Tag Archives: fear

stability. and generally overthinking myself. standard.

Tonight is an insomnia post. It’s been getting worse recently. I think its because I’ll actually be seeing my team again this week and in reality, since the last time I had a proper check in, I’ve kinda allowed my life to turn fall into a more dysfunctional routine. It started at Easter and has been slowly, but surely getting worse. Before that, I was doing well actually. I was actively chuffed about how far I’d got and how much my life had improved. I am no longer chuffed. Mostly, I’m ambiguous. I don’t exactly want to go back to restricting or anything, but I’m not sure I’ve wound up anywhere better off right now. I feel less stable and less secure.

The stability of starvation is actually spiralling out of control, but it feels stable. Days come and go and they’re always the same –

Wake up early, cold, but sweating. Panicking and maybe cry because for a second, you really think you ate that muffin. Check your bones are still there. Bathroom. Strip naked and weigh yourself (jumping off and on to make sure the scale isn’t lying). Exercise as long as you can stand till you feel sick and everything hurts. Weigh yourself. Shower and get dressed (whilst worrying if the toothpaste and mouthwash should add to your calorie total). Try and fail to distract yourself from food until it’s time to eat (unless you’ve managed to exercise long enough to go past the time you usually eat. In that case, you get a gold star and feel powerful). Have planned meal (always starting by, gathering the right utensils and crockery then weighing and measuring the right amount of food. Finally, hiding away to eat. Each bite is chewed the right number of time. Smoking as much as possibly from preparing meal till after you’ve eaten. I’d always finish everything. If I was counting that caloire, I was sure as hell going to eat it). Try and fail to distract yourself from food until it’s time to eat (so end up contemplating the pros and cons of various salad dressings and whether or not you’ve done enough to warrant an extra plum). End up drawn to the kitchen so decide to clean it all. Thow some biscuits and cereal or whatever out (covering it with bleach because it looked too tempting). Go for a walk (it burns more calories and only lazy people stay in all day. You didn’t get dressed for nothing). End up walking around Tesco for hours (picking things up, looking at the nutritional info, wondering if it’s low-calorie enough. No, it’s not. Put it back. Sometimes it’s just comforting to learn the calories of all the different crisps or chocolate or whatever. No reason. It’s just better if you know). Panic so go out for a smoke. Go back in only to buy lettuce, diet coke, a Milky Way and GoodFood magazine.  Go home. Organise your food (to make room for the salad in the kitchen and put your chocolate in your box/shelf/drawer of food you want to eat, but instead will just look at and decide it’s not the day. Yes. It’s hoarding food. I would line my forbidden food up a couple of times a day so it looked neat. I wouldn’t eat it, I just felt better that it was there so I could eat it, if I wanted. I wouldn’t miss out if I made sure I owned it).Have planned snack. Weigh yourself (you’ll weigh more and you know it’ll upset you, but you do it anyway). Get a phone call from a friend (but ignore it because they might want to see you and you’d rather spend time actively not eating). Try and fail to distract yourself from food until it’s time to eat. End up eating a banana (which are forbidden obviously) so cry and exercise and plan what you won’t eat at dinner. Have planned meal. Take more laxatives than can possibly be good for you so you might go in the morning (trust me, if you don’t eat enough, no amount of fibre will make you go. Plus by this point, you’re bodies dependant on them anyway) knowing that if you don’t, there’s no way know how much you really weigh tomorrow (because food weight can add up to like a kilo). Research diets on the internet. Look at food porn. Count the minutes until it’s time for bed. Plan things you’ll eat once you’re small enough. Go to bed hopeful for sleep (when you’re asleep, you can’t eat and you don’t know you’re hungry). Realise you can’t sleep because you’re too hungry. Take your meausurements. Feel sad because all your friends are at the pub, but you’re in bed because there someone may have wanted to share crisps and alcohol is calories. Check your bones stick out enough. Eventually fall asleep whilst daydreaming about what you’ll do and how wonderful everyone will think you are when you’re finally thin (maybe because you got really sick and ended up in hospital unable to eat. This was a recurrent fantasy of mine). Have a nightmare about eating a chocolate muffin. Start over.

You’re smoking and drinking as much 0 calorie caffeine as possible throughout the day. Quite often, you hurt and are exhausted, so you pop3-4 pro plus and a couple of painkillers when necessary. Plus calculating and recalculating calories. Over and over.

Believe me, this is all day, every day with anorexia. Unless you’re stuck in a binge/purge cycle – then it’s this, but worse. Or if you have a special event or date or something – then you eat specially less food and specially exercise more so you can be more empty because more empty makes your specially lovely.

It’s really boring. Honestly. It just happens every day to the extent where you essentially wake up and just wait until you can go to bed again because each day is so boring, but it’s predictable. Nothing changes. It can’t because you’re not ready yet. You’re not thin enough. Once you’re thin, you can have fun because everyone will like you and you’ll exist on nothing and you’ll be fragile and look completely unreal and people will be careful with you because you look like you might break and they’ll all think you’re beautiful and interesting and effortlessly tiny and so much better than them because you can refuse food and it doesn’t bother you and you look like you might blow away and you’ll finally be good enough to make up for everything wrong with you. No matter that you’re actually already there, except you don’t look unreal and delicate, you look scary. But it doesn’t matter what the measurements and weight say, because actually, you carry your weight differently from other people and on you, it still looks fat.

You’ll only improve if you stick to the rules. If you break the rules, you’ll undo all that work, get even fatter than you already are, everyone will think you’re a failure and they’ll all laugh at you and hate you even more, you’ll be ugly and worthless and have no friends and you’ll lose your boyfriend because boys don’t like fat girls. When you break the rules, you quickly realise that it is that bad and all you can do is beat yourself up over and over until the scale tells you you’ve set it right again. You learn that it’s better to stick to the rules and keep it predictable. The alternative is hell.

Everyday, your organs and muscles are being ingested by your body, but in its own, completely broken way, it’s stable. Did you know people with anorexia often have high cholesterol even though they generally severely restrict fats? It’s because human tissue is red, fatty meat thus high in cholesterol and you’re incredibly literally eating it. I guess it’s more of a tenuous, steady decline kind of stable. Ok so it’s not at all stable, but it makes you believe that it is.

I’m probably the most stable I’ve been in ages, but I feel much less so now. Having actual thoughts and emotions and actually doing things is really complicated and hard. Especially as I don’t feel like anything ever happens. I don’t identify with myself at all. I tried to think about if I’m doing alright at the moment and I couldn’t because honestly, I remember events, but I cannot identify how I really felt. I can remember crying, but I don’t feel like I was actually sad because I wasn’t really present and it doesn’t feel like it was actually me. And that could have been an hour earlier. Then I’m was not sad – I was jumping. But was I happy? I don’t know because although know I jumped, it doesn’t feel like it was really me. I watched it happen but I wasn’t there. I don’t know what I think or feel right now for fuck’s sake. It’s really distressing and it’s all the time. I’m so disconnected from myself. I literally have no idea what thoughts and feelings I actually have. I don’t know what’s true. There has got to be facts, I just cannot access them.

Instead I just feel out of control, on edge and like I made up of lies. I live in a brain which is constantly narrating my life or having made up conversations. If I think anything, it’s part of some sort of overarching story my brain is spinning. Because the thoughts have to fit to that particular narration, am I actually thinking it, or am I just pretending I do in order to fit the desired conclusion of the story arch? And this narration never stops. I can’t read or watch or anything because I’m just too busy narrating. I don’t enjoy anything or have and hobbies or passions because I just narrate. Plus if I do, do I actually? Or do I just want to believe I do? Is it just for the benefit of other people, even if they never know or see? Honestly, the only thing that stops it is asking google questions. The monotonous fact-finding. No detail. Repeat over and over.

So I act, except none of the actions feel like me. And none of them feel like they have that much effect on how I’ll feel a couple of minutes later. It’s like living without consequences. Logically I know there are, but emotionally there aren’t any really. Cause and effect gets so disconnected. I can remember having an awful time and it being rubbish, but that has no real effect once that’s not what I’m doing anymore. Same way I can remember having a great, relaxing time, but I’ll still get caught up in freaking out about my entire existence. It can turn in an instant. My insides physically sink and I realise I have nothing and am nothing and all I am is concepts. All this makes me feel so physically hollow. If you don’t even have thoughts, what do you have? Lies can only cover up all the parts that aren’t there.

I look in the mirror, and I don’t identify with my face. It just isn’t what I thought I looked like and I’m always surprised. Quickly followed by “shit. How the fuck do I get up every day and walk around and let people see me with a face like this? Has this always been my face? How have I been existing with this face? It’s a fucking disgrace”. I think it about my body too, but then that has really changed so that’s understandable. And my voice, but quitting smoking has changed that a little too. Sometimes I just notice I’m speaking and stop half way through a sentence, turn around and walk off because it’s hurting me so much to continue to hear a voice so bad that doesn’t sound like mine.

The only thing I know I have is absolute shame of anything I ever do or say in front of other people. Why? Because it’s not me and it’s not how I actually feel and I’m not present. I’m not in control and therefore presenting myself in a way I don’t identify with, thus making me an idiot. And what sucks is that I get lonely when I hermit up, so then I reach out a tiny amount, only to feel like shit again. I just berate myself over and over and over.

So now I feel less stable. In fact, I feel like I’m going crazy. I don’t know which is better.

I think I have identity issues. Now if only one of these many mental health professionals could tell me what the fuck any of this is, I’d probably feel better. Instead, they say “I cannot tell you. Your therapist knows you better. Talk to him. He can answer.” So now I’m absolutely terrified of Tuesday. I haven’t seen the psychologist in two months. How the fuck do I explain this to him? I don’t even know what this is. I wish I had a term to google so I could research how to improve it. But I don’t want to go to therapy.

I duno.

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paranoid.

If you ever even mention the word paranoid to mental health professionals, they automatically seem to worry that you’re entering the world of paranoid delusions. I don’t really know where pathological paranoia ends and healthy, normal level paranoia begins, but it can be pretty distressing at any level I think and seeing as I don’t believe the government are watching me through the radio or anything, it gets dismissed as something no one seems to have to worry about.

I think like a lot of people, I get paranoid. Quite often. For me, I think it’s all based on the innate belief that I’m really terrible, so it’s all related to friends and acquaintances. And the problem with paranoia is that it’s kinda untestable, so you can never know if it’s true.

I get really paranoid when I find out two people I introduced to each other talk and hang out without any acknowledgement of my existence. Firstly, it just makes me feel awful. I don’t do anything about it and don’t say anything, but I can’t help the fact that I get incredibly uncomfortable. I like to have some sort of control over what people know about me and the fact that the me I am in one situation might be divulged in another situation makes me feel so unwell. I get really tense and feel sick. Sick seems to be my standard emotion at the moment. I don’t even know if sick is an emotion but I feel it all the time. I like to (incredibly unfairly) have some sort of control over how I’m presented and in these scenarios, I lose it. Thus in a roundabout way, I like to have some level of control over other people’s interactions, which is entirely unfair I know. I don’t act on it because I know it’s wrong and I try to put it behind me and not let it effect my relationships. I won’t pretend it never has any effect, but I really know it’s not acceptable. I get convinced they’re going to talk about me and figure out that I’m not really a coherent person but that I have no real identity and no real personhood. That essentially, there isn’t a me inside and that there isn’t a personality.

I also get really paranoid about the fact that they didn’t go through me for other reasons. I start to feel like they’ve got what they need from me and now don’t want or need me around. That they never really liked me in the first place and now they’re got someone better, I’m not worth it. This is a horrible thought process because I start getting really devastated. People I care about and thought liked me suddenly haven’t got any need for me any more. I’m only worth what I can supply someone with and the links I can help them make. Everyone knows that. Once they’ve got enough, they’ll have no need for me. And eventually I’ll be alone because no one will have any need for me. And I honestly can’t think about it logically. I know that people will read this and say “that’s not true you know” but to me, the logic and evidence all points to the fact that it is. I do look for evidence that it isn’t the case, and only come up against the evidence that I’m not worth the effort and will be ditched at some point once anything I can offer has been exhausted. I offer different people different amounts, so it takes some people longer than others to get through it, but the outcome will be the same in the end. It always is. I become redundant.

It’s a kinda common fact that, more often than not, people bond over their common links, which in these situations do include knowing me. Laughing about me, bitching, gossiping, focusing on everything bad about me and deciding they really just hate me seems like the logical outcome. I become the joke, the annoying one, the ugly one, the needy one. Whatever one I become, it can’t possibly be good. There isn’t really enough good for anyone else to notice. I fully believe that by putting two people together, all their negative and entirely justified opinions of me will be verified as acceptable, relieving them of any guilt that might have in believing their negative, hurtful things. They’ll learn that it’s ok to hate me because other people do too. And thus not only will I lose friends, I’ll gain people who actively dislike me, rather than just not caring enough.

Recently, I’ve also discovered there’s a party hosted by one of my best friends. I’ve not been told about it. Not only have I not been told, but I’ve also been arranging to see her and was the way she got the contact numbers to invite others. It’s not like she’s forgotten, but for whatever reason, she’s decided I shouldn’t be there. Now I don’t know how to feel. It makes me wonder whether I should be annoyed. I thought she really liked me and all that stupid rubbish so I’m hurt she doesn’t want me. At the same time I struggle to place the blame on her at all. I’m not annoyed. She’s just decided that actually, she’s had enough of me. I’d embarrass her in front of her friends. I would be too much effort. I’d bring the party down. Everyone will have a shit time if I show up. She’s discovered that actually, I’m really awful. I’m not worth her time. All of these things make perfect sense to me.

Now I know I probably shouldn’t be annoyed of so critical of myself – there are probably other reasons because people aren’t mean and I’m not as awful as I think I am. Except the thing is, logically I can’t find any evidence that I’m not awful. I am. In every way. Because all I am is a whole load of lies. It’s not like I can possibly be anything else because there’s nothing else inside. Without lies, I’m predominantly hollow. I don’t consciously do it, but it there’s nothing there, you have to make up something appealing enough so that know one notices you don’t actually have an identity and that even your thoughts and memories don’t feel like your own. I lie to myself in my head with my thoughts. Everything in this post seems like a lie even though I’m trying so hard to be honest. I can’t though, because I don’t have genuine thoughts and feelings, only thoughts and feelings I convince myself I have to appear like the person I want to present. I was never even sick. I made it up and acted it out and even convinced myself of it because I wanted to present that to others. I don’t know why I would though. I haven’t got reasons wanting that outcome. But I don’t have anything but lies so that must be a lie too.

Nothing really happens and nothings really true. I have no facts because I watch my life happen without me and I have no personhood or true thought. I know this can’t be true. There has to be some facts. But this is how I experience the world. So I’m paranoid. Paranoid everyone hates me because I can’t even create something good. That everyone knows and can’t wait to forget me. And I can’t find anything that verifies otherwise. Because other people lie so to not hurt your feelings. It makes any of the words anyone ever says inherently untrustable. Obviously, unless they’re being horrible, it’s all lies. The negative stuff is true, but anything positive anyone says to me is probably a lie. Because they’re all so nice that they wouldn’t want to hurt me. But I already know and it hurts me anyway.

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eats report #11.

Been a mammoth amount of time right? I never really do these that much because my diet tends to get stuck in ruts and food isn’t that much of my life. Saying that though, I have been really trying to push myself out of the rut I’ve been in recently, trying lots of new things and getting some more excitement in my diet.

I think this partly works because I’m not actively counting calories. That doesn’t mean I have no idea how much I’m eating because I really do. It also doesn’t mean that calories play no part in my decisions because they do. It just means that without a running total of calories/fat/fibre/salt etc., I’m able to be a little bit more adventurous. I’m not going to bother with a load of catch up or anything because it wouldn’t be applicable to where I am now. Right now, I’m not trying to eat as many calories as possible in ways I don’t find hard and scary, right now I’m really just trying to normalise my eating. It’s a work in progress, but there are serious improvements.

To me, normalizing my eating doesn’t involve always eating new things, or cooking all the time. It’s not about eating really healthy or trying to eat less healthy. It involves thinking something looks or sounds nice, then making the effort to try it if time and money allow. Sometimes, its eating for convenience. Sometimes it’s taking a lot of time and effort to make something really special. I don’t want to be on a meal plan forever and I’d like to wake up some mornings and chose to eat something different from a bowl of cereal. Not every morning, but some mornings. Then I might be more hungry, or less hungry at snack or lunch time because it’s not my usual so it changes from my usual, predictable satiety levels, but that’d be fine because I can eat more or less. It just needs practice, and I have to start at some point. Some foods that I think look and sound really nice are further away from me right now than others, but as per usual, its little steps towards the ultimate goal. Sausage sandwiches might not happen all that soon, but croissants and jam could be a go-er in the not too distant if that makes sense. And don’t worry, sausage sandwiches will happen. Just give me time. And maybe a bad enough hangover.

So in general, a lot of my meals look like this –

Hummus, raw veggies and couscous.

Or this –

Pate, raw veggies and rice

(This is butternut squash pate from Marks & Spencer by the way. It’s actually quite nice. I would recommend I think. It’s more rich than I’d usually go for but I really like squash so can be easily tempted).

Basically, it’s a lot of cold food. Sometimes I just cannot be bothered, so I go to the fridge, pick three veggies I would like to eat raw, put them in a bowl with some left over grains and a bit dollop of hummus or something and it’s done. Simple. Much as it’s really tasty, it’s not exactly normal eating if I’m doing the same thing most days. The lack of protein and fat probably isn’t that good either. I know hummus is both protein and fat, but just on bit of hummus isn’t enough of either for a dinner.

So I decided if I’m going to have a more normal relationship with food, I’m going to have to start actually bothering a little bit again, getting back into foods I used to like and trying new recipes and meals that sound good in the hope that eventually, I can reach a sort of healthy balance for me, which doesn’t involve much conscious thought at all. Not giving it much thought right now isn’t helping me find this balance, but maybe if I give it more now, in the future there’ll be a thought time payoff if that makes sense.

So the first thing to start looking at for me was dinners. I know that this is so not an exciting meal, but this is actually a big step for me. I made bolognese with actual beef. Granted, extra lean beef which probably wasn’t so good, but it’s a start. It was really nice, but I could do better. A problem I have with using meat is that I tend to try to find ways to skip out on adding fat to my meals, so I just didn’t use any oil with this, which is stupid. Pasta is hard for me as well which doesn’t help. I think it’s because you get more calories for less volume than a lot of other carbs. Still, I didn’t measure it, I just used two handfuls. I don’t know if two handfuls is right, but the ex always used to tell me that was the exact right portion. He has really small hands though so maybe mine was still too much. Probably not though. I don’t think half a centimeter can make that much difference. Essentially, I should use oil. I did use a jar sauce though which is also a big step for me. I’m literally terrified of jar sauces because the idea of too much salt scares me. Too much salt leads to water retention which leads to increased weight and puffy joints, so I like to go for low sodium options when I can and that just isn’t processed sauces. I ended up chosing a Tesco Goodness one with hidden vegetables designed for children. Mostly because the portions were smaller and the calories less. Again, not perfect. Jar sauce, real meat and unmeasured pasta all good steps though

Sometimes I read paragraphs like that and think “Gosh. I’m such a crank when it comes to food.” The way I think is still pretty stupid.

Each time I mess up now though, I’m writing it down to try to address it. So this meal ended up with “Normal jar sauce. Add some oil to fry your veggies in next times” aims. Next time I have pasta, I’ll at least scratch one of them off the list. It’s still a massive improvement. I’ve gone from less that half a normal pasta portion, no oil, measured out Quorn mince, fresh tomatoes instead of tinned or jar sauces etc. I’m levelling up slowly, but I haven’t had the final boss fight with pasta yet. I think that might include garlic bread. It is one of my ultimate all time favourite foods and I haven’t had any in so ridiculously long. I think I’d like it too much and eat too much. That’ll be a scary day I think.

At least it looks like normal food right?

Bolognese. With real meat!

I’ve also been trying to eat some other meats as well. Like lamb and chicken. Obvs. I had really nice jerk chicken the other day, but I’ve also recently had some sort of Moroccan-ish lamb leg steaks. I don’t know if it’s acceptable to be in recovery and use a George Forman but I do. I didn’t buy the George Forman, I acquired it as spoils of university life (seriously, who leaves behind something like that?) so I don’t feel bad that I have it. Plus it cooks things super quick and you can get all the char-y outside bits without any hassle. I still feel bad that I use it though because of the fat issue. I won’t lie, it does make meat easier for me to eat, but that’s probably because I have it if that makes sense. If I didn’t have it, just grilling meat would be fine, but seeing as I do, plain old grilling isn’t good enough. Sometimes I feel sorry for vegetarians because grilled meat is actually really tasty. In fact, most meat is tasty. Crap meat, processed meat, expensive cuts, grilled, baked, roasted, fried. Honestly. It’s really nice. I know I still find it too hard to eat meat that often, but I’m trying to because I really have a really low protein diet and I know that. Plus hating on cheese and never having really eaten an egg makes protein even harder to get without meat. So I’m aiming for red meat a couple of times a week for the iron (I’m pretty low on iron, and meat is a way better source than vegetable ones), fish twice, poultry once and two veggie days. Right now, I’m not hitting that target, but I intend to. I personally know I don’t feel that good if I eat lots of meat, but I do feel better if I eat some. So it’s a work in progress, especially because of the oil issue. Who knows, maybe I’ll even eat an egg one day. Stranger things have happened.

I’ve also been trying with my lunches. It’s been far to hot for my usual soup recently, so I’ve been having actual sandwiches! I find sandwiches hard for no reason whatsoever because I’ll eat two slices of bread with topping easy peasy, but put the two slices together and I struggle. There is absolutely no logic in this. I’ve been having some really nice falafel hummus sandwiches, with salad and crisps. I still have difficulties when it comes to actual potato crisps, so it’s mostly Sunbites and vegetable crisps for me. I really like Sunbites though, and vegetable crisps, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out, and I do occasionally have real crisps to make sure I’m able to if I really want them. This is a big step for me. Again, there are issues with added fat though. I find it really hard to even want butter because it’s been so long since I’ve used it really that it doesn’t even occur to me. The other day the Mother used butter with hummus on toast and I actually asked her why because I just didn’t get it. I know hummus and nut butters and things are sufficiently fatty, but I’m ok with them because they seem more nutrient-dense to me. However, butter is still pretty good for you actually. Even fully saturated, real cow butter. In fact, saturated fat is necessary for an actually healthy diet, but my diet is severely lacking it. I should probably eat more butter. I remember I used to really like peanut butter and butter cracker sandwiches (honestly, if you have never tried this, do because it’s lovely. Two cream crackers, one with butter, one with peanut butter, put together like a sandwich. It’s so nice), but I haven’t had anything like that in such a long while. Maybe I should put peanut butter cracker sandwiches on my fear foods list.

Real life, full-blown sandwich!

Quite often I find myself wishing I’d never bothered learning as nutritional information. Regardless of any eating disorder stuff. I mean, I could have just ate less and lost weight and still been really sick, but nutritional information is something that makes it really difficult to let go and enjoy food. Even if your ok with the fact you’re eating it. Because you always know. You can’t unlearn it. My honest advice to anyone and everyone is to never learn anything about calories or fat or carbohydrates or sodium or whatever. If you want a healthier diet, you probably already know all you need to know. Anything else makes food a hell of a lot less nice. And once you know, you can’t undo it and just enjoy things.

Anyway, I’ve also been improving my lunches by actually fully following recipes and not working out the nutritional information for them. I’ve made some serious hummus recently. Generally, if I’m gonna make it, it’s a tin of chickpeas, couple of cloves of garlic, maybe two teaspoons maximum of tahini if I’m feeling brave, though sometimes none, some cumin and the chickpea cooking water in a blender. The other day though, I really went for it. I followed Felicity Cloake’s recipe for perfect hummus. It has a whopping six tablespoons of tahini, plus although there’s minimum effort, it takes an absolute age to make due to soaking and cooking dried chickpeas. It’s so tasty though. Plus it makes bare so I’ve got some in the freezer as well. It’ll last me ages and it really is one of the best hummuses (what is the plural of hummus?) I’ve had. Even if I do say so myself. Hummus of Kings. And I have no idea of the exact calories because I didn’t work it out and generally, I don’t use dried chickpeas so I can’t work out how it compares. Which is brilliant for me.

It really is perfect hummus though. Even if it’s in the dark.

I also made walnut butter with honey and cinnamon. I made it before ages ago, but had difficulty with it because it was maybe too tasty and ended up throwing it away. This time I’m going to give it my all. If you’re only used to standard peanut butters, homemade nut butters, and even the shop bought natural ones, are weird. They aren’t as smooth and spreadable and they aren’t as sweet or as salty (though this is sweeter due to the honey). However, homemade is a whole load cheaper than the natural ones in shops, plus you get so much more options. You can add whatever to it really and it tastes good. Like bananas, or chocolate, or spices, or dried fruit, or  anything really. And they are really, really easy. As easy as hummus. All you need is a blender or food processor and you’re away. And this is really great. I recommend to everyone.

Walnut butter on Ryvita om nom.

Breakfast are also getting a look in whilst I’m trying to eat more like a normal person. One thing I’ve recently tried is overnight oats. They’re kinda a standard thing in the healthy food blogger world, but back in the days when I used to stalk those blogs, I’d look at them and think they sounded and looked great, but the idea of yogurt and nut butter and banana and honey etc. was all too much and I wasn’t allowed. I’d occasionally do it with just a bit of milk and mostly water, but oats were for water in my head and that was it. It doesn’t work with water. You kinda have to heat them up if you do that. Otherwise it’s not nice. I actually think oats in water can be nice as well, but only if you pour cold milk over the hot gruel, but that’s another thing entirely. I had overnight oats the other day. Serious ones. With greek yogurt and banana and almond butter. It was so good. I’ve had it a couple of times now and topping it with blueberries and almond butter is my favorite way so far. It’s really refreshing in the heat, and really tasty, and deceptively filling. I actually think this is worth it entirely.

Overnight oats – Actually worth it. Especially in the heat!

Now I know that none of this is entirely normal eating for most people. It’s lots of whole, natural foods which are pretty healthy, homemade with no additives etc. But I am trying those things too. Like potato wedges. I ate potato wedges can you believe? McCain’s no less. And they were so hard to eat, but so worth it because they are really nice and I’m a fool for not eating them. I know it’s really easy to make your own from scratch, but I couldn’t be bothered and the McCain’s ones looked really appealing in the freezer aisle and I just though to myself “fuck it. I like McCain’s” and went with it. I don’t regret it for a second. I still haven’t dared check out the ingredients. For all I know, they’re really not that bad, but I’d ruin it for myself if they are. And you see that guacamole? Tesco made it. And they made the salsa too.

Oven Fooooood!!!!

I also managed a three course meal. I had a mezze platter thing (lots of chorizo and parma ham and hummus and bread and sun-dried tomatoes), followed by roast venison medallions, roasted new potatoes and cabbage, with a chocolate orange ganache torte topped with raspberry and ice-cream. That definitely isn’t the sort of food I usually go for. Processed meat with a whole ton of salt, meat and potatoes, probably cooked using lots more fat than I’d be ok to use myself, full-blown chocolate dessert with ice cream instead of just ice cream alone. All of these things are hard, but it actually wasn’t even that hard when I was out with the fam. We’d been out all day and went to a really tasty pub out in the sticks for Sunday lunch. After I’d had scones with jam and clotted cream for a snack as well. And it wasn’t bad and it didn’t plague me and I didn’t feel horrible. I felt happy because I’d had a nice day and joined in with fam activities (we went to the Royal Gunpowder Mills. Seriously good. Really interesting, really lame, and really fantastic buildings. If my camera hadn’t died I would have had really great pictures. Instead, I got there, got excited at some baby swans then my battery went dead. All I have is pictures of baby swans. They are cute though).

Swans and Swanlets.

So yer, I know my cooking isn’t the most normal. I have so many recipes bookmarked from healthy food blogs I can’t count them. It’ll take an age just to get through the healthy ones, and I have better things to do that troll through the internet looking for recipes. Plus a lot of them include a whole load of ingredients I wouldn’t go near a year ago so I still think it’s progress, even if it’s still a little weird. This is the food I longed for and couldn’t bring myself to eat. I think I’m getting there. Slowly. If I want it, I should endeavour to eat it. I honestly don’t care if it’s weird though. Everyone’s normal is different and I just want to find food I like and be comfortable eating without worrying about it anymore. If that’s lots of healthy looking food, so be it. If it’s mostly chips, that’d probably be ok too. I think I’ll probably eat lots of whole, homemade, healthy looking foods forever, but as long as it’s not hard, I’m ok with that. And as long as I can eat chocolate bars and fish fingers sometimes too.

And I’m adding this picture because I think food like this should be displayed.

:D

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Filed under eats, recipes, recovery

unplanned.

I wasn’t going to post today. I wasn’t even supposed to be home (I was planning on heading partyward this evening). In fact, I was thinking that my next post would be a long overdue eats report tomorrow so it’d be all positive and full of accomplishments, but today has been really difficult and really testing for me so I thought I’d get it out of me and try to get some perspective. There will be numbers in this post so be wary if that’ll bother you.

Today started badly. I was out last night, then ended up spending a few hours cotching with the Mam when I got in, so didn’t wake up today till around noon. I know this shouldn’t really bother me, but when you have the looming “Shit – I have so much eating to fit into so little time” feelings, if can make your whole day tense. Part of you wants to make a big effort to eat a huge breakfast to catch up a little so you can maybe drop a snack and get back on time, but another part of you hates the idea as that’d mean eating scary food combos in one go, so you can’t really win the scenario in a mentally settled way. For the past few days, I’ve been trying to make the move to real cow’s whole milk rather than unsweetened soy. It’s not something I do comfortably due to the calories and fat content, but I’ve come to the opinion that actually, it’s the best kind of milk for me right now so I’m just going to go for it. To make matters harder (but better obviously), I decided to have to normal sized slices of seedy toast with Spectuloos instead of my usual muffin with Nutella with my cereal and that really whacked the calorie total into seriously uncomfortable territory for me and it actually effected me more than I’d expected, especially because it made me so full. The fact that I’d drunk last night made this even worse as alcohol always seems to destroy my appetite.

Despite my discomfort, to get back on track with my eating times a little, I had to snack an hour later. I was still painfully full and uncomfortable from my breakfast choices, so I went for this Tesco finest white chocolate and raspberry yogurt in the fridge. I thought it’d be good because it packed a calorific punch due to all the heavy whipping cream in it and the fact that it was small and soft. However, it just freaked me out more and left me feeling even more uncomfortable. It seriously added to my internal fat intake count and made my brain start to seriously freak out. I felt awful.

I think part of the reason food was so hard for me today was because I’d bought bagels, smoked salmon and full fat cream cheese for the obvious, but incredibly tasty, lunchtime treat and in my mind, I’d planned to have that today. Bagels, salmon and cream cheese are all major fear foods of mind due to the fat and general calorie content of each seperate item, but I brought them a couple of days ago when I was having a strong moment in my recovery and I didn’t want them to go stale/off, so I knew I had to at least try today (I really hate food waste). However, as I was so late, I was in a rush to get on my plans for the day and still so stuffed physically and mentally unsettled that, although I did manage the bagel, I missed out the rest of my lunch. Salad with dressing, crisps, yogurt and fruit all got ditched to soothe my mind and get me out the front door. I felt horrible, but I figured I’d get more hungry soon enough and could pick something up whilst I was out as I was heading to Westfield and there’s bare food there for whatever mood you’re in.

Now, this is where my day starts to get ridiculous. It was a stupid idea really, especially considering how distressed I was already becoming about my eating today, but I was getting antsy. There are these jeans in River Island I absolutely love. They are skinny jeans with thick powder blue and white vertical stripes. I’ve been putting off buying them due to weight gain, but I’d been thinking about them so much I just thought I’d try them on, buy a size bigger then I am now and style them out till I grow. They only had one pair left, and they were a 12. I tried them on, along with some size 10 shorts in the same design, realised the 10 was way too big and the twelve was ridiculous, so figured I’d just head to Topshop and check out their stripey jeans.

Big fucking mistake.

Topshop has always been the barometer by which I size myself. I compare my measurements to their measurements, consider their jeans to be an accurate portrayal of my size and generally just use them as a way to monitor my weight gain/loss. Last time I went (only about two or three weeks ago), I tried on some shorts. The 10s were too big, the 8s were a little big and the 6s fit snuggly, so I figured I wouldn’t buy any shorts as I still had to grow and cursed myself for still fitting into a 6 then went on my way unphased. Today, they had some aces jeans with spaceships on them, but only in size 16 or size 8. I figured the 8s would fit, but I was completely wrong. I was bigger than an 8. I also tried on some stripped jeans in a 10, and they fit fine. This really, really got to me. I had to leave the shop as quickly as possible and promptly burst into tears and found a corner to sit on the floor and hide in. I was there for at least half an hour, just crying. On my own. In a shopping centre. Like a dick.

See, pre-eating disorder, I was a Topshop 32 inch waist, so a 14 in their jeans. I promised myself a long time ago I’d never look that dumpy and horrible again, and considering I’m still gaining weight, that is a distinct possibility if right now I’m already a 10. I also think that a size 12 is really dumpy on me so basically hate the idea of that too. At this point, it didn’t matter that I’d tried on all my jeans and skirts the other day and fit into all but one pair of jeans I didn’t even buy (including the XS ones and some Topshop size 6 chinos) and many were still too big. Even so, I felt huge. I felt like an absolute failure at life and I just couldn’t cope with it. It was the first time in weeks I’ve serious considered restricting. I mean, I’ve thought about it a lot and I’ve wanted to, but today I was really actively considering it for the purposes of rapid weight loss, not because food just felt difficult. Now, it’ been meticulously planned to the extent where I actually think it would be really easy and actually quite comforting. So I sat there for a while, crying and looking like an idiot with eyeliner all down my face. Then I made possibly the worst decision I could have made in that scenario.

I went back to Topshop.

I tried on every single cut of skinny jeans in the shop (and a few pairs of shorts for good measure) in size 8 and size 10 so I could really know what size I was. The jeans I’d previously tried on were the Leigh kind, so were meant to be stretchy, but the patterns on them I think were like printed on, so they lost a lot of stretch. I therefore decided that it wasn’t truly representative of whether their sizing was store accurate, so I decided to check. And I really, really did. It took a long time but I got through each and every style of skinny jeans in the shop, along with a couple of types of hot pants. My testing paid off slightly seeing as I’ve now decided that I fit a size 8 snuggly, but could get away with a 10 now. Even in the normal, non-print Leigh jeans. I have gone up one size since Christmas. It still made me feel like shit because I’d gone up a size, and I still refused to buy any of the things I tried on, but I won’t lie, I wanted to die a little less. In my mind, a size 8 is still small, but a size 10 isn’t. A size 10 is normal size and I don’t want to be normal size, I want to be small. I want to be small because being small is pretty (I don’t apply this rule to anyone else. Just to me). I know it’s vain and I know it’s unhealthy for me and I know that I won’t be this small in a few weeks so I should just suck it up but it scares me. It’s fucking terrifying.

So to make myself feel better, I picked up a cardi I’ve had my eyes on for a few months from Primark and got some nang dark purple lipstick and stay put black eyeshadow from MAC as I’ve been after purple lips for ages and my usual Benefit eyeliner has been discontinued, then headed home. Retail therapy in every way.

This whole fiasco took a really long time and (apart from the time I spent on the floor), I’d been walking, with no food stops, for 5 and a half hours. All I’d had in over six hours was a black coffee, but because I was upset, my appetite had drifted even further afield and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was eat. I made myself though, even though it made me cry (again. I swear I’m all tears and tantrums right now). It was a relatively safe meal (stir fry prawns with rice and veggies) though, which was entirely unhelpful as it meant I still had over 1000kcals to make up for after dinner. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would, but I’ve been eating my evening snack for an hour now and it’s almost done. When it’s finished, yes I’ll feel monstrously sick, but at least I would have hit my target.

I’ve mostly been writing this to keep myself distracted from the food I’m eating and to keep myself from caving in to the million and one negative urges that are running through my head right now. I feel so sick it’s ridiculous. My self-esteem is pitiful right now. I’m staying home because I’m too fat for parties. I’m desperate to never be dumpy and big again and it kills me inside because I think I’m going to have to be because of my genetic bad luck. I hate that I have to be huge to be healthy. So many other people are healthy at smaller sizes than me. I hate hate hate it. I feel awful. I haven’t felt this distraught in a long time.

So today has been pretty bust recovery wise. I did manage to eat my calories, but in such a stupid way that I now just feel physically sick. My body image is critically low right now and I’m really not sure how much longer I can keep this up. I’m desperate to know my weight and considering buying a battery for my scales tomorrow, but I don’t think that’s actually wise. I’ll just hate the weight and want to lose it even more than I already do right now. I haven’t weighed myself in at least half a stone (at my last weigh in so nearly two weeks ago now). I’ve probably gained since then and it probably means I’m over nine stone and the idea of being over nine stone makes me want to die. I’m embarrassed to even type that weight. It’s an embarrassing weight really. I know I’m being dramatic, but as I’ve said before, my brain is Lord of the Overstatement and overstatements seem to be all I’ve got right now. I know full well that I haven’t been this big or heavy in an incredibly long time and I hate myself for this weight gain. Still no fucking period now though so on it goes. I’m so desperate for the horror that is periods now. I don’t ever want to reach my pre-anorexia weight again and if I’m over nine stone, it’s probably only about a stone away. I know this is all disordered and I know if I’m going to be healthy I just have to see what happens, but I’m struggling. A lot. I’m still having the odd good day, but it’s rapidly becoming the odd good day again, rather than the mostly good days I had been having. Today, I walked for way over my alloted two hours, which is bloody terrible really. I didn’t even try. I just walked and walked and couldn’t just not. I also measure ever aspect of my evening snack. I measured milk, weighed berries, weighed cereal. Apart from the cereal, I haven’t done any of this in months now. But today, it was back. Which is a bit of a fail.

I just hate my body. It makes me so upset. It’s not even legitimately small anymore. Even if I’m wrong in thinking it’s huge, you definitely couldn’t call it small. It’s disgusting. I can literally feel the excess tissue crawling under my skin.

I’m all doom and gloom right now. Sorry. I just feel like I’m starting to fall apart. I’m not ok right now. I’m really struggling to want to recover and I’m not entirely sure I can keep this up much longer.

I haven’t cried this much in a long time. Pathetic really.

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yesterday.

Lots of things happened yesterday. Lots of scary things. Some definitely went well, some make me anxious and some made me very concerned.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with the psychologist. We were discussing how to get aggro on all this and making a solid plan to get as much out of my last block of sessions from him (I’ve only got eleven left so we’re in the final stretch, though I’ve got an assessment with CMHT next Wednesday for my other problems so I might end up with more therapy afterwards). This week, he’s given me the task of weighing no food at all. No weighing or measuring or anything. Just eating what looks about right. Mostly, I’m not too worried about this as I’ve been phasing the measuring out for a while, but it does mean I’ll have to start addressing the cereal issue.

Cereal is the food I most want to be denied access to. I love it so much and have it everyday, but I portion it out into little 40g bags and have one bag at a time whilst the rest are hidden from me. Cereal scares me a huge amount – I have way too many horrible memories of binging on it. I remember I would get shot glasses and say “Ok – you’re allowed one shot glass with a dash of milk” then end up having like 8 shot glasses and freaking out about it for hours and hours (or purging, which was always worse). I never felt I was in control around cereal and at certain points, I would know I’d eating more than I was willing to live with, give in and eat like 7 bowls full purely to purge afterwards. This got so bad that it was everyday and I would fall apart and viciously hate myself for it, so for my own sanity, the fam hid the cereal almost a year ago now and I haven’t seen it since. It was the first food to be hidden and the last food to stay hidden.

As of last night, it’s back in the kitchen. And I hate it. I hate knowing it’s there. I haven’t had any urge to binge it, but I hate the fact that I could. I don’t trust myself and it makes me feel horrible. So now I’m anxious and edgy in the kitchen. I haven’t had any unweighed portions yet as I’m getting through the last few portions first, but they’re looming at me anyway. I hope this goes ok. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday, I made cookies. Proper cookies. With peanut M&Ms. They weren’t aesthetically pleasing so I didn’t photo them, and because I get impatient with baking I didn’t let them cool for long enough and they kinda stuck together in a big cookie lump. However, I baked.

During the worst of anorexia, I baked constantly. All the time, all different types of food. I made some pretty nang things, and some less good things and became the lord of low-calorie baking. Some low-calorie baked goods are really awful, but to be fair to them, I made some absolutely fantastic blueberry bran muffins. However, during recovery, all my baking stopped really. The idea of unknown calories, maybe having to use butter and sugar instead of low-calorie substitutes plus the fact that I might be tempted to over eat by having more than planned or eating left over mixture scared me too much. I had good reason to be scared – restriction led to binges on many low-calorie biscuits, eating raw pastry, chewing and spitting hot cross buns and other pretty low points. So I stayed away. Far, far away.

So yesterday was a big step for me. They weren’t amazingly good. I didn’t want to go for something perfectly great or super beautiful as I just wanted the experience to be as simple and pain-free as possible. I had the urge to bake, so I used stuff up from in the house and made cookies. And they were really nice anyway because cookies are always nice.

I definitely ate some mixture and had more than one cookie, but it wasn’t panicked. I felt a little bad about it, but I worked my meal plan around it so it’s all good. I didn’t eat them all or destroy them or force them on others. In fact there’s still a few left (I had another two today and they are still nom). This may seem really silly, but it’s actually really big news for me. There is home-baked things in my house and I’m eating them when I actually want to and not eating so many I feel sick and I’m not thinking of ways to dispose of them! I still find them scary but I’m building up a little evidence that I might be able to hack their existence.

Yesterday, I saw my GP about my bone density scan results. To be honest, I haven’t been too worried about them as I figured it’d improve if I just kept got to a healthy weight for my body and ate bare yogurt and milk – it was only osteopenia after all, nothing too severe. My GP on the other hand was very concerned. He told me that my overall results are pretty close to fully developed osteoporosis (though it’s already present in a few areas) and if I don’t start to address this now, I could end up with it very soon. He kept stressing how bad it was and how high my risk really was and how, regardless of my ongoing physical recovery, this probably wasn’t going to get better on its own now as my bones are almost fully developed, so now I’m taking four calcium and vitamin D supplements a day to be revised in a month. Plus I have to get my vitamin D levels tested. Urgh – another blood test. I’m not sure how much help the prescription will be until my body is happy again, but I’m concerned now. Very concerned. He kept telling me that I had to take care to stay out of accidents, which is actually really hard for me because I fall over a lot. I wasn’t at all concerned until now, but now I’m really worried. Is it actually that bad? Because I didn’t think osteopenia was that bad really. I don’t know whether my GP was right to be so worried. How worried should I be right now?

For one day, that was pretty recovery-busy for me. I’d like it if things were more evenly spread. Sometimes recovery is stressful.

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tantrums.

So  yesterday was excruciating. Seriously so. After all my talk of feeling a lot better, I get a surprise kick in the teeth from anorexia and end up in a heap on the kitchen floor, sobbing like an idiot. Beware – very long, rant of a post ahead.

I don’t think I’ve been eating enough recently. Stresses of break ups and alcohol have led me to play it a little too safe on the eating front and I don’t think I’ve been hitting my targets. Scratch that – I know I haven’t been hitting my targets. I suddenly just became really, unbearably full all the time to the extent that eating anything makes me feel sick. I’d begun to think (yet again) that maybe my body is done with gaining weight. Stupid I know – my weight was way higher than this, even before I gained weight at uni. I mean, I’m still a stone away from my target weight, which is a stone lighter than the weight of my eighteen year old self, before this whole weight mess started. I’m hoping I don’t have to get that high, though I probably will. But anyway, as I was just so physically full all the time, thought I was eating loads more than I am, maintaining my size (don’t know about weight) and feeling better mentally, I was beginning to hope that maybe I was done with the gaining thing and that if I continued the way I was, I’d probably get my periods back eventually. I was even toying with the idea of intuitive eating rather than sticking to my meal plan because I’m just so full all the time.

In a search for possible answers as to why this fullness suddenly popped up, it was suggested that I may be lapsing and under eating, thus further suppressing my metabolism. After balking at that suggestion, I went back and did some quick calorie math for the past few days. I’ve been eating a lot less than I should. Not starvation levels by any means, but never above my maintenance amounts. I thought I was eating so much more than that, but no. Not even on the days with copious alcohol and drunken crisps. Or even with chocolate pancakes covered in peanut butter, maple syrup and full fat yogurt. Not good.

I’ve believed entirely that I’m doing well, and kinda still do because things have been nicer and I do feel more cognitively sharp and I can actually concentrate on uni work now (finally! Just in time!). But I’m also not sure anymore. In yoga yesterday, we were doing a visualisation exercise where we visualised achieving our main goals. I tried so hard to think of eating more and committing to recovery and I just couldn’t. Not even to myself. I couldn’t bring myself to say in my head “I am committed to recovery”. So I burst in to tears. It didn’t help that I was next to a very small lady and spent the whole session feeling fat and ugly and very close to having a panic attack. Tears at yoga is not good. And the thing is, I have no idea whether she was actually smaller than me or not. Everything is too distorted.

This made me stop and think. Maybe things haven’t been nicer. Maybe I’ve been pandering to anorexia too much and just ignoring it. Maybe I’m just not pushing hard enough. It’s quite obvious I’m still not doing so well if the idea of eating more and being near small people makes me panic and cry in public.

So I really tried to push myself yesterday. I picked some higher calorie options and even had one of those 50g packets of McCoys that had been sitting in my cupboard for a good few weeks. I didn’t feel ok though. Not by any stretch. Eating those McCoys made me want to self-injure more than anything else. I didn’t (thankfully) and am still adding to the number of days self-harm free. But it was hard. Really hard. Just the same thoughts running through my head over and over again without any way to control them. Urgh.

Then came the dreaded discussion with the Mama about it all. I told her I think I’ve been under eating and that I’m struggling to push myself any further. That the idea of actually pushing myself further is something I’m can’t seem to get on board with. I asked her to many count calories for me, but she wasn’t keen on that idea. I asked her to cook my dinners. She said she’d maybe cook for me on Sunday, and maybe a couple of times a week to see how that goes. What I wanted her to say way “I will cook you all your dinners. I will help you make better food choices. I will take away the room for negotiation that your eating disorder likes to take advantage of”, but I let the disordered part of me have a least half the conversation, saying I like eating my meals alone, a couple of dinners a week is more than enough, I could do this by myself, she had to follow my meal plan exactly when cooking for me with no variation right now. I didn’t tell her what I needed. All the while I was trying to formulate a grocery list, knowing I needed to get away from some of the safe food options I’d been making and having no idea where to start. I asked her what I should get, but she told me we needed to rush and we’d sort if out for the next shop. I needed it to be now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do it in a couple of days time. I tried to vocalise this but it got lost in eating disorder babble, so it’s not the Mama’s fault. I ended up so angry trying to plan my meals and groceries that I ended up saying “I don’t give a fuck. What’s even the point?” and storming out of my own room to cook my dinner.

But then I was faced with the daunting task of having to choose my dinner. The task I’d been trying so desperately to say I just couldn’t do.

I just stood there, tears welling in my eyes. I could not for the life of me chose. I didn’t know what I wanted, was not at all hungry, didn’t know if I should have my usual or aim for a bit more variation (should I eat meat? Or fish? Or should I make a sauce? What sauce? Noodles or rice? Or spelt? Maybe I should just have my usual? But I know that’s not ok! But what is ok? I’ve had crisps and a higher calorie cereal bar, so maybe it is ok? Maybe that’s enough for today? But is it actually? I don’t want too much… I don’t know!). Anxiety levels rose, which led to a full-blown panic attack and me crying on the floor. I was entirely paralysed by choice. I ended up just repeatedly punching my head, struggling to breathe and essentially wailing. Full blown eating disorder tantrum. It is not dignified in the slightest. It’s completely embarrassing. A twenty-two year old woman freaking out over dinner – who does that? It got so bad I’d all but given dinner up. I don’t know whether this sort of extreme choice anxiety is seen that much in people without mental health problems, but if you’ve never experienced it, I cannot describe how awful it feels. It is just so crippling. There are too many variables and too many choices and you just don’t know which one is going to be right and which one will make everything worse and there’s nothing you can do to get the answers you need. This is why people with eating disorders often need meal plans and structure – just eating more can be literally impossible because this happens. It happens to me outside of the realm of food and weight aswell, but because there is just such an overwhelming amount of food to choose from and because of my eating disorder, it mostly happens around food. The only way to lessen the anxiety becomes inaction, which in my case often means not chosing and thus not eating. Which isn’t an option anymore, leading to further panic.

And the thing that gets me is that I do actually want to gain weight. I don’t want to at the same time and I feel really huge but I know I have to. I’m 5’6.5″ and still a size 6 for Christ’s sake. Regardless of the fact that I’m the highest weight I’ve been inyears and that it’s technically regarded as healthy, this can’t possibly be a normal size. And I want to be healthy. I don’t want to settle for anything less than full-blown recovery. I don’t want to manage the illness or still be trapped by rules. Yet I think of gaining weight and my head explodes into incoherent panic babble. It doesn’t even come up with reasons why it would be bad. It feels like an instinct rather than a thought. A couple of days ago, someone said to me “I wish I had your restraint and control.” What control? Honestly, I have no control at all. I’ve managed to beat back any reasons why being small is good, but I cannot control my reaction to more food and active weight gain in the slightest. It’s so physical. I tense up like a ball, start panicking, my mind starts racing, I can’t realise the physical tension, stop being able to think. There’s no control in that. That isn’t restraint. It’s a bloody disaster.

In the end, the Mum did decide what I should eat. If she hadn’t, it would have been a write off. I had to cook it though. God forbid she add too much oil.

By the end of the day, even with the screaming and making higher calorie choices (even at dinner), I was still behind. Not enough higher calorie choices I guess. I did manage to up my calories in the end, but through tears. Tears over 25g of chocolate and half a serving of cashews and cranberries. Is this really what my life is? It’s so rubbish. I hate being like this. Still, at least I’ve learnt that my meal plan may actually be pretty accurate on the calorie front rather than the vast underestimating I’d previously assumed.

All in all, I don’t think I’m doing as well as I previously thought. My diet is still dictated my calories, even if I’m not counting them. I have so many fear foods it’s ridiculous and I’m just not challenging any of the consistently enough to break the pattern of avoidance. I really don’t eat enough fat or protein to promote the most effective repair of my damaged body because they scare me too much. My eating is most definitely not free and easy.

I’m so scared I’m going to end up at the same weight I was at eighteen. I can’t get it out of my head. I don’t want to look like that. I don’t want to be that. There is no reason why, other than the fact that I think it’d be way too big. I don’t want to be big. I’m big enough already. Too big. Except I’m not. And I know that. And I’d probably look better a bit bigger. And I want to be bigger. Except I don’t because I’m definitely getting bigger than Saturn these days. Except I’m not. But that’s what I see. My arms are huge, my thighs sometimes touch in certain position, my face is rounded and my belly is swollen like a hot air balloon. I looked at pictures of my upper body from the other night and all I see is arm. Way more arm than is necessary. I shouldn’t wear strappy tops right now. I have to hide my fat arms. And belly. And face, but it’s quite difficult to hide your face. Maybe I shouldn’t go out. My face is a disaster. All my friends are so beautiful and small. I’m just this ugly, fat planet that stands next to them and everyone wonders why I’m there because I don’t fit. I should really learn to set my aspirations lower and find people who are my level of worth rather than surround myself with people who are better than me. I’m not even funny. I can’t even bring that to the table. If I’m not small, how can I mitigate my broad shoulders, deep voice, wonky face, manly jaw and brow areas, lack of feminine shape etc. And I’m boring. I have nothing of worth to say. And my voice is so off-putting that even if I had good things to say, no one would like to hear it because my voice makes offensive noise. I don’t do anything good. And I look like a boy. And sound like a boy. Being small makes me more feminine. Most people are more feminine and attractive bigger, but I’m not. Because my body is genetically useless. Can’t fight the genes. It can’t be better, only smaller. If I’m not small, I’ll lose the one thing that made me marginally more acceptable. If I’m not small, they’ll all see how useless I really am and reject me. But I want to be healthy. I want to gain weight. I’m being an idiot. Except I’m not. Everyone knows ugly people are only acceptable if they’re small. But I don’t think that. Not about anyone else. But that’s just because the vast majority of people aren’t as horrendous as me. They all have better genes. etc.

This is the noise my brain makes 24/7. All day, every day. It never shuts up. Sometimes I can ignore it better than other times, but it’s always there. Lurking. The background noise to my life.

I hate waking up everyday and feeling ugly and worthless. I don’t remember a time when that wasn’t the case. I’d like to wake up and feel neutral about my appearance. Not even good – just neutral. Neutral would be a nice change.

So here we go again – fighting the same old problems all over again. Trying to make choices that just seem impossible. I thought about eating more today – maybe having two slices of toast over a muffin for breakfast. Or actual dairy milk. I didn’t though. After all, I want to go to a party tonight, I need to save space for drinking calories. I know this logic is flawed, but I just can’t. The choice and panic are too much. Right now, it’s a “starting tomorrow” kinda deal. Hopefully I will actually start tomorrow, and not find more reasons to put it off. I don’t know though. I honestly don’t know if I can choose the right thing anymore. I cannot trust myself.

Fucking eating fucking disorder waste gash self bloody esteem stupid body stupid confidence fucking idiot.

Urgh.

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Filed under rant, recipes

hope.

I did something brave yesterday and I am a little bit proud. I have a terrible tendency to either be impulsive or avoidant when I’m angry and upset, both of which turn me into a bit of a spiteful person.

It all started with a throw away comment, which obviously lingered in my mind much longer than it should have. I was hurt and moany about it, but didn’t expect to hear that it had been elaborated upon and further developed to become something that upset me even more. I was drunk and at a party and hearing things that made me defensive and over react and was positively fuming. I looked to other people to see their opinions on the matter and my offense was confirmed as legitimate. I was shocked and outraged, but mostly sad.

I’m not really all that use to feeling personally attacked anymore. My friendship group is pretty static and I don’t tend to worry that much about the possibility of people being hurtful or turning out to be nasty anymore. That all stopped a good few years ago, so I really didn’t know how to deal with these emotions. Difficult emotions tend to lead me to self-injure or restrict, but although these urges were there, I am working to not be that person anymore so had to find another way to manage it. At first, I thought gossiping and generally belittling the person might help, but I realised quickly that it made me feel awful about myself and only avoided tackling the problem. Then I thought ignoring the person or shouting at them might help because then they’d know I was upset, but then realised that I’m not fourteen anymore and that would be silly. My anger and emotions would only be further intensified which would make me less co-operative and only reinforce the problem. Then I focused my energy on a long and pointed blog post explaining why I was hurt and why I felt wronged. It was long and angry, but I realised that was a sure-fire way to alienate someone and stir more trouble than it was worth. I’d still be angry, but also anxious about what would happen if I so publicly announced my upset.

At this point, I was very close to just saying “fuck it” and cutting. I could not find a suitable outlet and didn’t know what to do.

The obvious option here would have always been to just talk to the person, but I was terrified that they’d be angry at me and decide that I was rubbish. In my mind, are rather be hurtful or hurt myself than give others the possibility of doing so. I could avoid the problem and take it out on me, or lash out and to publicly denounce someone. Thing is, I didn’t want to be hurtful and possibly lose one of my oldest friends. Nor did I want to feel like I had to avoid my emotions because they aren’t legitimate. So I did the thing I was most scared of. I called her up. Social anxiety be damned.

And you know what? I got to say I was upset and explain why. I got to hear her actual thoughts rather than someone else’s opinion of them. She apologised for hurting me, which validated my emotions in a productive way and I felt better. It doesn’t really matter what was said or how it was said. What matters is that my feelings were legitimate and recognised and worth enough to warrant apologising for hurting, intentionally or not. I always just assume no one would bother apologising to me because I’m not that important to them and they’d rather be right and reject me as a friend then listen to me and accept the things that I say. Instead, it turns out that isn’t always the case. We ended up talking for a while about a lot of silly things and less silly things and it was nice actually.

These kinds of events are causing me to see recovery in a new light. Behaviours like this may not seem all that important to a lot of people, and in some ways they aren’t. There are many ways to act within scenarios like this and less productive methods aren’t inherently pathological. To me though, these events are huge. Although it is not directly linked to eating behaviours, I didn’t get to where I am today in isolation from other traits and difficulties that have effected my ability to cope with daily stresses. I’ve picked up a lot of destructive techniques for avoiding difficult situations and have only taught myself that I’m somehow inferior or less valid than others through denying my own worth. For a long time, I thought the recovery process would be just about fattening me up and getting me more comfortable with food (not a bad thing in and of itself, but not something that filled me with hope and motivation) – I didn’t think that I’d be using the techniques I’m learning in therapy outside of the arena of food and weight, but I am and that surprises me. Sometimes, it really strikes me that I am literally becoming a different type of person. I’m still me, but I’m learning to cope more effectively. I’m not there yet, but I can safely say that there is more to this whole process than just overcoming anxieties and fear surrounding food and weight. A lot more. I’m becoming more aware of what I find difficult, assessing my beliefs and consciously changing my normal course of action in order to reach different outcomes. The outcomes aren’t always good, but I’m finding more comfort in myself through knowing that I am learning to challenge my automatic beliefs about myself and gathering evidence to start building a new set of beliefs. I’m not exactly oozing with self-confidence, but through addressing the thought processes that lead me to restriction, I am also addressing those that I allow to batter my esteem on a daily basis. I’m learning to trust that, regardless of how I perceive myself, other people may see me differently and actually care about me. Obviously, getting to a much healthier weight and nourishing my body properly was the first step to getting here, but I am actually beginning to believe that the recovery process might make me actually feel better about myself, which could lead to me being (dare I say it?) happier. Which is really reassuring. I feel like I’m recovering from a lot of different things really. And it could actually really be worth the hard work, hurt and time it takes. I’m learning to hope.

I’m really glad I didn’t run away from the situation as per usual. I dealt with it in an adult way and really, that worked out for the best. I did something that absolutely terrifies me. I gave someone else the ability to hurt me and shatter my feelings of worth. Turns out, people don’t always do that automatically. If I trust enough that I am worth validating, then although I open myself up to get hurt, I also give people the chance to reaffirm my worth and prove my own beliefs wrong. I’m really grateful for that.

In other news, its Eating Disorders Awareness Week this week. Try as I might, I cannot seem to find much worth doing through b-eat in this part of the country and as far as I can tell, my uni and the majority of other London universities don’t seem to realise it’s happening. So although I’ve got some posters printed out for uni tomorrow, I’m doubtful that I’ll be involved in much other organised awareness. Instead, I’m going to join the ranks of operation beautiful for a week. I know that negative body image does not cause eating disorders by any stretch, but bodily dissatisfaction can make recovery more difficult and can trigger an initial diet in people who may lead to developing an eating disorder. I know that both of those things are true for my experience. Plus, positive body image is something that should be promoted. I also think that the real life peeps can identify with the message more readily, so if you can, I’d recommend you join me in spreading a little positivity to the mirrors of London. The b-eat campaign is about ending the silence about eating disorders in the hope that more people can recognise their difficulties and are less ashamed to seek help.

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Filed under life, recovery