Anorexia is not welcome on this holiday!

 

So in less than a week I will be on holiday in Zante, with my Mum, Dad and Sister.

For the last few years due to poor health we have not been away as a family. My sister had a Scoliosis operation to straighten her spine which had curved to 60-70 degrees. We spent that summer caring for her, teaching her to walk again and visiting the Royal Orthopedic Stanmore Hospital. My mum later got diagnosed with Cancer (Malignant Melanoma) so had an operation at the Royal Free London to remove some of her lymph nodes and 9 procedures following that. My Nanna also then got diagnosed with the same cancer and to top it all off my Granddad had a Heart Attack.

It was a difficult time for all my family and with many tears shared, hope spread and courage fought I am delighted to say we all made it through!

So, last year, as something to look forward too, we booked a 3 week vacation in America. We looked at it as a celebration, a well deserved break and something really exciting! It would be the first time as a family we would go to somewhere other than France or Spain….

…It has been cancelled and its all Anorexia fault!!

The news of this came as quite a shock to me when my family was advised not to go by the doctors and left me feeling I had let the side down…. Yes, yet again Anorexia made me forfeit something I truly wanted!

It was hard to hear and I felt disappointed with myself with only now realising just because it stopped me before, it doesn’t mean I will let it again.

The holiday has been postponed to the same time next year with the only difference being “I WILL be going!”

Anyway, holidays are not easy for me and over the years I have struggled with them, the thought of the unknown, unplanned food, having to wear bikinis and changes from my normal routine. Its strange really as although Holidays are for taking a break, Anorexia never gave me one…

In Zante we are going all-inclusive and although some people would think having plenty of choice would be better for me – the prospect is terrifying. I am not good at making decisions around food and having a large amount of choice can send my head into overdrive. Why? you may ask…

Well firstly Anorexia tries to work out the lowest calorie option, the banned foods I MUST avoid and also, when it comes to actually putting the food on my plate because other people normally do that for me, I would put on the minimum possible.

Anxiety is also high in any social events where eating is involved, I always am paranoid people think I am greedy, that I shouldn’t be eating and that they are judging me for my choices. This is a common problem and for a lot of people I have spoken too in the moment it can seem overwhelming.

When I was at my prom I had to leave the sit down meal because I felt really panicky and ended up hiding outside till it had finished! The worst thing was I was in recovery at the time and desperately wanted to prove I was “ok” but it terrified me so much I couldn’t handle it. Its awful looking back knowing Anorexia ruined that part of the night for me but if I ever get a opportunity similar to that again I will not let it be remembered as the night “Ana won”!

To prevent Anorexia destroying my holiday I have put in place a plan with both CAMHS and my parents. It is as follows…

  • At the beginning of the week I will plan what I will have to eat each night
  • My mum will serve up all my food as usual
  • I will have my own snacks on hand so it is not un predictable
  • If the timing of meals causes me issues my mum will help me rationalise my thoughts
  • And lastly if things get really difficult we will buy all my food at a local shop instead of eating the hotel food

I can tell already just by the anxiety of the build up that the holiday could possibly be the hardest challenge in my recovery so far. But instead of worrying over what hasn’t yet happened I am going to try my hardest to fight off any negativity and relax on my holiday without Anorexia trying to steal my fun.

I have realised from writing this just some of the power Anorexia had over my life and that by fighting it I can escape this…

“We shouldnt run away from a challenge. Instead we should run straight towards it, as the only way to escape the fear is too trample it beneath your feet”

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31 thoughts on “Anorexia is not welcome on this holiday!

  1. I relate on such a high level with this, I too went on holiday, all inclusive, the thought of it did scare the hell out of me, but in the end it was okay. There are healthy options which I what I had, there’s a lot of fruit etc. Just don’t let those thoughts enter your head. Have an amazing holiday you really sound like you deserve it! Block out the voices and think about how much of a hard time you’ve had and how badly you’ve needed this holiday! Take care lovely🌟🌟

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  2. You all sound like you need a good holiday. Enjoy Zante – I lived there for a couple of years in the early ’80’s (it was called Zakynthos then). It is a beautiful island and I am sure you will love it 🙂

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  3. It sounds like you have everything well planned for your vacation–to me, that’s a big step! (I’m weirdly convinced that thinking things through ahead of time and organizing helps almost any situation.) I hope you have a wonderful time.

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  4. A lot of all inclusive hotels have the option of an a la carte menu – meaning you can order something without having to go to the buffet. I worked in all inclusive hotels for a few years, it can be tricky but there’s always lots of fruit, salad, and vegetables so it doesn’t have to be too scary. Also if you do feel up to treating yourself mostly the desserts come in small portions so the guilt is minimal. On another note – try not track or count, read or swim to help switch off. I usually struggle for the first few days but most often a holiday gives me a bit of respite from my E.D, maybe it’s the change of scene,I don’t know. I hope you manage to relax and have a good time xx

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  5. Courageous and heartfelt post – and it seems to be that your thinking is right on. YOU are stronger than Anorexia – if this post is any indication at all. Congratulations
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

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  6. Thanks for looking at my blog! It sounds like you’ve had so many terrible things happen to your family recently, I hope your forthcoming holiday will make you happier and less stressed. Have you been to Greece before? I live on a boat in Greece for most of the year and have been to Zante several times, plus 40 other Greek islands! I hope you will fall in love with Greece, like I did. Good luck with your blog.

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  7. Kalimera! (Ok I’m out of Greek now.)

    It sounds like you have had a really tough time recently, I’m sorry about that, but on the other side it is amazing that you and your family have so much active love for each other. I don’t know much about anorexia (sorry!) but I know that consciously thinking and acting on a backup plan in panic-causing situations helps everyone, and it helps the ‘real you’ win against all the little voices that should NOT get to have as much as of a say in your life as they currently do.

    Thanks so much for following my blog, I feel privileged to have you as a reader. Take care, take the holiday one day at a time, pick three beautiful things a day to appreciate while you’re there, it will help you to gently open up to the experience and focus on it. All the best ~ P~

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  8. I suffered with anorexia at age 17-19, I only ate about a cup full of Doritos and water for each meal, and I worked out every day, I weigh 275 now at 6’6″, my “in shape” weight is around 225, and my anorexia weight was 180- , you could see all bones, all because I was made fun of, so it’s awesome that you can talk about it, because I couldn’t, talking is a great therapy, I will pray for you, and I have your back with anything you need! May God Bless You!
    , RealWorldRealist

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  9. It’s lovely that you have such an exciting event to look forward to in your recovery journey! Keep your eyes on the prize – it will be tangible evidence of your freedom!

    I struggled with anorexia, and am now about 2-3 years in recovery. I remember how disappointed I felt by not being allowed to do X or Y. Keep you chin up 🙂 x

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  10. Anorexia

    ​Your boyfriend traces your vertebrae,

    Climbing on , counting each step,

    Like it is a staircase 

    A staircase of bones,

    You slip like sand through his fingers.

    Your brother whose chubby cheeks which once you lovingly pulled resemble deflated ballons,

    The bags under his eyes – sacks of pain,

    His face haunted with the same illness as you , the same venom,

    The venom that seeps down from TVs and movies , from posters and magazines , 

    Venom consisting of perfectly slim people.

    And they will bury you next to your brother, 

    With the plaques screaming in pain, 

    The tombstones shall tell how you both were

    Loving children ,

    Beloved friends,

    Perfect victims ,

    To this capitalist world.

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