This is me. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago in Abu Dhabi by my sister. We were over on holiday visiting our dad in Dubai. This photo isn’t me. It is just what is left of me. Not physically but mentally.
I’m sitting here forcing myself to finish this bowl of museli. It’s the first time I have had museli in almost three years and it tastes wonderful. I want to have another bowl and another because I have just got back from cycling to the gym, half an hours run on the treadmill, an hour of yoga, half an hour in the pool and then cycling back home again. My body is telling me it’s hungry. But I won’t give in.
After I was diagnosed with endometriosis – a gynaecological condition – just before my sixteenth birthday I have been on various painkillers, injections and hormone treatments. Nothing seemed to work but then I read an article one day about the benefits of a gluten free diet. This was the catalyst for where I am now. I threw myself into adopting strict rules – categorising foods which were ‘safe’ and which ones weren’t. At the start I ate gluten free bread, cakes and pasta. Now I can’t even bring myself to eat a rice cake.
Whether it was the heart ache of being let down by someone who I trusted and thought loved me or being faced with redundancy at the age of 24, or being away from my family – looking back now controlling my diet and exercise was the only thing at that point in my life I was able to control. What slowly began as an avoidance of wheat and gluten quickly turned into an obsession with healthy food and complete avoidance of anything considered a fat, carbohydrate or treat. In my job as a radio journalist I had a constant battle with myself and my brain to focus and write while at the same time stressing about food. I still don’t understand how people eat because they need to. I can never understand how having the odd biscuit here or there with a cup of tea (something normal and healthy if not all the time) isn’t consumed with guilt. For me, I would have to factor the biscuit into my allowance or make up for it the next time I drag myself out of bed at 6 in the morning for a run.
So this is the start of my blog. I’ve never written one or never thought about it. I’ve wanted to write for a long time now but writing about something which is so personal opens yourself to all sorts of fears and criticisms. I’m starting this blog to document my journey through recovery. At the moment I don’t think I have even started. You would think the news that my recent bone density scan showed that I am severely lacking Vitamin D and my bones are only 60% of what they should be for a woman of my age would be enough to say enough is enough. I know that I am the one who can turn my life around. At the moment I have been told that unless I put weight on – the chances of me being able to have a baby are fading fast. The one thing that I want more than anything in life. But the voices inside are too powerful just now. So this isn’t going to be easy but it’s a start. Today I tackled museli. A small and insignificant step for mankind maybe.
But for me a giant leap on the start of my road to recovery.