Monday, 27 January 2014

Removing the Stigma

Stigma..what is it? According to the English dictionary:

'a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person'

What ever we do in life there will always be stigma attached to that act. It is not simply someone else having a different opinion to you, it is society creating these views that often means people are afraid to talk about or discuss certain things. It can cause heartache and can mean people often struggle to cope with things alone.
They don't want to talk about them because it's not the done thing, people will frown upon them for talking about it, people will be disappointed or think differently because of decisions they have made.

How does this leave people feeling?

It can leave people feeling alone, like they have to cope alone, afraid to talk to people, afraid to ask for help when they deep down they need it and know that it will help. But because of what society has created they don't. They cope in silence and struggle along on their own.

I speak from personal experience, for the last 5 months I've been dealing with this struggle on my own.

At the beginning of September something that has changed my life happened, and I'm sure in the long run it will make me a stronger person, but at the moment I'm struggling and part of this is because I'm too afraid to talk about it, worried what people will say, and worried what people will think about me.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I fully appreciated that, but it still doesn't mean that being judged isn't at the forefront of my mind.

On 7th October I had a termination. A decision that was the hardest thing to make. You may be thinking that this is a very personal thing to discuss, but for me I need to. For the last 5 months I haven't talked about it, even struggling to talk to my family & friends; the ones who have been there for me throughout, about it. It's not easy. Society says terminations shouldn't be talked about, that they happen and then it's over, that is so wrong. They need to be talked about, it's a decision that has changed my life forever, it wasn't easy to make and one that I'm still struggling to come to terms with.

When I found out I was pregnant, even before I did the test, I knew. As women we know our bodies, mine was changing and not how I wanted it to. I'd been with my boyfriend about 6 months, I was on the pill. This wasn't supposed to be happening. But it was and the next few weeks proved to be the hardest ever.

Telling my boyfriend was the hardest, it was the first time I'd seen him cry; and although I know we needed to be together and talk about it I needed my mum. It was one of those times when only mum could make things better. I turned up on my parents door step at midnight in tears. Telling them was so hard, I felt like I'd let them down. But they were my rocks. As well as my boyfriend and my best friends they all helped me, and still are helping me through this.

I'd say my experience was made worse by how ill I was, I thought it was just pregnancy related illness until I was admitted into hospital with suspected meningitis; they really didn't know what was wrong with me; whether I was ill or if it was caused through the pregnancy. I was bed bound for 3 weeks, I just wanted to be better, back to myself. My mum, dad & boyfriend were with me in hospital whenever they could, visiting time really did make my day.

I'd already made my decision, with my appointment booked in; I missed the first one as I was still in hospital and as my appointment was in another hospital I wasn't allowed to travel. And as much as the doctors looked after me; with an occasional nudge from mum; they couldn't make another appointment for another week.

I feel so guilty that I had to put my mum through it, the hardest thing about telling her I was having a termination is the guilt. My parents lost my brother, yet here I was choosing to. But for me it was the right decision, I just struggle with the aftermath. And the reason I'm struggling so much is because I haven't talked about it.

Since October I've felt like I've failed, failed myself, failed my boyfriend, my parents and friends. I've struggled to believe my boyfriend when he says he loves me. I wonder why he's still with me. I often feel guilty for over looking how this affected him, how he's stuck by me through the hardest decision we had to make when he could have just walked away.

My best friends have been beyond amazing and I'm forever grateful for their support, their hospital visits, their constant texts to see how I am.

I've cried and eaten in secret for months, it's taking it's toll on me. And last week I finally made the decision to talk to someone about it. Someone that isn't my boyfriend, or my mum, or my best friends but I've arranged to see a counselor. Again seeing a counselor is something that comes with stigma, people are judged or going. But they don't need to be. They should be proud for going. As the saying goes the first step is always the hardest. Asking for help is exactly the same. But now I have; I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, that I can start to feel better about myself. That I don't need to struggle alone.

Watching this video really brought it home to me:

Part of the reason I wanted to write this post. Not enough people talk about termination and how it affects them. People shouldn't be left to cope in private but should be able to talk and have the support they need.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Quick & Simple Dinner - Ginger & soy sauce Gammon

Since rejoining weight watchers I've really been researching new recipes. I think the key to loosing weight is keeping your diet varied. 

This recipe of the weight watchers simple start app is quick and easy, so perfect after a long day at work. I pointed it and depending on what you have it with its about 9-11pp. 

To make.

1 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice - you could use fresh juice but I used it out of a bottle. 
1 tsp grated ginger.

Mix all the ingredients together and coat the gammon steak with it. I find it easier to place to gammon on the grill and then put on the mixture. 
Grill the gammon until cooked and serve.

It goes lovely with sweet potato wedges and salad, or boiled potatoes and mange tout works well too. 

It's so quick to make if your in a hurry or working late.

Elle xx

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Emotional Eating

Emotional eating, is a reason many of us have put on weight, it's our go to fix, for some it's drugs or alcohol but for me it's food. When something goes wrong, or even something goes well we eat.

Most of us probably even recognise our triggers, we know when we become full, we know we should stop, but the pain of being full is better than the pain of what we have to deal with. It then becomes a vicious circle; you emotionally eat so you out on weight you then feel even worse so we eat again. Meaning we now have two triggers that set us off - the first initial emotion and the second weight related trigger.

I feel guilty as soon as I put that piece of food in my mouth, I know it's not going to help, but I carry on. Why is this? We're stressed, we're going through a rough patch or even we are celebrating something.

When I first started weight watchers I would have said I was a bit emotional eater, but I learnt throughout my journey ways to control this, ways to manage it. Things like weighing out some chocolate, buying smaller bars. I could still have that little bit to cure my emotions but it wouldn't lead to a downward spiral. Don't get me wrong I could still quite easily have eaten a family sized bar of chocolate and a packet of biscuits. But it's learning ways to basically trick your mind, thinking that you are over indulging when your not. And knowing what you want more, the bar of chocolate or the weight loss at weigh in that week?

The last few months have been a roller coaster of emotions. And I've eaten them. Resulting in a 1 stone weight gain, which I am now fully (most of the time) back on track to get rid of, plus the 1 stone I'd added to my ass since being with the boyfriend.

One of the hardest things I've had to face is my own expectations, the expectation that I should be able to cope on my own, that I don't need to talk about what I'm going through or how it's affecting me. And that expectation I have in my head often sends me into a meltdown. So I'll eat, and if I'm honest I've hidden it from my loved ones. I'm already ashamed that I burst out crying and have a meltdown at least twice a week, I don't want to admit that I'm binge eating too. So there it is, I'm admitting it. I've been really good the last few weeks since I've rejoined weight watchers and started tracking everything. Seeing it written down really is an eye opener.
I have days where I just want to eat a whole bag of cookies, but I know it's not going to help. I'm learning once again to manage my eating, buying the smaller bar of chocolate.

The thing I need to work on right now that I know will help is talking, talking to my loved ones around me, and not being ashamed to have a meltdown. But I guess it's hard to put into words how I'm feeling when I don't even know myself. I guess feeling like I've failed myself, my boyfriend & my family really does take it's toll on me. And no matter how much they tell me I haven't I still don't believe it. I need to stop putting on a front, saying I'm fine when I guess I'm not.

I have amazing family and friends around me and I need to use them more, rather than deal with these emotions on my own. They've been there for me since day 1 and it's hard to accept there help when I feel like I don't deserve it. But you know what I do. So from here on in I'm going to talk to them more, rather than push them away.

Writing this has helped me a) stop eating and b) be a little more honest with everyone about how I'm feeling. It's easier to type to a screen than talk to someones face.

Lots of love

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Friday, 17 January 2014

That little voice in our heads

Why is it that the little voice in our heads is so capable of talking us out of things?

For me it's running. I don't see myself as a runner, I still think I'm the fat girl who can't run. I mean I'm running 20+ miles a week, training for a marathon but I still think somewhere along the line I'm going to stumble and fail.

Our ability to lose so much weight and persevere with the plan is all with the power in our heads, so how come when we need it it works against us? We are constantly comparing ourselves to others; the people we run past, the person on the treadmill next to us, our partners, our friends, celebrities, the list goes on.

And the only person we should compare ourselves to is the person we were yesterday. It sounds cliche but it's true, if we take one day at a time then the likelihood of succeeding is far greater than wanting to look like someone else.
Perhaps my lack on confidence in ability to run at the moment is linked to the fact that the scales are not moving, not even half a lb. I'm just sat nicely on 12st 10lbs. Ew. I'm following Filling & Healthy with my 49 propoints. This week I've weighed everything as too as an extra measure, but I don't know how else I can get the scales moving.
I had to contraceptive injection a week ago so maybe it's linked to that?
If you have any tips that would be great as I need a boost!

Lots of love


Lifehack - I'm trying to be better than the person I was yesterday  #Better, #Competition, #Try

Monday, 13 January 2014

Hello 2014

So it appears I've been AWOL since the end of August. I know you must all have missed me terribly, I'm just telling myself that; you probably hadn't even noticed I'd gone. 

So whats been happening?

2013 certainly had some amazing times, but also some pretty low ones that taught me how to be strong. 

January - was a pretty quiet month, I entered the Cardiff Half Marathon, which I later unfortunately due to illness had to pull out of.
February - I got a ballot place in The Great North Run!

March - I ran my 2nd half marathon, Bath. With a time of 2:10:22!
I also hit the 6 stone mark with weight watchers! 

April - I got featured in a magazine for my weight loss

May - Got a PB in Bristol 10k
Me & Jon finally got together

June - Pretty much a month of birthday celebrations along with one of my best friends coming hoe from 6 months travelling.
I ran my first off road 10k

July - Got a promotion at work
Joined ...and left slimming world. I will always be a weight watchers girl.
August - I moved out from living with one of my best friends to move home for a few months
September - What a busy month...I ran The Great North Run
I got a place in The London Marathon running for The Meningitis Research Foundation.
I was in hospital for almost 2 weeks. 

October - Got a move of stores with my job
November - Me & Jon moved in together
December - Christmas, Christmas & more Christmas

So far January 2014 has consisted of 10 days off work, lots of running & fundraising planning. I've rejoined weight watchers online, as finding a meeting that fits in with retail shifts is pretty much impossible. Really enjoying simple start so far, with my first weeks weigh in on Wednesday. I will be sure to keep you updated.

In terms of weight, I'm sadly not at the 6 stone mark I was at back in March - That's what falling in love does to you! I'm currently weighing in at 12st 10lbs - 2 stone 5lbs more than I was. But back on a mission, with my very supportive other half to get back there and get to goal. But not with a few hurdles along the way....more of that in a future post. 

Lots of love