Saturday, 21 January 2012

Urgh... no me gusta...

So this morning was my weigh in, and... Nicht. Nada. Nil points. Big fat same weight as last week.

This is, well, annoying. I've only had this happen once before and that was back in October on a week where I ate more than I should and did really little exercise. I kinda accepted it then. But this week... okay, I ate above my goal on Monday (though only by a couple hundred calories), but I was well under every other day (aiming for a 1500 cal deficit), and I ran five days out of seven, walked all days, went swimming, did my bodyweight exercises... What more could I have done?

Don't really understand it. Pretty discouraging, but I guess there's nothing to do but keep going.

Onwards and upwards and all that.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Notes to self:

1. Eating 1600 calories today is NOT a problem. Remember that's only just over your BMR. It still puts you in a deficit. Relax, for goodness sake.

2. New and unexpected sources of stress in your life do NOT, I repeat, do NOT give you leave to countenance thoughts of hurting yourself, severely restricting, or trying to make yourself sick. None of these things will solve your problems. They will only make them worse.

3. Smile. You're nearly through these exams and you're doing fine. You will find somewhere to live next year too.

4. Go swimming tomorrow. It will make you feel better.

5. Get some sleep. Wake up early, eat breakfast, and study for your exam.

6. You can do this. You have come so far from the girl you were, but you can go much much further. Just keep going. Girl, you got this.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Food, glorious food!

Ah, I'm feeling so good about food at the moment. Went shopping yesterday after my exam and restocked on masses of veg and fruit and all sorts of yummy things.

My most epic discovery, which I'm still excited about, was:

Aldi's Chocolate Orange Cereal Bars. They're awesomesauce.

Now, normally, I wouldn't bother trying to touch cereal bars with a barge pole. You know cereal bars right? Dry? Tasteless? Absolutely full of sugar? More trouble than they're worth?

Not these ones! They taste like Terry's Chocolate Orange meets flapjack, have only 4.3g of sugar per bar, and (get this) 5g of fibre! More fibre than sugar! Score. They knock sweet-cravings stone dead and keep you full at the same time. I'm in love.

Also, this afternoon, I made frozen banana 'ice cream' for the first time. I've seen people talk about this so many times on the net, but it truly is as cool as they say. You just chop a banana, freeze it for a few hours, whack it in a food processor, pulse, and hey presto! Ice cream! Or that which closely resembles it and tastes like a banana milkshake! Who could want more?

(Incidentally, I think I'm rather abusing exclamation points in this post, for which I apologise. I also apologise for the 'hey presto!' just there... I don't know what came over me.)

I've rediscovered kiwis too, which I haven't had in aaaages. But they're fun and tasty and at 40 calories for a small one, what's not to like?

For a final triumph, I experimented with the Shirataki noodles I'd ordered from the internet. For anyone who doesn't know (these come up on the net almost as often as the frozen banana thing...), these are traditional Japanese noodles made from a try of yam. They basically consist of water and soluble fibre, so they're ridiculously low calorie... like 20 calories per portion. Now, it's true, they do have a somewhat rubbery texture and taste of basically nothing, but whack sufficient soy sauce with them and enough veggies to disguise the feel and you're good to go. Certainly miraculously filling, but unfortunately a bit expensive to become a kitchen staple for me.

So I've been having all sorts of food adventures.

Also, I've now done three 30 minute non-stop runs, which I think is sufficient to prove it's not a fluke. I can officially run for half an hour. And I can run about 3 miles or 5km in that time. I'm pretty proud of that.

And I lost 2 pounds this week.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I think the term is 'Non-Scale Victory'?

So earlier today I was really craving something sweet and I unfortunately remembered that I had half a packet of biscuits in the back of the cupboard that I'd totally forgotten about. So I had one. And then, an hour or so later, I had another. And then, I stopped myself, and I lay down on my bed and put my hands on my stomach and took a few deep breaths and told myself that I wasn't hungry and the biscuits weren't doing me any good at all, and if I was hungry I could go and eat a damn satsuma. And no more biscuits for me. Success.

In other good news, I had to order a new bra because my only decent one tragically broke last week. I felt daring and ordered a 34 size, when I've always had a 38 or 40 before. It arrived today and it fits! Slightly snug but actually pretty comfortable. Success.

While I've been without a decent bra, I've been unable to go running or do any proper random jumping around which has, shockingly, been really really really frustrating. Six months ago I'd have laughed so hard if you'd told me I'd miss running if I couldn't do it for a week. But guess what? I've really missed running! So much so that I tried to run in a shockingly badly fitting bra, and let me you that was one bad idea. Ow. But hey, I'm all kitted up now and tomorrow morning I am going out for a long long run and I cannot wait. Positive attitude towards exercise? Hell yeah! Success.

So, all in all, calorie limits are being kept to, self-disciplined revision for exams is happening in moderate amounts, continuous sugary snacking out of stress and boredom is not happening, sleep is being got, good times are being had.


Saturday, 7 January 2012

What a difference a year makes...

So, it's a year to the day since I was huddled on the floor of my hall bedroom, numb and shaking, trying to make sense of what just happened and equally trying to block it out completely. I still don't quite know how to describe it, or how to express what I think.

When I made myself write about it two months later, this is how it came out:

"I didn’t fight him. That’s still the worst thing. I didn’t even think to. I couldn’t even think, it didn’t seem real, what was happening. I couldn’t stop shaking, I remember gasping for breath but still feeling like I couldn’t breathe, and trying to stifle any sound for fear he would hear. And trembling, shaking so hard as though with freezing cold. I know he was speaking but I have no idea what he said. It was as though he was speaking a foreign language, as though the situation wasn’t real at all, like I didn’t realise what was happening, but at the same time I was so scared, of him, of myself, of the silence in my head where the right words should be, where the fight should be. Half naked, pushed over my bed, with rough blunt fingers probing between my legs. ‘I could fuck you’, he said. But he didn’t, just pushed me back to the floor and forced himself so far into my mouth again that I felt the bile rise, again and again, and even when instinct tried to make me recoil, he gripped in my hair and held me there, his cock brusing the back of my throat. I remember that it hurt, that I was praying in my mind for it to end, but I couldn’t stop it. That feeling of helplessness, of having no control. The absurd thing was, it was almost as though I was trying so hard to hide from him everything I was feeling. I remember thinking, ‘just wait until he leaves, then I can fall apart’. It didn't hit me straight away, what had happened, but slowly it crept into every part of my life. It ripped apart everything I thought about my judgement, about my reactions to situations. It was anomalous, I know- I was depressed and significantly self-destructive, desperately lonely, isolated, frustrated, terrified, overwhelmed, lower than I’d felt in years. But what I did, what I let him do- suddenly it threw everything into question, made me unable to trust myself, to trust my judgement of situations, of people, of myself and how I’m feeling and what I should do. And it bleeds into everything, the uncertainty, the sort of blankness, the fear and the awkwardness. And then I get that feeling again, the pressure in the back of my throat, the tightness, feeling unable to breathe, gasping gasping for breath, and then I can feel his hands again, can hear him again, feel everything again. I wish he would leave me alone."

Was I raped? No, I don't think so. For one thing, tab A never exactly entered slot B, but more importantly I didn't actually try to stop him, I didn't say 'no'. Funny thing is, I think he would have stopped if I had... he wasn't a bad guy, you see, and I really don't think he was a rapist. As for me, I felt I couldn't stop it, or I didn't know how to stop it, or I couldn't make myself try to stop it... I don't know. It's hard to figure out exactly what was going on in my head at the time. But the point is, I let it happen. I very consciously let it happen.

I remember thinking things like "I've led him on now, I can't back out" and "It's not so bad, if he's enjoying it what does it matter how I feel?" and "It'll be over soon" and "He's the first person ever to want me like this, what if he's the only person? I'm hardly in a position to be fussy" and "I don't want him to get angry."

These are all very much my own insecurities, my own fucked-up thought processes. If I was raped, if I was attacked, if I was abused that night, it wasn't him who did it. It was ME. It was my own self-hatred, my own crippling fears, my own misery. In a way, I think I was just using him to hurt myself, or maybe I should say letting him use me to hurt myself. It was passive self-harm.

The only person I've really talked about this to, however briefly and by email only, rather predictably set off on a tirade against my self-blaming, completely condemned him, and told me repeatedly that it wasn't my fault. Bless her, she meant well, but she didn't understand in the slightest. It was my fault- and realising that was essential to me moving forward from it. I wasn't a helpless victim, and I don't believe he thought he was forcing me. He thought we were playing rough, that's all. The blame doesn't lie with him. I'm an adult. I'm capable of rationality. I'm capable of deciding my actions. I put myself in that situation and I failed to act to get myself out of it. What he did is hardly important. It's what I did, or what I didn't do, that matters.

It was, one might say, the sharp shock I needed to convince myself once and for all that I needed to change, because I was, frankly, a danger to myself. And I have changed. I'm not fixed yet, far from it, but that changes in my mindset and how I think about myself over that past year have been leaps and bounds, and I do think I've managed to climb so far up because I had that moment, a year ago, of plummeting lower than ever before. Those things that happened, that turned me into a nervous wreck, that landed me with insomnia and recurring nightmares, social paranoia, and a hefty dose of shame... they had positive effects to. They became a motive for change. Just like what I was saying in my last post about that last time that I cut, the memory of what I let happen that day is like a constant reminded why I can never let myself go back to being that person.

"The memory of choosing not to fight..." is a lyric from the beautiful song 'Answer' by Sarah McLachlan. It describes so well how I remember it.

I chose not to fight. That was a mistake. I'm learning from it. So that, if the choice comes again, I'll make the right one. Because I deserve better than to treat myself like shit. And it's time I made myself realise that.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Any New Year's Resolutions?

No. Not a single damn one.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I think it's a fallacy to think that just because the number in the date has changed, you'll magically suddenly find yourself with the resolve and the determination to achieve goals you set yourself. If you have that resolve and determination in you, you don't need a New Year. You don't need to make a resolution. You are the one person who can change your life. Not a date.

On a more practical note, I don't think the New Year is a time at all conducive to keeping resolutions. The first day you're unlikely to have slept well, for maybe a couple of days your routine will be way-off normal, you're likely to be busy with social arrangements, and everything will soon change once you return to work/school/uni, etc. Moreover, it is entirely socially acceptable to break your New Year's resolutions. In fact, we accept that practically no one follows them through. Making a New Year's resolution frequently therefore turns into a half-hearted promise that you keep making to yourself, in fact lacking any of the resolve to follow through.

As for me, the last time I made a New Year's resolution was in 2007. On the 1st January, I resolved to stop self-harming, which I had been trying to do for a couple of months with minimal success. By 3rd January I was insanely triggered and I slipped up. The feelings that triggered me, combined with an additional crushing load of guilt and failure from 'breaking my New Year's resolution', and the despair that no matter what I resolved I'd never be strong enough to stop, sent me into a serious spiral of depression and I ended up cutting and cutting and cutting. I cut so badly on my upper arm that I had to bandage it with a sanitary pad to control the bleeding. The scar is still obvious. By the end I was crying so hard I couldn't breathe, and lashing at my body with a short metal chain, which I'd stolen from my brother's jeans and used to hit my back, sides, and legs with, during really bad self-harming. I hurt myself because I had failed and the more I hurt myself the more crushing the failure felt and the more pathetic I knew I was, and so the more I hurt myself. When it was over, I sat numbly on the floor of my bedroom, and looked at myself, and hated myself, and hated what I had become, and that was where I found my resolve.

Thereafter, every time I was triggered, I remembered that horrifying afternoon. I still keep the chain, to remind myself why I must never ever go back to letting myself do that sort of thing to myself again. So I forced myself not to cut. And it was, probably, the hardest thing I've ever done. And it fucked me up for a long time. I got my first proper bouts of insomnia. Nightmares reared their ugly heads again: I'd dream over and over again that I'd hurt myself, and wake up convinced there were cuts on my body. My scars ached. Some days, cutting was all I thought about, and I forgot to eat or wash or take care of myself at all. I didn't have a period for eight months. I lost two stone. I completely stopped brushing my teeth, and only rarely remembered to shower. It was grim. But I did it. I have not self-harmed once since that day on the 3rd of January 2007. Now, this isn't to say all my self-destructive tendencies have vanished. I still have to work through a lot of issues surrounding the emotional self-harm I've been inflicting on myself all my life. And, as I've mentioned a couple of times in blogs already, I still get triggered. I still get the urges to cut. I still have to stop myself. But I do stop myself. And that is because I am absolutely determined never to go back to what I was that day. It is not because I made a New Year's resolution.

If you want to change yourself... change yourself, no matter what day of the year it is.

All that aside, obviously if New Year's resolutions work for you and are important to you achieving your goals, then that's fantastic, and I wish everyone who makes them the best of strength and determination in keeping them.

And although I've come across as pretty cynical of calendar dates as instruments of change, there is no denying that we divide up our lives into seconds, mintutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, and decades, and of course they have significance.

As of today, 1st January 2012, I am entering my second decade of life. In three months I will turn 20.

By the time I do that, I want to be a 'normal' weight. I have spent all my teenage years 'fat', and it has been - to put it simply - no fun at all. I've already made the resolution to sort this out once and for all, and I'm well on my way, but I suppose it deserves marking that 2012 will be the year in which I stop being overweight. 2012 will be the year that I reach a weight that makes me happy with the way I look. 2012 will be the year that I grow my own self-confidence. 2012 will be the year that I bury self-hatred and self-doubt beneath determination and achievement and self-belief.

2012 will be a good year.

I know this, because I'm going to make it so.