Recovery Update: Smashing Goals*

It’s been a while since I did an update on my journey through anorexia recovery and given that things are going well I thought it was an opportune time.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of progress…I don’t know how, or what has suddenly changed inside my head but the goals that once seemed insurmountable are now well within my grasp.

The whole way through this I’ve had goals in my mind that I’ve wanted to achieve. To other people they might seem tiny, normal, everyday things that you wouldn’t even think twice about. To me and the way my illness manifests itself though they are huge and at times felt like they might never be tackled.

I’ve invested in a “positive mental attitude” approach to all meals and snacks. Instead of putting up a fight and resisting it I’ve decided to try and get excited and it’s such a liberating feeling. Looking forward to trying something new and not dreading it? How novel! It’s made normal chores like the food shop so much easier (and quicker) and I’m now regularly enjoying things like pizza, something that I love but would never had admitted to even a few weeks ago.

I’m also letting go of rules and ideals about what I eat. Meat is becoming a bigger part of my diet as the weeks go on- vegetarianism has always been an excuse for me up until recently I tied myself up in knots about whether I was avoiding meat for proper, founded reasons or if I was just looking for an excuse to exclude a food group. I’m not the biggest meat eater in the world and never have been but allowing myself chicken, pork, turkey, ham (and more) again has opened up so many new avenues for me and I’m excited to expand my culinary horizons more.

One other goal I had was to eat something I had baked myself. We all know that I love to bake but up until now it’s only ever been for other people. I decided to change that recently, I eased myself back in by making something healthy- carrot and pineapple muffins which were packed full of fresh ingredients, nuts and healthy oils and enjoyed them, both the making and the eating process.

Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows and the struggles are still very much there on a daily basis, especially around weight gain (why does it always feel so fast and so noticeable?) and often the amount of food I eat/what percentage is “good” food vs. “bad” food (although I don’t really believe there is any such definition) and there are many things I want to be doing right now that I just can’t and that frustrates me no end. But I’m more positive and happier than I’ve been in a good couple of years- both mentally and physically. I’ve made more progress in the last three months, co-incidentally since I met my boyfriend, than I made in the last twelve months put together. I’m on an intense but constructive course of therapy and I finally believe that a) I am capable of getting better and b) that for once I’ll be able to sustain good health when I get there.

I’m 30 years old. I can’t keep going through the up and down rollercoaster of recovery and relapse. I for once have things I want to achieve in life, and believe I can achieve. I’m developing my self worth and I’m bloody excited for the future.

I’ll pop in more sporadic updates as the journey progresses, it just felt like the right time to pour all of these thoughts out in to this very public space. All along my blog has been a sort of record of achievement and if nobody minds then I’d quite like to keep it that way.

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Casual to the Max(i)

I love a good maxi dress although it occurred to me the other day that I only ever seem to wear them when I’m on holiday. With the recent good weather that made it feel like we were anywhere but the UK (humidity and flying ants aside) it seemed as good as time as any to re-unite myself with a Summer wardrobe favourite, especially as I had the chance to add a new dress to my collection recently.

Dress & Denim Jacket c/o Krisp Clothing | Converse: Schuh

I’m trying to build myself a good selection of wardrobe staples and I think this grey jersey maxi dress from Krisp Clothing’s basics range is an absolute steal at £14.99. It has potential to be dressed up as well as worn casually like I have here- teamed with my trusty Converse and new denim jacket this made the ideal ensemble for an early evening dinner date.

Krisp Clothing isn’t a website I’ve shopped with before so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to buying clothes and don’t often branch out from a handful of shops. I’m impressed though, the quality of these pieces is great, especially at these kind of prices and they have a great range of both basic pieces and more trend led designs, perfect for keeping up to date on the latest fashions without breaking the bank.

I did suffer a (more than) slight crisis of confidence whilst wearing this dress…I think I mentioned before that I’m at that stange in recovery from anorexia that the weight gain becomes noticeable, both to myself and to other people and the elasticated waist only seemed to emphasise this in my eyes. After squashing down that negative train of thought with a good and hearty Italian dinner though I suddenly became thankful for that elastic and it’s forgiving nature as it made my blossoming food baby that bit more discreet.

I’ll definitely be re-visiting Krisp Clothing when I’m next in a position for a bit of a shop, there are a few more pieces from their basics range I’d like to pick up and they seem to have regular new arrivals and promotions which make it even more tempting.

Have you shopped with Krisp before? Which pieces would you pick out?

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Winds of Change

It feels like forever since I last shared an outfit on the blog- and it has been a long time for me. It’s a combination of things…being much busier these days means I have less time for taking photos and writing posts and I’ve also been feeling pretty uninspired by my wardrobe and it’s contents. Still, I recently received another item of clothing from Stylewise Direct- the fashion clothing wholesaler so set aside some time, wrestled with my tripod and got to it.

Dress c/o Stylewise Direct | Boots: River Island

I’ve written about Stylewise Direct a few times now so I’m not going to repeat myself, if you want to find out more about them and what they do then please check out my earlier posts here and here. Apologies for how creased the dress is in the photos, I failed to iron it before putting it on (standard Laura practice) and yeah…I have no excuse really.

It’s a great dress though, it ticks all of the things I want in my wardrobe at the moment- denim, embroidery and loose fitting.

I can’t say I’m happy with these photos, they are wonky, I hate how I look in them and I was battling against high winds. I didn’t have time to re-take them so I’m continuing my battle against my inner perfectionist and sharing them anyway. That kind of brings me in to doing a little update about life. On the whole life is great- work is going really well, I’m ridiculously happy in my relationship and it finally feels like everything is slotting in to place for me. Of course a large part of that (and it feels, quite literally large) is my ongoing recovery from anorexia. It’s picking up pace, which is great, really great. I’ve finally pulled my head out of the sand and am doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing. It’s taking it’s toll though on my self perception. My confidence in how I look is rock bottom, I can see and feel every minute change in my body, ones that nobody else is likely to pick up on. That is another reason for the recent lack of outfit posts and one I try to keep quiet about, but it’s also real life and part of who I am. I’m trying to accept I still have a few kilos to gain before I’m where I need to be, and that once I get there things will settle and I will start to appreciate and nurture the healthy body I have created. In the mean time my mantra has become “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” and just keep ploughing through.

Life on the whole is bloody brilliant. I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever been this happy. Eating disorder recovery remains ridiculously hard- no matter how much you want that healthy life and body and everything that goes with it, there’s still that little demon residing in your head screaming at you that you don’t need this weight, you don’t need this food and you don’t deserve this life.

But now I accept that’s part of it. And it’s probably harder now that it ever has been because there is no going back this time. This is final. This is it. At the grand old age of 30 I am finally re-claiming my life.

Apologies for the ramble, I feel like this has been brewing for a while. I’ve always been upfront about my battle on this blog and I suppose now, sharing the recovery process with these random updates a selfish process to remind myself of what I’m doing. In some ways this blog serves as a record of achievement for me, so do feel free to skip over such posts in the future, I won’t mind!
On a lighter note, what style of dresses are you loving right now?

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Summer Nights

I actually featured the dress in this post last month in a post where I really wasn’t happy with how things turned out. Thankfully, with the recent bout of glorious weather I had a second chance to grab some photos and I’m much happier with the result.
It’s one of those dresses I bought with a dual purpose in mind, easy to dress down as I attempted to show in my April blog post, and also one that can lend itself to being a bit more formal…and that’s what I’ve tried to capture today.

Dress: Monki | Ankle Boots: New Look

It might be summer (in name at least) but I’m still not ready to let those ankle boots go. I’m still on the search for the perfect, semi-dressy and comfortable sandals- I own plenty of pairs that match one of the criteria but am yet to find the holy grail that meets all three. Please enlighten me on where I might find the perfect pair!
And whilst I’m looking back on my April post, how is that inner critic silencing going? Well, it’s certainly been tested lately as things haven’t 100% gone to plan- not that life ever does, it would be boring if that were the case but I am noticing that I am much better equipped to deal with these hiccups right now. Less likely to internalise and take it out on myself, more likely to let off steam in a healthy manner with a good, old fashioned rant.

It’s not always the case, of course. Sometimes those critical gremlins win out, but given that most areas of my life are vastly improved these days it’s getting easier to rise up again when I get knocked down.

Back to the outfit and this is definitely one I have marked for date nights over the summer. I’ve become quite the fan of slip dresses lately and Monki has a huge selection putting temptation in my path (this one and this one especially). Thinking about it, I’m yet to try Monki for shoes and they have some really awesome looking pairs online- can anyone vouch for the comfort and quality? I feel I’m going to have to try a few pairs on when I’m next in store, hopefully in the next couple of weeks…a shopping trip is long overdue and I’ve been saving hard. Who’s counting pairs of sandals owned anyway?

Incidentally this the first set of outfit photos I took on my new camera- remember how I was asking for advice? I went for the Canon EOS M10 compact system camera in the end and so far I’m impressed!

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In the Pink

The high street is a very tempting place right now. Everywhere I turn there are pieces that find themselves added to my ever-growing wish list and it’s a great source of frustration to me that I can’t afford the all out spending spree that I am so desperately craving.

A few weeks ago on my birthday I went over to Bath for the day with my Mum, Grandad and Brother and we found ourselves in Primark. I was trying my best to avert my eyes from all of the new season arrivals but there was one dress that I saw and couldn’t forget no matter how hard I tried. In the end Mum kindly stepped in and treated me (30th birthday perks!) and I’ve been waiting impatiently for the weather to be good enough to wear it.

Dress: Primark (and only £10) | Shoes: Long Tall Sally (gorgeous alternative)

Pink isn’t usually a colour I go for when it comes to clothing, although given that it’s supposed to be one of THE colours of the season I guess it’s going to get harder to avoid. There was something just so appealing about this dress, it’s girlier than most things I own and probably a bit dressier as well which makes it perfect for date nights and my ever growing social life.

It also has great potential to be dressed up further with some super high heels and jewellery, or taken in the other direction and worn as a casual piece with converse and a denim jacket. I’m still on the mission for the perfect denim jacket so if anyone has any suggestions then please do let me know.

For someone who has suddenly got a lot more happening in her life I seem to have very little to say for myself at the moment. I’m busier and happier than I have been for a very long, things are starting to move in the right direction in all areas of my life and at some point I’ll probably sit down and do a more in depth update on my recovery journey. In the mean time I’m taking things one day at a time and mostly loving every second. I didn’t dare believe it when people said to me that 2017 would be my year, after such a horrendous 2016. Five months in and I’m starting to accept that maybe they were right. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows but things are certainly on the up and better than I ever dared hope.

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