My name is Matt Christian and i have an eating disorder. The Journey…………..

Well we have reached Sunday yet again, to boot its AUGUST!!!

The year is going far far to quick.

It has now been 6 weeks since i started my journey with the counsellors. There have been lots of ups and downs, as i’m sure those who are regular readers will know.

I thought i would give a little space in this blog to tie up the last 6 weeks.  Now i am not going to go into great detail with this review because so much of it will be a repeat of what i have said previously. Instead i thought i would review in an interview format…………

What is actually wrong with you??

I have an eating disorder. I am also suffering from depression. Simple as that!

How did it all start??

It started out as a project to get rid of my “fat face” which i felt i had. Every time i looked at pictures or looked in the mirror i was not happy with what was staring back at me!! I started trying to get fit. Cycling, swimming, eating a little healthier, cutting out alcohol.

When and where did it go wrong??

Things started to wrong when i felt the swimming was not a viable option to continue through the winter months. I added the gym onto my swim membership. I thought mix the 2 this will keep things fresh and interesting………Initially a great idea.

What happened from there??

As said above……. Initially a great idea. Things started fine, i went to the gym first couple of weeks and enjoyed the change in routine and mixing this with the swimming created a good regime. Soon though the swimming was dropped as i felt i was getting more benefit from the gym. Use of various pieces of equipment to work different muscle groups. I particularly enjoyed the treadmill. I was always a keen runner but since my knee injury at the age of 18 i struggled to run on uneven ground. The treadmill gave me a new lease of life. I started to spend longer and longer on there as my fitness levels increased. I pushed setting myself weekly targets of distance to get to. In addition to this i started looking and taking note of fitness tips and apps posted on social media. Taking advice these sites like what to eat and what not to eat. I slowly cut carbs out of my diet. The gym visits were now every day, more and more intense cardio workouts were the core of my visit. I was restricting my eating carbs now non existent i was hardly eating during the day my evening meals were getting smaller and smaller. All i could see was that my face was finally getting thinner!!!! Hoorah!!!!! Keeping the exercise up is all that was on my mind. I was only eating what i saw a safe low calorie food. My lowest ever intake of calories for a day was 622!!! I burned at the gym that night nearly 1500. This on top of what had been burnt during the day.

Things were spiralling, i would pretend i was in control when all around me others were concerned at the amount of weight i was losing. I found myself telling them i was fine, i knew what i was doing ………………..in reality my body was hurting and aching crying out for rest. My mind had taken over and was not letting me have that rest. I would freak out if i missed a workout. If this happened meals were missed and extra time at the gym was done. This was also the same if i felt i had eaten to much or strayed out of the safe foods zone. My mood was changing also. I was becoming more withdrawn and my interactions with people were now very limited. I would only find solace in the gym where i was plugged into my music and doing what i felt was making me happy………..

When did reality hit??

Reality hit some 8 weeks ago now. I saw a news article on BBC Breakfast News about men and eating disorders. I looked at the article again that evening, ironically after the gym. Suddenly having clicked around the website the BBC directed me to i realised around 95% of what i was reading was describing me! I knew needed help from this point.

What help did you seek??

I sort help in the form of my Mum first of all. I told her i thought i had a problem and that i did not know what to do. Next step was to tell a few more people who were close to me, those who had been telling me for a while that i was losing to much weight. Telling them this news was of no surprise to them. They were just glad that i had realised it that something was wrong and that i needed help.  I consulted 3 doctors and had an assessment from a therapist before eventually finding the help i needed.

Where are you at now??

I am now under 4 different specialists. An eating disorders doctor, a mental health doctor, and 2 dietitians. These specialists are all helping me work towards full recovery. The journey is long and hard. I find that some days i am slipping and falling. It is not an easy journey. Some days i want to give up and disappear, other days i feel i am getting somewhere. I am in a constant battle with “the voice” in my head. I fight daily with this voice which barks its orders at me, it does not let my rational voice get a word in. I desperately need to get this rational voice heard……………………

So to Wednesday. A day off, a day without Number 1! She is away on holiday with her mother hopefully having a great time. So i am dog sitting whilst they are away. Little bit of time on my own which is nice. Anyway i had an appointment with the eating disorders doctor. I went to this meeting fully expecting to find my weight had either risen slightly or stayed the same……………… Nope i had lost! This loss was down to my lowest weight since i had started on the journey 6 weeks ago with the specialists. I was now weighing 7st 5lbs. Almost a pound down!! Now she was concerned about this particular weight drop. She analysed my food diary and surmised that as i am eating more my metabolism is slowly catching up. Basically i eating more thus burning it quicker. I am still way off what i should be eating calorie wise. We worked it out to be around 1000 calories less!! That is a lot! I can tell you now there is no way i can put an extra 1000 calories into my body at this time. We discussed the options i need to push on now. In essence i need to jump in the deep end now and go for it. I cannot wait for “the voice” to tell me it is ok for me to push forward, i have to go against it!!! I now have proof in black and white, that even though i am eating more i am still losing weight. The job is going to get a little harder from this moment on. I have to find more calories add things to the routine. This for me is way way out of my comfort zone!!! I have no idea how i am going to push myself? “The voice” is telling me that this is not the best thing for me. It insists that it knows best and that what i am hearing from the doctor is all nonsense. This of course is false i am struggling to get the good voices to be heard, i am desperate for them to the front and be heard.

For the rest of the week i have battled and had little victories with my eating. I am now having a banana every day mid morning thanks to my friend at work placing it in front of me.  This was something that was discussed on Wednesday. Added to this i am also trying, although with varied results to have 2 glasses of orange juice during the day. Friday was the only day i managed 2. Progress of sorts i guess? Also discussed at the meeting Wednesday was the possibility of pushing myself to introduce a carb with my evening meal. This to me is a little step to far but a step i have to take. As yet i have yet to add one. We discussed the option of adding another protein source to my evening meal if the carb was to much at this point. I have considered this but “the voice” and its stubborn and controlling nature will just not let me get through this gate. No doubt i shall be hovering here for god knows how long.

Saturday was another at work the banana and the orange juice never made it as part of the day. Bad me!  Yes yes but i was busy, work comes first when i am there. People to serve things to tidy and clear. Lunch was nearly had on the shop floor but i made myself go upstairs and have a sit down for 20 minutes.  I knew i had to really, as i was DJ’ing that evening and was going to be on my feet until 2am gone.

Sunday i woke late which did not please me. I had not got until 3am once i finished Dj’ing but i still wanted to be up. I normally try and get up so that i can go and collect Number 1 by 9 ish. I rushed to get ready and made my way over, today being as i had not seen her in over a week i was looking forward to seeing her and hearing all about her holiday. I managed to get over by 10 so it was not to bad i guess. Today unbeknown to was to be an exciting day. Her mother and i have been discussing getting her a hamster. Number 1 loves her animals and from what her mother had been telling me she desperately wants to have one. So we agreed if price of the hamster and all the bits and pieces were good we would go halves. So it was off to the pet store to have a look around and see how much the hamster, cage, bedding, food, and various other bits would cost. As it turned out it was very reasonable. Number 1 wants a girl hamster so as we arrived at the pet shop i had to prepare her that we may not get a female this day…….. As it turned out this weekend has been a busy one for hamster buying (who would have thought??).  I contacted Number 1’s mother to let her know the price of all the bits and to let her know we may well be getting it today. Number 1 and i had a look at a few hamsters in the pet shop, a lot were male or if they were female the colour was not right. Very serious business choosing a hamster. We agreed that we would go back Wednesday to get the hamster, although the cage, bedding, food and other accessories were all purchased today. A very excited Number 1 is the only way to describe it she literally cannot wait until Wednesday now……… Rosie is the chosen name. We made our way home with all the bits and when we got there we made room in her bedroom for the cage. All the while Number 1 would not stop going on about how much she was looking forward to welcoming Rosie to the house………….

So another week ends.  Another week of battles has been completed. Two meetings this week are upcoming. Eating disorders doctor on Tuesday and Wednesday is psychological doctor. For Tuesday the hope is that i have gained some weight no matter how little. I cannot keep going backwards. We all know the ramifications if that happens!  Wednesday will be trying to make sense of the complete mess that is my head. Whether things will become any clearer i cannot possibly say…………………….

Till next week.

*Dedicated to all those who are supporting me.

Peace and Love

Matt

 

 

 

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