White toast x 2, butter.
Corned beef and tomato sandwich (wholemeal), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Cherry full-fat yoghurt.
Salmon fishcakes, parsley sauce, boiled rice, garden peas.
Blackcurrant frangipane and custard.
‘Fruity Oat’ cookie
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
You could call them Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men…
…or food and mood.
They are pretty much constantly whispering to each other (like two gossiping school-girls at the back of the class)… they have a bond that’s easy to underestimate.
In recovery, I’m finding it SO useful and reassuring to trust science, when it comes to dealing with guilt around certain foods. And remembering that at the end of the day, we really CAN’T fight science… however we feel, will NEVER be more powerful than what our bodies are physically programmed to do.
Recovering from an Eating Disorder, and I guess from any kind of emotional attachment or fear/confusion around food… means letting go of that war between mind and body. From quite simply accepting that ‘enjoying’ the taste of food is not something to feel guilty about; it’s not a choice that connects to your self-worth… it’s part of our human survival instinct… flavour in food is often advertised as indulgent like expensive satin from Harrods or something, as if it needs to be earnt… and it seems we’ve kind of lost the meaning of what ‘taste’ is there to begin with.
Food has flavour so that we will CHOOSE to seek and eat it, in order to SURVIVE…
…it’s OKAY to feel happy after a choccie, a slice of cake (or if you’re one of those cheeseboarders, that too)… and whatever else you sometimes wish the taste of would never end.
Of course there’s a difference between over-eating on those foods, which is a sign that someone is reliant on food to satisfy or adjust their mood… which may then lead to turning to food and it becomes a vicious cycle. But that’s why along with education about how eating absolutely ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in moderation… and working on including new coping mechanisms that will help improve mood in the long-run, can really help boost quality of life.
Diets that encouraging cutting out ANY food group – fat/carbs… anything… ultimately, not only will your body be wanting to stab a sword through your brain, pushing you to seek those things so that it can do the physical stuff inside that we can’t see for the body to function… it can also have a huge impact on mood and overall quality of life…
…our brains RELY on fat to produce the chemicals needed for stronger mental health. Without fat, our cells become a worse quality, which means we are probably experiencing life on a much dimmer light than what it could be… and CAN be… just by choosing to eat fat. (and the bonus is… it tastes good!) Everyone’s a winner. Especially that Bill and Ben.
Skipping meals, is another very big trigger for the effect on mood. Again, without sounding like a monotone maths teacher (with a sexy coffee breath), our bodies rely on US to feed ourselves regularly… to keep our blood sugars balanced… when they fall off balance, not only does it slow down processes in the body, but it instantly can make us feel groggy, low in mood and contribute to headaches etc. So you can see why picking and choosing what we decide to include in our diet, and how we go about food in our day, could COMPLETELY alter the quality of our lives, if our relationship continues to be manipulated by advice we hear in the media, or gossip about the latest/best weight-loss plan and all this ‘clean-eating’ malarkey.
It’s quite scary really to think of this change in mood potentially affecting the quality of our work in our career/education… our confidence/self-esteem which can impact on relationships… prevent us from making exciting life decisions…what could we be missing out on by jeopardising our relationship with food? How much are we jeopardising our mental health?
Lack of fat has been proven to have a relationship with depression, as WELL as protein… which for me, feels enough motivation never to let those things slip again. With experience of depression and low self-esteem since being a young teenager, it frustrates me how trapping, isolating and weak it can feel being in that state of mind… feeling so purposeless, ‘stuck’ in a body my mind doesn’t want to be in, and questioning why we were put on this earth to suffer?
Well if we can help ourselves just a LITTLE bit… it’s worth eating foods we ENJOY. But most importantly, that contain EVERY food group, and never missing a meal. We’ll be nicer to the people around us, as well as to ourselves by doing just that. Don’t be moody – enjoy your foody!
I therefore thank tonight’s yummy, almond frangipane for feeding my brain some happy-fat, and helping to babysit my brain-cells…
I wonder if we say the word ‘fat’ enough, it will begin to sound like an innocent, chirpy little pixie skipping around sunflowers, doing it’s good deeds… instead of the big monster the media builds it up to be…
Just remember: TV/media is a multi-million pound making industry. So please don’t punish yourselves and believe everything you hear/read in magazines. That stuff sells, otherwise they wouldn’t write it. They’re not going to write about how bloody good chocolate is for you… if they’re relying on this new, magical quick-fix for weight-loss/clean-eating we’re brainwashed into thinking is out there for a better life, which is more likely to perk our ears up and trade a quid or two for a magazine…
…on a different note, day has started off with tears, tiredness and frustration. But has ended up being quite lovely – I was tempted to cancel going out with one of the other patients for my hour’s leave, as I was in that mood where I didn’t want to ‘burden’/bored her for being with me… but I’m SO chuffing glad I did it. She’s such a breath of fresh air and it was amazing to venture out. I have to start trusting spending time with people and building my confidence, because when I do it, most of the time it well and truly lifts my mood…
…thanks again you cheeky frangipane, you.