Time Flies.

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When you’re ridiculously busy!

Ok, so I know it’s been bloody ages since I last posted but seriously – I don’t think I’ve EVER been this busy in my life.

I get up at 6am, go to school, get home between 5 and 6pm, plan lessons/assess lessons/make resources and go to bed.  Repeat x 5 days.  Weekends are then spent catching up on marking books and planning for the next week’s lessons.  I don’t have time to think/do anything other than school school school!  We have to upload our weeks planning by Monday morning, but then you end up changing them every night anyway after each lesson because things may need more input, or what you’ve planned might not be suitable any more so it’s a bit annoying doing all my planning twice!

But I have to say, I’m enjoying it.  Yes it is really really tough, my class really are hard work, but it’s a good challenge.  I was on a course on Thursday where I was chatting to a girl who is teaching at a school in quite a privileged area, the sort of school where I thought I might like to teach…but now I’m not so sure!  The parents apparently spend most of their time moaning/complaining and the children are very compliant (and precious little prince and princesses) – she said she could set the work and leave the room for the whole day and it would still get done.  Oh my, that’s NOTHING like my class!  It’s pretty much me attempting crowd control for the entire day, they’re crazy.  But crazy-fun too.  The girl I was talking to said the kids in her school are like little robots on autopilot and have no personality.  The same cannot be said for my class of little monsters!  They’re bursting with personality and most have a brilliant sense of humour.  Perhaps it’s because their home lives are less than perfect (a lot of drugs/prison/nasty stuff), they feel safer at school.  It’s a very deprived area so the kids are tough (in a number of ways) but despite the behaviour difficulties they do make me laugh.

Some of my favourite comments so far:

That’s shit that Miss” (After being told by the TA they shouldn’t be doing something)

Me: “xxx, if you don’t start some work today you’ll be staying in with me at breaktime”

Him: “Yeah, sound miss, whatever”.  That’s laughin’ that miss”

“Why do we have to learn about Ancient Egypt?  We don’t even live there”

“Is Ancient Egypt in London?  Do they have laptops?”

One 8 year old boy to another “What are you looking at turd face?  You’re a bum licker”

Oh yeah, they’re little charmers alright!  Really though, they are funny.  There are so many more comments they’ve come out with but I can’t remember them all now, I might add more when they come back to me!

The work pressure is pretty intense though.  It’s hard enough trying to shout over a class of very very noisy children all day (trying to prevent fights/arguments/get them to actually do something productive) but then there’s all the planning and assessment stress on top of it.  There is so much I haven’t done in terms of assessment, so many lessons I’m not teaching when I should be (Spanish is just one!), and I’ve not done proper formal assessments when I should have done.  There really isn’t enough time in the day and I know as soon as I meet with my mentor she will kick my ass.  Ooops.  I haven’t been observed yet either which is another thing I’m dreading, my class are probably the last class you would want to be observed teaching considering they can’t seem to sit in their seats for more than 30 seconds.
As far as food goes, it’s kinda ok really.  I haven’t had a Dietitian/Doc appointment in a while so have no idea what I weigh which is probably a good thing.  I’m in the routine of breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dessert and it’s not much of an issue.  I’m so focussed on school that my mind hasn’t got space for stress about food as well.  I wouldn’t say I’m as confident around food as I’d like to be, i.e there was cake in the staff room today and I didn’t have any when I would have liked some.  This annoys me.  3 months ago I would have, but today I felt unsure, so I think I will try to get an appointment with the Doc at half term and be truthful in that I’m eating fine but sometimes feel a bit wobbly.  I don’t act on the ‘wobbly’ feelings though in the sense of really badly restricting so I don’t know if I should be concerned or not.  Does that make sense?!  I’m not sure how many calories I eat because I try my best not to keep track.

In some bigger news, I might have a flat to rent soon!  Fingers crossed.  I have sent off an application of interest and paid for a credit check so I really hope I get it.  It’s only 10-15 minutes away from where I live now so I can still pop home and see the folks, and it’s closer to school too which will cut my journey time a bit (even though it’s only 20 minutes when the traffic is good!)  I’m excited because the flat is exactly what I’m after, gorgeous character building, big rooms, bay windows, furnished, it’s perfect.  I really really hope I get it!  If all goes to plan I would hope to move in over half term and get settled before starting back at school.

Other than school, I’ve really got nothing much going on.  At all.  I’ve only left the house once at the weekend since I started school and that was to view the flat, I was straight back home to plan so I’m sorry this is such a boring update – such is my life now!

Just thought I should do a quick post to say hello, and let people know I’m still around! xx

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It’s getting closer…

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I start work on Monday.  I am absolutely bloody petrified.  Ridiculously so.  My mind is whirring…

You totally fluked through the PGCE and are no way going to be able to teach

“You’re a big fraud who can’t actually teach”

“These children are relying on you to teach them but you’re rubbish so you’re just going to mess them up forever”

Your mentor will see right through your carefully laminated displays hiding the fact you’re a crap teacher, you won’t pass your NQT year

And so on.  I’m stressing big time, not to mention the fact I haven’t done ANY planning at all.  I start in 3 days.  Oh my.  I think because I find it so time consuming and difficult to plan lessons (ensuring all learning objectives are clear and achievable and both differentiation and assessment is factored in) I’m just putting it off – which isn’t solving anything.  The horror stories I’m constantly hearing about my class aren’t helping much either.

Anyway, I’m trying to block it out at the moment because it’s stressing me out!  It’s having an affect on my sleep as well, I usually sleep like a baby but I keep having horrible dreams and taking ages to get some rest. It’s so unlike me :(.  Hopefully, once I’ve got into the swing of things I’ll be ok.  Crossing my fingers!

Other than school, not all that much has been happening really but I’ll do a quick catch up anyway.  My best friend came up to visit last weekend and we went out to town – oh my WORD did I drink!  It was so fun, just like the ‘old times’ we used to have, chatting and drinking and just generally having an ace time.  I even had a cheeky snog with tall random stranger ;).  Sunday I was near enough dead with a hell of a hangover, but it was so worth it just to have a catch up with my friend.  We haven’t seen each other since before Christmas and I’ve put on well over 2 stone since then so I was nervous to say the least.  I shouldn’t have been because she was lovely.  We spoke about recovery for the first time, and she was amazingly kind and understanding.  She did a lot to boost my confidence (the alcohol helped in that respect as well!).

Wednesday saw another appointment with the Dietitian, I’m not sure when I’ll next see her (if ever) so I had to squeeze in an appointment before school starts.  Things in my head haven’t been 100% lately and I’ve cut out a few hundred calories.  Now, it hasn’t had an effect on my weight at all which kind of pissed me off.  I am not purposely restricting to lose weight, I don’t want to lose weight because I’ve just got my period back and really really really don’t want it to go again!  But, it annoyed me because I’m eating a fair bit less than I was and yet I’m maintaining on such a crap amount of calories.  I half hoped I’d lose 1kg or something and it would make me think “Ahhh, I can afford to eat much more!”…but it didn’t.  It made me think “DAMN, your body clearly doesn’t need a lot of food so stop eating as much as you did”.  Etc.  Wrong, I know, and I’ll hopefully stop thinking about it so much as soon as school starts and I get back into a routine.   I know when you’re hungry, you’re meant to eat (duh!) but my head says ‘your tummy might be hungry but you don’t really need a whole lot of food because you’re short so maybe cut down…’ – it’s a slippery slope though, I know this.

I told the Dietitian that was how I felt, and that I’d been crappy with lunch for the past few weeks but because my weight hadn’t changed she wasn’t concerned.  Don’t get me wrong, my head is SO much better than it was – I don’t freak out in supermarkets, I don’t panic, I don’t walk up and down isles deliberating over 1 stupid purchase, I don’t dread somebody buying me a cookie/muffin/cake as a little present – these are big improvements but I still think I have a bit of an anorexic mind set.  It’s hard to explain (and perhaps I wasn’t clear when I saw the Dietitian) but it’s just little niggley things which creep in every now and then.  She said because I recognise the thoughts and don’t react to them it’s ok.  Weirdly, she was super complimentary of me!  Having had our clashes in the past, she was so pleased with my progress and said they have very very few success stories in their line of work and that I had made her job worth doing.  Which is nice!

I don’t know.  I left feeling boosted by her (she tried to be positive whenever I said something negative) but also kind of misunderstood.  One thing she did say, which I think she may be right about, is that I am concentrating a lot more on the negatives than I am on the positives.  The negatives being ‘my mind sometimes over-thinks food choices’ etc etc, the positives being ‘I have a new job, my period has returned, I can eat almost anything I want whenever I want it’ etc etc.  She just basically told me to stop being so damn negative all the time! Haha.  Perhaps she’s right, but I’m a natural pessimist.

I have tried to make an appointment with the psych for half term which is 8 weeks away and have re-upped my food since Wednesday (despite not losing weight) because basically – I’m hungry sometimes.  I shouldn’t be going hungry just because I don’t want to gain more weight!  If I gain more, so be it.  I need to relax, eat as much as I want to satisfy my stomach and fuck what my head says.
Oh, and the crazy ass itching has gone down a lot too thankfully.  It flairs up every now and then but at least I don’t look completely mental trying to itch every part of my body at the same time.  Because I was wondering whether it was the fluoxetine (Prozac) which had caused it (it wasn’t) – I didn’t up my dose when I was supposed to.  But, I feel fine on the dose I’m on at the moment so still haven’t upped it – I hope this is ok!  I won’t see the Doc for 8 weeks so I hope I don’t get there and he shouts at me for not upping it!  I honestly feel ok, surely it’s fine to stay on this dose?

I know I’ve been really crappy with updates recently and unfortunately I’m probably not going to get much better!  I really should start planning some lessons…

Hills, itches and tmi.

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Time for an update!

I have just returned from 5 days up in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  It was amazing.  We went last year and then straight away booked our accommodation for this year, it is such a beautiful city and the accent is so lovely, I could happily live there.  Apart from the hills.  My GOD there are a lot of hills.  I hate walking, and I hate hills – that little trip away just made me hate them even more!  Honestly, every venue seemed to be up hill, and then even heading home it seemed to STILL be up hill – how annoying.  We did get taxis back most nights though because we were knackered by that point.

We saw a lot of great shows, between 4-6 each day which is actually quite tiring even though you’re sat in a dark room for an hour for each show.  Apart from 1 show which was 1hr 45 minutes…the stand up got a bit carried away and just kept talking but he was amazing.  That was a late show, we got home about 2.30am so needless to say I was pretty tired when we got back.
Food wise, it was ok.  I tried my very hardest not to dictate where/when we would eat (because this holiday was about all of us, not me me me).  I tried to go with the flow as much as possible, leaving others’ to make the decisions.  Unfortunately, due to the planning of my very obviously non-ed brother, who doesn’t take into account meal times when booking shows we very often ended up eating dinner between 9.30-10.30 which is a lot later than I’m used to…I’m usually in bed at that time!  It was ok though because we always had coffee and cake mid/late afternoon and I took dried fruit/cereal bars to nibble during the shows.  All in all, it went well.

Oh, apart from this bizarre disease I seem to have caught!  Hard to explain, but from last Saturday evening I have been itching from head to toe and my body is now read raw from scratching (I tried to amuse myself by making patterns on my arm, like temporary tattoos).  It’s been like this for a week solid and it so uncomfortable – yet I have no idea where it has come from or why.  I couldn’t get a GP appointment since I was away (and we had so many shows booked sitting in out-of-hours up in Edinburgh wasn’t practical, plus, my bro would have hated me for ruining the plans he has spend a year formulating!)  I did ring and speak to the GP who said to take antihistamines, which have helped a little but not a great deal.  My index finger has also doubled in size, bizarrely, and I can’t bend it.  I feel like my hand is one of these:

As you can imagine, I look super fit 😉

If it is still no better by tomorrow (Monday) I will get to the Docs because it’s really getting on my nerves now.  I initially thought it might be the Fluoxetine and missed my tablet on Sunday because I was in so much pain, but after speaking to the GP on Monday he said it’s unlikely to be that because I’ve been taking it for 4 weeks so I have continued it since then and it hasn’t got significantly worse so fingers crossed it improves.

In other news…perhaps TMI…but my period finally came!  Oh my.  I honestly and truthfully thought my body was broken and that it would never come.  I was getting so down because in my eyes, I was “fat” (I’m not) for no reason – what the hell is the point in gaining all this weight if my body isn’t working?   I felt useless.

Well, 7, or possibly more (I can’t remember, it’s been that long!) years later it has finally arrived.  I’m so relieved to know I’m not broken forever, and more relieved that my bones can start repairing themselves now.  Since getting the results of my bone scan a few months ago I have been so scared of the damage I have already done to my body through not eating properly so now my periods have returned hopefully I can start rebuilding some nice strong bones 🙂
Now I am home again I’m trying to get to grips with some planning but finding it impossible to know where to start at the moment.  Should I concentrate on Literacy and Numeracy?  Or Science, Geography, Art, DT, History, Music, ICT, Spanish (Spanish!!!), RE, SEAL, P.E?…OH MY.  Stress levels are through the roof.  I need to learn a lot of stuff in two weeks and get it down on paper…instead I’m reading/writing blogs (procrastination much?!)

Still no news on the flat hunting side of things either, one I looked at has now been let because I’m too slow and indecisive and nothing new has been listed in quite a while so I’m still on the look out.  Right, I’ll leave it at that because I really should start doing some work.  Eurgh.

Busy Bee.

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It is probably about time I posted something!

I have been rubbish on the blog front recently, both reading and writing and it’s basically because I’ve been busy.  I had forgotten what it felt like to actually have stuff to do, apart from nip to the supermarket.  Having spent a year doing absolutely jack shit, there aren’t enough hours in the day for the things I need to do now.

I met my new class about 3 weeks ago, they’re little terrors!  I have definitely got my work cut out with them.  There are a lot of Special Education Needs in my class so I need to work super hard to make sure they’re all ok.  It’s a smaller class than I’ve had previously, 25, but with the additional needs of the class I’m grateful there aren’t more of them.  A few of the children are in care, and there will be a lot of issues outside of school I’ll have to deal with so I’m preparing as best I can.

I have been into school every day for the past 2 weeks trying to sort out the classroom.  It was a complete MESS!  Crap absolutely everywhere, paper/pencils/chewed up sweets/rubbers/everybloodything you can think of basically.  I am still nowhere near done but it is closed from tomorrow until the last week of the holidays so I’ll do my lesson planning in those weeks.  I seriously underestimated how hard classroom displays are!  They took me FOREVER and there isn’t even any work up there yet, just the backing paper and title but it’s actually bloody hard work!

Truth be told, I’m petrified.  Way out of my depth and haven’t got a clue how to go about planning for so many subjects which I know little about.  I can’t speak a word of Spanish but have to teach it, and have never had any musical ability and will be having to teach that too.  Oh dear.  The assessment requirements are huge, and every second of the day I’m not planning lessons I will be assessing them and seeing how I can help the children achieve their targets, and there are a lot of targets.

Still not got a flat sorted yet either, I’m so indecisive and can’t decide which one to go for, there are big pros and cons to the three I’m considering and I don’t know which will win yet.  I’m hoping to move before Sept but it’s not looking likely unless I get a jiffy on.

 
As far as recovery goes, it’s ok.  Ish.  I was doing fine, still eating to gain up until last Wednesday when I had an appointment with the Dietitian. She said I can stop pigging now as I don’t need to gain any more weight and it’s fine to fluctuate “you can gain a few and lose a few” – I hate that.   I tuned into the ‘lose a few’ rather than fluctuate.  I haven’t cut my intake dramatically, a couple of hundred cals but the effect in my head is noticeable even if the weight doesn’t change.  First thing to reduce is lunch.  It’s always lunch.  I know when things slip when I skip it all together but things haven’t got that bad, just swapping crisps for fruit or something/nothing.  It’s a slippery slope though I know.

Thing is, even if I eat less I don’t seem to lose a great deal – if anything.  If I eat as much as I can/want – I gain a lot.  It’s not even a huge amount of food by normal recovery standards but I still gain.  There is no happy medium and I don’t know how to eat to satisfy my hunger but not make me balloon.

I began taking Fluoxetine (Prozac) about 3 weeks ago.  It hasn’t made any difference to be honest, and I haven’t noticed any bad side effects at all.   My mood was weirdly high in the week before I started taking it and I haven’t had a really down day since, so perhaps it is working.  I don’t know, I’m not convinced I need it to be honest.  I do feel generally more energetic though and my mood is lighter (I can’t remember the last time I had an argument!)  While I still doubt if I need it, I’m scared that if I stop taking it I will take a turn for the worse just as I start my job which is the last thing I need.  I will see the ED Doctor for probably the last time on Wednesday because I will be at school from then on and can’t leave a group of 8 year olds to mess about while I have a Psyc appointment!  It will be weird not going to the ED centre every couple of months and it’s a shame really because I only just really got to know the Psyc at my last appointment, but they are only there on Wednesdays during ‘office hours’ so looks like that’s the last of my contact with the ED team.  Weird.

So in summary – sorry I’ve been so shitty with comments/general reading and I hope I will still have time to both read and write blogs when I start my job.  A month tomorrow! Oh my.  So so so scared. Job = scary, food = ok, recovery = ok, life = scary, mood = good.  That’s the jist of it at the moment!

 

A year ago.

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A year ago this month I started this blog.  I wasn’t sure why I started it, probably boredom, but I can honestly say it is the reason I have got as far as I have in recovery.

Without the support of Ellie and Sooz, the first proper recovery blogs I read and bloggers I had contact with I would probably still be underweight and poorly.  I would love to be able to thank the Eating Disorder outpatient team for their support through recovery, but I can’t really because they didn’t help me nearly as much as those two girls did.

A year ago, I was at a low weight and pretty miserable.  I knew I was underweight, but I honestly and truthfully didn’t think it was a problem.  Having been hospitalised around 4 years ago at a stupidly low weight and discharged at BMI 15, I assumed that meant I was fine.  I did not receive any outpatient care, monitoring or follow up, so continued my life at this weight because the Unit had discharged me so I was clearly fine wasn’t I?  No.  Not at all.  I really really wish somebody had shown me recovery blogs, or Gwyneth Olwyn’s blog 4 years ago because I think I would be in a completely different place now if I had ‘properly recovered’ the first time round rather than be discharged at a slightly less dangerous weight than I started at.  I wasn’t told any different, and because I wasn’t as ill as before, we all (my family, friends and I) thought I was ok.

After starting this blog, I noticed things were slipping.  Having finished my teaching degree and not getting an NQT job straight away, the little rituals and habits began to creep back in and it was having an effect on me.  I was more and more withdrawn, tired, miserable, and sad.  More than anything I was sad.  This lead me to ask the GP if I could be referred to an Eating Disorder Team because I was beginning to realise that my initial ‘recovery’ from anorexia 4 years ago was not a recovery at all and things needed to change.  I lost another few kg’s and bmi points while still thinking I ate ‘a lot’, it wasn’t a lot at all and just showed how much work I had to do.

So what has changed in a year?

Well, first of all I’m at a healthy BMI for the first time in my whole life.  I thought this would be horrendous, it’s not.  I look healthy, I don’t look like I’m going to collapse or snap or anything and other people say I’m still slim.  (I’m not slim, I’m just not HUGE).  My legs are still a hell of a lot bigger and cellulitey than I’d like, but then I’ll always think that so it’s a price I’m willing/having to pay.

Another change – employment.  FINALLY!  After a year of unemployment, I finally have a job secured for September.  Despite the fact I hated every minute of not having a job, I think it probably helped me an awful lot in recovery.  It meant I was able to concentrate on getting better, sitting on the couch eating chocolate.  Starting this job will be a massive challenge, I think everybody (myself included) underestimates the work teachers have to do and I’m starting to panic that I won’t be able to cope.

My living arrangements may well be about to change also, although nothing is sorted yet.  I want to move out desperately, having never planned to move back to my parents house (money and illness made it necessary!).  I couldn’t afford my own place when I wasn’t working, but now I have secured a job I’m considering new places to live which are close to School.  My new job is only 15 minutes away from where I am now so I could stay, but I don’t want to.  I’m looking for 1 bed flats and was considering flat shares but really, I reckon I’m too hard to live with and wouldn’t inflict that on house mates!

One thing my appointments with the Doctor has bought me is an awareness of myself.  I don’t think I really know what is normal and what is not, what are ‘normal’ mood swings which ‘normal’ people have, and are mine any different?  When does sadness change from being a bit sad to actual proper depression?  He makes me realise I am perhaps too hard on myself and expect too much too soon, and also that I am the most impatient person in the history of the world.  He recommended anti-depressants months and months ago which really shocked me because I honestly didn’t think I needed them.  I would never have considered taking medications.  Having thought about his suggestion more recently, I may take him up on it to see if they help stabilise me a bit.  I will need to talk to him again before I start work to see if they will have an effect on that or not.

A year ago, I joined a gym for all the wrong reasons.  I thought it would give me something to do in the never ending days off – turns out it just fuelled the eating disordered side of me.  I don’t like gyms AT ALL, I’m lazy by nature so fuck knows what I was thinking joining a gym.  I quit not long after getting my referral to the ED team.  I used to be active when I was a kid, playing all sorts of sports and being in all the school teams like football/hockey/netball etc then doing trampolining and dry slope skiing at weekends but as soon as I got to Uni and discovered the fun to be had by drinking in pubs and clubs the sport flew out the window and I haven’t done any since.  Plus, my smokers lungs really don’t agree with exercise.  At all.  I like my sedentary lifestyle a lot more 🙂

I still have difficulties a year on, like anybody does, but I can say I’m probably in a better place than I was this time last year.  I have body image issues some days, but not the majority of days any more.  Early recovery every day was horrendous body image day, now it’s not as often, and usually only when something doesn’t fit!

Friendships are still few and far between, but I’m working on it.  Of my three friends, two live at the other end of the country and the other lives fairly close but is moving away to start a Masters in September so I’ll not see her very often either.  I know the new job will cause ridiculous stress and encourage the anti-social side of me, but I’m trying to counteract that before Sept and get out a bit more.

My best friend came up from London to see me for a few days (belated birthday celebration) and we had a great catch up.  I love her to bits and she is always there for me, I lived with her when I was hospitalised (which took us all by surprise) so she hasn’t had it easy with me but she’s stuck around.  When she got off the train she actually screamed how “great” I looked, and said she has never ever seen me looking so good.  We don’t talk about ‘it’ in a lot of detail, but have snippets of conversations about it and she boosted my confidence a lot.  We went to Alton Towers!  It was ace.  A LOT of queuing so my legs, knees and back were absolutely killing me from standing around but we had a great day.  Thirteen was my favourite ride because it drops (free fall) in the dark, while Rita was so so fast I thought my stomach was going to come out of my back.  Fun though!

There is no holiday abroad this year which I’m actually grateful for.  I don’t fancy getting in a bikini to be honest and need the time to start planning for my new class.  I now have a few weeks to relax and get organised for September.

There are a lot of things I’ve learned over this past year, too much to talk about in one post really but I thought I should just jot down a couple of points to see the difference in a year.  I don’t feel the need to blog all the time and spam people’s in-boxes or readers every single day without fail with posts which are uninteresting, irrelevant and/or repetitive but I do like to blog every few weeks with an update so I can look back over them whenever I’m feeling shitty and think to myself ‘actually, you’ve done ok!’

Award collection.

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Absolutely ages ago, I was nominated for a ‘Reader Appreciation’ award but I never got round to filling the thing in, and now the lovely Scrunchy has nominated me for the ‘Versatile Blogger’ and ‘One Lovely Day Awards’ so I’ll do them all in one go!

First of all, Scrunchy.  She is ace.  If anybody who reads my blog hasn’t read hers, check it out.  She’s brave, strong and funny and she has come an awful long way in the year or so I’ve been reading her blog.  Oh, and she uses words like “battygash” and “nang”.  Ace.

Rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  • Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  • Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

As for nominations, Ellie has pretty much got them covered!  I think all the ones she reads, I read too so off the top of my head I can’t think of any unique names.  This is probably against the rules, but I’ll have to borrow/steal Scrunchies (sorry!) nominations and give double recommendations to:

  • Sooz – she’s off exploring Cuba at the moment but she makes me laugh so much
  • Wee Scone is really giving recovery a good go, she is determined and I like her writing
  • Over at Blogger there are Clemmy and Aggy.
  • Fiona – she is a brave lady this one!
  • Emma is a blogger who also writes about disorders, her latest post is nice and positive.
  • This blog title contains one of my favourite words 🙂 Serendipitous Mornings
  • Mel – she is ace.  Amazing drawings and inspirational words.  She is a great motivator.

I know there are more blogs in my reader but I can’t think what they are right now, I might add them on here when I remember!

SEVEN THINGS

1.  I have broken my nose three times.  Once, I attempted a backwards somersault in an indoor ‘adventure’ centre and ended up bleeding ALL over the bouncy castle.  The second time, I was walking around on my knees with my arms inside my jumper so when I fell forward…there were no arms to stop me.  Just my nose.  The third time I blame my brother.  We were lying on the floor with our heads at opposite ends and the soles of our feet were together (we were measuring our feet) which would have been fine until he kicked out really really hard at my foot which made me knee myself in the face.  Again.

2. I have a big circular scar on my knee from tripping over my skip-it in Primary School.

3. I really dislike Cats.  (Sorry Cat lovers, I know there’s a lot of you about!)  I think it’s almost certainly because I’m allergic to them, but they don’t run after sticks in the park or play football like Dogs do.

4. Another reason for the Cat thing, I missed the final day of a Football ‘Soccer School’ because I was too ill to go – all because I stayed at my Aunties house full of cats (before I realised I was allergic).  I won ‘Player of the day’ for the previous day and wasn’t there to accept my award :(. I begrudge all cats for that reason.

5. I absolutely love stationary.  My room is full of notepads, jotters, files and folders which I have a compulsion to buy.  Then there’s the thousands of pencils, pens, rubbers, felt tips…..

6. I love to sing when I’m on my own.  I would never ever ever ever (repeat x 100) sing in front of people, but when I’m driving or in the house alone I sing at the top of my voice and it always lifts my mood.  Stevie Wonder is a favourite of mine.

7. My hair is super curly.  Mostly, you wouldn’t know though because I straighten it to death (got to love GHD’s).

Ta da!  I can’t believe how long it took me to think of 7 random things, that’s a bit ridiculous.  To those I nominated, you have already been nominated by Ellie so if there is somebody I have forgotten (and there almost certainly will be) but I haven’t put you up there, please fill it in anyway!

And now the ‘Reader Appreciation’ questions:

1. What is your favourite colour?

Red.  It is the colour of my football team and when I wear red t-shirts/jumpers I feel quite brave because it is a nice, bright colour.

2. What is your favourite animal?

Pet-wise, definitely Dogs.  I miss our old Dog a lot, and didn’t realise how much I would until he died.  My favourite animal outside of pets are definitely Monkeys.  They’re awesome.  They’re cheeky, they bounce around and fight with each other and play catch and hide and seek.  They swing about and laugh and show off at the Zoo, I just think they’re ace.

3. What is your favourite non-alcoholic drink?

I am a complete Tea addict.  I probably drink over 10 cups a day (I’ve never really counted, but I will today and see what number I get!)  I also love Diet Coke.  I know it’s probably bad for you but I don’t care to be honest, it tastes nice and quenches my thirst in a way water never does.

4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook for stalking people I know, Twitter for stalking people I don’t.  That’s the condensed version of my reasoning!  I use Facebook to stay up to date on what my old school/uni friends are up to – but in all honesty I never see them in real life so it’s a bit pointless.  I just like to be nosey.  I love Twitter for keeping up to date with the news, and it’s really great for teaching as well – people are always around to give ideas and advice.

5. What is your favourite pattern?

This is a really odd question.  I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it.  I quite like stripes because they look nice and tidy.  I also like swirls like this because it’s the sort of doodle I used to do when I was bored in school.

6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents?

Giving!  I always go OTT.  I’m told I’m a very good present buyer because I always listen out for things people might want, looking for snippets of information to help me buy the perfect present!  I like receiving actual presents – but feel horribly awkward and self conscious when I have to open them.

7. What is your favourite number?

For Footballing reasons, 7.  For Birthday reasons, 27.  This is very weird for me because ordinarily – I like things to be even.  Choosing two odd numbers for my favourite numbers is against my usual compulsion to have EVERYTHING even!

8. What is your favourite day of the week?

I like Sundays for Sunday Lunch and Football (during the season).  When working, I like Wednesdays because you’re half way there.  Tuesdays suck, officially the worst day of the week.

9. What is your favourite flower?

I love Sunflowers because they’re big and bright.  Lillies are another favourite, they look elegant and smell nice (except the stupid orange bit which stains clothes)

10. What’s your passion?

Erm, I don’t know.  I don’t think I’m ‘passionate’ about anything really.  I like stuff though.  I like music and football.  I don’t know if I could say I’m passionate about them.

Four.

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That is the year group I will be teaching next year.

I GOT OFFERED A JOB TODAY!

In case you can’t tell, I’m a little excited.  Well, excited and terrified in equal measures.  Actually, make that 30% excited, 70% petrified.   After last weeks rejection as a “ridiculously close second” I was beginning to think I’d never get a teaching job.

I don’t know if I can do this.  I will be in charge of educating 30 children aged 8-9 and making sure they make progress, learn and enjoy themselves.

That sounds simple enough, but I also need to learn the Year 4 Curriculum, the targets for Literacy/Numeracy/Science/History/Geography/ICT/PSHE/RE/DT/Art…oh bugger!  The amount of work scares me shitless, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.  After a year out of work it’s time to really get down to it and actually start doing something productive.

I think I will struggle, physically, to begin with and then mentally as the school year progresses!  I am very physically weak at the moment, and have been referred to physio for joint problems which are making it hard to be on my feet…needless to say I haven’t informed my employer of this because I think I should be a lot better by September.  Hopefully.

I know I need to keep my intake up, there is no way on earth I would survive the school day with minimal food.  It’s not possible.

Having not posted in a while, I’ll do a quick update.  I posted the other week after seeing the Doctor when I was still gaining but at a slightly slower rate (woop!) when he talked about maintaining now, having overshot my pre-ed weight and being a healthy weight.  He assured me that my period would reappear soon enough and that I don’t necessarily need to gain more weight.

I thought I was fine with that, but the days following only proved to myself that I’m not ready to let go just yet.  At the weekend, I cut my intake to around 2000 (not intentionally that amount, I just skimped on snacks which lowered my intake).  In between the appointment with him to an appointment with the Dietitian the following Wednesday I’d lost 1lb.  That is the first time since starting recovery that I’ve EVER lost anything!  A small part of me was thrilled (I can still do it! I can still lose weight!) but a lot of me wasn’t.

I know 1lb is nothing, people gain/lose 5lb a day – but because it was the first time EVER it has happened, I was a bit surprised.  I shouldn’t have been, really, because I had lowered my intake without really knowing what the hell I was doing and it was stupid.  At my appointment on Wednesday, I told the Dietitian I was a bit confused and don’t know what I’m doing, I can’t eat the right amount.  Always too much or too little, not just ‘enough’.  I knew I was restricting, I felt hungry and didn’t eat – that’s wrong.  I haven’t done that in so so long, it’s amazing how easy it is to fall back a bit.

Well, long story short, I’m still eating to gain.  I snapped out of stupid restricto-mode (a lot easier than I thought) and bumped my cals back up.  It was only 4 days of a slightly lower intake but it’s enough to make a difference, both physically and mentally.  I feel safer when I’m eating to gain, I feel like I have a purpose (despite being wholly uncomfortable with my body sometimes) but when I’m maintaining, it’s just…boring.  The fun is gone.  It’s a chore.

I was pleased with the appointment with the Dietitian because she essentially gave me permission to keep pushing.  Previously, I would have freaked because I’m already too big for ‘me’, but if it truly drives the eating disorder into remission then it’s a price I’m willing to pay.  I still hate the appearance of my body, the cellulite (which has now spread to my stomach and arms, oh fun times) but some days I don’t notice it.  Some days I’m just me, not a big gross monstrous mess.  I like these days and would like more of the please 🙂

I will write more soon, but I am absolutely shattered after today’s interview stress!  I have 2 months to learn how to teach Year 4…

 

Where’s my cake?

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That’s how I greeted the Doctor this morning.  How pathetic that I have absolutely nothing better to do on my Birthday than attend a Doctors appointment!

The appointment went well, probably the best one yet because I have got to know him a bit now and he’s actually pretty cool.  We spoke about the gain (he’s still amazed I’ve gained that much and I’m still going) and how it might be time to maintain.  I don’t know how to do this!  I don’t know how to eat enough – but not too much.  It’s easier said than done.  I’m also worried about maintaining my weight before I’ve got my period, he said it may just take time and I’m at a weight where it would be expected to start again…but it hasn’t.  So far, I’ve followed the advice on the Gwyneth Olwyn blog and not gone under 2500 calories and if I was to continue following this I should keep my intake the same, but my Doctor is advising otherwise so I don’t know what to do.  I already feel far too big for “me” – I’m not huge in comparison to the general public, I know this, but for me – I’m gigantic.

We also talked about life in general, and how I am nothing like I expected I’d be at 28 years old.  When I was younger, I always imagined I’d be married with children at this age, it’s something I really wanted and just thought it would automatically happen – well, it hasn’t.  I can’t remember the last time I had a boyfriend, or a kiss even and that’s more pathetic than I’d care to admit.

I know I need to be proactive about this, I’m not likely to meet anybody sat on my couch but it’s not that easy.  When you’re as nervous, embarrassed, self conscious and unconfident as I am I can’t just “get out there” as he suggested.  Also, even if I did ever meet somebody I know I’ll never feel comfortable getting close with somebody while I’m in this body.  Nobody wants the legs and bum of a 60 year old cellulite ridden, flabby woman paired with the torso of a 12 year old boy. Not the best combo.  He did make a suggestion which made me laugh – speed dating.  He was deadly serious and we had a really good laugh about it, I told him I’d feel like an idiot and he insisted it’s actually really good, you’re not stuck with anyone for long enough for it to be awkward.  At best you meet someone, and at worst you have a funny story to tell friends in the future!  He said he’d been before and it was brilliant, when I said isn’t it a bit weird, he told me that he’d met his wife on a blind date and now they see it as amusing.  It definitely gave me something to think about, but I really don’t think I’d have the guts to go, I wouldn’t have a clue what to say.  I’d be worried about the type of people who would be there, but then my Doctor is very normal, he’s not a weirdo, he’s not ugly, he’s not nasty, he’s young – so I suppose that should change my narrow mind.

He also mentioned meds again.  They were mentioned when I saw him but I wasn’t interested, I hoped better nutrition would do the trick but it hasn’t so far and he thinks they may help me.  Still undecided to be honest, I really don’t know a lot about them and I don’t want to take something I don’t need but equally, if it can improve my mood/mind/thoughts blah blah then perhaps it might be worth a try.  Who knows.

I felt a lot better coming out of the appointment than I did going in, a lot lighter in mind if not in body (no slowing of the gain – oh my frickin’ god).  My mind isn’t the best place to be some days, and I seem to wallow a lot.  Disappointed with what I have done with my life (nothing) and frustrated that I’ve wasted so many years being ill, it sucks.  I don’t have the children, husband or friends the majority of my year group have (90%+ are married, have a child, or one of the 2).  I need to move my arse and make things happen.

There was also a phone call on Monday evening which sent me into panic mode – an interview tomorrow morning.  ARGH!  Not enough time to prepare.  I’m also meant to be going out for a meal and then to see a Comedian tonight which means I have less time to plan my lesson and also a very late night = stress time.  I’m not sure whether I’ll go to the gig or not yet, I know I’ll regret it if I do go and do shite in the interview, but equally if and when I don’t get the job I’ll regret staying in for nothing.

Oh well.  Happy bleedin’ Birthday to me, Doctors appointment and interview preparation – fun fun fun in Meg’s world.  My parents got me some Soap & Glory hand cream and shower stuff, and these cakes:

Mum said “We got you 2 cakes so you could choose which you wanted” – Erm, I don’t work like that.  I don’t choose 1 of them, I choose both – she should know that by now!  I hate how little self restraint I have, and since my Dad doesn’t like Chocolate cake looks like that one will be all down to me.  This will just add additional weight I don’t need any more.

This is a rushed and mixed up post so I apologise, but I really really need to start planning this lesson for tomorrow, 45 minutes on ‘problem solving’ with Year 5, scary stuff.  There’s a written task and panel interview after that as well so it’s fair to say I’m not all that excited!  I will write a more coherent post soon.

Observations.

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I really should start a diary/journal so I don’t have to spout word vomit all over the internet.

There are times I feel invincible.  Well, not quite invincible but ‘ok’.  Happy and unconsumed by thoughts of food “Have I eaten enough today?” “Should I eat more?”  “Did I meet the minimum?”  I like these times.  I eat what I want, when I want without giving a shit whether I have eaten x number of calories, or if I have eaten the appropriate number of carbs, fats, protein and all that crap.  I like it because it feels more normal.  I don’t know anybody in real life who consciously eats xx carbs and xx fats per day, nor do I know anybody who gives a crap if they have eaten a balanced meal.  This, to me is normal.  The non-eating disordered people I know eat more on some days, less on others.  They don’t chose meals based around certain protein/fat/carb combos.  They don’t try and fit in a certain number of fats into their daily intake, or reach a calorie goal, they just eat.  They chose food which looks/tastes good, not because of calorie content or nutritional balance.  When I do this, I’m super happy.  It is how I was before, and how I want to be again.

There are times my body image is not horrendous.  These occasions are rare, but I hold on tight to them because I get dragged into body hatred all too easily.  For the first time ever, I tried on a bodycon dress in H&M the other day and it didn’t make me want to (a) chop off my legs (b) throw up at the sight (c) cry.  Bonus.  I didn’t buy the dress because I would never have the confidence to wear one, but the fact it didn’t look as horrible as I’d always imagined it would was quite reassuring.  I have an arse now, a really bloomin’ big one, so it filled out the dress nicely.  Shame about the upper body which is still, and always will be, the torso of a boy.

There are times I laugh, joke and smile.  My eyes feel brighter, I hop down the stairs, I might even hop/skip/jump into the kitchen.  The next day I could be drowned in a sea of darkness.  Struggling to raise a half smile, dragging myself downstairs only to have a cigarette in the garden and then dragging myself back to bed.  Smiling feels impossible, and it’s at these times where I can’t even remember why I’m doing this.

Why am I still eating far more than I’m comfortable with when I’m already fat?  If I’m fatter than I’ve ever been, surely it’s time to stop now?  I eat past hunger, I am satiated on smaller amounts of food and could easily eat less, a more normal amount and not feel deprived.  So what stops me?  What stops me eating a smaller, more manageable amount of food?  Fear.  Pure fear.  Fear of undoing the work I’ve put in, fear than I’ll never get my period back, fear that I’ll get dragged back into the eating disorder.  After reading that 2500 is the minimum requirement I’ve stuck to it despite feeling overly full on some days and having to catch up late at night.  This is the bit I don’t like.  I eat because I’m scared not to.  I’m scared of doing damage by not eating 2500 calories, when I could easily stop at 2000 without feeling deprived of food and I’d be nicely full.  I wish I knew when I could begin to eat normally.  I could eat 3 decent meals and 3 decent snacks on a lesser amount of calories, which would mean I would gain weight at a more acceptable pace (slower) – it takes everything I have not to settle for less just yet.

Other random observations of recovery so far:

* I need to eat every 1-2 hours or I’m likely to punch somebody.  I get moody when I’m hungry.

* I need to eat when I’m full in order to meet some sort of calorie goal.  Despite the fact I can respond to hunger cues, and I do feel hunger, I need to over ride these some times.

* I haven’t needed to eat by the clock for a long, long time.  There is no lunch “time”, lunch is whenever I’m hungry.  Same for breakfast and dinner, I’ll eat when I’m hungry.  (That said, I do have an undefined cut off point if I’m not having a ‘hungry day’ I’ll eat meals at a reasonable time regardless)

* What works for some won’t work for others.  Anybody beginning recovery will need to find their own way.  Some people prefer to work an exchange meal plan, some feel free to eat anything whenever they like, others follow calories.  I prefer a mix.  I like to have a basic structure of 3 x meal and 3 x snacks plus extras and like not having to refer to a specific plan.  I know if I had a meal plan I would try to fit my food around it, whereas I enjoy fitting my food around me and I wouldn’t want to consciously think “Ooo I’m going against/over my plan here”.  There is no plan.  Food is the plan!

* I love eating out.  Still.  I always have, and always did eat out during my eating disorder but now I love it even more.  3 course slap up meals are a regular, at least weekly occurrence with our family and I love trying new tasty foods without freaking out.  Oh, and restaurants do the best puds as well.

* Body temperature is much improved!  It makes me wish I’d been in proper recovery over the Winter because I’m hot hot hot now.

* I eat different lunches now.  I do still have an awful lot of sandwiches (easy option), but lunch isn’t always a sandwich.  It could be scrambled egg on toast, could be beans on toast, or a wrap, or a salad with chunky bread – I don’t eat banana & pb on toast every single day like I used to.

* I cannot predict my moods.  I can go to bed in a bright and happy mood and wake up with a face of thunder.  There is no pattern, and it really does ruin a lot of things.  There is also no ‘snapping out’ of it either, it is not that simple.

* I can sometimes eat on autopilot and not analyse my food choices, picking food because it feels like it’s something I want to eat.

* Other times I over think every single thing “are you choosing that because you actually want it?  Or is it a safe choice?”  “You will have to make the calories up later so might as well have something bigger now/You can’t eat something THAT big for lunch you crazy lady!”. And round we go.

* Recovery hasn’t made me any more sociable, yet.  I’m hoping that will come.  I need to get back in touch with the friends I isolated myself from, and see if they’re still around.

* I am less controlling and anxious about dinner these days.  It does cross my mind, I can’t lie, and I do wonder what we’ll be having for dinner but I don’t ring my Mum at 9am and ask what we’re having.  That is (marginal) progress.  I get what I’m given, not what I’ve pushed for.

* I still really like chocolate and cake.  I though as I allowed myself to eat more I would slow down on the sweet stuff, turns out I just love sweets.  Multiple times a day.

* I don’t comment on portion sizes any more.  They are sometimes too large, sometimes just right, and sometimes too small.  I have learned to ask for more if it looks a bit wimpy, and chomp on down even if it’s too big.

* Sometimes, I absolutely love food.  It’s usually when eating out and getting proper nice food which we haven’t bothered to cook.

* Other times, I am so completely and utterly fed up of food.  Eating all. The. Time.  Boring boring boring.  I’ve eaten tasty stuff and sometimes it’s hard to get excited when you need to eat again regardless of whether you’re hungry or if you actually want it.  Needs must.

* In all honesty, I don’t feel more energetic (quite the opposite), my joints hurt and I’ve done something dodgy to my knees which makes it difficult to walk for longer than 10 minutes.  My moods are a lot worse now than they were during the eating disorder.  I had more happier moments then than I do now which is a bit discouraging.

* I have realised that I will never be happy with my lot.  Ever.  I will always want what I can’t have, I will want the body I had pre-ed, or the body I had 10 lbs ago – even though I hated it then and thought I looked like an elephant.  I will not see what other people see until it is too late.  Now, I can see I looked great 10 lbs ago and would love to be back there but I know I can’t.  I can’t lose weight because I’m not done yet.  I need to accept that I will never be happy with my body and just live with it.

* Finally, I should say that even though it doesn’t feel like it yet, recovery has to be worth it simply for the relief on my parents faces.  I’m too old to be struggling with this rubbish and putting pressure on my Mum and Dad.  They should be well free of me now and yet they will likely always worry whether I’m eating enough.  I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for this.

I still have a lot of work to do with regards to body image.  It’s the hardest thing for me and that has come as a surprise.  I never had a bad body image, my eating disorder didn’t bother with scales or weight or fat and now it’s gone full circle.  I’ll eat all the food put in front of me, but looking at my body is another story.  I won’t ever be known as ‘Little Meg’ again, instead I’m ‘Average Meg’.

Turnaround.

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What began lightheartedly, a humorous comment while getting dressed to go out for lunch and some shopping with Mum ended in being sat on the floor in the garden in the pissing rain, crying like a miserable mess and struggling to smoke my cigarette through the tears.

“Ha, isn’t it funny how my baggy/boyfriend jeans are now my absurdly skin tight jeans which won’t fasten!”

tick…tick…tick…

Hmm.  These jeans are designed to be baggy and roomy, now I can’t bend my legs.  I cannot possibly go out in public looking like this, and the new, bigger clothes I bought are all too small now as well.

Disgusting mess.

Lunch – cancelled.  Shopping – cancelled.  Dinner & drinks with a friend tomorrow – cancelled.

What didn’t start as a fear of weight, body image or fat has sure as hell turned into one.