*V.A.P.S.

I have been driving the OH quite mad of late. (Possibly for much longer than that!)

I have put on quite a bit of weight… well, in my opinion, quite a lot!

I had some very serious depression and anxiety issues this year, along with some health concerns I have blogged about previously, all of which resulted in a little bit too much comfort eating and drinking. And an expanding waistline…

I have been moaning about how fat I am, how awful I look and feel and it is really getting on his nerves. He is worn out telling me to stop saying these things, telling me I am ‘gorgeous’ and ‘beautiful’; alternating between almost endless patience and occasional, (and understandable), irritation at my self-hating repetition.

I asked him had he not noticed my new shape and he agreed he had and that it really doesn’t matter: “When you were slimmer I found you sexy, when you were or are bigger I find you sexy. You have a real problem seeing yourself the way you really are.”

I thought about this over, and over.

For me, this is impossible to accept. It is no failing on his part, it is all on me. I simply cannot see what he says he sees. I simply cannot accept that he finds me attractive or desirable. I think I am repulsive.

Eventually, I asked him, “So, what you are saying is – you love and accept me just as I am, no matter how I look or how much I change. Is that it?”

He looked at me, slightly exasperated and said, “That is exactly it.”

Now my challenge is to believe it.

💋

*Very Annoying Person Syndrome – an affliction I torture myself and others with.

Copyright, 2016, illicitthoughts.wordpress.com

All rights reserved

Saying Goodbye…

Today, I did a thing.

I finally, at long last, took a step towards accepting my new reality.

I filled a charity bag with all the clothes I will never fit into again.

It was a difficult and challenging thing to do – it felt as if I was saying that, even if I do lose weight, I will not ever be buying my clothes in the kids section again.

I truly marvelled at how tiny some of the pieces were… was I ever that slight?! Really?

So, there are some 11 year old girls in Chernobyl that will be getting a stash of jeans and tops soon…

…and I must accept that my days of being a waif are over.

Ciao,

💋

Copyright, 2016, illicitthoughts.wordpress.com

All rights reserved.

365 Questions Day 1

The wonderful Marie Rebelle is doing a year long journalling challenge called 365 Questions and invited other bloggers to join in. Always one to try something new, I opted to have a go!

Here we go!

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My number one goal this year is to achieve balance in my life and get my health and fitness in order again.

I have blogged ad nauseam about this topic and wont bore you all again… if you want to read my past posts about it they are found on my other blog.

I hope I can achieve this goal as it will be truly life-changing.

💋

Copyright, 2016, illicitthoughts.wordpress.com

All rights reserved.

 

A Sincere Thank You

This day last week I wrote a very difficult and painfully honest post about my battle with body image and self acceptance.

I feared at the time that I would receive a backlash and that people would read it and think I was self absorbed, shallow and vain.

Nevertheless, I posted it because it felt important on a personal level to expose my demons. I am still not sure why it felt important, but it did.

I wanted today to post a quick but very sincere thank you to all the people who read it and wrote such kind and supportive comments. I was blown away by the compassion and empathy I was shown.

In addition, I was somehow comforted, (whilst also very much saddened), to discover so many of my readers had similar issues to mine. If nothing else, I hope my sharing my story helped some other people feel less isolated and less ‘freakish’ about the demons they carry and battle with.

Thank you all for being the wonderful, kind and generous people you are!

IMG_9358Hugs all round!

💋

Copyright, 2015, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Where I Am Now…

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Trigger warning: This post is about self/body image, eating disorders and depression. Please chose carefully whether to read or not.

Please know this writing reflects MY perceptions about ME and not my views on weight/appearance in general.

I have no intention of hurting or upsetting anyone. This post is about me, for me. 


I can’t do the “self love” thing.

I see positive quotes and affirmations everyday on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter and, although I think they are lovely sentiments, I simply cannot relate to them.

I do quite like myself… insofar as I think I’m a basically good person and I can be funny and smart and creative.

But love myself? No. That’s not a thing I can do.

I have an unhealthy relationship with my body.

I am not sure I was ever happy with it. No wait, that’s not true. As a young teen I was blissfully free of body issues. If anything, I was precociously aware of my sexuality and its power and I enjoyed dressing in a way that raised eyebrows or had some shock value. I could probably have been described as jailbait!

At 19 I settled into what has turned out to be my lifelong relationship. I was a normal, healthy weight for my height of 5′. I had curves in all the right places and was relaxed about diet and exercise. It simply wasn’t an issue.

Somewhere along the way, after getting married at 26, I gained a lot of weight. It happened to both of us, slowly but steadily until, one day, it hit me that I had reached the weight of 144lbs, which was, (for me), too heavy for my short height. I was physically tired from carrying the extra weight and felt bad in and about myself.

It was around this time that I also realised our relationship had been coasting along. We had grown into an “old married couple” that took each other for granted and lived a very ‘unconscious’ shared life.

This was when I entered what I called my “rage years”.

This is when everything changed.

I began to exercise with a furious energy and started to very carefully watch what I ate and drank. Food became a necessary evil… it was fuel I needed in order to function and nothing else. Food became the enemy. It had to be consumed in order to live so I consumed the bare minimum that I needed to exist.

Food was no longer about pleasure or comfort or enjoyment.

I hated, with a burning, raging passion what I had become. It symbolised to me how out of control I had ‘allowed’ my life to become. (In retrospect, it’s clear that, amongst other things, being diagnosed with a life changing and incurable illness must have played a massive part in my sudden need to rest establish control over something.)

I kept a strict daily journal of every single thing that I ate, complete with its calorific content, (which I still have to this day, as a reminder to myself of where I was at that time).

I woke early to exercise before breakfast, then I would walk for miles, return home and exercise again. I pushed myself to the extreme and beyond.

People asked me if I was anorexic and I scoffed at them. Me???? No! I was just being healthy!

I said this whereas, in reality, most days I didn’t reach anywhere near 1000 calories by bedtime, usually taking in between 600-800. Coupled with the intense activity I was doing I can’t imagine what my actual calorie intake was.

My periods stopped for three years.

I had to have bone density scans.

I was constantly cold. I wore jeans and a fleece whilst on holidays in The Canaries for three years in a row.

I had panic attacks at the thoughts of having to eat any food I did not have 100% control over, to the extent that it impacted on family gatherings and events. I recall clearly one day, feeling so incredibly hungry and craving something substantial so badly that I agreed to go for lunch with the OH. I ordered a burrito and, as it arrived, I began to hyperventilate and cry because I wanted it so badly but simultaneously felt completely disgusted at myself for wanting it. He was at a loss for what to do with me.

I reached my lowest weight of 88lbs.

I was always sporting bruises because my hipbones protruded to the extent that they constantly knocked off things. My stomach was concave. The bones of my spine, with no body fat to protect them, made sleeping on my back uncomfortable. Sleeping on my side required a pillow between my legs to prevent my knee bones grinding off each other.

Was I happy?

I never believed I was ‘slim’ enough! I looked at my profile in the mirror and saw my ribs and hipbones standing out but my eyes would wander to the area under my navel. I now know there was NOTHING there but I remember somehow seeing what I called a belly… I had no belly… I had internal organs, a digestive system and a uterus that had to go somewhere and my frame was so tiny I mistook them for a ‘belly’.

It is clear to me now that, although I thought I was exercising some form of self-love by ‘being healthy’, I had in fact simply found a new way to hate myself. I was punishing my body by denying it nourishment, pleasure and rest. Even as I achieved every weight loss goal I aimed for, I was never at peace. I saw an ugly, disgusting person in the mirror. One who would never be good enough.

I was referred to an endocrinologist to investigate my amenorrhea. My GP did her best to convince me I was underweight and in need of more food, “Ease up on yourself Kat, have a snack in the afternoon.”

I am not sure at what point I began to try to stop my rigorous regime. I can honestly say that period of my life is blurry at best. But, scared at the loss of my periods and the prospect of osteoporosis, I did relax my exercising and extreme calorie counting.

Last year I reached a happy weight of 98lbs.

Well, I say happy…

I understood, logically, that for my body to function I needed the extra pounds, but I still struggled with the idea of gaining weight and watched my intake very carefully and still worked out. I was still wearing clothes from H&M kids section. I could still wrap my fingers around my thigh with room to spare as it measured 12″ circumference in my age 11 jeans.

But…

Somewhere along the course of the past year I have… You guessed it…

I have found a NEW way to hate myself, yay!

I have been comfort eating and drinking more wine than I should. I eased up on myself gradually; allowing that extra glass of wine, that lunch out, that afternoon snack.

I noticed some weight creeping on…

My age 11 jeans were no longer comfortable. I, for the first time in years, had to shop in the adult sections and moved up to size 6.  (I can hear the pissed off groans now as people voice their scorn… Yes of course a size 6 is still small… but from my warped perspective I had failed.)

I am currently, in my opinion, carrying too much weight at 128lbs. I feel uncomfortable, unattractive and very unfit. I am breathless and overheated almost all the time.

Most of all I feel that I have let myself down. I feel disgust and shame about it.

I have been torturing myself by looking back at photos of when I was thinner… it is making me feel worse, like even more of a failure.

So… I need to finally address this.

Why do I hate myself?

Why do I find the concept of self-love so alien?

Why do I think I do not deserve inner peace, acceptance and happiness?

My self-hatred is deeply ingrained in me from an early age.

I can trace some of my unhappiness back to my childhood. Hang on, I can trace it all back there…  I never felt comfortable or relaxed as a kid. I toyed with some self-harm as a teen and made an unsuccessful suicide attempt at 17. I just didn’t want to be here.

I had what most people would consider a ‘good’ upbringing. I was never hungry, there was always food on the table, I was sent to very good schools. But there are other things a child needs beyond those.

I suspect I know where this self-hatred originates but to face that feels just too overwhelming.

What am I to do?

Will it ever change?

Do you hate me for writing this?

💋

Copyright, k1kat.com

All rights reserved.

Sinful Sunday… Watching TV

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I was watching TV the other night in my pjs and cami, looked down and thought, “Hey! my boobs look pretty good!”, so I took a quick snap with my iPad. (Trust me… this is a highly unusual thing for me to think!)

This was my view…

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Click to see who else is joining in the best meme on the blogsphere!

Copyright, 2015, illicitthoughts.wordpress.com

All rights reserved.

Woman in the Mirror

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The very inspirational Marie Rebelle gave us this prompt for this weeks #WW:

Self-image is how you perceive yourself. It is a number of self-impressions that have built up over time: What are your hopes and dreams? What do you think and feel? What have you done throughout your life and what did you want to do? These self-images can be very positive, giving a person confidence in their thoughts and actions, or negative, making a person doubtful of their capabilities and ideas.
(Source: What is self-image?)

So how about your self-image? Positive or negative? Why? How? Do you have advice for others on how to improve their self-image? What do you like or dislike about yourself? Interpret this prompt as you want and share your (sexy) posts.

I honestly did not think I had anything new to say on this topic, having discussed it ad nauseam on here and on my other blog k1kat.com. However, a Podcast from another of my blogging crushes/heroes, Molly Moore, featuring the lovely Malin James pricked my interest this afternoon. (Yeah pardon the dreadful pun!)

The topic was jealousy and was utterly fascinating to a person who has only ever had monogamous relationships. I found myself feeling, (and I stress that they in NO WAY suggested this to be the case at all, quite the contrary in fact), that I was a bit “less than” them. Their self confidence and apparent lack of insecurity about themselves and their relationships was amazing to listen to. They both admitted to experiencing and being uncomfortable with feelings of jealousy, but they had skills that they used to deal with these feelings.

Funnily enough, I never feel jealousy with regard to my OH and I wonder if this is because I know he is 100% committed to a monogamous relationship. In fact, my request to explore my bisexual side has been staunchly refused! I trust completely that he simply is not the straying type. We are both outrageous flirts and we enjoy watching each other do it. But that is where the line ends and I think it helps us feel secure in the relationship.

So I don’t feel jealousy, but… a BIG but coming… I am always, always, insecure. About how I look mostly, but also about how I interact with people, how I come across, (I am very gregarious and friendly and I fear sometimes I scare people!), my abilities, my lack of drive… uh, I could go on.

We have been together now for, gulp, 24 years and married for 17 of them. He has never failed to tell me he thinks I am beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, smart, funny, caring…

He has seen me at my lowest points physically, mentally and emotionally.

He has loved me when I was overweight, when I was skeletal and underweight, (thanks eating disorder!), and he loves me now, as I still wear my size UK 6 jeans, even though my tummy overflows and I really need to either buy new ones or lose the love handles. (I close my eyes and brace myself for the backlash now… I know size 6 is small but bear in mind I am only 5′ with some 2 shoes! Plus… it’s really not about the numbers, it it MY self perception, right? And, it’s through the floor. In the basement.)

But he loves me. Can I accept that? Yes… he has shown it well enough. But then why do I still look in the mirror or shop windows and really dislike what I see there? I struggled to not use the word hate there…

On Saturday we ate a delicious lunch out; a turkey and gaucamole sandwich, hardly the stuff of Over Eaters Anon, but walking afterwards, all I could talk about was how tight my jeans were, etc, etc. He took my hand and told me to say, out loud, 5 positive things about myself. I hesitated. He frowned and said, “Quick now girl, or it’ll be 10 things!” I panicked and blurted out the first 5 things I thought of and got a kiss in reward. He asked me if I felt any better and I realised I had a big grin on my face and that I actually DID feel better!

Is it that simple? Daily affirmations? Is that the trick?

I have wanted so many times to ask Molly and Rebel, both of whom astound me with their body confidence all the time, along with several other regular Sinful Sunday contributors… what is the secret? I read Molly today over on Twitter, resplendent and naked in the open air in public, enjoying the sunshine and an orgasm and thought… wow! I want to be her when I grow up!

I have accomplished things in my life that matter and have helped people, REALLY helped them. I was a Rape Crisis Counsellor and Educator and I believe I actually changed some people’s lives. I paid my own way through a Degree, whilst working. I struggled along with the OH through years of dreadful poverty. I watched my mother die and helped nurse my father until his death when I was 24. I have faced more than one serious, life changing illness.

I am still here. I am so much more than the lump of flesh that I inhabit. And yet…

Rebel, you asked us to give you our take on ‘self-image’ and here is mine. Inside, somewhere, I know and understand I am more than the appearance. And yet that is my focus. Which makes me a pretty shallow, vacant, vacuous person I guess.

See how ugly it is inside?

What is to blame? Media? Advertising? Magazines? Pop videos? My parents? Society in general?

Or just me? This is my ‘illness’… if you can accept self loathing as an illness, the same as depression or addiction, or eating disorders for that matter.

I need to take a good long hard  look at why I have this dreadful, empty, pathetically shallow viewpoint.

Incidentally and very importantly I think, this negative way of looking at bodies is one I reserve solely for myself! The reason Sinful Sunday is one of my favourite memes is the incredible positivity and acceptance I find there. Every week, I look at the pictures of people of all shapes, sizes, colours and ages and the only thing I ever feel is admiration and joy in the way they love themselves and courageously share themselves with us.

I salute you all and will continue to push my comfort zones each week, if I can. I feel that Sinful Sunday is a truly safe place. In fact, the people of the kink community are the sweetest, most accepting and non-judgemental group I have ever had the pleasure to meet.

I did not write this piece as a pity party, even if that is how it comes across.

I sat down and just let it flow, unedited, because I fear if I over-think this I will chicken out and hit delete.

I fear you will all shake your collective heads and think, “Jesus… Drama Queen alert! There are people with real problems out there…”

But if you’ve ever stopped by the neighbourhood where depression, low self-image and eating disorders live, I think, well I hope, you won’t hate me.

With love,

K

Copyright, 2015, illicitthoughts.wordpress.com

All rights reserved.