White toast x 2, butter. (…& marmite on one cheeky slice)
Egg mayo sandwich (wholemeal), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Summer fruits pie, custard.
Chilli con carne, boiled rice, garlic slice, sweetcorn.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
Gulp. Not just the ‘Wild Apple and Cinnamon’ tea I’m sipping right now… (whilst appreciating the toasty mug on this chilly day) …but also one big foodie MENTAL gulp.
Seeing one of my ‘fearful’ teas written up on today’s plan… typing it out like it’s going to be the actual contents of my tum very soon. I painfully remember back to my first week of being on the Unit, scanning the meal-plan and mentally shoving ‘chilli con carne and garlic slice’ right slap bang in a rusty old skip. Just like if you were a right-handed person, you wouldn’t intentionally go to ‘choose’ to BUY left-handed scissors. You’d just be making life more difficult for yourself. As well as wasting money.
So seeing “GARLIC SLICE” sent similar wasteful thoughts – extra taste for what???? Wasting calories on something my body doesn’t ‘need’? When we have to choose a carbohydrate (so probably rice/potatoes) too? Pfffffft, why in my right mind would I choose to put myself through the pain of that? It’s like asking “could I have another papercut please?” …when I already just got one.
53 minutes away from tasting it. I feel like it knows I’m coming. A bit like actors at a theatrical play waiting for their big intro music to start – having a cheeky peek from behind the stage curtain in anticipation of seeing anyone in the audience they know.
It’s a weird feeling when you’re scared of something isn’t it. You know you are, because something feels BIGGER than you. Whether that be a physical object, an invisible feeling/thought, or a living thing… it tries to make you feel powerless.
That’s why Eating Disorders are so irrational.
I have to remind myself that on this particular occasion of feeling ‘scared’ it is me being powerFUL. Not powerLESS. The second is Anorexia’s perspective. I am not doing anything ‘wrong’ and yes I feel vulnerable but in order to progress, vulnerability is absolutely necessary.
I know why I’m testing these unfamiliar waters, choosing a meal that I could have easily avoided. Throughout this hospital admission and for the rest of my life. But shining a torch on the future, being free of rules such as seeing ‘double carbohydrates in the same meal’ as wrong… do I really want this to be haunting my life? All these rules that Anorexia have created are just going to be extra garbage, extra junk in the mental trunk for the rest of my journey through life.
YASMIN knows that it’s perfectly ‘normal’ and ‘traditional’ to have these meal combinations…. To have a breaded product on the side. It’s part of the meal, just as a trunk is part of an elephant – you wouldn’t refer to it as an ‘extra’ body part. It just is. I would never judge anyone else for eating this meal so what makes me any different? Apart from the fact that I’ve tangled my emotions up with food… and now I’m in the process of fiddling them both apart. So THAT is why it’s the right decision for me to conquer and eventually enjoy without worry, an extra slice of garlic bread with my meal.
And the same goes in my future.
So in honour of “Listen to your Eating Disorder and do the OPPOSITE”, I have embraced that feeling of ‘fear’ and before I’ve even tackled the chilli con carne, have planned in curry with rice and a NAAN bread for next week too. For the extra exposure. The more chipping away, I’m hoping the more confidence will arise.
Anorexia wants to shoot me already – just looking at what I’ve already eaten today feels quite painful. But again, I know this is not the part of me that’s in control. It’s daft as a clown juggling guinea pigs on a monocycle to the background music of ‘Agadoo’. It makes no sense. Not long ago, Rice Krispies was a ‘thing’ making me feel ‘powerless’ and now I’m beginning to feel at ease with them, but Anorexia still clings on to seeing the ‘bad’. The fact I chose them today, should have been enough of a challenge and especially as they are WHITE and not brown like bran flakes/Weetabix, I was WRONG for requesting white toast instead of wholemeal. And VERY WRONG for adding Marmite. And WHY, OH GOD WHY did I choose sweetcorn? (a more ‘unsafe’ vegetable of Anorexia’s) …with an already ‘UNSAFE’ meal?
Because I bloody love sweetcorn. That’s why I chose it. And I’ve had ENOUGH of you making my decisions and try to direct my life like it’s some kind of play for a disaster and I am the puppet centre-stage.
Just having a conversation to myself here. But I have to say it is working…
…so thank you for reading and being my invisible therapist.
I’m off to (not “indulge in” Anorexia, no – sit down, shut up) eat my tea. And I intended to say that like it was ‘dead normal’ when feeling the total opposite. Because in reality is IS ‘dead normal’… and if I’m honest with myself, I miss garlic bread.
And now I’m going to just close this down before my irrational thoughts bite me on the ankle for just saying that!