Bad Mood

My love for slogan t-shirts is still going strong and they are the first thing I seem to be drawn to upon entering a shop at the moment. Last month, on a trip to Cabot Circus with Mum we popped in to Pull & Bear- one of our favourite places to browse for affordable basics and cool casual vibes and I happened upon one of the most me tees I have ever seen. Behold…

Tee: Pull & Bear | Jeans: H&M | Converse: Schuh (similar)

Looking back at these pictures “beholding” might not actually be that possible as I’ve kind of failed to capture the slogan but this perfectly oversized white tee states “bad mood” and handily serves as a warning for when people are best to avoid me.

I do my best to be chipper, really I do but sometimes life gets the better of me and I am prone to either a short temper which leaves me snapping at everyone over the smallest of things or I retreat in to myself completely and barely say a word. I’m putting it down to a mixture of hormones at various points in the month as well as the pressures of still not being in work, dealing with eating disorder recovery 24/7 and not sleeping brilliantly but it’s pretty handy to be able to at least warn people they might not quite get the reaction they are expecting from me.

This was actually a really hard outfit for me to photograph- aforementioned eating disorder recovery is taking it’s toll and the struggle with seeing changes in my body [of which I know are further grossly exaggerated in my head due to the nature of the beast] has left my body confidence at rock bottom. Still, it has to be done and I can’t go backwards so I’m determined to keep on wearing the things I want to wear and not give in to the urges to hide behind baggy dresses and jumpers all of the time- although of course they have their time and place!

It’s a hard journey and harder still when you can’t explain to anyone why after 15 years this still torments you. Why you’ve been signed off from work for almost a year knowing exactly what you need to do to get back there [which you want more than anything else] and yet still struggle so much to do it. Having spent the majority of last year firmly in denial this year has seen a renewed determination and slowly but surely progress is being made. It feels fast, it feels scary and I’m not even sure why I’m writing about it on the blog, other than to serve as a reminder to myself but the end result will be worth it and this time there IS no going back. I have plans, things I want to achieve and there is no room for anorexia to be my side kick.

Apologies for getting so deep and personal once again, it happens from time to time and I did say I wanted to bring a bit more “real life” to the blog.

I suppose I should also apologise for all of the random people I’ve snapped at over the last few months, well, mostly. Friends and family please accept my sincerest apologies. Random people I encounter on a daily basis who seem to make it their life mission to wind me up? I’m so not sorry!

end

[Insta]life lately

Well, I’m kind of getting there with making these posts a regular thing again, not that I live an especially exciting life or anything that would explain my desire to share. I can only put it down to being a nosy person myself and some of my favourite posts to read are people’s instagram round-ups. For the full idea of what I get up to you can give me a follow and if you want to know more about any of these pictures just leave a comment below [click on the images to see full size and hover over them for a caption].
Leave your instagram usernames below and I’ll be sure to give you a follow.

end

All the Embroidery

Just in case you hadn’t gathered by now, I love this seasons embroidery trend. A lot. It’s probably the only trend I’ve actively followed- and to be honest, other than the one for all things pink (which I also love) it’s the only one I really know about.

Jumper: Primark (recent) | Skirt: Vintage | Ankle Boots: New Look

I picked up this skirt when I went to the Bristol Textile Recyclers Vintage Kilo Sale back in October and it’s been hanging in my wardrobe waiting to be worn ever since. It’s vintage Monsoon and I love it- there are some gorgeous embroidery detail skirts on the high street at the moment (I especially love this one and this one) but a lot of them are just SO short, and now I’m rapidly approaching my 30th birthday I’m starting to wonder if I’m getting a bit too old to sport a mini skirt at all times and so I’ve decided to embrace the midi a bit more. The only trouble with this skirt is that it’s a pencil skirt, something I usually steer away from and because of this I was at a bit of a loss of how to style it. As soon as I saw this hummingbird embroidered jumper in Primark for a mere £12 I knew it would make a good partner for it so snapped it up, resisting the urge to size up as I usually do- I think that might be the key with pencil skirts, opt for a more fitted top half as well, although slouchy longer tops do seem to work well too.

Footwear was another problem especially as it’s still a bit too nippy to bring out the ballet flats or sandals. In the end it was my trusty pewter ankle boots that saved the day, and despite these photos not being the greatest representation of the outfit (thanks to the persistent drizzle) it’s an outfit I really loved and I wish now I’d put a bit more effort in to making sure things were tucked in properly, popping on some brighter lipstick and persevering until I had photos I was happy with. I’m struggling a lot with my inner perfectionist at the moment and it’s leading to a lot of dissatisfaction with most aspects of my blog and with my life in general, ho-hum. It’s taken me forever to get around to writing this post as I didn’t deem the photos worthy enough and sometimes I get the urge to delete my entire blog and start again.

How do you silence your inner critic? And how are you wearing the embroidery trend?

end

The Hoodie

Before I get properly in to today’s post I wanted to take a minute to say thank you for the incredible support I received on my eating disorders awareness week post. The feedback has been incredible and I truly appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read, comment and share the post on social media. The week isn’t over yet though and there is still plenty of time to get involved. Please do re-visit the post or go straight to the Beat website to find out how you can get involved.
And now on to the main part of my post today- an outfit post featuring one item I never thought I’d wear again, let alone feature on the blog. That item is the humble hoodie, which along with some questionable trouser choices was the uniform of my teenage years (and when I say questionable I mean purple tie-dyed flares…I’ve come a long way!)

Hoodie: Monki | Skirt: Pull&Bear at ASOS (similar) | Converse: Schuh (non holographic version)

See, I knew it wouldn’t be long before another Monki purchased happened- I just can’t help myself. I’ve been eyeing up their hoodies since my first visit in to the Bristol store but held off as I just wasn’t convinced I’d actually wear one. I’m a long way away from the teenage me who felt the need to hide inside a massive hoodie but in the end this mustard yellow won me over and the hoodie came home with me and whilst I haven’t reverted back to living in one, I admit the hoodie certainly has it’s place in the wardrobe.

One way I’ve been wearing it is with this grey pleated skirt. I love the colour combination of grey and mustard and the laid back look this outfit creates. It’s a casual outfit but manages to make me feel a bit more ‘together’ than if I’d just slung on jeans and I’ll always embrace any excuse to wear my converse- their pale pink holographic nature never fails to make me smile (although I wouldn’t say no to this pair).

What do you think of this super casual outfit? Have you re-visited any clothing items from your youth? Between this and my current enjoyment of dresses over jeans I think I might be having a “help I’m almost 30″ kind of crisis!

end

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017

Tomorrow marks the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017 which is run by the UK’s Eating Disorders charity Beat. I’ve never really written about the event before and I can’t quite explain why I feel so compelled to do so now- it could be that as I approach 30 the realisation that I have now spent half of my life living with an eating disorder, or it could be that I feel especially strongly about this years campaign on early intervention. Either way this is a post that has been on my mind for quite some time, with no clear direction on how I want to write it, so please bear with me as I muddle through.
As I mentioned above my eating disorder started when I was 15 years old, however it took a good two years (perhaps longer) before I was diagnosed by which time the illness and it’s deep rooted beliefs were well entrenched. Sadly the main obstacle my desperately worried family came up against was getting medical professionals to take us seriously, you see, I went from a very overweight teenager to one who was only just on the low end of the healthy BMI scale and as such nobody saw it as a problem. It didn’t matter that I’d lost 5 stone in four months. That my food intake was minimal and I was exercising compulsively. It also didn’t seem to matter that I was becoming more and more depressed and withdrawn. I somehow managed to pass my GCSEs but never did get to even sit my A-levels. I went on to develop severe bulimia which resulted in my first inpatient admission aged 19- but because throughout all of this I barely fell in to the “underweight” category getting help and support was an up-hill battle. My underweight years didn’t start until I was in my twenties and even then were extreme before I could access the help I so badly needed. Waiting lists and lack of funding mean often it takes a patient being at a catastrophically low weight before they can get an inpatient bed, or they become seriously medically compromised whilst waiting. People have and still do die waiting and this needs to stop.
Accepting that you have a problem is hard enough and making those first steps to seek help and support is one of the most difficult steps you will take and yet I still hear about people being turned away because they don’t present as “typically” unwell. Just because someone isn’t emaciated doesn’t mean they aren’t at serious risk both mentally and physically. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness- there are the physical risks such as heart failure, osteoporosis, the damage to organs and teeth. There’s also the high rate of death by suicide. Any of these risks can and will strike at any weight and at any time- I’ve lost far too many friends this way and I fear that as time passes I will lose more.

This year Beat are campaigning for increased awareness of the importance of early intervention and it’s a cause I can and will strongly get behind. I’ve pulled a couple of infographics from their website to show you, in simple terms just what a difference it can make.

If you want to read more about the importance of early intervention then please do visit the Beat page all about it as I would be here long after the week has ended trying to write about it myself.

A major part of what Beat are looking to achieve with this year’s campaign is increased support and training for GPs and this is something that I think is 100% vital. I have struck gold with my own GP, I can honestly say that I would not be alive without her care and support- she has gone above and beyond for me time and time again and I wish everyone could have a GP like her. Likewise the GPs I work with are all wonderful when dealing with these things but I appreciate that this isn’t the case everywhere or for everyone. By increasing the support and training available to GPs the delays in getting treatment can be greatly reduced and patients on the (what can feel never-ending) waiting lists for specialist treatment can get the immediate care that can really help tip the balance between full recovery or becoming trapped in the recovery/relapse cycle.

If you are struggling with your relationship with food and your body, or if you notice worrying changes in someone you are close to then please do seek help sooner rather than later. It will probably be one of the hardest and scariest steps you take in getting better but the sooner you can get in to the system the higher the chance of full recovery is.

For more advice on what signs and symptoms to look out for, how to seek help, or on how to support a family member or friend then again I refer you to the Beat website which is a wealth of information and resources to make you feel less alone.

Over the course of the next 7 days there are a few ways in which you can help raise vital awareness and funds for Beat to support and enable their campaigns to get early intervention happening far more than it currently is. The easiest ways are to take part in to Sock it to Eating Disorders day on Friday (3rd March) or help spread the word by signing up to the thunderclap campaign on social media.

Again please do forgive me if this post is a bit all over the place or poorly written. It’s so hard to turn a cause you feel so strongly about in to a work of art (it’s not a subject that lends itself to flowing eloquently) but I hope that I’ve managed to get my message across. If we all pull together I really believe we can make a difference.

As for me, well, I’m getting there. I’m determined that this is the year I will defeat anorexia once and for all. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, indeed it still IS a rollercoaster ride but finally I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and for the first time perhaps ever I am starting to imagine a life that isn’t dominated by the food I eat or how much I weigh.

end