DAY #105 FULL PORTIONS; Beautiful Banana Spaceship…

Weetabix x 2.
White toast x 2, butter. (…Marmite on one slice)

Morning snack

Cottage cheese (with pineapple) on a crusty olive roll, beetroot, stuffed olives.
Lemon whipped mousse.

Afternoon snack
Millionaire shortbread.

Jacket potato, butter, baked beans, salad.
Strawberry sundae.

Supper Sultanas and raisins.

…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.

Well, with this clip-art style image of a tropically symmetrical, canoe-shaped pud (see yesterday’s post) in mind, you could say MY attempt, in comparison was the ‘soggy bottom’ of the ‘banana split’ world.

For starters, trying to fit and prod my awkwardly long banana into the bowl, was like trying to strap a kicking toddler in a pushchair. Maybe just one day, owning a ‘banana boat’, will be on my bucket list, so I can upgrade my fruit to the extra leg-room… but for now, my cereal bowl and I are quite alright, thank you. We’ll make our own way in the world… it just means we have to make some compromises when it comes to posh puds!

Compromise number one: massacring my banana into four pieces, instead of a politely-sliced two. Already this creation felt like four lost, floating armbands down the river Thames, instead of the smooth-sailing fruity canoe I envisaged… buddying my banana chunks into two pairs to fit the bowl, ready to embrace their toppings, each chunk said to the other “It’s going to be OK, we’ll snuggle up together while cheerleading for her amateur ‘banana split’ skills, bless her. Such a first-timer. Not sure what you think, but it’s looking like a scary spaceship from inside here… I swear the job description didn’t mention this. Hey ho, keep dreaming for that ‘banana boat’ promotion, mate. We’ll get there…”

Too much banana going on for my brain on a Sunday night! It’s now reached that stage where it DEFINITELY no longer looks like a real word. But for the purposes of this post, we’ll pretend it does…

On a side note – how do you like yours? (not your cornflakes, your crème eggs or your cuppa – nope, we’re STILL talking bananas) I like them when they taste a bit milky, still have a firm squish… teenagers of the banana world, maybe? That in-between ripeness stage of being really mushy and creamy… or super-sturdy and bitter. But I’m not a fan of when they have a bit too much squish that they almost smell sweaty, like they could have done with a bit of air-con under their skins…

Compromise number two: spooning flicks of ice-cream from the tub. Ben and Jerry were mighty stiff that night – I did try the old scoop-in-hot-water trick in hope the guys would loosen up a bit and let me get on with this posh pud business, spoon rolling in confidence… and I HAD hoped I would disguise my un-canoe-like banana bottom, with a trio of flawless ice-cream ping-pong balls…

…what we were NOW looking at, within the spaceship of floating armbands, were some scatterings of shy flicky-bits of frozen cream stuff. I should have stopped my banana split here in it’s tracks, handed it in to the Tate Modern and be done with it. Rich for life.

This wasn’t supposed to happen Yasmin, come one… chopped nuts were for scattering, not my ice-cream. But a big shout-out to my fingers for trying to save the day… moulding my flicks together, like snowballs into a snowman, we got some improvement on a visual level.

I was going to scrutinise my cream-squirting skills, but if I do say so myself, my perky cream hats were – perky. And my scattered nuts were quite  – scattery.

So I’m sorry if that was a bit of an anti-climax…

…as, when it comes to actually eating our self-catered meals on the Unit, getting called up in the dining room is a bit like a ‘and here’s what I made earlier’ moment. A bit like on ‘Art Attack’. As the majority of others are portioning from the Unit food at the hot-counter, when you’ve self-catered, it’s pre-done and kept under heat, so you take your plate and sit down. And as I decided to be a bit of ambitious plonker with pud, rather than opt for a standard slice of cake or bobs-your-uncle sponge and custard, I had to obviously keep my ‘Tate Modern’-qualified creation in the freezer after preparing it, then whilst eating the main course…

…and when it came to putting spoon to bowl, I was a bit lost for words really, looking down at my banana spaceship. How is it that ice-cream would melt, but the squirty cream stiffens and hoes a bit frosty? Therefore the perky cream hats I was originally proud of, sank quite sadly – now starting to sit on my banana armbands. In the unwritten rules of banana split kingdom, this was practically offensive. Perky cream hats were to be worn on my flawless PING-PONG BALLS, to rise above and beyond the banana. The banana was meant to be the BOAT. The hats were to be worn on the PASSENGERS.

But after all that… after such a Northern moan… it tasted bloody great. BEAUTIFUL!! First time trying that flavour ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ and the nutty caramel-y-ness, alongside the melty ice-cream, whilst coming across a chunk of banana surprise… and it all combined so deliciously perfectly. If we’re going to be honest here, warts and all, I think probably the last time I ate ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ would have most likely have been during a big binge/purge session, some time last year, when I felt completely over-ruled by this compulsive pattern. Not even craving the food, not even tasting the food, but craving a relief for the ongoing build of anxiety and general fear of my place in the world. This is one of the very worst behaviours that has fed into my feelings of shame and isolation on my Eating Disorder yo-yo over the years. Addictive, utter, hell. My heart goes out to anyone who has or is struggling with that side of the illness… it brought me darker days than the restrictive phases. There is no shame to feel – make your Eating Disorder feel ashamed that you WANT to reach out and ask for help, and that you DESERVE to.

In all seriousness with my Eating Disorder recovery, it is refreshing, to think that I can sit and type about the creative little details preparing something like a banana split, and enjoyingly I have to say… instead of typing about those repetitive thoughts of dread about actually having to EAT the ice-cream, to choose to eat CREAM (WTF?!)… which consumed my early thoughts with having to comply with the full-portions meal-plan, and therefore a lot of my blog posts following that… and yes, I’m still bish-bashing those worries away about feeling ‘overindulgent’… but I feel much more confident in cracking on and eating it anyway. Because my taste-buds tell me what deliciousness they desire – and I now obey. Instead of obeying my Eating Disorder.

I’m not going to lie, to even see a can of squirty cream in the fridge labelled with my name on it… and the ice-cream for that matter… would have, a few months ago felt too painfully shameful. And it still makes me cringe a bit, as to what others may think when they see my name on those things and wonder – what the hell I did that was so special to make myself think I DESERVE to eat those things? But I also know that living a life of un-evidenced mind-reading is not a happy one…

…all in all, after a 1.1kg gain today since last week and going in the right direction towards a healthy BMI, I just feel grateful that now I’m at the place in my head, where I CAN accept that I deserve to taste food… no matter how sh*t I feel about myself and what’s going on. Little daily lifts of a taste-bud party, are something we all deserve to encounter. In fact, s*d that, I think experiencing enjoyment from food is essential, MENTALLY, for a content, well-rounded, fuller-quality kinda life…

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