Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2014

This week (24th February – 2nd March) is Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I’ve been wanting to do a blog post about eating disorders for a while, but have been quite nervous to do it because I want to make sure I get it right, as it’s such an important and sensitive issue to talk about. So, this week seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a go. As well as being Eating Disorders Awareness Week, it is also Beat's 25th Anniversary. If you haven’t heard of Beat, they are the UK’s leading eating disorder charity, providing support and resources to anyone affected by eating disorders – be it sufferers themselves, friends, families and schools.

Beat has been an invaluable source of support to me, as well as millions of others. They provide two separate help lines – one for adults and the other for young people, a UK wide network of self help and support groups and online support including information, message boards and live chat. As well as this they provide expert knowledge, education and training to health and social care professionals and support and encourage research into eating disorders.

Over 1.6 million men and women in the UK are affected by eating disorders, and they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, at approximately 20%. This is one reason why I believe raising awareness and understanding is so important – treatment needs improving and more research is essential in the quest to finally beating eating disorders once and for all.

The strap-line for this year’s awareness week is ‘Sock it to Eating Disorders!’ You can read about where the inspiration for Sock it to Eating Disorders came from here. I thought it might help to briefly (or probably not so briefly, I’m afraid!) tell my story, to explain why I am so passionate about raising awareness and fundraising for this cause.

My story

For as far back as I can remember I have had issues around food, my body and self-esteem. I can’t remember a time when I felt comfortable with who I was, and even as a young child I would go through phases of ‘healthy eating,’ where I would make very specific rules about what I could/couldn’t eat, how much water I needed to drink and what exercise I should be doing. This never really became a problem – I just seemed to be a child who was interested in nutrition and food, and it didn’t affect my day-to-day life too much. When I was in Junior School I began to get bullied (mainly by one boy) about my weight, and from then on I became transfixed on how big I was compared to others. I thought more about what I was eating and began to get more self-conscious about the clothes I wore and the activities I took part in. I spent a lot of my spare time dancing, which I absolutely loved, but as I grew more and more uncomfortable with my body I enjoyed the dancing less and less.

Things began to really snowball when I was diagnosed with M.E/CFS at 15. I was having digestive problems, could barely get out of bed because I felt so exhausted and was in constant pain. Consequently I spent quite a long time struggling to eat an awful lot, which resulted in me losing a lot of weight (unintentionally at the time). People started to comment on my weight loss – to start with they were quite positive comments, which I’d never heard before and gave me quite a boost in my self-esteem. My GP had asked my Mum to weigh me every day and keep a record of what my weight was doing (I feel that this was a big mistake as it made me even more preoccupied with my weight). I soon started to get a bit of a ‘buzz’ whenever my weight decreased, and before I knew it I was sucked into the grips of an eating disorder. Alongside this my mood had seriously deteriorated, possibly caused by my poor physical health, although I believe there were probably a whole mixture of reasons for it. Eventually I was diagnosed with clinical depression, referred to CAMHS, had regular sessions with a psychiatrist and was tried on a whole variety of anti-depressants.

This continued for a year or so, with my physical health getting no better (leading me to missing large chunks of school, completely losing my social life and a lot of my friends, and having to cut down the amount of GCSEs I could take to 7). My mental health continued to decline – my weight continued to decrease, I was regularly self-harming and took several overdoses. However, my diagnosis was still just Clinical Depression, and as much as my parents fought for them to recognise I had an eating disorder, they were having none of it. Eventually, in 2005, just as I was meant to start college, I was admitted to an Adolescent Psychiatric Unit in Winchester, to give me somewhere that could keep me safe and hopefully help improve my mood. I can still remember clearly the day I was admitted and my Mum and Dad having to leave me there, not really knowing much about what would happen next. Over the next couple of months I was left to my own devices when it came to eating (or rather not eating in my case) and my mood got worse rather than better. Visitors were only allowed on Wednesday evenings, and depending on your state of mind you could be granted weekend leave. I hated it – I felt like they didn’t understand me and every evening I would ring my parents in tears, begging them to come and get me. This particular unit specialised in treating eating disorders, and it used to really get to me seeing the other young people getting help for their eating disorders, while I was being left to struggle on my own with mine.

Finally, after a few months of being there, we had a big meeting with my parents and care team, and my Psychiatrist said that after observing me it was clear that I did have an eating disorder. I was diagnosed with EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) and placed on the eating disorder programme. It wasn’t easy at all – sitting at a table being constantly watched while you eat, not being allowed to be on your own after meals, no exercise and so on, but it was the best thing to happen to me – I finally felt that someone understood me. I made some amazing friends in that unit, a lot of whom I still speak to today, and after 7 and ½ months I was discharged back home with a healthy BMI. It was pretty tricky at first and I actually really missed the Unit – it had become my home, my safe haven where I didn’t have to deal with the outside world. I was now seeing an eating disorder nurse weekly in the community, and struggled for quite a while to maintain my weight and stay on track. However, over time things got a bit easier. I started back at college, doing a course I loved, made some new friends and actually had a bit of a social life again! I had even applied to go to University in Portsmouth. The next few years I stayed fairly stable, and when I went off to University I was discharged from all mental health services.

Unfortunately, I only lasted a few months at University before I started getting ill again. My physical health was declining, my depression dipped rather suddenly and I was aware my weight was starting to spiral again. But this time I managed to catch myself before I fell too hard. I decided to leave Uni, go back home and get my health back on track, which is what I did. I began studying Psychology with the Open University and working part-time at a local Secondary School. Things were good, the best they had ever been, for a few years.

Then came 2012 – the year everything started going wrong again. In the February I was sent home from work feeling really poorly – I had, what I thought, was a stomach bug, but it just didn’t go away. Everything I was eating just seemed to go through me, I was exhausted all the time, the pain was coming back and I just felt generally awful. I had the usual blood tests, which didn’t give any clue as to what was wrong. Eventually I was referred to a gastroenterologist, who booked me in for an OGD and colonoscopy, which she wanted done ASAP. But my notes got lost, and it took until July before I eventually had the tests. I was very unwell afterwards, and ended up back in A&E, spending a week in hospital trying to stabilise me. They sent me home feeling worse than when I came in – by this time I had lost a lot of weight and was incredibly weak. After finally being able to see the consultant again, she decided to admit me the next day to be tube fed. Up until this point I was convinced my problems were purely physical, but once I had the NG tube and began putting on a bit of weight, I realised that my eating disorder had also come back with a vengeance. I was tube fed for about 6 weeks and managed to put on a small amount of weight, which they did further tests. The only conclusion they could reach was that I had a problem with the way my nerves in my intestines work, so they don’t transport food properly through the bowel. The tube was removed, despite me begging them not to – I hadn’t eaten anything for over 6 weeks and I told them my head was in a very bad place. Still, the tube came out and I pretty much lost the plot. I don’t remember much about the next few weeks – only that I had refused to eat or drink for over a week.

The eating disorder service was contacted, but I was told I wasn’t underweight enough to access inpatient treatment, and I wouldn’t be accepted for day treatment because I was too unwell. I’ve never felt so scared and stuck – if I couldn’t have either treatment, what was I meant to do? The hospital were trying to discharge me home, but my parents refused to take me, on the grounds that in less than 24 hours they would be calling an ambulance when I collapsed from dehydration and malnutrition. I’m definitely not proud of what happened next, but I’ve also learnt that I shouldn’t be ashamed either – it got to the point where I had to be sectioned and transferred to a general psychiatric hospital, who had very little understanding of eating disorders. Thankfully, this was enough to shock me into at least starting to drink water again. If I hadn’t done that, I honestly don’t know what would have happened to me. Very gradually, with the help of an amazing psychiatrist and some very understanding nurses, I began to eat again. Not a lot I have to add – literally a couple of mouthfuls a day, but it was a start. My medication was reviewed and as I got a little bit stronger I was referred back to the eating disorder service, although I still wasn’t well enough to receive help with them for another few weeks.

Finally, I was re-diagnosed with Atypical Anorexia, Clinical Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder and became a day patient in November 2012. It’s got to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but I continued to attend until my BMI was in the health range again, and was discharged to outpatient care in April 2013. I still saw my psychologist weekly but could not maintain my weight. They eventually decided there was nothing else they could do for me, because I wasn’t maintaining my weight, and I was discharged from the eating disorder service in January 2014. That brings us up to where I am today – still fighting every day to be well, just without the help of the eating disorder service. I have a CPN, who is really trying to do all she can to help, but I do feel let down by the eating disorder service. They got me to a healthy weight and then basically let me go, which I feel is so wrong. Eating Disorders are a mental illness – weight is only a physical symptom of the inner turmoil, so simply restoring a person’s weight does not mean they are cured. I’m going to keep fighting though, even if I have to do it on my own. I’ve been fighting for 10 years – I’m not going to stop now.

*I just want to add a disclaimer – this is all my own opinion and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. If you are concerned that you, or someone you know, may have an eating disorder, please speak to your GP or contact Beat for advice.

Do you have any experience of eating disorders, either yourself or someone close to you? Are there any questions about eating disorders that you would like answering?

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Sunday Spotlight - 23rd February 2014

This week, I’ve been loving…

Pampering goodies

Unfortunately, at the moment, I don’t seem to be able to stay away from hospitals and doctors, which led to me narrowly avoiding another weekend spent in hospital (my GP is pretty good when it comes to negotiation!) After my stay in hospital last weekend I found that my hair and skin felt awful – really dry and dull. I made a comment about this on Facebook, saying that I was going to treat myself to a bit of pampering to make up for that fact that I still felt so rubbish. Before I’d even had a chance to look out some moisturiser, a friend of mine popped round with the most amazing pampering goody bag! The bag itself was from Disney, with a huge picture of Tinkerbelle on it (she knows me well!) and inside was a whole variety of skin and hair treats. It really was such a thoughtful gift – I feel so lucky to have such kind friends, and I’ve already used some of the products and feel slightly more human now!

Mum’s Birthday

I love other people’s birthdays. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoy being spoilt on my birthday, but I much prefer spoiling other people, especially my Mum who does so much for me. Usually the family will go out for a meal when there’s a birthday, but we’ve decided to postpone that until I’m well enough. As I wasn’t too great on Wednesday, I couldn’t do an awful lot to spoil my Mum, which was frustrating, but I did try to make sure all her presents were wrapped and ready and that we had a cake to enjoy. I think she enjoyed her day – the house seems to resemble a florist at the moment! I treated her to a voucher for a luxury manicure, as she always struggles with dry, sore hands. Hopefully I’ll feel a lot better very soon, so we can spoil her some more with a nice meal out.

Charity fundraiser

After months of planning – e-mails, phone calls, texts and nagging, yesterday was the day of our charity fundraiser for Beat and Fruition Youth, Yateley. My GP actually wanted me to go back to hospital on Friday evening, but we made a compromise so that I could at least try and show my face at the fundraiser. Thankfully family and friends went down to the venue during the day and did all the setting up, then in the evening I managed to go down for a little while and see everyone arrive. My Dad then brought me home and I snuggled up in my pyjamas, getting regular text updates about how it was going. There must have been over 80 people through the door and I’ve never seen so many raffle tickets! I even managed to win a couple of prizes! I’m yet to count the money we made, but it looks like it’s going to be a pretty awesome amount for our two charities. I’m going to write a separate post about how I organised the event, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Although it was a lot of hard work, and I couldn’t be there for a lot of it, I’ve definitely got the fundraising bug and am already coming up with other ideas of ways to raise money for charity!

The information stand at the event

What has grabbed your attention this week? I love hearing about people’s new discoveries and you may end up sharing something that makes it onto my list next week!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Spotlight - 16th February 2014

This week, I’ve been loving…

Catch-up TV

As I’ve had to spend most of this week resting, catch-up and TV recordings have been my saviours – keeping me relatively sane when I haven’t been able to do much else! I’m terrible for recording programmes and letting them build up because I haven’t got enough time to watch them. So, this week, I’ve made the most of having some enforced rest and caught up with a few things I had recorded. I’ve finished watching Silent Witness, tuned into The 7.39 (which I recorded over Christmas and starred Sheridan Smith) and caught up on a few other one off programmes I had recorded. What would we do without technology like this?!

Surprise post

There are two kinds of surprise post. First is the dreaded brown envelope, probably containing something like a bill or an equally bad piece of news! Then there’s the surprise post that’s more positive – an unexpected letter from a friend or a gift you weren’t expecting. Over the last week or so I’ve been really spoilt by friends and family with cards, balloons, flowers and gifts and I feel truly grateful to know such amazingly kind people. At the very last minute I also decided to take part in a Secret Valentine with others I know from the M.E. Community (like Secret Santa, but on Valentine’s Day), but I thought I’d applied too late as I didn’t hear back with who I should send to. Then, the day before Valentine’s Day an amazing parcel arrived for me – such a lovely surprise! (I have now sent mine too – turns out there was a little mix-up!)

Beautifully wrapped gifts


I guess this is kind of similar to surprise post. I actually ended up back in hospital this week (I know, they can’t keep me away!) with complications after my operation. I’ll be honest – when my GP rang the Surgical Unit and they asked me to come straight in I felt pretty tearful. But what kept me going were the lovely texts, Snapchats and other messages from friends. It’s amazing what a difference a simple message can make, and it’s inspired me to try and send random texts to friends more often. After all, it probably takes no more than a couple of minutes of your time, but can make someone else feel cared about and loved. 

This also seems like a good opportunity to mention Time to Change - although the ‘Time to Talk’ day was on the 6th February, there’s nothing to stop us doing it all year round. The message behind the slogan is the organisation trying to promote conversations about mental health, to show that it is not something we should be ashamed about. For someone with a mental illness, receiving a simple text asking how they are can make a real difference. So, my challenge for you this week is to have a conversation with someone – they don’t have to suffer from a mental illness, it can be anyone you like, although if you do know someone with mental health problems it would be great to choose them. Lets get talking more, instead of burying our heads in the sand and pretending mental illnesses don’t exist. The more we talk about them, the less scary they will become.

What has grabbed your attention this week? I love hearing about people’s new discoveries and you may end up sharing something that makes it onto my list next week!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Valentine's Day - The Perks of being Single!

In a few days it will be Valentine’s Day and here I am, still single and with no Prince Charming on the horizon to sweep me off my feet. But is being single on Valentine’s Day really that bad? I mean, sure, I do get a bit jealous when I see friends being spoilt by their other half with beautiful flowers, jewellery or just a quiet night in with a DVD. But thinking about it, there are actually a lot of perks of being single on Valentine’s Day, so instead of writing a post talking about how much I hate still being single, I thought I’d think about the flip side and look for the positives! And here’s what I came up with…

You can save money

Instead of spending your hard earned pennies trying to find the perfect gift for someone else (which will probably end up being some gimmicky creation covered in hearts and soppy messages!) you can save your dosh and spend it on that little Topshop number you’ve been lusting over since January! Or, if you really need a man this Valentine’s Day, why not pick up the perfect man from ASOS!

You can spend time with friends

So, usually, Valentine’s Day ends up with you both trying to plan a romantic evening; booking an overpriced restaurant chock-full of loved-up couples, trying to squeeze into a cinema where no-one is really interested in watching the film or doing something slightly different to try and be spontaneous but actually wanting to curl up in your PJ’s. But if you’re single this year, you can do exactly what you want to do! A friend of mine from Finland told me that, in her country, Valentine’s Day is actually known as Friendship Day, which I think is really lovely. It can be really difficult to make time to spend with friends when there’s so much else going on in our lives, so why not use this Valentine’s Day as an excuse to make a date with your bestie? Chances are she’ll be equally excited to spend a girly night with you, watching chick flicks, wearing facemasks and gorging on chocolates!

Pink champagne - Tesco

Pink champagne truffles - Hotel Chocolat

It’s an excuse to treat or pamper yourself

If, like me, your friends aren’t local (or the ones that are local are spending Valentine’s Day with their other half) make a date with yourself! Indulge in some ‘me’ time and show yourself a bit of love – chances are it will be a pretty rare occurrence! Whether you decide to buy yourself something special, watch your favourite DVD or run yourself a hot bubbly bath, it doesn’t matter as long as you feel pampered and special.

Benefit Lollitint

Ghost Cherish

Nails Inc Fibre Optic

You can decide what you want to do

The problem with deciding what to do on Valentine’s Day is that you’re trying to please two people, possibly with very different tastes. He might want to watch a horror movie then go for a burger, whereas you might prefer a romantic candlelit dinner in a little French restaurant, followed by a cosy evening on the sofa with a box of chocolates. But, being single means you only need to please yourself, so you can do exactly what you want to do! If that means watching back-to-back episodes of Big Bang Theory in your pyjamas, then so be it!

You can flirt with whoever you want

With no ties you are open to flirt with that cute barman on your girly night out, so why not flash him a smile and make his evening that little bit better! If you’re not going out, why not pick up a few DVDs with your favourite hunky actors in – after all, who says you just have to have one date when you’re young, free and single?!

You can wear what you want

I love dressing up as much as the next girl – choosing the perfect dress and shoes combo, doing my make-up and spritzing on my favourite perfume. But sometimes it can feel like a bit of a chore when you’re tired from a long week but know you need to make an effort because you’re going out somewhere special. This Friday, obviously if you want to dress up in those killer heels go for it! But if you’d rather snuggle up on the sofa, there’s nothing to stop you putting on your comfiest pair of fluffy pyjamas, pulling your hair into a messy ponytail and donning your warmest winter slippers.

Shirt and jumper from New Look. Pyjamas, Slippers and Socks from Tesco

There is no chance of being dumped on Valentine’s Day!

I’ve heard a few singletons mentioning this perk and it made me chuckle, although it’s completely true! I can’t think of anything worse than being ditched on what is meant to be the most romantic day of the year. So, if you’re already single, at least there is a 100% guarantee that this won’t happen. Got to find positives where there are some, eh?!

You can put yourself first for once

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I spend all my time trying to please other people and put my needs to the back of the pile. Of course, it’s great to put other people first now and again, after all you don’t want to be selfish and lonely! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t put yourself first sometimes. You could use Valentine’s Day as a time to sit down for a few minutes and just evaluate where you are at the moment – are you happy? Do you like your job? Do you have dreams and wishes that are going unfulfilled? Make a list of things you want to achieve, and have a think about what you need to do to achieve them. Even if you only spend ten minutes doing this, you’re almost guaranteed to feel more positive after, and perhaps you’ll make it more of a regular event. After all, the better you look after yourself, the better you can look after those around you.

Why not buy yourself a bunch of beautiful flowers? These ones are from Waitrose

 Do you have plans for Valentine’s Day, either with your partner or just for yourself?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sunday Spotlight - 9th February 2014

This week, I’ve been loving…

Coming home from hospital

So, this past week has been fairly difficult to say the least, hence why there was no Sunday Spotlight last Sunday. Basically I was taken to A&E on the Wednesday with awful stomach pains, which had been getting worse since Tuesday night. After waiting for 3 and a half hours, I was ushered through to Majors, where they wasted no time in sticking canulas and drips in me and taking blood.  I was then wheeled through to the Surgical Assessment Unit (this is when I started to panic – the word surgery isn’t very appealing!) I was seen by two surgeons who decided I needed a CT scan, so at about 2.30am I went to have that. I just thought I’d be given some painkillers and packed off home, but at 3am a doctor came to tell me that they’d seen what they thought was a 4cm mass on my right ovary and fallopian tube, and that a surgeon would come and see me first thing.

The surgeon was lovely, but told me there was a likelihood that they would need to remove the ovary/fallopian tube, which was a bit of a shock. So, I waited all day to go to theatre, but nothing happened. Then another consultant came to see me to say they’d like to do an ultrasound before doing any surgery, so off I went to Radiology. The scan was inconclusive, so they then wanted to give me a few days to see if my symptoms improved. They didn’t – they got worse and I was now not able to keep any food or water down. So, on Sunday evening I was taken down for emergency surgery, spending 6 hours in recovery because I was so unwell after the procedure.

I found out the next morning that they hadn’t been able to find the mass, but that my appendix had been removed. It seemed to help, as I was then able to keep a hot chocolate down and the pain had improved. They let me go home on Monday evening, and although I’m rather sore and very tired, it’s so good to be out of hospital!

Cosmopolitan/Newspaper article

My article about Eating Disorders finally came out while I was in hospital, but I wasn’t well enough to look at it until this week. It was originally published in Cosmopolitan, with a piece on their website, and was then in my local newspaper a few days later. I’ve had so many amazing comments from friends and family about it, and I just hope that it will help raise more awareness of what eating disorders are really like. I also had an e-mail this week to ask if the US Cosmopolitan can publish the online article on their website, which is pretty exciting!

Fresh flowers

Something that has really cheered me up this week was receiving some beautiful fresh flowers in the post from my Aunt and Uncle. I think it’s always lovely to receive flowers, and no matter how ill you’re feeling they can really brighten up your day. They are currently sitting on the lounge windowsill, where I can see them as I rest, and they look even more gorgeous now that they’ve opened up.

What has grabbed your attention this week? I love hearing about people’s new discoveries and you may end up sharing something that makes it onto my list next week!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

January round-up

Apologies for this being slightly late - I've spent the last week having emergency surgery and am now recovering.

A collection of my favourite things from the month of January

January can be a pretty glum month and the weather has been downright awful to be honest. So, something that I really enjoyed this month was going for a family bowling trip for my brother’s 23rd Birthday. We don’t get to do much as a whole family – there are so many of us that just getting us in the same place at the same time is a military operation! But we actually managed to get all of us, including my brother’s girlfriend, to come together and have some fun at our local bowling alley. To make things even better, by some absolute fluke, I managed to win our first game!

One of my favourite things about January is, of course, the sales. I get sucked in every year, and usually end up buying something that I’ll never wear or use. So, this year I tried to plan a bit more and work out if there was anything I actually needed, or had been lusting over in the previous months. My cousin is getting married in Scotland in April, so I decided I could do with getting a dress for that. I wanted something fairly warm, as I’m guessing it could be a bit chilly up there. I was browsing the Joules website and came across a pretty long-sleeved number that instantly caught my eye. And it was actually in the sale (anyone that knows me will know that, even in the sales, I always end up picking up full-price items!) I’m hoping it will be OK for a wedding – it’s not the kind of outfit I’ve ever warn to a wedding before – I tend to go more for cocktail style dresses. But hopefully this will work just as well.

At the beginning of January I had my photo shoot with Cosmopolitan magazine, and had great fun having a stylist to help me choose my outfits. I ended up wearing things I’d never have picked for myself, so it was a really positive experience. Ever since the shoot, I couldn’t stop thinking about a couple of the outfits I’d tried on, and when my Mum kindly offered to help me buy a couple of pieces I couldn’t possibly refuse! I’d shown her the outfits I’d worn as soon as I got home from the photo shoot, so she knew the items I particularly liked. We had another look through them and I decided to go for a gorgeous Topshop dress, which may make an appearance on the blog at some point in the future. I also ordered a couple of items from River Island - a pair of distressed cigarette jeans and a navy blouse with a fun ice cream print.

Outfit from River Island

Things I’ve learnt this month…

+   A time machine would be useful sometimes – I’m very good at making a fool of myself
+   Endings are really difficult
+   It’s not nice feeling abandoned
+   I enjoy dating, even if I do get really nervous!
+   Sometimes it’s good to watch a film that someone else chooses – you might find you enjoy it!
+   If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
+   Jaffa likes to wake me up in the middle of the night because he wants to play
+   I’m not good at reading other people, which often leaves me feeling confused
+   Just when life starts looking slightly better, something else seems to go wrong
+   I’m way too impatient
+   Rejection is hard to deal with
+   Sometimes you need to take things slowly
+   We have to accept that some things just aren’t meant to be

What to look out for in February

I’ll start with TV, as it’s always good to know what’s on the box for those evenings when you’re shattered and all you want to do is curl up in front of a good show. Firstly, Top Gear is back for a new series on Sunday 2nd February, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the team get up to this time. I’m not massively into cars to be honest, but I don’t think you need to be to watch Top Gear. They have so much banter and wit that it’s nice to tune in for a bit of light relief from all the serious stuff going on in the World. You can see a preview of the new series here. I’ve been reading around a bit, and a show that caught my attention is Big Ballet, which comes to Channel 4 this February. It features Wayne Sleep teaching overweight novices the basics of ballet. I’m really hoping it will be a good watch – I don’t quite understand why it has to focus on overweight participants and I really hope it’s not one of these programmes that use cheap jokes and humiliation to bring in viewers. As someone who did ballet for most of my childhood, I’m hoping it will involve some great performances and lovely music.

February brings with it Valentine’s Day, which I know gets quite a mixed response from people! But even if you’re not much of a Valentine’s fan, you can still enjoy the love related products available from a whole host of shops, with Lush being a particular favourite of mine. They’ve got a range of Valentines smellies out this year including Neon Love soap and the Love Locket bath bomb, which contains a secret hidden inside it.

Love Locket Bath Bomb

Something that I’m mega excited for this February is the release of the Lego Movie in cinemas on the 14th February. The trailer looks amazing and I’ll definitely be buying tickets to see this one! The Book Thief, which I talked about last month, seems to have had its release date pushed back to 26th February, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that film as well, although I’d like to try and read the book first. If DVD’s are more your thing, Dreamworks’ latest offering, Turbo is released on 10th February. I love Dreamworks, so this will definitely be going on my wish list! You’ve also got Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 coming out on 17th February, or if you’re after a good old Rom Com, About Time (starring Rachel McAdams) is released on 3rd February. I think that gives us enough to be getting on with!

The final thing I’d like to mention here is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which falls at the end of February, from the 24th to the 2nd March. I’ll be doing all I can to raise awareness and understanding about Eating Disorders, and as I’ve previously mentioned I’ll be trying to raise lots of money too. Beat’s slogan for this is ‘Sock it to Eating Disorders’ so if you’d like to raise awareness with me, check out the Beat website for information and ideas!

Do you have any favourites or things you’ve learnt in January? What are you looking forward to in February?