Tips on supporting someone with an eating disorder this Christmas

The count down to Christmas has begun! There’s been a Christmas tree in my flat kitchen since November and the inflatable Rudolf on the windowsill now has a tinsel scarf, all and all I’m feeling festive. Being at Uni has really brought back some of that childish excitement that comes with Christmas. I had a lovely time on Friday making paper snowflakes with some of the girls I live with, I haven’t done that in years!

In the past few Christmases has been a very hard time for me. I spent three Christmases with an eating disorder and I couldn’t help but dread this time of year for that reason. It’s such a contrast to how I feel now. If you had asked me two years ago how would I feel about making snowflakes with my flatmates as I eat a massive chicken casserole, I would have ran. Enjoying Christmas felt impossible to me with anorexia.

In the last few days I’ve been going through some of my older posts correcting spelling mistakes I’ve missed. It’s been really nice reading things from a few years back and seeing just how far I’ve come and how faithful God has been. There was one post particular from 2017 that really struck a chord with me. It was the one where I talked about how you can support someone with an eating disorder. The post didn’t do very well, but I still believe there are a lot of good points in there that people should know. So, with Christmas coming our way I’ve decided to rewrite it as a Christmas edition. I know that it’s not going to be the most relevant post for a lot of you, but even if I help one person through this it’s worth my analytics taking a hit from this post.

Christmas is a very hard time of year with those battling any kind of eating disorder. There’s a lot of uncertainty, lot of anxiety, lot of attention and so much time spent around food. It’s a really hard time. I’m hoping I can use my experiences to provide a few tips for those supporting a loved one or friend with an eating disorder this Christmas.

Continue reading “Tips on supporting someone with an eating disorder this Christmas”

Why photography is important for my mental health

How many times have you been told by someone that when you’re feeling down you should get yourself outside, or better yet go for a run? It’s no secret that getting out and excersis has a possitive effect on your mood and health, it’s why doctors and therapists recomend it so often.

I now live in a house of runners, my mum got the bug first last year, I joined in and finally my brother gave it a go not long back and got that same bug. Before the running they were both active in walking and my brother was adamant that he would drag us up every mountain we came across (I’ve summited two so far, but I’m yet to do Snowdon even though that’s my most local mountain range). By observing them I can 100% agree of the benefits of getting out and excising has on your mental health.

But what happens when you can’t join in with those activities, what do you do then?

Me and exercise have always been a thing. I was a competitive dancer growing up and just had too much energy for my own good. I joined in with the mountainering with my family but found it unexciting. Then when I was 17 I developed anorexia and exercise took a different role all together. I tried running when I was recovering but then at 19 I developed a whole new bunch of problems with my feet that limits my mobility to this day, meaning I had to hang up my running shoes once again.

Going outside walking and exercising are both incresingly difficult tasks for me now, what really sucks for a 20 year old who’s trying to gain more inderpencae and hates sympathy. So how do I try and keep on top of my overall mood when my usual activities aren’t always an option? 

It’s simple, I pick up my camera.

Continue reading “Why photography is important for my mental health”

The stigma of using mobility aids as a young person.

So I brought a walking stick…

Not going to lie, shopping for a walking stick at 20 years old was a surreal experience. It was not something I ever expected to need and it was something I most certainly didn’t want. But here we are, I’m now the owner of a sparkly purple walking stick.

Long story short, for those who are new, I have chronic pain in my feet and through that I’ve now got dodgy knees and hips. For the past year and a bit I’ve been in some degree of pain every day what often causes me issues with walking or standing. Some days I’m fine and I can walk around normally without help as whilst I’m in pain it’s manageable (though these days are now few and far between). However, other days I’m in so much pain I can hardly walk let alone stand, for example today it took me an hour and a half to get out of bed. I have a cabin bed with a ladder and I was in too much pain to go down four steps… it kinda sucked.

In a bid to have some level of independence back and to allow me to be as normal as possible I eventually started to use crutches to help me get about. I started off with only using one but eventually moved on to two for more support. Using crutches comes with it’s own set of problems, my main one being that I was off to university soon and needed to be walking with less support so I could have a more normal uni experience. I thought they would create a barrier whilst I was there. I’ve also been getting stronger walking unaided for short periods of time, so I found that on better pain days the crutch (I’d only be using one) would cause more issues than help. It’s big and clunky and if I’m not in massive amounts of pain and not using it properly, it does more damage to my feet than good. So at the start of this week I made the decision to get a folding walking stick, one that I could keep in my bag at all times. It allows me to walk without aid for as long as I can manage, building up strength, but have the security of having an aid when the pain gets too much.

It’s taken me a long time to accept that I need mobility aids now, but I think I’m pretty much come to terms with it, and now that I do feel comfortable talking about it I can write about a topic that’s been bugging me since day one of my crutches – The stigma of using mobility aids as a young person.

Continue reading “The stigma of using mobility aids as a young person.”

What you seek

Sometimes I’m still insecure about my weight.

After everything that happened last August and God completely healing me of anorexia, I haven’t quite accepted this new body of mine yet. It’s not even like my weight gain was all that bad once I no longer had the eating disorder, I expected to blow up like a balloon and to be uncontrollably eating but that never happened. Sure to start with I was pretty bloated around the stomach area (after long periods of starvation your body doesn’t trust you so any fat it gains goes straight to your tummy area to protect all your vital organs) and my face was a little more squishy from my body retaining water. But in all honesty, I didn’t gain all that much and I didn’t get all that bigger either. Sure, I don’t own any scales and haven’t weighed myself since the disorder was no longer in my life, so mass wise I may have gained but in my physically appearance it wasn’t as scary as I expected.

I understand that at some point everyone is a little insecure about how their body looks and I know some of my insecurity’s do stem from that, and that’s ok. But my more deep insecurity’s about my body come from seeing other people who suffer from an eating disorder themselves and are at a dangerously low weight.

I don’t use the word triggering all that often, mainly because I think people have made it too mainstream and forgot the true meaning and power that word has. But using the word to it’s full seriousness, I still find unhealthy thin people triggering, it makes me wounder what I could have looked like if I just ran with my eating disorder just that little bit longer, maybe then all of the pain would have been worth it? It’s something I’ve felt a great deal of shame towards because God took away my eating disorder, so why do I miss it sometimes?

Continue reading “What you seek”

Where you stand

I’m starting this post off by saying I’m well and truly exhausted at the moment. I’m at work tomorrow and really should be switching off for the night and trying to relax before the day arrives however, instead I feel compelled to write.

I’ve been feeling a little lost in my blog as of late, some of you more long term readers might have noticed a subtle shift in my words. I’ve been struggling to pin point what’s been causing the uneasiness, part of me even considered if this was my season of blogging drawing to a close. I’m starting to think I’ve cracked where things have been going a bit wonky, I think I’ve took my eyes off the real reason for this blog.

Lost In The Story was created as an outlet for my recovery of anorexia, a safe place where I could just talk to other people and no one at all. This blog started off anonymously, no one knew who I was. I was simply a girl fighting an eating disorder and trying to find God in the mess of it all. I was a science student with no plans for the future, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted a future. Eventually though a small community developed here, whilst we’re only a small group I think I do truly have the kindest and most encouraging readers going – you’re all amazing.

The first year of my blog passed and I finished my science qualification and decided to do an extra year and study business. I started to take my blog more seriously in this year, I was learning more and more and soon was putting what I learned into practice here. I felt more empowered to try and turn this into a potential side job one day. I was still sharing my faith and my struggles but I think this was the first real stumble for me. I said right when I first started that this blog was never about making money, it was about sharing God and all the amazing things he was doing in my life. Continue reading “Where you stand”

Make bad art – how drawing is helping me overcome perfectionism

Hello lovelies!

Today I’m excited to bring to you the third installment of my Challenging Perfect mini series that’s been developing over the past few years.

I opened my laptop this afternoon with no idea what to write. Truth be told, I’ve been feeling tired when it comes to my blog. As I’ve made more blogging connections on social media I’ve started to compare myself more to them. I see these incredible posts they write, how inspiring and helpful they are and can’t help but feel mine are a bit rubbish (got to love crippling low self confidence). After staring at a blank page for too long I closed my laptop in a bit of a huff and went to go take my minds off things.

My go to lately has been my sketchbook. I’m currently on my second Sketchbook what is an A4 landscape Art Gecko sketchbook. I did art at GCSE level and whilst I enjoyed it, I wasn’t particularly good in the sense that I was never able to develop my own style so everything I produced was a bit bland and forced. However, I’ve always wanted to draw and set myself the challenge to be able to draw before I got to university. I had an empty sketchbook from my school days and less than 3 month later I had filled it cover to cover.

So this afternoon I picked up my sketchbook, threw on some music and just played around for a bit. I ended up with some practice of creating patterns with my markers, a alrightish drawing of a girl and a cat with a bow tie.

Once done I sat back and just enjoyed flicking through the pages of my work, I even pulled out my first sketchbook and allowed myself to be proud with how far I’ve come with my drawings. Seeing as I’m a creature who struggles to stay on a solid train of thought for more than a few minuets, my mind quickly wondered to the past few months I’ve spent making as I put it ‘bad art’.

I concluded that I’d been feeling a lot more relaxed in myself and was coping a lot better when I made mistakes say at work. Sure I feel bad when I don’t do things perfectly, but I found I was no longer beating myself up for getting things wrong, instead I was taking responsibility for them and using it as a lesson to better myself and not make the mistake again. It took a bit of brain power to chase down why I was feeling this way, I’m no longer seeing a councilor and I’m off all medication, so why the change?

Turns out my sketchbook has a lot to answer for. Continue reading “Make bad art – how drawing is helping me overcome perfectionism”