Eating disorders week

So it is eating disorders week and we have a serious problem on our hands. I don’t just mean people starving themselves but overeating and becoming obese is even larger now.

I myself developed an eating disorder when I was 11. Why? I was very shy, had no confidence and thought I was fat. I was a bit chubby harmones etc while all my friends ate junk and were skinny. How I envied the clothes they wore while I struggled to get into jeans and hated wearing skirts even now I am still not happy with my legs hence why I am now doing weights I know make them bigger 🙈

So what did I do? A lot of people will understand what I did and others won’t because they’ve never had any issues with food or their confidence. So I stopped eating.

Skipping breakfast didn’t have time I’d say going to miss the bus, decided to take dinners which of course I didn’t I kept the money but didn’t eat anything. I did eat a piece of single bread most days but that was about it. People would say were you not tired I wasn’t but losing weight made me feel amazing I felt so light so happy and my confidence got better. But this is where the lies and anti social behaviours started. I decided to be a vegetarian not the reason most do but so I could avoid eating meals with my family as they all ate meat. So I would say yes I’ve had something to eat, leave plates with crumbs on, dirty cutlery, wrappers in the bin etc.

I then became obsessed with my exercise too and started working out everyday and that is where o got my abs from and never left me.

Why did I do this? I hated myself, how I looked the fact I had no confidence and felt no one really liked me, I wasn’t one of the popular girls and was even bullied because I was shy and was called stuck up.

As I got older and started going out and boys became involved then I became more obsessed with being skinny as in my head boys wanted someone that was skinny that looked like a model and I thought if I was thin I would be happy but I wasn’t how could I be.

I was malnourished, my harmones were so low because I wasn’t getting any nutrients into my body and as my BMI was so low my periods basically stopped. I would never go out for a meal, never have take out and the thought of being invited out where there was going to be good just sent me into anxiety. So I hid away and avoided life.

I did manage to start eating again when I was around 19 when I realised my body was like an engine of you don’t put fuel in it how can you expect it to run. So I had a meal out and realised there are healthy options like vegetables which will not put weight on, so I started eating again but very restricted some portions, skipping meals and I started running everyday. Running I loved because of the endorphins it produces you lose weight and feel fit plus the fresh air and sun occasionally.

Looking at this picture now I look so fragile I could probably fit my hand round my arm, ribs protruding but when I looked in the mirror I thought I looked amazing. I loved the feeling of my bones sticking out and my jeans hanging off my no longer there bum, sick right? But this is a mental illness which never completely leaves you. This was in my twenties, I then got married then wanted to have kids. But when I came off the pill no periods returned. It was unexplained infertility I now know it was because my diet was too restrictive, my exercise too rigorous, lack of nutrition, fats and carbs all of which affect your hormone levels to have periods and get pregnant.

After a few miscarriages I finally got pregnant with my first child Mya now 9 after a year of nothing happening then taking tablets took 18 months.

I ate healthily during my pregnancy and I continued to exercise just not running I was too scared. So I walked and got an exercise bike and safely exercises everyday.

After 9 months because it had been a long wait the first time we started trying again, a year later nothing again and so the journey began of tablets, injecting hormones into my body everyday, scans, negative tests, running to the hospital at 7am I was exhausted and stressed and after 3 years I thought the end was in sight IVF but no it failed too.

So I finally took a break started eating more, having fun and then exercising less and low and behold 4 months after my IVF I got pregnant with Cara a complete miracle.

My wee family was complete. But as we all know ladies putting weight on is hard so I ate healthily and exercised through both pregnancies and I had relatively easy births and got my body back in weeks except for my tummy which takes a bit longer to get back into shape. After my pregnancies I lost a lot of weight which I loved of course but then fell back into old habits of exercising and strict low cal diets which is not good when you now have 2 kids and a job.

Finally after the trauma I went through for my kids and a year after my second baby my husband left another trauma which took me a long time to deal with and learn how to cope with the trauma throws at us I went to a counsellor, did mindfulness and decided I needed to be strong not just emotionally but physically as well. So I did a nutritional course and a PT course so I could help others to learn from an early age to be healthy and to help others understand what they are putting into heir bodies and why we need to eat certain foods. I also love cooking and baking and most of my diet is vegan desserts using only natural sugars and ingredients and a plant based protein diet with more carbs and fats.

I still run and cycle as I love getting out in the fresh air and the endorphins but my workouts are more strengthening exercises such as weight, resistance, kettlebells and some hit. I now enjoy my food without any constraints and am on the road to creating a strong lean body from the comfort of my own home.

I have set up my business called so I can help others have the best diet for their brain, mood and body.

My advice get help, talk to someone, see a councillor, recognise what got you into this situation in the first place and deal with the cause then learn techniques to help you to de stress such as mindfulness, cut out processed foods and sugars, do a nutritional course so you understand why you need to eat food and what we get from it.

I can say I am finally content with myself I don’t always like what I see in the mirror but I don’t hate what I see anymore because I now know I am healthier and heavier than I’ve ever been but most of that is down to the muscle I’ve built. I also do some pole dancing, aerial hoop and aerial silks at #flyawayaerialstudio in Lisburn which is fun, keeps you fit and gets me some me time away from the kids. Mental health is so important so don’t forget to look after you as if your not healthy how are you going to be any good for your kids or a good role model either.

So don’t let food ruin your life and your health. Life is wonderful and there are so many delicious healthy foods you can eat without the guilty food mine.

Most important we don’t want our kids to have these issues so boost their confidence and encourage them to eat healthy over bad foods and explain why. It is awful when kids get teased for being healthy these days what is wrong with the world.

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