So I realise this is really late but I’m going to talk about the sea-side today. I’ve got a lot of personal stresses going on at the moment and just want to concentrate on some good things and get it out into the world. I don’t want to be reflective or thoughtful or insightful or moody or anything. I just want some nice, easy typing.
The sea-side was troublesome on occasion, don’t get me wrong. I struggled with the standard struggles and got really anxious and it was really difficult being there sometimes, but it was also really nice. We have famo friends who’ve known me since I was a bebe and they’ve retired now and did that thing where you move to the country/sea for the idyllic life. I will never understand that. I love cities way too much and just couldn’t stand the quiet for that long. I do appreciate it every now and then though and it was good to get away. They live in a really tiny middle class town in Suffolk where everything is excruciatingly expensive but completely cute. It isn’t my top sea-side town – it’s a little middle class hippy for my liking – but it is lovely. I think I love most places with sea though so I might be a little biased. I especially like the sea in gloomy, winter weather so it was particularly good.
On the Friday, I did the jokest thing. I totally went bird watching! I know it’s lame but I do actually like bird watching, but only around my local forest and garden really. This was a proper R.S.P.B. reserve. What is it with proper bird watchers? Why do they all lug around so much kit? Literally, they all have these massive tripods they’re lugging from hide to hide and it just doesn’t look fun. Sometimes I think hobbies are purely a reason to amass a lot of gadgets. To be fair, as far as birds go I wasn’t too impressed. It was basically just a lot of ducks. Ducks are properly funny though so it could have been worse. Actually, there was a flamingo. It’d escaped from a near by wildlife park and was just chillin’ in the reeds with the ducks. Totally aces. The reserve was beautiful. It’s like a fresh water reed bed on the coast and it was a lovely day so it was just a really pleasing place to be. We pottered about, saw some excellent cows, laughed at some ducks then sat in one of the hides watching the lapwings come in to roost and drinking winter pimms in plastic cups whilst the sun set. Sometimes the world is very comforting.
Also, I went to Norwich! I have never been to Norwich before, but it was actually quite close. I was in a hump on Norwich day (absolutely chokabloc with post-fish-and-chips-anxiety and the need to be by myself) so don’t think I can accurately judge the city. Saying that though, any city with a castle is just really great. I’m a massive child at heart so castles are just a really good excuse to run around and be silly. There was loads of interactive kid bits and dressing up. I built a bridge out of little sticks and dressed as a prisoner. Castles are just cool. Norwich is pretty though. It’s all little, snickety streets which totally deserve a proper explore. I wish anxiety hadn’t reared its ugly head to ruin everything.
Sunday was my favorite of all the days. It was the lazy, stay in the town day. It was really rainy and everything looked grumpy which is always appealing to me and finally, I got some much-needed alone time. I spent a good few hours walking down to the beach and drinking camomile tea whilst having one of the most important conversations I’ve had so far this year on the phone to the Samalander. She’s gives me a lot of perspective even though I was meaning to be the dutiful best friend and doling out post-break up comfort. She is good to me. I wandered along the stormy sea, having meaningful conversations with the weather really backing up my mood and it was entirely therapeutic. Exactly the point of the trip.
On the last evening, I painted some crockery. I’m not exactly the worlds most artistic of souls, but I did have fun and I made some things that I really like. Although, quite often I seem to have the emotional maturity of a 14 year old angsty teenager, I also become and 8 year old boy sometimes. Hence the choice of inspiration… If you can call it that.
And the whole weekend topped up to lots of walking so now some fully broken in shoes. I don’t generally approve of things like this, but I love my shoes so much that I’m going to do a gratuitous “look at my lovely things!” photo. Because they are so beautiful. And I’m celebrating the fact that one month after receiving them, they finally no longer hurt! (Question: Did anybody else’s feet shrink whilst I losing weight? Mine went down two sizes. Do you think they’ll grow to pre-anorexia size again when I’m weight restored? That would be annoying as I’d have to chuck out at least 3 pairs of shoes. Ah well).
But anyways, I also ate some really difficult foods for me, so I thought I’d do a mini eats report sea-side edition just as a round-up. Firstly, the obvious fish and chips! I had completely sworn off fish and chips for life until this trip. Literally, it is one of the most difficult foods for me to face and is surrounded by so many eating disorder memories that I’ve been avoiding it. Of course, by the sea, it was going to be lovely, so had to be done. Granted I didn’t finish it, but I did eat till I was more than comfortably full and ate the entire fish with all its batter. I ended up feeling awful about it, but now I am proud. It was a really triggering scenario for me – in a restaurant, with people, triggering food, the people I was wish eating miles less than me, picking the batter off their fish and talking about how intuitive eating doesn’t work and only makes people fat – but even so, I sat down and ate something that makes the disordered part of me scream and I got through it. I could have eaten less, I could have backed out entirely, but I didn’t and for that I am proud.
Also, the second entirely triggering meal was lunch in Norwich. I ordered more than the others for my main as I wanted it to fit my meal plan requirements. It was in this cute little Picture House cinema in this old converted church called Cinema City and it was very pretty. Nothing on the menu felt safe to me and nothing was going to be comfortable, but I followed my meal plan anyway even though every inch of me was screaming for salad. I ordered a Thai chicken curry sandwich (sandwiches are a major fear of mine. I can deal with two slices of bread or toast topped with sandwich type things, and pita pockets and wraps, but sandwiches are something I find hard. With creamy filling and everything!) with crisps (again, a massive fear due to the potato aspect. Though they were really tasty – bloody mary flavor om nom),whilst they had half a sandwich and a very small bowl of soup. They then asked me if I needed dessert, and as it’s on my meal plan, I went for it. I didn’t know that would mean them just sitting and watching me eat it. That was painfully hard, even though I went for the most eating disorder friendly dessert on the menu (poached pear. Not a good choice when there is sticky toffee pudding). I hated every second of that meal, but I did it, I got through and it was ok (gotta love smart phones – discreet food shots and no one even knew!).
Dinner wise, I only prepared one and I was there for four nights. I always prepare my own food so this was tough. I asked a lot of annoying, entirley eating disorder fueled questions (think “but how much is “not very much oil”?” “Are you going to fry the vegetables? Or steam them?”). That wasn’t exactly playing it cool I know. I wish I could have just relaxed about it, but hopefully I can get to that with practice. It was a lot of meat. I had meat or fish every day for four days straight, which is ridiculous to me. I don’t think I could have managed it if it wasn’t for the fact that they eat quite small portions and aren’t too huge on carb. It was definitely meal plan friendly food but I struggled. On the last night, I did end up cooking for myself as I just couldn’t hack it any more, but I did eat similar foods to them (chicken thighs and vegetable rice followed by apple strudel and custard). All the other meals and snacks were my usual foods prepared my usual way. Although it was difficult, I did stick to my meal plan the whole time and didn’t count calories (ok so I did do a few round-up, but not obsessing to my usual level which includes counting calories in coffee and weighing vegetables). It was a weekend full of difficult eats and I managed to follow my meal plan and stick with it the entirety of the trip.
Needless to say, I came home and had the most comfortable thing possible – easy and spicy chickpeas, couscous, spinach, courgette and mushroom (the standard grain/pulse/veg combo). Swiftly followed by obsessively weighing myself and freaking out and restricting for an evening. But I pulled it through. My restriction amounted to one missed snack and one skipped dessert. The next morning I woke up and just got on with it again. Generally in recovery, one slip has meant days or weeks of slipping, but this was a one evening lapse after the most challenging food few days I’ve had in months. I think I did bloody fantastic. I think this might be progress!
I have since then decided that I no longer have any desire to know how much I weigh. I hate my weight being this high. I look like a planet and absolutely hate my body. I can weigh myself every day and watch myself slowly go even further into unknown weight territory and completely hate myself even more, or I can just stop. The disordered part of me is never going to be happy this weight. This is the weight that it is not ok for me to go past as it’s the weight I remember all my friends saying they were when we were around 16 and it’s stuck in my head as the highest weight people in general can acceptably be (complete rubbish, but I can’t help it). I’m never going to enjoy weighing this much in a numerical sense, so why bother putting myself through seeing it go up? I tried to not weigh myself – I moved my scales to somewhere really hard to get to and took out the battery – only to cave and do it anyway, so I took the battery out and gave it to the Mum. I know this might sound like I’m chickening out a bit, but last time I did actually throw out the scales… only to go to Tesco within a week and by new, more accurate scales which I kept in secret, wasting £13 which I don’t really have to spend right now. This way, I figure if I’m willing to go to Tesco to buy a battery, I would have been willing to do it for scales but it’ll cost a lot less. I still have to go through all the effort to do it and I hope it’s enough. I no longer want to know my weight. It makes me feel absolutely rubbish. The team can weigh me and check my progress. I’m not an idiot. I’ll know if I’m losing weight as my clothes will fit different. I can know I’m a healthy weight once I have periods again, and know I’m an unhealthy weight if they stop. I no longer have any desire to know how much I weigh as I’m never going to like it. I may well take this back in a moment of weakness but this is my intention. I intend to not know my weight for as long as physically possible.
So maybe I’ve ballooned out and look like Saturn this past week. I have been eating a lot of scary meals and different foods and not counting calories and following a meal plan. I am anxious beyond belief. But you know what? That’s ok. I can’t logic myself out of being anxious and don’t want to fall back on destructive behaviours to calm myself so right now, I just have to be wound up tight and freaking out all the time. If I keep this up, the hope is that one day I’ll just not care as much because it’ll be my normal. I can’t do anything to make it better right now, but the only way I can not have these things in my life is if I stop them, and it’s better right now whilst I still have the support of the team. So I sit and feel rubbish now in the hope that someday it won’t bother me to not know exactly what decimal point of a pound my weight has fluctuated in 24 hours or exactly what number of calories I’ve consumed and burnt. Fingers crossed.
Oh and I’ve been well boom at recovery this week. Seriously upped my game and eating some bangin’ foods. I’ll maybe let you know at some point. As a highlight..
Lastly – SNOW! I love snow. So much. I’ve made a snowman and did snow angels and ran around and threw snow balls and had a very lovely afternoon. You are never too old for snow fun. Snow is in my top five things of all time.