It Aint Easy… Bein Wheezy (please someone relate to me dear god)

fitness, General

Yes, you read that right.

No, I’m not trying to be funny, I’m actually Having An Issue.

Imagine being into exercise, just for a bit, right? Like, you’re really enjoying it, pootling along nicely, pushing yourself and feeling GOOD about yourself (it’s about TIME, y’all).

(I’m actually eating brownies as I write this so no I am not life goals yet.)

But then imagine your lungs just, like, not working? Filling up with phlegm instead?*

*(I didn’t say this wouldn’t be overly-graphic and gross.)

The problem 

As you’ve probably guessed from my many, many rants about this, I am asthmatic. I have been an inhaler-sucking, wheezy and incapable individual for, well, as long as I can remember. I don’t particularly mind having asthma – I’m used to it by now – but it can be so ANNOYING.

(E.g. when I can’t walk up a flight of stairs without stopping at the top to catch my breath.)

(OR MAYBE HAVING TO PAY FOR 4 DIFFERENT PRESCRIPTIONS JUST TO KEEP MY AIRWAYS OPEN.)

Anywayyyy *collects self*,  um, asthma is an inflammatory condition which affects a person’s airways.

In short, when I try to breathe, my lungs flip out and all the little tubes inside of them, start to swell up (see pic below).

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Do I need to caption this? Really? 

This has the knock-on effect of making it harder and harder to breathe. 

Currently, there isn’t a cure for asthma, but there are medications you can take, which essentially force the airways to relax, making it easier to breathe again.

Now, there are different things that can trigger this tightening of the airways. The NHS (link at the end of this article), clearly defines the most common triggers. But more simply, asthmatic conditions are usually the result of either:

  • allergies, or
  • exercise.

I am an allergic asthmatic, which basically means that whenever I breathe air, my lungs find something to complain about. (Seriously, ask my housemates. They’re all like Cam, how do u even function? Answer: I DON’T KNOW.)

Haha.

Cool.

Right?

IN THEORY, I shouldn’t be affected by exercise.

Sooo… why can’t I run 5k (AKA the shortest distance you can run properly), without sounding like a dyING GOAT? 

I swear to you, I pinky promise (and we all know that’s serious business), that I am fit, and active, and train different parts of my body/ muscle groups on rotation.

I am CONVINCED that my LUNGS are the PROBLEM, HERE. *Scowls at chest*. 

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The solution ? 

Ummm… as yet, I don’t really have one.

I do set my breathing to my pace, from the minute I start running (breathe in for 2 strides, out for 2 strides).

I do warm up before setting off, as that kind of primes the lungs.

I do breathe in through my nose, out through my mouth (I have read that this is the best way to get nice, moist air into my lungs. Ew.)

And god knows, that I really don’t run fast.

Any advice, or sympathetic experiences, or exercises I can do to help would be much, much appreciated. 

I know it’s not really that bad, and I wrote this dramatically because, well, it’s more fun to write that way.

But it’s really disheartening when you want to make progress and you just… can’t find a way through. 

Running is my exercise-prozac. It’s my empowerment. I’d love to be able to call myself a runner one day.

Here’s hoping that maybe we (the asthmatics), can figure something out?

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me, taking pics of my self for the ‘gram, even tho I’m being nebulised. maybe i should review my priorities? 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/asthma/   

( ^^ link to NHS page on asthma).

Love and wheezes,

(and I apologise for my ranting)

Cam

A busy day – is it a happy day?

fitness, Mental Health

This post has been brewing for a while now, so I finally decided to A) finish it and B) publish it. You might not agree with me, or understand where I’m coming from with this one, so bear with me!

If anyone has ever read any of the Just William books by Richmal Crompton, you might recall one chapter when William receives a birthday card with the immortal inscription: “a busy day, is a happy day.” Of course, the young boy thinks it’s rubbish, but it popped into my head as I was writing this and I thought maybe it has a ring of truth after all.

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In the weeks before I left university, I felt the first twinges of panic begin to curdle in my stomach. Leaving Durham. Going home. Having no structure, no waves of routine to tide me along. See, I am a creature of habit. I cling to what I know like a barnacle to a rock. As I mentioned in my last post, even when it comes to food I tend to follow the same general pattern.

(I’m aware that this makes me sound super boring and I swear I am not allergic to spontaneity or fun or anything BUT -)

The problem is, when I have nothing to do, I tend to slump into depression, or into a high state of anxiety. Looking at the empty days stretched out endlessly ahead is like staring directly into the abyss – how on earth am I meant to get through all those days, stuck inside my own head with nothing but my own dark thoughts for company? And with my impending move to Croatia on the horizon, looming threateningly in the distance, I have become almost frantic. I! Must! Distract! Myself!

Stillness and stability seem like the worst thing that could possibly happen to me right now. I try not to even have a moment alone with my thoughts, to the point where I’ll listen to an audiobook to fall asleep to, or always having the radio on in the car.

My anxiety is, like, through the roof right now. But I know that all I’m doing, by giving myself so many tasks, is fuelling it! 😨

I don’t know if wanting to avoid your thoughts, and the fear of the feelings that you know are waiting for a chance to creep in, is normal? 

I feel like a piece of thread, ducking and diving through life trying to avoid the inevitable tangle that I know full well is waiting at the end.

Please, don’t think I’m not trying to change this. I know that by, essentially avoiding the problem, it’s going to bite me in the ass eventually. But, and imagine me saying this like a petulant child, I just don’t WANT to. Who wants to actually sit and think about how depressed they are and then try to combat every single thought, like a game of mental whack-a-mole? NOT ME. It’s exhausting!

Maybe you think I’m crackers, at this point. What kind of weirdo is afraid of relaxing?

Yup, it’s me.

Stasis = negative thoughts. So in my lil brain, clearly somewhere along the line I have gone yup, well, the most logical answer to that is to NEVER RELAX.

Things I do to try and help myself 

  • Exercise – not only is it just good for you in general, but the endorphins released are a natural antidepressant, which boosts mood, and the physical strain forces you to relax afterwards.
  • Eating well – I’ve been trying to FUEL MY DAY with like, fruit and shit. Healthy body = healthy mind
  • Yoga – I don’t think meditation is a good idea for me just yet, as I think I need to calm myself down more generally before tackling something I know, right now, I’ll just give up on. So I’m approaching the whole thing slowly, by doing yoga videos (I like Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube!), where I can re-introduce the idea of mindfulness and peace, whilst doing something active.

Alternatively, this Could Just Be Me. I personally hate sitting on my ass all day anyway. But I think because I am so freaked out by the potential for a depression slump in the wake of this “free time”, I have gone into WARP SPEED over the whole issue.

If anyone reading this has any tips or advice, or similar experiences you might have had, please let me know your thoughts!

Love,

Cam

Things my therapist taught me

Mental Health

I am sat on a train and I just realised that it’s my SIX YEAR anniversary of recovery from anorexia!!! Yeah, baby!! In recognition of this, I want to tell you about the woman who changed it all.

 

My therapist is kind of my life idol. She was ACE. I met her when I was sixteen years old – broken, desperate, in complete despair with myself and my situation.  Even then, I realised, here was a force to be reckoned with.

The first time I met her, I got on the scales and she looked at me and just said: “why have you done this?”

And for the first time, I realised, I didn’t really know.

She had this dyed orange-y, fire-y hair that was long and bright, and wore kind of boho-y clothes that looked liked they’d been snatched up at some market in an exciting, exotic country that she’d just finished visiting. She’d swish into her office with a mug of peppermint tea, or a bottle of Lipton’s ice tea, and say “right! Let’s get this over with!” and point to the scale for my weekly weigh-in (I never looked at the numbers). Some days she’d scowl at the number, and grimly mark the chart with a red pen, and some days she’d be pleased, and congratulate me on what I can only presume was my increasing weight.

 

A vegetarian for twenty years, she said she’d given it up recently in order to save her health, as she had an autoimmune disease and trying to stay healthy on all fronts was just a bit too much. But, as she said, she’d done her bit, which is more than most people do in a lifetime. That was seriously refreshing to hear. A chilled-out attitude to food, to life in general. No pressure to be, or to live a certain way. Just to be yourself.

 

Some days I’d fade pale-ly into her office and just sit there, staring at my hands, feeling numb, nothing, nada. I’d get on the scales and they’d reflect how I was feeling – empty. Sometimes she’d sigh and chastise me, on the days when she thought I needed tough love, and some days she’d let me talk about something else, or show me pictures of her two cats, and I’d feel relieved that today I didn’t have to dredge up how lonely and lost I was feeling, how much I just wanted to vanish into nothing.

She was herself with me, not like I was a student and she was the teacher, more like she was my concerned older friend who knew exactly how I was feeling. She was funny and smart and kind to me, even when I was being completely unreasonable. She made it seem so simple. Like, how did I not understand that this wasn’t the answer?

 

For example, I’d say, “I do not want to eat because I’ll get fat.”

And she’d say: “why do you think eating will make you fat?”

“Because I’ll lose control and spiral”

“But if I weigh you every week, and you eat what’s on the meal plan, how will that happen?”

“It just will!” This was my petulant mantra.

We had this conversation All. The. Time. After a while, I realised how dumb I sounded. Of course I wouldn’t lose control. I was in her hands, and as long as I stuck to the plan my weight would go neither up nor down, for as long as I needed to get my head straight. It was safe. I was safe. But putting your trust in someone else is hard, and she understood that.

 

Or –

 

“Why do you want to be thin? Why does that matter?”

“Because it just does. Then I’ll be pretty, and people will like me.”

I remember her pulling an exasperated face in response to this, every time. “But”, she said, “I think I’m pretty, and I have friends, and I’m not thin.”

I didn’t really have an answer to that. Maybe it was just me that thought that was the way I needed to be, to achieve everything I had in mind.

 

I learnt pretty quickly that the problem really wasn’t the food, or even the eating of it. It was the other stuff, the issues that had caused my anorexia in the first place, that needed sorting more than anything. So sometimes, for weeks on end, food wasn’t mentioned at all, perhaps. Instead, we talked about school, my friends, my family, my genes, and tried to untangle my cerebral cortex, which had seemingly tied itself in a knot.

 

Like a kitten playing with a ball of string, we batted issues back and forth, played with them, chucked them around a bit. And slowly, like the playful kitten, I grew and learned and rationalised, and finally understood that my tangle of yarn was just a thread, that with patience and kindness, could be untangled.

 

The way I see my own situation, looking back, is that it was a divergent, twofold path. Down one road was the actual, literal disordered eating, and down the other, were the causal factors.

 

The disordered eating, to some extent, mattered less whilst we looked and understood the issues surrounding the subject. We put it on hold by agreeing a 4kg bandwith of average weight I could bounce about it, whilst following my meal plan. It kept my weight high enough to stop me being admitted to hospital, but low enough that I wasn’t freaked out. I came to trust this plan, and to cling to it tightly for almost two years following the start of my therapy.

 

(This is what it looked like:

 

AM: 2 slices of toast with butter and honey.

Snack: flapjack 150 cals. Smoothie 100 cals.

Lunch: Cheese sandwich. 2 slices of Soreen (malt loaf) with butter. One piece of fruit.

Snack: 200 cals (usually Belvita biscuits)

PM: 500 cals of dinner.

Snack: 200 cals of pudding, usually a slice of cake or a yoghurt.

 

By the way, I still kind of mindlessly stick to this routine. I think I did it for long enough that it’s sort of ingrained in me now! I like my #snacks tho)

 

Tackling food fears is easier than you might think. You just have to eat the damn food. And see that nothing bad happens when you do. Understand how much better you feel, how it helps you. Prove to yourself with every bite that this isn’t wrong, it’s something so simple you don’t even have to think about it. That’s not to say it isn’t difficult. Even now, I hate eating big meals in the middle of the day, as it throws me off for the rest of the afternoon. I don’t like crisps because they’re oily and salty, and therefore equated with “bad.” It’s a dance – one step forwards, two steps back. Maybe this week I realise that I have depression, and that’s why I starve myself, but with that realisation comes self-punishment, and I decide I won’t eat my morning snack any more. How is that rational? (Hint, it isn’t). Or maybe I manage to go out for a coffee, in public, but something at school hurts me badly.

 

I could never be an eating disorder therapist because damn, it’s hard to argue with someone that’s convinced that peanut butter is the end of the world and that because they ate a sandwich made of crust pieces on Tuesday (which are bigger than normal pieces and therefore more calorific), that they shouldn’t eat dinner on Saturday.

 

My therapist showed me how stupid the whole premise was. So what, something has happened at home that has made me upset, so I’m going to declare war on salad? That’s just crazy. Why not just sort the problem out instead, and carry on eating like normal?

 

Like dude, chill out. You did crappily on some homework aaaaand you’re dealing with it by doing sit-ups in the middle of the night? How on earth is that going to help? Talk to your teacher instead! Do it again! Take charge of your own happiness!

 

Okay, I’m nearly done. But here’s some of the things that I learned from her that I will never forget, that made me who I am today.

 

  • Be SELFISH! Stop living for other people, at their mercy. It’s your goddamn life.
  • Marks and Spencers do the best nibbles.
  • At the end of the day, calories are just…calories? As long as you get ENOUGH of them, per day, it really doesn’t matter what form they’re in.
  • If you like something, you can do it all the time… make it happen. For example, she religiously had a cold Lipton’s ice tea for breakfast, every day.
  • Write your thoughts down. It’ll clear your head, and you can learn a lot about yourself from it.
  • Exercise, who?
  • Friends and food are two of the most important things in your life.
  • There is ALWAYS, ALWAYS a solution.
  • Cats are fab.
  • If something sucks, or is toxic in your life, drop it like a hot potato. And then eat a hot potato to make yourself feel better.

 

One of her treatments for me actually included going out for lunch, so I could get used to eating in public (another big fear which we’ll tackle some other time). I think that’s hilarious, and kind of cool.

 

She went to Grey College, Durham, which is kind of why I picked it. I wanted to be as strong, as sassy, as rational as she was. She made me into this person full of life, who wanted to live, and I admired her so much for that, that I still try to emulate her, six years later.

 

So thank you, therapist, for sitting with me for hundreds of hours, for showing me true catharsis, and changing the path of my life forever.

 

(and thanks to my family for making me go in the first place!)

 

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Would I have been able to be a vet if I was still sick? nOpE! ps this is my dog i love him

Pride!

travel

Good evening, pals!

I am writing this post in a very unhappy state – namely, I feel like I am being punished for some unknown misdemeanour by being put in the seventh circle of hell, A.K.A the packed 6’o’clock train from London to York, which has no air conditioning and is full of people who just want to FIGHT with one another about this fact. Jeez Karen, can’t you just shut up and drink your complimentary bottle of water?


 

This weekend has been a special one. I went with my cousin, who is more like my younger sister, to PRIDE in London!

To those of you reading this who are like, “huh?”, pride is an enormous day of parades and celebration through the centre of London (and many other cities have them too!) in which LGBTQ+ individuals can celebrate their way of life, be it their gender, sexuality, sex, and many other things in that category.

Now, you might notice I am being careful with my wording (something that’s rare for me). This is because I do not identify with any of the aforementioned categories. I went along to show support for all those who do identify in this way, and to join in the celebration of the wonderful diversity and uniqueness of the individuals that make up the world we live in!

Phew. I really hope that wasn’t offensive in any way! It wasn’t meant to be at all.

The LGBTQ+ community is most well-known for the controversy it has caused in the past,   and indeed, the issues that are still very real in the rigid, sometimes outrightly unaccepting world of today.

Case in point – on Thursday night I went to see the cinema screening of the play “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”, in which the central character (Jamie) faces his own struggles with acceptance, as a male Drag Queen in a working-class Northern environment. I would like to mention this film as I not only A). REALLY ENJOYED IT (it’s so so so SO funny and uplifting!) but B). was able to gain an insight into some of the real struggles faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, every single day.

I’m not a total stranger to issues surrounding gender and sexuality, though. As an anthropologist, I studied modules with names like “sex, reproduction and love”, and “sex in public places” – to some extent, I am aware of the literature and conversations happening, based on this enormous area, which is sometimes fraught with conflict and contrasting opinions.

So the parade is kind of like an enormous signal to the world – this is real, it’s happening, hop on board with it.

But let’s not get bogged down too much in the politics of it all, (this is a #happypost) as the parade is, first and foremost, a celebration of LGTBQ+ communities and groups!

And boy did it live up to this!

It. Was. HUGE.

Like,

ENOURMOUS.

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People were just crammed into Oxford Street like I cram my clothes into my messy, untidy drawers. Overstuffed, is the word I would use. With flags everywhere and support signs akimbo, it was like being in a world full of brightly coloured, chattering parrots. Actually, some people even had wings on, so there’s that similarity too.

The energy and the light of it all, the vibrancy of the colours and the glitter of the drag queens just brought a smile to your face.

People in short shorts and platform Converse and lots of lycra and with crazy hairdos pranced and danced and marched their way down the centre, blasting music out of huge speakers and throwing freebies into the crowd. These ranged from free condoms #staysafe, kids, to packets of sweets and stick-on crowns.

Support in the parade came from all kinds of companies, people, and places. The Queen’s marching band played a rousing version of the YMCA, all the while looking stone-faced straight ahead at the music clipped to the end of their instruments, whilst the Army roared up in a tank, followed by a crowed of people dressed in mildly disturbing leather outfits and covered in chains. I will not dwell on this.

Every time a new group, bearing whatever sign it was, the crowd would go crazy. Yelling and screaming and high-fiving and dancing like crazy. As well they should! What a wonderful day: watching all these hundreds of groups go past, openly declaring their support and spreading love for a cause and a community that is often the brunt of much hate.

We didn’t stay for all of the parade, as I had one of the worst experiences of my life, right there on the sidelines. (TW: I’m about to mention my period).
White denim skirt. Surprise visit from “Aunt Irma”. D I S A S T E R.
LUCKILY, my cousin had an enormous pride flag with her, which I fashioned into a kind of sarong whilst I ran through Topshop trying to find something black, and at leat knee-length.
Moral of the story is – always carry spare trousers??? Who even knew this was a thing??? I am kind of traumatised now.

Back to the original point of the post, which was pride.

Lately I have been binge-watching “Queer Eye”, which is a new show on Netflix. It focuses on 5 gay men (The “Fab 5”- they are, indeed, fabulous), and their mission to give a spiritual, physical, and mental makeover to someone nominated for their love of jorts (jean-shorts), terrible facial hair, or inability to move out of their parent’s house. It’s possibly the most cute, wonderful, funny, and uplifting I have ever had my eyes and ears blessed by. Seriously. I have cried so many happy tears watching that show. So pride, and gay culture in general, has been on my mind recently.

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Queer Eye isn’t just about the makeover, though. The guys talk in depth about their experiences with coming out, being openly gay, being religious, and talking to family members etc. It’s a very interesting, honest, and sometimes heart-breaking insight into this way of life.

One of their (the “Fab 5”)’s main points they make in the show, is to reinforce the idea that love is love, no matter what form it takes.

There are so many different types of love, and ways to love, and I’m slowly having my eyes opened up to them, in one way or another.

So what I wanted to say, that after all this, going to pride myself and being in that wonderful, accepting atmosphere, is that I felt nothing but oodles of love on that day, emanating from every single person at the event.

Love is love, people, and I think we, as a whole, need to start saying it like a mantra!

Love is love, no matter what form it takes. Why bully others for being loving, when love is the substance of life? IMG_8824.JPG

On that note, I shall depart.

All my love, to you, specifically you reading this,

Cam

Where have I been?

General
(Top left = me at Grey Ball, bottom left = me in Europe’s certified worst nightclub, second right = me sunbathing, bottom right = me graduating, pic on right is me with my doge TOBY, who we love.)

Oh, you know. A little of this, a little of that. I just haven’t felt much like writing! I was WRUNG OUT with tiredness and emotion, come the end of my degree. There were nights out and days in and plenty of goodbyes. There was love and light and tears and early mornings and all kinds of things going on. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to say.

Anyway, the point is: I’m back now. Maybe you missed me (although I know the answer to this is most likely, probably not). Now the craziness of the EnD oF aN ErA is over, I can get back to *relative* normality.

My goal is to post 2 or 3 times a week! I promise to be more consistent (at this point you’re probably reaching for the “unfollow” button, I know).

Consider this tho, where else are you going to get such #realtalk? I’m spending the summer working in a pet hotel, where there’s EIGHTY EIGHT dogs (yes, you read that right). And many many other animals, including cats, horses, rabbits, and even occasionally, someone’s pet rats. Lol. I’ve already been munched on by someone’s dear little pony (apparently my fingers must resemble carrots) and fell in love with a fluffy akita called YUKIO (how cute is that!).

NB: the hashtags are (mostly) #ironic.

I also really want to tell you about my graduation day, cause that was hella fun, and I discovered that I am a lot less fun than my sister, who is eight years older than me and by rights, the one that should have been complaining about being tired.

I have soooo much to tell you, dear friends. There’s been kisses and near-misses and general drams and fun timez. (Maybe I’ll make some of it up, to make my life seem more exciting. Who knows?) I even did a bar crawl consisting of all 14 Durham college bars, and actually COMPLETED IT! I either am super enthusiastic, or want nothing to do with a night out. Call me fickle, but it’s the truth.

Omg also I got rid of like 99% of my belongings in preparation for my move to Croatia (Sept 13th, looking at you). IT FEELS SO GOOD. It was like The Purge, but with my things. Based on this, I’d quite like to brag about my #fengshui abilities.

I don’t know why I’m typing like I’m an American Teen in every tween novel ever.

Right now I’m on my way to LDN! For like the 3rd time in my life. I am SO not a city girl.

Anyway, next post will be on SUNDAY, and it will be about PRIDE! Which is why I’m off to the capital.

 

Also going to be posting soon body image and exercise and how much I love carbs and how bad I feel if I don’t exercise and why that’s a bad thing and oh my gosh I have so much to say! I also want to review a book I recently read, which was really weird, even though it’s a classic. Maybe you can help me shed light on it.

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My “Finding Nemo” dress

 

To end with some wise advice:

in this world, it’s either yeet or be yeeted.” 

Love,

Cam

 

My “fitness” regime: body gals or nah?

fitness

Anyone reading this who knows me may feel an immediate sense of amusement. Cam, fitness…really? Yeah, I know. I have NO IDEA what I’m talking about. The few times I’ve set foot in a gym, I’ve been too overcome by the A). crippling embarrassment of exercising in front of other people and B). the crippling embarrassment of having to watch myself suffer in those massive mirrors they put everywhere, to actually do much exercise. (NB: WHY? Why would anyone in their right mind want to view themselves in ill-fitting lycra, failing miserably to keep up with the treadmill, as an old man in similarly ill-fitting lycra sprints sprit-lily away next to you?)

So as a NORMAL PERSON, who eats CHIPS and CAKE and looks terrible in spandex, I thought I’d share some of my worldly opinions. You didn’t ask for it, nobody asked for it, yet I still deliver. Enjoy.

Pls remember I am highly unqualified and eat a lot of chocolate and have no idea what I’m doing.

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1. What is fitness? 

When I Googled the definition, I was presented with the thrilling statement of fitness being “someone who is physically fit and healthy.”

WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Being psychically fit and healthy?? How do I know when I reach this point? Is there a ceremony? Do you sprout wings or something? Man, being human is hard. By being physically fit, I presume Google means that you, like, have muscles which have the potential to be used. Surely that means everyone is…fit? Gah.

Today I only want to talk about the whole moving-your-body-and-reap-the-rewards thing. EXERCISE. 😨

In short, I think fitness essentially means having a body which is, well, generally FIT to perform daily tasks.

2. Why should I become “fitness”?

There are soooo many bloggers and insta-stars that are super fit and super healthy and they’re so inspirational and motivational but to be honest I have never felt able to keep up with them and it’s all just a bit stressful How does one even make overnight oats? And where do I buy the necessary mason jars?

I am not tanned, beautiful, motivated to CHANGE MY LIFE, and I don’t live in Melbourne or L.A.

I live in the grotty North of England, have shit hair, and buy most of my food from Tesco’s reduced section.

Maybe you #cantrelate, and are like oh my God Cam, you PEASANT, but seriously this is what I feel like! I had to unfollow Deliciously Ella on Instagram because her beautiful food, husband, dog, and 6am yoga classes were just depressing me on a daily basis, as I frantically slap foundation under my eyes in an attempt to conceal the fact I’d been up until 3am, binge watching shitty teen series on Netflix.

Apparently though, there are benefits to yeeting  yourself out and about occasionally.

MY NUMBER ONE REASON TO EXERCISE? 

Exercise produces serotonin, i.e. the HAPPY HORMONE!

EXERCISE IS BASICALLY A FREE, NATURAL ANTIDEPRESSANT. 

For a tragic piece of trash like myself, this is GREAT!

 

I’m sure there are other benefits, like living longer, reducing your probability of contracting all kinds of horrible diseases, and just generally not having a body which retains the shape of the sofa you’ve sat on all day, but this is sometimes the only reason I can force myself out in the cold winter air, or when I’m crying and hungover.

3. Staying “fitness” 

Thus far we have established that getting “fit” means having a body which has some stamina for exercise, and that that’s probably a good thing for your mental health.

If it’s so good for you then Cam, then how do you stay fit? In-between eating family bags of Malteasers, of course.

Basically I like to run and to swim, and I dabble in yoga (again with the broken heart thing – currently I’m into massive cardio as a way of pounding out my SAD THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS). I don’t do it all the time, I don’t have a routine, I just go when I feel like it. I usually exercise two or three times a week, mood-depending. You might fancy more or less, depending on circumstances. When I’m on my period, for example, I barely move from the beanbag in front of the telly.

NB: I am someone who is massively prone to illness, usually in the form of chest infections, and that usually knocks me back for about two weeks at a time. Then I start again, having lost whatever stamina I had previously built up. Meh.

The only thing we can do, I think, is to try.

I’m rubbish, I can barely stagger my way round a ParkRun, and can only breaststroke in a pool. But the point is, I go and I DO IT, which is the ONLY thing that matters! As young children and old people go sailing past me at significantly higher speeds, do I descend to a walk and give it up as a bad job? (Sometimes, yes) – No, I do not! I TRY AGAIN.

I’m really, really, not that interested in having the perfect body. Yes, I’m insecure but damn, I don’t have the goddamn TIME to spend preening myself to that extent. There’s animals to save and people to meet and things to do. And burpees? Who wants to VOLUNTARILY torture themselves that way when there’s CAKE in the world??

I actually enjoy running and swimming, and that’s why I do them, instead of say, spin class or weight lifting.

There is SO MUCH PRESSURE to conform to what the celebrities are doing, to what we see on Instagram, to what our friends our doing. I hate bike riding with a passion, and can’t think of anything worse than a dance class.

Maybe you do though! Please please please, for the love of God, if you decide to make yourself exercise, DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY.

It can be anything. I only tried swimming recently: I didn’t learn to swim until I was 14 and for that reason, am less than amateur. I just decided to have a go one day and I really had a great time. Maybe you could do the same with rock climbing or something, I don’t know.

Just don’t start strapping weights to your ankles and subjecting yourself to crunches and squats, unless that’s what brings out your endorphin-smile. 

If you want to get fit, for whatever reason, it doesn’t have to be the be-all-and-end-all. It can be WHAT YOU WANT IT TO BE. Hence my angry runs as a way of coping with emotional stress.

4. Okay Bye 

Sorry for the very strident post. Maybe you like BBG, or it changed your life or whatever. That’s totally cool, I’m well on board with that!! I might even try it myself, if I find myself wanting to.

What I’m NOT on board with is this manic desire to push your poor, potato-chip eating body to some kind of limit that the insta-celebs have made “accessible.

If it involves exercise before breakfast, I’m not interested.

YOU DO YOU, PLEASE. And do it with no pressure.

Love,

Cam.

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Showcasing my post-run “glow”

 

 

Ghost stories: inside the mind of an anorexic

Mental Health

Now, this is a topic about which I have a LOT to say. It’s not pretty, or uplifting, or even very funny, even with the passing of time. It’s really shitty, in fact. However, today I felt the stirrings of some old insecurities, and with that came the urge to write. 

Someone asked me if I was writing this blog in an attempt to “let go” of this history, and at the time I denied it, saying I simply wanted to share my story. But I’ve thought about it and I think what my friend said is probably true. I’m not over it. I can’t just pretend it never happened. Although maybe letting go is something I can share with you, in the same way.  

By the way, this story isn’t going to be published in neat, chronologically-ordered chapters. It’s broken and messy and probably quite incoherent. I hope you don’t mind because I, too, am messy and broken and quite incoherent. Heh. 

THIS POST MAY BE TRIGGERING TO THOSE WHO HAVE HAD SIMILAR EXPERIENCES. IF YOU DON’T THINK IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO READ IT, PLEASE DON’T. 

The Prozac Diaries: Episode 1

Mental Health

It’s Saturday morning, and I have a headache. Not from alcohol, as you might expect of a girl who recently finished her degree and is enjoying the feeling of freedom. No. It’s because I ran out of Prozac, and am going into withdrawal.

Briefly, Budapest

travel

My experience of Budapest was a heady mix of aching feet and awe at the beauty of the city.

Highlights:

  • Food
  • Scenery
  • History
  • Cheap

Lowlights:

  • Effect of large quantity of dairy on Cam’s stomach.

Admittedly, the latter problem was my own fault and I can’t really blame the city. 

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Drinking out of a lightbulb

General

NB: I wrote this yesterday but fell asleep before I could post it…

Hello friends!

Today’s chronicle is written, I admit, slightly tipsily. I have been…DAY DRINKING. Now before you get all sniffy, it’s a beautiful day here and there’s a royal wedding going on, so why the heck not? Also I’m sad, gimme a break.

A friend took me to a very indie bar which is so extremely pretentious that guests have to know a secret code before being allowed in. And then you have to consult the satirical menu, which offers a self-effacing and self-conscious insight into the minds not only of the owners of the bar, but also into yourself. Should I dabble in a daiquiri? Bow to the bourbon? Who knows? Not I. Am I really so hipster that I would order….coffee from a secret bar? Overwhelmed by choice, I settled for a cheeky cocktail. Well, two. Actually three, if you count the can of Pimms I had from Tesco. Which probably explains why walking home turned into weaving home.

As I sipped my lemon-curd infused gin-based.. drink? (I have no idea what was actually in it), I considered my situation. Here I was, following fashions trends in a crop top and red trousers, enjoying a cocktail served in a lightbulb in a club so secret, perhaps even the owners didn’t know about it. The living embodiment of a hipster nightmare.

Is this really who I am? Someone who gets off on drinking fancy-ass lemonade from a toy milk bottle?

Actually, yes, yes I am.

The cocktails were great and I got quite merrily tipsy, and had to be refrained from getting a train to the nearest town with a Wagamamas (I am super craving it right now). Plus it felt cool to be drinking in an elite club out of illicit utensils, and on top of that, to be doing it in the middle of the goddamn day. The drinks had funny names, and it was all very aesthetic in the most pretentious, wonderful way. I think with stuff like this, you’ve either got to hate it with a passion, or embrace it for what it is: a nice bar which is a bit different and where they don’t skimp on gin measures.

Moral of the story: try something new today. For me, it was drinking very alcoholic cocktails out of a lightbulb at 3pm. For you, may I suggest an Irish coffee? A g&t as the sun sets? Or maybe something non-alcoholic. I’m a terrible influence, aren’t I? But you work hard, go treat yo self.

I should go now as I have to pack a suitcase; I’m leaving for Budapest tomorrow. I do not have great confidence in my drunk packing skills – do you think I’ll need my sequin jeans? Or a wetsuit? I DON’T KNOW. My suitcase is currently mostly full of eyeshadow palettes, so that might need rethinking.

Love,

Your unsober pal,

Cam

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Friend of bad influence! Or maybe good influence. I haven’t decided yet.