Coming out of an EDU – What Now?

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So you’ve been discharged. What now?

A friend inspired this post when whilst chatting about her recovery and her imminent discharge from the EDU she has been in for several months, she mentioned that her relationship with food was still far from ideal. She didn’t say it in so many words, of course – it slipped out – we’d been talking about what she liked to eat and she mentioned she had got really into Angel Delight recently. She liked to have cheese or ham sandwich at lunch and then have some Angel Delight. ‘But then sometimes I’ll have ham and cheese. If I have both then obviously I can’t have the Angel Delight.’

So I said, ‘Well, you can have the Angel Delight even if you have both sandwich fillings!’ Her face said it all and she shook her head. The concept of ‘going over’ her given allowance was too much and there was still immense pressure there to keep strict control over what she was eating – the fear of going over the specified amount.

This all worries me massively because after 6 months of intensive therapy and close monitoring, the core issue is still very much present. This isn’t her first time in an EDU, either. It makes me feel as though we are possibly not approaching this in the right way, as in an ideal world a person suffering from Anorexia wouldn’t be sent to fend for themselves when they are still struggling with the demon in their head which still likes (and is able) to take over. I feel as though my friend is being consistently let down, even though I realise that the longer you suffer with Anorexia, the harder it is to recover – as to put it very basically these are now habitual beliefs and behaviour which are hard to break one year in, let alone several. I realise that.

I can’t speak from experience on this one, as at the time of my illness, there were no specialist facilities I could go to – which is why I had to get better on my own with the help of my family. It’s daunting to say the least starting life outside the relatively safe confines of an EDU when you’ve still got that demon in your head knocking about somewhere. You’re only just aware of various strategies and disciplines which might help you to cope and to feel better.

So, I want to share some of the things I talk about in Tough Cookie here with you. When I thought about my recovery in depth later on, I realised that these were the things that had changed my perspective and ultimately changed my life, helping me to eliminate Anorexia for good. These are just short descriptions with bullet points which I hope are helpful – but if you’d like to learn more, you can see the book here.

– Focus on what you want (goals): To overcome Anorexia, you have to regain the goals it’s thrown away. It’s fine – you can retrieve them – they’re not gone forever! This can feel difficult when you have been so consumed with Anorexia for so long, however with a little help from others and a little consideration you can rediscover the things you wanted before you were poorly. I’m a visual person – so the best way to do this for me is to do a brain-storm or board on Pinterest or on large paper to properly see where I’m going and what it is I want to do. Have one list for short-term goals (attending a party, going on holiday) and another for long-term (having a relationship, getting a job, finishing your degree).

– Don’t be hard on yourself (or allow others to be): There’s an untold pressure on you to now recover or to ‘be better’ now you’ve spent a considerable amount of time in an EDU. Of course you and I know that this is a journey which is constantly evolving and can’t be defined as ‘Anorexic’ and ‘Better’. It simply just doesn’t work like that. You might experience pressure from family and friends who are so keen to see you well that they want to believe that this is the end of the road. You may also be putting pressure on yourself – but don’t forget that pressure was probably a contributing factor to your illness. Try to distract yourself with positive things and explain to family members and friends that this isn’t something which goes away overnight – and in fact the true ‘battle’ begins when you are back in your own home, as you are not supported or watched by EDU staff.

– Find some fabulous distractions: I talked above about ‘distracting yourself’. It’s a tactic I’ve used throughout my life for various reasons, and it’s a good one. What’s more, it helps you to feel mentally and physically better and can even get you working towards your goals. You may have forgotten the things you once liked, but have a think about some activities you could do which fill your days. There’s nothing worse than sitting around alone all day – that’s a recipe for Anorexia to creep back in and it’s frightening. Whether it’s reading a book, writing a novel, sketching, taking an arts or music class or watching a film with friends, make sure you’re slowly starting to fill your life with the things you love. Even better, spend time (no pressure!!) working towards one of your goals. For example, if you are still studying, spend a little time doing some research you feel you’d like to do or find interesting. If you want to start a blog, start drafting a few posts. If you’re into photography, research some books you could buy and a camera you could get to start on that path. Whatever your passion may be, fill your time with it.

If you’ve just been discharged from an EDU or are about to be discharged and are struggling, afraid you might relapse, then please continue to read the blog and don’t be afraid. You might feel alone coming out of an EDU – but you do have the support of me and Tough Cookie and the things you may have learnt during your time spent at the EDU. As always, if you have any questions you can always contact me.

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Goals – why you might have lost them, why you should have them, and how to get them back

IMG_4018When I had Anorexia, I lost all my goals. All my hopes and dreams vanished – and were replaced only with an obsession for food (or how to avoid it), and exercise. A lot of people I speak to are the same – so consumed by what’s going on with Anorexia that they’ve almost forgotten about all the things they wanted to do, places they wanted to see and objectives they wished to achieve.

Goals are really, really important to me now – and they played a very important role in my recovery, even though I didn’t know it back then. That’s I talk about the importance of goals in Tough Cookie – because often Anorexia replaces all your wonderful goals with only one dangerous aim – which makes it all the more difficult to find them again.

I can’t take any credit for rediscovering my goals myself – in fact, it was a few people around me who helped me to do that. By mentioning some of the things I liked and had said I wanted to do before I was poorly, they sort of reminded me that there were actually things to live for. Those people had no idea what they were doing – they were just desperate. But the things they said and the goals they reminded me of slowly but surely had a profound effect on me.

Unfortunately, we don’t all have somebody there to say the right thing – knowingly or unknowingly (sadly, it’s more likely we don’t). So here I am, paying it forward and doing the same thing for you. Have a think about your goals and objectives – ones which are not related in any way, shape or form to Anorexia (be honest with yourself here!). What is it you wanted before you were poorly? Don’t worry if you’ve got that voice in your head telling you ‘oh no, you don’t want to do that’ – that’s just Anorexia trying to rain on your parade. Ignore it, just for a minute. And focus on what it is that you want. Just you – no-one else!

Once you’ve remembered your goal (or goals – the more the merrier!) it’s time to have a think about how you can achieve them. By that I don’t mean agonising over getting there (if you’re a perfectionist like me, I know that might have been your first thought) – there’s absolutely no pressure. Just have a think about how you’re going to do it. The first hurdle is being well enough. But by focusing on your goal, that will come.

My goal whilst I was ill was to go on holiday. It became an obsession, to be honest. I’d spend all my time looking at holiday brochures, dreaming of beaches, longing for days spent in the sun. Each time I was having a bad episode or at a difficult point in the day (especially mealtimes) I’d try and remember what I was fighting for. If I forgot, my parents reminded me.

If you have family and friends to help who you know will be supportive of your goal, then tell them about it. Ask them to use the goal to encourage you when you are struggling. It could really help.

I would love to hear about your individual goals – and anything else that is helping see you through the hardest stages of recovery.

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Khadi Review – Hair Loss

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Now, I have to be the first to admit that after a few weeks, despite fabulous results for my hair, the powdered shampoo routine was wearing a little thin. I’m also under a lot of stress at the moment and until that subsides, I know that unfortunately my hair is going to be at risk. When it started falling out again the other week I decided that a) clearly whatever shampoo I use is probably not enough at this time to save my hair and b) why not find something which was still nourishing but less hassle?

Ah, but I’d already tried that before, right? I felt like I’d already trawled Google but I did so again – and this time I used a few different terms and discovered natural brand Khadi.

Khadi hails from India and all products are SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), Paraben and Silicone free. Instead they feature the exact same ingredients I’ve been using on my hair (Shikakai, Amla, Bhingraj) but in a handy liquid-gel formula which is easy to apply, wash out and doesn’t make my hair as tangled afterwards, either.

Word of warning: there’s loads of choice. I’m not good with choice and decisions because of my anxiety so it took me a few days to send off for one! I (finally) chose the Aloe Vera  shampoo – as I’ve heard fabulous things about its benefits for hair.  This shampoo also contains extracts of the Indian herbs mentioned above in addition to pure water and aloe vera.

The shampoo lathers soo well when I apply it that it makes me massively suspicious as to whether the ingredients are as they say they are (paranoid, much?) However on further inspection the bottle does only state that the ingredients listed are KEY ingredients, leading me to then panic about what I have just put on my hair.

Khadi’s website claims all products are free of chemical nasties, but I have emailed them to ask exactly what is in this particular shampoo as others simply say ‘Ingredients’ with an equally short list.

Anyhow, I’m really impressed with the smell, the texture and the cleaning power of the shampoo. As you know I only wash my hair once a week – so I’ve only used it twice now – but I’ll certainly keep you posted as to how I’m getting on.

Has anyone else tried Khadi?

 

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KHADIREVIEW

 

Khadi Review

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Uplifting music for motivation and inspiration

Even though I recovered from Anorexia ten years ago, I’m very open and candid about the fact that my journey continues when it comes to being completely well mentally (and physically) because I still have anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder. So there are days when I need to be productive, I need to get up and go, and I just can’t. It’s like being crushed by a giant weight I can’t push off, however hard I try. And it’s worse, because I know I have to face the day and I’ve usually got millions of things to do! This happens especially on dark, dank days when the sun doesn’t decide to show its face – and we have a lot of those days here in England.

One thing I’ve learnt over the years (even in the absence of the sun) is that music can help with this. Certain types just lift my heart a little and I feel able to potter about and do things – even if they’re only small jobs. At other times I feel invincible and get LOADS done – just by listening to a few playlists.

What music??

Music is subjective of course and it depends on taste. I’m one of those people who loves pretty much every kind of music (apart from the screamy heavy metal stuff and loud opera – both hurt my ears!) I have a real mixed bag of artists if you were to browse my iTunes – from Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne to Louis Armstrong, Etta James and Einaudi (a classical pianist). It all depends what mood I’m in – and what I want to do. Acoustic tracks and piano music are good for writing sometimes, but at other times I need a kick up the arse. Uplifting music takes soo many forms – it all depends on what you want it to do and how you’re feeling.

Soul

I LOVE soul music – it’s my go-to for everything. I found a few playlists on free internet radio 8 tracks which I’d love to share with you – even if it’s not your thing, give it a listen in the background. It’s feel-good, happy, genuine music and for me it’s hard to be unhappy when I’ve got my soul on.

R n B

RnB is great because for those of you who hate old music (:() there’s a modern reincarnation of it for you to enjoy. I love Jhene Aiko, The Weekend, Trey Songz and Neyo for chilled, soulful music.

Motivational

Rap is great for this but also electronic, house or dance music with a rapid solid beat. Obviously I always listen to this type of thing at the gym but I also like listening to it if I’ve got a job to finish or need to feel excited and upbeat.

Calming

If you’re really after something very subdued and calming then for me piano music and relaxation songs are the best. The sort you listen to in a spa (with chimes and whales) do send me to sleep so I can’t always listen to them for long unless they have got a beat to them – and there’s a fair few ambient, ethnic tracks that do!

Motivational

I love it when people make mixes on Youtube or Soundcloud which incorporate sometimes almost subliminal messages into decent music which gets you going and motivates your mind all at the same time. Harmonic Vibrations on free playlist sharing site 8tracks is one of my favourites for this – you can check their page out here.

 

What’s your go to music (if you have any!)?

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Soap Nut, Shikakai and Rhassoul clay shampoo for hair loss – Recovery hair

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You might have seen that recently in my hair loss quest (I lost a considerable amount of hair for the third time last year) I’ve gone all-natural in my quest to find a solution. I’m very lucky in that my hair is growing back thick and strong (although this hair is only 3-4 inches long at the moment!) but I want to maintain that growth, in addition to the health of my hair and scalp, to hopefully ensure no further hair loss takes place.

I posted about Rhassoul Clay and its benefits for the hair and scalp a few weeks back – and although I loved it as a shampoo I did feel it was a little drying and that I needed something more than just Rhassoul in the mix. On further research I discovered that a basic Indian shampoo is comprised of Soapnut and Shikakai – then often mixed with Rhassoul, Henna, Amla or other ingredients to further benefit the hair. I read a lot of good reviews online, so I decided to give it a try.

What is Soapnut (or Reetha) powder?

Soapnuts are used as a natural cleansing and conditioning agent which have been used for centuries in Indian culture for washing the hair and body. It effectively cleans the hair without stripping the scalp, restoring softness and shine. It’s great for hair loss and an unhealthy scalp because it’s all natural and contains vitamins A, D, E and K. Because of these aspects, and especially when combined with Shikakai, Soapnut helps to strengthen, lengthen and encourage regrowth of hair – keeping the scalp AND the hair happy is a powerful tool in combatting hair loss.

The powdered form is SO easy to use. Some do say they boil the nuts and make shampoo that way but honestly I don’t have the time, patience or attention span for that!!

What is Shikakai?

Shikakai strengthens the hair and cleanses just as Soapnut does – but where Soapnut (and Rhassoul especially) can cause the hair to become knotted, Shikakai combats this with detangling properties. It softens the hair whilst giving it lots of healthy volume and shine – plus it stimulates hair growth and nourishes the scalp preventing dandruff and flakiness.

Together, Soapnut, Shikakai and Rhassoul provide a perfect pH and a powerful combination of hair and scalp loving vitamins and minerals to aid in combatting hair loss. Without any moisture they can be a bit drying, so they’re really best combined in a recipe for optimum results.

How do I use it?

I mix a dessertspoon (around half a tablespoon) of Soapnut powder and Shikakai powder in an applicator bottle (you can get these from eBay for £1 or just use a plastic bowl) with about the same amount of Rhassoul (your bowl and mixing implement need to be non-metal as this reacts with Rhassoul clay) and then add a little boiling water and mix or shake until I have a foaming paste. It looks a lot like a runny, creamy shampoo consistency which is good (If you’ve tried Rhassoul on its own, you’ll know that it’s a little like cement dissolved in water – you get none of that with this!)

Then I add a few drops (I’d say around a teaspoon) of Argan Oil or Almond Oil (I use pure organic oil from Argan Liquid Gold). The shampoo does have a funky, ‘spicy’ scent but it’s nothing you don’t get used to after a while and it doesn’t linger on your hair once it’s dry. I love using essential oils in my shampoo – I usually add rosemary essential oil as it has fabulous hair-loving properties which help to repair and soothe the scalp but Cedarwood and Peppermint oils are also good and you can also use essential oils just for the scent, like Orange and Rose (I use pure Rose essential oil from Thailand – it’s TO DIE FOR!).

So, now for the application. I apply mine like a spa treatment in the bath so that when it goes everywhere (which it inevitably does!) it goes into the bath and not on the bathroom floor. Then I soak and leave it on for around half and hour then wash it off still sitting in the bath tub. I won’t lie, it’s incredibly messy. But so worth it!!

The good thing about Soapnut is that it foams and lathers up a little bit like conventional shampoo. I scoop it out with my fingers and apply to directly to my scalp, gently massaging my hair over the covered areas. I make sure my whole scalp is covered – I usually just pour the rest of the mixture over my head. I don’t bother too much about the ends of my hair, because they tend to get covered in the mixture by default and of course the ends of your hair don’t need washing as the scalp does. The Shikakai does make it quite gritty, so it’s a little like rubbing in and washing mud and gravel out of your hair (well, that’s exactly what it’s like),

The BAD NEWS about this shampoo is that it is an absolute NIGHTMARE to use and wash out if you’re used to ‘normal’ shampooing and hair washing. The GOOD NEWS is that you only have to wash your hair once a week – because your hair is returning to its natural state and is not getting greasy so quickly. Also the less you wash your hair the better it will be for the health of your hair and on improving hair loss.

I just stick my head under the shower for at least 5-10 minutes until the water runs clear and I can’t find any grit. I always find at least one little piece when my hair is dry but that’s fine as they come out easily.

Once your hair is rinsed clean, wrap it up in a warm towel and leave it to dry (don’t use heat when you’re suffering from hair loss!!). As always, don’t brush until it’s dry.

There you have it – the method seems lengthy when you first read it, but I promise that after one or two gos you will be sold as I was and won’t mind the slight hassle when you see the incredible effect it has on your hair. Go on – give it a go – and let me know how you get on!

 

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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5 tips to feel better NOW during recovery

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Bad day? No problem!

Talk to someone about themselves: Yep, anyone! It can get really tiring just talking about ourselves and our situation all the time, especially if it is in a negative capacity. Go and ask someone a question – not only will it make them feel good, but you’ll get to know lots about that person and may even be able to offer them advice or learn something new. It’s really refreshing to talk about something you never normally would – especially if your daily dialogue usually revolves around health care and food.

Go out and spend some time in the sunshine: I am a self-confessed sun fiend (I actually NEED it to function properly at all!) and even now I always feel better for a little time spent with its warm rays on my face. When I was poorly, a couple of the nurses would wheel me out into the sun because they knew how much it benefited me – physically and mentally. The sun has been shown to help lift mood and also restores vital vitamins in the body such as vitamin D which is very much needed during recovery. Obviously too much sun exposure is bad for us so if you’re sensitive make sure you’re wearing protection and don’t lie in it all day!

Do something which you enjoy: Even if you don’t feel like it. Read a book, paint a picture, sketch, play a computer game, have a go on the drums or the guitar (whatever floats your boat – I’m just guessing!) Take a long shower, or if you’re able to, a bath is also great for relaxing and uplifting. Go all out with candles and your favourite smellies – paint your nails, indulge in a face mask. Just half an hour out of a crappy day giving yourself a break can often be enough to change it around.

Have a go at havening: I’m really interested in how techniques such as NLP and havening can help recovery – not just for eating disorders but also for anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia and more. My lovely friend Geraldine has used touch therapy and NLP extensively in her own life and with her family and it has really made an incredible difference. I’m only just learning more about it, but if you’re interested check out this simple article in which Paul Mckenna introduces havening and shares an easy ten minute technique you can try.

Watch an inspirational video or film: I know it sounds a bit silly but honestly, it’s remarkable how uplifting and inspiring some movies can be. It doesn’t have to be heavy or intellectual or spiritual – just a film that makes you feel good! Perhaps it’s a film from your childhood, or even a TV show. If you want to try something new, take a look at some of the inspirational videos on Youtube. There’s lots of them – many of them have beautiful photographs and offer a new perspective on life which you might be able to take something away from.

 

We all have bad days – and it’s completely understandable that you may be having more than most at the moment. Remember that one bad day isn’t a setback, it’s not a failure, it’s simply a bad day. Give yourself a break, remember how far you’ve come and focus on your future goals – you’ll get there 🙂

If you’re into beauty, why not have a look at these simple uplifting beauty rituals to brighten your day?

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Natural cocoa dry shampoo for hair loss

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When I first stopped using chemical shampoos and started only washing my hair once a week to help my hair grow, I relied on dry shampoo about once a week to keep my hair looking fresh. Then I realised with horror that my ‘natural’ dry shampoo was full of chemicals too!

With that in mind, I scoured the internet for a natural alternative. A lot of these included baking powder which as we’ve already discussed is not the best thing to put on your hair. After a little while I found this recipe using cocoa – and it sounded good and simple enough to try!

All you need is:

  • A pot to store the shampoo in
  • 2 tbsp Arrowroot Powder, Cornflour or Rice Starch
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder

Pop a spoonful of each into a bowl and mix them well. Then use your fingers to apply it to the roots of your hair where you feel it is needed. It’s that simple!

If you have blonde hair, you can omit the cocoa or put less in so that it doesn’t discolour your hair.

More natural recovery beauty here!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Lip Balm Reviews

Being freezing cold all the time and living in a body which is depleted of nutrients, dehydrated and generally is struggling to survive, usually things we often take for granted such as moist mouth and lips completely disappear. Even if you’re well on your way to recovery your body is still getting back on its feet, and I found that my lips were very easily dry and chapped even a couple of years after my eating disorder. My circulation even now is ruined and I struggle in cold weather so a good quality lip balm is still a must in my beauty arson! It’s so difficult with so many products on the market to decide which ones are best. I’ve bought so many lip balms in the past and they’ve ended up sitting in my drawer unused because they are hard, too slippery or too greasy (I HATE Vaseline, eugh). Here’s my run down of the 5 best I found – to save you throwing your money away and heal those chapped lips fast!

  1. Palmers Cocoa Butter – Original Solid Formula

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Yep, it’s not exactly portable, and I apologise for this in advance! However it’s got to be one of the most hydrating, silky lip balms I have found and not only is it 100% natural it also smells/tastes AMAZING. Palmer’s do have a stick-balm range, but I’ve always preferred this and when I was a make-up artist I always had a tub of this in my kit, as for hygiene reasons it made it easier to scoop a little out with a metal spatula and apply it with my fingers than using a traditional stick balm. It’s moisturising without leaving a horrible greasy film on your lips and because it’s all natural you don’t have to worry about ingesting anything untoward if you’re applying it frequently.

  1. Aldi Lacura Lip Balms

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I know people are often dubious about buying cheap supermarket cosmetics (that’s because I’ve always been one of them!), but not only are these such a good buy at 99p for three, they are fantastic quality and so moisturising. I bought them on a whim one day whilst I was doing my food shop and I’ve been so pleased with them. Just one lasts forever so you can imagine a pack of three lasts a fairly long time! The only thing with Aldi is that lines tend to come and go, or come once and then go forever – luckily this appears to be an almost constant line (probably owing to its popularity), but the flavours differ; the one I have is Mandarin but they do a natural one and also did a cranberry one for Christmas. They’re free from mineral oils and contain exactly the same ingredients as much more expensive brands – so they’re a super savvy buy!

  1. Bodyshop Almond Lip Butter

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These handy little pots are great for putting in your handbag and they have a lovely buttery consistency. Of course as with all Bodyshop products they’re natural and made with Fairtrade ingredients. I love anything almond, anything marzipan, so this for me tastes like absolute heaven. Not a fan? Not to worry! Bodyshop do a huge range of lip balms so you’re sure to find one to your taste – from fruity flavours like strawberry and mandarin to sweet flavours like chocolate, Shea butter and vanilla.

Any of your own to add? Please comment below!

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Enjoyed Lip Balm Reviews? There’s more in Beauty here!

Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Moisturiser Reviews for recovering skin  

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Just like lips, (You can read my lip balm review here), your skin suffers massively when you’ve had an eating disorder. It’s dry, sore, flaking, tight; symptoms which are exacerbated by time spent glued to the radiator through the cold or in hospital. My skin was dry and cracked in places and I had horrendous chilblains on my toes (I still get those now!) and I really struggled to find anything which kept my skin hydrated for longer than half an hour. Here’s my top five body moisturisers – you’ll notice a few of them are butters and oils and most are natural, as I always think natural is best for your skin and overall health. Let me know if you’ve tried any and agree (or disagree!)

  1. Body Shop Body Butters

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I already raved about Body Shop Lip Butters in my Lip Balm Review, but I couldn’t help but include their body butters too in this post. So luxurious and thick, but easy to rub in and quick to absorb, these body butters also smell AMAZING. As always, you can expect an all-natural product from Body Shop which includes fair trade ingredients. There are so many to choose from, but if you’re into warm scents like me, Vanilla, Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Almond, Cocoa Butter and Chocolate (to name but a few!) will probably take your fancy. Body Shop also offer these in lotion form so if you’re looking for something more portable, they’ve got it covered. The butters are very reasonably priced and tend to last a little while so they are great value for money and certainly a good investment for parched skin.

 

  1. Kiehl’s Crème de Corps

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Kiehl’s was a brand I’d never heard of until I started working in luxury beauty 7 years ago; and as soon as I tried this moisturiser I fell in love. It’s pricey, but a little goes a very long way. I think the warm, buttery smell is heavenly but I can imagine it’s not everyone’s cup of tea – they do in fact offer a fragrance-free version now for those who don’t find it as tempting as I do!

My favourite form of this product is the whipped body butter. It is so light and fluffy, almost like buttercream, and sinks into the skin beautifully. The lotion form is thick but spreads lightly and as with its creamy counterpart, it absorbs quickly so no waiting around in the cold bathroom wafting your limbs around waiting for it to dry!

 

  1. Original Source In-Shower moisturiser

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It may not be enough on its own, but I decided to include this anyway because for anyone wishing (as I do!) to limit their time out in the cold wilderness between the shower and their pyjamas, body lotions and creams aren’t always practical. Plus they can be sticky and greasy even if they absorb well – not everyone’s cup of tea.

These nifty products have been emerging over the past year following the introduction of Nivea’s In-Shower Moisturiser; I like this one because it has a really natural, fresh scent.

 

  1. Argan Liquid Gold Pure Argan Oil

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I first met May, founder of Argan Liquid Gold, when I worked for a magazine a couple of years ago. With so many Argan products on the market (many of which tend to just contain a small percentage of Argan as an ingredient), her passion to introduce something which is pure and natural and 100% authentic, as well as Organic and Fairtrade, was so inspiring for me. Argan Oil hails from Morocco, and May is Moroccan herself, so what better authority on Argan Oil can there be??

Lots of people are more than dubious about using oils on their skin; but for parched skin oil can be one of the only emollients which effectively penetrates the layers of the skin and nourishes it more deeply. Liquid Gold Argan Oil sinks in very quickly, so it’s not greasy or sticky on your skin. May advised me to use it on damp skin as this enables it to be absorbed more efficiently – but doing this also means that you spend less time out in the cold bathroom slathering oil on yourself. Because it’s completely pure and natural, you can rest assured there’s no chemical nasties in there either.

This product is going to sound expensive (£60   a bottle, stay with me), but I use such a minimal amount that my current bottle has lasted since I first met May! Not only can this be used on your skin, it’s also an amazing facial moisturiser too so you are effectively getting two products in one.

 

  1. Laura Mercier Body Souffle

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I know I feature a fair amount of these products on the blog but honestly, I love them so much and they really are amazing. The only catch is they are pretty expensive – and I can’t make an argument here for that extra expense other than the fact that I am IN LOVE with the smell of them which lingers for hours, and the moisturising qualities, which stick around for a few hours too! The lotions (in a tube) are a little cheaper and just as thick and creamy, with the same scent, so I think if you’re on a budget, there’s a lot to be said for purchasing one of these rather than one of the most expensive pots.

 

Let me know how you get on with these – I love to hear your thoughts as always!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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Tough Cookie book update

You might know that I am releasing books about my experiences to help others who have gone through or who are going through an eating disorder – the first of which is called Tough Cookie! I’ve been posting updates on social media but I am so excited to say that I received the first draft copy of the book this weekend, which is now with the focus group and headed for final edits.

I’m so excited to share this with everyone. I genuinely hope that I have something to offer to help people and I can’t wait for people to start reading it.

Please continue to watch this space!

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Tough Cookie is a blog for support and inspiration during recovery from Anorexia. Eating disorder recovery can be tough – but so are you!

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