Wednesday, 28 October 2020

I have a 6 month old

I feel bad that I haven't even done a post announcing the safe arrival of my gorgeous little boy yet, but he is now 6 months old. I feel absolutely blessed to have this perfect little human in my life and I honestly feel as though becoming a mum has completed me and allowed me to be truly happy.

I have the best relationship with food I have ever had and feel fantastic! I no longer worry about what I eat or feel as though I need to restrict or binge in an attempt to deal with my emotions. A cuddle from my little boy is all I need to make me feel better if I'm ever feeling overwhelmed, down or anxious.

I have just completed the final unit of my nutrition degree so I am now a qualified nutritionist however I can't see myself using my degree for some time. At the moment looking after my family is my priority and I am planning on having more kids before I start a career for myself.

Motherhood has by no means been easy. My baby is very hard to put down and has pretty much slept on me since we came home from hospital. And although he is 6 months old he is still waking several times a night. I am kind of used to being sleep deprived now though and still have lots of energy to live a healthy active life. 

My mental health is good lately which was a.pleasant surprise as I had a very rough first trimester of pregnancy and was worried I may develop post natal depression. Since having George however I would say I have been the complete opposite of depressed. 

I feel very grateful to have been able to breast feed him exclusively thus far and he is now eating solids too. He is a very healthy and chubby baby and I am so proud to be his mum. Staying healthy and happy so that I can be the best mum possible to my little man is my priority now.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Pregnancy body transformation

I feel like my belly is getting bigger everyday! I find it a little harder to accept weight gain to other parts of my body like my bum and thighs but I know it is inevitable to a certain thing and it just shows that I am nourishing my bubba the way I should be. His health is all I care about <3

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Its a boy!

Deaing with pregnancy weight gain after an eating disorder

Weight gain is inevitable and necessary in a heathy pregnancy, unless you are overweight prior to pregnancy. The following diagrams show the amounts of weight the average healthy pregnant woman gains and also what that weight gain constitutes. These are just simplified guides however so you should not expect to gain exactly this much in pregnancy, always listen to your doctors advice :)

Although I was expecting to gain weight when I fell pregnant, I don't really know how I feel about the 7-8 kilograms I have gained so far (I am currently 21.5 weeks). Some days, I feel a little self conscious about being bigger however my babies health is the most important thing to me so I just keep reminding myself that it is necessary to keep my baby healthy and that helps me to deal with it ok. Very few of my old clothes fit me so I have had to buy some new clothes in either bigger sizes or maternity wear and in order to stop myself getting upset when my old clothes no longer fit, I have stopped trying them on. 

I know that whilst some of the weight I have gained is fat tissue, a lot is also fluid, breast tissue, blood volume and baby/bump. I also keep reminding myself that it is temporary and that even if I am larger than I am comfortable with after I give birth, my weight will most likely stabilise back to my normal weight whilst I am breast feeding and returning to my normal healthy and active lifestyle. And if I don't return to my pre-baby weight, I think I will be ok with that also as being a good mum to my baby is more important to me than achieving a certain weight.

As my body continues to grow and my weight continues to go up, I hope that I can keep the same outlook and continue to deal with it as I currently am. At the moment, I never feel as though I am restricting what I eat or exercising to prevent weight gain, even if I do feel a little uncomfortable or anxious about my growing body. If I ever do start to feel as though I am letting any thoughts or worries about my weight gain negatively impact on me or my baby, I will seek help right away as I refuse to let my eating disorder jeopardise the health of my unborn baby.

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!