New year, new me? Bollocks to that!

Saturday, 31 December 2016

New Year Resolutions

"New year, new me". Bollocks to that! I've never quite understood why the dawn of a new year should make so many of us sit back and think "I am not good enough, time to totally change".
It's the point at which we all start resolving to lose weight, shell out for expensive gym memberships, load up on the kale and vow to give up chocolate and carbs. We look back over the year and apparently, we come up lacking. Nope, enough of that please. In a society which runs on a strange oscillation between self hate and selfies, how about breaking the status quo and saying "what did I do well in 2016 and what can I build on?" Make your 'resolutions' positive ones, as oppose to focusing on the negatives. You may be reading this thinking "that's all very well for the girl who spams our instagram feed with workout motivation and posey photos", and yes, I hold my hands up to this, but equally, I don't do that because I think going to the gym and eating as I do makes me any better than anyone else, it works for me, it makes me happy and I love being strong. It's also part of my work. I say it all the time, but remember, my life is definitely not as airbrushed or as together as my well laid out insta feed, and nor will it ever be. So, here is a challenge: try writing down. 1. 6 things you are proud of from 2016. 2. 6 things you are looking forward too in 2017. For all those working on recovery, 3 is to list 6 reasons to keep working towards health! I'm working on all my lists now. Happy New Year!

2016 goodness:

1. I'm proud of completing the Spartan challenge with my amazing girlie Holl and raising over £1000 for Vincent Square.
2. I'm happy to have a lovely home with the wonderful Phebe and a great job that I love with Lorna Jane. (Okay, that's 2...shhh)
3. I'm proud of my body's strength, even after all I put it through, it's comeback fighting and I'm proud of that.
4. I'm grateful for definitely getting sassier, may sound ridiculous, but surrounding myself with people who don't let people treat them like crap and who value themselves has taught me to act the same a lot more. I'm back to standing up for myself and being okay with not always being the nice one!
5. I'm bloody proud not to have relapsed. It's been a very tricky year in a lot of ways, especially with personal and familial issues. I would've thought that the first speed bump mean back down the rabbit hole, but I've proved I'm stronger than that!
6. I'm happy to have made life choices that work for me, after a lot of advice from those who know and love me. Maybe I'm not following the traditional path, or even the easiest, but I know I work hard and will get where I want to be.

In 2017 I can't wait for:

1. All the theatre- we have booked out a lot of shows and my diary is starting to look pretty beaut.
2. New acting challenges- times they are a'changing, but I plan to make the best of it.
3. New fitness challenges- considering a marathon.
4. Travel!- I work hard, so time to play hard. Long weekend with Thea already being discussed and a trip to New York on the cards. 👌🏽 a few more places on the maybe list...
5. Writing- it's been so good to be writing again and attempting to write a play has got me very excited.
6. Food! Weekly cook-a-thons became a thing during November, with the boys at uni and I needing some tlc and good food. It's good to have Recipe testers (and harsh critics) for my recipes, and to be able to sit and enjoy food with people I care about again!

Reasons to continue with recovery

I'm not writing this one as a list, just a bit of a ramble, but 2016 brought many recovery wins and I appreciate my body and the amount of progress I've made more than ever. I feel like a semi normal 20 something year old again. I still second guess myself a lot and sometimes have to get affirmations that I'm not thinking sensibly (cue messages to Jonah, Jake, Ross, Thea to double check that I'm not getting 'big' and my shoulders aren't burly), but hey, I believe their answers and just sometimes need the boost. I'm lucky to have friends who are there to tell me it's in my head and I'm a tit...I love cosy nights in at the cottage with good food and great people. I love eating out. I love nights out with Mickey and Dulcie, my Lorna Jane ladies and embracing a healthy way of life (post workout prosecco). I feel so proud every time Beth and I sit down for dinner and drinks, who'd have thought it? I love being warm and I love having the energy to dance, act, sing, go out and run...a lot. I actually feel proud of my body a lot of the time and even though the image I see can change from one mirror to the next, I'm working on that. I love knowing what's my desire and what's anorexia's. I love being able to give other people advice and all the emails of hope I get from those my blog has given faith too and, as cheesy as it sounds, I love all the people around me who have helped me build a life far bigger than anorexia. Here's to 2017, to all the new challenges, to no more boy errors (we won't go into that, but sassy sam may never let me live them down!), here's to all the fun, nights out and here's to a successful year, working on getting even healthier!

My New Years resolution, inspired my a sassy meme: 'bitch, I was fabulous this year, and I will be fabulous next year too!'

Frozen flames

Thursday, 29 December 2016

You should know that we are not cold, winter girls are the ones who know how fiercely our love will burn and are therefore afraid of extinction. We know the devastation the flames can bring, roaring through the world, painting a trail of destruction. We know of our own chaos and we know of our unpredictability. We knew you did not have the force for this fire. Even the strongest of men never thought something thats dance brought light to any room, could slay with such ferocity, or of a warmth that could so swiftly engulf and burn. It's the scars we leave behind that fuel our fear. One day though, someone will walk into the winter girls life and convince her he has the power to match that fire and the strength to help control it, just because you were not that man, boy, do not assume we are cold or try to dampen our flickering flames with cruel words and harsh touch. Simply wait for the ignition of he who can, stand back, and bask in the beautiful warmth we will bring to those who have the power to set us alight.

Surviving the Festive Season!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Food and family and festivities, oh my! Christmas, a time of excess, catching up with friends, festive frolicking and for some, a hell of a lot of stress. For me, Christmas brings mixed emotions. On one hand, it’s one of my favourite times of the year, I love the lights, getting everyone’s presents and the general festive fun, but the idea of the change in routines, familial expectations and excessive amounts of food bring with them a whole new ball of anxiety. The good news…this year that anxiety has been markedly LESS overwhelming than in previous years. It’s funny, because in terms of family and personal stress, things are probably more tense than ever, but in terms of my general coping, I feel far more able to manage these worries. In fact, thus far, I’ve really been enjoying the festivities. From a lot of festive pre-christmas g&t’s and prosecco with my girl Hollie, to a gathering of all the OAPs at uni for a Christmas dinner, it’s been pretty great. I’ve not been sitting counting calories obsessively or panicking over food that (God forbid) wasn’t carefully planned and agonised over by yours truly. Yes, I helped with Christmas dinner by providing a few festive pieces, but it wasn’t all vegan squash stuffed with quinoa and veggies (although that was on the menu), I was also able to indulge in a bit of my very own peanut butter cheesecake (which was 100% not ‘lean’ or ‘clean’) alongside some of my ‘healthy makeover’ chocolate molten cakes. Guess what, I didn’t wake up the next day feeling like the Michelin man, in fact, I woke up happy and full of festive spirit after an alcohol fuelled evening of food and articulate with good friends (if not a little hungover). Last Sunday Phebe and I had a festive night in with mae deli takeaway (amazing), chalet girl and fluffy blankets. I have my own advent calendar and have hot chocolates most evenings. Yes, they may be my own version and a little more healthy, but my lifestyle is one I choose to lead, rather than being dominated by anorexia. There is flexibility to my routines (to an extent) and Christmas activities are actually enjoyable! The moral of the story…eating is a lot more fun than not eating. This time 3 years ago I was on a hospital unit, waiting to find out whether I’d be allowed home for Christmas. Yep, I was super skinny, but was I happy? Absolutely not. Even going home and doing meals on wheels on the big day itself (my favourite festive tradition with 2 great friends) was not fun really because it was a constant struggle between myself and anorexia. For everyone else, I was not great to be around. I was exhausted and in a swirl of calorie counting, overlooking the food prep and working out how I could eat less than I would have to in hospital. That’s not living. That’s surviving daily controlled by a daemon with only your demise as its end goal. So, with 2016 coming to an end, whether it has been a good one or a bad one for you, take a step back and if you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, try and remember how much more glorious life can be if you take back control, because however strong you feel for being the one around the table who barley eats, the waif by the fire who everyone thinks may disappear, holding on to your disorder is not strength and your ability to shrink is not a sign of resilience, quite the opposite. I plan to do a post in a few days about making new year resolutions and things I learned in 2016 (look at me, actually updating my blog more than once in a blue moon), but in the mean time, try to enjoy the festivities and strive for health and happiness this festive season!

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