White toast x 2, butter.
Morning snack (SELF-CATERED)
Egg mayo sandwich (wholemeal), 5-bean salad, side salad.
Strawberry full-fat yoghurt.
Salmon, sweet chilli sauce, Mediterranean flavoured cous-cous, mixed vegetables. Bostock and ice-cream.
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
THREE things from today that remind me I’m still firmly on the road to recovery, despite feeling the doom of my inner Monday Marshmallow-Man (it’s weigh-day and my body image is pretty cr*p at the moment). And why it’s worth it:
1. I turned eighteen. In the BMI world. “Happy Birthday” to me, but “Happy Halloween” according to Anorexia. Mixed feelings and all that jazz.
2. I FINALLY tried my Dad’s homemade Bostock. (a flippin’ gorgeous dessert made from brioche bread, scattered almonds and a frangipane topping…) Since a few months ago, he’s been creatively bashing this up, re-making what he once tried and fell in love with. BUT just as you wouldn’t feed a hamster a tin of dog-food… it wouldn’t be ‘right’ for me to put this unidentified object of pleasure into my mouth either. There was no number or label to submit through the courts of the Anorexic judging process… no way of knowing how much mental debt to my Eating Disorder I would be in, even if I DID choose to give it a go. How much would I have to pay back? Suffer? Compensate for?
Offering his homemade pud-with-love around the room, before my commitment to recovery, I felt all-sorts of things. Sometimes even offended. (“I must LOOK as though I’ve put weight on for anyone to consider I’d feel fine eating pudding. Now I feel ashamed. I know the scales said this morning I weighed THAT much, but that can’t be true. It MUST be more and I must look bigger than I thought. How can I trust what I see?”) Sometimes (often, actually) rude. (“HOW do I think it’s acceptable to reject something created by someone I love very much? On such a regular basis? This must mean I’m definitely a bad person and proves I don’t deserve to eat such nice things any time soon.”) But one thing I certainly felt, was very much so, sad. I wanted to join in but there was too much mental risk. An invisible force sucking up temptation – any ‘spontaneous eating’ outside of my specific and timely meal-plan, any opportunity with unknown, unmeasured calorie-content, all sectioned off with yellow and black Police tape.
There may as well have been a murder. I’m pretty sure there was actually. Anorexia murdered my food-soul. But today proved that doesn’t have to be the end of the story! Thanks to a yummy, warm slice of Bostock (my Sad sent me back to the Unit with some yesterday) and a creamy scoop of vanilla ice-cream. It’s never murdered, just silently abused, maybe. When you’re in recovery, the relationship of you and your soul/passion for food, slowly and surely, repairs itself… depending on how much you’re willing to ‘let go’ of numbers and accept (after you’ve grieved how much your Eating Disorder convinced it WAS) this is NOT a way of you being in control of your life.
HAVING control is being able to say yes to a fresh bit of homemade baking; it’s engaging in life experiences, fitting food around your what’s out there for you. Being offered a bit of baking by a friend or family member, is also a gesture of love and connection. Far from what any Eating Disorder wants to tell you.
So for that, I’m so grateful for recovery, for weight-gain, for mental-headwork, that I can now relate to what my family are talking about. The taste of baking and my Dad’s Bostock. As Blue-Stilton-on-crackers-cheesy as it sounds, it’s such a peaceful kind of feeling that I currently have a bit of my Dad’s love digesting inside me. Not because I’ve forced myself out of ‘politeness’ (which I guess can be a pressure) but because I’m at the point where I feel I WANT to. Life’s too short not to share your family’s baking… (and test my family’s culinary skills!) I feel like a simple thing like this too, is a reflection of the trust you have for the people you love, which is probably also a compliment to them.
Enjoying other’s baking treats doesn’t have to make you lose control. You have all the tools in you to be able to HAVE control. You don’t ALWAYS have to say yes… (there’s a huge fear I think, in people with Eating Disorders, that if you keep saying “yes” out of politeness to every offering, you will keep gaining weight, as well as the fear that people you love might like to over-feed you).
3. I’ve started self-catering snacks! (three per week)
P.S. Here’s the recipe for my Dad’s delish and fancy Bostock for any almond/frangipane lovers out there: