Thursday, April 30, 2015

Purge


I'm tired of hearing people
Tell me I just need to eat
In moderation
Or that I'm skinny enough

Moderation has never been
What you would call a forte of mine
I'm either sleeping 18 hours
Or planing world domination

I try to recover
I try to get better
I go to appointments
And write in my journal

Sometimes things go right
I get through the day
And put up a good fight
But at the end of the day
My head's in the toilet and my heart's on the floor
But all my brain is doing, is asking for more

I keep on going and the number
drops
drops
and drops
Until it's lower than what I was before

My nose is bleeding,
My throat is burning
My legs are in pain
But non of that will stop me
And if that won't stop me
What will?

-Niqi
xoxo

Summer reading list

Hello lovelies <3

I know that I haven't been very active recently, the exam season is always pretty brutal. Anyhow, I am now relaxing in Starbucks, with a fabulous s'mores frappuccino (it's amazing) and thinking about my summer. I got a research position, and I am super excited but also ridiculously nervous. I wasn't expecting to get the grant, so now that I did, I'm questioning if I deserved it.

However, on a more positive note, I am excited for the summer evenings I'll be able to spend on my lawn with an iced tea in one hand and a book in the other.

Here is my summer reading list:

Sci-Fi:
- Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Hobit, J. R. R. Tolkien
- A Game of Thrones, George R. R .Martin
- Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
- Hominids, Robert J. Sawyer
- Inferno, Dan Brown

Fiction:
- A Soft Place to Land, Susan Rebecca White
- The Beginning of Everything, Robyn Schneider
- The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
- Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson
- Catalyst, Laurie Halse Anderson
- The Here and Now, Ann Brashares
- This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila Sales
- By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead, Julie Anne Peters
- Love Letters to the Dead, Ava Dellaira
- Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel
- Impulse, Ellen Hopkins

Non-Fiction:
- What if?, xkcd
- An Apple a Day: A Memoir of Love and Recovery from Anorexia, Emma Woolf
- The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
- Beneath The Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Turth Beyond Blackfish, John Hargrove
- An Uncomplicated Life: A Father's Memoir of His Exceptional Daughter

And now, here is a list of my favorite books, that I highly recommend you add to your summer reading list:

Sci-fi:
- The DaVinci Code, Dan Brown
- Angels and Demons, Dan Brown
- Calculating God, Robert J. Sawyer
- Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
- The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
- Divergent, Veronica Roth
- The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger

Fiction:
- Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher
- It's Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini
- Looking for Alaska, John Green
- Perfect, Ellen Hopkins
- Winter girls, Laurie Halse Anderson
- The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
- The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
- Room, Emma Donoghue
- My Most Excellent Year, Susanna Kaysen
- The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick

Non-Fiction:
- Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen
- Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, Marya Hornbacher


I know that this list is ridiculously long, but books are amazing.
Leave me a comment with any book suggestions you have, or questions if you want me to narrow down my list for you :)

-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, April 24, 2015

When the sun rises

My life has been
A bit of blur
I'm living on the edge
Of life and death.

I wake up and drink
Alcohol or caffeine
What will my poison
Be today?

A cut or a purge
A binge or a scratch
Will this be noticeable
When the sun rises.


-Niqi
xoxo


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hold on

My head aches
every step I take
I wish I was in bed.

My knuckles are bruised
and scared
from being shoved down my throat
and pounded against the wall.

My fingers ache
Holding a pencil for this long
is quite a challenge.

My heart is racing
from my excessive caffeine consumption
and chest pains from
all of the purging.

I need to hold on
for one more week
but I don't know
if my body will allow it.

-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Self care studying

Hello lovelies,

I've been meaning to post more, but exams are making me busy! I get so drained from being anxious while studying, that when I'm not studying my depression takes over and all I do is nap and Netflix. Yesterday and today have been getting better, but I still have to work very hard to convince myself to stay positive. All I want to do is starve, binge, purge repeat but it's taking a toll on my body and if I keep up at the rate I've been going at I will end up in the hospital.. Yesterday was a success though and so is today so far. I just had my lunch of a vanilla yogurt protein bar (they were out of peanut butter and cookie dough!), and now I am drinking some crystal light strawberry lemonade while distracting myself by updating my blog.

I've found a few tricks that have helped my study. Studying in certain locations and atmospheres have made me a lot more motivated. Here are some top places and tips to study to get ready for your finals, while taking care of yourself.
1. If you like to study in your room, go for it. But if you're in a basement like I am, get yourself a sun light to help boost your mood.
2. Light some candles to help create a relaxed atmosphere.
3. Study in a bubble bath! If you have readings to do this is perfect. Keep stickies and a pen nearby to jot down notes.
4. Study at a coffee shop. If you're a Starbucks gold member, I highly recommend going, getting a tea or iced coffee, and sit there all day abusing the free refills! I was there this morning and enjoyed two lovely iced caramel coffees.
5. Keep some safe snacks around. Popcorn, sugar free candies, tea, dried fruit, fresh fruit etc.. whatever you can munch on when you get hungry without panicking.
6. Study outside if it's nice out, the sun will help improve your mood.
7. Take FUN study breaks. If you start watching Netflix you won't stop. Write in your journal, do 100 crunches, have a dance party, paint your nails.
8. Re-write your notes (and condense them) if you have a class where a lot of memorization is involved. If you do this with pretty colored pens it makes it seem a lot more exciting. I do a color per section, so I get to see how much I've done by how many colors I've used.
9. Remember to make yourself feel good. If you feel best in sweats and a hoodie, go for it. Personally, I wake up, shower, get dressed, and put makeup on even if I'm planning on just studying at home. it just gets me mentally ready to be productive.

I've got to get back to my cue cards! If anyone has any study tips to help me ace my upcoming exams, please please please leave a comment and let me know!

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Test taking

I work part time as a math tutor. I wish I could say I was saving for next year's tuition, but unfortunately this job really just offsets my binging costs. However, as I get better, I'll spend less money on binge food, and be able to save up properly for tuition, or for more Starbucks ;)

The girl I am currently tutoring is quite bright. Math isn't her strong suit, but with a bit of extra help she is able to understand and get most of the problems. However, she seems to have quite bad test anxiety. It is fustrating for me to see her understanding the concepts and that not being reflected in her grade, but must be even more frustrating for her. She works incredibly hard, does all her homework, but her grade doesn't reflect that.

Suffering from general anxiety disorder; learning how to manage it has been very important for my academic performance. There are three main things I do to keep my anxiety at a minimum when test writing.
1. Talk to my doctor and the disability office in order to get accommodations for my tests and exams. Personally, I get a days rest between all my tests and exams, I don't write in the evening, I get a smaller room (25 people instead of the 1000s when we write finals), and immediate bathroom access.
2. I write a practice test. Often teachers will post them online, or I'll find a review section in the textbook and use that as my practice test. It soothes me knowing that I can handle doing the questions at home, now I just need to do them in the testing environment.
3. I use my breathing skills when I start to panic. Breath in for 4 counts, hold for 7, exhale for 8. And repeat. Every time I get to a question that makes my heart start to race I repeat this pattern a couple times, calm down and try to attack the question.

Of course it isn't a fail-proof system. Anxiety can get the best of me, and I take meds as well to help. But I talked to my client about these three techniques I use. I recommended that she talk to her teacher so that she can write the test in a different room - which would allow her to quietly talk to herself while writing her test - something that I've noticed her do. I made her write a practice test during our session yesterday, and taught her the breathing pattern. She writes her test today, and I hope my techniques help her perform well, and I hope they help you guys and we head into exam season.

-Niqi
xoxo

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

To tell or not to tell

Happy Tuesday!
I've been asked to make a post about telling people about their EDs through twitter. I wanted to post it last week, but this is such an important topic I wanted to make sure to do a good job with this piece.

Struggling with a mental illness is very difficult. The stigma surrounding mental illnesses has always been a huge barrier for me when I wanted to open up about my eating disorder. I struggled for almost 4 years before I decided to get help and open up. It was a terrifying thing to do.
I tried to open up a few times in highschool. I mentioned to my friends that I had binged and purged, but got scared and told them I wasn't doing that anymore and that I was better and everything was okay.
Coming clean for real was a long process which I did it in several steps. I first told my boyfriend at the time that I had struggled in the past. This was in September of my first year at university. I managed to not binge or purge once all of September. But then as midterms came rolling in I ate about 1/2 a pound of chocolate and cheesecake. I quickly went to the pharmacy and bought some laxatives and took a couple. At this point I realized how quickly my eating disorder could take off, as having a single residence room made it incredibly easy to hide behaviors. I told my boyfriend that I messed up and needed him to take me to the anonymous peer support group on campus. After talking to them and blurting out my life story, I get referred to a therapist at my student wellness center (which is thankfully free!). After a month or two of working with her, I got comfortable enough to tell my parents, which I did over thanksgiving. I am very thankful to have supportive parents who told me to continue therapy and school and were willing to help. At this point I had yet to take a turn for the worst though. The people I really wanted to tell though were my new friends as they seemed like such a great group of non-judgmental people. Luckily for me they were. I opened up slowly, first telling them about how I was in therapy, how I had anxiety, and how I stress eat. It wasn't until mid-December, when I took to many laxatives after a post-workout binge/purge session and woke up extremely dehydrated that I fully told people what was happening. With exams coming up, I was getting worse not better. Therapy was helping but it couldn't stop the avalanche that was a bout to hit me. I went to the emergency room with a friend and told her what had happened. When I came back, I told my other close friend. They were both more supportive then I could have ever imagined.
There have been a lot of ups and downs since then, regarding my relationships and sometimes I wish I could take all my secrets back. I am now very open about my eating disorder, most people do know that I struggle, or at least am very particular about food and worry about my body image. I find it a lot better now. If people are going to judge me because of my struggles, I would rather know before I got too far into the relationship.
That being said, some people didn't react so well. I've been told to 'just eat', 'don't puke that's gross', 'but you're skinny', 'you're smarter than that' and 'you need you're an athlete' several times. Not everyone will understand, and not everyone will be supportive. But that is okay. What matters is that you find those that are.

Here is a pro/con chart I made if you are thinking about opening up to someone:

I'd like to comment a bit on treatment since it is in the pro/con chart. I am a firm believer that you need to try treatment. There is more support and programs available if you are under 18, so if you tell your parents and they put you in treatment, try to soak all of it in. View it as an experiment: if they make you gain weight and stop your behaviors, you always have the option of resuming them. But you don't always get the option of having the support and help required to stop behaviors. So don't let that stop you from opening up. I believe that everyone should try treatment at least once. I tried treatment when I lived with my mom, and that program wasn't for me. I am going to try a new support group over the summer. I know many of you still want to lose weight and are addicted to 'purging high', but it's always good to work towards having control, as supposed to your disorder having control


Good luck telling people, and if you need any advice comment below, or reach me through twitter! I love you guys all so much and you all deserve an amazing support group, both online and in real life.

-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, April 13, 2015

"Healthy"

What is it about the word healthy that makes me cringe? Is it the fat content that scares me in 'healthy' avocado, nuts and coconut oil? I know it's 'good fat' but the number of grams still scares me. Really, it's the idea of that fat on my body that scares me. But I want to appear healthy. I don't want people being worried that I'm going to collapse at any second, I want nice hair, I want to be able to do gymnastics. I do still want to lose weight, but I want to be able to live my daily life, and I don't want being underweight (which I technically would be at my goal weight) to affect me normal routine.

From this it may seem as though I want to be healthy. Yes there is some contradiction as I do want to be 'underweight', which is under my set point weight, but I do believe that it is okay to be slightly underweight and still healthy.

Then why is it that when I saw my entire family on Saturday, and they all told me I looked healthy all I heard was fat? Logically I know that's not what they meant. But emotionally, it's all I heard. I spent Thursday and Friday binging and purging, and was really hoping they wouldn't be able to tell. They didn't. In fact I looked healthy even though my head was in the toilet earlier that day.

For some reason I am still extremely triggered right now. I can't get the voices of my family telling me I look healthy out my mind, and my eating disorder brain is yelling at me.

-Niqi
xoxo

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Home, triggering home

I've been working a lot on my relationship with my parents lately. It's getting a lot better. And honestly, being at my moms these past few days has been quite nice. I love getting to see my siblings, high school friends and old gymnastics team. I do wish I could see them more often.

For the most part, my parents know how to act in order to not be triggering. But I get quite triggered by other peoples interactions as well. My mom and my stepdad fighting the first night I got home got me right back into binging and purging. And then all my family telling me how healthy I looked. Logically I know that it's a compliment. But to me all I hear is fat.

But just home itself is triggering. All the food is free. I'm so used to purging my meals and binging when my parents are out that it seems even harder to stick to my meal plan when I'm at my mom's compared to at my place. It also brings up a lot of things I've left behind. For instance, my terrible experience working at Tim Hortons, the meltdowns I had in my guidance counselors office, and the binging I would do before gymnastics at Loblaws.

I know that it's better for my recovery to not go home.. but my parents never come visit me. And I miss them. I talk to them a lot on the phone but that isn't the same as seeing them, especially when it comes to my siblings. But home is tough. Very tough.

-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, April 6, 2015

Groceries

I have a hard time grocery shopping, but this week, I only had to pick up food for 3 days, and was already stocked up on dairy, eggs and non perishables.

Here was my shopping basket:





Of course, I usually buy a lot more, but I really was just low on veggies and fruit, and I didn't want to stock up when I'm heading to my mom's in a few days.

Here's what I bought:
Lettuce: I buy it from the reduced fruit and veggie section. It's not as nice as the other stuff, but tastes just as good, isn't bad, and like 50% off.
Vitamin water: This was really just because I was impulsive and it was on sale, and I'm having a hard time with restricting right now, so I need the extra vitamins.
Powerade drops: I ran out. I have 700mL of water with some drops in it every day to make sure I have enough electrolytes.
Frozen raspberries: For my wonderful protein smoothies :)
Avocado and Keylime salsa: This stuff is amazing. Honestly go buy some. It's like guac, but spicy and has 10cals/tbsp


-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dating when you have an eating disorder

I was going to post an article about things to say/do if dating someone with an eating disorder, but I think that many of my followers have eating disorders, or are recovering from one, so I thought it may be more useful to write a post about how to make dating more comfortable when you have an eating disorder.

Being more social, and trying to have different types of relationships, and figuring out what I like is a really big part of my recovery with regards to my BPD, depression and anxiety. The borderline definitely makes relationships difficult, especially romantic ones, as I tend to blurt out my life story, or block them out completely, I decided to go on some dates, and try to find a middle ground and see how I feel about it.

I never really dated before, close friendships of mine have turned into relationships, but I never really went out on dates, where we got to know one another. But I'm going on a date next week, and I'm really excited! So many dates tend to revolve around food, and it can be really hard to go on a date when you don't know if the relationship is going anywhere.

I, personally, don't mind eating in front of people if it is super safe food, and our conversation isn't about food. Prepare some conversation ideas in advance, so you aren't stuck talking about the food. If you're on a lunch or dinner date, talking about the food is always a good go to conversation if things get awkward, so make sure to come prepared with questions to ask, or funny stories about your childhood to avoid awkward silences that lead to discussions about the food sitting in front of you.

Coffee dates are always nice, as there is no pressure to eat. Just chatting and drinking a coffee is completely normal. Coffee shops often have lots of sweets that I find very triggering, but if I plan to just have a tea, coffee or latte if I'm in the mood for something with a bit of substance I can stay quite calm and enjoy myself.

If your date wants to take you out to dinner, offer to cook for him or her. The date I'm going on in a couple weeks, is already planned, so I am much more calm about it. I am going to his place to teach him how to make spaghetti squash and spaghetti zucchini. This is great, as I end up cooking my own meal so I know I can be safe with it. And measuring everything won't seem strange as I am teaching him how to cook!

Movies are always good! Whether you go at home or out, there isn't much pressure to eat. Although popcorn is usually offered, both you and your date will be watching the movie (or kissing ;)) and thus you don't have to worry about being watched as you eat or don't eat the snack.

I tend to be opposed to lying, but in some situations it is okay. When you're going out on your first few dates, you aren't usually committed to marrying them. Saying that you have dietary restrictions due to a health condition isn't a lie, and claiming to have an allergy is only a small white lie. If you do end up opening to this person about your eating disorder they will understand why you felt the need to claim an allergy earlier on in your relationship.

Some days I have very bad body image, which can make me feel very self conscious when going out. Try an activity like a hike when it's cooler out, or laser tag, where your body isn't on display. Going to a karaoke night, or something else that occurs in a busy, darker environment can also help you not feel like your body is being starred at.

Going out for a drink can also help reduce your anxiety (as long as alcohol isn't a problem for you, and you are of age of course!). I find I am a lot more comfortable to eat, and not drunk after having one drink, so a glass of wine with dinner, or a cooler with an appetizer can be a good way to relax.

-Niqi
xoxo

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Breakfast

I know that many of you won't agree with me, but I am a huge believer in breakfast. I don't like eating late into the evening as it tends to trigger a binge for me, but in the morning, when I'm feeling good, is one of my prime times to get nutrients in me :) If I'm fighting with the scale or the mirror a lot in the morning I'll just have an apple or some berries and a coffee, but I usually try to get something more substantial in. My common breakfasts are:

1. Egg whites and veggies. I love my egg whites, and they are loaded with protein with virtually no fat. I usually make an omelette with four, throw in some basil, salt and pepper, and some broccoli, and eat it on a bed of lettuce. It comes to 70-100 cals depending on how many veggies I through in.


2. Yogurt and berries. I'm obsessed with Source Lemon Meringue Pie yogurt, and it's only 35cals/third cup. I like warming up some frozen strawberries or raspberries, and then scooping a serving of yogurt on top. It tastes amazing, and is sweet and the perfect way to wake up. It comes to around 105cals, depending on how many berries, and what type of berries you use.

3. Peppermint coconut latte. You all know I'm a coffee addict. This isn't news. Sometimes, when I'm in a rush, or just in the mood for something creamy, I make myself a latte. I pour in a couple shots of espresso (really strong coffee works well if you don't have an espresso machine), 3/4 cups of coconut milk, and I swirl in a mini candy cane. Comes to around 90 calories.

4. Banana and Peanut butter. I ate this for breakfast every single day since as long as I can remember. Unfortunately a couple months ago bananas turned into a fear food. I logically know how good they are for me, but I hit a mental block when I try to eat one. But if you are a fan of bananas, a banana and 1tbsp of natural peanut butter would keep me full and satisfied until lunch time. 195 cals, so higher then my other options, but honestly 100% worth it.
5. A bowl of oatmeal. I get instant oats, and add in a chopped up apple with cinnamon or some berries for sweetness. I also add in a packet of splenda or other sweatner if I have it, if not a couple drops of agave syrup or some brown sugar. I'm okay with adding to sugar to my bowl of oatmeal unless I'm having a very tough day. I have about 100cals worth of oatmeal, plus whatever I add in.











I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful breakfast!
(I'm currently finishing up my egg whites and lettuce (I'm running very low on veggies today))

Enjoy your Thursday!

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April

April is going to be a good month. I can feel it. I've been really determined to make some positive changes in my life lately. In group we made small goals to help us work towards our values. So in order to stop self harming, as well as binging and purging, I made myself 6 little goals.

Goal 1:
Eat when I don't have time to purge
By eating when I don't have time to purge I won't be able to purge. This seems basic enough, but eating when I'm busy will also increase my chances of following my food plan. I just need to make sure that I do eat a little, because then a binge becomes inevitable.

Goal 2:
Eating food that is hard to purge. For now, I'm just going to stick to my safe foods, and not binge or purge. Every time I try a new fear food I seem to end up binging and purging. So safe food, no binging, no purging will be my new life.

Goal 3:
Go grocery shopping alone or not with my housemates. My housemates are super triggering when it comes to grocery shopping. Well, two of them are at least. The third one is great but she shops with the other two. I need to go grocery shopping and not buy a ridiculous amount of binge food.

Goal 4:
Tell people when I want to hurt myself. This is going to be super super super hard. I hate reaching out when things are tough. I get so embarrassed. But I know my twitter family will be super helpful, and I can also call help lines. With time maybe I'll actually be able to reach out to friends and family.

Goal 5:
Waiting it out. This is the hardest thing in the world. But I'll distract myself with a fun movie, painting my nails and drinking some tea. I can do this.

Goal 6:
Taking ativan. I love my ativan. But I tend to only take it on weekends because I don't have time to sleep or not be productive on weekends. So new plan: pepsi max and ativan when I need it. That way I can stay up, study and stay calm.

What are your April goals?

-Niqi
xoxo