'Can't relate' - that's something we hear a lot these days. We hear something - something not entirely familiar to us - and we decide to be ignorant. We decide, rather than stopping and thinking from another point of view or putting ourselves in someone else's shoes, that we 'can't relate' and therefore we don't want to know.




People don't seem willing to want to learn, or to just think about things. People tend to know what they know, think that they're right, and that their way is the only way. But, that's not always the best way to go about things.

Sure, I'm all for 'you do you' and not letting what others think of you affect you, but at the same time, I think it's good to open up, learn to relate and to think about things. I think that that's a better way than just shunning things off and not (and excuse me for the airy fairy language here, but I can't think of another way to put it) expanding our minds.




I think I used to be very close minded. When I was younger, I wasn't the 'skinniest', 'prettiest', 'richest', 'most popular' person on the planet, and therefore anyone who was any of those things, I really really resented.

I'd read things that these 'prettier', 'thinner' girls would tweet or post on Facebook. They'd be complaining that they felt 'fat' or looked 'ugly', and I'd sit there and think 'Oh, shut up. You don't have it bad at all.'

The reason I thought like this is because I was simply going off my own thoughts. In my mind, I thought they were beautiful and slim, and therefore, I just presumed that they knew, and thought that they were too.

In reality, those girls probably didn't think that.




I learnt, over time, that being 'pretty' and 'skinny' does not make you happy. It was almost as if I had an epiphany, or a flashback to that moment where I'd read those tweets and status' and I'd judged those girls for saying what they said. I understood now. I understood that you can be as thin as can be and still hate yourself and *feel* 'huge' or 'ugly'.




SHOES -  ASOS

The same goes for money.

Where I live, there are people who have a lot more money than I. There are people driving round in Mercedes, buying designer shoes, and they all have pristine houses and pretty gardens. (I don't want people to think I see anything wrong with that - it's just not something I can easily relate to)

In the past, I always used to be jealous of that. I used to think that because someone had a nice house or because they had a swanky car, that that meant they were totally happy.

Of course, once again, that is not the case.

 



Money doesn't fix every problem.

Certainly, if they've got a leaky pipe or something, they've got the money to get it fixed ASAP, but if they're sad (and I'm talking the kind of 'sad' that I tend to talk about a lot here on this blog) then money isn't going to fix that. Money won't fix a broken mind or heart.

People with money aren't always happy - I just thought they were because I knew what that kind of money would mean to 'me' and how happy it would make 'me'. But, at the end of the day, they're not 'me' and therefore won't necessarily feel the same way that I do.



When it comes to things like politics, mental health, money, and even fashion, people really do like to stick to their own opinions. They don't want to appear 'wrong' and therefore, they chose to be ignorant and argumentative.

Now, don't misunderstand me here, there's nothing bad about a little debate (especially when it comes to politics) however, I feel that there's a difference between trusting your gut, sticking to what you believe and being ignorant to other people's opinions.



It's possible to hear and understand other people's arguments and ideas, without changing your own. Just because one person believes one thing, doesn't mean that the other has to too. It's also possible to have understanding for someone who is different to you - to someone of a different gender or race, or size or shape - it's possible to have compassion and listen.

I think, whilst we're in a world full up of progression and huge change, we're sometimes forgetting that it's okay to 'agree to disagree'.

Everyone is allowed their say - even if you think that their say is wrong.



"Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are."

So, next time you read a tweet or you're having a conversation, and someone says something that makes that inner eristic of yours want to burst out... just take a moment. 

Why is that person saying that? Why are they feeling that way? What's their life really like? What's going on in their mind? Who is influencing them? Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they angry? Does their opinion really affect you? Can you understand where they're coming from?

My advice is to think about it all. Put yourselves in someone else's shoes or mind, and gain some perspective. Like I said, let's 'expand our minds' haha. 


Before I love you and leave you, I just want to give a little shout out to the brand Enlist who kindly gifted me two lovely pieces from this look.

Here I'm wearing the gorgeous Emily Sweater and Cleo Coat, which I am absolutely head over heels in love with! I decided to style them together along with my denim jeans, black heels and Chloe bag dupe for a super classic look.

I think this outfit is perfect for this time of year, especially here in the UK where we're still battling with the colder temperatures, but still don't want to be walking round in our giant woolly coats.

Shop the look here:



The 'Can't Relate' Mentality


'Can't relate' - that's something we hear a lot these days. We hear something - something not entirely familiar to us - and we decide to be ignorant. We decide, rather than stopping and thinking from another point of view or putting ourselves in someone else's shoes, that we 'can't relate' and therefore we don't want to know.




People don't seem willing to want to learn, or to just think about things. People tend to know what they know, think that they're right, and that their way is the only way. But, that's not always the best way to go about things.

Sure, I'm all for 'you do you' and not letting what others think of you affect you, but at the same time, I think it's good to open up, learn to relate and to think about things. I think that that's a better way than just shunning things off and not (and excuse me for the airy fairy language here, but I can't think of another way to put it) expanding our minds.




I think I used to be very close minded. When I was younger, I wasn't the 'skinniest', 'prettiest', 'richest', 'most popular' person on the planet, and therefore anyone who was any of those things, I really really resented.

I'd read things that these 'prettier', 'thinner' girls would tweet or post on Facebook. They'd be complaining that they felt 'fat' or looked 'ugly', and I'd sit there and think 'Oh, shut up. You don't have it bad at all.'

The reason I thought like this is because I was simply going off my own thoughts. In my mind, I thought they were beautiful and slim, and therefore, I just presumed that they knew, and thought that they were too.

In reality, those girls probably didn't think that.




I learnt, over time, that being 'pretty' and 'skinny' does not make you happy. It was almost as if I had an epiphany, or a flashback to that moment where I'd read those tweets and status' and I'd judged those girls for saying what they said. I understood now. I understood that you can be as thin as can be and still hate yourself and *feel* 'huge' or 'ugly'.




SHOES -  ASOS

The same goes for money.

Where I live, there are people who have a lot more money than I. There are people driving round in Mercedes, buying designer shoes, and they all have pristine houses and pretty gardens. (I don't want people to think I see anything wrong with that - it's just not something I can easily relate to)

In the past, I always used to be jealous of that. I used to think that because someone had a nice house or because they had a swanky car, that that meant they were totally happy.

Of course, once again, that is not the case.

 



Money doesn't fix every problem.

Certainly, if they've got a leaky pipe or something, they've got the money to get it fixed ASAP, but if they're sad (and I'm talking the kind of 'sad' that I tend to talk about a lot here on this blog) then money isn't going to fix that. Money won't fix a broken mind or heart.

People with money aren't always happy - I just thought they were because I knew what that kind of money would mean to 'me' and how happy it would make 'me'. But, at the end of the day, they're not 'me' and therefore won't necessarily feel the same way that I do.



When it comes to things like politics, mental health, money, and even fashion, people really do like to stick to their own opinions. They don't want to appear 'wrong' and therefore, they chose to be ignorant and argumentative.

Now, don't misunderstand me here, there's nothing bad about a little debate (especially when it comes to politics) however, I feel that there's a difference between trusting your gut, sticking to what you believe and being ignorant to other people's opinions.



It's possible to hear and understand other people's arguments and ideas, without changing your own. Just because one person believes one thing, doesn't mean that the other has to too. It's also possible to have understanding for someone who is different to you - to someone of a different gender or race, or size or shape - it's possible to have compassion and listen.

I think, whilst we're in a world full up of progression and huge change, we're sometimes forgetting that it's okay to 'agree to disagree'.

Everyone is allowed their say - even if you think that their say is wrong.



"Treat everyone with politeness and kindness, not because they are nice, but because you are."

So, next time you read a tweet or you're having a conversation, and someone says something that makes that inner eristic of yours want to burst out... just take a moment. 

Why is that person saying that? Why are they feeling that way? What's their life really like? What's going on in their mind? Who is influencing them? Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they angry? Does their opinion really affect you? Can you understand where they're coming from?

My advice is to think about it all. Put yourselves in someone else's shoes or mind, and gain some perspective. Like I said, let's 'expand our minds' haha. 


Before I love you and leave you, I just want to give a little shout out to the brand Enlist who kindly gifted me two lovely pieces from this look.

Here I'm wearing the gorgeous Emily Sweater and Cleo Coat, which I am absolutely head over heels in love with! I decided to style them together along with my denim jeans, black heels and Chloe bag dupe for a super classic look.

I think this outfit is perfect for this time of year, especially here in the UK where we're still battling with the colder temperatures, but still don't want to be walking round in our giant woolly coats.

Shop the look here:








I don't know if you've noticed, but I've become somewhat of a colorful fiend as of late. I've injected colour into every outfit, constantly pairing my signature red lip with absolutely anything, even trying out a bit of pattern and print here and there, and, I have to say, I'm really bloody loving it.

I never used to wear colour. There was actually something in my mind, almost like an alarm, that would go off, anytime that I reached for anything remotely brightly coloured in a shop, or if my mouse hovered over something printed on ASOS.




Without a doubt, every day in the past, I would always dress head to toe in black - black was all I ever wore.

Now, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with doing that, because there's not; I still love a chic all black outfit, and I still go all 'I WISH I WAS THEM' when staring at a picture of the Olsen twins; but what I have noticed is that, since injecting a bit of colour into my wardrobe, my outfits have had the ability to lift my mood and make me feel much much happier.

(Completely ironic, because I'm not smiling in any of these photos haha)





I only started noticing this over the past couple of days. In fact, it was actually only two days ago when I slipped into my new bright green Zara blouse, swiped on a red lip, looked in the mirror and felt well and truly uplifted.

The past few days before had been very hard, and any kind of smile or happiness that I had been giving off was all fake and forced (because that's the only way to get through stuff sometimes). It felt weird to be looking in the mirror and not feeling horrific or completely repulsed by my reflection... I mean, that's what I'd spent the last 4 days doing, so why wasn't it happening today?



I'd spent the past four days in my pyjamas, moping around the house, sudocrem dotted on my spots (one of my best looks, I have to say) and I just began to feel like I was never going to start feeling better.

Anytime I was looking in the mirror, all I could see was this person that I hated and this sad expression that just seemed to naturally sit there. I was analyzing myself  head to toe, wondering my hair was so 'shit', why I was so 'ugly' and covered in spots or why my body just felt like a big ol' potato.





JEANS - PULL& BEAR

Then, Friday came and I had to get dressed. I had family coming round and I had to pull myself together. I had to wack on a bit of make up, and try, even if it felt hard, to make myself look remotely presentable. It was no longer a time for moping around. 

So, reaching for my bright green blouse and red lipstick, I got ready. 

There was something about the bright colours, and having the sunshine pouring in through my window, that just allowed me to have a moment of calm and reflection. I was suddenly reminded of more positive days and the fact that I've gotten through times like this before. I thought about the blog posts I've written, the tips I've given to friends, and I realized that I have the skills to get through a tough time like this. I think I even mentally said to myself 'It's time to take your own bloody advice, Hol'. 


I mean, I'm constantly churning out posts on here, venting, expressing and advising, but I don't ever take the time to read them again once they're out there. I don't ever go to myself for advice (which is silly, because I think I actually speak a lot of sense haha).

So basically, that's what I tried to do. I reminded myself that 'this too shall pass' and soon, hopefully, I'll be looking back on this and thinking how far I've come from this moment.





Now, you're probably thinking 'you got all of that from putting on a green blouse and a red lip' and the answer to that is, yes.

I think in the past when I've felt depressed, I've always gone and grabbed for black clothes and dark colours and wanted to hide away and not be seen. However, seeing as all I've been purchasing recently is pinks, reds and, well, any colour other than black, I've not really had much choice than to put on outfits that make me feel like I'm floating in a bag of skittles.

Wearing black just seemed to encourage me to wallow in self pity, whereas I feel like sticking on a brightly colored top actually allowed a bit of happiness to seep out from under the rest of the emotions I've been feeling.




Expression - that's what my new found love for colour has allowed me to do; it's allowed me to express myself more. It's allowed me to feel free with fashion and try new things, and it's actually made me feel a little more 'at home' and confident in the looks that I create.

Sure, there are still going to be days where grabbing for a black jumper and black jeans is all I want to do (I mean, I'm a model for gods sake, head to toe black is my uniform), but colour just seems to give me a sense of release. It's like I'm letting out suppressed feelings or letting new positive ones in.

And, weirdly, I'm not even sure where the urge came from for me to start wearing colour, but I'm so glad that I did. I didn't realise how much looking back at my colorful reflection, rather than my mopey faced one, could (not to seem sarcastic) turn my frown upside down, even if it is just for an hour or so.




"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." - Benjamin Mee

So, hey, if you're feeling a bit like me right now, and don't have a clue how to perk yourself up a bit, try sticking on a colorful look, or some fun make up, or just something a little bit bright and fun, and see if it can do the same thing for you as it did for me!

Shop the look:



Why My New Found Love For Colour Is Helping My Mental Health






I don't know if you've noticed, but I've become somewhat of a colorful fiend as of late. I've injected colour into every outfit, constantly pairing my signature red lip with absolutely anything, even trying out a bit of pattern and print here and there, and, I have to say, I'm really bloody loving it.

I never used to wear colour. There was actually something in my mind, almost like an alarm, that would go off, anytime that I reached for anything remotely brightly coloured in a shop, or if my mouse hovered over something printed on ASOS.




Without a doubt, every day in the past, I would always dress head to toe in black - black was all I ever wore.

Now, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with doing that, because there's not; I still love a chic all black outfit, and I still go all 'I WISH I WAS THEM' when staring at a picture of the Olsen twins; but what I have noticed is that, since injecting a bit of colour into my wardrobe, my outfits have had the ability to lift my mood and make me feel much much happier.

(Completely ironic, because I'm not smiling in any of these photos haha)





I only started noticing this over the past couple of days. In fact, it was actually only two days ago when I slipped into my new bright green Zara blouse, swiped on a red lip, looked in the mirror and felt well and truly uplifted.

The past few days before had been very hard, and any kind of smile or happiness that I had been giving off was all fake and forced (because that's the only way to get through stuff sometimes). It felt weird to be looking in the mirror and not feeling horrific or completely repulsed by my reflection... I mean, that's what I'd spent the last 4 days doing, so why wasn't it happening today?



I'd spent the past four days in my pyjamas, moping around the house, sudocrem dotted on my spots (one of my best looks, I have to say) and I just began to feel like I was never going to start feeling better.

Anytime I was looking in the mirror, all I could see was this person that I hated and this sad expression that just seemed to naturally sit there. I was analyzing myself  head to toe, wondering my hair was so 'shit', why I was so 'ugly' and covered in spots or why my body just felt like a big ol' potato.





JEANS - PULL& BEAR

Then, Friday came and I had to get dressed. I had family coming round and I had to pull myself together. I had to wack on a bit of make up, and try, even if it felt hard, to make myself look remotely presentable. It was no longer a time for moping around. 

So, reaching for my bright green blouse and red lipstick, I got ready. 

There was something about the bright colours, and having the sunshine pouring in through my window, that just allowed me to have a moment of calm and reflection. I was suddenly reminded of more positive days and the fact that I've gotten through times like this before. I thought about the blog posts I've written, the tips I've given to friends, and I realized that I have the skills to get through a tough time like this. I think I even mentally said to myself 'It's time to take your own bloody advice, Hol'. 


I mean, I'm constantly churning out posts on here, venting, expressing and advising, but I don't ever take the time to read them again once they're out there. I don't ever go to myself for advice (which is silly, because I think I actually speak a lot of sense haha).

So basically, that's what I tried to do. I reminded myself that 'this too shall pass' and soon, hopefully, I'll be looking back on this and thinking how far I've come from this moment.





Now, you're probably thinking 'you got all of that from putting on a green blouse and a red lip' and the answer to that is, yes.

I think in the past when I've felt depressed, I've always gone and grabbed for black clothes and dark colours and wanted to hide away and not be seen. However, seeing as all I've been purchasing recently is pinks, reds and, well, any colour other than black, I've not really had much choice than to put on outfits that make me feel like I'm floating in a bag of skittles.

Wearing black just seemed to encourage me to wallow in self pity, whereas I feel like sticking on a brightly colored top actually allowed a bit of happiness to seep out from under the rest of the emotions I've been feeling.




Expression - that's what my new found love for colour has allowed me to do; it's allowed me to express myself more. It's allowed me to feel free with fashion and try new things, and it's actually made me feel a little more 'at home' and confident in the looks that I create.

Sure, there are still going to be days where grabbing for a black jumper and black jeans is all I want to do (I mean, I'm a model for gods sake, head to toe black is my uniform), but colour just seems to give me a sense of release. It's like I'm letting out suppressed feelings or letting new positive ones in.

And, weirdly, I'm not even sure where the urge came from for me to start wearing colour, but I'm so glad that I did. I didn't realise how much looking back at my colorful reflection, rather than my mopey faced one, could (not to seem sarcastic) turn my frown upside down, even if it is just for an hour or so.




"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it." - Benjamin Mee

So, hey, if you're feeling a bit like me right now, and don't have a clue how to perk yourself up a bit, try sticking on a colorful look, or some fun make up, or just something a little bit bright and fun, and see if it can do the same thing for you as it did for me!

Shop the look:




I have no self control. Well, that's a lie. Over the past few years, I have gained a lot of self control. From jumping from eating disorder to eating disorder and developing OCD, I've taught myself to be very controlled and learnt how to fight off a lot of different impulses. However, there are often some situations where I just completely lose it; my brain is overridden by intense emotion or urges, and all of that control that I've learnt goes out the window.


My days, just simply day-to-day, are very similar - I am very much a creature of habit. I like to wake up at the same time, do things in a similar sort of order and make a to do list for the day, everyday. I like to get stuff done from the moment I wake up and I like to have done something, even just the tiniest bit, productive with my day. And, so, you might be thinking, 'Why do you have no self control then?' and my answer to that is, quite simply put, food.

Food has controlled my life for years - probably the past 6/7 years. And, notice that here I said that food has 'controlled me' and I have not 'controlled it'. As much as I would like to think that I've been in control, I've definitely not been.


If you know a lot about me then you'll know that I've dealt with both Bulimia and Anorexia, and also developed incredibly bad Body Dysmorphia. This all stems from a bad relationship with food. Food has always been my comfort blanket. It's been a constant in my life. It could never leave me, it could never hurt me, it could never bully me or call me names... well, at least I never thought it could.


From the age of about 11, I was a total binge eater. I'd come home from school and I'd binge, literally everyday. And, when I say the word 'binge', I don't want you to misconstrue that as simply eating a packet of crisps, because, no, I would eat 7 packets of crisps, 5 chocolate bars, a slice of cake, a packet of biscuits, Nutella from the jar, super noodles, share bags of sweets, and basically anything I could find, all in one sitting.

I was never satisfied. I never felt full. I never wanted to stop eating. I just felt this loss of control. I just couldn't stop myself from wanting to eat more and more and more. It was like an addiction. I was addicted to the way eating made me feel.

Food gave me a sense of comfort, it softened any little bit of sadness I was feeling, because, despite not really knowing it at the time, I was actually very very sad. And, in fact, I well and truly hated myself, even at the age of 11. I hated how I looked, who I was, who I was associated with, and I'll be honest, I knew that everyone around me didn't really like me either.




I knew I was a fat girl, but I was hoping these 'friends' I had didn't really judge me off of that. I constantly felt the need to act 'cool' or do what everyone else was doing (it actually turned me into a really nasty person when I was about 11) and I just desperately hoped that people actually did like me.

You see, I remember once, a girl that I was supposedly 'friends' with, told me that another girl I was 'friends' with, had been saying that 'I shouldn't be friends with them because I was fat' and that 'the only reason that I was in their 'friendship group' was because I was a pushover and the other girls could get things out of me'. That moment really stuck with me because, as sad as it is, at that time, I was trying my god damn hardest to fit in. I was trying soooo hard to hang out with these girls, do what these girls did and I just so desperately wanted to be liked.


After hearing that from my 'friend', I gave up on this idea of being 'liked' by popular people. I found new friends, great friends, that are still my friends today. The only problem was, that being 'liked', didn't fix my relationship with food, it actually encouraged it. I didn't feel judged by the people I was with and so, despite still completely hating myself, I continued to binge eat and binge eat and binge eat because I knew that I had people that liked me, even if I was 'fat'.



This all changed when I developed Bulimia and Anorexia. I won't go into that again (I'm sure you've heard it all before... if not, have a read of these blog posts: 1 Year On, Body Dysmorphia, How I Dealt with OCD). I basically learnt to control any kind of urge I had around food. I controlled the food I ate, the times I ate, the calories I was eating - I controlled it all. I wanted to feel 'beautiful' and despite knowing that other's liked me even though I was 'fat', I knew that I didn't like myself, and I finally wanted to.

Food was no longer my friend, it was my enemy. It made me feel guilty, it made me feel repulsed and it often made me feel sadder than I have ever felt in my life. The voices in my head went from telling me to eat because I was sad, to telling me to not eat because I was sad. Everything began to go in reverse.

Food went from being my comfort blanket, to being something that only made me more uncomfortable. I avoided food; I no longer consumed even one person's daily amount of calories, never mind the 9 people's worth I was consuming a few years ago. Food went from making me feel happy to scaring me. The idea of eating anything other than what I had planned for the day, freaked me out. I avoided social situations, deleted any form of social media and I just basically wanted to vanish.



Now, I feel bad for using the word 'enemy' in the title of this blog post, because actually, I've learnt that food is not my enemy, food is amazing. But, I've also learnt not to abuse it as a comfort blanket. I've learnt to enjoy what I eat, I've learnt to consume enough food to give me the energy to live and I've learnt to eat what makes you happy.

I've realised that I can't compare what I eat to what other people eat (which I often do, despite knowing I shouldn't), because everybody is different. I need to ignore people who say 'I've not eaten all day' or start discussing calories or portion size, because that doesn't do me any good.

I'm still triggered by the smallest things. I still notice food controlling the way that I feel and I know that food is always going to seem to have some kind of hold over me.


I guess what I'm getting at is, even now, after being wayyyy into my recovery, I can truly say that my relationship with food is still not perfect and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to fix it to a full extent.

When I'm at home, I can control myself. Everything is familiar, and routined, because, like I said, my day-to-day life is very similar no matter what day of the week. But, there are those times that I've now started to deal with (because I'm no longer hiding away all of the time because of anxiety and illnesses) where I'm out of the house or away from home (or do you know what? even at home sometimes), that that loss of control, I used to feel when binging, comes flooding back. I get urges to just eat everything. I crave foods I never usually crave (or at least haven't craved over the past few years whilst being ill) and it's like I lose all rationality.


It's hard to have those feelings come flooding back, especially after suppressing them over the course of dealing with Anorexia. I've been in situations recently which have made me feel guilty or where I've used food to suppress my feelings and it feels odd to be doing or feeling that again.

99% of the time, I feel calm and in control of the way I act or feel around food, but that's not to mean that those feelings that I've just discussed, those impulses I've talked about, aren't still there.


"Someday this pain will be useful"

Food is constantly on my mind, I'm constantly looking forward to eating, I'm not the kind of person who can skip breakfast or function without food anymore. I need to eat. But, sometimes, if i take it too far, I'm left with that guilt, that self hatred, which tells me that food is the enemy or that I'm the 'fat' girl again.

It's difficult to understand what a normal relationship with food is like anymore. Once you've been in that mindset of being 'obsessed' or 'repulsed' by food, it's very hard to go back.



Food: My Enemy and My Best Friend


I have no self control. Well, that's a lie. Over the past few years, I have gained a lot of self control. From jumping from eating disorder to eating disorder and developing OCD, I've taught myself to be very controlled and learnt how to fight off a lot of different impulses. However, there are often some situations where I just completely lose it; my brain is overridden by intense emotion or urges, and all of that control that I've learnt goes out the window.


My days, just simply day-to-day, are very similar - I am very much a creature of habit. I like to wake up at the same time, do things in a similar sort of order and make a to do list for the day, everyday. I like to get stuff done from the moment I wake up and I like to have done something, even just the tiniest bit, productive with my day. And, so, you might be thinking, 'Why do you have no self control then?' and my answer to that is, quite simply put, food.

Food has controlled my life for years - probably the past 6/7 years. And, notice that here I said that food has 'controlled me' and I have not 'controlled it'. As much as I would like to think that I've been in control, I've definitely not been.


If you know a lot about me then you'll know that I've dealt with both Bulimia and Anorexia, and also developed incredibly bad Body Dysmorphia. This all stems from a bad relationship with food. Food has always been my comfort blanket. It's been a constant in my life. It could never leave me, it could never hurt me, it could never bully me or call me names... well, at least I never thought it could.


From the age of about 11, I was a total binge eater. I'd come home from school and I'd binge, literally everyday. And, when I say the word 'binge', I don't want you to misconstrue that as simply eating a packet of crisps, because, no, I would eat 7 packets of crisps, 5 chocolate bars, a slice of cake, a packet of biscuits, Nutella from the jar, super noodles, share bags of sweets, and basically anything I could find, all in one sitting.

I was never satisfied. I never felt full. I never wanted to stop eating. I just felt this loss of control. I just couldn't stop myself from wanting to eat more and more and more. It was like an addiction. I was addicted to the way eating made me feel.

Food gave me a sense of comfort, it softened any little bit of sadness I was feeling, because, despite not really knowing it at the time, I was actually very very sad. And, in fact, I well and truly hated myself, even at the age of 11. I hated how I looked, who I was, who I was associated with, and I'll be honest, I knew that everyone around me didn't really like me either.




I knew I was a fat girl, but I was hoping these 'friends' I had didn't really judge me off of that. I constantly felt the need to act 'cool' or do what everyone else was doing (it actually turned me into a really nasty person when I was about 11) and I just desperately hoped that people actually did like me.

You see, I remember once, a girl that I was supposedly 'friends' with, told me that another girl I was 'friends' with, had been saying that 'I shouldn't be friends with them because I was fat' and that 'the only reason that I was in their 'friendship group' was because I was a pushover and the other girls could get things out of me'. That moment really stuck with me because, as sad as it is, at that time, I was trying my god damn hardest to fit in. I was trying soooo hard to hang out with these girls, do what these girls did and I just so desperately wanted to be liked.


After hearing that from my 'friend', I gave up on this idea of being 'liked' by popular people. I found new friends, great friends, that are still my friends today. The only problem was, that being 'liked', didn't fix my relationship with food, it actually encouraged it. I didn't feel judged by the people I was with and so, despite still completely hating myself, I continued to binge eat and binge eat and binge eat because I knew that I had people that liked me, even if I was 'fat'.



This all changed when I developed Bulimia and Anorexia. I won't go into that again (I'm sure you've heard it all before... if not, have a read of these blog posts: 1 Year On, Body Dysmorphia, How I Dealt with OCD). I basically learnt to control any kind of urge I had around food. I controlled the food I ate, the times I ate, the calories I was eating - I controlled it all. I wanted to feel 'beautiful' and despite knowing that other's liked me even though I was 'fat', I knew that I didn't like myself, and I finally wanted to.

Food was no longer my friend, it was my enemy. It made me feel guilty, it made me feel repulsed and it often made me feel sadder than I have ever felt in my life. The voices in my head went from telling me to eat because I was sad, to telling me to not eat because I was sad. Everything began to go in reverse.

Food went from being my comfort blanket, to being something that only made me more uncomfortable. I avoided food; I no longer consumed even one person's daily amount of calories, never mind the 9 people's worth I was consuming a few years ago. Food went from making me feel happy to scaring me. The idea of eating anything other than what I had planned for the day, freaked me out. I avoided social situations, deleted any form of social media and I just basically wanted to vanish.



Now, I feel bad for using the word 'enemy' in the title of this blog post, because actually, I've learnt that food is not my enemy, food is amazing. But, I've also learnt not to abuse it as a comfort blanket. I've learnt to enjoy what I eat, I've learnt to consume enough food to give me the energy to live and I've learnt to eat what makes you happy.

I've realised that I can't compare what I eat to what other people eat (which I often do, despite knowing I shouldn't), because everybody is different. I need to ignore people who say 'I've not eaten all day' or start discussing calories or portion size, because that doesn't do me any good.

I'm still triggered by the smallest things. I still notice food controlling the way that I feel and I know that food is always going to seem to have some kind of hold over me.


I guess what I'm getting at is, even now, after being wayyyy into my recovery, I can truly say that my relationship with food is still not perfect and I'm not sure I'll ever be able to fix it to a full extent.

When I'm at home, I can control myself. Everything is familiar, and routined, because, like I said, my day-to-day life is very similar no matter what day of the week. But, there are those times that I've now started to deal with (because I'm no longer hiding away all of the time because of anxiety and illnesses) where I'm out of the house or away from home (or do you know what? even at home sometimes), that that loss of control, I used to feel when binging, comes flooding back. I get urges to just eat everything. I crave foods I never usually crave (or at least haven't craved over the past few years whilst being ill) and it's like I lose all rationality.


It's hard to have those feelings come flooding back, especially after suppressing them over the course of dealing with Anorexia. I've been in situations recently which have made me feel guilty or where I've used food to suppress my feelings and it feels odd to be doing or feeling that again.

99% of the time, I feel calm and in control of the way I act or feel around food, but that's not to mean that those feelings that I've just discussed, those impulses I've talked about, aren't still there.


"Someday this pain will be useful"

Food is constantly on my mind, I'm constantly looking forward to eating, I'm not the kind of person who can skip breakfast or function without food anymore. I need to eat. But, sometimes, if i take it too far, I'm left with that guilt, that self hatred, which tells me that food is the enemy or that I'm the 'fat' girl again.

It's difficult to understand what a normal relationship with food is like anymore. Once you've been in that mindset of being 'obsessed' or 'repulsed' by food, it's very hard to go back.



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