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.:)

Friday, 31 July 2015

The Fear...of the Number...

Those eight years before I was officially diagnosed with an eating disorder, I never had so much an an inkling of what my actual weight really was. Unlike many victims of anorexia and eating disorders, I never weighed myself, never went to great lengths to calculate my bmi; or even counted calories: all things which I used, back then, as evidence against the possibility that there was actually anything wrong with me; that I had an eating disorder. Which was stupid, of course,and I clearly see now just how ignorant I really was; but what is done is done, and I know I can't change the past.

It was only when I went to the doctors on that fateful day, back in october 2014, when I became aware of my actual weight and what that actually represented. I had stood there staring at the figures, trying to hold back the tears of shame and guilt that prickled my eyes as my doctor told me that I was very underweight, and that, if I didn't take action accordingly - if he didn't take action, as well, for it was he who was going to dial the number and bring me to the attention of the mental servies hospital - I could die. Or at the best, cause my body irreversible damage which I would be powerless to prevent or repair. and so he referred me, and I was sent to hospital in January, and it was there when the dreaded "weekly weigh-ins" began.

My relationship with the scales has been a somewhat tempestuous one, ever since that day when I became conscious of my actual weight. On one hand, I fell into the all too familiar trap of becoming obsessed with the three numerical figures which would replace the 00.0 kg once I stepped upon that measuring device - or perhaps, that should be, a torturing device, in my view. But likewise, on the other hand, part of me was desperate not to look, to be blind the reality which was my weight in kilograms. But the hospital made me start to look. My consultant told me that I needed to face up to it, to stop hiding from actuality.

Now I am at home, and I no longer have to follow the directions and dictations of my care team. The scales is hidden away in the airing room cupboard: I stepped on it the other day and spent ages just staring at the number at my feet, my body as still as a statue, but my mind whirring and racing faster than a kestrel in flight. I'm .... kg heavier than I was 6 months ago. I've gained ... kg since last October, when they weighed me at the doctor's. Heavier... Weight... Kilograms... Bmi...

Weight... Kilograms... Bmi...

Weight... Kilograms... Bmi...

I can honestly say, I am just so, so sick of it, sick to death of it - the constant preoccupation with food, calories, desire to exercise...and, of course, weight, and weight gain, and body shape. At times i literally just want to tear out my brain with my hands, as it feels like I am being tortured from the inside. It feels like I have a siren locked into my head, wailing and blaring 24-7. I would give anything, do anything, for that siren, that Voice, to be silenced.

I just wish , with all my heart, that it was all over. :'(

I just wish it was all over. I just wish I could go back in time, to the time when I was free.

Anyway, here is my plan, of sorts. To go to the clinic on Tuesday (for my post-discharge appointment) and I will look at the number on the scales, and I will ask my consultant about it. Whether it is a healthy weight or not, because, to be quite honest, I actually don't know what my goal weight actually is. I don't know whether I am at it or do I have a few more kg to gain, or have I gone over it, or what: Ijust don't know, but I know, that I need to find out, even though it wil cause me so much anxiety. But I have to learn to handle and mangae that anxiety, to overcome it, to be stronger than it. One thing is for sure: I do NOT want to become the girl, who is obsessed with the numbers. Who is hopping on and off the scales every hour of every day, checking and staring and driving herself mad with frustration, crying every time she sees the number trickle upwards. No. That is NOT going to become me.

And I am going to listen to my doctor, my loved ones, my readers. people who I know love and care for me. And if I find out on Tuesday that I have not yet reached the target weight, then I am going to give my all in trying get to that healthy set point. If I learn I have already reached it or exceeded it, well, I then know I have to learn what I have to do to maintain that and not slip up, and, of course, focus on the hardest part, which is learning to accept my body in its natural, healthy state.

Because I know that my body does need that, more than ever: to be at its natural healthy set point. My periods are still absent, my osteoporosis is probably still severe, for all I know. My concentration, memory and energy levels are still not quite back on track. And I know all of these things aren't going to simply fix themselves if I just sit there passively and do nothing. The body will only ever be able to function normally and healthily again ONLY when it reaches its natural healthy set point. I know this; ED does, too, I am sure, but ED just wants me to close my eyes to it and remain huddled in the darkness, afraid to reach out towards the light. But no. I will not listen to Ed. I need to take an active part in my own recovery, as do we all. We only have one life, one body, one chance: and this is it. Why should any of us be forced to live a life of fear and anxiety and restriction? Why do we allow ourselves to live in fear of the dreaded number?

Your weight
is a numerical reflection
of your relationship with gravity.
It does not measure self-worth, 
courage, strength, gentleness, 
kindness, intelligence...
or love.

I know that my weight will never, ever determine just how much I love my Mam, nor just how much she loves me. xxx


  1. Bing hug for that post, my dearest friend. I can't stand the scales, I hate them, I can't handle the numbers. I avoid them as strong as I can, because I want to be stronger than my ed that tells me all the time that I need to weigh myself as this determines my worth, my weight determines if I am allowed to be happy or not, if I am good or bad. I am so glad that you help me and show me every day how strong you are. You deserve the best in the world. Kindest, Mary

    1. aww hun <3 I am so glad this helped you hun. Reading your comment certainly made me feel alot better about it too. You are so, so right . Weight and bmi should never, EVER determine our happiness and sense of selfworth. Take care hun , all my love. <3 xxxxx

  2. I was exactly the same. Until I started recovery I had no idea how much I weighed, what my BMI was or how many calories I was eating each day. Back in April I started doing blind weigh-ins and that has made a HUGE difference for me. And really, I don't see any reason why you should know your weight? I have a family member who is recovered from anorexia (totally completely 100% recovered) and despite being recovered for 10+ years she has no scale in her house. Her view is that she knows what is healthy and she listens to her body and she does not need a number to tell her that.

    I would also caution you against having a "goal weight" in mind. No one (including the doctors etc.) can know what your ideal weight is. Let your body decide. I've read time and time again that this is the ONLY way to really achieve recovery. Keep eating the same meal plan even if you go above your "goal" weight. Usually, in fact, you DO have to go above your set point, but then your body naturally regulates back down. But you NEED to let your body decide. When it starts functioning properly (i.e. when you get your period back etc.) THEN you know you're at a good weight. I found this article super helpful:

    -N xx

    1. <3 hun, thank you so, so much, this was SO helpful and really made me feel so much better about it all, thank you hun <3 and your friend has got the right idea I believe! Personally given the choice I would never weigh myself ever again, as I just hate knowing the numbers and besides, I know myself that weight isn't really the most accurate way to determine whether someone's body is healthy or not. After all some people are more muscular so they will be heavier for instance.

      Thanks a million hun for all your advice. I agree 100% with every point you make! all my love hun you have helped me so much the past few weeks I am so grateful to you, it really does mean so much hun <3 xxxxx

  3. Oh my hunniiii <3 you know how much I as well struggle with these stupid numbers in recovery :( On the one hand there is the scale and on the other side there are the calories and counting them :( but hunn I know we are stronger ;) and as you say no one measures you according to any number :) you are Emmy and not a number, we all love you, just because you are yourself and this will never change ;) Wish you a greaaat week my huuuunni ;) Sending so much love over to you and your hot choc ma girl :) xxx

    1. Awww huni <3 thank you so so much for your lovely comment hun <3 Yes huni, it really is so true. Not one of us should feel like we are defined by a number huni, we are worth so so much more, the number of the scales is NOT important hun <3 love, happiness, friendship and health is what is most important in life, NOT the numbers on the scales! aww hun you too huni take care my Nutella girlee <3 xxxx

  4. My dear friends Ange and Emmy, we live our lives for us, not for numbers. I don't want to be a number, we are strong, brave and worth to live a beautiful life full of love and happiness. We fight together. In love, Mary

    1. <3 <3 <3 all my love to you too Mary hun <3 xxxxx