This week I have..

Category: , By panda_eyed


  • week, I signed up to Facebook and have become a little bit addicted to it. Is there such a thing as Facebook anonymous?
  • morning, I was woken at 8am by my neighbour mowing his lawn. Surely there is a law against mowing your lawn in unsocial hours?
  • afternoon, I have a CFS clinic session, and am worried because I haven't done my homework of daily exercises, relaxation techniques and keeping a thoughts diary. The cute doctor will be unhappy with me..
  • weekend, I feel well enough to do some shopping :)
  • weekend, I hope it's sunny so I can sit in the garden and read
  • morning, I am wearing glasses with a new prescription and they make me feel a bit dizzy
  • week, I have gotten over my resp. tract infection, but my voice is still husky, and not in a sexy way.
  • week, I have spent too long faffing around and getting nothing done
  • week, I have thought about what I want to do in the future
  • week, I have asked myself why I always feel so self-conscious and uptight, and have actively been trying to be more laid back and relaxed
  • week, I have celebrated a friend's good news, although it reminded me about an event in the past and made me feel sad.
  • week, my workplace have set up a monitoring system to see how much we get done. Less time for blogging/reading blogs/faffing around on the internet
  • week, I haven't had any chocolate or crisps - shocking!
  • week, I went into the office after a month of being away and couldn't find my desk because we'd been moved around
  • weekend, I aim to relax in the knowledge that things aren't so bad at the moment :)

What's been going on with YOU lately..?


Other people's pressures and expectations

Category: , , , , By panda_eyed
Tis the evening before I'm due to go back to work and I'm so full of dread. It's the thought of the tedious 'job' that still sort of feels like the studenty summer job, albeit with a fancier job title and a slightly better pay packet. But if I think about it, it's not just the job that has my stomach feeling all knotty and horrible. I know that I can change jobs, but it's not that black and white. I don't just want a new job, I want a whole new career. The hard bit? Not knowing what else I want to do or even can do, not wanting to start again from the very bottom, and the very worst bit - not knowing if I'd be able to cope with a different job with my CFS - that's the most frustrating part.

And of course, if we're talking about frustrations here, it's not only work that has me feeling so agitated, it's most things in general. Life, and the feeling of 'Is that all there is?'. I'm a single twenty-something year old girl in London; I have a degree, I'm intelligent, marginally attractive and a nice person - and yet, I feel as if I'm not doing this properly, not living life as a twenty-something should. What it all boils down to, I guess, is what the media, and 'other people' have set as the standard for someone like me. So much pressure from all sides - society, friends, and the biggest one - family. You know how it is, the feeling that you're not quite good enough - not successful enough, not thin enough, not rich or pretty enough, not popular enough. It's when five different relatives at a family gathering ask you 'So, why haven't you got a boyfriend?'; it's when you vegged in front of the TV all weekend and a colleague tells you about their wild weekend and then asks 'So what did you get upto?'; it's when your aunt says 'You've put a bit of weight lately, haven't you?', or 'So how much are you earning now?'. That feeling that you should be doing better or have achieved more.

Of course, it's not fair to completely blame other people for making you feel like this. Only one person can make you feel inadequate, and that's yourself. But there's not doubt that society 'expects' you to live your life to a certain template, and only the most robust and confident of people wouldn't feel at least some pressure. I mean, how hard is it not to be influenced by the media nowadays? How many young women pick up a magazine or switch on the tv, and think 'That's what I should be wearing', 'That's what brand I should be using', 'That's the kind of lifestyle I should be living'? It's not easy just 'being' nowadays, and if you go against the grain, you're labelled 'weird' or 'a hippy'.

I guess this is what being an adult is all about - struggling to accept oneself with all of the conflicting pressures of society's expectations. Whether you decide to conform to or rebel against those expectations, you've got to know and accept your limitations and capabilities. I'm not even sure if that's possible to do, but life is already hard enough without other people's expectations of you. I'm not sure I like being a grown up.

Guess who's back and obsessed with food?

Category: , , , By panda_eyed
Yes, tis me! I hope you didn't think I'd deserted you; after all, so many people have left blogging recently, but fear not, I'm not one of them! I do owe you guys an explanation though - as you know, I was in Hong Kong in the first week of April, and ever since I've been back, I've been ill with vile respiratory tract infections. It's been a horrid two weeks, and probably the most ill I've been in years, but am starting to come out of the daze of painkillers and antibiotics. I can breathe, talk, laugh without coughing, and eat again (hurray!), and the dizziness has abated enough for me to see the words I'm typing - woohoo!

Hong Kong was fun - it seems so long ago that I hardly remember it now. Actually, the weirdest thing was seeing my lab partner from uni when I landed at HK airport, getting on the same bus as me, and again at the airport on my way back - she was on the flight after mine. Small world, huh..? Anyway, I ate loads, and put on a few pounds, as I usually do when I go over there. I actually wanted to talk about weight - I just finished watching the Channel 4 documentary, SuperSkinny Me: The Race to Size Double Zero. It focused on two journalists trying to slim down from a UK size 12 to a size 2 (US size 00) in just five weeks. I watched with horror but not without fascination, as I'm sure most women watching did. Because, lets face it, who doesn't think that they could stand to lose a few lbs or an inch off the spare tyre?

During the program, I found, worryingly, that I shared a lot of the feelings and symptoms the women had during the experiment. You see, before I went to Hong Kong, I had been trying to lose some weight. I'd put on a few lbs, and it was becoming noticeable. I've pretty much been the same weight since I was 17 (aside from losing and regaining 10lbs when I was ill in 2002), but since I've had ME/CFS, I've been a lot less active, and although it didn't really show hugely on the scales, it's started to show on my body shape. As I'm not really able to do any cardiac exercise because of CFS 'flare-ups', the only thing I can control is what I eat. Just by eating slightly smaller portions and cutting out unhealthy snacks, I lost half a stone in 3 weeks (which shows you how much I snacked!), but strangely, I don't look any skinnier at all! Anyway, the women in the experiment reported constantly thinking about and becoming obsessed with food, which is exactly how I felt during weeks two and three of my 'diet'. Week one was fine - I didn't change what I ate, just chewed slowly and savoured flavours and textures, stopping when my stomach started to become full. I was thinking, 'Gosh, this isn't so hard'. But after mid week 2, every day just got harder and harder. I craved EVERYTHING, and was constantly talking and thinking about food pretty much every moment I wasn't eating, as well as evaluating how full/empty my stomach felt every other second. Food was my every thought. It wasn't very nice for me or the people around me, just as in the experiment.

Of course, being ill these two weeks and not being able to eat, I lost the holiday weight from HK and a little bit more. In the words of Emily from The Devil Wears Prada, 'I'm one stomach flu away from my goal weight' Just kidding :) Now that I've regained my appetite, I'm finding that I'm constantly starving to the point of dizziness, and consequently eating like a heifer. I have a feeling that all my suffering will have come to nothing if I carry on like this!

The difference between me and the women in the experiment was that with me, the weight needed to be lost - I had a BMI of 26 (overweight) and now have a more respectable BMI of 25 and don't feel as bloated as before. Watching the documentary though, and seeing what the two women went through to achieve a skinny body shape, I can tell you that I would never ever go to those lengths to lose weight or look good. For one, I love eating too much; two, I don't like getting sweaty; and three, who finds a bag of bones attractive anyway? I think I'll just eat normally but a little more healthier from now on, I'm not cut out for this dieting lark! :)

I hope you've all been well, and I shall definitely spend a few hours catching up on blogs tomorrow. Be good!

Love Panda xx