Food- Get Buzzing*

One of the most liberating things, for me, in recovery from an eating disorder is the new found freedom to try things that previously just wouldn’t have been “allowed”. I love food (there, I said it) and I’m a serial snacker to any excuse to try something different and broaden those horizons is welcome. Therefore, a box jam packed full of snack bars from Get Buzzing was INCREDIBLY welcome.

Get Buzzing is a company who makes 100% natural, nut free flapjacks which includes a protein range and a gluten free range. They are all about real food and real taste and with a wide range of exciting flavours available I was desperate to get stuck in despite flapjacks being one of my few remaining feared foods.

Obviously there are a lot of bars to get through here so this post is mostly brief notes on each flavour and variety…

Mint chocolate high protein bars: This was a flavour I was quite unsure about. I love mint and I love chocolate but how does it translate to flapjack? Very well as it turns out, this was a really unique snack and is both nut free and gluten free. Not my favourite of the bunch, but really rather good.

Wow butter nut free flapjacks: This claims to have the flavour of peanut butter minus the peanuts and really, it does. I really enjoyed this flapjack- I generally love anything peanut butter flavoured anyway and this really hit the spot.

Date and seed bars: This was one of my favourites despite not generally liking seeds. The dates give this a deliciously rich sweetness and the seeds add a great texture contrast.

Mixed berry flapjacks: Berry flavoured anything is never my first choice and as a rule I avoid it. Whilst not my top pick of the Get Buzzing bunch I really enjoyed these flapjacks and would definitely purchase them if I saw them in a shop.

Protein and cherry flapjack: Another protein bar and a real winner! This was hands down my favourite out of the bunch with a good, strong cherry flavour and no strange protein after taste. Each bar packs a decent 14.7g protein, perfect for anyone looking for a boost.

Banana nut free flapjack: I had expected this to be my favourite bar but it actually fell somewhere in the middle. It’s not bad, really it isn’t…but I didn’t find the banana quite to my liking and I can’t put my finger on why. I’d still buy these and will happily eat my way through my samples but I do feel like it’s missing something, somewhere.

If you’re interested in trying Get Buzzing bars for yourself then you can purchase them through their website as well as selected other stockists.

Flapjacks are never going to be the healthiest snack option in the world but with ingredients such as rolled oats and dried fruit as well as their nut free, gluten free and high protein credentials I certainly feel like you could do worse. I think it’s safe to say I’ve conquered my flapjack fear!

Which flavour takes your fancy the most? I love that you can buy a little sampling pack to help you make up your mind. Let me know if you try any and what you think.

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Products sent to me for blog consideration, I was under no obligation to post.

The Pink Pumas

I’ve gone from wanting to collect all the pretty high heeled shoes in the world to being completely obsessed with trainers. I’ve built up quite the little collection and seem to live in them outside of work, but that doesn’t particularly justify why I felt the need to buy another pair a couple of weeks ago…my defence is simple, they were calling out to me (and on sale). It just had to be.

Dress: Pull&Bear (here) | Trainers (here)

Literally the day after I ordered these trainers they went back to full price, but hands down I’d pay it. They attracted a lot of attention on Instagram when I posted them and a few people wanted to know what the platform is like. In a word, subtle. The sole is a bit thicker than your average trainer but not obscenely so- the perfect hybrid trainer/platform in my eyes and they are so damn comfortable too.

This whole outfit/hair style combo feels a little bit 1990s to me. I never thought I liked the choker neck trend but since picking up this dress a month or so ago I might be converted. It was a bargain in pull&bear at £12.99 and it’s made in a really stretchy jersey so the neck doesn’t feel restrictive. I was a bit concerned I might feel too exposed- as I’ve explained before I’m not at my most body confident right now, but it drapes in the right places and actually manages to be vaguely flattering.

And body confidence does remain a big issue and a lot of the time it’s a real effort to wear anything but my baggiest clothes. Not that they are so baggy any more. Things are starting to fit me again, a blessing and a curse. Great I can suddenly wear half my wardrobe once more, a curse because it makes anorexia turn my brain in to even more of a battleground therefore taking a whole lot more energy and determination to power through. But there’s always a nap for that. I find naps are a great healer.

Despite this I’ve felt hugely positive lately, in a way I really haven’t before. Life suddenly feels exciting- I don’t want to be governed by my insecurities and control issues any more. There’s so much that I want to do an experience and there’s nothing going to get in the way of me doing that anymore. I’ve been my own worst enemy for half of my life, it’s about time I let this go. For good.

(Accidental tangent there, oops!)

Back on track- what do you think of this outfit? Anybody else a complete trainer fiend?

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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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Learning to Silence my Inner Critic

Initially I wasn’t going to use the set of photos below in a blog post. They aren’t quite right and don’t show the outfit as I wanted it to be shown. But it got me thinking about something that’s been running along in the background of my mind for a while now and so actually, from something imperfect I’m able to write an altogether different to what I planned blog post.

Dress and Tee: Monki | Converse from Schuh

So basically these photos triggered a whole big train of thought about my long-standing battle with perfectionism. I didn’t set any resolutions at the start of 2017 but it was always a goal of mine to try to get more control over my issues with, well, control and making everything “just right”. It’s something that has governed my life for as long as I can remember and has been an undercurrent to my anorexia since the word go. Ever since I started this journey of recovery back in the Summer last year I knew that to get any degree of success I would eventually have to learn to live more in the moment and less in a micro-managed bubble, and now, almost a year on I’ve realised that actually I am less ruled by it than I can ever recall being.

Now, I don’t have a secret to my success. It’s been a long battle and a lot of it is still very much trial and error. There are a couple of things that I have found really helpful though- the first of that being a course of CBT which saw me learn how to break my self-imposed rules (like actually being on time for things instead of constantly ten minutes early, or to accept a spontaneous invitation). I’m awaiting a start date for a more intense course which will delve more in to the root causes but even the basics gave me the tools I needed to start to break free.

The second thing that made a massive difference was learning the art of mindfulness. It’s always been something I was wary and dismissive of, but having been persuaded to give it a go by various people I decided I had nothing to lose and started to dedicate 5-10 minutes a day to it. I initially went with the Headspace and Calm apps but also made the purchase of “A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled” by Ruby Wax which proved to be a witty, relatable account of her own struggles as well as containing a six week guided programme which has helped me no end.

Of course it’s not for everyone but I thought it worth sharing these thoughts as they spill out of my mind. As ever with me partly so my blog can serve as a “record of achievement”, but also in the hope that even one person might read this and find something that could help against their own demons.

And the result of all this? Well, it’s only recently that the rewards have become evident. From challenging my social anxieties and attending a Blog Club Brunch in Bristol to attending the Grandaddy gig the other week. Spontaneous plans with friends have been followed through instead of a “yes, I’ll do it” followed shortly by a swift “no, actually I can’t today”. I’ve also found myself in the early days of a new relationship, in which I could not be happier (and that was a true case of spontaneous actions paying off) and I’m now able to relax, read, listen to music or watch a film without a constant state of panic and dread that I might have forgotten to do something vital.

I’ve literally just sat here and banged out this post in the last 45 minutes without any real intention of doing so- that’s definitely something I couldn’t have done six months ago! But with that comes the risk that it’s a whole lot of nonsense, utter drivel and full of poor grammar and punctuation mistakes…but you know what? That’s ok. Real life isn’t perfect and it doesn’t need to be perfect to be wonderful, and for me, that is the greatest lesson of them all.

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