I get very easily led into obsessions and very attached to things and sometimes in unhealthy ways. I got led into starvation when I was 19 due to the fact I was obsessed with calories, my size of my body and wanting to be thin. I failed and had to eat in the end or i would of died.

I have got very obsessed with things that have been okay such as celebrities, television programmes, films, music, book authors, hobbies and games on my iPhone/Nintendo Switch. I don't stalk celebrities I just am interested in their life.

I have recently lost 6 stone exactly in weight and I have not gained AT ALL just over Christmas 2021 and I lost that weight within just 2 weeks. I have stuck to plan every day for 17 months except Christmas and Sunday's which is i feel being stuck obsessed to a weight loss plan and is unusual to not gain in such a long period of time.

I get stuck in routines such as weighing myself twice a week and eating at particular times. I have a strict evening routine from evening dinner until bed which is done by time. I have routine in parts of the daytime too.

I have set days where I go to art group, gym, see friends, family and others and do other activities on.

I check calories , weigh food and input everything onto my fitness pal.

Routines and obsessions are part of my Autism unfortunately. I wish they weren't as it drives me crazy. I cannot change them as it makes them worse.

When i was big i was obsessed with certain sugary items such as sweets which was very unhealthy.

Things I am currently attached/obsessed to;

- Books and now those on Kindle !

- Arts, Crafts, Diamond art/painting, painting by numbers.

- Bathroom Scales/Calories being left over.

- Animal Crossing On Nintendo Switch.

- Games on my iPhone ToonBlast especially.

- Social media such as Facebook/Instagram/TikTok

- The Works shop...

- Shopping apps.

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I have struggled with my eating for over 12 years. At first it was not eating enough I starved myself for a while when I was around the age of 19-20. It could have been classed as anorexia, but the eating disorder specialists felt it was an obsession due to my autism diagnosis. I got down to around 7 stone and at 5ft 6 that’s such a low BMI and extremely underweight. I bruised easily I had ribs showing and my legs were like matchsticks. I had regular blood tests every week and I got a result back due to potassium being too low or too high which could lead to a heart attack which really worried me I slowly began to eat but it was up and down for a while and then I began to eat I got to a healthy weight but mentally I was very unwell I was sectioned in February 2011.

As an inpatient I got well mentally in my head, but I began overeating unhealthily eating takeaways every week, microwave meals, large pasta meals and sugary snacks. By the time I left hospital I was 16 stone I must have put on at least 6 stone in 18 months.

When I came into supported living, I didn’t have a clue on how to diet healthily I joined slimming world with a lady I house shared with in supported living. I did have a good go at slimming world the first time I joined I lost around 1 stone and a bit. I learnt a lot of basics of eating healthily such as not using Dolmio sauces on Bolognese to cook it from scratch. I learnt about food labels on food and drinks.

I did join Slimming World around 6 times, but I struggled to understand the plan and I felt very unwell when eating the Super free foods (SP). I felt like I was eating too much as well which that’s the whole point of the plan apparently.

When I gave up trying on Slimming World, I joined Weight Watchers. I tried group and online plan. I went a couple of times on 2 separate occasions to the group meetings. I did well to start with then I got bored and I must admit I was craving sugary food.

In 2015 into 2016 I joined group Weight Watchers the plan had changed since I had last joined Weight Watchers quite a lot, so it was new for me joining. I did the plan for 6 months and I lost 2 stone but again WW wanted to change the plan which confused me a lot I didn’t understand. I had lost 2 stone and started joining exercise groups such as Yoga and Step also changing my eating habits.

After I left Weight watchers, I tried slimming shakes which made me feel dizzy and unwell I had no energy at all to do my routines and things that I enjoyed. I stopped doing that and tried calorie counting which I didn’t do well on I lost possibly around 7 pounds. Over the next 4 years I joined Weight watchers 2 more times, but I did the online plan occasionally too, calorie counting and not eating snacks just meals.

Whenever I gave up a diet, I would gain the weight back and more. My weight was steadily creeping up I was in the morbidly obese category, and I never admitted that I had a problem with food. I feel I was binge eating I would snack on sweets, cereal bars, chocolate, crisps, ice cream and yoghurts. It could be in one day sometimes all the above snacks I have listed.

I had no energy, I had pain in certain parts of my body such as back, legs and ankles, I struggled to walk far, I would make excuses up to not exercise I joined the gym so many times but would leave within a month, I couldn’t fit into clothes I wanted to wear.

In January 2019 I suddenly got a bad back on that first day I could hardly walk and then my back locked on the sofa I had to get an ambulance out I couldn’t literally move. At the hospital they gave me Coco domal and said it was sciatica I accepted that as you would because a doctor said it. I had physio after a couple of months with living with this bad back which never helped by May 2020 I was diagnosed with a slipped disc in my back touching on the nerves after an MRI scan. I had an injection in my back December 2020 within 48 hours I was in agony but worse. I spent the following months on strong pain killers, but they were not touching the pain I was on Co Codomal, Naproxen and now Amitriptyline. I was tried on Oramorph which I had a reaction to just dry itchy skin. Once I started Amitriptyline my back seemed to be a little less painful.

In December 2020 Christmas time it was lovely, but I was struggling a lot with my weight, and I was in agony. I hated living in pain I was miserable. My Dad told me basically I needed to lose weight and it would help my back. I did listen that time all the times before I never listened.

I decided I would lose weight I began to do the online version of weight watchers there were no groups currently running face to face due to coronavirus and lockdown. It was January 3rd, 2021. I brought some scales to weigh myself and I knuckled down to lose weight I had no expectations to lose anything really, I had a negative mindset on losing weight. January 3rd, I weighed in at 19 stone 1 pound. I was a little shocked, but it was not a surprise. Whenever I look back at photos from 2020 especially Christmas 2020, I was very large, and you can tell I was carrying a lot of weight especially in one photo.

I stuck to plan more than ever this time I put 99% into it I had one day off on a Sunday for a treat at Mom and Dad’s house.

By the first week I had lost half a stone and by end of February I had lost 1 stone. After losing a stone I normally get fed up and give up but no I kept on going. I have lost 1 stone, 2 stone, 3 stone, 4 stone and 5 stone. I will keep going now until my target weight which is 12 stone. Only 23 pounds to go.

I have changed all my eating habits I have a treat on a Sunday and on special occasions such as Christmas and my birthday, but I don’t give up and give in to sugar cravings. I have cancelled Weight Watchers subscription and since the end 2021 I do calorie counting using an app called My fitness Pal. I did try Nutra-check, but it didn’t work out. It works for me and that’s the main thing I have now lost 5 stone 5 which is amazing and incredible for someone who binged and gave up at the first hurdle in weight loss.

I had a slipped disc and it’s much better in fact it's nearly fixed and will be discharged shortly from outpatient at Queen Elizabeth hospital, I am delighted that I have turned my health around. I can now fit into Superdry, Zara, Adidas clothing, Nike clothing and I’m no longer in an 18-20 XXL I am in a size 14 a medium which is such a positive thing. I have so much more energy so much I’ve been a member at my local gym around 1 year.

Everyone who I know mentions my weight loss and they are very pleased especially family. I do before and after pictures a lot, but I am proud of myself for that one achievement – losing weight. It’s the biggest achievement of mine to date.

23 pounds until target. Yay!

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Living with Bipolar isn’t easy it’s a struggle and it’s extremely difficult. I don’t know what the day will lead to from one day to the next. I can be happy and settled to depressed and agitated. My thoughts race and they are negative and that makes me think of hurting myself sometimes I can feel suicidal and if I didn’t have 24 hour support workers I probably would attempt to end things from just one dark negative thought my support workers keep me safe very safe. I don’t show how I feel sometimes which is probably my autism diagnosis being part of now showing how I feel.

Some people with bipolar have periods of being low for a few weeks and highs for a few weeks, mine are in just one day. I have a lot of ups and downs some days are better than others.

I’ve felt like not doing much with lack of motivation and feeling tired in myself in the past, but keeping busy and doing things I like doing has helped a lot with my depressive moods. I do art to keep myself calm and settled it’s a hobby I do have an art page on Facebook and Instagram but it’s just to show people my art which included sketching, acrylic painting and watercolour painting. I also write, do card making, other crafts and I read a lot.

When I’m going though good patches everything feels so good that I feel like I don’t have mental health and bipolar disorder and that I don’t need medication even though deep down I know and I have proof I’m not all well I, covered in scars from self harming, I also think that I am 100% well but when I hit rock bottom I see no light at the end of the tunnel everything is dark and I feel like self harming which I’ve done since the age of 18, ending everything I feel suicidal, I have no confidence or self esteem everything is so negative and I feel like doing nothing. I feel like I am rubbish at everything I do. I also have insomnia when I’m going through depressive lows or even highs I can live off 2-3 hours sleep but I don’t think I could live off it if I had a job or set things to do in the morning.I feel afternoons is the best time for me to do things I like as I have more energy.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2011-2012 as an inpatient in a unit for mental health when I was 21. I wasn’t told I had it for a while and didn’t believe I had it once I was told, but it explains my lows, depression and highs and so much more. My speech was fast, my thoughts raced and I believed Im not real which is dissociation but I get still a lot. I had thoughts on spur of the moment which I still have and I can spend a lot of money instantly I don’t think straight when it comes to spending.

I am on so much medication for Bipolar Disorder (the depression and the mood) and anxiety. I am on 2 anti depressants, a few mood stabilisers, anxiety and melatonin at night. I am also on a PRN medication when I’m really struggling and agitated it’s a medication I can take when required. I used to be on a strong prn think it was lorazepam when I was an inpatient but it made me very drowsy and good for nothing after taking it so I was put on a milder prn which helps to calm me.

I have had a lot of help from psychology, community nurses, psychiatrists and occupational therapy over the past 13 years or so. I only have community nursing and sometimes help from psychology team, now I did have help before hospital from dieticians and an eating disorder team at the barberry unit in Birmingham when I wasn’t eating anything.

There is only one person who can help me a lot of the time and that is myself. I sometimes I am my own worst enemy I don’t help myself at times. When I’m depressed I feel everything is too hard to do and I sometimes self loathe.

I need to accept my diagnoses which I haven’t ever really with ‘not feeling real’ – dissociation and Bipolar disorder. I hope to accept and live with it one day. I do doubt bipolar sometimes. I accept my Autism the majority of the time as I spent four years at a special college and I did see others similar to myself and I’ve read books and articles about Autism which helped me accept that I do have Autism.

My worst times of the day is evenings and night its when most people would relax reading or watching television for example but find it hard to relax and my thoughts go off to another degree and I feel really depressed then and that makes sleep none existent sometimes or I cannot switch off because of my negative thoughts. I could be awake for up to 6 hours, or on a bad night it’s all night which affects my mood the next day and even for a few days.

This is how bipolar affects me. it affects each individual differently you may have the same symptoms but everyone is different because everyone is a different human being.

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