Sunday, 25 September 2016

Update (TW this post contains numbers)

So since I left treatment I have abandoned this blog, with work, life and all the other things I filled my day with increased massively and I just found myself in my little bubble. Struggling to cope, cleaning obsessively and feeling constantly exhausted. I tried alternative treatments it didn't work and I found myself slipping back down the dark spiral of anorexia. It started by accident, my IBS has been playing up a lot lately, I was in pain and nauseas. So I let anorexia take advantage and made the conscious choice to carry on. My body image worsened and I am disgusted by what is reflected back at me in the mirror. I started heading towards that dark place in my mind, it's a horrible place to be when your body is still healthy but your mind has already started the process of self distruction. No one is worried but you're already heading out of a healthy place.

I sat with my therapist and told her what was happening that my weight while still healthy had started slipping. My therapist sat and said to me I'm so scared of failure that I set myself up for it. I've been given a really good new opportunity and I'm already set out to destroy it because I am so scared I can't do it. There is more to it then that but it was definitely a good realisation and a wake up call.

So I went on holiday determined that I would do well and challenge myself. I failed. I came home and realised I couldn't carry on I had to push past this. It's been one week and I'm on my meal plan. I struggle so much with eating in the day which means I eat obsessively at night trying to make up my intake, trying to get to 2,000 calories. My intake is all over the place and I feel like I am eating so much food.

I'm scared I haven't weighed myself since I came home from holiday I know I've put on weight. I can't even look at the holiday pictures because I look so disgusting. I can't bear the image in the mirror. I'm so sure everyone looks at me at work when I'm constantly eating. I hate myself. I hate everything about me. I am so unhappy. I'm trying to push through because it's what I need to do, but I can't face what I see in the mirror, inside or out.

Monday, 11 July 2016

So now what?

On Friday I finished my treatment on the day program. I have my formal discharge meeting in a couple of weeks where everyone from my medical team meet to discuss what would be in place to support me in the community. This is followed up with four one to one appointments with my key worker.

Post discharge I know what to expect from my EDU it will be my monthly check in with my outpatient doctor who will weight me and see how I am doing. If my weight stays stable they will wave me away, if weight drops then they will wave me away. I have experience both, my dietitian said she no longer feels I will benefit from appointments. So I am on my own again. I feel like I have come full circle.

This time last year is when I started relapsing it was the beginning of July 2015. I lost all that weight, went into treatment, restored my weight and have finished the program. As a close and dear friend to me who was suffers from this disorder said to me, what a waste and she is entirely right. What a waste a time. Although we both agree that we both needed to relapse. I was stuck in recovery, I was eating the same thing every day to the point where I could ensure my weight stayed exactly the same down to the gram. Except during my menstrual cycle, and during that time I did no weigh myself. For one week every month.

So now what? I am a healthy weight. I am starting to challenge myself again after a period of panic and staying safe. But still I feel that empty loneliness which tears me apart. I feel this horrible impending gloom hanging over me. I feel in limbo, stuck, I have gone full circle and ended up back in a place where I don't want to and can't move forward.

Stuck. The only person stopping me is ME. I know that. I am stuck in this cycle of behaviours and compulsions but I convince myself that it's okay because I am eating now! I can eat a meal and snack without breaking down and crying. I also spend my hours planning what I can eat at the set time. There is nothing intuitive about my eating and I can't remember a time there ever was. I spend hours upon hours cleaning. As my eating is managed I sew saw on the other side of my obsessions, because everything is clean and I just concentrate on what my next task is then I can't think. I can't think about all things which are crushing me inside. I sound so dramatic and I know I am cleaning away my feelings.

I know I need a hobby, I know I need to throw myself into other aspects of my life. I know, I know! I am tired of fighting, I am tired of dealing with it all. So to sound like even more of a pubescent child, I just want to go to sleep and not think about it all. 

However I have been binge watching Gilmour Girls on Netflix, I love having a series on the go! I guess life can't be that bad. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Weight restoration

So as you may already know about a month ago I weight restored I finally hit the weight range my medical team set for me. Now I understand most people reading this blog will understand and know that the body recovers quicker than the mind. Weight restoration does not equally recovery in fact I see it as reaching the first milestone.

What I can't understand is since I reached the range which was agreed by my team and a weight I was maintaining before my relapse is why I continue to gain weight. I was given a 2 kg weight range initially I was at the beginning of it and now I'm closer to the maximum. Since going on a maintenance meal plan i have continued to gain weight every single week. Every. Single. Week. 

I am usually at the day unit on Mondays where I get weighed. I am currently part time at the unit and spend the rest time at work. So today I went to work and going against every positive recovery message I reached for my scales and hoped for the best. I should state recently I have been struggling to eat my full meal plan I have been slipping in the sense that it's so easy to not have this snack or remove the yoghurt from my lunch. As a result I was fully expecting my weight to say stable, it did not. My weight had suddenly gone up, by a lot. Now I know the logic here:
  • If I restrict my food intake my body will  panic and hold onto all the calories.
  • Weight fluctuates several kgs.
  • Water retention and maybe eating a little more sodium.
  • Hormones  and menstrual cycle.
  • I am gaining because I hasn't reached my set point.

I know all the reasons but I feel angry. I am angry I have gained more weight and that I feel so uncomfortable in my body. I literally  feel so trapped and disgusted in my body. I know it won't go down, everyone says it will go back down once your body has settled. It nene goes down. Ever. 

This blog post hasn't got much of purpose except I just hate myself so much right now. The thoughts in my head are going crazy and I just want to crawl under my bed and not come out. 

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

What I ate Wednesday

Hi all,

I decided to do another WIAW blog post which is hosted by Jenn, click here to find out more.

What WIAW isn’t about

Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt

What WIAW is about

Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!

What I Ate Wednesday is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself and others, embracing fruit and vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favourite foods, and so. much. more. <3

Celebrate Food.  Celebrate blogging.  Celebrate Individuality.
[Cause over here, we like to party!]

This blog post is for Sunday's eats and I am writing this after eating my night snack. I am now a healthy weight and am no longer on a weight gain meal plan, so right now my main goal is maintaining my current weight. It is really scary and the urges to restrict are strong. I find it harder to justify my meal plan and eating now that I am at my target but this doesn't mean I should just give up. So I hope this is helpful for anyone who is out there struggling, I know reading these posts when I was restricting to give me some perspective on what I should be eating. I used to use these posts as a goal to strive for.


My usual go to breakfast is porridge, always porridge. However, as I spent my Saturday in Cambridge I hadn't had the chance to go to the food shop. I had no porridge, honey or bananas, all breakfast staples in my house! Luckily, I had some Weetabix in the cupboard which I had bought about a month ago, I borrowed a banana from my housemate and I was good to go! The verdict, I think I will continue to stick with my usual porridge from now on, Weetabix is nice but I just don't think it is quite my cup of tea anymore! Speaking of tea, I washed breakfast down with a Pukka Apple and Cinnamon herbal tea.

Morning snack

Post-breakfast I didn't do much, I had a shower and threw a few loads of washing in. Suddenly it was 11 am and therefore snack time. I am still on a meal plan but working with my dietitian on intuitive eating, it is early days but I still struggle with some aspects of it. However, the meal plan is still in place. So morning snack rolls around and I am not hungry, but I know I have to eat. I am not quite at the stage where I can skip a snack because I am not hungry the process of it alone would mess with my head. So I go ahead as planned, it was a struggle especially because I didn't really want it. So I opted for a cup of Beanies hazelnut coffee followed by a Brunch and Fusili cereal bar. Now I have serious problems with this, I ate this because it was on my meal plan, but it feels so abnormal to eat two cereal bars, remember I am no longer on a weight gain diet. So I am not sure if this was unnecessary, I stuck to the meal plan which I guess is the main thing.


After morning snack I popped to Asda (a UK supermarket) to do the weekly shop! I still find food shopping quite stressful and funnily enough was definitely hungry for lunch once I got home. Lunch was a wholemeal roll with homemade hummus, salad and olives. I also used a balsamic vinegar glaze for the salad. Now I can't take the credit for the homemade hummus. One of the practical groups we do at the Day Unit is snack, shop and cook. The name gives it away, but for this group of the other patients taught me how to make homemade hummus, her slapdash style was very frightening for me as I am one who likes everything meticulously measured out. Since we had leftovers I took the rest home and decided to challenge myself to eating it again for lunch, I have to say it was delicious! The main meal was followed with some blueberries and an Activia deliciously creamy vanilla yoghurt.

Afternoon snack

After lunch my sister and I popped out to the local town centre for some shopping! Trying on clothes was not fun, my body image is absolutely awful. I tried on a really pretty dress and to say the least it did not look pretty on me. I can't believe how wide I have become. I know I need to accept myself as I am, but I don't know if I ever will. I guess I just need to learn to live with it. So my meal plan has an afternoon snack and then second snack of a smoothie. Usually on the weekends I just combine the two and have a more dense/bigger snack. So another challenge upon us, I decided to go for a cup of tea and the new Krispy Kreme Nutella doughnut. The verdict? It is magical! They're limited edition, so get your hands on while you can!


My dietitian said now that I am at a healthy weight she wants us to work on normalising my eating patterns and introducing new foods. We agreed two new foods a week, this week's new food is pasta. I adore pasta, it is delicious and yummy, but also I have a great fear of eating it. So another challenge today was spinach and ricotta tortellini with a side salad. Also a side note I am eating this from a pasta bowl so this isn't as small as it looks!

Night snack

Post-dinner I had a tummy ache, so I had a shower and made myself a hot water bottle. Then it was time to eat again, I went to M&S especially to buy this. It is a choux pastry custard filled bun. It is so yummy. If I am honest I felt incredibly guilty over eating this especially as I had a doughnut for afternoon snack and pasta for dinner, but I also realise that in order for me to fully recover I need to keep breaking through these food rules. So I had this with a cup of tea!

So that is it people a full day of eats. Now can I be honest, I am so embarrassed to post how much I have eaten in a day. Especially a day when I have eaten more sweet and challenging foods. However, there are going to be some days when you do eat more and I want to show that! It is okay, I am sick to my stomach for eating so much high calorie food. The last two weeks have been challenging, there has been so many food occasions or reasons I need to do things, but you can't plan life. You can't control every aspect of it. There will be times when you have so many different events to go to and times when you don't have anything. I want to keep pushing through and try to make myself enjoy the times when I am busy. I feel huge and to be honest the food I am posting isn't clean eating or very healthy but do you know what it is the food I like. No I don't eat like this every day, but even if I did then who cares. I am a healthy individual, I want this recovery to be different. I don't want to be stuck in the food rules anymore. I want, I need to change.

So tell me:

  • What do you think of the clean eating/health eating industry?
  • How do you challenge your fear foods and rules around eating?
  • Any times on intuitive eating? How do you handle feeling full but knowing you need to eat a certain amount?

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Finding inspriation in others

Today's blog post is inspired by Drops of Jules whose determination and insight on recovery continues to inspire and amaze me everyday. On Monday Julia posted an amazing blog post which I highly recommend reading, you can find it here. I won't recap too much what Julia talks about as I think she puts it so profoundly into words that I am not even going to try.

This blog post moved me incredibly, I was literally brought to tears reading this and I feel like it needs the recognition it deserves. There is such an important message here, you can keep saying I will try tomorrow or I just need to get through today, but you just don't know what will happen tomorrow. I don't want to sound cliché but you may not get a second chance. As you already know I recently returned to treatment and I have heard of a few people I was inpatient in have passed away because of the illness. We always think we have so much time ahead of us and at times I feel like life is way too long but in essence if you are not in recovery you are killing yourself and that is the truth of it.

I recently weight restored and to say I am struggling with this would be an understatement. I am constantly disgusted by how I look. I can barely look at myself in the mirror, it makes me sick. I know it's something I need to work on and I know it is going to take time, but I can honestly say I hate how I look. I hate how big my arms feel, the size of my face and how wide my legs have grown. I look at people who have recently weight restored and I think how comes they look so small and why do I look so big. My mind is a mess and I wonder how much longer I can hold on. I am slowly returning to work and returning to my old life and it scares me, but what is the alternative, slowly killing myself day by day while watching the people I love crumble around me. Something I forgot about last time which came into my head today. Recovery isn't just about gaining weight, no I don't mean its about challenging your perceptions of my mind and food, while those are important it is also about rebuilding my life. 

When I did recovery the first time I had to work so hard at rebuilding my life around me again, my relationships with my boyfriend, friends and family as well as my work life. I didn't realise that in the mist of my relapse I started destroying all the things that I built. Returning to work and slowing regaining my responsibilities back, something I worked and strived so hard for I lost. I forgot about this part, the part where I build my life back up again, it feels like such a mess, but reading these articles make me think. Julia writes in one of her articles that it doesn't matter how you recover, you just need to recover.

I keep thinking that I did recovery wrong, I need to lose the weight and start again. I will do it properly this time, but there no right way to do recovery. Right now I need to focus on building my life back up again, the one I destroyed. I am petrified of going back into the real world. I am so scared, but is something I am just going to have to.

I have been reading a lot of good recovery blog posts/articles and wanted to recommend these ones to you. If you have any good articles or blog posts that you enjoy please share with me, I am always interested in finding new ones. In the mean time stay strong and keep pushing through, I still don't quite know if I believe there is another side but I am hoping if I keep stumbling in the dark I will eventually find the light.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Group therapy - the good, the bad and the potential triggers part 2

So being a day patient and engaging in group therapy means that I am vulnerable about my inner most feelings and fears on a daily basis with a bunch of people who our main commonality is our eating disorders. For this reason you're not going to get on with everyone. We are a bunch of  people, who I may never have encountered in my life, if it wasn't treatment, never mind sharing my inner thoughts which I haven't told to those I most intimate with. 

So understandably you're going to clash which inevitably happened to me. I stood my ground to something which was directed to me which I felt was inappropriate and found so upsetting. My therapist would be happy as I have serious issues setting boundaries, but this time I did. I made it clear that it wasn't okay to say that to me. However, the trigger did get to me. Now I am left feeling like now that I am weight restored my feelings do not matter. I can miss my snack if I am eating a bigger lunch and that's okay. Never mind the head mess that comes along with that or the constant swirl of numbers after numbers which I am calculating. Trust me I am terrible at maths so for me to calculate so quickly shows firstly the extreme anxiety it has caused me and how much I have trained my brain to understand calories. Any other numbers, forget it, but calories I can do quicker than you can say anorexia.

Why are triggers so much worse from someone suffering from the same illnesses than someone who isn't? Maybe because you could blame ignorance or the disorder or maybe it's because it hits that little bit harder when you hear from a fellow sufferer.

How do you deal with triggers? Do you have any tips that help you? 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Retreating to my bubble

For those of you who have read my blog, I took sick leave at the end of January so I could become a day patient at my local eating disorder unit. Yesterday was my first day back at work, as you can imagine I was extremely apprehensive and anxious.

My day started with attending an occupational health appointment; it was awkward. I went in prepared having attended one several years ago when I first started working for my company. I knew I had to simply answer the question and not let the silence mean I end up divulging unnecessary additional information. I have this habit of wanting to share more than I need too, so for this appointment I had to make sure I reined that in. So I finished my appointment and off to work I go.

It was all strangely familiar being at work. One thing that did shock me was how much of a bubble I have been living in the last four months. When I was an inpatient I knew my life had become being in a hospital, but I thought being a day patient where I was still very much connected to my everyday life that it would be different. Boy was I wrong, I have been living in a bubble, where my life became all about meal plans and feelings, where recovery was my main focus. I am petrified about returning to work full time, without the support of the day unit and falling into such a stressful environment. Don't get me wrong, I am exceptionally lucky, I don't work for some corporate company where I am demanded to produce work at all hours. I have an exceptionally nice manager who has been very supportive of my time away from work, but I am still so scared about the everyday stress of being at work.

People keep saying to me "don't think that far ahead" and "take one day at a time". I don't want to not think that far ahead, I am fed up of people saying that. I am scared and I need to talk about it. Isn't it far better for me to think of the obstacles and pitfalls ahead so I can prepare myself mentally for them. Just by saying don't think far ahead - doesn't stop me panicking. I need to let it out, I wish people would just stop saying these things to me, because six months down the line my support will be diminished and I will be in the same situation trying to cope. So please tell me to stop thinking so far ahead. It is the most frustrating thing for someone who is panicking to hear, it is equivalent to saying to a highly arousal person to calm down.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The anorexia recovery manual

  1. Follow your meal plan as prescribed by your medical team/family/loved ones.
  2. Continue to follow said meal plan despite any feelings of thoughts which says otherwise.
  3. Repeat.
I sometimes wish there was a manual which guided you on how to recover from an eating disorder, not to dissimilar from putting together a flat pack piece of furniture from Ikea (although this might as well be written in a different language).

Recovery wise I am doing exceptionally well, I am not officially a healthy weight, so for any of those who haven't seen me since just under a year ago you wouldn't actually know any of this had happened. I look back to my old self, I have a further bit of weight to go, as I was above the minimum weight when I relapsed last year. While I feel uncomfortable in this body I also know that I didn't exactly feel at home in it when I was restricting. So while health care professionals keep reassuring me that I am doing so well, what worries me isn't about being doing well now, it is when all the support is taken away, how well will I do then? Will I manage so long before I crumble. I keep being told that I can't think that far in the future and that this time I am doing it differently.

The steps above worked for me the first time, I followed my meal plan every single day eating the same food at the same time, but it just wasn't a way to live. I was so deeply unhappy and controlled, but also it was the first time I was a healthy weight as an adult and I was eating the most I ever had. So although I was struggling it was the best I had been in years.

Right now I am so deeply unhappy and low. I feel anxious, lonely and sad. I am not sure how long I can tolerate these feelings for. I keep pushing people away from me and I can't understand why anyone would want to with me but then at the same time I am feeling lonely and like no one cares.

I sat their with my therapist, Z, the other day saying I feel like I live my life switching between restricting and recovery, both feel awful, both feel like absolute crap. Z said to me that I never fully recovered and emotionally I had relapsed when I left hospital, which is true, but there is another way. I said I didn't believe her, right now I honestly can't see how things will be any different. I feel so utterly alone and horrid, I feel huge from the extra weight I have gained, guilty for the amount I have been eating and just this overwhelming feeling of wanting to make it all stop.

I just want it to stop, I want to numb it all away.

Does it ever change? Can you ever pass this phase and feel like you can actually do this? Or am I going to spend my life struggling through each day wondering when and if it actually does get better?

Any advice would be great, because right now I don't see how else I can push through this, old ways are becoming more tempting right now I am holding out refusing to give in. My worry is how long will I be able to tolerate it this time.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

What I ate Wednesday

I decided to join the band wagon of recovery and food related blogs of participating in the WIAW which is hosted by Jenn, click here to find out more.

What WIAW isn’t about

Comparison – Judgement – Restriction – Guilt

What WIAW is about

Celebrating one of the glorious things we all have in common: We all eat!

What I Ate Wednesday is about food and fun! It’s about making new friends, breaking out of a food rut, noting changes in your diet/lifestyle, inspiring yourself and others, embracing fruit and vegetables, nourishing your body with the foods that work for you, finding new ways to eat your favourite foods, and so. much. more. <3

Celebrate Food.  Celebrate blogging.  Celebrate Individuality.
[Cause over here, we like to party!]

Okay so now we have that out of the way, I wanted to discuss why I have decided to do this blog post. When I was relapsing I used to read a lot of WIAW and YouTube videos "what I eat in a day"; while I realise that my actions were coming from a disordered place I know that seeing normal amounts of food helped to put into perspective that what I was doing was not normal. During my relapse I realised that what I was doing wasn't right, insight can be a wonderful and painful experience kids! I also wanted to be able to participate in this blog party, but as I was restricting it would not have been appropriate to post a day of my food.

Another reason I wanted to participate in this blog party is because I know how helpful I have found it in the past to see what other people eat, disordered or not, it has helped! The difficulty is knowing there to draw the line and when it becomes unhelpful. For this reason alone, my Instagram page continues to be empty as I do not want to become obsessive about picturing and posting all my food as I have done in the past.

Anyways I digress - let me get started. I am really struggling with my intake at the moment, do not get me wrong I am eating it all, it just feels so awful, but hey that is recovery!

My eats are from the weekend - as obviously I am not able to whip out my phone and take pictures at the day program at the hospital, I doubt they would be too impressed!

Breakfast - first and most important meal of the day

So breakfast is porridge with a side of honey, banana, flaked almonds, cinnamon and some chocolate Peanut Butter Hottie. I also had a peppermint tea.

After breakfast I headed out to the local park and went for a walk, it was lovely until I whistled at this innocent sweet sausage dog. The dog approached me and started barking very loudly and then brought his whole crew of dogs - it was a life or death moment right there!

Morning snack

But first coffee - this quote was very true after my traumatic morning. Morning snack consisted of coffee, an apple covered in cinnamon (I think I have a slight obsession with cinnamon!) and a mixed seed carob 9 bar. I have to say the carob coated 9 bar is my favourite out of the bunch, I have only tried three so maybe I should reserve my judgment.

After morning snack I headed to my local supermarket for the food shop, food shopping still takes me a while to do. I had a bit of a breakdown in the bread aisle - it took me far too long to pick the "right" bread rolls for lunch.


So this meal was a the potentially not-bought bread roll, prawns, tzatziki and salad. This was followed by a Yeo Valley natural yoghurt and strawberries.

One thing I really struggle with during the weekends is meal times, my lunch was at 4 pm. I tend to put off meal times until it becomes really late with my need to complete tasks as I feel like I don't deserve to eat. I am trying to work on that today (Sunday), currently sitting down before lunch.

Afternoon snack

Afternoon snack is an un-pictured as I went out for a walk, but it was a freshly baked Reese's mini peanut butter cup flapjack and a latte from Starbucks. Freshly baked goods are always yum and it is definitely a bonus of recovery


So like my other and snacks this was very delayed, dinner didn't come until 8 pm. While it was late, it was very yummy. I had a Bird's Eye barbeque chicken, couscous and salad with salad cream.

Night snack

R came round on Saturday night, so I forgot to take another picture of my snack. Night snack was a cup of tea followed by my other challenge for the weekend, the first being the bread roll, was a fresh cream jam doughnut! These were my favourite as a kid! R ordered food from Dominos which came with some cookies so I ate one of those too!

(A picture of the doughnut I bought from Sainsbury's)

(Picture taken from the Domino's website - I am afraid to say mine didn't look this good!)

So that is a full day of eats!

A little update, my mood is awful, all I seem to do is cry these days. I am wondering whether I can do this, I am so unhappy, I don't understand why I am so sad and just can't see a way out of any of this. I am almost weight restored now, so this isn't a symptom of malnutrition - it is all the horrible feelings which caused the relapse in the first place.

On that pretty note it is now lunch time, well it is right now at the time of me writing this!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Happy April Fool's day

Hi all,

I know April Fool's isn't an official holiday but I thought it would be a good idea to embrace the silliness and, hopefully, laughter which comes from the day.

It has been a while since I have logged into my blog, this is down to several reasons. Mostly, I am so exhausted from the day program, recovery and constant battle in my head that I quite frankly do not have the energy to even think about blogging or writing. I often explore thoughts in my head but this can lead to remuneration and I need to be better at writing these down, I always feel like these need to be well written sentences, but I should just jot down whatever comes into my head, whether it will be words or a stream of sentences with no connection to each other.

I am trying to think of what I have been doing in the last month. I might do these as bullet points, my concentration is still not as good as it used to be and I am finding reading continuous pros of blogs and articles difficult, but funnily enough I am able to read books. Strange! So what have I done in the last month:

  • I have continued to build a relationship with my therapist; I feel like it is gong really well and I have found someone I can really connect with. I think it can be so incredibly difficult to find a good therapist. I like the fact that this will stay in place even after I have completed the day program treatment and that it is not based on NHS timescales and funding.
  • I have wanted to start practising yoga but I knew that I needed to be careful with being at a low weight, but my medical team actually suggested it as a form of relaxation to help with my anxiety and to help reduce my obsessive cleaning behaviour. I am really enjoying it and have gone to a class but I have also done some amazing YouTube videos. My favourite is Yoga with Adrienne, I am so planning on attending a weekly class which is at a church opposite the block of flats where I live.

  • R went on holiday to America, while I was upset and I missed him so dearly, I did survive! He came back last week Thursday and I am SO SO glad that he is back!! He also brought me back lots of American goodies, I have a slight obsession with anything Reese related, which have definitely made my snacks a lot more interesting.

  • I went to my friend's birthday lunch - I went late as I did not feel ready to involve myself in the food situation at that time, but just the simple fact that I went was such a big deal for me. It is also so important for me to start socialising again with my friends.
  • I coped with the Easter weekend, I didn't just cope but actually had a lovely time with my sister and R. I also had an Easter egg ;-)
  • I ate out for the first time in recovery! My sister and I went to Nando's last Saturday for lunch and I went again with my friend D yesterday evening for dinner.
  • I have been working on tackling some food anxieties including eating; chocolate pastries, bagels, goat's cheese, Cadbury's chocolate pot and unknown calorie cakes and brownies.
(mmm this is making me want to eat it again!)

  • I have met up with friends and have spoken to my manager about returning to work.
  • I have found somewhere new to live and have a provisional move in day for the 1st May.

Wow reading this has definitely made me feel like I have achieved a lot this last month, the power of positive thinking eh? Unfortunately, with the good also comes the bad. While it is positive and essential for my recovery, I am finding it difficult to cope with the weight gain. I am not at a healthy weight yet, but I am also not significantly underweight. I am in the grey area of in between, which for me is incredibly scary. Physically, I feel so much better, I have more energy, my mood has improved, I no longer feel so cold and irritable, which is all great, except now I am finding it harder to justify and comply with meal plan increases and more weight gain. I feel so much better so why do I need to gain more weight, why can't I stop right here. If you are also struggling with this stage in recovery I highly recommend, if you have not already, reading through the Minnie Maud guidelines and this article here. Which both explain why you should not stop recovery half way. I realise that this is exactly what my mind is trying to tell me what to do. Last week I had a meal plan increase and for the reason outlined above I am finding extremely difficult to follow. I have been soo good with following all the advice given to me by my team and doing everything they are saying. So why am I stumbling at this hurdle? Is it because I no longer feel like I can justify eating unless I am at a low weight?

I feel like recovery is becoming harder rather than easier, but I know this is to be expected. I think I am also extremely nervous about the impending return to work next month. It frightens me, alongside the fact that in 2-3 weeks I will be starting the second phase of the day program which is starting to step down and reduce the number of days I attend. Initially it is only a drop from five days to four, but after the initial month, I will then be dropping two days from the program. On one of these days I will be working...

This all feels so overwhelming, why does the thought of returning to the real world scare me so much? Is it because anorexia gave me the outlet to avoid dealing with real life?

Any thoughts? How have you dealt or coped with returning to normal life after treatment?

Did you play any April Fool's jokes today?

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Hiding from the demons inside my head

I haven't written on this blog for several weeks now. This is mainly due to not having the energy to take the time to write down my feelings and partly because after spending every day at the unit I no longer want to speak about my feelings.

I hit a breaking point this week, the guilt, exhaustion and unbearable thoughts took over. I cried, I wanted to restrict and I wanted to give up. I am still here trying to push through, but I am not sure why anymore. My medical team have said I can start practising yoga, which has been helping with my state of mind, but I need to be careful as my relationship with exercise is not a healthy one.

I am not sure what else to say...

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Weekend update and my concerns about taking new medication

For the first time in a long time I feel hopeful, I feel happy and optimistic about the time ahead. I forgot about this feeling, I actually forgot what it was like to smile and feel good. How it felt to play music and it making me want to dance around my room. How the sunshine outside makes me smile rather than fuels and enhances my depression.


This weekend has been so much nicer for me, I am scared because I know this feeling won't last but it is the first time in a very long time, where I have felt more hopeful and like myself.

Depression and anorexia (in my opinion) go hand in hand. Just the biological implications of anorexia leads to a depressive state. My new private therapist, Z, even agrees that I am not suffering from depression, but the depression state is something I learnt from childhood. That I have adopted those feelings and internalised them. It is so refreshing to hear and it is so refreshing for once to be heard!


Even my new consultant on the day program, actually listens to what I am saying and takes this on board. One frustration I have had with my Eating Disorder Doctors is that they are always trying to review and change my medication but fail to acknowledge that I have an extremely low tolerance to sedatives, so they try me on a number of medications and guess what I can't function on them because I just end up so tired and in a zombie like state ,despite being on a low dose.  My new consultant has prescribed me some medication to try, it did make me exceptionally tired, but I stopped taking it. I was reassured that even though weight gain was a side affect of this medication that it wouldn't make me gain weight. I know from the past that what usually happens is that it will increase your appetite, hence you eat more and then gain weight. However, this is unlikely to happen to someone suffering with anorexia because they are so vigilant about what they eat. As I do not suffer from binging tendencies, my consultant said she wasn't worried about this potentially triggering a binge.

I was fine with this, hey it might even work in my favour because my appetite has been decreasing lately and I know this is down to my digestive system working hard to catch-up now that I have finally started fuelling my body again! However, after taking the medicine on Friday night I started doing some research, I found so many forums where people state that it isn't just the increased appetite that causes weight gain but it also suppresses their metabolism, now this really freaked me out! I already have a suppressed metabolism as it is! I eventually want to follow the MM guidelines and I know I am slowly being increased the minimum amount that I need to consume, I am not there yet.

Since I became so scared I have not taken the medication since. I hate being reliant on medication as it is, it frustrates me that I am taking the highest dose of anti-depressants as it is!


I am apprehensive about tomorrow's weigh in at the clinic, but a part of me is feeling so much lighter (wrong choice of words!) with regards to my feelings. My mood has lifted, I really hope it lasts because that endless feeling of hopelessness is too much to bear.

I am going to leave for my sister's house now and have some lunch there. Happy Sunday everyone!

  • What to do you think about taking medication while in recovery from anorexia?
  • What do you think about reading up about people's experiences with medication? Is it a good or bad idea?
  • What are you doing on this lovely Sunday?

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

We need to accept that pain is a part of life

The title of this blog posts is from the DBT group on Monday where we discussed Radical Acceptance Therapy. Today is an entry from my diary from Monday 22nd February...

It has been four weeks since I joined the day program, my intake has been increased by XXX calories and my weight by XXX.

Monday is weigh day and obviously I was expecting a gain considering my meal plan was increased last Thursday. J (the day program manager) said something which made me feel so much more comfortable with the weight gain and made me see it in a positive light. J said, this is much better then not having made any progress and she is right. If I had spent four weeks on the day unit and off sick from work and not gained or changed anything, I would be calling myself a failure. I would be so frustrated and angry with myself. I need to continue to focus on the positive aspects which are that I am now eating an appropriate amount of food and I am slowly, yes slowly despite what my head says, gaining weight.

I am restoring something that is already mine, rather than it being something in addition. So in the same if a friend borrowed £20 from me and then it pays it back. I am not £20 richer, I haven't acquired more money, it is replacing something that was already mine. This is why it is called weight restoring. Anorexia is the friend who keeps borrowing your money and doesn't want to give it back, but it doesn't just take your money, it takes your everything from you, it can make life not worth living and sometimes it will take your life too. I am not just restoring my weight, I am taking control of my life, my body and of myself.

I am willing this to try convince myself, maybe if I write it enough times, I might start to believe it? But will I ever believe it? Will I ever not want to retreat back into my little bubble of anorexia?


Saturday, 20 February 2016

Four weeks into the day program

Hi all,

I just completed my fourth week on the day program and wanted to provide an update on how my week/treatment has been going.

Therapy with A

I had a very difficult  conversation with my therapist A on Monday about terminating our therapy sessions. While I feel that it was incredibly supportive when I was distressed state and awaiting for more intensive support, I don't feel like we are getting anywhere. It feels like a bit of a dead end. I think as I am receiving this treatment via the NHS, and for that I am incredibly grateful, I find it difficult to say what I think does and does not work. So the fact that this isn't working is partly my responsibility. Plus being a notorious people pleaser does not help in this situation. So while I went into the session planning on making it our last session, I now have one scheduled in for Monday coming. I am not very good at this!

Ward Round

On Wednesday I was seen in ward round, where I received some very positive comments from my treatment team. Who said that are really happy with my progress and how much I am engaging in the program, which was so nice to hear. I did ask for some feedback, but I want to make sure that any changes they think I could make to progress my recovery that I can start doing! Overall it was quite positive. We spent the majority of the time discussing how one to one therapy could help me more. My consultant is concerned that unless we deal with the emotional issues of my eating disorder, that I will eventually return back to restricting and losing weight to help me cope with these feelings. While this may seem negative to others, I was grateful that professionals were acknowledging that it isn't just about the practical elements but I need more emotional support. They also mentioned that my weight gain had slowed down, after the horrors of the "massive" increase in the first week (my words no theirs), and that I would need to discuss increasing my meal plan in my dietetic appointment.

Dietitian appointment

So the next day I attended my dietitian appointment, where A informed me as I was not gaining sufficient weight to meet the minimum required amount for the program I would need a meal plan increase. We decided on increasing my breakfast, morning snack and afternoon snack. A said we would address my dinners next when we need to increase my meal plan again. I have found this quite anxiety provoking, I know it needs to be done. I am trying to push through the feelings. On Tuesday I had my first full on panic attack at lunch time, but I have definitely learnt how to manage my anxiety better. I still ate everything that was required and completed my lunch. Skipping my meal plan and not completing food does not seem like an option this time, I think my mind-set is in a much head space this time in recovery.

Private therapist

For those who are not familiar with the NHS, it is the UK's free healthcare service. So my therapist appointments have been provided by the NHS, but this means the length of support provided is limited. I am given 20 sessions, but this means that this will come to an end soon. Part of my relapse was not having sufficient support in place. I looked into a private therapist, but they can be incredibly expensive. However, I found a few who were reasonably priced, had a background in treating eating disorders and were within an appropriate distance for me to travel on a weekly basis even when I return to work. I attended my first therapy appointment with a new therapist, Z, I feel like the appointment went well and that there was a good connection, but I also know it is very hard to judge from just one session. However, I have gone to one session and know that it is definitely not going to work!


The red velvet muffin

As part of my treatment program, the Occupational Therapist, C, will take the patients every fortnight on an activity called snack, shop and cook. It is pretty self-explanatory, we have morning snack together in a local coffee establishment, do a food shop and then cook lunch together. The idea is to challenge yourself and learn to take responsibility for your own food.

We went for snack at an independent coffee shop which I have frequented before, they do great coffee and always use whole milk which I am all for! I knew on my new plan, a good cereal bar and whole milk latte would suffice, but instead with the support of C, I instead chose what I wanted. Not what was easy, but what I wanted. This is huge for me! The fact I willing chose something I would enjoy and was yes higher in calories, but why would I not choose something out of the lovely bakery section. I enjoy cake and chocolate and I refuse to not admit it to my fellow patients anymore! I know when I have been in treatment before I have felt ashamed for not picking the "healthy" options, but the way I see it, if I have to eat and gain weight I might as well have food enjoy. So I had a red velvet muffin and a white Americano. I didn't ask for lower fat milk in my coffee, I just had what I was given and do you know what it was the perfect, most delicious morning snack!

Not the actual muffin - credit goes too this website! It was not a situation where I could whip out my phone and take a picture. Although mine did have little sugar hearts on top!

So that has been my week. I am anxious about the weekend, especially with my larger meal plan, but feeling a lot more positive then I have last and this week, where my feelings have been hopefulness and low. I am now going to have a shower, get dressed and have morning snack!

I am wishing you all a very happy and lovely weekend :)

Saturday, 13 February 2016

"I am so OCD!"

Hi y'all,

I don't want to sit here and act like I am sort of expert in recovery and all things in mental health. I am just your average Joe or in this case Josephine, who is sharing their experience of recovering from an eating disorder. Like many who suffer with anorexia, I don't feel like I "deserve" this title, I continue to argue with myself that I am not anorexic. The word burns in my brain day after day, I remember for so long I couldn't even speak the word or associate myself with it, but more on that on a later date.

Something which has been on my mind recently is the popularisation of OCD. OCD, which many of you know stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, has become more "popular" in the media, such as programs called Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners on Channel 4. While I am pleased that such a serious mental health issue is being recognised and awareness is being build in the general population, I worry about many people having the wrong understanding of what OCD is and sometimes flitter the word around in every day conversation without much thought. How many times have you heard, or even said the phrase, "I am so OCD". This is not to publically shame anyone, but hopefully re-educate some people to truly understand what the illness is around.

Some people refer to any form of routine or "quirk" as OCD, such as the way you like to write lists or need to double check that the car door is locked. However being organised does not make you OCD, neither does being clean or double checking things. I am not going to go into the symptoms or diagnostic criteria of OCD, but to be diagnosed with OCD you need to be obsessing about your behaviour for at least an hour a day, everyday.

And yes it does annoy me that this picture spells colour without the U, but this does not make me OCD!

However, if you do want to learn more about OCD, I would highly recommend reading the book "Am I normal yet?" by Holy Bourne. This is a truly amazing fictional story of a girl's experience of suffering and living with OCD; while trying to lead a normal teenage life; which I think we can all agree is hard transition as it is!

So why am I writing about this? People's frequent comments about their "OCD quirks" really grates on me. OCD is highly associated with other mental health issues, including eating disorders. However, please note that a symptom of low weight and malnutrition can cause obsessive behaviour (check out the Minnesota Starvation Study for more information). At both a low and health weight I have suffered with symptoms of obsessive behaviour, do I consider myself to have OCD? No. I do not think that it is fair to say that I have OCD to the people who are genuinely suffering from this mental health illness. Having routines and "quirks" does not mean you have OCD. Like with an eating disorder, weight and behaviours are symptoms rather than the problem itself. Being skinny does not mean you have anorexia and being a healthy weight does not mean you cannot suffer from an eating disorder.

Having a mental health problem means it interrupts with your daily activities and your ability to function in every day life. This will obviously vary in severity for different people, but does not make it any less serious (note to self, please look above at said belief about not having anorexia!).

My obsessive behaviour is closely linked to my eating disorder, but it does go wider than that. I will not go into specifics with regards to my eating disorder obsessions as I do not want to trigger anyone or give anyone ideas. I know that when another person with the illness says they do or think one way, I sometimes think well why don't I do that? Am I not ill enough because I don't do those behaviours? Anorexia is a competitive illness and it thrives on comparison.

However, my obsessive behaviour extends further than my eating disorder, I also have an issue with cleaning the house. Countless professionals have asked me "well how much time do you spend cleaning the house?". For me it is not about the number of hours I spend doing it, this can range from 10 minutest to hours, it is the anxiety which comes with it. It is cleaning before leaving the house for work, it is spending all day ruminating about what I need to clean and how I am going to clean it all day long, it is running out of work as soon as the time hits 5 pm because I need to go home and clean or refusing the invitations for social activities because I must go home and clean. Again I repeat, do I have OCD? No, but I do suffer with obsessive behaviour. I feel I have a slight insight to how someone with OCD may feel, if it impacts me on this level, I cant even imagine what someone with OCD goes through.

It is the overpowering compulsion of the behaviour which takes over their lives, in the same way as eating disorders. Many suffers say they feel controlled and have no choice but to do this behaviour, there is no sense of relief or accomplishment with finishing a task. Sounds extremely familiar to an eating disorder right? To say to someone with OCD "just stop cleaning", it is like saying to someone with an eating disorder "just learn to eat properly".

So next time you hear or say the phrase "I am SO OCD", take moment ad think about what this really means.

I know this issues extends to other mental health problems such as "I am so depressed today" and "feeling a bit schizo at the moment". I have to say I am guilty of this too, I am not proud of this behaviour, but I want to acknowledge and change tis.

I understand on the one hand it is about not taking life too seriously and having to watch every little word or sentence that you say, but where do we draw the line?

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Two weeks in (almost...)

This is how I felt earlier today, I wrote down my feelings and wanted to share...

I am contemplating whether recovery is worth it when life doesn't feel worth living. it's not so much that I want to do die but more s that it feels too hard to live. I started recovery (again) almost two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, I went to Enfield Town and enjoyed coffee with my sister while I told her how I scared I felt about starting the day program.

While it isn't about the weight, I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me. Yes I have read about million articles about rapid weight gain in the first few weeks of recovery and how this is water retention. Knowledge is power and I do feel better knowing this; but it doesn't mean I also do not feel like a complete and utter failure.

I remember this feeling from when I was weight restored. I felt so lonely and alone. I couldn't see the point in fighting each day to live a life of loneliness, depression and anxiety. This isn't about facing fear foods and weight gain, while bot of these need to be tackled, this is about something deep inside which finds this all too much. I have never fully recovered, whatever that means. The past few years I have lived in a half-way house with fun mirrors, where yes I looked normal, but would I eat hat extra biscuit offered to me at work? No. Would I eat outside of my allocated meal times? No.

I spent one and a half years post discharge from inpatient; lapsing, coping and functioning. Then I relapsed.

My greatest fear is the same as when I first started recovery; getting to a healthy weight and still feeling like this. It isn't just a fear though. It happened to me and no one listened until my weight started to drop. I didn't start restricting because I thought I was fat. I started cutting back on my food because the thoughts became so loud and unbearable that I couldn't take it anymore. I could not function. I was desperate for that sense of relief, until it was too late and I was trapped in the vicious cycle of anorexia.

So now what?

I am in recovery again. What will be different this time? Because at the moment it just feels the same...

My mood really plummeted today (unlike my weight lol. Too soon for jokes? Maybe). So instead I did something helpful, I went and had my nails done. Gel nails are my new addiction, I went for a purple plum colour. This isn't my image but it is this sort of colour

I battled with the thoughts that I should be saving money as I have currently taken sick leave from work. However, since I haven't been buying any new clothes and I have no social life to speak of at the moment, I thought I could splash out on this treat. I am not usually someone who has their nails done, I am terrible with keeping up with a polished anything, plus with my constant hand washing and anorexia the skin on my hands look terrible, but sometimes self-care is needed and do you know what that is okay.

I came home, had some lunch and then headed off to R's house, where I received lots of cuddles and had a nap.

Am I completely better? No, but I took the steps to try and look after myself. My mood hasn't been fixed but maybe I am learning how to look after myself better?

I guess time will tell...

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Feelings of shame in eating disorders (and general mental health)

Yesterday in group we discussed shame in eating disorders and mental health in general. I am sure we have all head about the Time to Change campaign which aims to reduce the stigma around mental health. The day program brought to my attention the work of Brene Brown, a  research professor and author.

Brene talks a lot about shame in eating disorders and how we can only overcome it by talking about it. People can only support and understand our needs if we explain it o them. I very much believe it is hard to understand what it is like to have an eating disorder unless you are suffering from one. However, I do feel like someone with mental health issues have a better awareness of what it may be like even if they don't necessary "get it".

There are thousands of blog posts about what to say or not say with someone with an eating disorder (please note I think that these are very important and highly valuable to building the awareness of eating disorders and how to better support suffers). However, I think many of the readers are suffers themselves and/or carers, but not necessarily other individuals such as friends or co-workers. I am not saying these groups of people should or shouldn't be reading this information, as I know other people have lives or responsibilities that they need to focus on.

So what am I trying to say? I guess how do we build a sense of understanding to the people around us about eating disorders so they can better supports us and reduce the stigma around mental health. Brene says it's not necessarily speaking out to the world, but initially just choosing one or two trustworthy people in your life. If you do to have these people, them please make sure you are seeking support. The Beat website have an excellent number of resources and recommend some amazing forums and support groups in your local area.

Remember ,while discussing mental health problems are important, it shouldn't be at the detriment of your recovery!

You can find out more information about Brene Brown's views and approaches to how to tackle eating disorders here.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Group therapy - the good, the bad and the potential triggers

Today's blog post has been inspired by a topic we discussed in this morning's group on the day program. The Tuesday morning group Body Image, where we were discussing how we feel in groups situations which was a continuation from last week's session.

The discussion lead to talking about group settings and how changes can really affect the dynamics. Changes within a group setting causes me a lot of anxiety whether this be in a work or treatment setting. We currently have two places available on the day program and someone is currently being assess - I am trying to not this get to me because I found this distracted me when I was an inpatient and I am trying really hard to focus on myself. While I am dealing with these feelings better this time; the group's anxiety about someone leaving last week and the possibility of someone new joining and how this may change the dynamics. As it is a small group (maximum of six at any one time), changes can really impact how everyone feels. Obviously, I am fairly new in the group but the other patients have been amazing at welcoming me and making me feel part of them.

Something which the other patients highlighted to me, is that the greater anxiety we have about the changes in the group are higher than say at work; this is because in treatment you are expected to make yourself vulnerable and this can be extremely difficult. Especially as you are challenging yourself on a daily basis on the day program - you are implementing new meal plans and are expected to put on weight.

Group therapy plays a major role in eating disorder recovery, whether this be in as an inpatient, day patient or finding groups to attend as an outpatient (which I have done before). I wanted to discuss the pros and cons of group therapy and some of the approaches to take when attending therapy.

Pros of attending group therapy

  • Finding people you can relate to and understand what you are going through
Eating disorders (and mental health problems) can be isolating and lonely. As well as part of the eating disorder is isolating yourself from people round you, it can also often feel that no one really understands how you are feeling and what you are going through. While doctors and therapist can speak to you about how you are feeling - sometimes you just need an honest, down to earth conversation which makes you feel less alone and realise your behaviour is not only just you! When I was first admitted as an inpatient I remember a huge sense of relief when talking to other patients - I wasn't alone! Groups can give you the opportunity to meet people who you can relate too, while you may not be from the same background or be suffering from the same problem, there is a sense of unity in understanding amongst the group. When you start thinking "omg me too, I do that too!" it can feel like a weight has lifted off your shoulders. I met one of my closest friends in an inpatient setting and I quite honestly do not know what I would do without her support, I joke that she is like my AA buddy.

  • It provides a place for you to vent your feelings and difficulties
  • It can help with building a support network
  • It is a place to learn new coping mechanisms and learn from others' experiences
Now this last one is particularly important - people at the group might be able to give you insight into some of your feelings and behaviours. They even might be able to suggest different coping mechanisms and what may or may not have worked from them. Having professionals in your life is great, however, sometimes the best advice can come from someone who has been through it themselves. It can also be more reassuring, when a professional says to me "it gets easier" - I think hmm course it will, when a patient says that to me, it fills me with hope as they have directly experienced it.

Cons of group therapy
  • It can be triggering...enough said really!
  • Unfortunately not everyone will consider your feelings when talking about their issues.
  • Conflict - I think their is always the potential of conflict when you put a group of individual together where they are discussing quite sensitive topics and making themselves vulnerable.
  • Picking up unhelpful behaviours
This one can be particularly harmful - this is something I struggled with as an inpatient and found really hard to separate myself from.
  • Feeling judged by other patients
This can be difficult - the other day someone commented on us both eating a cheese sandwich and the extremely high fat content in it. Comments like this can be quite upsetting - so be prepared to have to rationalise the thoughts this may bring up. Plus cheese sandwiches rock :)
  • Comparisons - speaks for itself really.
  • Picking up negative feelings
When I was discharged from inpatient treatment my therapist recommended seeking out further support before my sessions ended. So I started attending an eating disorders group which I found online. I found the group impacted my mood - my sister even said she had noticed that when she picked me up from the group I was consistently in quite a low mood. I did not find it helpful or productive, while I do not think this was a reflection on the group, but more so the impact it was having on me. So this is one to watch out for! Not all groups will be for you!

So now we have discussed the good and bad - I wanted to highlight things to consider when joining in group therapy!

  • If this is a group you are choosing to attend i.e. it isn't forced as part of an inpatient treatment, then always attend more than once. One sessions is not enough to decide whether it is for you or not. Small changes in the people who are attending the group that day can have a huge impact on the dynamics - remember some individuals may not attend every session. Remember to give it a try!
  • Be open to trying new things even if you don't think they will work - as part of the day program I attended dramatherapy - now I was sceptical and not really looking forward to it, but do you know what I actually enjoyed it. It made me feel more connected to the other two individuals on the program and I felt like it was really helpful. You never know what is going to work but be willing to try everything at least once, it can't hurt right?
  • Be honest! It can be so hard to be vulnerable but if you are not honest people can't help you. I always find I would rather say "I don't feel comfortable discussing this" rather than making stuff up.
  • Stay away from numbers - I think this one is pretty self-explanatory.
  • Be considerate of other people's feelings.
  • Be willing to be challenged on your views and fears - remember recovery is not meant to be easy and will not always feel comfortable!
  • Last but most certainly not least, always consider how this is impacting your recovery! If it is an unhelpful environment leave it, if you are finding it is negatively impacting your recovery then remove yourself from the situation. You and your recovery is the most important thing and these situations sometimes you need to be selfish!

Sometimes it is important to attend treatment with blinkers on. Remember you need to focus on yourself and not to pay attention to unhelpful behaviour. Your recovery is about you and how you want to change. This time I have enterered treatment I have had a very different mentality, if someone makes a comment about cheese, that is their eating disorder impacting them, but I want to fight through this and not let their eating disorder thoughts become mine. It isn't an easy task, but it is important to enter these situations with an awareness and understanding that this will be a potentially triggering environment, look after yourself, self-care is important and hey it isn't for everyone. So what may work for one person, may not work for you, that isn't a reflection on you as a person, everyone responds to treatment different. Be kind to yourself :)