At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The fear of sitting still. :(

There is something else now I would like to talk about, which isn't exactly and directly related to food and eating, but can still be thought of as linked to ED behaviour and symptons in some way. This being overexercising and the fear of actually sitting still. Again, I suppose some normal, healthy people who have never been touched by anything to do with an ED may think of this as pathetic or non-sensical...and I say, again, well yes, perhaps it may be...but, as I hope you've come to realise if you've read some other posts of My Cocoa-Stained Apron, an ED is very much a mental disease more than anything really affects the way a person thinks, and feels, and then accordingly acts as a result of that train of thinking.
For many ED sufferers, along with eating as little as possible, exercising excessively is yet another way to try to burn off those few calories and eradicate all chances of that one ultimate fear...gaining weight. And so it was for me, I suppose. Every day I had to get a certain amount of exercise I was convinced that this set amount was what, along with that set amount of food that I allowed myself to consume, was what kept me skinny and prevented me from becoming fat, or gaining weight. And if I didn't get that set amount done by the end of the day...I would bbe so, so restless and agitated and anxious. I would go to bed with my mind whirring at a hundred miles per hour, wondering desperately how I was going to make up for those minutes of exercise that I hadn't done...God, will it be raining tomorrow?? Will I be able to getout on the lane and exercise?? Oh please, please, please may it not be raining!! I NEED to make up for today, I need to! Even if this time I had "missed" out on was only, say, quarter of an hour or something...this wasn't good enough for me. 
I say "exercise", but the one thing that could be said for me I suppose was that it actually wasn't strenuous exercise, or anything. I have always loved walking...the ideal start to any day, for me, is to hop out of bed, put the lead on Benny, my springer spanial, and to just get out into the fresh air for a long, brisk walk. But when I was ill...well, walking became, for me, an obsession...I had to get at least 90 minutes of brisk walking done every single day, whatever the weather, no matter how busy I was with other things, no matter how tired, down, or bodysore I felt. I pounded down our lane every day, when I was at home, for hour upon hour every week; and when I was in Dublin, it was the same...I would walk through those city streets looking at my watch every five seconds, timing how far I had walked and making a mental note of this in my head.
Fortunately for me, the walking was as far as it went...of course, I wished I was able to play sports, and run, and so on...but I was too shy and nervous to attempt to join a sport club or go to the gym in college. And even I wasn't so caught up in my ED thoughts to not be aware that my body was struggling; that it was tired, that it was nearing the brink of exhaustion. So I walked...and walked..and walked. Even when it was lashing rain outside or was freezing cold and slippery underfoot; or if I hadn't slept at all the night before due to stress or hunger, and my head and body would be literally crying out for sleep, for rest...I would be oblivious to it all. 
I know I am of a restless disposition: I always have been, and sitting around doing nothing or lazing about in bed till midday will never really be my thing. And I will always love to walk...and that's ok; walking is a wonderful enjoyable way to exercise, and it will always give me so much pleasure. But to exercise I know now...I need to eat. I need to exercise in moderation and in tune with what I am nourishing my body with. And I understand niw, too, that if there is the odd day that I just don't want to exercise...then that is ok, too. After all, there are plenty of other things I can do with my time instead; I don't need to pace the house in a frustrated state of agitation, trying to burn off something, just something, anything...because I didn't exercise enough today!! No, I no longer have to do that. I'm learning to listen to my body...and to overcome my former fear of sitting still.

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