minnie maud

The brain does weird things when you deprive it of food.

And I don’t mean just calorically. Even if you’re eating 2000, 3000 calories a day in recovery, if they’re all safe, you’re still going to be obsessed with food and what you “can’t” have.

(AKA a friendly reminder to challenge yourself today.)

I accepted the fact that i have big thighs. “Well they’re yours, you can cover them up by wearing accordingly.” My brain still thinks that I need to hide something from the world. “I won’t wear shorts, I can avoid tights. Winter is already easy, baggy sweats can rescue me.” People around me didn’t notice when I lost weight until I was in my running tights, my bones were sticking up through my shirts and I was about to faint from the starvation. Why would they notice my bigger thighs? If they notice that my thighs got bigger, what can possibly happen? I will be like “hell yeah i eat a lot so what I love delish food. Would you like to see me thinner? Oh im sorry i dont care.”
—  recovery phase: my thoughts cancel each other
This is amazing

When I got out of the shower earlier I grabbed a shirt that fit me before recovery. When I put it on it clung to my boobs and was form fitting, more so than it has ever been. However instead of getting upset and letting ed thoughts take over I just said “ooh gurl! This ain’t gonna do it for me” and immediately put on a bigger, comfier shirt.

Don’t let bad body image bring your beautiful ass down

I might be overly aggressive but my nerves cant take it when I see warriors with intakes of oatmeal, salad and fruits only. How? I need an explanation. Like I know i shouldn’t do comparisons but IS THERE SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME. Why do I just live on cakes cookies nuts sweets? I feel like I’m recovering evolving expanding as I eat (not that i care) and STILL not recovering mentally. Yet there she is saying that she is in recovery for a year but the only things she eat are spinach egg sandwiches and fruit salads, almond milk and greek yogurt. She still knows the oz of the meatball she had for lunch WTactualF?? She still captions ‘do my legs look huge’ with full body photos. She captions ‘no thighgap no problem’ and pointing out that she clearly still has a thigh gap (like it has any importance??) And people are praising her with being a true inspiration?
I dont think this is healthy at all. How one is able to get these ‘eat healthy, they’ve less calories’ thoughts out of their disordered mind? How are you still able to make triggering comments and be a recovered one? Am I doing this recovery all wrong? Am I just convincing myself to eat more? Like these ed recovery, minnie maud, body image issues are just hallucinations that I create and reasons that I kid myself? Is there a right way to recover? GOD I AM SO CONFUSED

Theodore W. Borden worked for his father’s lumber company, Cook Borden & Co. In the 1860’s his annual salary was $1,000, above average for the era. He was able to use that money for this home, which was built for Theodore, his wife Mary Louise and their daughters, Avis, Minnie, and Maud. Theodore was an uncle of Fall River’s most famous citizen, Lizzie Borden.


Letter from a reader

Letter shared with the writers permission. It is long, but without any doubt worth reading. Thank you, E.

Dear Amalie, Xinwei, Brie, Samantha, Øygunn, Emily, Ana and Marianne,

I know you get a tonne of these so don’t feel like you have to reply - just knowing that you are aware of how much you have done for me is enough!

I don’t know how to express what a difference you have made to my life, and what you’re still doing for me every day. It was discovering letsrecover.tumblr.com that made a lightbulb go off in my head and made me decide to start recovery. And through this entire process, each time I look at letsrecover.tumblr.com I feel a little more positive, a little more confident, and much, much less alone. Thank you all so, so much.

I think eating disorders are the kind of thing no one really ever thinks they will get. At least, pre-eating disorder, I didn’t. I didn’t worry about my weight, not really; I tried new foods with enthusiasm, I always had seconds if they were on offer, I never weighed myself, and I was a perfectly healthy weight. That’s something I’m only just realising how - I never was overweight. I didn’t need to change. I had loving parents who doted on their only child, I was clever, got top grades at school, and thought anorexia was something that I would never experience because I was far too intelligent to damage my body that way.

The thing is, I know now that eating disorders are not about how clever you are. Weighing out your Special K cornflakes, counting calories so meticulously that you even log your sugar free gum on Myfitnesspal, getting out of bed to do secret 10-minute abdominal workouts while your parents are asleep - that’s not rational behaviour. Eating disorders latch onto the irrational part of your brain and make it grow until the rational part is overwhelmed. It doesn’t matter if you’re a certified genius - everyone has an irrational side and so nobody is immune to an eating disorder.

My eating disorder started developing when I was fourteen (I’m almost sixteen now). I go to an all girls’ school, so obviously around puberty everyone starts obsessing about their appearance and skinny = popular. My friends started watching what they were eating; I noticed my best friend never took desert at lunchtime anymore - even if it was sticky toffee pudding with treacle sauce (?????) - sometimes she skipped lunch altogether. Then one of my friends introduced to Myfitnesspal (a.k.a. the devil). I still didn’t have an eating discover yet, but I started feeling more self-conscious about the fact my thighs touched when I walked, that I had rolls when I was sat down and slouching.

The moment that really triggered me was in January last year. I was at a rehearsal for a school play I was performing in and some people ordered pizza from Domino’s for lunch. I’d already eaten the packed lunch my mum had made for me, but as everybody was taking a piece, I had one. And then two. And then three. Soon the pizza was all gone, and everyone had had one piece, except me. I’d had three. Three. Oh my god, did I just eat three slices of pizza?!, I thought. I’ve already had pasta and chocolate and crisps and an apple and oh my god. I am a fat pig. I can feel my stomach sagging under all this junk already. I need to do something about this.

It sounds so incredibly idiotic and trivial now, but that was the minute where my life for the next year completely transformed. Suddenly, Myfitnesspal was my bible. Pretty soon I logged every food obsessively, I dug through my kitchen bin to find packets so I could find out how many calories I’d had, I made weird 99-calorie brownies with fat free yoghurt instead of butter that I insisted I liked though they tasted like rubber, I drove my mum and dad crazy by placing my plate on the kitchen scales every dinner time when we were plating up so I knew exactly how much chicken I was having, I ran five kilometres everyday not because I enjoyed it but because I needed to burn off the cream cracker and carrot soup I’d had for lunch. I started feeling cold all the time and my dad would complain when I constantly turned the thermostat up. I got these blood blisters on the inside of my cheeks, my hands looked like claws, my boobs disappeared, my period stopped, the how many calories have I eaten today, how much can I allow myself for dinner, how far do I have to run today to burn this off, what combination of breakfast muffins and fruit can I have for breakfast that equals less than 350 calories thoughts were always present in my mind. I literally turned into a walking calculator. My entire life revolved around numbers.

But I was happy, right? Because after a few months, people started noticing. You’re looking really skinny. Wow! When did you get so slim? My friends had grown out of their I’m-skipping-desert phases. I didn’t. They had never become so controlling, but I did. I kept going. And the comments gradually became: You look so pale. Are you okay? Just eat the cupcake like everyone else, Jesus. What’s wrong with you? The school nurse called me into her office one day and told me my friends had asked her to speak to me. She said they were concerned about me. She told me I needed to eat properly, but I didn’t listen. It wasn’t enough to shock me out of it. I saw the worry in my dad’s eyes when I he hugged me and felt my ribs through the four jumpers I was wearing, I saw the tears in my mum’s eyes as I threw a tantrum and refused to eat the dinner she made me when I hadn’t been there to supervise how much oil she put in the frying pan. But I was happy. I was happy. Because I’d always been the 5ft 9", comfortably chunky one among my friends. And now I was the thin one. I’d never been that person. I thought it was fantastic.

This went on until around November last year. Suddenly, being thin didn’t seem quite so great anymore. I was getting really tired, all the time. The calorie-counting was taking over everything else. I gradually started upping my food intake, still petrified of gaining weight. I went from maintaining on 1400 to around 2000, but restriction still governed my every waking thought and action. I was still maintaining a low BMI, still got blood blisters, still had no period. But I convinced myself I had “recovered”. I was eating recommended guidelines for an adult. I was healthy.

No. In no. Freaking. Way. was I healthy.

While surfing social media and dieting websites one day, I came across a comment by someone called Gwyneth to someone asking about how to recover from anorexia that recommended upping calorific intake dramatically, and it made so much sense. She was talking science and it spoke to me. I found her website, youreatopia.com, and researched her recovery programme, Minnie Maud. After a while, I knew it was the right thing to do. But I still felt so isolated, so unsure whether I could do it, whether anyone else was out there who could support me, so terrified of gaining a pound.

I probably would have stayed in that quasi-recovery for far too long if I hadn’t found letsrecover.tumblr.com. It showed me that were girls out there just like me. Or rather, not quite like me, because they had done it. They had recovered with Minnie Maud, they had eaten 3000+ calories each day and they weren’t fat. They shared their experiences and they convinced me I could take the plunge.

I still don’t consider myself fully recovered, it’s still been over a year since I’ve had my period, I’m not completely weight-restored, but I don’t always feel cold so much anymore, I’m a healthy BMI, my hands aren’t so skeletal and my mum and dad are happy now, like I am. I am actually happy now, for real. I can eat my cereal without weighing it anymore, I make real brownies with butter now and eat several everyday without guilt and without compensating for it later. They’re all little triumphs, but I’m trying to teach my own mind to be rational again. I never was diagnosed, I never went to a doctor, and never told anyone the true extent of my obsession. To this day, my parents don’t know about how I used to calorie-count myself to insanity. But I’m getting there, and maybe I will tell them, one day. I know if I keep pushing on I will eventually get my period. I know that I’m growing and I need to nurture my body, not starve it, and it’s thanks to you. Amalie, Xinwei and Brie especially. Brie’s posts always pick me up if I’m doubting myself. Xinwei’s biological knowledge always appeal to the Grade-A student in me and show me the importance of what I’m doing to repair my body. And Amalie’s unwavering positivity, drive to help others and determination have helped me most of all. Amalie, you are so, so inspirational and even though you don’t know me I feel like you are a friend.

Writing this all out and acknowledging that yes, I did have a problem and yes, I did need recovery, has reduced me to tears. I never was one of those girls who ate 300 calories each day and weighed 30kg and needed hospitalisation. Although my eating disorder was, in some ways, less extreme than that, I think that’s what made it so dangerous. Just because I was eating more than 300 calories a day, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t damaging myself. I was hurting my body, but because it wasn’t so dramatic, it meant it went on longer than it should have done without intervention; I didn’t come so close to emaciation that I was forced into recovery by medical professionals. I had to reach out and choose recovery. I think that’s what makes me so proud of myself. I made this choice for myself; I chose to be healthy and happy, truly happy, not a kind of superficial happy induced by an eating disorder. I literally don’t know where I’d be without you.

This past year, I put myself through hell and back - but you know what? I know myself a lot better now. I know I have an addictive personality which, if indulged, can take over. I know I have a tendency towards perfectionism. But I also know my commitment to things can be harnessed for positivity. I know if I can turn all that energy towards something good, I can do anything.

‘Thank you’ will never, ever be enough, but it’s all I have.

All the love in the world,