Fat.

We all individually think we are fat. Beyond Gordon hits the nail bang on the head with the hammer when I read ~ just yesterday ~ her words in “Mad Girl” {and oh, my, gosh do I resonate with SO MUCH of this book..!} of 

“For young women, fat is more often a mental state rather than a physical one.” 

We all individually think “others” are perfect.Why do we judge ourselves so harshly when we wouldn’t judge others this way? Alright, I know theres a few nasty bullies out there who judge others instantaneously – not gonna lie; I’ve probably definitely done it in the past… we all have… but I have noticed myself more and more following “kindness is magic” because you just don’t know what others have/been/are going through and thus don’t judge a book by its cover.. but by and large, we are extrodinarily self critical whilst viewing others in this positive glow of perfection that simply isn’t true.

Why do we see ourselves in one light and others in a more positive light?

We are πŸ¦„.

I’m noticing this a lot recently. It’s good, because it’s what I’m meant to be doing as a result of therapy; catching myself thinking negatively about myself and really assessing, well, me. Not just in terms of “I’m fat” but generally under this all round umbrella of “not good enough” that I’ve placed upon myself; but there is no upper limit to what is “good enough” so I am constantly a failure to myself; because myself doesn’t even know what is good enough… genius, right?!

In a group conversation with two of my bestest πŸ¦„ girlfriends the other day, we were all individually berating ourselves. Calling ourselves fat, or flabby, whilst the other two said “you’re not, but I…” etc, etc. We do it a lot – not just us 3; women in general. But we aren’t. We are all different and unique. I have bigger thighs. Francesca is just all round tiny [Well Rosie and I think so at least ☺️]; and we don’t know how because my-unicorn (don’t believe in god πŸ˜‰) she is one hell of a baker, and if I baked like her I’d be absolutely enormous from taste testing the goods/licking ALL the bowls πŸ‘…πŸ€£ . Rosie, on the other hand, is “top heavy”: she has bigger boobs (guess the guys/her bf are/is happy πŸ‘€πŸ˜‚), and she’s dubbed her “belly” “Krispy Kreme Castle” and butt πŸ‘ “Mars Bar Mount” which is so cute and funny, and made me laugh out loud that I can’t help but join in with her on it. She’s still tiny. Her legs are long and slim and her butt looks pretty good to me and not so Mars-Bar-Mounty… me? Well I have tiny hands and feet and I’m warming to the rest of me. My stomach often looks reasonably flat despite ALL the food, and I prefer my smaller boobs (although they never feel so small πŸ˜’).


So here we are. Krispy Kreme Castle bellies and all; terms of endearment. I don’t think we really care anymore though; this is just who we are. We exercise/don’t exercise as and when we want. I run; I love it. Francesca doesn’t; because her asthma is waaaay worse than mine and she doesn’t so much love it 🀣. Having said that; she was pretty good running in France this week and has seriously good form! Rosie does ALL the gym classes and has discovered that if we play the 90’s Christina Aquilera “Fighter” then she totes adores the boxing even more!! The funny thing is – we all wear pretty much the same size clothing..!

I’m Karen. I’m 29 [fighting 30 in a few months.. 😱] and I’m 5ft 5″-ish.. and I tend to sit at around 9 and a half stone. Sometimes just over (ugh) and sometimes just under (yay!). I’ve fought that for years, I’ve fought and continue to fight the anorexic thoughts that have been present within my mind for more or less 30 years. I’ve said before I don’t truly believe they will ever completely go away; they may come back stronger than ever, but right now I am learning to appreciate what I’ve got and live, love and laugh with it. Clearly 9 stone 7 pounds [ish] is where I’m meant to sit. And you know what? That sits right smack in the middle of “healthy” for my age/height/sex. That is, those magic words; “good enough”. As I’ve typed that I’ve realised it’s a classic time for me to “catch myself” again. That is good enough. I am good enough.

Obviously (“ugh”) I am not ok with the ‘slightly’ over 9.7 stone, and ideally I’d maintain the 8 stone I was at around 2-3 years ago, but I can’t. I can’t maintain 8 stone or just under. I can’t even seem to maintain just under 9 stone. And I think I’m learning to deal with it. If it’s unmaintanable then it can’t be right, right? I want to live and be happy: not fight myself day in day out. I’m not gonna lie – This isn’t easy for me to say or deal with, but I’m trying to for the sake of life and happiness which is super important. The most important. I am learning to be ok with it. I am living; eating and drinking and moving as others do. For the first time since I’ve had the t-shirt, my “running = more cake πŸŽ‚” tee is actually more truthful than laughable. Running used to equal more running.. running used to equal allowing myself dinner..

I have stretch marks too from puberty. I hate them – but actually they are mostly faded now and, you know what? I was so, so relieved when Francesca said to me the other day that she “hates these stretch marks on her thighs” because I’d never noticed hers. I’d have never said she had any until she told me. We home in on our own “faults” and fail to realise that actually they are just part of being human, they aren’t abnormal, we are NOT all perfect, photoshopped images, and they/we’re ok.

I’ve noticed this last week I’ve got the beginnings of some tiny varocous veins forming… not best pleased for not-even-30… but maybe, just maybe, by announcing this “out loud” will make someone else who is struggling with noticing this in themselves be ok with the fact that I too, am not yet 30, and not best pleased – but what am I to do?! They are forming. I don’t know much about them as they aren’t something I’ve spent years worrying and pouring my soul into researching like every other aspect of me – but I know my mum has them, and I’m sure the googling will soon ensue…

Something inside me is changing. Maybe its age/maturity. Maybe it’s the amount of beautiful weather we’ve been having (/I’ve taken myself to!). Maybe it’s the Cognitive Analytical Therapy [CAT]psychotherapy that I’ve been undergoing, or the citalopram I’ve been taking, or because I ran a marathon, or been talking to therapists/everyone and anyone who will listen about everything and anything. Or maybe even the amount of doctors/nurses that have had probes/cameras/catheters/speculum’s up my vagina in the last few years. Who knows – whatever it is [& I do suspect a strong element of maturity; perhaps induced by the citalopram] I’m changing. Topless in front of friends/my Mum? Don’t care. Or one of my besties, Rosie “I’m-not-going-to-walk-in-on-you-naked-in-the-shower-oops-I-just-did”… I just don’t seem to be fussed. I just don’t seem to care anymore: we are all human. We all have bodies. We are all different but we all have our pros and self-perceived “cons”. And more and more of us are realising this, and that life is just too short to not enjoy it…Man I wish I had felt this age … 0 onwards….

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MHAW2017

Poignant, I think, for the last day of mental health awareness week.. 

I think I scared a few people earlier this (last) week.. had a couple of calls (although I will say I’m not adverse to calls rather than the usual epic texts conversations I’m normally involved with!) and texts I wasn’t expexting, even James was worried I was having “naughty” thoughts… that’s what we call them.. the worst kind of thoughts.. no one can bring themselves to say THAT word, can they?

 I won’t mention names, and I hope she’s ok with me referring to her, but I had a friend who took an overdose earlier this year.. in talking to each other now, the word “suicide” has never really been mentioned – it’s like the word depression [and anorexia]; for me it’s hard to say – I struggle to say them even now. Only in the last year have I ever referred to myself as actually having had/have anorexia and it still feels like the most impossible word to say. It sounds alien and wrong coming from my mouth. 

But it also doesn’t quite fit for me: suicide. Just like the word depression doesn’t quite make sense. I – and my friend was the same – don’t want to die. I don’t want to kill myself and I don’t want to cut this already short life even shorter, but sometimes, the will to just stop having to think is super strong, and you will clutch at anything to make that stop. That’s what my friend said to me; “I just didn’t want to think anymore”. And I got her. I got her like I felt like I had never gotten anyone before. I’ve had suicidal thoughts when I was at my worst, but really, it’s just the desire to not have to think any longer.. that surging panic within you consuming every ounce of you that you just want – need – it to stop.

So, I’m ok. I am not suicidal. Obviously the early part of last week was a bit of a shocker. It was hugely disappointing, frustrating, upsetting and stressful to find out that [not only are we still not pregnant – but] we have yet another month where we don’t even get a chance to try to be. It did make me think “what is the point” again but – although it sounds it – not in a suicidal way.. the only thing I have ever known I always want to be was a Mother – so every set back along that way is literally like another giant step backwards, and leaves me seriously questioning yet again what I am here for.

It’s only now, in the last few weeks or months, for the first time in around 2 years that I have finally started to feel truly like the “old” Karen again. Even despite the days flying into weeks flying into months and the dreaded build up to my birthday rapidly approaching (getting older is a huge, huge anxiety for me, usually one of my lowest points in the last few years!!) The smiley karen that loves to be around people, always laughing and chatting, happy and just living; because life is too short as it is. The karen that craves the comfort of others, chatting and smiling to everyone and anyone. I’m chattier, eye contact and engaging is easier, conversation flowing easier, listening to others and taking in their lives and concentration (almost!) seems to be improving. Being kind and friendly and wanting – needing – to be around people and engage with them is returning. Because, while the general public can be full of idiots, I like to think I’m good at dwindling out the decent, like minded ones πŸ˜‰  My love/hate relationship with people in general becoming funny again; because people are annoying but people are also brilliant and I love being around people!

I’m on meds. I’m back in therapy. Holidays and fun plans are on the horizon. The {standard British} weather is slowly starting to pick up to give us some kind of summertime and I’m running and moving reasonably well.. so it may be one, or a combination of all these things, but one way or another, I’m doing ok right now. 
And so, I guess, I am a prime example of what mental health does to you. What it looks like and feels like. It’s dark. It’s horrid. It isolates you, without you even realising, and it will always be with you. Mental health illness isn’t just something you suffer with for 8 weeks or so and then you’re fine forever; throughout your life it will come and go. Sometimes you’ll be aware of what’s triggered you and others you’ll have no clue as to what’s going on or even why now? But there is light at the end of the tunnel. It might be just a pinprick to start. You probably won’t even be able to see it at first. But somehow, somewhere, you can and will get through it. There will be bad days, and there will be good days, and slowly the good will increase and the bad lessen. Always look up. 

So..!

So – the 2 pages I did actually manage to read yesterday:


Relevant. So relevant. Especially that second to last paragraph on page 16… I have lost count of the number of times ignorant* people have said to me “but you’ve got everything! You’ve got a lush house, job, car, husband, dog, good figure, fit, healthy” blah-de-blah-de-blah… are you for real?! I mean cheers – that makes a mental health sufferer feel 150 bazillion % WORSE. And guilty. SO GUILTY. I know – believe me I know how bloody lucky I [mostly!] am – I am fortunate. I am physically (mostly) and financially wealthy and comfortable. That doesn’t mean my head isn’t fecking mental, and thus I do not need reminding why I seemingly have nothing to be “anxious” or “depressed” about. 

It. Is. Not. A. Choice. 

I wouldn’t wish the hell I have been through on even my worst enemy – and believe me I can be pretty mean like that, so: why on earth would I then choose it for me?

Sometimes, I do think mental health is more important than physical health – because the state of your mental health can dramatically impact on the state of your physical health. I keep going back to this recent saying from my primary school teacher – Mrs Cooke you have really got me thinking here!! “mens sana in corpore sano” ~ “a healthy mind in a healthy body” 🌚🌝

*if you actually say the words “I don’t understand it” or “I’m bored of trying to understand it – then, I’m sorry; you are an ignorant plonker. Sorry, not sorry. But I’ve heard it and its just absurd. Do you understand Cancer? Me either. Parkinson’s? Same. How about Poverty? Aids? World hunger? Human trafficking? Nope, nope, nope and nope: me either. Do you try to understand, and empathise? Yes. The world is full of shitty things no one should have to go through; mental health illness is no different. 

It isn’t easy to help someone. I see that now in me in hindsight, and in desperately wanting my friends to feel better now. A typical reaction for someone struggling with mental health is to entirely withdraw and isolate themselves. It’s not obvious to the sufferer at the time, it just happens. You think you are screaming out for help, but in fact you are withdrawing and quietly freaking the hell out. Just be there for people. Listen if need be. Be nice. Be patient. Give hugs. Or flowers. Love. Be kind. I like all of those things…. there really is something about this kindness being magic which makes everyone feel better…
Couldn't agree more!
^ couldn’t agree more!

IUI. Cancelled.

IUI Cancelled ❌
I am gutted.

In all of my being open and honest and talking (because it helps & because none of us are alone in this world) about all of this – never in my wildest dreams (& they get pretty insane…!) did I think I would be posting this message, of all messages.. it was literally the absolute last message I expected to be telling anyone.

I really, honestly believed this was the time. So many little signs and signals, marathon done, dusted and achieved. It felt like it was right. Now was our time. We were undergoing treatment and definitely going to conceive this time..

I more or less hyper-stimulated. Not so badly that I’m in danger or pain. But enough to have to cancel the treatment cycle. Instead of the maximum 3 follicles of a decent size, I had 5 ranging from 12-17mm (& increasing), alongside tonnes of smaller ones also still growing. I’m gobsmacked. I have been using the same medication (gonal-f) on the exact same dosage for seven cycles now and whilst I always reacted pretty well and quickly, I never had this many larger follicles at once.. I don’t understand how or why. Every women can react differently on every cycle – but previously I’ve been pretty steadily similar! I am just lost for words. I’ve somehow barely even managed any tears (I suspect that’s the citalopram?!), and somehow I am yet to have a hug from anyone. And I really need a hug. I’ve had a couple of hugs wrapped up in text messages from lovely lovely supportive friends, but I could really do with the real deal now. I’m looking forward to James getting home, and mum and dad arriving tomorrow. Big thank you to Lesley at upholstery class as well taking some extra time to listen (again) and join in my being gutted! I am so, so glad I hadn’t quite given up running; as now I just want to run and run – and I wonder how much further I would have hyper-stimulated had I not carried on.

For those that don’t understand all this {because unless you’re some kind of fertility expert/going through this yourself, you’ll have about as much clue as I did (J is still often playing catch up to understand!) when we started this process 18ish months ago} – 5 follicles means 5 eggs. Ideal size is 18-20mm before ovulation & turkey basting {insemination!} process would then be given the go ahead. If they allowed me to continue with 5 (& who knows if the others would also keep growing; likely) and then ovulate, and be inseminated – that could mean 5 fertilised eggs. 5 babies at once. And that’s if none of those eggs then split… I’ve always dreamed of [identical – I’m obsessed!] twins, I’ve always wanted 4 children, but 5 babies at once is just too risky to their health. That’s why the cycle is cancelled. In regards to the running – on the cycle where I did my first long marathon training run, progress slowed/stopped over the weekend I did that run, suggesting running hinders follicle growth.. I suspect OHSS (Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome) would be a lot worse …

As is tradition, I now just want to avoid food and move more. You’ll find me running. Thank god for running (and Bec, don’t worry, I’m eating anyway). The extra irony being that I was quite looking forward to a (minimum) little break from running during the tww.. πŸ˜’

πŸ˜ͺ