Wednesday, 27 August 2014


As I haven't been weighing myself recently
I have no earthly clue what weight I am
Part of me is really curious
And really wants to know the number
I guess that's the ED part of me
But another part of me knows that it is a really bad idea
And it's not a good idea to know the number

The other night I was just getting out of the shower
And I had a huge urge to weigh
But I didn't
I'm afraid of my reaction
I'm afraid it will send me running back in to the arms of my ED

As I have said before
I am going by how I feel
Not by how I look
Or what the scale says
And I feel pretty ok
My mood is stable
My outlook is positive
For the first time in my life
I feel that I may have a future
I may have a happy ending to this story

So I'm not going to weight
I don't want my bubble to burst
I have an idea of what my weight is
I can make an educated guess
I would say that I have gained over 15kg since February
But if I thought about it too much
I would seriously crack up
So I'm not going to think about it
Not one little bit

I used to weigh multiple times a day
And when I came out of treatment
My weight dropped to 40kg
I felt fat at that weight
Even though logically I knew I was severely under weight
I couldn't see it
And I sure didn't feel it
My body image has improved over that last few months
I can now see that I am not
And never have been fat
Now don't get me wrong
I still have fat days
I still have times where I feel like a beached whale
But over all
Things have improved

When I was very under weight
Gaining weight was the worst thing I could think of
But now that I am a healthy weight
I can see that it's not so bad
I have boobs
And hips
And curves
I don't have the body of a male child any more

I was in my doctor's waiting room on Monday
I was flicking through a magazine
And I came across an article about a girl with anorexia
She had become very ill
There were photos of her
She was so frail and small
For a split second I felt jealous of her
For a split second I wanted to lose all the weight I had re-gained
How messed up is that?
I saw her emaciated body
And I was massively triggered
I had to give myself a good talking to
To remind myself of what comes along with an under weight body
The cold
The fear
The anxiety
The feeling of impending doom
The depression
The loneliness
The suicidal thoughts
Is it worth it?
Absolutely not
No way
No how

Rationally I know that I am not over weight
My clothes still fit
I would say I am a size 8 (UK)
But I am just conscious that I have given up smoking
And I tend to eat instead of smoke
I always used to have a smoke after eating
It was a way to finish off a meal
Now that I don't smoke
I have nothing to finish off the meal
So I tend to eat more
I'm sure this will calm down
I am only off the smokes 16 days
The say it takes 21  days to make or break a habit
I am nearly there

One thing that I do a lot of
Is comparing my weight to others
When I'm walking down the street
I am looking at others
And wondering if I am bigger or smaller than that person
If I am thinner I feel pleased with myself
If I am bigger I feel like crap
I just keep having to remind myself that my body is just a shell
It's just the vessel the carried my soul and my personality
Most people don't care if I am little or large
The people who love me
Love me for me
Not what weight I am
I know that I don't judge others by their weight
So why do I think that others judge me?

I feel ok in my body at the moment
It still feels very new
And unfamiliar
There is more of me
More flesh
More skin
It still feels strange
But I am getting used to it
I am getting used to looking healthy
I still get a lot of comments on my appearance
But now I am able to take them and say thank you
I'm able to accept that I am getting better
I am recovering
I am living
I'm alive

I was wondering about you
Do you weigh yourself?
How often?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


It seems that we may have a troll in our midst
I've been getting a few anonymous comments lately
And they have been quite negative
One left on my last post simply read

'This blog sucks..'

Well anonymous I have a few questions for you
If this blogs sucks so much
Why the hell are you reading it?
And taking the time to comment?
I presume you are the same anonymous who commented a few days ago
And told me that commenting is 'not a one way thing'
And I need to comment on others blogs more
What I want to know is how do you know I don't comment on other blogs?
Do you monitor every move I make?
Do you know exactly which blogs I do and don't comment on?

And another thing
I challenge you to divulge your real name
Are you so brave to comment then?
It's easy to leave nasty comments when you're anonymous
It's easy to be mean
It's easy to put people down
And say that they 'suck'

You say that this blog 'sucks'
Is that the best adjective you can come up with?
Come on anonymous
You can do better than that
I challenge you to comment again
And this time try to use your intelligence

Most of the anonymous comments I get are really positive
And maybe I shouldn't be giving this person any more air time than they deserve
And I shouldn't really feed the trolls
But it bugged me
So I am going to dedicate this one post to you
And then I am never going to give you a second thought ever again

In the words of Taylor Swift.......

'Cause the haters gonna hate, hate , hate, hate, hate
And they players gonna play, play, play, play, play
I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake it off
Shake it off........'

Monday, 25 August 2014

Girl Competition

I'm a girl
I've been a girl  my whole life
I have sisters
I have had many girlfriends over the years
And if there is one thing that I have learned
Is that girls like to compete with each other
Especially girls with an eating disorder

I remember when I first noticed girl competition
I did ballet as a young teenager
And every summer I attended a week long summer school in my local ballet school
There was a competition for a spot in the end of week show
So we split up in to groups and choreographed our routines
The competition was held on the Thursday night
And my group won
We were delighted as we weren't expecting it
I remember one of the girls from the one of the other groups threw a complete wobbler
And cried her heart out
Protesting that it wasn't fair
I remember being quite shocked
I mean it was only a friendly contest
But it obviously meant a lot more to her
If I recall correctly
This girl was extremely skinny
I remember she didn't eat sugar of any kind
And was on a strict diet
Looking back this girl probably had an eating disorder
She definitely had the perfectionist traits
I don't know what happened to her
I never saw her again
But when I was thinking about this topic
She popped in to my mind
I think her name was Rachel

Although I was aware of girl competition as a teenager
I myself didn't feel the need to compete
I didn't feel it at home either
I am the youngest in my family
So I felt no need to compete with my sisters
I accepted that they would probably achieve things before I did
And  I was ok with that
I don't feel jealous or envious of what they have
I know that I can have that too

At secondary school I was aware of competition
But not of the kind you would think
In my group of friends
I felt competition to be the wildest
To be the most outrageous
To attract the cutest boys
To wear the raciest clothes
I too it to the extreme
I wanted to be known as a wild child
As the girl who would drink and take drugs with anyone
The girl who partied the hardest
Laughed the loudest
The girl who was up for anything
The one thing I wasn't interested in was being known as a slut
I had seen friends bounce from boy to boy
And I didn't like it
I started going out with my boyfriend when I was 16
And stayed with him until I was about 24

It wasn't until a few years ago that I started feeling real competition between my friends
I mostly noticed it in others
And didn't get involved myself
I don't know why
Maybe I saw the destruction it caused
But the one area where I did get involved
Was the subject of eating disorders

For the first few years of my ED
I went along oblivious to my own weight loss and low weight
I didn't compare myself
Because I wasn't really aware that I had an ED
Then I went in to treatment for the first time
And boy was that an eye opener
I remember the day I was admitted
I spotted the other girls with EDs straight away
And they clocked me
But it took them a full day to come up and introduce themselves to me
They were wary of me
And I was wary of them
I immediately compared my weight to theirs
And being anorectic I inevitably came to the conclusion that I was bigger than all of them
That made me feel very ill at ease
Like I didn't belong there
Like I wasn't sick enough
It really messed with my head

I've been in treatment a few times over the years
And I've experienced ED competition every time
We would sit around and compare war stories

'I've had my ED for 10 years'

'I've lost Xlbs in the last year'

'I've had an NG tube 3 times.

'Well I've been in inpatient for the last 18 months'

'My doctor told me I was the worst case he's ever seen'

'I purge until I see blood'

And it can go on and on like this

I don't need to tell you how unhealthy this is
But I have had conversations like this
I have competed to be the thinnest and the sickest

Why do we do this?
Maybe because it's all we have
Maybe because we need to feel like we deserve the title of eating disordered
Maybe because we don't feel worthy
Whatever the reason
It is because of this that I have never progressed in treatment
Being surrounded by other sick girls all day everyday
Spending so much time with each other
We start to feed off each other
Copy each other
Mimic each other

I remember during my last stint in treatment
I was experiencing severe constipation
So I started to take a glass of prune juice with my meals
One by one all of the other girls started to copy me
And soon all of them were also taking prune juice with their meals
Constipation or no constipation
It was comical really
But it's just one example of the way things can in treatment

But of course it's not just us ED girls that are competitive
I've known friends to compete over anything and everything
I hate that we can be like this
I hate the one-up-man-ship that goes along with female friendships
Why can't we be happy for each other as we progress in life?
Why can't be celebrate each others lives?
Instead of feeling jealous and envious
We should be standing together
Instead of pitting ourselves against one another
We need to be there for each other
In good times and bad

I think this feeling of competition comes from insecurity
If I am feeling bad about myself
The I am surely going to feel left behind if one of my friends gets a promotion at work
I think we need to work on our self esteem
If we are going to eliminate this competition between us
We need to build our confidence
Be sure of our talents and abilities
So we can celebrate the victories in our friends lives

I was wondering about you
Have you experienced girl competition?
How did you handle it?
How do you think we can eradicate this phenomenon?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Lucky Tooth

I walk my  dogs everyday
On Friday I brought them down one of the back roads from my house
In one of the houses down there, there is a beautiful red setter
He is obviously young
And always seems really curious when we walk by his house
He wears one of those collars where he gets a shock if he goes beyond a certain boundary
So he can't come out to us
I have started going in to the garden to see him
And of course Honey and Lea come with me
The red setter gets so excited when we go  in to see him
He runs around from me to Honey to Lea
And can't quite contain himself
On Friday he was jumping around so hard that he head butted me in to my mouth
And proceeded to knock one of my new crowns out
I had to pull myself away from him
And retrieve my tooth
I gathered Honey and Lea and headed home
I managed to slip the tooth back in
But it is not secure at all
So I really need to go to the dentist to get it re-cemented back in place
At the moment it is just kind of sitting there
And it is one of my front teeth
So I need to get it sorted

Then this morning
Myself and my sister decided to go swimming in the local pool
We got our stuff together and headed off
We were the first ones there
And so had the pool to ourselves
I dived straight in completely forgetting about my lose tooth
But it didn't budge
So I carried on swimming
I swam lengths in the lane
Loving the feeling of weightless ness
Really enjoying it
Then all of a sudden I felt something in my mouth
I didn't know what it was
So I kind of spat it out
It wasn't until I put my hand to my mouth#
That I realised that it was my tooth!
My bloody tooth!
It was gone!

I began to panic
The pool was now filling up quickly
So I needed to be fast if I was going to find it
I motioned to my sister to come over
'My tooth is gone' I exploded
'My feckin' tooth'
My sister as ever, was cool as a cucumber
'Ok don't panic' She said
'We'll find it, you check the water and I'll check to see has it been thrown up on the side of the pool'
I donned my goggles
And started to duck-dive in the area that I lost it
I found lots of disgusting things like chewing gum and sand and ear-rings
But no tooth
I carried on looking
Sweeping the bottom of the pool
And just below the water line in case it was floating
But no joy

I was starting to lose hope
I didn't know what I was going to do
I would have to go in to hiding
I couldn't face the world with a missing front tooth
And a little shard of tooth in it's place
I couldn't talk to anyone
I couldn't show my face
And how would I get a new tooth?
These crowns were specially made
And it would probably take weeks to get a new one
I felt like screaming I was so frustrated
Where is my bloody tooth?

So I did what my mother always does when she loses something
I prayed to St Anthony
Patron saint of lost things
It went something like this

St Anthony?
It's me Ruby
I know I don't pray very much
But I really need your help right now
You see, I've lost a very expensive crown
It's my front tooth
And I really do need it
I am paranoid enough about my appearance as it is
I really don't need a missing tooth to add to things
So if you could please help me
I would really really appreciate it
And I promise I will go to Mass at least once if you help me find it
Thank you
And God Bless!

I carried on searching for the tooth
I really was starting to lose hope at this point
It was like trying to find a needle in a hay stack
I consulted my sister again
And she decided to go and ask  the pool attendant to check the filter
In case it was in there
So off she went
And I continued my duck diving
But really all I wanted to do was go in to a corner and cry
Jesus H Christ
Why do things like this always happen to me?

I decided to do one more sweep of  the pool
I was swimming just below the surface
When something white and square floated by my face
I followed it with my eye
And managed to grab it
My tooth!
Holy shit, it was my tooth!
I couldn't quite believe it
What were the chances of me finding it?
I was over the moon
And so very relieved that I didn't have to go around with a big gap in my lovely new teeth
Oh the relief
The relief

I held the tooth tight in my hand
And went to find my sister
'I found it' I shouted when I found her in the dressing room
'Yay, high five' she replied
And we did a little happy dance to celebrate

I put the tooth in my shoe
And went back in to finish my swim
Safe in the knowledge that it was ok

So my tooth is back in it's rightful place
And I am being very careful not to lose it again
What a lucky tooth!

Body Shapes

When I was in treatment
We had a body image class every week
One week we had to wear leggings and a tight top
We had to look in the huge mirror (That was kept behind a curtain)
And determine which body shape were
From these shapes here

I found it quite easy to recognize others shape
But when it came to my own
I couldn't figure out which one I was
If I remember correctly I thought I might have been an apple shape
But I was told that I was a neat hourglass

I went swimming this morning
And as I caught sight of my reflection
I could see that yes, I actually do have a neat hourglass
I have boobs
I have hips
And I am quite curvy
So am I happy with this body shape?
I guess it's not too shabby
Not too shabby at all

Which body shape are you?
Do you find it easy/hard to identify which shape you are?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Tainted Insight

My sister saw this exhibition in MCA in Sydney
It was called Art Express
And it was done by teenagers
This one caught my eye as it is about anorexia nervosa
It's called Tainted Insight
What can you spot in the picture?


I started smoking when I was just 13 years old
I had just started secondary school
And had made a new bestfriend
We were kindred spirits
We both hated school and all the bullshit politics that went with it
She introduced me to cigarettes
And taught me how to inhale
We used to go to the local shop and buy 10 Silk Cut purple
I remember they cost £1.61
We went in to a building site beside the school
And hid behind one of the structures
Where we huffed and puffed and chain smoked
We weren't doing it to be cool
We were doing it because we were looking for something
Something to make us feel like we belonged
Like we were part of something

I have smoked every single day since then
20 years of poisoning my lungs
Before I gave up I was smoking up to 30 a day
Although if anyone asked me, I said I smoked about 15 a day
I was too ashamed to admit that I spent 100 Euros  a week on the filthy habit
But out of those 30 a day
I would say that I only really enjoyed about 5 of them
My favourite smoke of the day was my first one in the morning
It was a little ritual of mine
To make a cup of tea
Light a smoke
And settle down on my favourite chair
If I was lucky I would get a little head rush
And become a bit lightheaded
I miss that feeling

Most of the other cigarettes I smoked out of boredom
Or habit
Not because I really wanted them
But in the run up to my quitting
I knew I was going to stop when my duty free cigarettes ran out
I was mentally preparing myself
I felt ready
I felt like I had to do it
I had to stop
So the morning of my last smoke came
I sat out in the garden in my Auntie's house
With a cuppa and my book
I savoured  it
Relished it
I knew it was goodbye
The end of a relationship that has lasted the last 20 years
But it was killing me

For the first day I didn't miss them at all
I was high on motivation and determination
I didn't tell too many people that I was giving up
I didn't want to in case that I failed
Which was a likely possibility
I have never tried to give them up before
Never really given it a fair chance
I decided not to use Nicorette patches or gum or anything
I wanted to see how I would do cold turkey
And so far I am doing ok
But right now
Right as I type  these words
I am dying for one
My tongue is hanging out for one
A smoke!
A smoke!
My kingdom for a smoke!

Sometimes I forget that I have given up
Sometimes I reach for my cigarettes
And then I remember
I am a non smoker now
A non smoker
I like the sound of that
But I get really jealous when I see someone else smoking
I walk by and I inhale to get a sniff of the smoke
And yesterday I was in my car
And I took a butt out of the ashtray and sniffed it
That's how bad I wanted one

I've often heard it said that giving up cigarettes is harder than giving up heroin
Well people
Having given up both
I can tell you categorically that heroin is most definitely harder to give up
No contest!
With heroin you have the double whammy of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms
That is no joke
I have been through it many times
And I don't lie when I say that I would rather die than have to endure that ever again
With smoking
It's more the habit of having something in your hand and mouth
That is probably why people eat more when they stop smoking
As it fills that need

The main reason that I have never tried to stop smoking before now
Is that yes, you've guessed it, I didn't want to gain weight
So have I gained weight since I gave up?
The honest answer is that I don't know
As I am not weighing myself
I have decided to go by how I feel
Not by how I look
And I feel pretty ok
So let's go with that

But even though I am missing them
Even though I would give my right arm for one
I am glad and relieved that I have given them up
I am nearly two weeks off them now
And to treat myself
I bought a pair of winter boots with the money I would have spent on cigarettes in the last week
90 Euro they cost
It just goes to show
When you put your mind to something
It's possible
I really thought that I didn't have the ability to give up
I thought I had zero willpower
But maybe it has nothing to do with willpower
Maybe it has more to do with just being ready
And being sick and tired of the behaviour
That want
That desire and need to give up
Can out weigh the pull of the habit
Whatever it is
What ever the reason
I am so glad to be free of the habit
I am proud to be a non smoker
I truly am

I was wondering about you
Do you smoke?
Have you ever tried to give them up?
What stops you from giving them up?