Reflecting on 2016

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As 2016 is coming to an end, I thought I would reflect on the past year. Let’s be honest, this year hasn’t been one of the best for many people. For me, it has been up and down. There were a lot of bad times but there were also a lot of good and memorable times in both my professional and personal life.

Taking work for example, I’ve had the pleasure of working on some of the biggest news stories that will go down in history. 2016 has definitely been a historic year for politics. Britain voting to leave the European Union had split the whole of the United Kingdom and it was a truly fascinating campaign. One word following the Brexit vote was ‘unpredictable’. Things suddenly started happening and changing. David Cameron resigning as Prime Minister after Brexit vote, then the Conserative leadership election was cut short after Andrea Leadsom quit the race, which made Theresa May the Prime Minister. Another Labour leadership election won by Jeremy Corbyn. It was so exciting yet so emotional. Following that was the victory of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. The “impossible” kept turning into possible. It was such a fascinating year of politics and one that is unforgettable.

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I’ve learnt a lot about myself this year. I do get upset and angry very easily and take everything personally and lash out. This is something I definitely want to work on in 2017. I need to learn to take criticism and know that I cannot always be perfect. I need to realise that not being perfect is okay. It hasn’t been a good year for my mental health. I am still in this period of ambivalence with my eating disorder. I want to get better but I don’t at the same time. That is ongoing and something to work on in 2017. Then again, I still have a job that I adore and have been holding it down pretty well, despite my mental health.

This year, only recently in November, I went on my first ever holiday. It was only to the Scottish Highlands – Loch Lomond, but this was a big deal because I hadn’t travelled in 12 years. So, going on a plane and staying away from home for a couple of days with friends was a challenge for me. It was a good challenge and a learning experience. In 2017, I hope to travel some more and who knows, hopefully I can be brave and go somewhere abroad. The only place I have been abroad, not in the UK, is Bangladesh and heck, I do not want to go there again. I don’t see it as a holiday. I would like to visit Australia and somewhere in the US, like New York. But, my kind of holidays are quiet places, peaceful and relaxing – I live in the city so it is nice to go somewhere with less people (that’s why I chose to go to the Scottish Highlands for my first trip!). I like places with nice scenery and big mountains and not that hot – I also love the countryside.

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Now this one might be controversial for someone in my condition, but I got back into training since the summer. I was on exercise ban by my treatment team (even now they’re still weary about me working out) but now I feel I have a much more “healthier” mindset to exercise – less focus on weight and more focus on getting stronger and a better mental health. They say exercise helps with depression and it certainly does. I joined Gymbox and I have to say, it has made working out so much more fun and sociable. In all honesty, it has changed my life. Gymbox isn’t just your average gym – it is literally like a club but everything fitness. You walk into the sound of big heavy beats and the atmosphere is so cool and fun. I go to a lot of different classes, mainly dance and HIIT classes, that consists of circuits. I also do spin class, pilates and some weights based classes too. I also adore boxing. My goal for 2017 is to keep working on that core and get it stronger so I can do planks for longer than 50 seconds and just have fun. The best thing about Gymbox is that it has helped a lot with my confidence too. In classes, you meet new people and make friends and you all have something in common – fitness. If you’re someone who hates the thought of the gym – join Gymbox. Trust me, you will not want to leave!

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I enjoyed doing a lot of photoshoots this year, stepping out of my comfort zone and being in front of the camera really did help my confidence. I also got signed to a modelling agency, which is so exciting, so hoping for more shoots in 2017. I was also very pleased to be featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, where I spoke openly about being a high functional women with an eating disorder. It was such a cool opportunity.

When I first decided to write this, I was quite disappointed that I didn’t have any big memorable happy moments but I guess I realised that I should be grateful for the little things that happened. Sometimes, actually wanting to live is hard for me, but here I am, I am still here. I haven’t let this illness taken me and I will still fight every single day in 2017 to survive. A lot of this year I battled with feeling lonely. It’s not the lonely where you think you have no friends, it’s an empty feeling inside. But, I am where I am and I can only improve it slowly. Life isn’t a rush and it isn’t a competition. There are things I haven’t been able to achieve this year, for example, my driving – I failed one test and haven’t had any since but my aim for 2017 is to pass it – but if I don’t, I shouldn’t be hard on myself. The only thing I can do is just enjoy the journey and not focus too much on the destination – and I suggest you guys do the same too.

Happy New Year!

xxx

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Anti-Bullying Week 2016: How Bullying Effected Me


Being bullied can have a lot of detrimental effects. It is important to know that the psychological impact of bullying doesn’t end in adolescent. It can go on into adulthood, even if the bullying no longer occurs. 

It is no secret that I’ve been bullied my entire school life and even to this day, it certainly effects me mentally. It can explain why I behave the way I do most times. What I think about myself, how I relate to others… It has scarred me. Obviously bullying is not only the reason, but it definitely is something that sticks out when I think about my childhood. 

First of all, I was quiet. I have always been quiet. But the fact that people made being quiet seem like a bad thing, made me think something was wrong with me. Being quiet and shy made kids at school think they have one over me and can treat me like I’m nothing. “She won’t stand up for herself so let’s just pick on her.” 

In primary school. I was verbally as well as physically bullied. I was kicked, pinched, punched and pushed by girls and boys in my class. In secondary school, I was called all sorts. Emo, freak, disgusting, midget and was often told to “go and slit your wrists.” 

What impact did this have on me back then? Well, it made me fall behind on school work. I became so uninterested in school that all I did in class was daydream about a fantasy world. I always relate my childhood to the Evanescence song ‘Imaginary’ because I built up this amazing imaginary world inside my head to escape the emptiness I was feeling inside. 

It made me socially awkward and withdrawn. I had no friends and the friends I thought I had only used me, so my trust in people is always something I find hard. I was purposely excluded from things such as games, group work and always picked last in PE because no one liked me. I was even told to my face that I wasn’t liked by anyone in the class and that I should just die.

It led me to self harm and starve myself. Lunchtimes were always spent hiding in the toilets self harming and crying. 

And so the severity of my mental illness increased leading to a diagnosis of eating disorders, anxiety and depression. To this day, these are prevalent with added mental illnesses including hallucinations, BPD and severe paranoia.

Bullying is certainly not something that ends in childhood. It can destroy your life in adulthood too. Whenever I get assessed for a new treatment plan in hospital, the conversation always starts with my childhood and the bullying comes up quite a few times. It is connected to how I behave now. 

I don’t think schools do as much as they should for kids who are being bullied. Every school has a “zero tolerance policy” but they fail to act and fail to help those who are being bullied psychologically.

 In primary school, I did tell my parents and they told the head teacher. The bullying did stop after that, but what would have helped me with my mind was providing me with some sort of counselling to talk about how it has affected me. I don’t think schools realise how severe the psychological consequences are of bullying to certain kids.

I would like more people to be aware of the long term impact of bullying. Again, it does not end in childhood. 

Skin Tightening Options


Fine lines and wrinkles are not just an old people thing. It can happen to young people too. There are a lot of treatment options for tightening the skin.

How does skin tightening work?

Skin tightening works best by contracting the skin cells to remove wrinkles while also filling the thin cells with fresh collagen And elastins. Plump cells appear healthier and younger looking. They also fill in fine lines and wrinkles. A good treatment method doesn’t just tighten the skin, but plumps the cells with collagen to heal damage.

Topical Treatments

The least expensive treatment is by using natural treatment. Creams, serums, and lotions are all applied topically to the surface of the skin. Most of these lotions cannot penetrate the surface of the skin, so cannot encourage collagen growth or elastin production. They can only moisturize and tighten the surface of the skin. Results are mild and temporary at best.

Ultherapy

Using ultrasound technology to heat the cells in the deeper layer of skin, this method encourages collagen growth to plump up the skin and renew the cells. It also causes the skin to tighten. Unfortunately, it cannot be used on the entire body. The FDA has only approved treatment in the face, neck, jowls, and upper chest areas.

IPL Treatments

Intense Pulsed Light or IPL is a treatment that uses light energy pulses to target cells in the lower layer of skin. It heat the cells to stimulate both collagen and elastin production, which will continue for as many as six months after treatment. By heating the cells with used aesthetic medical equipment, the skin also reacts by contracting. Results are noticeable immediately after treatment, but the full results won’t be seen until the skin has finished producing collagen.

Do treatments work on everyone?

That depends on several factors, including the client’s skin condition and age. The poorer the condition of the skin, the less effective the treatment will be. It will also affect how fast the skin heals. The ideal client is one who is in very good health, has healthy skin, and is between 25 and 45 years of age.

Which treatment is the best choice?

Deciding which treatment is the best is dependent on the client and their needs. If you’re young and have very mild wrinkles, then topical treatments might be best. For more moderate skin sagging, IPL procedures might be the best choice. Don’t forget to include the costs, recovery time, side effects, and risks in the decision process. Each of these elements plays into what an individual can afford and is willing to try for a procedure

My Modelling Experience 

Recently, I was shortlisted to become a fashion model by The Model Factory/Luxe Models and they invited me to Kube Studios for a makeover and photoshoot. Kube help aspiring models break into the industry, along with training and advice.

As I have done photoshoots before, I wasn’t that nervous. In fact, I love it when someone else does my hair and make up. The make up artist done four different looks on me to go with my four different outfit changes.

The first look was a more natural look which went with a casual outfit that I would wear on an everyday basis – a tulle skirt with a plain black top. The photographer told me that it seems like I’m much more confident in modelling in public – that’s news to me! But shows that I do appear confident and it is showing!


The next look was another natural look with my usual all black lacey outfit.

Now it gets more glamorous and right up my street. More eye make up with statement outfits. This one is my usual elegant and ‘princessy’ look. I love my hair curled like this!

Because I am Asian, they asked me to go for an Indian look as it is part of my culture which I rarely expose that much. I thought why not? I love dressing up on Eid and stuff and it’ll be nice to be professionally shot wearing my Indian outfit (and make my mother happy!) I brought in my recent Eid outfit and my selection of bindis to top the look off. The make up artist matched the look to my outfit. These are some of my favourites shoots from the day.

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Everyone at the studio was absolutely lovely and very welcoming. It gave me an impression and an idea of what the modelling industry is really like. I thought it’ll be harsh and demanding. I thought I needed to be tall to model, a reason why I never considered it before because I’m only 4″11′! But that’s perfectly fine. I think it’s really important, especially in modelling is to know when to say ‘no’. I have a particular style and if I don’t feel comfortable with a certain look or outfit, I will say no. I did on the day and they were absolutely fine with it and went with whatever I felt comfortable with. That’s what I loved most about the experience. As I mentioned, I thought it would be a demanding environment but it was far from that!

The team felt I did really well and have what it takes to be a professional model. They liked my pictures and now will match me up with agencies.

This is all new for me but so exciting! My main career path is of course in journalism but modelling is something I’d do on the side. I love my fashion and beauty and have always done. It is also a great addition to this blog and an extra thing I can tell you guys all about!

To end this, apparently I am a “glamorous journalist” – I’ll definitely take that! 🙂

AW16 Wish List: Boots

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-21-11-40When it gets to autumn and winter, I get so excited because I can finally wear boots! I only got into boots just last autumn, but not any boots, but those chunky platform heeled gothic type boots that look so cool with an all black outfit. The higher the heel, the better.

These Danii Black Stud Platform Shoe from prettylittlething.com are rather like a dupe of the Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots (remember that craze?). It’s certainly a statement footwear so I reckon the boots will do the talking if you just pair it with a simple outfit.

H&M always have such amazing selection of platform boots during this time of year and it excites me so much because they are affordable yet very good quality. These lovely Platform boots are just £24 with quite a delicate elastic gore detailing.

These next ones (bottom right) are from boohoo.com but are currently unavailable online. But I’ve been seeing similar ones like this a lot lately and I absolutely love the unique touch to it – gold heel. It certainly stands out. I don’t yet have boots like this yet but I do have Mary Jane shoes like with an gold and embellished heel and I always get compliments on it. It certainly stands out but that’s what makes it elegant.

Last but not least is the Black Pu Zipper Ankle Chunky Heel Boots from newchic.com. They are certainly more edgier than the others because of its ‘chunkiness’ to it. I love biker feel to it yet it’s still very much girly with the high heel.

Let me know what type of boots, or any other type of footwear YOU like wearing in autumn and winter. 

World Mental Health Day 2016: BPD and ME

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As it is World Mental Health Day, I want to speak out about one of my recent diagnosis – Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

People often have a negative view about BPD and that is why I am reluctant to speak about it publicly. Why? Because it shows how I’m not as perfect as I want to be or as much I want people to think I am. My eating disorder doesn’t make me perfect, but at least I can control my weight and make it perfect for me. Whereas BPD makes people think I’m evil and a horrible person because it’s out of my control and brings out the worst in me.

I wish people would understand me but they don’t. There is always an explanation for the way I behave. It’s not because I’m a bad person even though it may seem like it. I promise the things I do does not come from bad intentions. It comes from a need to feel like I belong.

I’ve always found it hard to make and keep friends. BPD makes close friendships difficult. No one seems to stay for long in my life and I often become a burden for people because I am vulnerable, fragile, difficult and too dependent. I expect too much from people. I want to feel needed, I want to feel wanted and I want to feel like I matter. I want someone to be spontaneous and take me places, because I never had that as a child. I want to feel safe and cared for, because I never felt that as a child. I want to be treated as a first choice, because I’ve never been someone’s first choice.

I never felt like I fitted in as a child. I always felt left out. People hurt me. I was always on my own. I was my own best friend and own worst enemy. That is why whenever I get close to someone now; I fear abandonment and rejection which leads to me losing people because they get scared and back away as I try so hard to keep them. I would do anything for someone I love not to leave me. In the past – it has ended up with threats, multiple suicide attempts, threats of suicide and self-harm, in an attempt to blackmail people not to leave me. It’s not a selfish part of me, but a desperate cry for help. I have so much love and care to give – that’s all I want. I want to feel worthy for once.

If I make plans with friends and for some reason they cancel, it triggers me into thinking they hate me and they have probably found someone else they would rather hang out with. I get upset and mad. I don’t think about their reason, I automatically think it’s about me. The reason is always me. That is why I need constant reassurance from people that they still like me and care about me.

And only recently, I realised this part of my personality not only affects my personal relationships, but also affects my professional relationships and how I relate to people in the workplace. If I don’t somehow feel like I belong in a team, I feel unimportant which makes me feel worthless. If I don’t get praised at work and get criticism, I feel like it’s the end of the world and everyone hates me and get paranoid that I will lose my job. It comes hand in hand with perfectionism. I must do all I can to feel accepted because I never felt accepted as a child.

So, the cause of BPD is often deep rooted . Trying to keep up with constant feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness is exhausting, but with an intense form of Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), it has made me understand why I do the things I do. I found out that my BPD is connected to my anorexia. With my DIT therapist, I found links to why I behave the way I do and it really makes sense.

Living with BPD is so hard – you will not understand how hard it is unless you have it yourself. The behaviours are only a reaction of what we fear the most – that have already happened to us before. For me, not feeling like I got enough love as a child, being used, being bullied, feeling left out – are all combination of things why it is hard for me to form healthy and stable relationships in adulthood.

However, as I recover, I am realising I have behaved inappropriately towards people which ruined a lot of friendships. I did those things because I was in a bad place and let my illness control me. I am not denying responsibility at all. I am at fault. I know I hurt people with my words and impulsive actions and I hate myself for that. I wish I could turn back time and start again. But, whats done is done and I can only work on it and improve myself for the better.

I am not a bad person, I promise. All I want is to feel is loved for once in my life. People think I only care about myself but that is not true. It may seem like I think the whole world revolves around me but it is far from that – it is a little girl, who hasn’t properly grown up, so desperate to give love as well as receive love. I am fun, funny, silly and caring – I just had a difficult childhood that has left me in this mental state, but I am still a human being.

If a friend or a loved one struggles with BPD, I just need you to know that they are not a bad person. They are just scared. Please please don’t leave them if you really love and care about them. It hurts. It hurts so badly when someone you love abandons you. Help that person. Be there for them. And if it gets too much and you decide to leave them, please don’t be harsh to them – try not to end things in a bad way. Reassure them that things will get better and that they are not alone. It will make every bit of difference.