Toast – one white, one wholemeal with butter.
Lentil dahl soup, olive crusty bread roll and butter.
Whipped Greek yoghurt with lemon compote.
Afternoon snack (SELF-CATERED)
Walnuts and dried apricots.
Pork and apple casserole, mashed potato, mashed carrot/swede.
Jam and coconut sponge, custard.
…& the usual PINT of semi-skimmed milk.
No holding back; this Monday, at precisely 19.19pm I feel like one fat and ugly toad. Just cast me as a new character in ‘Wind in the Willows’ and invite me to Toad Hall.
I’m supposed to start feeling ‘womanly’, when actually it just feels like I have another two toads growing out of my chest…
But like I said to my consultant in review this morning, I’m trying, trying TRYING to separate my horrendous body image thoughts from the perks of what is coming out of my recovery experiences so far. They outweigh any bully in my head. Such as what a smashin’ cake-lickin’ weekend that was with my sister… no longer compelled to project my calorie scanner onto every crumb within a 5 mile radius… food is now a discussion, a connection, a passion and a GIFT, as well as a necessity. I’m learning to trust my parachute and throw my taste-buds out there…
Yesterday, at ‘The Cake and Bake Show’, discovering this new word “yes” to free tasters of delicious foodie bits and bobs, to join in with passionate foodies, felt like winning £10 on a scratch-card over and over and over. It was in my human rights all along, but it’s now only just started feeling acceptable. Due to this ‘new’ discovery, I was therefore quite giddy and setting off a mini party-popper every time I spotted a tray of tasters in my vision-line…
Something like cake, before being something I physically and mentally had to work for if I even REMOTELY CONSIDERED going near it, dared to even THINK about it – as it was now literally offered on a plate, free of money as well as exercise compensation/mental torment/self-doubt that came hand-in-hand with Anorexia, was completely bizarre. Alien. But fantastic. My valuable recovery discoveries outweigh all of these thoughts that are currently swimming through my head and have been all day… I feel repulsed at the shapes forming on my body, the way I FEEL underneath this permanent, uncomfortable fancy dress costume of mine. I feel as though I’m splatting a visual mess on to everyone I walk past as I wander down the street. I’m starting to dread getting unexpected flashes of my reflection in shop windows…
…but this body image is going to get worse before it gets better. I trust that.
I’m literally a blow of dust away from Stage 3 – BMI of 20 when I will commence the ‘maintenance’ stage of my treatment program. I have a feeling that will be Thursday. Next weigh-day.
It’s taken 5 months to get to this point, and although I should be glad that the diet-side of things may not seem overwhelming when it gets reduced, and I won’t have to go through any more expected changes with the way I look, it’s also still incredibly daunting. Especially, because out there, in the ‘real’ world, there is still so much work to be done around the fact that ‘idealised’ body image is projected as ‘underweight’, yet we’re brainwashed into thinking this look is ‘normal’. Therefore it’s so easy for people to fall vulnerable to becoming their own chief body-shamer.
When I’m aiming for my set-point weight, something, which sadly isn’t embraced as a ‘necessity’ by society, or the way fashion/beauty seems to sell, I know it’s going to take a huge umph of inner motivation and one mahoosive shield to protect my thoughts. And to trust what’s healthiest, long-term for ME. Any gap or tear in that shield is going to cause my vulnerability to host a pool-party. And the Eating Disorder is going to be straight in there, choosing the music.
So much emphasis, from an outsider’s perspective of Eating Disorder recovery may be placed upon RESTORING weight… great, you hit that number – you’re there. You’re in that ‘range’, the healthy range. One big tick. But how, practically, and MENTALLY do you keep it there… that’s where the crucial practice begins. A skill for life. A circus juggling act of brain cells, body acceptance, compulsion resistance, self-trust and self-compassion.
Some days, many days I feel like I’m having to make a pitch on Dragon’s Den, trying to sell the idea of this new body to my head, and my emotions. But I’m not going to stop until I have an offer…
…sorry for the negativity, but I had to get that off my chest!
The weekend though, was incredible. I instilled a lot of trust and hope into not making ‘too much of a plan’ and just going with it. Especially in terms of meals. Terrifying, but I still survived to live the tale!!
From free tasters of chocolate brownie, cheese, to decorating our own cupcake, to knocking back free sips of white chocolate liquer and rhubarb gin, I felt like I was ‘properly’ there, and not just an observer. I’ve always loved food, except at times my Eating Disorder hasn’t allowed me to jump on that water-slide and be involved, instead I’d be the bag-holder in my mind. Watching everyone around me enjoying food, terrified for looking or thinking about it too hard in case it made me lose control.
Oooooh, and thanks to my sister’s bold decision at lunch-time, I lost my burrito virginity!
Was lovely, it was. Pulled pork in a wholewheat wrap, with garlic and cayenne pepper rice, sweet peppers and guacamole.
Toads don’t like burritos, right? (if you see one, please feel free to check)
Therefore, maybe I’m not actually a toad…
Couple of other foodie highlights in pictures from the London weekend, including ‘Handmade Burger’ and one of my old-time favourites a frozen yoghurt with granola, mango and mochi! (this weird, but delish chewy Japanese thing. It reminds me of a perkier marshmallow)… although, since reigniting my love of ice-cream through a more in-depth go at recovery, I actually don’t rate this fave frozen yog of mine as highly as I used to…? And maybe it tasted best in the Summer? But it was still gorgeous.