DAY #79 FULL PORTIONS; Sucking It Up…

*EXTRA pear…

Breakfast
Rice Krispies.
Wholemeal toast x 2, butter. (…Marmite on one slice)

*McDonald’s vanilla milkshake

Lunch
Cheese, tomato and basil quiche, potato wedges, side salad.
Ice-cream (2 scoops).

Afternoon snack
Yoghurt raisins.

Tea
Cottage cheese, jacket potato, butter, 5-bean salad, side salad.
Sticky toffee pudding and custard.

Supper
Weetabix x 2.

…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.

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(doodle of the day)

I won’t lie – I feel like I’ve been rolling snow across the grass all day… like trying to sculpt the round, sturdy body of a snowman, without letting it collapse.

I KNEW the biggy ‘thing’ for the day was the ‘milkshake’ date with one of my Health Support Assistants… we’d bashed all my ‘challenges’ down for different areas – food/self-catering/social and future goals. She basically said “let’s get cracking with these – where do you want to start?”… it felt overwhelming to look at all the food-related aims I wanted to achieve, scribbled in a brainstorm, dressed in rave-coloured highlighters. All the things (like Saturday’s cake) I’d wished I ‘could’ have for so long – but I couldn’t because of my Eating Disorder…

I decided it was easier to say “I’ll let you pick.” To give over that control, and relieve the guilt from making a decision! (it was also secretly exciting to feel spontaneous… like flying on a mystery holiday, not knowing were my taste-buds would go next)

So a Maccies milkshake date it was.

A bit like Saturday, I’d confirmed this plan without thinking. (but to be fair it had to fit around my Health Support Assistant’s shifts. So I HAD to text being flexible… but realising last night, the reality of what I was having to eat for the rest of the day… was enough to tip my head over the edge.

Quiche, wedges and the sticky toffee… were all highlighted as my ‘neon magic’ for the day. (see DAY #59 to know what the hell I’m on about!)… and now I had this EXTRA surprise taste party this morning coming up. (so this is why the day felt like a growing snowball of challenge after challenge…)

After getting my coat on, bag on my shoulder… 10/15 minutes sat with my thoughts waiting to go, I very almost, by a whisker, chickened out as I reversed the getting ready bit – coat off, bag away… and put the kettle on to make a cuppa instead. All I could think was how ‘greedy’ the day was going to make me feel. What if I don’t make myself ‘productive’ or worthy enough to keep up with enjoying all these foods?

But thanks to a bit of a talking to with my Maccies date-mate, it happened. And it was thick and tasty, but it was hard – I focused on the conversation and the company I was in. And it kind of put it into perspective how I enjoyed hearing her speak about her two little lads, and family life. Something I’d eventually like for myself, but have jeopardised under the thumb of an Eating Disorder for so long. Periods, social skills, hormones, body-confidence, flexibility around food, passion for life – all things I’m working to get back.

For a start, with choosing to suck up (literally) my milkshake – I had to rationalise, that yes, I am here to gain weight. My BMI was 15.92 yesterday – I’m aiming for 20+ so how, in any way, was this ‘wrong’? But this wasn’t the main reason to focus on… …I wasn’t choosing to eat milkshake/cake/quiche/wedges for weight gain. I was doing this to practice ‘normal’ eating – that it was ‘normal’ to eat a variety of these things more on some days than others… and to build trust for these types of ‘fear’ foods well into recovery. For life.

Yesterday, in the nutrition group, we explored ‘food and mood’. The impact of food on mood AND mood on food is HUGE. For all of us… this is something I’d like to explore more in tomorrow’s post, as well as touch on the heavy session of ‘Body Awareness Therapy’ today – where we spoke about how media has promoted the ‘ideal’ body image (which is NOT the main trigger for eating disorders by the way – but it doesn’t help with the seeds it’s planted…)

The main message I wanted to send out today is – food, ESPECIALLY fat, has a significant impact on your mood… and overall mental health. Deprive yourself of fat and you’re more likely to suffer from depression, for example. Also, denying ourselves the foods we KNOW we enjoy… feeds into ill mental health and our quality of life… not just for physical purposes… but because every time that we do that, we’re telling ourselves we don’t deserve it. Or craving some control by punishing our taste-buds, thinking we’ll gain some inner strength or peace by using our food as immediate emotional control.

Please don’t use food as your tool… use a plastic spanner, a foam hammer… ANYTHING (not heavy or dangerous preferably)… but don’t deny your taste-buds their entitled bit of fun. You deserve to take up the invite to their party too!

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