FIRST POST: Man Vs. Food Begins

It’s day 15 of my inpatient journey to full recovery. But really it’s day 2. The real work began yesterday. That’s when I reached my lowest BMI and told I was at life-threatening risk. (yes, Anorexia would brag) Yasmin, however, certainly doesn’t. But the real me also doesn’t regret anything the past 2 weeks of what was supposed to be the start of ‘real’ Anorexia recovery. Shutting the door for good. I’ve learnt so much about the power of my Eating Disorder – how much I really, truly want to find a me, learn to become a woman I’ve never developed into. I’ve gained a lot of strength and self-awareness, by falling down since being here, dancing alone with Anorexia as it kept sneaking in, learning how to find my own voice and asking for help myself by recognising when I needed it. Yesterday, I had been granted my FINAL opportunity to prove the professionals wrong. I’ve taken a gamble but I’m not looking back.

It seems appropriate to start writing from here now I have officially more time to give life than Anorexia. Now that I’ve TERRIFYINGLY started a daily full-portion increased meal-plan and am allowed zero physical activity and wheelchair-mobilised around the ward. Going straight to this from only just complying with a half-portion meal-plan and compulsively exercising everyday. How overnight, I feel like I’m being fed to the sharks (or rather, feeding WITH the sharks). But this is MY decision and it’s a huge, huge positive. I’ve begged and pleaded it be this way, so to avoid being Naso-Gastric tube-fed, like the consultant felt was the only guarantee to start improving things physically. I argued my case and I won. I’m still winning. Because I’m 24 hours into it, feel like I’ve got bread and potatoes about to come out of my ears, but I’d like to think it’s the start of an exciting adventure. To re-discovering a healthy relationship with food. To allow myself to enjoy food again.

I’d like to share my diet over the upcoming time too, along with the goals I begin to achieve through my recovery and the challenges faced. Also a bit of insight as to what happens on the Unit. It will be a useful vent for me as the guilt, I can already feel sitting on my shoulder like a not-so-attractive parrot, more of a haunting is remaining my daily shadow. It’s only early days, but I already feel as though the pace of this whole thing is travelling at the speed of light. But again, this came down to my choice and the only way I see to take charge of my life before anything becomes forced.

I’ve just finished lunch and pudding of day 2 and this is the weirdest feeling I’ve felt so far. Like weird, weird. Like this is properly abandoning the Eating Disorder that has been my pet/close friend/security blanket/imaginary soulmate almost, and I feel like I’ve been hit with a dramatic hit of loneliness. Realising how much space Anorexia has taken up, eaten my brain, be-friended. I woke up from a quick nap during our 40 minute ‘rest period’ that we have after main meals in the lounge. I refrain my body from relaxing as much as possible after mealtimes, shaking my leg out of agitation from the mammoth portion of food that Anorexia had zilch, squelch control over. Food I didn’t have to work for to eat. Food, as daft and simple as it sounds, I just had to ‘eat’. Food I couldn’t measure, calculate, write down beside the time eaten, and it’s potential calories, assigned number, before feeling like I am permitted to eat it; any number rules, completely and utterly scrapped and just eating what was presented to me.

But my body was fighting me to listen to it, and it wanted to rest. I tried to rationalise that this was due to the full-stomach feeling I wasn’t used to. The amount of digestion I was now asking of my stomach, which would require energy of my body that I haven’t been used to asking of it on and off for 8 years. I realised how stubborn Anorexia really is. It fought and fought the urge to curl up on the armchair, still restlessly shaking my leg (not to physically ‘burn calories’ – there’s no way this amount of food could be burnt off by any morsel) but it was more a mental meditation for Anorexia almost. To numb away all the ‘real’ flooding human type of feelings that I haven’t experienced in a long time with a literal ‘full to the stomach’ feeling.

During writing this, I have just confided in one of the Support Workers who had come to remind me that I shouldn’t be standing (I was typing this at my bedroom window) but I feel mentally so chaotic as a result of feeling so physically full. And I feel like I’m in a bit of a potato coma after having ocean pie (mashed potato topping) with boiled potatoes followed by a full-fat yoghurt – that’s following 2 slices of toast with butter for morning snack, after 2 Weetabix for breakfast. It just all feels so wrong. In a weird way after that nap, I was hit with a sudden realisation that although Anorexia used to keep me isolated, I still felt like I had a strong friend and that I wasn’t really alone. I never saw it as a ‘person’, but with all the number pre-occupation, planning anxiety around food, numbing, all stripped away I felt so vulnerable and exposed. Suddenly a feeling of owning nothing. Like happiness I’ve felt the past 8 years, has been false. I felt sad that I’ve spent so many years investing in a lie, smiles formed around lies, feel ‘happy’ and ‘safe’ and ‘controlled’ because of my relationship with numbers, now meaningless. You begin to question what really was a true reflection of you and your life.

I’ve so much I’ve needed to say today, but it’s almost supper time on day 2 of full-portions, and I’m ending the day feeling like an embarrassed fraud to be pushed around in a wheelchair. It all feels so wrong after eating all this food. I’m already fearing getting glimpses of my cheeks in mirrors, but then I’m confused to still see bones on my chest when so many tastes have passed me lips in such a short space of time. Before I stop typing for the night abruptly with still so much to say, I wanted to update on what I’ve eaten so far. It will help me justify the weight gain that I’m still getting my head around has officially commenced.

So, yesterday…

BREAKFAST:    Weetabix x 1 (before my review began)
AM SNACK:      Brown toast x 2, with butter
LUNCH:             Sweet and sour chicken, boiled rice, mashed swede
Full-fat cherry yoghurt
TEA:                   Egg mayo sandwiches on wholemeal, 5-bean salad, side salad
Chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce
SUPPER:            Weetabix x 1 (staff forgot I was on full-portion – whoops! hehe)
….and a PINT of semi-skimmed milk.


BREAKFAST:    Weetabix x 2
AM SNACK:      Brown toast x 2, with butter
LUNCH:             Ocean pie, boiled potatoes, peas
Full-fat peach yoghurt
TEA:                   Turkey mayo sandwiches on wholemeal, 5-bean salad, side salad
Strawberry sundae
SUPPER:            ‘Seabrooks’ crisps
….and a PINT of semi-skimmed milk.




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