A long overdue post, I apologise, and I have a feeling this will be a long one! There have been some big food challenges in the week since I last wrote, so it’s time for a quick update.
New Years Eve. Not a fan. Pathetically, I didn’t even have an offer to attend a party/night out of any sort to decline, such is the state of my social life. In all fairness, I’m generally not keen on NYE and find it a bit of an anti climax. I’ve had one brilliant NYE in my whole life, where a group of us spontaneously got the train to Leeds, about 3 hours away, and went to a gig. We got ridiculously drunk, danced like morons and had an amazing time but other than that I’ve had pretty subdued New Years where I generally stay in.
This year, my family decided to go for Tapas to a restaurant I worked at about 8 years ago. I was anxious about this, because a lot of the people I worked with then are still there and I hate bumping in to old faces! I did want to go though, because I worked there at a time when I would eat anything and everything without a care in the world, I honestly & truthfully don’t think I even knew what calories were back then. I hoped, by returning to the restaurant and trying the food it would bring back some good memories and it certainly did! It was so so good, but we ate horribly quickly and all felt ill afterwards. As I expected, I had no self control, but I don’t think I ate more or less than anyone else which is an important step. I either try to “out do” everyone in a pathetic attempt to prove I’m ok, or under-eat to fuel the anorexia, but on this occasion we all over indulged! There was a menu where you chose 3 dishes each and then were given extra dishes for the whole table, this is what we chose and I had some of everything:
- Nachos with salsa, sour cream & guacamole
- Garlic ciabatta (which was literally dripping in butter, but I coped and ate 2 slices :))
- Sticky BBQ Ribs
- Pork Skewers with honey & mustard
- Paella (GORGEOUS. I ate so much of this because nobody else likes it)
- Patatas Bravas
- Deep Fried Fish (scary being deep fried & greasy but again, I managed!)
- Deep Fried Prawn (as above)
- Chicken, bacon & cream (2 of my fear food right there. This is a dish I used to eat before every shift when I worked there so I was determined to try it. I only had 1 piece of chicken from this but considering I don’t touch cream at all if I can help it, I’m pleased)
- Lamb & Potato Casserole
- Spicy Meatballs
- Veg Hotpot with fried potato
Proud of myself. It’s not often I feel pleased with myself but I bloody was after that meal! New Years Day, we had another Roast Dinner where we were “allowed” to serve ourselves which was great. I chose enough, but not to much, and didn’t look over to seek approval/sense disapproval from Mum. I’ve come to the decision, or perhaps realisation, that I need to concentrate on me. Not in a selfish way, I mean concentrate on what I am eating, not what Mum is/isn’t eating. I know why it frustrates me so much, it’s because anorexia can be competitive, and I don’t like the thought/feeling of people eating less than me but realistically – Mum isn’t the one who is underweight. She doesn’t need to gain any weight, and can eat whatever she bloody well likes, I need to accept that. Although she has lost weight over the past year or 2, she’s still in the healthy range whereas I’m not. That’s not to say I’ll not be keeping an eye on her so to speak, because her habits have changed, but she isn’t the one with anorexia, I am. Therefore, I need to eat more.
I actually did something fun this week too! Over Christmas/New Year, we’ve stayed in the house and it’s led to tension and boredom so I made a stand on Bank Holiday Monday and insisted we do something. Anything. Just get out of the house and do something. We decided to do something extremely unlike us, and went to the Museum. I like museums, my family don’t particularly, but it was brilliant! My brother didn’t come, obviously, (he had important sleep to be getting on with) but I went along with Mum & Dad. I was really upbeat, which I hadn’t felt in what feels like forever, my mood was higher than it’s been in ages. After walking around for a bit, we went to the cafe (cue voice of anxiety in my head – “it’s only 12pm, that’s too early for lunch…they’re serving steak pie, quiche (ick) and fish n’ chips etc I don’t want to eat that at 12pm… etc etc”) but Mum suggested coffee & cake. Much better :). There were scones, but I was determined not to have one because it’s safe. Christmas cake too, but again, it’s safe (in my skewed world) so I settled on Chocolate Yule Log because I hadn’t had any this year, it scares me. I’ve seen them in Starbucks/Nero/Costa and drool but never felt brave enough, but I put an imaginary foot down and went for it. Very nice it was too! It doesn’t look as big as it felt on this photo, and it is a full sized fork not a mini one!
We got back and watched the football, and I was still in a great mood. Until dinner that is. Again, I freaked. We had cottage pie with a fucking mountain of mash. It really wound me up because Mum had served her portion and taken it to the table, and left the other three in the kitchen so my paranoid brain was angry because she’d served herself a small portion and given me a man sized portion. I fumed. A reaction which has become a lot more frequent lately. I was annoyed because for me, it ruined what had been a great day. After dinner, eaten in silence, I asked Mum what the deal is with dishing out the food recently and she said it was Dad’s idea – to leave the plates in the kitchen and let me choose one. I saw it as – Mum can give herself a manageable portion and I get stuck with Dad sized portions.
Although I was annoyed, I tried to turn it round because deep down I know why she’s doing it – to feed me up. I sat up in my room, but made sure I had a big chunk of Christmas Cake afterwards in an attempt to fight back at the unreasonable anorexic brain. Two slices of cake in one day was a big deal for me, and I’m glad I did it.
The next day, I tried to push it again. I have been cutting back on milk recently and struggling to add it to cereal, often mixing 70-80% water with 30-20% milk which is both pointless & ridiculous. So for breakfast, I ate porridge with 80% milk which is an improvement (still stupid though!) and changed my lunch. I always have the same lunch – pitta bread with ham or turkey and salad. It’s safe. It’s comfortable. It’s routine. I decided to have poached egg instead, which felt really difficult at the time but it was a nice change. I had it with some salad, salsa, and toasted German Rye Bread which I bought ages ago even had no idea what it was. Result.
Other mini victories, I bought myself a ‘Trevor Tree’ gingerbread from Costa yesterday, and today – added Green & Blacks Cocoa powder to my porridge. GOOD DECISION! I only added a tea spoon and it could have done with more I think, but one thing at a time eh?! This will be my 365 image for today, hence the pretentious presentation (I usually have a normal bowl!!) check it out:
Now to the point of this post, and reference to its title. I had my second Doctors appointment yesterday, 7 weeks after my first appointment(!) and managed to gain 0.5 kg. That’s it. The one time of year where it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll gain a bit of weight and I manage a measly 0.5kg. I’m pretty disappointed, because although I know I could have tried harder and have been struggling recently, when I did try I found it incredibly difficult and don’t feel like I’ve got the benefits of putting effort in.
It’s given me a renewed vigour though. I feel like now Christmas and New Year is over with, I can get back to some sort of normality and really really fucking try. I wavered too much over Christmas I know that, a combination of general pressures, all four of my family being off work at the same time led to heightened tension and I know my mental stability suffered a bit. There were more disagreements than we’ve had in so so long and I hate the fact it’s all my fault. I feel guilty that my brother just sits there, keeping his head down and puts up with it. Sometimes I wish he’d show some sort of annoyance, or rant at me or something, I really wouldn’t blame him if he did.
Anyway, I don’t feel a got anything out of the Doctors appointment. He asked how Christmas was, and touched on the job situation where I told him of the horrendous interview. He asked what I was like before anorexia – this surprised me because I couldn’t think what to say, I could only think of “fun”. I was fun. I’m not any more. I got a bit tearful, & realised how many people I’ve lost, how many years I’ve lost as a result of this disease. I need to get it together. We didn’t really talk about much else, he asked if I’m depressed and I said I don’t think so. Despite this, he mentioned medication. I’m not sure about this. I don’t know whether it’s pride or what, but although I do feel down and do get a bit miserable some times I don’t think I would count as having depression. He insisted he’s not a ‘pill pusher’ but I asked for some time to think about it because medication isn’t something I’ve considered. When asking why I would take them, he said for some people, it can improve mood and motivation which is something I’ve been lacking. An increase in motivation can lead to an upward spiral rather than the downward spiral I have found myself on lately. I don’t know. He said to ring if I decide to go for it but at the moment, I’m not sure. I’m wary.
Mum asked how it went, I didn’t say much, just it went ok. Then I felt I should apologise. It’s the least she deserves. She said last week it feels like she’s always the bad guy and I take everything out on her. I don’t mean to snap, but it’s so hard sometimes, and they say you hurt the ones closest to you rght? Well that’s her unfortunately. I did what I should have done a long time ago, something which a fellow blogger recommended I do but I never found the ‘right time’. I went and gave her a huge hug, and told her exactly why I have been so moody, I told her I feel overwhelmed by portion sizes sometimes, I feel under pressure from her even though I know she doesn’t mean it, and we had a really really good, rational conversation. I reassured her that I know why she gives me the portions she does, because I need them, and that on the one hand she is doing the right thing – but I also said that I do struggle with it and would like some more say in the size of the portions. We talked about when I moved away all those years ago and returned a hell of a lot lighter and how she fears if and when I eventually move out the same will happen. We have again promised to be more honest with each other and it’s important that we are. I’m glad we have cleared the air, she knows what I find hard, why I react the way I do, (I made sure she knew I ended up with 11 fucking meatballs haha!) and she also knows that I’m trying harder now. I also told her about the medication the Doctor recommended. She’s as unsure as me. It’s the sort of conversation we have very very rarely but I feel a hell of a lot better for it.
The longest post in the world. Ever. Sorry. Overall, it’s up and down as always. Good days and bad. Rational thoughts and irrational thoughts. Under and over eating. Like a merry-go-round. I hope things steady out now, and that I try harder because I know I have been cheating myself which is pointless. I’ll sign off this ridiculously long post with a lovely slice of banana bread (not my banana bread, just a banana bread). It’s on my imaginary challenge list of cakes I used to like but I’m now scared of. I saw a slice in Starbucks today but they’ve started putting the bloody calorie content on them so it’s harder to choose because it’s unavoidable :(.