wherethesunisalwayshining

sprinkling positivity

How is the way you talk about yourself affecting your life?

At some point we will think or talk about ourselves negatively.

I don’t know about you but I’ve heard myself say (in my mind, or out loud), things like –

‘I’m sad, im stressed, im angry, im fat, Im boney, Im spotty, Im not happy.’ etc

I’ve heard many other people say these things out loud too, but in fact those words in themselves are giving out negative vibes. Negative words cannot bring us positive lives.

So if we actually observe the situation and accept yes sometimes we do feel sad, stressed and angry. That’s not you or me as people though. I am not a angry human being, Angry is a feeling therefore I simply feel angry but thats not who i am.

Do you see the difference? Deep down in our souls we are not angry, we don’t like or want to be angry. So when we say we simply feel angry, we realize that actually it’s just a feeling at this present moment, that will pass and it no longer seems such a big deal. Accepting feelings and even just using the words correctly makes a big difference.

The same goes for I’m fat or I’m boney. Yes I have fat, yes I have bones.. thank god!

Therefore next time we go to say im fat or im boney, instead we can say ‘I have fat, like everyone else, perhaps more than I’d like but I can change that If i choose too. I am not fat but I have fat.’ It makes you see it in a completely different way, fat doesn’t define you as a person and neither do bones.

Words and feelings only define us as people if we let them. What we think and say creates our reality, so if we say things as they really are then we can see that they’re not us as people.

Have a think, what do you define yourself as?

Next time you do have negative feelings, simply recognise them as exactly that – feelings. We all know feelings come and go, they change. You are not an sad person, you are in fact a divine amazing person who might have sad feelings at this present moment.

I used to say I am unattractive because I have spots. When in fact I am a beautiful person who has spotty skin. The same goes for cellulite, I used to say I am unattractive because I was unhappy with one small piece of how my body looked on the behind. I am not cellulite though or wobbly, I have a limbs that work and move and take me from A to B, and they happen to have some cellulite on them. Because I am human, as are you.

If we focus on the negatives, the little details we don’t like about ourselves then that’s the only place we focus. We don’t look at the bigger picture, we don’t see that we are amazing creatures, capable of endless possibilities with beating hearts and healthy bodies.. because we’re too caught up on our love handles – we focus on one negative and let it define us as a person.

Well let me tell you – Whatever size, shape, colour you are. you are amazing. So take a step back and appreciate all that you are, for the flaws and imperfections included, because theres no one else like you. you’re one of a kind, that in itself is beautiful.

🙂

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A personal & honest experience of being under anorexias firm grip.

So this isn’t easy but I promised myself that I’d be open and honest in this blog as I believe that really is the key for us humans to connect and relate to each other, I think it’ll be good for me to share my experience of having an eating disorder.

The thing about eating disorders are they aren’t really about food at all. They’re a mental illness in the mind.

For me I used controlling my food as a way of feeling in control of my life, emotions and feelings. (Although I didn’t see that at the time, but that’s what they are. They’re a way of dealing with areas of your life you feel out of control with.)

In 2014 I decided I wanted to lose weight, I had been a student for two years and with lots of alcohol and fast food and little exercise, I hadn’t been looking after my body very well which resulted in lots of colds and lack of energy.

Like many people, I decided to take charge and looked into a healthier life style, cooking from scratch, adding exercise more often and cutting out most of the junk food and alcohol. I saw the benefits from losing weight, toning up and feeling much better within myself, I had more energy and felt less sluggish.

After a couple of months I was down to my goal weight and was happy with the way I looked and felt, I was pleased with what I had achieved and a voice in my head said, ‘why not lose a little bit more, just incase you go back to normal and put it back on again.’ I didn’t even stop to question why i was weighing myself 3 times a day.

So I carried on with my healthy eating habits and exercising, although by this point I didn’t realize that it wasn’t healthy at all. I was eating breakfast, lunch and dinner but they didn’t provide much for me nutritonally, I was burning more energy than I was eating. The rules I had set up from a couple of months ago where firmly embedded in my mind. People around me couldn’t understand how I was still losing weight as I was eating 3 meals a day.

The way the eating disorder started taking over my life was when I became overtaken by fear. I had an immense fear that all this weight I had lost would go straight back on and I’d be back to that unhealthy person who felt constantly ill. Every time I reached my new lower goal weight, the little voice in my head would say ‘no harm in losing more because you might put it all back on’. I never questioned my mind, I let it take control of me.

I couldn’t concentrate, my mind was split in two – There was me and there was this voice constantly battling. I was constantly thinking of food, I’d be planning what I’d cook for dinner days in advance, what new recipes I could cook, how many calories where in everything, researching restaurants menus when I had to eat out.

I didn’t go out socializing from fear of not being able to eat healthily or being able to prepare it as I stopped trusting people to cook for me, fearing they were trying to make me fat by secretly adding oil etc. As my life was so calculated and planned around food and the next meal, I was completely in control. Whenever somebody spontaniously asked me out for dinner, drinks or a takeaway my answer would be no. I couldn’t go to the cinema, to friends houses – the only place I felt comfortable was at home with my healthy food supplies and me cooking. I basically didn’t have a life anymore and I couldn’t even see it, it was a cycle that I was stuck in.

After losing 3 stone in such a small amount of time, people started commenting. They watched the old Sian they knew disappear in front of their eyes and could do nothing about it. At first I was defensive and angry that they would imply there was something wrong with me. After a couple of months I realized I wasn’t me anymore, I wasn’t connecting with people, my moods where irritable, I was missing out on so many family/friends gatherings and nights out.

People assume that people with anorexia are vain or attention seeking, the funny thing was I was deeply unhappy with myself, I hated the way I looked, I was determined to be thin but would cover my bones in baggy clothes, embarrassed. I couldn’t wear skimpy clothes because I was freezing all the time. I knew I wasn’t attractive and I didn’t like the thin body I was in but my mind wouldn’t let me eat out of the rigid rules I had created. That’s when I noticed I had a problem.

Becoming aware of my thoughts was the break through for me. I had all these rules and would have anxiety attacks if things wouldn’t go to plan or they changed. My mum cooked me a curry one night and I was hysterical because there was oil in it. My family where worried sick, I was a nightmare to live with as they didn’t know what to do with me to get me to eat properly. You may say, but couldn’t you just eat? Yes i ate but my mind had this belief that id put on weight from one bad meal. On days where I knew I was going out for food, I would restrict the day before – it was all planned.

Having an eating disorder made me realize it was the complete opposite from ‘just not eating’. If only it was that simple!

Eating disorders are very complicated mental health problems and they ruin people’s lives. I was lucky to have friends and family who supported me, stuck by me and helped me through it even when they didn’t understand what was going on.

After receiving therapy to deal with the real problems that led to my disorder I am now a healthy weight and although I will never be the same person as I was before, Im over the worst. My body still isn’t fully recovered yet as I dont have periods, I still get bloated from eating and I tend to have some rigid rules about what crockery shape or colours I like to use but that’s where I observe my mind and challenge it.

I’m sharing my experience with you all so you can see that mental health problems are not simple. Eating disorders are not choices, they are hell – a downward spiral that seems impossible to get out of. If you think you might have one, or think a friend or family member does, please talk to them.

2013 proved to be the toughest year of my life where I thought I’d never feel normal ever again.

thank god for my parents who did everything to help me, my best friends who stuck by me whilst I cried in restaurants and close family & friends who i exchanged experiences with for comfort.

Don’t judge people by their appearances because you dont know what they’re going through. Skinny, fat or normal weight – anyone can battle with disordered thoughts. We just need to have some more empathy and understanding.

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Don’t judge someone’s wellbeing based on their appearance

Eating-Disorder-Awareness-Week

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Raise Awareness Week For Eating Disorders

First of all, what is an eating disorder? There are many different names that we have probably heard of such as bulimia, anorexia and binge-eating disorders but do we truly know what any of these involve?

Eating disorders claim more lives than any other mental illness – one in five of the most seriously affected will die prematurely from the physical consequences or suicide, yet they’re not taken seriously.

Without ever really looking into the topic I assumed anorexia was someone who had strong willpower who just decided not to eat, to starve themselves and eat maybe like an apple a day. I thought they did this to lose weight and be really thin as that’s how they wanted to look, perhaps like a size zero model etc. In fact as a naive 15 year old I remember saying as a joke  – i wish i was anorexic so I could resist chocolate and be thin.

I had never even heard of binge-eating disorder a couple of years ago, I assumed every over-weight person was either eating too much food that wasn’t benefitting them nutritionally and probably not doing enough physical exercise, someone with an unbalanced life style. I never thought someone overweight could be suffering from a mental illness. I heard someone make a joke recently about how fat people sit on the sofa scoffing their face with ice cream sobbing that they’re so ill. When in fact that’s not a joke, that could be a real life situation for some people.

Both my assumptions where very wrong and I’m sure some of you may of viewed eating disorders in a similar way. As a society we are closed-minded when it comes to mental illnesses, they are seen as lifestyle choices rather than illnesses. Eating disorders in general have this stigma, although when you see someone with alzheimers or cancer, you wouldn’t assume they choose to be that way. So why is it any different for people that have eating disorders, they don’t choose for it to happen.

Our mental health affects our physical bodies if we’re over weight or underweight and that’s why its a serious topic that we should be more aware of as a society.

Here are some symptoms of Anorexia/Bulimia – 

– lose a lot of weight in a short period of time

– Become obsessed with food, recipes, cooking, photographing food etc.

– Weighing themselves, weighing food, calorie counting.

– Become very secretive, lie about eating.

– Vomit or take laxatives after eating (bulimia)

– Irritable moods, fatigue, dizziness, tired.

Here are symptoms of binge-eating disorders –

– Unable to stop eating or no control over eating

– Become overweight or put on weight in short period of time.

– Eating large amount of food rapidly

– Gorging on food when alone

– Eating when full

These are the very few symptoms of people who have eating disorders although they vary completely for each individual.

You don’t have to be underweight or overweight to have eating disordered thoughts. If you’re obsessed with calorie counting, that’s not a healthy relationship with food, mentally. If you secretly eat vast amounts of food, that’s not a healthy relationship with food, mentally. The difference with mental illnesses are we can’t always tell if someone is suffering from an eating disorder or not, just because someone isn’t size 0, it’s not to say they dont have disordered thoughts.

You never know you could spot the symptoms in yourself, a family member or a friend that you could help at early stages.

Let’s put a positive note to this post and raise awareness for something that affects 1.6 million people in the UK.

Take a few minutes out of your day to read up on them.

http://www.nedc.com.au/eating-disorders-explained

http://www.b-eat.co.uk/about-eating-disorders/types-of-eating-disorder

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