Be afraid people, this might get a bit long!
First of all, food. I broke out of my chocolate porridge rut this morning and had a bit of an experiment – todays oats were accompanied by maple syrup, pecan nuts and strawberry jam. Good stuff! My parents and I went shopping at around 10, to the nearest big supermarket. I do love food shopping. I don’t know if I am more obsessed with supermarkets when I am restricting or when I am in recovery, really. In the wrong mood they can be really overwhelming, but generally I love thinking about things I could make, looking out for new allergy friendly foods and, I confess, engaging in a bit of number porn. Not even calories necessarily, I just like comparing nutritional information. I am a number obsessive whether it’s food related or not, I catagorise everything in my head. Gotta love that OCD. At Tesco I got some allergy friendly pizza bases, chocolate muffins, chocolate oat milk, chocolate chip cookies, ginger biscuits…ahem. That’s a lot of dessert. I also got some veggies and houmous, hehe. I was particularly happy to find some Jerusalem artichokes. I had some gorgeous pasta sauce made from pureed artichoke and olive oil a while back, but they stopped making it. Most of the commercially available artichoke antipasti is marinated in vinegar, which I can’t eat because it’s fermented (yeast intolerance to thank for that – same reason I am teetotal), so I have missed my artichokes. I am looking forward to experimenting with them!
When we got back at 12.30 I was starving and a bit shaky (despite having a 9 bar just before going into Tesco – they are pretty high in calories and fat but have 9g protein and something like 4g fibre each, and they taste lovely, so bugger the fat) so I made lunch straight away. I made one of my wraps (gluten free flour, oat milk and water fried in coconut oil – I have a coconut oil thing going on at the moment, it has antifungal properties and I am still worrying about traces of that stupid infection being left in my system) and then stirfried smoked tofu, chestnut mushrooms, onion and red pepper. I put some tomato puree and pumpkin seed butter (it’s BRIGHT GREEN. How cool is that?! All my nut and seed butters are made by Meridian, who make lovely allergy friendly sauces as well) on the wrap too, and it ended up rather too stuffed to stay wrapped up 😛 so I ate it like a pizza. It was absolutely gorgeous. I was sitting there declaring it the Best Lunch Ever to my mum, who laughed at me and said that I insisted that Thursday’s lunch was the best ever too. Ahem. I had a chocolate muffin too 🙂
I have photos of dinner! I made lasagne:
I fried some onions, mushrooms and courgette in a little olive oil then added a can of tomatoes, tomato puree, herbs etc and the beans that didn’t make it into last night’s Shepherd’s pie. The wheat free lasagne sheets were really easy to use, I’ve never cooked with them before but they didn’t stick to eachother or anything heinous like that 😛 and for the cheese sauce I melted some tofutti cream cheese with some oat milk and thickened it with cornflour. It all got baked for 20 minutes and then eaten. All of it. It was worth it! I also had a coffee caramel vegan truffle egg from a box I got from Vegan Stores. It was about the size of a Cadbury’s creme egg and…well, yum. Creative review, eh? I seem to be going around declaring everything I try yum at the moment. I think the freedom is going to my head!
I use the word freedom intentionally. It’s bizarre. I don’t remember being this relaxed about food at the start of recovery last time around, I was terrified to start off with and applied rigid rules to what I was and wasn’t allowed to eat. There was none of this frying malarky for a start, heh. Nuts, seeds and nut butters were terrifying. Desserts took a very long time to incorporate back in. Although I am not exactly comfortable with the amount or frequency which I’m eating, it’s more a physical thing than emotional at the moment. I feel moderately anxious about the calories, fat and weight gain but not nearly as much as you might expect, considering I’ve only been really going for it for the last five days. This is more in line with the amount of discomfort I was experiencing a couple of months into recovery last time. Like I was saying last night, it really is like something has just clicked into place in my head. Something is different – I’m not sure what yet, but I’m not complaining. If I had to try to pin it down I think I’d say that I don’t feel ashamed of recovery anymore. Last time I felt like I had given in when my therapist got me to agree to the day programme. I felt like a fraud, like I still wasn’t ‘really’ anorexic, it was a fluke that I’d lost so much weight, that I didn’t belong in treatment, all the usual anorexic bullshit. I felt like even other people would look down on me for eating more – like I was just doing it because I was weak and couldn’t stand the pain of starvation anymore. But this time I don’t feel that at all. I think I really hit rock bottom while I was in York, and I saw the reality of this evil disorder. It’s obviously too soon to tell, because who knows how I will feel in 10, 20 or 30lbs time – but at the moment things feel very different, and I’m going with that.
The last part of my title is inspired by this photo, which I took last night after sticking this lot to my wall:
The different coloured bits of paper are a little thing I’ve been doing for a couple of years now – red is a list of things I can do to keep myself occupied if I get bored/anxious, orange is my goals for 2009, yellow is my five year goals, the lighter yellow is things I want to try and do every day and green every week, turquoise is a to do list and blue is a random list of things I want to try and spot through my telescope as soon as the weather gets a bit warmer and I gain a bit of weight. The bigger pieces of paper are my reality checks. The top one is based on the post I made here a week or so ago, things I need to remember – things like ‘recovery doesn’t guarantee me health and happiness, but anorexia does guarantee me misery, illness and disability’. The bottom one is a list of the physical, cognitive and psychological effects of anorexia – most of them ones which I have experienced directly in the last few months. I don’t want to forget this time. I don’t want to almost get to my target weight again and kid myself that losing a few pounds won’t hurt me. Not quite hitting a BMI of 18.5 probably wouldn’t hurt most people, but I never stop there, do I? I think I have to see losing weight as being like an addiction. My relapses get worse every time, next time I am sure I wouldn’t be as lucky as to come to my senses and ask for help before I collapsed or did permanent damage. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve done permanent damage this time yet, I will have to wait until my next dexa scan in 2011 to see how the extra year of missing periods has worsened the osteopenia in my spine.
This is turning into a very long post, so I am going to split it into two. I have been the lucky recipient of some awards in the last couple of days so I want to pass them on, and I have finished my list of previous obstacles I’ve come up against in recovery too. I will be back…