‘All I think about is food…’

‘…and I hate it because it takes so much brain space but I love it at the same time.’

‘I have a problem but I don’t want to face it. And I won’t, I like it this way too much.’

‘I have to protect myself. I have nothing now, nothing.’

‘I would be stronger if I could avoid eating for a few days… That’s being strong. But complaining like this, this is weak.’

Last night, I spent two hours in tears texting my best friend. That’s just a few snippets of things she said. I’ve known about this for six months. When I realised she was only eating 500 calories a day, knew how many calories there were in 50 grams of carrot, and on Tuesdays her net intake was negative ‘because of running club’.

It’s a lot worse now. She weighs herself several times a day, she checks her reflection in every mirror we pass, she starves herself all day, and binges at night. She gets upset if she’s heavier than she was yesterday, if her mum picks her up from school instead of walking, if she can’t cook. She’ll have a panic attack if she’s out for dinner. She’s running and swimming obsessively, and last night, she told me that when she has the money, she buys laxatives. Food makes her feel guilty.

I think she’s probably bulimic. For a long time, I thought she was anorexic, but she’s not rapidly loosing weight, and has clear signs of ‘binge and purge’. I’ve been googling. But she tells me she failed. ‘Bulimics are failed anorexics’.

I’m worried, and I’m so scared. But she won’t let me help her. She was referred to CAMHS by her GP before, not for an eating disorder, but for something else. She lied to them. She’s a very good lier. They discharged her. She said she wasn’t ready to talk, and she’ll never be ready to talk.

But she’s not just a picture on a screen at school, or some writing on an eating disorder website. She’s my best friend. Every night I climb into bed and I lie awake worrying about her. What did she eat today? How far did she run? Was she upset about her weight? Will her mum find out? What can I do? How can I help?

Because I’m scared. Really scared. I’m scared, I’m hopeless, and I have nobody to turn to.

Unfortunately, today I’m not living, laughing and loving.

alex122rw

The Gallery: Sport

A month ago, the gallery title ‘Sport’ would have been a bit problematic. I don’t do sport. Ever.

And then I signed up for a 10K run…

It’s kind of difficult to take good photos at the gym without looking like a weirdo.

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Treadmill.

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Whoop, I ran 10K on the treadmill! Yey! Just got nine and a half weeks to perfect that on the track.

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Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Seventy Days to Go!

This week was a little more successful on the exercise front.

Tuesday, my alarm went off at 5.45am. I got up. I ran. I was slow, and I was ready for school about fourty minutes earlier than I needed to be and spent the whole day wishing I’d spent more time in bed. But oh well, I did it! 2.16K, 16 minutes.

BEEP BEEP BEEP. Yes, that was 5.30am on Thursday, ready for my 6.30am swim. I did fifty lengths in fourty minutes, which I don’t think is too bad going.

Friday I was so tired after the concert, and it was my dads birthday so we had presents to give, that I didn’t make it for a run. I needed the rest anyway, everything hurts! I did go that evening though, and I ran 2.08K in 12mins 41 seconds. I’m happier with that than Tuesday’s attempt!

Saturday I headed off to the gym with the intention to run 7.5K, but I did the full ten, and in 63 minutes 30 seconds. I’m feeling pretty proud of that, and although I know treadmills are far easier than the track, it is certainly a step in the right direction!

The Gallery: Adventure

This week, the gallery theme at stickyfingers is adventure. I began to think about what I could post to fit this theme, and I decided that a good place to start would be Guiding.

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I’ve had so many adventures in Guiding, it would be impossible to count them all, but here is a little taste of my experiences. I’ve made friends, memories, there have been a few tears, but in all, (and no particular order) these photos always make me smile, and the memories that they spark will surely last a lifetime.

First up, here I am in my smart uniform for remembrance service last year. I’ve been going to these services since I was five, and although they’re not an adventure, I did once attend a special county remembrance service as a guide. It was cold, and it was about three hours long, but it was an adventure!

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This one, at first glance, probably appears a little odd. This was taken back in December 2012, at a Rainbow event which I volunteered at for the weekend. I was a magic pixie, and although this weekend was supposed to be an adventure for the girls, I had nearly as much fun singing my way through the two days.

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For me, this is what a Guiding adventure should be about. A field, friends, a campfire, and the sound of just-a-tiny-little-bit-off-tune singing. Beautiful.

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My camp blanket is my personal display, and my way to show off everything that I’ve done and achieved in guiding, as well as everywhere I’ve been. Each badge has a memory, and there have been quite a few adventures associated with those badges, too!

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My international experience was one of my most memorable adventures.

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My Ranger uniform. Although this isn’t official uniform, it’s individual, it’s us, it’s our group, and it has it’s own memories. The adventures of Monday nights that I’ve been experiencing for the past three years. And I love it.

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Guides and Scouts sharing an adventure together at a Jamboree.

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I was staff on this camp, and yet I was still able to try something new.

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It doesn’t matter how old you are, or how many times you’ve been away with Guiding, there is still something special about preparing for camp. Each time is individual, each time is different, each time you learn. And you know that you’ll come home with new friends, new skills, and you’ll be able to shout about how much of an adventure you’ve had. It doesn’t matter if you’re five, or sixty five. I think that nearly every member of girlguiding would agree with me.

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And finally, the most important adventure of all. That badge in the bottom right corner is my Chief Guide Challenge Badge, which I received on Monday at Rangers. The Chief Guide Challenge is the second highest award that you can get in girlguiding, and achieving it has certainly been an adventure!

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I’m not writing this for profit, I’m writing this because Girlguiding is a charity which I love, and support with all my heart. If you know a girl or young woman aged 5+ who would like to embark on their Guiding adventure, or are interested in volunteering with Guiding, please join us.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

I’m treading water, but my head is only just above the surface.

I’m here. I’m holding on. I’ll make it though. But it’s probably time to admit something. Something that I’ve tried to avoid, put to the back of my mind, ignore, and hope it all gets better. I’m struggling. School is really really hard. And I’m very stressed out.

I’ve accepted my offer for University. Has it helped? No. Has it made it worse? Probably. I’ve GOT to get AAB now, and with my recent report showing current achievement grades of ABC, my hopes are sinking lower and lower every day, and I’m getting stuck into a bit of a rut.

Oh, and my chemistry coursework file corrupted. I had to start again. I even backed it up, but that version went too. I’m angry and I’m gutted, and it’s just zapping so much of my time. One and a half weeks until the deadline, and I’m going well, truly, and completely insane. Please let it be over soon.

But on a high note, MY BEST FRIEND GOT AN OFFER FOR MED SCHOOL. I’m so proud of her, and so happy for her! She’s such a clever little mite, and one day, she is going to make an amazing doctor. I’m just so happy that it worked out for her. Seriously. It made my week. (And the creme egg she presented to me today definitely helped too, bless her heart!)

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Training Begins!

On Sunday, I went to the gym. I came home having done 6K in 42mins (admittedly with a loo break in the middle). The comment from my best friend was ‘At the peak of my fitness, I could run 10K in that time.’ – thank you very much.

On Tuesday, I woke up with the intention to run, rolled over, decided I felt sick, and went back to sleep.

On Thursday, we didn’t swim in the morning because we forgot to plan it. Whoops. I did go to the gym again that night though. This time I did 4K in 25mins. I was nearly sick afterwards.

Yesterday, I went to the gym again. 6K in 38.5 minutes. This even warranted a ‘well done :)’ text from the best friend!

Today, due to being completely rubbish earlier in the week, we went for a 7am swim. 46 lengths in 32 minutes, and then the session ended. That’s not bad, all things considered. Last time I went, a month ago, I did 50 in 37minutes, so at least I’ve not gone backwards!

But I have registered, and I have already got £10 total sponsorship, so that’s £5 for cancer research. In all, we can just about call that achievement, can’t we?

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

Mug Cake Mayhem

So, for the last two weeks, I’ve been embarking on a new adventure. Mug cakes. I’ve had them before, we made them at Rangers a few years ago, and I’ve made the odd one at home, but with a new challenge on the horizon, set by my best friend, I knew that I was going to need to start eating lots more cake, and so mug cakes have been my second best friend recently!

I started on Monday with a chocolate mug cake. Of course, it was perfect but I forgot to take a photo, so I made it again on Wednesday, and true to fashion, this one exploded into a big chocolatey overflowing mess. Was tasty though, and I’d definitely recommend!

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Tuesday, on recommendation from a friend, I decided to try a cinnamon mug cake. I made this apple cinnamon mug cake from thehungryhedgehog with normal icing due to a hatred for cream cheese, and it was small but delicious.

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Friday, I decided to try a mug cookie. I was a bit sceptical about this, but I found a recipe on Sweetest Kitchen, and decided to give it a go. We didn’t have any chocolate chips so I followed the advice of a commenter, and added a spoon of Nutella on top.

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Admittedly, I think the cakes were a better option… But it was good enough that I had another on Saturday, this time with ice cream as well!

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Sunday, I discovered a this five minute mutella mug cookie cookie. We didn’t any chocolate chips, and I made this in a mug, not on a plate, but it was divine all the same. The picture really doesn’t do it justice. I promise you that it is BEAUTIFUL. This one is definitely going to become a regular in my life, and I think that you should try it too!

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Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

191 days just became 81 days.

Back in December I wrote a post entitled 10K in 191 Days that detailed the running endeavour on which I was about to embark. Well, of course, my friend being my friend, plans changed, she decided she couldn’t make it, and there was no such mention of 10K again. Phew. However, just when I thought I was safe, we began talking about getting fit for DofE, and suddenly, on Monday, the mention of a run came about once more. This time, we’ve decided to stick to something much more local, a Race for Life event. But it also means that it’s time to rename this challenge – 10K in 81 days. Oh, and I still haven’t run anywhere since 2011 (aside from a trip to the gym with my brother on Friday in which I managed 6K in 42 minutes, which is pretty abysmal when I’m being told 10K in an hour should be my aim). This is going to be great fun. And my plan for how to get fit in just under three months? Here it is!

Tuesday am -> run to nearest village and back, increasing pace each week, 2.5K
Thursday am -> 30min-1hr swimming
Friday am -> run to nearest village and back, increasing pace each week, 2.5K
Saturday – running at the gym, slowly increasing time and distance each week
Occasionally on Saturday -> bike rides building up to a goal of 29miles (might not be achieved before the run!)
Sunday -> DofE group training walks, increasing the distance each week

Wish me luck. I’m sure going to need it!

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw

It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

‘Mum suggested that we go and light a candle at the church?’
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‘What do you think? Do you want to light a candle? I can light one for my grandad too?’
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My parents went to spread the ashes of my grandad today. I couldn’t go. I had a guiding training this morning, and I don’t really think my dad thought that me going was a good idea anyway. I knew that today would be hard on my own, and so I arranged to have coffee this afternoon with one of my best friends. And afterwards, just as her mum suggested, we went to the church together. She lit her candle. I lit my candle. The silence was beautiful. The memories, the grief. I broke down. But my friend was there. She held my hand, she wiped away my tears. She told me that it will get easier. I really hope so. And I trust her, because she has helped me thorough so much already the past three years. And for today, I say thank you. RIP Grandad. Forever in our hearts.

Living. Laughing. Loving.

alex122rw