10th October 2019 – World Mental Health Day. Today is the day that I admit my truth to you all. On Tuesday, I decided to write my latest blog and share it with my nearest and dearest before sharing it with you all today, so here it goes…..
I’m writing this 12 days out from Amsterdam Marathon, walking on a treadmill after completing my first interval session running in what feels like months.
This marathon build up has been from ideal… chronic injuries, 30th birthdays(best summer ever!!) , my busiest year working and being on antibiotics at the moment. I’m going in not knowing what sort of shape I am in but for once the only goal is finishing with my friends and Ben.
The reasons for me writing this post is not for sympathy but for once I’m asking for help. For so long running has been my saviour from the daily stresses but for the last 3 years, it has been my enemy.
In June of this year I met with Renee McGregor and Niki who are promoting the #trainbrave campaign and specialise in REDs and Eating Disorders. After sending them my diet diary and training schedule and then talking through my daily life they were brutally honest with me.
I cried for about 24 hours. Why? Because they told me what I was too afraid to admit. I was over training and underfuelling and I had developed an eating disorder as I saw food as something I could control, when everything else in my life I couldn’t. I had no structure to my life. I was available to work all day every day and fitting training in when I could and then doing double days to cope with stress. They told me not to run Amsterdam due to the state I had put my body in but in agreement they produced a nutrition plan, we adapted my training and hey presto we are the present day.
Amsterdam will be my last marathon for a long time. It’s time to heal myself and find other enjoyments in life. Running will be limited and at low intensity. Food will be increased and hopefully I won’t be surviving on coffee to get me through the tiredness!!! I have already condensed my working hours, so I have some time to myself whilst Lily is in childcare. In the evenings, I have started colouring again to reduce the time I am on social media, taking away the bad influences on exercise and food.
So why am I asking for help. Along with the eating disorder, I am also mentally struggling and will throughout the coming months. So if I look and don’t sound like myself, please just give me a hug, ask if I’m ok and from now on, I will be honest, instead of hiding from the truth. For years I have struggled with acceptance and feeling like I’m being take for granted. My job does not help but it’s a career I’ve chosen and enjoy. I’m learning slowly that some people won’t say thank you if I help them but most of all I’m learning to accept myself. I won’t be skinny, I won’t be fast but I will be healthy.
I also ask, please do not ask what I am training for or what marathon I am doing next, because I am not. If I do an event, it is for fun or someone has asked me to run with them. I don’t know if I will find anything that will replace the sense of achievement that I get when finishing a marathon but its something I need to find. So if there is something that you will think that I will enjoy, please share it with me!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you understand why I am asking for help and sharing my issues with you.