Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Exciting news!

I know that I am long over due for an update on my life and how I am going post recovery, but I have been waiting until it was safe for me to share my exciting news with you all. I am currently 13 weeks and 4 days pregnant, which means my dream of becoming a mum is finally coming true. I found out I was pregnant on the 16th of August, two months ago now, after trying to conceive for 12 months. I was starting to worry that I wasn't going to be able to fall pregnant naturally and knew that this could have had something to do with my eating disorder history, but thank goodness it all worked out for us. I had my 12 week scan last Friday and I thought I was only 11 weeks and 6 days pregnant but the baby was actually measuring a week ahead which was really exciting. Although it was too early to tell the gender of our baby, everything looked perfect and our bub is super active!

As long as I can remember I have wanted to be a mum. It has always been the most important thing to me and all I ever really cared about achieving in life. At the end of the day, I didn't care what job I ended up with or whether I ever owned my own house or anything like that, all I cared about was having a family. Wanting to become a mum one day was actually one of the things that got me through my recovery, as I knew that by not looking after my body I would be decreasing my chances of ever being able to have children. I also wanted to be a healthy and mentally stable mum, if I ever was lucky enough to be one. I had been with my partner for a while and he knew how much I longed to be a mum, so together we decided to start trying. That was in August 2018 and at the time I wasn't in the best place mentally. I wouldn't say my eating disorder was back in full force but my relationship with food was not healthy and I was practicing some pretty unhealthy behaviours. Trying to fall pregnant helped me to stop those behaviours however, as I knew that I needed to be as healthy as possible in order to fall pregnant and be the best mum possible.

So as the months went by, I got healthier and healthier but I still wasn't falling pregnant, which was really disheartening. I was trying so hard to stay healthy to optimise my chances of falling pregnant but every month I didn't fall pregnant left me feeling like all my hard work was for nothing. Although I said I was trying to fall pregnant, I was still drinking quite a bit of alcohol some weekends which, looking back, I honestly think was hindering my chances of conceiving. I got to the start of July this year and I was totally fed up and depressed about not being able to fall pregnant. I worried I would never be able to fall pregnant and my GP told me that if I still wasn't pregnant in a months time, then she would refer me to a fertility specialist. I stopped drinking all together as I wanted to make sure I wasn't hindering my chances of falling pregnant. I also started to follow a low FODMAP diet as I had been suffering from really bad IBS in the months leading up to this time. Following this diet really helped me to feel better and completely stopped my IBS symptoms and I was also exercising quite a lot at the time, so actually lost a bit of weight unintentionally. And in that month, I also fell pregnant!

Finding out I was finally pregnant was the most exciting thing ever. Not only had I always wanted a baby more than anything, but not being able to fall pregnant for so long just made me long for it even more. Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, the anxiety did hit. Everywhere I looked online, there were stories about miscarriages and really scary miscarriage rates. I felt like I was bound to be one of the unlucky ones it would happen to, but luckily it didn't! My partner and I told our immediate family and best friends quite early but waited until we were cleared at our 12 week scan before announcing it to anyone else. Since being pregnant, all of my eating disorder thoughts and tendencies have gone out the window as nothing matters to me, except the health of our little baby. I have already regained the weight I lost before falling pregnant and some, and am giving into all of my pregnancy cravings. I have seriously eaten more chocolate, cake and sweet biscuits in the last 3 months then I have in the last 10 years! Its like when I was refeeding myself all over again. I always thought that the only thing that would ever completely cure me from my eating disorder was falling pregnant and having a family and I can honestly say that for me, this is 110% true. For the first time in my life I am not restricting myself from eating what I truly want to eat and gaining weight isn't something that scares me at all.

In saying this, I am not recommending people out there with eating disorders should try and fall pregnant so they can recover, as this is often not the case. In fact, falling pregnant has been known to make many peoples eating disorders a lot worse and subsequently they put the health of their babies at risk. But I always knew that this would not happen to me, as my maternal instinct is far stronger then my eating disorder instinct ever has been and ever will be. My mum was exactly the same. She had issues with food in her later teen and early adult years and only truly ate well and started looking after herself properly for the first time when she fell pregnant for the first time, with my older brother. All in all, I hope that this gives hope to others out there who are currently suffering that there really is life after an eating disorder. Recovery is a long and hard road but the fight is well worth it when you get the end and get to live the life you have always dreamed about.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Pain is real, but so is hope

For years, I lived completely consumed by my illness and unable to make any recovery progress. If anyone had of asked me during this time if I wanted to recover I would have said a huge YES, however I honestly didn't think it was possible for me to do what I needed to do in order to recover so I didn't really try. At the time, I told people around me and even myself that I was trying to recover but looking back, I know I wasn't trying, not really. I was eating enough to keep myself out of hospital and alive however I was severely underweight and my starved mind was incapable of thinking rationally, which made trying to recover seem even more impossible. The thought of doing the things I knew I needed to do in order to get better was so terrifying that I didn't think it was possible that I would ever get better. I had accepted that I was going to live the rest of my life consumed by my eating disorder.

Anyone whose been where I have been knows just how impossible and difficult it feels and anyone who hasn't been there wont be able to even begin to understand. I suppose the easiest way to describe it is if someone told you that you had to become the richest person in the world or the fastest runner in the world, you would probably think that it seemed impossible and that there would be no point in even trying as it couldn't happen. Well that's how impossible the prospect of recovery seems to someone who is fully consumed by anorexia. Also, the fear associated with doing the things you need to do in order to recover is so severe that you would honestly rather just die. That's how I felt anyway. My thought processes were so irrational that just eating a meal prepared by my family or someone else honestly would have terrified me more than sculling a bottle of poison or jumping off a bridge.

So how did I manage to recover when it seemed so impossible and scary? I found hope. That is honestly the only difference between the years I spent totally consumed by my eating disorder and unable to change and the time when I was actually able to start making some recovery progress and turn my life around. I read anorexia recovery blogs of other girls who managed to beat their illnesses and this gave me hope that I too could get better. I was miserable living with my illness. I had become a social recluse with no friends and I was incapable of even having relationships with family members. I was 20 years old and had never had a romantic relationship, didn't go out, play sport or have any hobbies. I had dropped out of university and did nothing but stay home and be consumed by anorexia all day every day, month in month out. I wanted so much to live a normal life and through seeing other girls get better who had been where I was, gave me hope that I could do it too.

So I started my recovery journey and started my own blog to document my progress, with the intentions of inspiring other sufferers and giving them the hope they required to fight their illnesses. My recovery then became about not only fighting for the life I wanted for myself but also about recovering so that I could give hope to others, as had happened to me. Everyday was painful and scary but I never gave up hope and I never gave in to my eating disorder. I continued to follow my plan and as I did I began to recover, both physically and mentally. My thoughts slowly became more rational, meaning things that initially terrified me didn't seem so scary anymore. My eating behaviours got more and more normal and I started to get out of the house more and started to actually live my life for the first time in many years.

Everyday I received emails from readers all over the world, saying that my recovery journey was giving them hope, which in turn made me all the more adamant to keep going until I made a full recovery. I didn't want to be the reason that my readers lost hope, I wanted to continue to inspire them and that's exactly what I did. I kept going until I was living a relatively normal life with lots of friends and family, a partner, holidays, university, work, sports, hobbies and all the things that I ever wanted in life. Even though I don't blog often anymore, I still like to check in occasionally and let everyone know that I am still ok. I may have a few ups and downs every now and then but nothing that prevents me from living a happy and normal life. I suppose I just want to help as many people find hope as possible as I believe it really is the difference between being able to recover or not.

So please, if you are struggling and feel like recovery is impossible for you, I promise its not. You can recover just like I did. You just need to have hope, believe in yourself and fight with everything you have for the life you deserve to live. Karly xxx

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

A great Summer

This week I have commenced my final year of university study. Although I am exciting to be nearing the end of my university degree, I really am not feeling motivated to be back studying again as I was really enjoying my summer break. Overall, this summer has been a really enjoyable one. Here in Tasmania really hot days are usually quite rare, even in summer however this year we have had continuous weeks of hot weather which I have really enjoyed.

Christmas and New years was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed getting to spend heaps of time with my partner as he had a couple of weeks off work. We had his kids quite a bit which I really enjoyed as they are great kids and treat me really well. We spent multiple days at the dam or river just swimming and sunbaking, eating yummy foods, relaxing and drinking sometimes too. I attended my first Rodeo which was a lot of fun, went to melbourne to see Shanis Twain in concert and also participated in a 5 kilometer fun run called 'run the bridge'.

My mindset has been pretty good over the past few months and I am becoming more and more comfortable with my body which is great. My weight has stabilised at what I think is probably a healthy and natural weight for me and I feel relatively happy and healthy in myself. The eating disorder qualms I was having throughout the year last year have got a lot better and although I weigh around 5 kilograms more than I did this time last year, I don't dislike my body any less.

I suppose what happened to me last year was an important reminder to me that as much as I would like to, I cant just forget about my eating disorder past and live like everybody else. I honestly believed that I was fully recovered and that I didn't have to worry about food or weight or anything else ever again and then my eating disorder creeped back in. This wasn't reflected in my weight as I didn't lose weight but I could tell by my thoughts that I was relapsing.

I have managed to pull it all together however and even though I am feeling much better now, I don't want to make the same mistake again and risk falling into that disordered mind set. Don't get me wrong, I still have days now when I get anxious and worry about what to eat, how I look and what I weigh however I am on top of it enough to not let it affect my actions or stop me from being healthy or living my life.

It has been a bit hard since my partner has gone back to work as we are still living an hour a part and he has no drivers licence however any days/nights we aren't together we spend a lot of time chatting on the phone or messaging. His family are also incredibly welcoming of me so I stay with them all quite a lot and feel like a part of the family when I am there which is really nice. We have an amazing relationship and I feel incredibly grateful for how well he treats me and how special he makes me feel.

I don't really have much else to report, I just wanted to let everyone know how I am getting on and remind people that there is life at the end of an eating disorder. No matter how hopeless or impossible recovery may seem, you can do it! It is hard, excruciating in fact however I promise it is well worth it in the end. I still read back through my old journals from when I was sick sometimes and every time I amaze myself, thinking about how sick I was and how far I have come. So I truly do believe that recovery is possible for anyone, you just have to believe in yourself and work hard!

Friday, 30 November 2018

Another year almost over

I cant believe 2018 is coming to an end. It has been a huge year for me and although I have been faced with many challenges, I think I have managed to stay in top of things ok. I'm not going to lie to you all, there have been times when my eating disorder stuff has resurfaced and that has been hard but I have managed to maintain my weight and have tried to live my life to the fullest, in despite of this.

I started seeing a new guy in June and my life has been super busy since then. He is 10 years older then me although it doesn't really feel like it as he is pretty immature. Not in a bad way he just still likes to have fun and enjoy himself. He has 3 daughters and has been married before so it has been a lot to adjust to but I love spending time with his girls and helping look after them. He plays football and cricket so most weekends are spent driving around tasmania and watching him play but I dont really mind. I enjoy watching him play and also enjoy the socializing.

I have only got my semester results a couple of days ago but I was really happy with them. It was a full on semester as I was doing 4 units and attending uni in launceston atleast once a week, working in Swansea, living between Swansea where my sister is and Runnymede (an hour away) where my boyfriend lives. I wasnt expecting to do as well as I usually do as I have been so busy with life and have been looking after others like my sister and have also been struggling myself with eating disorder stuff but somehow I managed to overcome all that and still do well.

At the moment I am not feeling as though I am 100% good and recovered but I am definitely on top of things and feeling much better than I have at various stages throughout the year. I weigh more than I have in many years but actually really like my body. I am curvier then I have been for a long time but I dont see this as bad. It just makes feel womanly. But I have developed a fear of gaining weight again through weighing more I guess which plays on my mind a fair bit. For instance I have gone back to worrying about what I should eat and worrying that I have eaten too much and am going to gain weight, but I hope it is just a phase that will pass once I get used to being slightly bigger.

Since being so busy and spending more time down at my boyfriends place I have started exercising a lot less which has also been hard on me. However I think it has been good at the same time as it is not healthy to have a huge reliance on exercise in order to not feel guilty about eating food. I still go for walks sometimes though and hope to get back into a more consistent exercise routine as I do enjoy it and my sausage dog really needs to lose the extra weight she has gained over the winter since I have stopped walking her as much :p

I am looking forward to Christmas and summer this year and hope that it is onward and upward from this point as far as my eating dis ok rider goes. Yes I have come accross a bit of a hiccup in my recovery but I am determined to make it no more than that, a hiccup. I will not let it affect my physical health even if I am struggling mentally at times and I am not going to relapse as I know what I would be giving up and what I would be going back to and I dont want that at all. Finally, I would like to Send my love to everyone out there fighting an eating disorder or supporting a loved one with one <3 I know how hard it is but please dont give up on recovery, it really will be worth it!

My boyfriends nephew and myself

A selfie of myself in my work uniform

My boyfriend and I

Walking Maggie

That look :p

Me in my Swansea swans football jumper 

My semester 2 university results :D

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Loving life

A lot has happened since last time I posted but I can honestly say I am currently happy and healthy and making the most of my recovered life! Just before Christmas last year my boyfriend of two years and I broke up. It was so hard  losing Nathan as he  was my best friend and the person I honestly thought I would spend the rest of my life with however it became evident that we wanted different things in life and unfortunately he just wasn’t capable of loving me as much as I loved him. So I accepted the fact that we needed to part ways and although it was incredibly difficult at the time, I can now see that it was the best thing for me! I moved home to Swansea with my dad and sister which was good timing really as my parents had separated not long before so I basically stepped up and took on the mother  role for my little sister. I also got a job waitressing at the local pub and made a plan to continue my university course from home in Swansea when classes commenced in 2018.

Everybody was so frightened that I would get sick again when I broke up with my boyfriend but I was determined to prove everyone wrong and made sure I continued eating well whether I felt like it or not. It took me months to stop feeling really sad everyday as I missed Nathan so much but it honestly has got so much easier! I have made some amazing friends here in Swansea which made the main difference  and love being home with my dad and sister. I have even mended me and my mums broken relationship and  have myself a new guy friend that I spend a fair bit of time with and care for a lot which has also helped me to move on from Nathan! It seriously would have been so easy to just fall back into bad habits when I was miserable and missing Nathan but I never skipped a meal no matter how terrible I felt and simply didn’t let my anorexia take advantage of my vulnerability. I new I needed to stay healthy and strong so that I could go on to live the life I deserved one day.

I am currently really happy with the relationship I have with food and have even gained a few kilo since moving home which has been good for me (probably due to all the socializing I have been doing which typically involves drinking alcohol and eating out with friends at restaurants)! I have also become relaxed enough around food just to graze on things that are laying around the house without worrying about the calories they contain or how much I have eaten each day. I no longer go to a gym which is something I was doing a lot of before I moved back home to Swansea but I can honestly say I like my body more now then I did before I gained these last few kilos! I feel more womanly and confident in my own body and still manage to stay active between walking my dog around Swansea and also waitrssing which is surprisingly an incredibly active job! I have been managing to balance my home,work, social and uni lives pretty well. 

I did find myself feeling quite rundown and exhausted over the last couple of weeks and I was suffering from quite heavy nose bleeds and headaches. I went to the doctor and had some blood tests which revealed I had become iron deficient and anemic so I had an iron transfusion a couple of days ago and am already starting to feel better! From now on I just need to make more of an effort to eat more red meat and monitor my iron levels to make sure they don’t fall low again. As well as everything else I am already juggling I have just bought a horse and joined a netball team so I am about to be even busier if that is even possible, so I can’t afford to be feeling drained or unwell! I am hoping to wake up tomorrow feeling strong and positive as I have a bit of uni to catch up on during the day and then have to work tomorrow night. Anyway so better go to sleep now and I just want to remind everyone that no matter how hard recovery may seem, I promise it is worth it! 
Stay strong and keep fighting, 
Karly XX

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

I still cant believe I recovered

Tonight I watched a documentary on anorexia and found myself thinking about my time whilst I was sick. I try not to think about what life was like for me when I was at the grips of Anorexia as it was so terrorizing and painful but at the same time I think it is so important not to ever forget just how awful it was so that I never fall back into my old ways. I also feel as though I have a responsibility as a recovered anorexia to share my story to raise awareness and also help others who are suffering. I feel so incredibly grateful that I managed to defy the odds and recover from the killer illness that had me totally consumed for over 3 years of my life. Even now I find myself totally amazed that I actually managed to recover, it is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I am sure the hardest thing I will ever have to do.

I think what society fails to realise is just how traumatising it is to have an eating disorder like anorexia. I remember hating my life so much but feeling as though trying to get better would be so painful that it would be easier just to die. I didn't like the way I looked, I knew I was too thin but for some reason gaining weight scared me more than anything else in the world. I hated counting calories and obsessing over food but still, I allowed this things to control my life. Fighting my illness seriously felt more frightening for me than it would have been for me to be thrown in a tank with a great white shark or jump off of a 100 story building. Which is why I still cant believe I actually managed to take on my anorexia and recover.

Not only did I manage to recover, but I  managed to do it completely on my own. My family, doctors and friends had all given up on me and when I told them I was going to try and recover, I knew they didn't believe me. I don't blame them for not taking me seriously. They had heard so many false promises from me and knew what kind of hold my illness had on me. It had gotten to the stage they didn't really even talk to me about trying to get better anymore, everyone just believed that it was who I was and that I would die with my illness, whether it was in 12 months or 12 years. And if I am completely honest, that is what I believed too.

I still don't really know why I started to truly try and recover when I did or why I finally found the strength I needed to fight my anorexia. It wasn't the fact that I was miserable with my life as I had been miserable for years and still hadn't managed to recover. I think my break through moment was when I started believing that I was worthy of recovery and that I did deserve to be happy, which before then I hadn't believed. So that was why I started my recovery but as for how I managed to recover, I owe that completely to my Blog. I have no doubt that if I didn't start my blog when I did I would still be living with my illness, or worse still I wouldn't be living at all.

When I made the decision to truly try and recover, I was living alone and had no one around me to keep me accountable. I had no one telling me what, when or how much to eat. I had no one telling me I wasn't allowed to exercise or that I needed to gain a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time. I had no doctors or specialists giving me advice, I just had my blog and my readers who kept me 100% accountable. Before I started my blog I would set goals for myself and make meal plans for myself in attempt of making a recovery however I never managed to see anything through. Once I wrote goals or plans down on my blog however, I always managed to stick to them 100%, no matter how hard it was.

Not only did I feel as though I had to stick to my recovery plan for my sake anymore, but I felt as though I had to do it for the sake of my readers. I felt as though I needed to show them that it was possible to fight their eating disorder thoughts and that if I gave into my anorexia, I was letting my readers down. Every time the temptation arose to burn some extra energy or eat a little bit less, I never let myself do any of those things as I didn't want to have to write about giving into my anorexia on my blog. Instead, I wanted to be able to write about my victories and how even though it was hard and the temptation arose, I never gave into my anorexia or gave up.

Some nights the guilt and pain I felt over the food I had eaten or the weight I had gained became so overwhelming that I would just go to bed and cry myself to sleep. It was so hard to put myself through that kind of pain, especially when I didn't even know if I would ever recover. But I knew that if I gave up I would be showing all my readers who believed recovery was impossible, that they were right. And I couldn't live with myself knowing that I could play a part in preventing another person recovering from their illness. I was completely honest on my blog about my achievements and progress and writing each day about how I was feeling was like therapy for me.

People from all over the world started emailing me and through helping those people, I was able to help myself even more. I didn't want to be a hypocrite, so any advice I gave to others I always made sure I followed myself and through motivating others to get better, I found that I was also encouraging myself to keep moving towards recovery. I had people messaging me or commenting on my posts telling me that I was helping them in their recoveries and this was possibly the biggest incentive for me in my own recovery. This made me want to win every battle I had with my anorexia so that I could write about it and inspire others to do the same. I didn't only want to get better so I could live a better life anymore, I wanted to get better to prove to other sufferers that it was possible.

If you have never had an eating disorder yourself, I cant even begin to explain how hard it is to not only live with but also recover from. And if you do have an eating disorder or have had an eating disorder then you will understand exactly what I am talking about! I never thought I would be able to recover and still cant believe I actually did. I honestly feel as though I have achieved the impossible and that I will be able to overcome anything I am ever faced with in the future. My only hope now is that I can make as many sufferers as possible believe that no matter how sick you are, you can always get better. You just have to believe it is possible, believe you are strong enough and believe you are worthy of a recovered life!

Happy and healthy with my boyfriend and sister vs underweight, sick, alone and unhappy

Thursday, 20 July 2017

An update + To the Bone review

I thought I would write a post and just update everyone on how I have been going lately. I haven't written a personal post for a long time and although I feel guilty for not posting more often, regular blogging just doesn't feel like the right thing for me anymore. I miss some aspects of blogging and am incredibly grateful for my blog, as I honestly don't think I would have ever recovered without it but in order to move keep moving forward, I felt as though writing about anorexia all the time was keeping me in the past and preventing me from getting on with my life. I love the fact that people from all over the world are still reading my blog though and love hearing from people, who say that my blog is helping them in there own recoveries.

I have just had a month off from university which was great as exams at the end of last semester really took it out of me. I found myself getting incredibly stressed and anxious and I was a real mess for a couple of weeks. I managed to get through them though and was really happy with the results I received, so it all seemed worth it in the end. Just before exams I had been working out everyday and was in the best shape of my life. I had not only got fitter but stronger too. I cut out nearly all exercise whilst I was doing my exams however and am only just starting to get right back into it again. It was nice to have a break though and I am excited to try and get my fitness back to where it was about 2 months ago. The challenge for me will be to also increase my food uptake to make sure I don't lose any weight.

I still find that I lose weight very easily and find it much harder to gain weight. Although I cut out exercise whilst I was studying for my exams, loss of muscle as well as stress lead to me losing about 2 kilograms. This is also why I didn't start exercising again straight after exams as I wanted to regain the weight first, which I have now done. My relationship with food is still really good (the best it has ever been) and my eating disorder no longer interferes with my life. I eat 6 meals a day without fail and although I mainly eat typically healthy foods, I also enjoy eating other foods too like pizza, ice cream and chocolate. I still use some Herbalife products but not as many as I used to (mainly because I could not afford to keep using all of the products I was). I still have a shake when I get up every morning, drink the herbal tea and use the protein powder and a few of the vitamins.

I have started university again this week and spent last weekend in my hometown with my boyfriend. I don't get back to Swansea all that often so when I do it is really nice to see all of my family, especially my little sister and my dad. I don't really have any plans for this weekend but I will most likely spend it trying to stay warm. It has been freezing here lately and although there is no snow where I live, we wake up most mornings to a frost and sometimes the temperature doesn't go above 5 degrees Celsius. I still try and get out for a walk most days though as otherwise I find I start to feel a bit depressed and down if I stay inside all the time, especially when I am in Launceston by myself.

I watched To the Bone the other day and was really disappointed by it (as I think most people were). I was expecting the film to be a really good representation of what Anorexia is truly like as the film was directed by someone who had anorexia and the main actress had also suffered from anorexia however that wasn't the case at all. I had hoped that the film would raise awareness about anorexia and show the world what it was really about however I think if anything, it reinforced the stereotypes that are currently associated with anorexia in our society. I also think it would have been really triggering to anyone with the illness and don't recommend anyone watches it who is currently suffering from anorexia or trying to recover. I was also quite outraged that the main character was asked to lose weight to resemble someone with anorexia as she had actually previously had anorexia and recovered. This is an incredibly dangerous thing to ask any recovered anorexic to do and I hope that it hasn't made that actor relapse.

I better get back to my studying, thanks to all of those people who still read my blog, despite the fact I rarely post anymore. And always remember that if you are suffering from an eating disorder or trying to recover, no matter how impossible it may seem, YOU CAN RECOVER! No matter how difficult it may seem, you are strong enough to fight your illness and do what it takes to recover. I promise you that it is more than worth it in the end, when you get to live the life you truly deserve to live! Stay strong, You've got this!