Was BACK with a vengeance this weekend. It was brilliant. I remembered who I used to be, how much fun I used to have, behaved exactly (or as close as could be expected) as I would have and don’t regret a single thing. Warning – a long and self satisfied post ahead 😉
The weekend involved a trip to a city I used to live in a few years ago which I absolutely love. I’d love to move back, but it’s also the city where my anorexia really took hold and for that reason – my family are less than keen on the area!
Anyway, I was meeting up with three friends, we had a hotel booked and tickets to a gig for Saturday night. I love these three, we met randomly at gigs years ago and now, although we all live in completely different parts of the country with about 300 miles between us we still try to meet up about twice a year and have a blow out.
Here is where my eating disorder makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I dithered in boots for an age trying to find an appropriate meal deal for the train, and instead of getting a sandwich which caught my eye as looking tasty, I chose the low fat one. No big surprises there, that’s the norm. But from then on, I morphed back into the old me who drank, ate, danced and laughed. I so desperately want to be that person again.
We went for dinner at Pizza Express, shared dough balls and garlic bread for starter then ate a Leggra Pizza for main (They have stopped doing my favourite prawn one, sob sob. I did choose one which had oil on it though which is usually a major no-no in my world). We didn’t have time for pudding before the gig so I ran to the shop and bought a Crunchie to eat in the taxi. I didn’t dither in the shop – I went straight in and thought “Oooo not had a crunchie in a while” and got it. No packet checking, trying to find a low cal alternative, just a decision. And a quick one for once!
The gig was ace, although I couldn’t see a damn thing (I hate being so short) but they sounded brilliant. We stayed in the venue afterwards for the club night, I drank countless Vodka & Cokes, and couldn’t even estimate how many if I wanted to, I can just remember they were plentiful. It hit 2.30am and my friend’s stomach was calling him, he needed pizza. Another one. Pizza Express clearly wasn’t enough, it was time for drunk food. Now I used to be obsessed with drunk food, it was my favourite part of the evening! Gradually, this changed. Drunk food for the old me started off as either a Donner Meat Pizza, or a Chicken Kebab with Mayo, or Chips and cheese with garlic mayo (I can’t stand cheese now). As the eating disorder started to appear, it turned into a chocolate bar when I got home…which then turned into a packet of snackajacks…which then turned into an apple…and then there was no drunk food.
(I should probably clarify here, that despite the unhealthy diet I used to have – I was never overweight, far from it. Like all my family, I’ve been a small slim build all of my life and my eating disorder didn’t stem from the fact I ate such a lot of crap and put on a lot of weight, we all were/are small).
Not this time! I ordered a Chicken Tikka Kebab wrapped in a Naan Bread and ate every last bit. It came with chips, but by the time we got out of the taxi they were sorry looking stone cold soggy specimens so I picked about 4 and chucked the rest. (I wouldn’t have eaten those even when I was the ‘old me’).
How can this be? How can I fret and panic and stress over which loaf of bloody bread to buy, and then go for a pizza, drink shit loads then scoff a kebab? Nonsensical.
But this much I do know.
- I’m fed up of being the odd one out.
- I don’t want to be that person any more.
- I don’t want to be the one person who doesn’t order greasy food after a night out
- I don’t want to be the one person who declines a biscuit when offered one
- I don’t want to be the one person who says ‘I’m fine thanks, I’ve not long eaten…’. When it’s often a lie.
I want to join in with my friends again, and on Saturday it was just how it used to be. The four of us ate, drank and danced like fools and had such a good night. I expected to feel the usual dread and greed and disgust with myself when I woke up on Sunday, regretting the amount I ate but I surprised myself in that I didn’t. I didn’t beat myself up, or berate myself. I saw it like this – If I really didn’t want to do it – I wouldn’t have. I made the choice, so why feel guilty? That takeaway was crammed full of people ordering food after a good night out, and you’re joining in and being a part of life again. Yey.
We got breakfast as part of the hotel so I didn’t stop there. I chose 2 pieces of toast with beans and scrambled egg (I was majorly scared of the scrambled egg because I’d not made it myself – If I make it I know how much milk/butter/cream etc is in it, i.e. non) so that was a big deal for me. Then had some Orange slices (picked out the grapefuit because it’s rank) and then the biggie. The real biggie for me. A CROISSANT! I used to eat criossants a lot and absolutely love them, but they’ve been on the ‘banned’ list for a long long time now. Too long. I didn’t plan to eat it, I was heading back up to the breakfast bar for some more coffee when my friend asked me to get him a croissant, so I thought fuck it. I’m having one. So I did :). I had to text my Mum and tell her, because I was pathetically chuffed with myself. She replied with ‘Well done!’ but I now, the next day, I realise it must be incredibly sad and difficult for her to have received a text from her adult daughter, in her late 20’s, congratulating herself for allowing herself to eat a croissant.
I didn’t restrict when I got home, had a normal tea (salmon/veg/cous cous), an apple filo pie with ice cream for pud and then a scone just because I can’t see scones in the house and not eat them. Obsession.
So for the second time in as many weeks, I’m feeling positive. As I said last time, I’m not naive enough to think this mindset will last forever, I know there are going to be horrible days and moments where the panic is too much. But equally, I know that’s it’s possible to have good days, moments when if you really really push yourself you can do it. The anxiety and build up is often so much worse than the actual thing, so I’m going to keep challenging myself while I still have the drive and motivation because I don’t know how long it will last. I can only hope it’s a long long time.