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 It also didn’t seem to matter that I was becoming more and more depressed and withdrawn.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.

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The Embroidered Jeans Re-Visited

If there is one trend I’m glad to see sticking around for another season it’s the one for all things embroidered. I first fell for it early in the Summer when I caved in and bought my first pair of mom jeans (see blog post here). At the time I thought they were strictly a warm weather thing, not quite sure how to style them for colder times but with a little bit of trial and a lot of error I finally settled on a look I liked. Since then I’ve become a bit of a magpie for embroidered items and I predict a few more pieces finding their way in to my possession over the coming months.

Top: Topshop (similar) | Jeans: Glamorous (darker version only £15!) | Boots: River Island (available still on Zalando)

Although this is quite a simple outfit it takes me so far out of my comfort zone it may as well reside on another planet. Wearing fitted tops with jeans is a style barrier of mine but I felt surprisingly at ease in this combination once I got used to it. The attention deflecting boots probably played some part in that- there is something so spirit lifting about popping on a pair of jazzy ankle boots!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready for another week. I had such a brilliant week last week that I’m not sure this one can compare but far be it from me to write it off before it begins, I’m open to whatever it wants to throw my way.

What trends are you glad to see sticking around? How would you style these jeans?

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When Jeans met Dress (again)

Honestly, I never thought I’d go back to being a jeans person. Having spent my teenage years literally living in my old faithful Topshop Haydens (which I must try again) before shunning trousers in favour of skirts and dresses I assumed I’d never look back. I certainly never anticipated becoming a fan of skinny jeans, but after some trial and error in finding brands that suit me I’m proudly back in denim- not every day as I’m hugely guilty of falling in to sartorial style ruts but I’ll concede they have a time and a place and a decent pair or two are a must in any wardrobe.

Jeans: H&M (£7.99 cheapies until I can afford the oh so popular Joanie style from Topshop) | Dress: Topshop (old) | Boots: Long Tall Sally (c/o)

As I mentioned last time I featured a dress worn over jeans this is definitely not a look I ever envisaged dragging up from my past and yet it’s one I’ve recently grown to love. Perfect for a bit of extra warmth against the cold days and a really good way to make a slightly dressier dress more casual or inject new life in to a tired piece.

Looking at these photos I really hadn’t noticed until now just how faded my hair had got, wow! Not that it’s a bad thing or even a bad style (in my humble opinion) but having since had a much needed cut and colour boost I’m loving the vibrant red/pink I currently have and I’m enjoying the confidence that seems to come with it.

I hope everyone is having a great week- any one get up to anything exciting yesterday? I spent the day with my Mum which was perfect- I don’t know why I thought I might be dreading Valentines Day this year, I honestly couldn’t be happier with certain aspects of my life right now and I’m working hard on the bits that still fall short…

Anyway I don’t know where I’m going with this post so I’ll leave it there- if you have any recommendations for jeans shopping then do let me know, I plan to splurge on a really decent pair once I reach my healthy weight point again.

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Have an Appy Valentines Day

For those who choose to celebrate Valentines Day there is no denying that it can get expensive. Thankfully with the aid of our trust smartphones and the wide variety of apps available there are some easy ways to cut down on the costs- be it bagging a discount on a fancy meal or saving on the taxi home, it all adds up. Together with Vodafone I’m bringing you some of the best money saving apps on the market meaning that you can enjoy a date night without breaking the bank.

You may also remember that a while back I tested out the Vodafone brand Smart First 7 which can also save you a pretty penny. The Vodafone Smart prime 7 is a stylish, super-slim and easy-to-use smartphone that’s full of top-notch features for a ground-breaking price of just £16 per month or £70 Pay as you go.

On the apps and the first one is Vouchercloud (free on Android and iOS). This is an app I use regularly and you can get the best savings and offers available at your favourite restaurants straight to your phone. Simply search for the best savings available on Valentine’s Day in your area and you’ll be sent a discount voucher you can use at a number of nearby restaurants.

There’s also a huge range of online shopping vouchers and codes so you can impress your date with a gift too!

Next up we have TablePouncer (free on Android and iOS) which is perfect for those of you who are last minute with your plans. TablePouncer lets you book last-minute tables at top local restaurants – with savings of up to 65%. You can instantly book a table in just a few easy steps- simply search for restaurants offering deals in the area.

All the deals featured on the app are exclusive to TablePouncer so you won’t find them anywhere else.

Hotel Tonight (free on Android and iOS) is perfect if you’re whisking your date away this Valentines Day as with Hotel Tonight you can book last-minute hotel rooms in just 10 seconds – with 3 taps and a swipe the room is yours – perfect if you’re feeling spontaneous.

With Hotel Tonight you can make mid-week bookings and book longer staycations in locations all over the country – and every hotel is screened by the Hotel Tonight team beforehand to make sure you get the very best for your money.

Music lovers can use Dice (free on Android and iOS) to book tickets to the best gigs and theatre shows in town. Find tickets for performances from world famous artists such as Adele, Taylor Swift and Disclosure as well as up and coming artists such as Skott, The Amazons and Rex Orange County.

Dice only lists the very best in live music and theatre performances – all are handpicked by a research team with too many late nights on their CVs!

Last but not least we have Minicabit (free on Android and iOS). This app will get you the best taxi fares anywhere in the UK. It’s simple and afforable so you can ditch the tube, train or bus.

With Minicabit you can book anything from an airport transfer – if you’re off on a mini break – to a lift home in more than 40 cities across the UK. You’ll also find the best local mini-cabbies around so you can enjoy the benefits of their local knowledge – from short cuts to the congested areas to avoid.

Let me know if you end up using any of these apps and what you thought of them. Also if you have any money saving favourites that I’ve missed in this post then feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or paid for post. I just thought with Valentines Day looming that I’d share some of my favourite ways to save a few pennies in collaboration with Vodafone.

Life on Instagram

Woo yeah, I’m on a roll with my instagram round-ups now it would seem (because I am sure everyone is just soooo excited by this news!) Here are some of the most recent happenings in my life lately as told through my iPhone- for the bigger picture of my daily doings you can give me a follow over on instagram. I’m always on the look out for new folks to follow so let either leave me a comment below with your username and I’ll get stalking…
As you can see I’m still living an extremely wild life whilst off from work. Most days it is just Mae and I for hours on end whilst everyone else is busy living their normal lives and it does get pretty lonely. I’m currently working my backside off to enable myself to get back to work ASAP. I’m cross with myself for not putting a real shift in sooner and that frustration is what’s powering me through the tough days, of which there are plenty right now.

As always click on an image to see it full sized or hover over it to see my (rarely interesting) caption. Want more details on a snap- a recipe or shop link perhaps? Just leave me a comment!

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