and hopefully enlightening people on the everyday struggles of a person with disordered eating.
Just to clarify; officially my diagnosis is EDNOS which stands for eating disorder not otherwise specified. I suffer from a little of all three of the main disorders (anorexia, bulimia and bing eating) but I do not fit neatly into any of the categories. I will expand on this in later posts.
Oh, and in answer to my question in the title; my answer is this…
Every moment is the opportunity for a fresh start. It is cheesy as hell, but it is true. Don’t wait for next month, next week or even tomorrow. Make that decision, right here and now, to treat yourself the way you deserve to be treated. No-one else has the capacity to be as kind, or as cruel to yourself as you; let others try to bring you down and get on with striving for more. That’s all I ask.