This is my body

0373e72e845da4b1a5077d949c2c9043

I’ve been thinking about my body a lot lately. Over the last 7 months I’ve seen it change and adapt so that it can heal, I’ve felt it slow down and been crippled by pain, I’ve seen it expand in the mirror. To say that I’ve been upset about it would be an understatement, combined it wrecked my confidence. How could I be seen with my stunning friends when my skin was marked by the way it had to stretch? How could I pretend to not see when guys would look at them and look past me being the chubby one. It made me angry because I never used to care so why did I now?

Tomorrow I start the gym for my physio sessions, which is a huge part of my recovery. It’s taken 7 long months of small stretches and exercises, acupuncture and pain. While watching Caitlin Moran last night (this is the video that inspired me) I had a realisation. While she stood up and showed her stomach off to the huge crowd and just went this is me I had a feeling burst inside me. She doesn’t give a shit, so why should I? Why should I get teary because I put on weight while my body was you know putting one of the most important bones in my body back together.

So here is the scary bit…this is my belly, something that caused me a lot of upset over the years…

IMG_5429 IMG_5431

There you go, that’s it my tum after a lot of healing. I don’t know, looking at it why I get so freaked out and angry at myself. I look at these pictures and think to myself I really like my curves and it’s just what it is. I’m not going into that gym to boast on Instagram and Twitter about how healthy I am, about my fabulous weight loss (if that happens). I’m going to the gym to continue to fix my body after trauma, to build muscle back where it’s gone. If I lose some fat, that’s fine but I’ve decided that it’s no longer my aim.

I don’t want to get into that dangerous territory where I start getting controlling over what I eat again. I know how dangerous that can be especially when you’re already trying to get through depression because you start hating and taking out your sadness on your body. Been there, done that.

I’m fully aware that this post might get some negative responses, that I’m fat, I’m ugly. Whatever. If this makes one person feel better about their body, male or female, then I’m pleased I wrote this. I’m going to try my hardest not to let my body let me down yes I’m bigger than I was and covered in stretch makes but you know what putting a spine back together makes my body pretty cool.

This is my body and I’m proud of it, fuck what anyone else thinks and I hope you can feel that way too.

Book Review: The Fever – Megan Abbott

fever

“You spend a long time waiting for life to start – her past year or two filled with all these firsts, everything new and terrifying and significant – and then it does start and you realise it isn’t what you’d expected, or asked for.” 

On a normal day in class Deenie’s best friend Lise has a seizure in the middle of class, at first while everyone is shocked, it is assumed that there is merely something wrong with Lise. When another girl has a seizure not much later shock becomes suspicion and fear. What is happening and why? As more and more girls become victims to a mystery illness a towns panic becomes world wide news. Is any girl safe?

I picked up this book because it sounded interesting a story of a mystery illness and girls being ‘betrayed by their bodies’ and wanted to see how it could be done. That and I’m a sucker for a good thriller, which Fever undoubtedly is. The story by focuses on Deenie, her brother Eli and father Tom. Each has an interesting view about the situation. While Deenie is both terrified and filled with guilt over her friends, Tom is trying to keep a level head as a teacher, while also worrying if his daughter is going to be next. I don’t really know why we see the whole thing through Eli’s perspective, possibly as a more outside perspective? I’m not sure what his viewpoint really does for the novel but it was a nice change from the typical teenage girl.

The novel is dark, creepy and eerie. I found that I didn’t want to but needed to keep reading. I loved the way that Abbott took something that could very well be true as the cause of the illness and manipulate it through media. This made the story feel a lot closer to home, especially for young women of my own age who could think about the what-ifs. The way that the hysteria spreads through media adds a lot to the plot and makes the reader even more curious and desperate to get to the end. The mention of Youtube videos and such were also telling, I don’t know of too many novels who have embraced modern technology in this type of story but Abbott has done so with ease.

While there were quite a few great things about the novel there were also some parts that irritated me. I wasn’t especially keen on the character of Deenie, I didn’t feel like she was someone I could relate too, nor did she really have much of a spark. She just kind of went with whatever was happening and was a little mopey, even in the flashbacks prior to the outbreak. It was because of this that there were points where the novel slowed down considerably, although this didn’t happen often, when it did it really dragged and I got a little frustrated wanting to skip pages.

I was also quite let down by the end of the novel, it felt like it was building up to such great suspense and then was a let down. I can’t go into too much detail without a potential spoiler but the fact that the ending only really delt with one side of the novel upset me. It kind of felt like there was no explanation. For a while I couldn’t decide if this was a great way to end it or not, to question our own beliefs but I really struggled with the sense of loss I felt not really knowing certain things at the end of the novel.

Overall I’m going to give this book 3 stars. While I did enjoy it I think that the ending would stop me from strongly recommending this to my friends. Abbott can clearly write and has a talent for suspense but at times this wavers and we are left with a slightly boring protagonist. A lot of people love this novel but, sadly, it just wasn’t for me.

Review by Chloe Metzger

Eating Disorders Awareness Week

8eaedae3c0c1099c92bc6cf82b8ed737I found the above quote on Pinterest and thought it would be a good start to todays post. Today is the last day of Eating Disorders awareness week and of course I wanted to feature it on my blog. I’ve never had an eating disorder, although for a while I had an issue with my body image. That said I have watched friends struggle through eating disorders and it’s a very slippery slope.

A lot of people have the misconception that ED’s are about food and being vain and feeling fat. Wrong. Bulimia and Anorexia, for example, are mental illnesses, they’re not to do with not fitting into a certain dress or wanting to look like a celebrity. They are illnesses which unfortunately people can die from. It’s important to know but not what I want to put forward in this blog.

I want to talk to you all about being supportive. The best thing you can do for someone with any kind of mental health condition is to support them, to do your best to understand. Some of the following things are good to know

Be patient 

Eating Disorders don’t just go away in a week, they are not a cold. Recovery can take years and for some people they need a little bit of support for the rest of their lives. It can be frustrating and so hard to watch when a loved one goes through this but your patience can mean everything.

Listen 

Don’t talk, listen. Listen to what they want and need to say. Even if they are scared and you can’t understand why. Even if what they’re saying is hard to hear just listen and ,when you can, respect their wishes.

Know when they just need you there 

Sometimes it’s not about having a big conversation, it’s just about having someone there and knowing they’re there.

Try and do some research 

You don’t need to get a PhD in Psychology but just doing a little research on ways to help for example or knowing what the illness is. Some people find it helpful to learn with the person who is living with the illness.  It can make things easier to understand.

Work with them through things 

Having support through it all is one of the most important things. Celebrate their achievements and be there if they have bad days and work through it together. You never know how much it can mean to someone.

I wanted to make it clear that this is something that people recover from! It takes hard work but it is possible to recover with the right help and be happy and healthy, as with any mental illness. If anyone is struggling with an Eating Disorder at the moment then I will leave details at the end of this post. Don’t be embarrassed, or ashamed, you can get through this. Talk to someone you feel you can, go along to a doctors appointment (you don’t have to see your own GP!) and please, please don’t give up.

Beat – UK 

http://www.b-eat.co.uk/

National Eating Disorder Association

http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

SEED – Eating Disorder Support Service

http://www.seedeatingdisorders.org.uk/

Sleep and the young Fresher (nature special)

In the wilderness that is university, throughout the day young freshers sleep. At night we see them come alive in a variety of ways socialising, becoming aware of their surroundings and of course the famous mating call (often associated with the alcoholic beverage of their choice. Ok so you know I’m not any kind of a nature specialist here I’m simply commenting on student life, however it has come to my attention that the majority of students just don’t seem to sleep. I think I’m a rarity,there is nothing I love more than my food and my bed (while also being lucky enough to stay a size 8 mwhaha!!)  while everyone else is just going crazy! I have to admit though now freshers is over people are generally starting to calm down a bit, there are still flat parties but it’s relaxed a little bit. As for my nights out? I’m still waiting for a mad night out, if I’m honest though I want to get to know where I am before hand although Wednesday nights seem to be a good night to go out so maybe I’ll try that next week! 

As I said I’m a bit of a rarity but despite this I haven’t been sleeping. It’s hard to get used to a new place as well as listening to the other crazy freshers outside my window all hours of the night. The solution I thought? Go stay at Ali’s and get some sleep after all Kingston Hill seems to be calmer. So after trying and failing with even more buses (damn I hate the buses!) Ali’s friends are pretty chilled out and we all decided to give the pub a miss and instead just sit and talk, the rest of Kingston Hill didn’t seem to get the message. I’m starting to get the feeling that even though I don’t go to them flat parties follow me, I never sleep!  I asked Ali about the amount of noise (honestly it was like trying to sleep in a bar!) and he said he didn’t get it, it was never that bad. Eventually I managed to crash out then woke up about 6 hours later to get the bus, this was strike one. Despite the early start I woke up with a smile and headed off to wait for my new laptop and printer to arrive. When it did the guy pretty much made me trash my neatly and thoroughly organised desk and room which sent me into a whole different wave of panic. I had a new laptop though, I can’t complain about that although my idea for a quick shower and 1 hour nap went out the window, I surely wouldn’t be THAT tired right? Wrong. After almost 2 weeks of interrupted sleep the tiredness reared its ugly head. The problem is when I’m tired I easily slip into a low (as I had the night before), to cut a long story short I doubted myself all afternoon and ended up in tears (which my lecturer is now aware of, nice one Chloe, nice one) at the end of one lecture. The thing is getting used to all this on a few hours sleep is enough to make anyone’s brain hurt let alone someone like me who has a brain running at 100mph at all times. 

I lost all faith in myself today so I have decided that sleep is so important that I don’t care what people think of me. I need to stay healthy so I’m going to go out occasionally but make sure I get a good nights sleep most nights. I need to make sure that I’m okay because otherwise I wont get my degree and that’s what I’m here to do. I want to use this blog also to thank my lovely new friends as well as some old ones. I’ve been having a really tough time time this week and I’ve found freshers hard and a few people have really made all the difference. So I’m using this to say thank you and that I’m okay, well I will be in time. As a lovely man said to me today ‘take every day at a time’.