Word For Wednesday (W4W) #67


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This week’s word is:

Pain.

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http://nlm.nih.gov

I live with pain on a daily basis. In fact, according to the definition above I live with chronic pain and have done for almost as long as I can remember.

I am not talking about physical pain, (although at the moment I am experiencing a lot of that also). I am referring to psychological pain – depression, anxiety, self hatred, self destruction, self loathing.

I read Cherry’s W4W and related to her situation so strongly.

It has been suggested to me by several friends, as well as the OH, that I may have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I struggle with this idea. If I were to say yes I have that, in my mind I am also saying, yes I am not hideous and ugly, in fact I might even be attractive but simply cannot see it for myself.

I cannot accept that and I feel that if I said that it is borderline arrogant/big-headed. Yeah, I can see how you might read this and shake your head at my contrariness. After all, I am the one who regularly lifts others up and encourages them to love themselves, yet when it comes to me I do a 180 on my own advice.

Cherry told me this:

“One of the reasons people don’t think or talk about it is because they might think they’ll be seen as being vain. It’s part of the condition and it’s the lies that are warped, not your mind.”

It has given me a lot to think about today.

What would it be like to actually LIKE myself? To accept myself? To not constantly only see my flaws? To see what other people claim to see when they look at me?

Would I even still be ME?

I have always been a person who disliked or even hated herself. The concept of not being that way is foreign and perhaps even a bit scary.

These questions are overwhelming and are bringing tears to my eyes as I write them. How different would my life have been if I wasn’t always hating myself? Have I wasted all these years? Am I incapable of being happy?

Who AM I????

I think I have much more soul searching to do before I even begin to address these questions.

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💋

This week is World Mental Health Awareness Week so this post felt appropriate today.

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word For Wednesday (W4W) #64


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This week’s word is:

Triggers.

This morning I was chatting to a friend of mine; the sweetest, most kind-hearted girl you can imagine. I don’t think I have ever seen her be rude, mean or nasty to anyone. She has a beautiful, generous spirit. Today, she was struggling because something had brought back unpleasant memories for her. Something had triggered these recollections and she was in pain. I could relate to her 100%.

Triggers can pop up at the most unexpected times. I was sent reeling from one in a trashy TV crime show a while ago. One minute I was watching a mindless melodrama, the next I was frozen, flooded with unwelcome and suppressed memories, which started a descent that I am just now starting to climb out of.

Another example; I follow several stunningly beautiful women on twitter and they regularly post selfies and full body pictures of their envious physiques. Some days these pictures act as massive triggers for my self-image issues and my history of eating disorders. I spend the day feeling fat and ugly and berating myself for not looking like them.

Likewise, if I scroll through old photos of myself I can get totally caught up in a self-hatred spiral because I no longer weigh 6 stone.

Triggers are a pain in the ass.

They can hit you in the face and ruin your day, without warning. Many times they are unavoidable, such as the TV show that set me off. But we can avoid some of them. If I find myself looking back through pictures of me when I was stick thin I have to force myself to shut down the laptop and stop.

I was sad to see my lovely friend hurting today but I did remind her that, despite the unforgivable things that happened to her that she was recalling, she turned into a kind, generous and loving person. She could have let those experiences ruin her and made her bitter but she rose above them.

If anything acts as trigger for you, please try to step back and see how far you’ve come, how strong you’ve been and how you have survived whatever the trigger represents.

You are not broken and you are not beaten.

You are still here!

Ciao!

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Love Yourself Challenge #12


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A picture I love? Of me?!

I am so sorry but I can’t.

I went through every photo on my Mac Book and I simply cannot find one photo I can say I love.

Any photo I started to think could work was from times where I was much slimmer, so instead of loving them I feel annoyed that I am bigger now and also, even though I was slimmer, they remind me of a time where I spent all my time watching my intake of food.

I know this exercise is designed to increase my self esteem but this challenge today as proved too much and, in fact, has brought me down to a dark place I was not in before I read it and tried my best to answer it.

I need to leave this now before I descend further into self destructive tendencies and make all the progress to date mean nothing.

This was way too big trigger for me.

💋

Copyright, 2016, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Word for Wednesday (W4W) #47


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My final W4W of 2015!

I want to say a quick, but very sincere thank you to everyone who has joined in my little meme – whether you’ve been a regular contributor or an occasional one, I am delighted you shared with me! I hope you will continue to link to W4W next year.

This week’s word is…

Hedonism

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We are at that time of year where many people’s thoughts wander to resolutions to be better people, eat less, drink less, smoke less, detox, exercise… sigh.

I have blogged before about the days when I exercised epic, heroic feats of self control and discipline regarding my diet and lifestyle and how I eventually took it to an extreme that was no longer healthy.

These days I have done a 180° and have been eating and drinking as if the world was about to end tomorrow. Exercise? Huh? What’s that now? Does lifting the wine glass or switching the remote count? Can sneezing count as cardio?

My capacity for self control seems to have left the building and I have become a complete hedonist.

Food tastes so good and that feeling of a full tummy is so satisfying. Wine tastes so good and that delicious buzz after a few glasses is such fun. Touch, massage, sex, orgasms… well come on! These are the things that make life worth living!

However, I know deep in my heart that I must have a change of attitude. My clothes are too tight, my energy is low, my sleep pattern wrecked. I think I have lost balance and my hedonistic ways, whilst they brought me enormous pleasure, have had a negative impact on my life.

My plan is thus: I will continue my naughty, self indulgent celebration of excess for a few more days and, once 2016 is with us, I will endeavour to turn over a new leaf.

My challenge is to strive for a balance this time. Monday to Friday I shall do my utmost to be “good” – I will eat well, drink less and move more. The weekends will be my designated hedonistic fun times.

Sounds so reasonable, yes? Sounds so simple…

Sounds simple… but remember, simple and easy are not the same things!

Let’s see how I go, right?

Ciao!

💋

I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I truly hope 2016 brings you all only good health, good fortune and good times

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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

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