Where I Am Now…


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Trigger warning: This post is about self/body image, eating disorders and depression. Please chose carefully whether to read or not.

Please know this writing reflects MY perceptions about ME and not my views on weight/appearance in general.

I have no intention of hurting or upsetting anyone. This post is about me, for me. 


I can’t do the “self love” thing.

I see positive quotes and affirmations everyday on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter and, although I think they are lovely sentiments, I simply cannot relate to them.

I do quite like myself… insofar as I think I’m a basically good person and I can be funny and smart and creative.

But love myself? No. That’s not a thing I can do.

I have an unhealthy relationship with my body.

I am not sure I was ever happy with it. No wait, that’s not true. As a young teen I was blissfully free of body issues. If anything, I was precociously aware of my sexuality and its power and I enjoyed dressing in a way that raised eyebrows or had some shock value. I could probably have been described as jailbait!

At 19 I settled into what has turned out to be my lifelong relationship. I was a normal, healthy weight for my height of 5′. I had curves in all the right places and was relaxed about diet and exercise. It simply wasn’t an issue.

Somewhere along the way, after getting married at 26, I gained a lot of weight. It happened to both of us, slowly but steadily until, one day, it hit me that I had reached the weight of 144lbs, which was, (for me), too heavy for my short height. I was physically tired from carrying the extra weight and felt bad in and about myself.

It was around this time that I also realised our relationship had been coasting along. We had grown into an “old married couple” that took each other for granted and lived a very ‘unconscious’ shared life.

This was when I entered what I called my “rage years”.

This is when everything changed.

I began to exercise with a furious energy and started to very carefully watch what I ate and drank. Food became a necessary evil… it was fuel I needed in order to function and nothing else. Food became the enemy. It had to be consumed in order to live so I consumed the bare minimum that I needed to exist.

Food was no longer about pleasure or comfort or enjoyment.

I hated, with a burning, raging passion what I had become. It symbolised to me how out of control I had ‘allowed’ my life to become. (In retrospect, it’s clear that, amongst other things, being diagnosed with a life changing and incurable illness must have played a massive part in my sudden need to rest establish control over something.)

I kept a strict daily journal of every single thing that I ate, complete with its calorific content, (which I still have to this day, as a reminder to myself of where I was at that time).

I woke early to exercise before breakfast, then I would walk for miles, return home and exercise again. I pushed myself to the extreme and beyond.

People asked me if I was anorexic and I scoffed at them. Me???? No! I was just being healthy!

I said this whereas, in reality, most days I didn’t reach anywhere near 1000 calories by bedtime, usually taking in between 600-800. Coupled with the intense activity I was doing I can’t imagine what my actual calorie intake was.

My periods stopped for three years.

I had to have bone density scans.

I was constantly cold. I wore jeans and a fleece whilst on holidays in The Canaries for three years in a row.

I had panic attacks at the thoughts of having to eat any food I did not have 100% control over, to the extent that it impacted on family gatherings and events. I recall clearly one day, feeling so incredibly hungry and craving something substantial so badly that I agreed to go for lunch with the OH. I ordered a burrito and, as it arrived, I began to hyperventilate and cry because I wanted it so badly but simultaneously felt completely disgusted at myself for wanting it. He was at a loss for what to do with me.

I reached my lowest weight of 88lbs.

I was always sporting bruises because my hipbones protruded to the extent that they constantly knocked off things. My stomach was concave. The bones of my spine, with no body fat to protect them, made sleeping on my back uncomfortable. Sleeping on my side required a pillow between my legs to prevent my knee bones grinding off each other.

Was I happy?

I never believed I was ‘slim’ enough! I looked at my profile in the mirror and saw my ribs and hipbones standing out but my eyes would wander to the area under my navel. I now know there was NOTHING there but I remember somehow seeing what I called a belly… I had no belly… I had internal organs, a digestive system and a uterus that had to go somewhere and my frame was so tiny I mistook them for a ‘belly’.

It is clear to me now that, although I thought I was exercising some form of self-love by ‘being healthy’, I had in fact simply found a new way to hate myself. I was punishing my body by denying it nourishment, pleasure and rest. Even as I achieved every weight loss goal I aimed for, I was never at peace. I saw an ugly, disgusting person in the mirror. One who would never be good enough.

I was referred to an endocrinologist to investigate my amenorrhea. My GP did her best to convince me I was underweight and in need of more food, “Ease up on yourself Kat, have a snack in the afternoon.”

I am not sure at what point I began to try to stop my rigorous regime. I can honestly say that period of my life is blurry at best. But, scared at the loss of my periods and the prospect of osteoporosis, I did relax my exercising and extreme calorie counting.

Last year I reached a happy weight of 98lbs.

Well, I say happy…

I understood, logically, that for my body to function I needed the extra pounds, but I still struggled with the idea of gaining weight and watched my intake very carefully and still worked out. I was still wearing clothes from H&M kids section. I could still wrap my fingers around my thigh with room to spare as it measured 12″ circumference in my age 11 jeans.

But…

Somewhere along the course of the past year I have… You guessed it…

I have found a NEW way to hate myself, yay!

I have been comfort eating and drinking more wine than I should. I eased up on myself gradually; allowing that extra glass of wine, that lunch out, that afternoon snack.

I noticed some weight creeping on…

My age 11 jeans were no longer comfortable. I, for the first time in years, had to shop in the adult sections and moved up to size 6.  (I can hear the pissed off groans now as people voice their scorn… Yes of course a size 6 is still small… but from my warped perspective I had failed.)

I am currently, in my opinion, carrying too much weight at 128lbs. I feel uncomfortable, unattractive and very unfit. I am breathless and overheated almost all the time.

Most of all I feel that I have let myself down. I feel disgust and shame about it.

I have been torturing myself by looking back at photos of when I was thinner… it is making me feel worse, like even more of a failure.

So… I need to finally address this.

Why do I hate myself?

Why do I find the concept of self-love so alien?

Why do I think I do not deserve inner peace, acceptance and happiness?

My self-hatred is deeply ingrained in me from an early age.

I can trace some of my unhappiness back to my childhood. Hang on, I can trace it all back there…  I never felt comfortable or relaxed as a kid. I toyed with some self-harm as a teen and made an unsuccessful suicide attempt at 17. I just didn’t want to be here.

I had what most people would consider a ‘good’ upbringing. I was never hungry, there was always food on the table, I was sent to very good schools. But there are other things a child needs beyond those.

I suspect I know where this self-hatred originates but to face that feels just too overwhelming.

What am I to do?

Will it ever change?

Do you hate me for writing this?

💋

Copyright, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

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Word for Wednesday (W4W) #42


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Play along here.

This week’s word is…

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There is really only one thing in this life we can be sure of, (with the exception of death and taxes as Benjamin Franklin so cheerfully put it), and that is that nothing is certain. We have no way of knowing what is around the next corner; which is a thrilling and exciting concept, whilst at the same time being brilliantly scary.

Personally, I find it rather comforting to reflect on the transcience of life and everything in it.

When dark days hover over us like murky storm clouds, allowing no light to break through, it is reassuring to know that, as the very wise old proverb says, “this too shall pass”. It can be difficult, sometimes it feels impossible to believe that, but if you are fortunate enough to have someone to remind you of this, I think it really can help.

Conversely, knowing that nothing is forever can make the good times we live through feel even more precious. It is a bittersweet knowledge, being aware that the happiness you are experiencing at any one time will also pass, but that you will be left with the memory of it and the hope of more happy days to look forward to.

I think it reminds us to hug those we love closer and tighter, listen harder, love more fiercely and cherish every moment.

And when the Black Dog, (or if you do not experience depression, perhaps its little brown puppy brother), sits heavy on your chest, I hope you can remind yourself that it will not be forever. There will be brighter days ahead.

I hope you can hang on in there until the darkness clears and the light comes back into your life.

Just remember… nothing, not even this, lasts forever.

With love…

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

 

Smells like…


I am in random mood so I am writing a totally random post… bear with me!

I have a particularly sensitive sense of smell… ask the OH – he only has to cut a cucumber somewhere within the house and I complain about the stench from it. This can be a problem, seeing as he loves cucumbers and also on those occasions where he eats garlic and I don’t… yeah that!

It is also problematic in department stores where pretty girls bombard you with perfume samples and do not even get me started about walking past a branch of Lush, let alone venturing inside.

Also, while I love the taste of a roast chicken, the smell that takes over the house as it cooks makes me gag…

However, having a great sense of smell has its own particular joys.

I thought I’d share a few of the most pleasing scents I can think of… coz, you know, random!

In no particular order, coz, you know, random…

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What about you?

Are there any you disagree with or have I left out any obvious ones?

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com
All rights reserved.

Legacy


They came just after dawn. We watched them approach across the field, in their mid covered trucks. We saw the flames of our neighbours’ houses and outhouses. We heard their cries. We heard the shots.

Papa grabbed the shotgun, passed it to me and bundled me down into the cellar, eyes wide in panic, his finger pressed hard against his lips silently ordering me to be quiet. He grabbed my face in his rough calloused hands and kissed me fiercely on my forehead before closing the hatch and leaving me in the dusty darkness, peering up through the gap in the floorboards.

They crashed through the door like the brutes they were. The one in charge, wearing a grey and black peaked cap and ridiculous looking trousers, stepped out from behind the others and slammed the butt of his pistol into my dear Papa’s face. I bit down on my fist to muffle the cry of horror that threatened to break free from my lips.

“Wer ist da?!” he barked into Papa’s bloody face, “Wer ist da?!”

Another one stepped forward and spoke, “Qui d’autre est ici?” (Who else is here?)

Papa shook his head, “Personne. Je suis seul!” (No-one. I am alone!)

The soldier translated for his superior who then snapped some orders in his guttural voice and I watched as the others dragged my father from our farmhouse.

The one who spoke our language remained and cast his eyes around the kitchen, from ceiling to floor. As his eyes surveyed the wooden floorboards I involuntarily flinched. He stilled instantly and crouched down to peer through the gap in the strips, his eyes brilliantly blue and searching.

I froze, holding my breath, wishing I could make myself invisible. A small smile played on his lips as he rose back to standing, his head inclined in the slightest of nods and he turned to leave.

I remained in the cellar until my overwhelming need to use the toilet drove me from my sanctuary. I hesitantly opened the hatch and peeped out. All was silent. I crawled out of the cellar and quickly used the toilet. Once relieved, I searched the farmland and outhouse for Papa but he was gone. The smoke from our neighbours’ farms hung black on the horizon and I sank to my knees and wept. I was alone.

Exhausted from the morning’s events, I fell into a troubled sleep on the day bed in the kitchen, tossing and turning only to awake with a start, screaming from the nightmare that invaded my slumber. I sat upright, sweating and shaking, tears once again flowing down my cheeks. A sound from outside startled me – surely the sound was footsteps, very quietly at the other side of the door.

I hurried, as soundlessly as I could, towards the cellar hatch but the door swung open before I reached it.

He stood silhouetted in the light of the open door as I crouched by the hatch, like prey about to be captured.

“Haben Sie keine Angst, mein Kleiner, Ich werde nicht schaden,” he spoke softly before sighing and shaking his head, remembering that I could not understand him. His eyes skyward as he tried to find the right words, he spoke again, “Petit, ne soyez pas avoir peur. Je ne vais pas te faire du mal.” (Don’t be afraid little one. I will not hurt you.)

He squatted to my level and smiled at me, his long black leather boots creaking as he crouched. He took from his backpack some bread and cheese wrapped in wax paper and offered it to me. The kindness in his pale blue eyes conflicting with the insignia on his chest and everything it stood for.

This was how it began. The affair with the man that saved me, the man that protected me and hid me until the day, one day, when he never returned to my farmhouse.

My Franz. The man I came to love over the course of that summer before the Americans came, with their cigarettes and chocolate, to save us.

The man, whose bright blue eyes gazed back at me from my daughters face as I held her to my breast in the spring.

Copyright, 2015, illicitthoughts.wordpress.com

All rights reserved.

Thanks to my consort of consultants… T, C and of course F x

Originally posted to: FFC

Word for Wednesday (W4W) #41


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Play along here!

This week’s word is…

Mischief!

I was delighted to be called the Mistress of Mischief on Sunday!

Allow me to explain…

On my other blog I participate in a weekly meme called Sinful Sunday, created by the delightful Molly Moore. It is a photography meme where people share images they think of as sexy, erotic or sensual. It is a wonderfully empowering and positive meme and the other participants are always more than generous with supportive comments and feedback.

On Sunday I posted this image, which I took as I sat at my breakfast bar in my fluffy robe. It seems several people thought my little smirk revealed I had mischief in mind as I took the shot.

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A follower of mine on twitter, (Hello Honey! *waves), coined the phrase Mistress of Mischief which made me giggle.

Truth be told, I am usually full of mischief, as the OH would certainly confirm. My mischievous side is always well intentioned though, never malicious or intentionally harmful. It is always carried out in order to make someone, (usually the OH), smile.

Do you like to get up to mischief? Spill!

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com
All rights reserved.