Wholemeal toast x 2, butter.
Cheese omelette, mashed potato, mashed swede.
Peach full-fat yoghurt.
Turkey mayo sandwich (wholemeal), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Baked lemon tart.
Weetabix x 2.
…& the usual PINT of milk.
I can now officially say I am friends with ‘Snap, Crackle and Pop’.
First time completing a ‘full-portion’ of ‘unweighed’ cereals on the Unit, leaving my Weetabix chaps behind. It was surprisingly… fine? I’d envisaged them the night before, as some intimidating army of one-eyed monsters. In fact, I was more distracted by how tired I felt, the time breakfast was over. Any un-related food thought when eating is a very positive sign.
After relying years and years on the specific digit on a set of kitchen scales telling me how many bran flakes I could have, this felt very freeing. And no, I didn’t feel over-indulgent. Having a staff member there to guide you with portioning is obviously a big, big help… and I was also reassured to have another patient on the same breakfast choice as me, who is also usually on Weetabix.
I enjoyed the change… adding the smidgen of chilli (see yesterday’s post) paid off…
First time trying the cheese omelette here too – that felt also do-able and it tasted how I’d expected… but my attention turned more towards the look of my plate. I’s like my Yasmin headlights came on, and I saw Anorexia’s messy toys on the table.
I remembered a few weeks ago when the dietician was encouraging me to practice combining foods to create ‘normal’ meal options. All I could think of was “well I’m still getting the right balance and eating the food”. For example, you’d be unlikely to choose roast meat, Yorkshire pudding and BOILED RICE, as opposed to potatoes. But this was the kind of thing I’m referring to.
Mash… omelette… mashed swede… it all now looked quite odd. Through my own pupils. Unmatched. Like Donald Trump and Lady Gaga as a married couple. In fact, it tore my hopes of continuing my challenge of ‘not eating foods separately’. It felt more ABNORMAL to eat these things together if anything.
I had to pull myself together to try and consciously WORK OUT what you WOULD have with an omelette…. goes to show how powerfully Anorexia does literally zap food items into digits, and how many baskets of guilt it would offer. So I’d lost sense of normality, hence eating so many weird food combinations back at home.
It sounds like the daftest brainwave ever, but genuinely this omelette dilemma really drummed in my recovery thoughts/aims. NOT just to eat food, not even just to CHALLENGE fear foods, but to reflect NORMAL eating as a whole. So I have a better chance of taking part in NORMAL life and not letting Anorexia embarrass me in restaurants when I’m so picky to change certain bits of my meal. To not have this, have that and could I please have this instead. To be able to join in celebrations whole-heartedly, when food is a key social centre-piece.
What might you ordinarily have with an omelette? Chips and salad? Wedges and veg?
Going into my session with the dietician, to start meal-planning for NEXT week (we do them a week in advance, so yes it feels like I’ve only just sat my A-Level exam trying to plan THIS WEEK’S!)… I then felt like I took a lot of Yasmin’s voice to say I want to focus on creating ‘normalised’ meals. (that don’t exclude more challenging food groups, for the sake of compromising with Anorexia…) And also meals that are very traditional. ‘Society-conforming’ meals you could say, ha…
The main big challenge I highlighted I was determined to take on (and have been writing it off from any consideration since this admission)… was the ‘Chilli Corne Carne with a Garlic Slice’ (garlic bread – extra carb fear!!!) Viewing this extra carb as a red light, is a completely ridiculous over-indulgent no-go for Yasmin… as you then obviously have to pick another side – either sautee potatoes or boiled rice this day.
I chose it with boiled rice. I allowed the dietician to do the ticking to take the pain away and any hesitation about changing my mind and crawling back to safety… !
As she reassured me, this was a completely NORMAL meal to have. I’d seen lots of other people choose this meal, but for some reason it was off-limits to myself. Nope I don’t feel deserving. I have a long, long, long way to go with self-esteem/confidence/self-acceptance, but by running my daily decisions through the orders of my Eating Disorder was only going to FEED it further. And make it HARDER.
I can’t expect all my insecurities to heal before deciding to recover… I have to commit to recovery and allow myself to experience these elements of pain (of leaving behind what convinced me was safety) so I can take the lessons to move forward.
I’ve decided that for the following week that I WILL (note to self – read this back when you start chickening out) to give the breaded fish, CHIPS and mushy peas a bash. (I would usually choose my safe bubbles of mash, or boiled potatoes) but to try out being ‘properly English’ and traditional, would be a serious TRAMPLING on Anorexia. And that feeling feels very satisfying.
Chips get such a bad press too… ! After all, they are generally, just rectangular chunks of potato. There’s just a lot of stigma with their name, bless them. Chip-shop chips are obviously cooked a bit differently, but they are perfectly OKAY to eat occasionally as part of a varied diet/lifestyle. (and they WILL be one of my ultimate goals in a few months time)
Anyway, ramble done for today.
I have lots of inner thoughts/psychological conflicts going on at the moment, and in some ways it can be easier to talk about the food…. challenges and all. I guess it distracts from myself.
I had a 1:1 with one of my named workers today who’s helping me apply some changes to my daily routine to help things run a little better. I need help trying to strike a balance, along with not being so worried/weakened what others think of me and mentally ‘compensating’ for food by feeling compelled to be productive all the time. I’m struggling with personal and social barriers and it’s so easy to want to throw my negative darts at food. And to grapple that control back. To take away the food challenges I’ve planned in, when I feel even more undeserving, inadequate and self-conscious… to say “sod bothering to put myself through the anxiety of eating that tomorrow when I could have that and be more at peace…”
But regardless of what I decide to eat, I am still alive with the same brain. I will continue to have the same insecurities/uncertainties about myself and the rest of the world… I must remember that my Eating Disorder is a PROBLEM, not a solution.