Tuesday 22 September 2009

Tired but happy

ve been exhausted today, both physically and emotionally. I was up typing my story until nearly half four in the morning and then I had to type up my *actual* Maximuscle Body of 2009 entry as I was massively (like 10 times!) over the word limit!

I didn't finish typing my entry and sorting out which pictures I wanted to send until 6.30am! I managed to catch a couple of hours sleep but nothing near what I need so I'm surviving on skinny lattes and diet coke. Boy am I going to sleep well tonight!

The chances are that the people at Maximuscle will never read the other post but to be honest it's not the end of the world. You see I really feel as if a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Although over the last few months I have spoken to Joe and my friends about what I've been through, and have posted about it on the Eating Disorders board on the Weight Loss Resources (WLR) forum, I've never actually committed the whole lot to print, it's been hugely cathartic.

I thought I'd feel ashamed by my actions, but I don't, in fact quite the opposite. Now it's all down in writing I can look objectively at where I was and how dark a place, lonely and scary a place it must have been. It's almost as if it were somebody else's experiences, I feel very detached from that person now, another life, another me, but not me anymore.

I think people believe that if you have an ED you can choose whether when you switch it on or off, but that simply isn't the case. For so many years I couldn't escape the eat-purge cycle, I wasn't strong enough. The thought of digesting large meals literally frightened, stressed and panicked me hugely. I felt anxious at the thought of eating out in case the loo wasn't big enough to kneel down in, or that it was too small or close to another, or that there would be only one and so there'd be someone waiting outside to use it. It was like when I smoked for a while, I'd worry about going on trips, where I'd have enough cigarettes to last, when and where I'd get a break so I could smoke... I had to 'plan' my cigarette breaks and in the same way I guess I had to plan for my purge breaks too.

The two major factors that have contributed to my recovery and subsequent body reshaping have been

1) talking about my problems, emotions, issues, actions and beliefs. Particularly to my close friends, Joe and the people on the WLR Eating Disorders Forum. The latter has been a huge help, you can't put a price on the knowledge that you're not alone and that there are others going through something similar, if not almost identical to you.


2) taking inspiration from strong women. I have spent the last few months in awe of the amazing looking women I've seen on personal blogs and the Figure Athlete website. Before this year I'd never even *heard* of a figure athlete nevermind knew what one was!

Suddenly my eyes were open to all these amazingly gorgeous, yet muscular women! That being said, I do think that some women take it a little too far and it does concern me the amount of silicon that is out there... does every woman who trains with heavy weights end up losing her chest completely?!

There are so many women who inspire me but my current heroes are: Anita Bean, Dame Kelly Holmes (I have a signed copy of her book :-) ), Jillian Michaels, Rachel Cosgrove (can't wait for her book to come out next month!) and Joey Bull.

I knew I wanted 'that look', but also that if I did I'd have to feed my body, and therefore my muscles, properly otherwise I'd never see results

So I started weight training and researching all I could about exercise and nutrition. I love Muscle & Fitness magazine, as well as Men's Fitness, UltraFit and Holland & Barrett's 'Healthy for Men' magazine too, they've all got great articles and reports on scientific studies.

The problem I have is that there are so many conflicting articles on the 'correct' type of exercise for fat burning and the right amount of protein vs carbs vs fat etc - it's all very confusing!

So this in turn led me to decide to study Health Sciences and find out the information for myself and yesterday I got an exciting delivery!

I also got another equally exciting delivery in the form of my work's cycle scheme voucher!

I went into Action Bikes yesterday and I'm almost 100% sure that I'm going to buy a Trek 7.5FX.

The 2010 version comes in a very sexy black and red colour, look at this beauty!

Hopefully it'll provide me with the right balance of speed vs feeling more secure in a more upright position - opposed to being on a road bike with drop handlebars - I'm such a wuss!

I'm very excited, will pop along to the shop tomorrow lunch time and take it out for a spin to see what I think :-)

Also, some really really great news that made my day - remember I reported that I finally plucked up the courage to email my Uncle on Friday night, well I got a response!

I won't paste the whole email but here are some excerpts, I'm so thrilled

Thanks for the mail and also sorry not been in touch. Been really busy getting my Company off the ground which has been hard going.

I am adamant that I wont go back and work in Iraq.....good money but still very dangerous work.

I am sure your whole experience about Kevin has been a painful one Tara, but Kevin choose the path in life that he wanted to live.

When my Mum died in 1999, Rosemary and I went across for the funeral and we met up with Kevin. I had not seen or heard from him for a long time and I was
quite shocked at the state he was in....bloated and drinking excessively. When we parted he promised that he was going to get his life together and when he came out to South Africa in 2004, it seemed that he had changed and he looked good and was'nt drinking alot. He said that he had some really good friends in Newcastle and he was happy. When he died, I went over to Newcastle to bury him, I met up with some of his Friends. Really good people and they told me that Kevin had got himself sorted out and although he "fell off the wagon" a few times....he was really healthy. They told me how kind and generous he was and that he was a good person.

I do not know what happened between your Mum and Kevin, but I truly believe that he never stopped thinking about you.

Tara I want you to know that although we have never met, we are still family and I want you to think of me as your Uncle okay. You and Ryan would be so welcome in our home so remember that okay !

I have a Shuttle and Touring Company which I've just started... and am also studying to becomming a tourist guide. Hopefully when the soccer world cup comes here next year I can make a few bob !

Okay gotta go now and take some people to the airport...so stay in touch please!!!

Love Raymond

I'm so happy, I was grinning all the way to work :-)

All in all this has been a tiring, but very positive day :-)

I'm off now for dinner with a friend at a South African restaurant called Chakalaka. They do awesome ostrich scewers, yummmm can't wait.



  1. What a lovely email - he sounds a lovely uncle!

    LOVING the look of your studies... you've got me thinking...!!

  2. Yeah, he does doesn't he, I'm so happy to have found him, feels like I actually have a family after all! :-) Just got to get over to SA now to meet him :-)

    been flicking through my books, the content looks superb, lots of info, views and scientific research, can't wait to begin studying properly but's going to be weird as I'm so used to studying computer related topics where everything's either true or false, no room for ambiguity, conjecture or debate - this is going to be really interesting!

    the open university is a great organisation, I know loads of people who have studied with the OU :-)

  3. Chakalaka rocks so much. I can't wait to go back again :o)

    Really nice, supportive email from your uncle there; very nice to read about that.

    (and I'm a total wuss about dropped handle-bar bikes as well, I just can't get the hang of it and feel a bit wobbly on them too!)