A letter to my fat self!

Here I am half way through the week of a new diet and yet again I have fallen at the first hurdle. I was stressed yesterday so struggled to stay on track and then today I am bloated and have bad water retention. This happens each time and I get sad and then eat even more. I am so fed up of being 3 stone overweight but I just can’t seem to keep the momentum going of losing weight! Hubby suggested that I start with apologising to myself about the weight so I thought I would try writing a letter to myself like I did before so here goes:

Dear Jen,

My first instinct is just to tell you to stop eating through your emotions and problems but I know it isn’t that simple so I won’t. I know it annoys you so much when other people say that and then they tell you to stop making excuses. But I understand your bad relationship with food. I know that it’s not really food to you. It is a reward for a hard week at work, a way to relax in an evening, a way to be sociable with your friends, family and husband, a way to suppress those horrible emotions, and most importantly a way to make your stomach feel better. I know you can’t tolerate the feeling of being hungry at all as it makes you feel so rough and eating helps. Eating little and often is the key but I know you struggle to come up with what food to eat and so just eat junk or don’t eat at all and feel ill. But it’s ok to feel like that, don’t beat yourself up about it.

I know you are finding it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whenever you lose a big amount you then fall down and it all comes back on. Trying to imagine being skinny, with a baby and a house is just the hardest thing ever. If you were going to fall pregnant then it would have happened already surely? But you need to stop thinking like that. You need to realise that losing weight is what is going to help you have a baby and make you a happier and healthier person. I don’t know what I can do to help you see that. It is the same with the safety seeking behaviours, you need to realise that stopping doing those will help in the long run. But they both feel like such huge tasks that it is easier for you to just not do them and try and carry on with the way things are. It is easier to look for other things to do, or to sit in front of the telly stuffing your face than it is to get up and do the things that are going to help you. I know that you feel stuck where you are. Stuck without a baby. Stuck being fat. Stuck in living in a flat for the rest of your life instead of having a nice house with a garden. Just stuck in general. I know your husband feels the same way to. Everything that you want is out of your reach.

You need to realise that you don’t have to eat like food is going out of fashion. Just because you have decided that you aren’t going to diet on one day, it doesn’t mean you have to eat everything in sight. It isn’t the last time you are going to eat it! You also need to realise when you are really hungry and when you are just craving something nice. You need to learn when you are full up as binge eating is just making you fat and ill.

Just keep focusing on those reasons why you want to lose weight and why eating those yummy looking things are just not worth it in the long run. You’ve got this. We’ve got this.

Love, your internal thin girl xx

Out of my comfort zone

I’ve been comfortable in my job for three years now and was putting up with going to London but it became to much when I found out I would have to go to London five days a week in the near future. I knew I needed to change jobs but was thinking I would probably start looking in six months to a year as I knew they wouldn’t close my office until at least the autumn 2018 (although my job was already based in London really). The perfect opportunity came up so I took it. 
I started yesterday and everyone seems really nice so far. But of course my stomach is playing up as I am out of my comfort zone and I can feel my social anxiety showing its ugly head. But I am going to process this in an internal way. I decided to make the move to make my home life better so I wasn’t spending all my time on a train home from London. I am going to make this job my own and make this my new comfort zone. I can also handle the nervous stomach and feeling out of sorts for a while because I can cope I will be myself and I will thrive. I can cope with the acid reflux. 

On another note, I have also let myself touch door handles and cold taps in the kitchen without washing or antibac’ing my hands after. I am not going to let the monster scare me!

Laziness – is there such a thing?

I once read an article that says there is no such thing as laziness. If you come across as lazy, there is usually a reason why you are avoiding something. I have been known for most of my life as having an excuse for everything, but what deep down is the reason why I don’t do the things that I know are best for me?

Pretty much anything that takes me out of my comfort zone makes me procrastinate and find thousands of reasons as to why I can’t do it. This never affects me at work, (where I thrive on a challenge) but when it comes to doing something that will make my life better (such as exercise!), I just shy away from it. If I don’t get instant rewards and gratification then I will avoid doing the task required, or at least not carry on if I ever manage to actually get started. Take losing weight for instance, I have a really good week and only lose 2lb. For me, I struggle to see that as a good thing because my stomach is still larger than I want it to be or my trousers are still too tight. So instead of getting the fight in me to carry on, I take the flight option and run away from the task. Whilst I know there is a reward in the long run, if at the time the reward seems low and there appears to be a low risk to my life if I don’t do it, then I simply won’t do it. I struggle to see the reward as it is far in the future and it’s a difficult challenge so I just don’t do it. At work I get the satisfaction of having completed something difficult and, at my current job, the gratification of my boss and my colleagues. But the only person who would be grateful if I lost weight is myself. The only person who loses out if I don’t, is me. Same with challenging the black and white thinking and working through the avoidance and safety seeking behaviour list. I am the only one who will benefit and I don’t praise myself for doing the little things. (side thought – perhaps I should allow myself a reward like a spa day or something once I achieve a certain weight or a certain number of things off the list?).

Perfectionism is a big part of it too. I don’t want to purposely make myself feel uncomfortable. I want to feel perfect all the time, in fact my anxiety disorder and my life has been about making sure I feel perfect. I know in the long run it will make my life better but from this side of things, it all just seems difficult and scary. Doing these things I am not very good at means risking failing. They are a huge task to me and so why would I risk doing something that could make me fail when I could do something else instead? But then I am not being perfect by not doing it which makes me miserable!

There are some tasks that I (and everyone else) just don’t want to do. Things like cleaning the toilet or doing the washing up. But you do it because otherwise it just won’t get done. But when you have someone around who will do those things if you don’t, (in my case my husband), then you are never going to do them! I tell my husband this all the time. If I have done some cooking or something and haven’t done the washing up straight away, I will get round to doing it as there is no way I am going to leave it there. But he gets impatient and so huffs and then does it for me. I know he thinks he is helping but he is also the person who gets annoyed that I don’t do it and calls me lazy. I am never going to be the type who gets up and does chores straight away but I will do it if I have to!

The final reason that contributes to my ‘laziness’ is just being so damn tired. Everyone has every day struggles that make them tired but add to that the constant battle to try and control everything and you have a sleeping machine! My husband says I am lazy because I struggle to get up in the morning. But honestly I am in such a deep sleep that I don’t hear alarms and it takes me nearly an hour to wake up! It’s not because I am lazy, it is because I am so tired all the time (even when I go to bed early), that when I am finally asleep, it’s hard to wake me.

What are your thoughts on laziness? I think it is a term used to describe a lot of other things going on that make you give up the fight. I’m not trying to make excuses for the fact that I don’t do those things, I just know that if I treat the real issue rather than the symptom (being lazy) I will get better. I think labeling myself as lazy is also very external. Understanding the reasons I make myself lazy and doing something about them, is very internal.

Isn’t life confusing?!

Isn’t like confusing?! I am just coming out of a period in my life where I have been in limbo. My job has been shifting from the small town in Surrey to having to work in London and that is not something I want to do. It has been good for challenging my emet but not good for spending time with my family and trying for a baby (both stress and being too tired when I get home!). I like stability. I like to know where I stand in life and what is likely to happen next. I am risk adverse. I want answers to everything in life. I need a reason why. Now this is a typical thought pattern of someone with anxiety. My main issue is not being able to predict things and not being able to accept that some things are grey, not black and white!

Just recently I was offered a new job that would mean I wouldn’t need to commute to London. I was so excited and accepted it as soon as I could. However, my body decided to play tricks on me and I was six days late for my period! My husband and I have been trying for a baby for a year but decided when I was offered the job that, providing I was pregnant that time, I would take the job and we would have a break until I have at least passed my probation. So naturally, I got stressed about needing to come on and so it was late. Bring on days and days of knicker checker and peeing on sticks! It wasn’t until I decided that I would take the job either way and just deal with not having statutory pay that I came on. Anyway, I digress. My point is I spent the whole time looking for the answer and getting stressed that I wasn’t getting one, which was only holding the answer off even more!

Why do I do this to myself?

 

Why do I do this to myself?! Why

Party season or vomitting season?

I wrote this in December but it didn’t post… grrr

It is this time of year when I can feel my anxiety starting to creep its way up on me. 

Those stupid adverts don’t help either where they say about germs being spread on doorknobs etc. 

With stomach ache at this time of year anyway I can’t help but keep wondering if I have the bug as well even though I know it is my IBS and the worry making it happen! I think I can control my desire for control by knowing that eating healthy and washing my hands before eat is going to give me a strong immune system but also that this is something that I can’t control but I will have the strength to deal with it if it happens. Anticaptory anxiety is much worse than the actual thing anyway. But I can’t help having the thoughts that I have avoided it for so long because I antibac my hands etc. 

I think it is quite normal to think that every twitch etc. in your stomach is a bug when you know it is going round. Charlene told me that as her daughter has been sick, every time she gets a feeling in her stomach she stops and thinks ‘uh oh’. But then it goes and she gets on with things. She doesn’t sit there worrying that it might happen and what she can do to stop it. That is the difference. 

If I am sick I can cope. There is no point trying to control the uncontrollable. 

Trying to conceive!

Trying to conceive (TTC) is an emets nightmare. Or at least a recovering emets nightmare. Not because of the fear that I might get morning sickness. It surprises me but since completing Thrive that doesn’t faze me that much. Today I felt a bit sick and I just told myself to get on with things and I did. Just like a non-emet would. Not it isn’t the feeling but that is the nightmare but the fact that you can’t control anything about it! Not when it happens, not what gender your baby will be, not what effects your hormones are going to have on you. Nothing!

Suddenly I feel like my body is being controlled by my hormones. Yes this is true but I mean like I have no control over anything! My face is covered in spots and it feels like I can’t do anything about it. Obviously I could if I wanted to. I could take the contraceptive pill which would clear my skin right up but I have chosen to come off it so I can have a baby. But that hasn’t happened yet and it has been nine months so far! Yet something else that I can’t control. My husband and I can only do so much (if you know what I mean!) and even that doesn’t guarantee anything. There is something stupid like a 25% chance each month and it decreases with age. I will be 31 soon! I just fail to see how this month or the next will be any different from the nine that have already gone before. What will make those different? I get that it is all down to being in the right time at the right place and the boys and girl growing into a baby but with all the talk about luck and mumbo jumbo of homeopathy around, it is easy to feel down about it without that blanket. I can feel my internal locus of control wavering as I try to understand why it hasn’t happened yet and how I can ‘make’ it happen this month. Once again I searching for a way to control the uncontrollable. Sound familiar? That is exactly what Emet is all about. Trying to control every aspect of your life because the one thing you really want can’t be controlled. I am trying to protect myself from failure and stress by doing everything I can to avoid that which only makes me more stressed which in turn doesn’t help me get pregnant! With an external locus of control and a high desire for control you feel the need to control every single aspect of your life as you try to get control of things that you believe you can’t. I hope that makes sense! Take for example germs on a door handle. My black and white thinking tells me there is definitely germs on the door handle to the library because the public use it. They will all be bad germs and will definitely transfer to my hand when I touch it and I will get sick. I can tell myself that some of the germs on the door handle may be good bacteria but that won’t make me believe it. I can tell myself that there may not be any bad bacteria on the door handle but that won’t make me believe it. I can tell myself that those germs may not transfer to my hand but I won’t believe it. I can tell myself that even if those germs are there and do transfer to my hand, it doesn’t mean I won’t get sick but it still won’t make me believe it. That is black and white thinking and is a particularly bad way of thinking when you have a strong desire for control.

When it comes to trying for a baby I just think that I would have been pregnant by now if I was going to be. There is nothing I can do to change the outcome. The positive mental attitude isn’t there and I struggle to remember that having that will have an impact on whether or not we do conceive. Everyone tells you that it is when you stop thinking about it and relax that it happens and I 100% believe that. If I could just tell my desire for control this and it would make life a lot easier! Lol

Anyway that is a quick rant about trying to conceive when you are an emet or recovering emet. Or a control freak as I have been calling myself! Maybe that isn’t the right terms as freak has many bad connotations to it. I need to think of another term. I wouldn’t call myself an emet anymore as this isn’t about being sick and never was. I wouldn’t say I have OCD either really as the not touching the door handle is all about control. I guess it doesn’t need a label (again another Emet trait, trying to tie everything up in a nice little bow!), but I must stop using the word freak!

I gave my niece a kiss!

So you are thinking, what’s the big deal? All you did was give your niece a kiss. But what if I told you that for the past week she has been throwing up in the mornings for no reason? Again, you might say what’s the big deal but for me it was. It didn’t cross my mind that she has been being sick. I didn’t worry about catching something. I just let her give me a kiss (which to a one year old is basically just putting her open mouth on my face!). 

I’ll admit that the thought that she had been sick crossed my mind after but I just dismissed it like someone else would and thought, ‘well if it get it, I get it. I’ll cope.’  That was such a big deal to me!