This is a lesson I definitely have to learn. I’m not indestructible, nor does my stomach have the capacity to eat mountains of food. The sooner I realise that, the sooner I’ll stop feeling physically sick due to eating too much and pushing myself too far.
Last night was difficult. Very difficult. I wanted to push my boundaries of what I consider ‘safe’ restaurant choices (e.g I always tend to head for fishcakes or something to start (even though I know they’re fried), and pasta/fish/chicken for main, then pud). But last night, I thought I’d branch out and because we ate somewhere we’d never been, the menu was a minefield of dishes which sounded lovely & I vowed not to stick to the norm.
I ordered Lemongrass Chicken Skewer with coconut sauce/salsa which ended up being an entire chunky chicken breast and it was bigger than I’d have thought for a starter, but tasted lovely so that was fine. For main, I went for Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Tzatziki, cous cous and flat bread. Now this is where the problems started. We had all ordered a starter, and all ordered a main, However, my Mum had ordered a starter portion for her main and for some reason this made me furious. I was raging inside, and gritting my teeth not to say something.
Now I should make it clear that she did absolutely nothing wrong, she’s entirely free to choose to eat whatever the hell she wants! What annoyed me so much, is that we had had our little ‘chat’ last week about how she’s worried about how I’m getting on – and I told her the feeling is mutual. I’ve noticed her dramatic weight loss over the past year, and the same initially innocent habits that led me down the wrong path (for example choosing a banana over a cereal bar for a snack, or cutting down from 3 biscuits to 2, then down to 1) she has picked up, and I told her that I didn’t want what happened to me (seemingly sensible, healthy eating choices) leading to full on anorexia. She admitted she has changed her habits, even using the phrase “we’re in the same boat” which surprised me that she’d admitted it.
I wanted to show her that I am trying, that I don’t want to be this way and that I want to push my boundaries…instead I felt like a big fat greedy pig for ordering what I did, when she skimped with starter portions. Anyway, I ploughed on and it did taste beautiful, the lamb was so tender and made a change from the usual chicken/fish in tomato sauce combo I tend to go for.
Then dessert. I was full to the brim after my meal, but we always get pud and I wasn’t going to wimp out now! Plus, they had crumble! Except when it arrived, I wouldn’t have called it a crumble, it was a fucking mountain. I have never seen a portion that gigantic and it could have easily fed all four of us. My heart sank. Dad had also ordered crumble and he ate half and left the rest, but I wasn’t going to be defeated. I shovelled it down feeling like each spoonful was going to fall right back out of my face as there was physically no room left inside me.
The result? I felt so so sick. I have never felt that uncomfortably full in my entire life, not even when I was in hospital and eating the meal plan which involved a roast dinner and pudding at 12.30pm, then cake/muffin snack at 3.00pm, then main bloody meal and pudding at 4.45pm. How about those timings eh?! This beat that feeling of fullness. I do love food, but that was too much. However I had to eat it. If I had ordered a starter portion for main, or left my dessert, my family would be instantly suspicious, and it’s as if they’re allowed to stop eating when they’re full but I can’t. I hate the pressure and the feeling that everyone’s watching each mouthful I take. In the end, I didn’t enjoy the gig. I couldn’t concentrate because I honestly thought I might throw up at any point. I’ve never been sick after eating, through choice or otherwise, but I really thought I would involuntarily throw up on the person in front of me. Attractive. (I didn’t, by the way).
Today I feel like I have food hangover. I have a headache, my stomach is sore, aching and rounded like there is a child in there (a food baby, perhaps). It’s only going to get worse today on the food front as we’re having a roast dinner. I used to love my Mums roasts, but she doesn’t do it by halves believe me. It’s not a case of meat and 2 veg, it’s meat, meat, meat, meat, veg, veg, veg, veg, veg, stuffing, yorkshire pudding, sauce, gravy, everything. And piled up so the last Roast Potatoes often roll off the plate because there simply isn’t enough room. We have big bloody plates too.
So yesterday was difficult, today will be likewise. It frustrates me because I could have not ordered a starter yesterday, ordered a crappy salad with no dressing and said no to dessert but I didn’t, I always choose the 3 courses but they don’t seem to recognise that it’s difficult. But then again I can’t, and shouldn’t expect recognition for something which is fucking normal. Blah. Evidently, I’ve woken up in a bad mood and today will be spent moping around the house waiting for the giant feast. Bleugh.
My question to anyone who may read this:
- Do you feel any pressure relating to others’ expectations? If so, how do you cope?
- Does anybody else compare what they are eating to what other people have chosen?
- How do you manage the urge not to always eat the least, or avoid feeling guilty if you’ve ordered a less healthy option that somebody else?
- How do you stop comparing yourself to others?
The saddest thing is, my favourite part of writing a blog is scanning websites for pictures of beautiful cakes, brownies, puddings (pathetic, I’m aware of that) but I can’t stomach it today. This will have to do, nice and fresh fruity sorbet: