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 lose 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! 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Take the plunge

I know exactly what it feels like to try and gain weight when you are underweight and have an unhealthy anorexic mind. Even if you know you need to gain weight in order to get better, that doesn't mean you actually want to go through the process of weight restoration. These are the sorts of thoughts that I was having for the majority of my recovery (just for the record, they were all untrue)......
'If I get any bigger I will hate myself even more'
'I will never be able to accept my body at a healthy weight'
'If I go back to the size I used to be before I got sick, I will be unhappy again'
'I want to get better, but I wish I didn't have to gain weight to do that'

Despite all of these thoughts, I managed to do what was necessary for me to gain the weight I needed to gain. I honestly don't think would have been able to do it if it wasn't for my blog and my readers, as I wanted to lead by example and show everyone that it was possible to recover from anorexia (even if I didn't entirely believe it was possible myself). Even though I had my doubts about how I would feel when my weight started to increase, I listened to the advice of other bloggers and took the plunge anyway... and I am so glad I did! I could have so easily stayed underweight and anorexic for the rest of my life, due to the immense fear of weight restoration. After all, at the time that seemed like a much easier option then fighting my anorexic thoughts and doing the one thing that I feared the most, which was to gain weight.

So please trust me when I tell you that if you allow yourself to gain weight, your mind will eventually repair and you can be recovered one day. Better still, you can actually like your body and accept it completely. I know that you think it is impossible for you to do this but it really isn't. It is totally possible and with some hard work, you can get to where I am today. It was about 2 years ago I started my blog and my true recovery and since then, my life has been totally transformed. I have gone from a miserable, sick, underweight, lonely and anxious girl to a confident, happy, energetic, strong and empowered young woman. I can honestly say that I now love my life and I also love my body. I am now healthy and energetic enough to live the positive and fulfilled life I truly love and deserve!

And I only have all of this today because I took that plunge, despite the fact that I thought recovery was impossible, despite the fact that gaining weight scared me more than anything else in the world and despite the fact I thought I would hate myself if I gained weight. So please, do what I did and you can have what I now have. And the strength you will gain through facing your fears will make you into an unstoppable person in all aspects of your life. I believe that recovering from anorexia is the hardest thing I will ever have to do and it wasn't until I went through that process of recovery and came out the other side, that I realised my true strength and potential. Now, anytime I am faced with a challenge I remind myself of what I have overcome and I really do believe now, after recovering from my eating disorder, that I can do anything I set my mind to!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Practicing personal development

A huge part of my recovery has been about learning to believe in myself. In a way, writing my blog was a form of personal development for me in the earlier stages of my recovery as it was through motivating others to start believing in themselves, that I actually started doing it myself. In a way, it was kind of like 'faking it until I made it'. To begin with I didn't truly believe what I was saying, about being able to recover and love myself for who I was. But eventually, after saying it enough times and encouraging others to do it I started to truly believe it myself.

 If you don't believe in yourself, recovery is almost impossible. You need to believe in yourself in order to fight your anorexia and beat it. Otherwise, chances are you will give into the demands of your anorexia and never get better. I truly believe that mindset is the most important thing when it comes to achieving anything at all, whether it be recovery or something else entirely. That is why I practice personal development, every single day.

Although I don't write on my blog so much anymore, I watch lots of motivations videos which I find so inspiring. I wish that I had known about these videos when I was trying to recover, as I think they would have really helped me to develop the mindset I needed to recover. They certainly helped me in my final stages of recovery and are continuing to improve my mindset and help me overcome obstacles and strive to reach my full potential, every single day.

Here are a few links to some motivational videos I like to watch as well as some of my favourite motivational quotes. If you would like to start practicing personal development, just type in 'motivational speech compilation' or 'motivational videos' and thousands come up! Seriously, give it a go. I promise you won't regret it! :) xx

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Long-Term Effect Of Eating Disorders That Nobody Talks About

I found the following article really interesting and thought it may interest some of my readers as well. All of my organs became very weak when I was unwell (particularly my hear) and I often wonder about whether or not those organs have repaired fully yet or not.

This is why I think it so important to continuing nourishing your body, even after you become weight restored as a lot of the damage that you do to your body during starvation may not be reversed even when you are weight restored.

The Long-Term Effect Of Eating Disorders That Nobody Talks About                  

With Healthy Heart Month in full swing, you might be hearing advice everywhere from your family doctor to your favorite newsletter about what to cut out of your diet to keep your heart strong. Ditch the soda! Cut the carbs! Skip the butter! Oh, wait, butter's back in! But maybe olive oil is better?!
While most of us can take this influx of diet advice in stride, those at risk for eating disorders are vulnerable to this deluge of information. In many cases, the eating patterns that eventually precipitated a full-blown eating disorder started with the intention to be healthier and feel better—both physically and emotionally. In a sadly ironic twist, those behaviors have likely contributed to the serious decline in health often associated with eating disorders.

Eating disorders are more than just a psychiatric illness.

In fact, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness (or behavioral health disorder). So not only do they lead to a host of social, mental, and physical problems, but they actually put someone at increased risk for other health problems. Cardiovascular complications are one of the biggest risks for those struggling with eating disorders. The heart is made of muscle and basically functions as a pump that moves blood first to the lungs to pick up oxygen and then out to the extremities to bring oxygen and nutrients throughout the whole body. Our hearts are clearly key to our ability to live and function normally, and eating disorders put strain on the heart in a number of ways.

1. Weaker heart muscles

First, when one does not take in enough food to support our level of activity, the heart rate slows down as the body tries to conserve energy. Also, blood pressure will drop due to dehydration or because the muscles of the heart weaken. When blood pressure is low, it's harder for other organs—like the kidneys, the brain, or the liver—to receive the nutrients and oxygen that the heart usually pumps in their direction.
People with low-weight eating disorders actually lose cardiac muscle mass. All muscles of the body are subject to wasting away if we aren't nourishing them. Heart muscle is no exception. Underweight patients may develop mitral valve prolapse due to shrunken heart muscle cells, or they can develop heart failure due to a weakened heart that can't pump well.

2. Shifts in the heart's chemical environment

A second concern is the development of abnormal heart rhythms, which happens frequently when someone is suffering from bulimia nervosa. The behaviors of binge eating and purging (which can involve not just vomiting but also laxative and diuretic use), can lead to dehydration and dangerous shifts in electrolytes in the body. When the chemical environment of the heart is abnormal, the heart is at risk for arrhythmias, which can cause heart palpitations, fainting, and even death.

3. Cardiac disturbances

And thirdly, there are a host of cardiac rhythm disturbances that are directly caused by weight loss and malnutrition. These are undoubtedly causal in the heightened risk for sudden death seen in people with anorexia nervosa.
Despite these very serious cardiac concerns, many people with eating disorders are reluctant to get help. The disorders themselves are marked by a brain-based type of denial that can make even seeing that there's a problem very difficult. As a clinician, I find that sometimes the presence of these heart issues can help someone see just how high the risk to their health really is.

Healing your body from an eating disorder

But even those who begin the process of recovery have to be very cautious about their heart health. For someone who has been eating very little, starting to eat more can cause its own dangerous shifts in electrolytes called refeeding syndrome, which again puts the person at risk for cardiac complications. Thus, some patients will need to be very closely monitored by a medical team during this process.
The heartening news is that most of physical complications of eating disorders are reversible with good nutrition. Once the body and mind are recovered and a knowledgeable support team is in place, the person has a great chance of living a long, healthy life.

If you've suffered from an eating disorder, keep the following in mind:
  1. Take any cardiac event very seriously. If you experience any chest pain, are getting dizzy when you stand, have a fainting episode, or notice your heart rhythm seems off, get to a medical provider as soon as you can.
  2. Enlist the support of others. We know that eating disorders thrive in isolation, and recovery thrives in community with others you care about. Let someone close to you know that you're worried about your health.
  3. Know that recovery is always possible. Even people who lived with an eating disorder for a very long time can expect a full and lasting recovery. It's not easy and can't be accomplished alone, but EVERYONE suffering from an eating disorder can be helped.
The recently deceased George Michael once said, "You'll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart." Listen carefully to the messages your heart is sending you. And with the right treatment, you can find peace from the burden of eating disorders.
For additional information about the Eating Recovery Center, call 877-789-5758, email, or visit to speak with a master's-level clinician.