This isn't an easy one to write. In fact, I wasn't even going to write this at all. As with everything I've learnt, talking about it helps to acknowledge the problem and I find this to be the best first step to recovery.
Very few people know this so I'll just come out and say it:
I have an eating disorder.
The reason why being off injured has taken its toll is because obviously like I've said previously: it's my vent, my escape and my way to help control my already mentioned mental health issues. One of the huge problems I've had with this is how I see my self and also how my peers see me.
I've lost all this weight and worked so hard to do so; and to have my hobby and my fitness taken away from me because of injury causes some serious instability in my self image.
Most of the time, I don't really care and I can put my self in the right frame of mind and just detach myself, but that doesn't take away the fact that the problem is still there,it's not like I'm just going to do something else and pretend it's gone. I guess it's comparable with when there's a spider on the wall of your bedroom and you just want to sleep.
(I hate spiders... I guess you have to as well for that example to work.)
Eating disorders can come in a variety of ways such as Bulimia, Anorexia, Binge eating disorder (BED) or "Other Specified feeding or eating disorder" (OSFED); and as such my diagnosis was about two weeks ago, I'm no expert in this and I'm still learning myself so please excuse my ignorance on the subject. Clicking the image bellow will take you to one of the UK largest Eating Disorder charity websites for more information.
My category comes up under OSFED as is regarding self image and how I control my eating around it. It's a disorder birthed by the parents of self image crisis (Childhood bullying) and an unhealthy relationship with food.
(It's a weird family...)
So before I realized I had an issue, I had obviously lost all this weight by following a set out diet and exercise regimen. I was healthy all the way through and stuck to it religiously. Fast forward 8 months to when I achieved my goal of 16 stone and as soon as I was here the first harrowing alarm started to sound "This is not enough, lets keep going" - This is where problems set in.
To maintain this weight, I would regularly (and still do) weigh my self every morning and every evening, in fact it's to the point that the scales are in the living room (Yeah, Really.) The running and sports are simply something I love and use as a way to help coach and motivate as we all know so that's a constant throughout, but its my diet which takes adjusting.
I Pinch my belly and other areas around my torso and still see myself as being fat, ugly and just chunky all over and therefore the way i'm wired makes me think "people will think your fat, you're putting weight on" and then that's when my mind goes "Do you really need to eat that?"
Simple changes effect me, like my bowl of bran flakes in the morning: recently I decided to go for something different in the form of wholegrain cheerios but I couldn't help but feel guilt and even question myself, I thinking: I shouldn't be eating this. Why am I eating this? Stop eating this!!
This applies to EVERYTHING I eat.
This is the eating disorder, it's an unhealthy relationship with food. We need it to survive, fuel activity and help aid in mental function; however, when your constantly thinking for lunch, you MUST eat a salad and nothing else as it will be too fatty/carbs ect, that's when we have a problem. If I don't eat a salad for lunch and have something else to eat, BOOM... I feel guilt, i'm angry with my self and I will also sometimes not eat anything for the rest of the day because I feel as if I'll just put on weight.
It's to the extreme, I will go out of my way to only eat specific things and at a set time... I MUST eat a salad and nothing else between the hours of 12pm-1pm.
Now with this in mind and how I feel I'm now putting more calories in, let's add the fact my exercise outlet has been severed and therefore reduced. Less calorie burn, Less weight loss, More calories, more weight.
This spiraled further. I have a collection of more medication I take - okay its not prescribed but still - in the form of laxatives. My thought process being "I need to keep this weight off..." by well without being graphic...speeding up the process (you're welcome.) My wife asked "Do you have problems with anything or are you using them for their intended purpose?" I was at the time of first use using them for the right reasons, but I didn't stop when that problem went away. Yeah they worked, but because of that I kept a small stock to "keep things moving".
This instance (pretty much a month and a half ago - WHILE INJURED) was when I started to realize "Hang on, somethings not right...."
At this point in this entry of the blog let me just do a quick summary:
Trying to sustain weight loss.
Taking laxatives as a means to help things.
Target weight didn't feel like it was enough.
What did I do when I needed help?
It took a while, even to just see it my self but my wife said to me a few times that i should think about seeking help as she was concerned. After a few times of us talking about it we decided it's the best thing to do. I had reservations doing it as with the various issues I already have and learnt to control, but this is new for me, much like i was starting again.
There are two ways to go about seeing help, your doctor or in the UK we have access to Steps2change. This is a self referral service which can be used for any issues which can be helped with talking therapies and the service is linked bellow by clicking the picture!
I'm only on my second session, but already have being told what I suffer from and how we can help resolve my issues surrounding food, so now I can start to talk about it. (Good to get text reminders too! - im awful at remembering appointments...)
Again if you feel like you need to talk to a professional, speak to your GP about a referral or use the self referral service as above (Lincolnshire only).
Thank you so much for reading and I hope this helps someone you know or even your self to think about eating disorders and how it effects people.
Until next time!
Stay Strong, Stay safe