Just writing that title is making me anxious. I’ve wanted to write this for a while but have kept putting it off. I know, or hope, I can help a lot of people by talking about my experiences. But at the same time they’re not experiences that many are aware of so putting it online for the world to see is a little [very] daunting to me.  A Binge Eating Disorder is something that has affected me for many many years. Yet I feel like it took hitting “rock bottom” only very recently for me to realise how much of a problem it had become. A point that I hope this article stops my readers getting to. And a point I hope never to return to.

My Binge Eating Disorder

My first memories of my Binge Eating Disorder was when I was around 13 or 14 and started earning my own money. As much as I wanted to [and did] spend this money on clothes, shoes, make-up, I also spent a fair bit on sweets, crisps etc. And I know you’re all thinking “that is what we all do when we start earning money” – thinking back, the extent of it really wasn’t normal. I’m not going to go into much detail about all those years ago as my memories are quite faded. Instead I want to talk about my recent experiences as I finally feel like I’m coming out of the other side of this. My mindset has changed so much. I am motivated and determined.

I’ve always been a slimmer person. My “average” weight is a little below 9 stone. So it was hard for people to understand how this disorder was affecting me, even to those closest to me. Even now, after speaking out about it I’ve genuinely had people say to me “you’re not fat so it’s obviously not much of a problem” and right now, I bet a lot of you are thinking this too.

So let me tell you about my eating habits – my unhealthy relationship with food. This year was going to be the year I got “the body of my dreams” and honestly? The harder I pushed, the more weight I put on. My body image, my self-worth, my confidence was awful. It went as far as cancelling my summer holiday abroad because I couldn’t think of anything worse than wearing a bikini, or even shorts. I wore jumpers and blazers throughout the entire summer because I hated my arms. I covered up every part of my body I could. My skin was spotty, my hair was dry, my nails were brittle. The more depressed I got about my body image, the more I binged. That’s probably hard to contemplate, but if you’re also struggling with this, you’ll know exactly what I was going through at that time.

This summer was when “rock bottom” happened. It went as far as eating 7 packets of crisps in a row. Or 6 chocolate bars. Sneaking downstairs for an ice cream at midnight. Eating an entire pack of muffins at my desk. Binging in my car so no one would know. And do you know how I’d counteract those binges? I’d end up starving myself to make up for “all those extra calories”. But there was only a certain amount of time this could work for. Over time, the binges got worse, and far more regular, and I couldn’t keep the weight off. However hard I tried. I’d put on over a stone. This is when “rock bottom” happened. And when I realised I needed help.

But that realisation triggered something in me. Asking for help made me realise my problem. How far it had got. How far it was going to go if I didn’t do something about it. In the end the only person that was going to help me was myself. It just took me a long time to realise that. These tweets were where it began.

 

 

To begin with, I struggled daily. Tweeting about my accomplishments, about going that “one more day” without a binge. Food was an addiction for me. A comfort. And it was so hard to give that up but I knew I had to. I spent some time researching Binge Eating Disorders and what it could do to my health in the long haul. Health problems can include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure as well as mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. I knew I had to do something about it.

I made a point of having a big breakfast in the morning. At first I hated it. I couldn’t think of anything worse than eating first thing in the morning. But now I go to sleep dreaming of the breakfast I’m going to have when I wake up. Having a big breakfast meant that I’d stay full until lunchtime and not be tempted to snack. I was then eating hearty, carb filled lunches such as sweet potato soup which would release energy slowly throughout the day. It was always the afternoons I’d find the most difficult – which saw me diving into the “treats” box at work. Muffins, sweets, crisps, chocolate. I decided to make my own “treats” box. Yet fill it with fruit, nuts, lentil crisps, cereal bars, carrots, hummus, you name it. And this is what I started to dive into when I was hungry.

The binges stopped. I started to understand hunger. And differentiate it from boredom, or emotion. I suppose it all sounds so simple. Something just triggered inside of me that said “I can do this”. And I did. I focused on me. My life. I can’t believe how much things have changed in just over a month. And of course I know I’m not out of the woods yet. I’ve still got a long long way to go. But my entire mindset has changed, I’m a much better, happier person. The way I think about myself has changed massively. I still have those days where I hate every little thing about me but knowing I’m doing something to change that really really helps.

As hard as it has been for me to speak out [and please stop me from getting anxious and deleting this post] if it helps only one person I will feel like I’ve achieved something. Although Binge Eating Disorders are life-threatening, many still don’t consider them a “real eating disorder”. But in all honestly, they’re just as dangerous as Anorexia or Bulimia and we need to start taking it more seriously. I know there’s so much more I want and need to say here but I could go on forever. I want to use this to spread awareness but I will write an updated post in the near future.

I really hope speaking out about my Binge Eating Disorder will help others in the same position as me. My DMs are open on Twitter [as always] if you’d like to speak to me about anything.

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

For reference – some common signs of a binge eating disorder as taken from the NHS choices site are;

  • Secret eating
  • eating when you’re not hungry
  • feelings of guilt after eating
  • eating until you’re uncomfortably full
  • eating much faster than normal

Factors that may increase your risk of a binge eating disorder are;

  • having low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • depression or anxiety
  • feelings of stress, anger or loneliness
  • feeling under pressure to be thin

I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say “I love to bake”. But I really really do. There’s just something so soothing and relaxing about it. It’s my “chill out time”. Last Sunday was no different, I was desperate to bake but also feeling pretty “yuck” from a takeaway the night before so wanted to make something a little healthier. I had the idea of making some Healthy Oat Bars, meaning I wouldn’t feel guilty for a Sunday morning snack. AND I could make enough for guilt free snacks for the rest of the week. These Healthy Oat Bars will keep for up to a week in the fridge; I find they keep better individually wrapped in cling film.

I chose to put Pistachios, Coconut and Goji Berries in mine but you can put any dried fruit of your choice. I’ve also made them with dried apricots but haven’t tried them with any other ingredients YET.

Healthy Oat Bars - Pistachio, Coconut and Goji Berry

Ingredients: 

Makes 8-10 bars

120g rolled oats

50g coconut oil

2 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp honey (or vegan alternative)

40g desiccated coconut

2tbsp goji berries

2 tbsp pistachios

Method: 

Preparation – 35 minutes | Cooling – 1-2 hours

1. Preheat the oven to 200°c (180°c fan) and line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread the rolled oats thinly over the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until the oats are golden. This makes your bars a little more crispy.

2. Melt the butter and coconut oil in a saucepan then add the honey and peanut better and stir until combined. Then stir in the baked oats, pistachios, desiccated coconut and goji berries and stir until well coated.

3. Pour the mixture baking onto your baking sheet and press down firmly using the back of a wooden spoon. Place in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours then cut into bars.

Enjoy…

I’d love to hear what you think if you have a go at making these Healthy Oat Bars.

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Scones, scones, scones, I’ve been addicted recently. I used to only have them as a “holiday treat” when I was travelling around Devon and Cornwall. But then I realised they were sold in supermarkets, and the addiction began. Of course I knew that already, but I’d just never thought of having Cream Tea anywhere but the cute cafés along the coast. It was a Sunday morning and I told Sam I was going to get my weekly [daily] scone from the Lidl Bakery when he suggested making my own. Well I’d never thought of that either.

I had a scroll through my recipe books for a basic scone recipe and came across Mary Berry’s Devonshire Scones in her Simple Cakes recipe book. I love Mary Berry’s recipes as they’re always so simple, her Victoria Sponge recipe is one of my go-tos. As well as her Lemon Drizzle which is absolutely divine. I stuck with this recipe but added some Glacé Cherries as I had some left over from making my Muffins the other week. You can also add raisins, or other dried fruits.

Cherry Scones

Cherry Scones Ingredients:

Makes around 20

450g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

75g butter

50g caster sugar

2 eggs

225ml milk

150g glacé cherries

Method:

1. Grease two baking trays and preheat oven to 220°c (200°c fan). Put the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.

2. Beat the eggs in a measuring jug then add the milk to make it up to 300ml. Put a little of this aside for glazing then gradually add the rest to the dry ingredients until you have a soft dough.

3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a thickness of 1.5-2cm. Using a 5cm cutter, cut into around 20 circles.

4. Arrange the scones onto your prepared baking trays and brush the tops with the milk and egg mixture you put aside. Bake for 10-15 minutes until well risen and golden.

Enjoy…

Will you be having a go at making these simple Cherry Scones? What have you baked recently?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Last week was the annual street BBQ on the communal green outside of our house. I was really looking forward to it as was a lovely chance to get to meet the neighbours, many of which we were yet to speak to. It’s such a nice idea to bring the community together. There was a bouncy castle, games such as football and rounders, even apple bobbing and an “eat a doughnut without licking your lips” challenge. This year was our first time attending as we’ve recently moved to the area so I wanted to make a good first impression and share my love of baking. I stuck with an easy muffin recipe then added mixture of fillings as I wasn’t sure what everyone would enjoy. The fillings I chose were blueberry, cherry, white chocolate and milk chocolate and hazelnut.

Easy Muffin Recipe - Blueberry, Cherry, White Chocoalte, Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut

Muffin Ingredients:

Makes 12

270g plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

80g caster sugar

2 eggs

100g butter (melted)

220ml milk

2.5ml vanilla extract

Your choice of filling (around 250g)

Method:

Preparation – 10 minutes | Baking – 25 minutes

1. Line a muffin tin with muffin cases and preheat oven to 200°c/180°c fan.

2. Mix the flour, sugar and baking powder together in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, melted butter, vanilla extract and milk, then add to the dry ingredients and combine. Lightly stir in the filling of your choice.

4. Spoon into your prepared muffin cases, filling almost to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden and firm to the touch.

Enjoy…

Will you be having a go at this easy muffin recipe? What is your favourite filling?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Lee Stafford Haircare has been one of my favourites for years and years, and years. The first product, or products I discovered were from the Hair Growth Range “For Hair That Never Grows Past A Certain Length”. I started using the Hair Growth Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment once every couple of months to give my hair a treat. I always noticed such a difference after I’d used it and it was a product range I kept coming back to. Other than noticing my hair really did grow considerably faster than it would have usually – it also worked as a nourishing and conditioning treatment. I’ve spoken in depth about this range previously.

Lee Stafford Haircare Favourites

I mentioned in my initial review of the Hair Growth Range that I was yet to try the “Hair Growth Scalp Serum”. I just never felt like I needed it as part of my routine. And I usually bought the products when they were on 3 for 2 or 3 for £15 offers so I focused on the “main” three – the Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment. Recently I thought I’d try the Scalp Serum and boy have I been missing out. I absolutely love this product. I’ve been using it twice a week – immediately after washing my hair. Adding one or two full pipettes to my scalp and massaging it into my roots. I then make sure I comb through my hair to disperse any leftover product throughout my hair. This has been working wonders for me. My hair is so much healthier, shiny and volumized.

Another product I’ve been loving recently is the “Original Dry Shampoo”. I don’t think there’s much to say about a Dry Shampoo but this has become my go-to over the last couple of months. I washed my hair quite often after going blonde as I was trying to tone it with a blue shampoo. As much as this helped the overall colour of my hair, it also meant my hair expected a wash more than the twice a week it was used to. I opted for dry shampoo on the “in-between days” when I could just about get by without another wash.

The third product I wanted to mention is the “Hair Growth Treatment”. You can see how much I love this range. I can never stop babbling on about it. I’ve started using this as a once weekly treatment since bleaching my hair to keep it in optimum condition. This little pot seems to last forever. You really don’t need to use much with each treatment. The treatment helps to reduce hair loss, improves follicle health, soothes the scalp and improves strength, volume and feel of the hair. I have tried so many different treatments over the years and I keep coming back to this one.

I just wanted to quickly sneak a fourth product in here too. The “Argan Oil Anti Frizz Serum Spray”. What a little miracle product this is. I’ve only discovered it in the last week, so I’d already planned this post and taken the photographs. But I just couldn’t leave it out. I have a really nice natural wave to my hair but it’s so thick and frizzy. I’ve been using the Serum Spray to tone down the frizz and it really has been a miracle product for me and has been taming my hair for the entire day. Amazing.

Have you tried any Lee Stafford Haircare products? Do you have any recommendations?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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