Saturday, 5 July 2014

Be your own inspiration!

I'm literally getting sick of seeing 'spiration' pictures all over the internet & media. It seems every where you look now there's a photo of a slim, perfectly toned & amazing looking models pasted all over & being tagged as inspiration. This just makes people like us think 'Why can't I look like that?' & feel unhappy about ourselves.
Firstly those models don't even look like that in real life. After all the make up, hair styling, pamper treatments, perfect lighting etc there is the photo shop. I'm sure you wouldn't even recognise them stood next to the own photo of themselves! So for us to aspire to look like that is virtually impossible & will only set us up for failure & heart ache. Secondly we all have very different body types. To look at a naturally slim 6ft model when you are a naturally curvy 5ft 2 wishing you looked like them will again set you up for failure. Similarly being a naturally small build & looking at someone curvy with naturally big boobs, bum & hips is only going to upset you as you can't healthily or without surgery grow massive boobs. We are all different shapes & sizes; but we are ALL beautiful in our own unique ways.
I used to look at all these 'spiration' photos & think that's what I want to look like! Being 5ft 3ish & having natural muscles & curves then looking at Victoria Secret Angel models trying to look like them is just laughable. No way was I ever going to look like that. Now I am finally starting to accept my body & embrace it's natural figure. I am naturally curvy & easily develop muscles so instead of looking at my muscley/toned thighs & thinking' Ugh thunder thighs!'; I'm now embracing them & thanking them for being able to take me places, give me the strength to lift heavy weights in the gym, run in the countryside, swim in the sea, help me climb trees, simply just walking up stairs etc. All these simple things many people aren't able to do for various reasons so instead of hating them; I'm singing their praises & no longer taking them for granted.
We should all learn to embrace our natural figure. Instead of fighting agains a losing battle, just work on improving yourself rather than wanting to be someone else.
I started off looking at 'thinspiration', 'fitspiration' etc photos to give me my motivation to recover but it was only making me jealous of their 'perfect' bodies & setting me back. So I went through my old photo albums & found old photos of me. When I was healthy & happy; actually enjoying & loving life. This is what I wanted to be like; not a fake photo of a model. I wanted to be me; Stephanie Plowman. So I took all the photos of myself & my family/friends on vacations, family occasions, christmas etc & used them as motivation. Now whenever I want a kick up the ass I look at them instead. I see happy, healthy, Steph; I want to get my life back.
It's not only about image, but everything that comes with being healthy again. Instead of worrying about how your thighs look on the beach & hiding away; get them out & go swimming & play in the sand. Instead of avoiding a social situation for embarrassment you look to 'big'; go shopping & find yourself the perfect outfit that showcases your curves to perfection then go & wow everyone. Walk in with confidence becuase you look amazing. Don't let yourself miss out on these memories & enjoying yourself as you will only regret it! Imagen thinking in your last minutes; 'I wish I'd done all these amazing things & hadn't missed out on creating the best memories.' Enjoying life rather than worrying about mundane things like your stomach or thighs. You only take memories with you when you pass, you think when you're going to be able to take those 'perfect' legs with you or that 'perfectly' perky bum? No; they're going to fade as you get older anyway & life is more than just looks. I'd rather have my health than an unnatural thigh gap any day!

 (All photos are pre-ed)

So be your own inspiration. Gain your health & your life back. They are WAY more important than looks.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Month #2


Month 2
14th May to 18th June

So I've reached the end of my 2nd month. Wow time has literally flown by. I can't believe I've been in recovery for 2 whole months, I never thought that would be possible. Looking back at how I was 8 weeks ago, or even 4 weeks ago, how much I've changed & progressed. It's amazing but in a terrifying way. Watching my body change before my eyes, slowly seeing my life coming back together.
Sometimes I wake up & I'm so happy with the way I'm progressing, growing my curves back. I feel confident & full of life. But then others I go back to being in that dark place again & all I can think of is restricting, getting back to my lowest weight. Wanting to hide away & starve myself again as the voices in my head are so loud. I've had a fair few breakdowns to my mum & boyfriend about this. But every time they know exactly what to say & give me the much needed kick up the ass to realise how far I've come & how much better I am now. I don't want to go back to being ill & dead behind my eyes again. I want my life back.
I'm finding it hard to see my body getting bigger & accepting I'm never going to be a skinny minnie. That's not my natural shape. I'm naturally curvy & muscley, so I'm fighting a losing battle to stay skinny. I need to accept I can't be skinny without being unhealthy. I can't have both. So I chose health. There is nothing wrong at all with my natural body shape at all, I know it's only my ED that's telling me it's wrong. So I'm slowly learning to embrace my curves & love them. It's going to take me a LONG time & I probably never will love them completely; but as long as I accept them & feel comfortable then that's good enough for me.
It's hard seeing my bones disappear, not having visible ribs or spine anymore. Not having such a big thigh gap, not being able to wrap my thumb & pinky finger around my bicep anymore. They were like a security blanket. I'm no longer the skinniest in the room; it feels like I've lost my identity. For so long I was 'Steph, the one with the eating disorder'. Now I'm just Steph. I feel like I've lost my purpose. But I'm finding a new purpose. To be fit & healthy, to be able to enjoy my life without worry. To live completely ED free. That's my new aim, not to be the skinniest girl in a room but be the healthiest & happiest.
Food wise I'm still sticking to my 3 meals a day. That's getting a lot easier to keep up, it's now feeling comfortable eating regularly again. I've also tried a couple of new foods which I challenged myself with. On a couple of my worst days, where all I wanted to do was restrict & my head was screaming at me to starve, I thought fuck you I'm not going to starve myself; I'm going to do the opposite & treat myself to whatever I fancy. I fancied some spaghetti hoops, so I went out & bought some & had them for my lunch. I hadn't had them in years & I was literally sweating while eating them but I did it! And I enjoyed every mouthful. Did I feel like crap after? Yes, but I felt so good for fighting my ED urges. Learning that moderating is key to being healthy. Yes spaghetti hoops aren't the most nutritious, but who cares. They were damn tastey so win. On another bad day I did the same, I was craving good old baked beans for a couple of days so I thought why the hell not. Am I going to starve myself? No, I'll treat myself instead. It took me over an hour to buy them but I eventually blocked my head out & got them. Omg it was so worth it, I havn't had beans since pre ED & they were always a fav. Can't believe I've missed them for all these years. I also tried some butternut squash & corn on the cob in some M&S vegetable skewers, I've avoided them as for some reason they made me think of carbs. I also craved some rice pudding so had some as a night snack mixed with some fruit & pb2 powder. Oh heaven.
Some days are harder than others with food but I'm slowly getting used to seeing food as fuel, that it's no the enemy.
The exersice side is going amazingly. I've switched my programme with my PT from strength to hypotrophy to build lean muscle. Every session I'm upping my weights & I'm PR'ing on so many things now. It's such a boost to keep upping the weights, reps/sets & adding drop sets/supersets etc to keep the programme developing. I can see such a big improvement in my muscles, seeing them grow & tone. Sometimes my head says they're fat but I block it out.
I've upped my cardio to 20 mins now; 10 warm up & 10 cool down. I'm very contious not to up it anymore than that as I know it will stop my progress & not benefit me in my goals. Sometimes I have to fight with my ED side wanting to up it & get back to doing over an hour but I always make sure I don't. Mainly out of bordem as I get bored very quickly. How I managed to last sometimes 2 hours + every day is beyond me! Now I make sure to do only 20 mins but keep it fairly high intensity now rather than steady state. Like HIIT on the treadmill or with circuits. So much more benefitial for me & I actually enjoy it.
So roll on month 3 :)
New challenges & keeping my progress up. I will not give up. My life is worth fighting for. It might take me a while but I will get there; I will be happy & healthy again. Not just for me; but for my family & friends. They've been through enough with me & I hate seeing them worry & get upset. It's not fair so I will not let them down. I want them to enjoy my company ratehr than dread it.
Here's to another positive month! :D

Progress photo:
Left at my lowest weight
Right now

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Why I exercise? During E.D & in Recovery...

While reading a fitness magazine I came across an article about a Personal Trainer who got his clients to write down a list of how they felt before, during, after their workout & why they actually workout in general. I thought this would be an interesting & fun thing to try myself; but do it about my workout routine during my eating disorder & about my new workout routine now I'm recovering.
I found it amazing to actually see how unhealthy my whole mindset was to exercise before as I've never sat & properly thought about the differences between now & then. So to see it written down & to compare them was a real eye opener! 

Exercise During E.D
  • Dreading the workout
  • Tired
  • No energy
  • Aching body
  • Hating every minute
  • Entire body hurts from lack of muscle/no energy
  • Forcing myself to carry on as my OCD for doing 1hr 20 m every day.
  • Wanting to punish myself as I was 'fat, disgusting, unworthy' etc
  • Pure boredom
  • Looking at other gym people & feeling jealous that they were enjoying themselves/looked better & healthier & were lifting weights when I was stuck on a treadmill for hours
  • Relief the workout is over
  • Then dread as I knew I'd have to repeat all over again the next day
  • Numbness
  • Feeling sick at the thought of having to carry on doing that 1hr 20m every day for the rest of my life.
  • Wishing I could get out of my rut/routine
  • Pure pain as my body literally wasting away under me
  • I felt I 'needed/had' too
  • Punishment to myself
  • Couldn't eat if I hadn't done my 1hr 20m every morning
  • Thought it was part of my life
  • I'd get fat if I didn't go
  • To become thinner
Recovering from E.D
  • So mucgh energy
  • Can't wait to start
  • Actually wanting to go rather than feeling I 'have' too
  • Love the strong feeling of lifting weights
  • Having good exercise burn rather than the no energy ache before
  • Enjoying every minute rather than being bored & hating it
  • Seeing my muscles tensed in the mirror as I do exercises & feeling proud of them rather than seeing them as 'bulky'
  • On a good workout high/pumped!
  • Feeling strong & healthy
  • Looking forward to my next workout
  • Feeling my muscles fatiuged in a good way rather than wasting themselves away
  • Ready to take on my day!
  • To feel strong & healthy
  • To grow lean muscle & look toned
  • To actually look after my body & keep it in the best condition rather than destroying it
  • So I can treat myself to lots of unhealthy, naughty treats without feeling guilty! haha
  • Hitting PRs & goals
  • Having something to aim for with different routines/goals rather than having the same boring routine every single day