An optimist in the making?

I sooo desperately want to add something sarcastic to that title (bad habits die hard!), but that wouldn’t be a good start to my new resolution! All will be explained later.

I should probably wait a couple of hours to write this because I’ve literally just had dinner, and I am stuffed and grumpy. Eating ~2500kcals a day has gotten easier, physically and emotionally, but sometimes I overdo the veg and end up feeling horrible. I managed to do that TWICE today, silly bugger that I am. No photos, but here’s a recap – for breakfast I had porridge with almond butter and brown sugar (I have never been an artificial sweetener person, they all do weird stuff to my digestive system! Even when I was restricting heavily I would rather go without than use fake sugar), then at 10.30 I found that the postman had delivered the roasted broad beans that I ordered a few evenings ago πŸ™‚ yay! I think they are known as fava beans in the USA. I hate them boiled, but last year I discovered some which had been roasted like nuts in a local farm shop, and gave them a try. They are absolutely gorgeous, I even prefer them to my beloved honey roasted cashew nuts, and they are relatively low calorie (~440 per 100g as opposed to ~600 for most nuts, so I get to eat more of them in one go πŸ˜› ) and high in fibre and protein too. The farm shop stopped stocking them though, so I’ve had to resort to ordering them direct from the company (click!). Anyway, the point of all that was, I had roasted broad beans for my morning snack. That was a very long winded explanation, hehe.

Lunch was rice, egg, avocado, apple, carrot and onion tossed with lemon juice, salt and pepper. I had never tried avocado before last week but I really like it in this salad. I had a dairy/gluten free chocolate muffin afterwards, even though I was really full. Aaargh. The calories were necessary though. A few hours later I found enough room for some hot chocolate made with oat milk. Soya milk always makes me feel sick, rice milk makes rubbish hot chocolate and the only brand of almond milk available in the UK isn’t that great either, so oat milk is a complete life saver. I loooove it. And it’s enriched with calcium and vitamin D, which is always good for people with eating disorders. I do take calcium supplements too, and I am eating tofu quite regularly now, so hopefully I’m getting enough calcium in to start repairing the damage to my spine from not having periods for the last year and a half. I wish I’d waited until I’d maintained a healthy weight for a while before I had my first dexa scan, because I have to wait until 2011 for another one to see how much more damage I’ve done during the further eight months I’ve had without periods since the first one. I got my one lone period when I briefly got to a BMI of about 18 last autumn, so it could take a while 😦 anyway, no point worrying about that now, there’s nothing I can do about it right this second.

For dinner I made lasagne – half a can of haricot beans, tomatoes, basil olive oil, red pepper, mushroom, courgette and onion layered with some gluten free lasagne sheets. For the ‘cheese’ sauce I melted some tofutti soya cream cheese with oat milk, then added some lemon juice and tahini to make it less sweet and some cornflour to thicken it. It was really good, the tahini made all the difference. I had a dairy/gluten free chocolate brownie for dessert. The lasagne nearly finished me off! I feel like I’m going to explode.

I finished reading Eating in the Light of the Moon earlier. It was really good, I’m looking forward to talking about it with the other girls in Elle’s R.E.D.R. book group πŸ™‚ it made me a bit worried though, with all the emphasis on getting back in touch with hunger signals and learning to discern between physical and emotional hunger. Obviously when someone is trying to gain weight they often have to eat past the point at which they would stop, particularly at first because your stomach is a bit shrunken and pathetic to start off with. I also usually eat at pretty much the same time every day, because I don’t recognise when I am hungry at the moment until I am grumpy and tearful and dizzy, and because if I leave it too late I go to bed still feeling full and having reflux issues, ugh. And despite the fact that I have no clue when I am physically hungry until my body is smacking me round the face with the fact, I do crave things when I am sitting around at home feeling bored and lonely and blah (I don’t actually go and eat them, but I do sit around obsessing about chocolate!). So I obviously have a lot of work to do in relearning what hunger feels like and trying to disassociate emotional hunger from food cravings – buuut how do I start doing that if I am having to eat whether I am hungry or not, to make sure I keep gaining weight? I’m not expecting any of you guys to have the answer by the way, I’m just thinking aloud. It is rather stressful to think that I might have to gain most of the weight back before I can start listening to what my body wants – how bloody long does recovery take again?! That’s a rhetorical question πŸ˜›

I emailed two more therapists earlier asking about fee concessions. I need to apply for income support again soon. I feel bad about having claimed benefits for so long (I’ve been on disability living allowance for the last two years too), but there’s no way I can work full time at the moment. I haven’t actually had a job since I was 18 – thats six years. I am rather scared that I am unemployable now. Oh, but on the keeping-myself-occupied front, I do have some news – I signed up for a distance learning creative writing course this morning πŸ™‚ I have been umming and aahing over this particular course for about five years, so I feel quite good about finally going for it!

Tomorrow I am meeting up with a friend for coffee. I haven’t seen her in quite a few months because she lives 100 miles away. We don’t tend to talk much on MSN but every time we meet up face to face it’s like we just saw eachother last week. Actually Ellie knows her too (or at least you used to, I don’t know if you’re still in touch – it’s Cait!), we met on an eating disorder support website about eight years ago. At the time my friend lived in the next town over to me, so we met up pretty often to hang out, get slightly drunk, have fun, moan about eating disorders and keep eachother company while we were both taking mental-health-related breaks from school/uni. I am really excited to see her again πŸ™‚ last time I was in the middle of a relapse and missing large chunks of my personality. I don’t know about you guys, because everyone is different, but I am a very boring person when I am actively anorexic. I don’t know what to say to people, I get lost in my head, I can’t follow conversations, I get cold and tired if I’m out shopping or whatever, etc. I realised earlier that since I’ve come home my mobile phone has been beeping far more often than usual. I’ve met up with a whole FOUR separate friends in the last month πŸ˜› this must be some kind of record for me! One day it’ll be four friends in a week. Or a day, mwahahaa. I will be a social butterfly yet!

I was reading an article about optimism earlier, and it said that although most people are predisposed towards optimism or pessimism it is possible to change mental habits like that, and one way is to faithfully record three good things which happened to you today, every day. So I am going to start adding this to my blog – Kim does something similar, she records a list of daily gratitudes and I’ve always thought that was a great idea. So here goes:

1. I finished reading Eating in the Light of the Moon, and I think I’ve gotten some really helpful ideas and insights from it.
2. I emailed two more therapists and one of them has emailed back already – taking charge of my own recovery feels good πŸ™‚
3. The weather was lovely today, I got to spend quite a lot of time sitting in the sun and I really appreciated it when I went for a short walk earlier.

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9 responses to “An optimist in the making?

  1. ElleMigliore

    Okay, first, I love that you called yourself a “silly bugger”.. totally made me laugh. I think the optimisitc idea is great and try it as well!! I hope it works for you! I cant believe you hadn’t tried avocado until the other day!! Silly girl!! Glad you liked it!Here is the recipe for those cookies:http://www.self.com/fooddiet/recipes/2008/12/flourless-chocolate-walnut-cookiesI usually halve the recipe and it still makes a lot!! Also, the recipe for the almond cookies:1 1/3 cup almond meal1 egg or 2 egg whites1/4 cup powdered sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractPreheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. Beat egg slightly in bowl then add ground nuts and sugar. Incorporate the egg fully into the dry ingredients until you have a sticky/pasty dough. Refridgerate for 3 hours. To make the cookies, roll pieces of dough into 1″ balls. Place the cookies on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper-covered sheet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, but watch the cookies closely; they have a tendency to burn on the bottoms.

  2. this is so weird- today I was putting away my food shopping and found a bag of brown rice. I remembered when I was gluten-free for a while I ate a lot of rice salads, and my next immediate thought was, “I wonder if Katie eats rice?!” and I was thinking about Cait yesterday! Send her my regards πŸ˜€ and HAVE FUN.I haven’t tried almond milk in this country, but I got a really good rice milk in Waitrose- it’s in the refridgerated section, not long life, and was really good. Even if it did turn my tea a funny shade of grey/brown.As for hunger cues- I think your body takes a LONG time to start regulating itself, and a long time for your brain to recognise and adjust. I don’t recognise it either really unless it’s extreme, but I don’t recognise it as ‘hunger’ per se. I worry I won’t recgonise fullness either- I know the “good god I have just eaten a rather large amount of broccoli and my stomach is bursting” but not the satiety sensation after a well-balanced nourishing meal if that makes sense. Give it time- there is no point worrying about it when you have such a long way to go with weight restoration because 1) you DO need to eat over and above what your stomach is used to, and 2) as long as your body is in a malnourished state, it will send confusing signals. I remember in IP on a diet of nearly 4000 calories, suddenly I was hungry constantly- of course prompting the fear that I would turn into a never-ending-eating-machine. As my body found it’s set-point (which did not line up in a pretty way with hospital target- my set-point is a bit higher which is hard to get my head around) my body DID find it’s natural rythym as it learned that it would be fed properly and frequently. Have some faith, but don’t give it too much thought right now xxx

  3. Great eats today! I’m so proud of you for keeping up with your increase – the lasagna sounds fab! Just to let you know – I sometimes over do it on the vegetables too and feel terrible afterwards. But just remember, they are all water and thats why you feel bloated after eating them. I always try to remind myself of that when I accidently eat tons of veggies! Have a great day, I’m glad it was a nice day where you are! Lots of love, so proud of you -Lex

  4. Terrific news about the distance education class! Congratulations on making that decision. I predict you will shine.

  5. Cacti Don't Cry

    Hmm, I am supposed to be doing a grateful list daily too… I don’t seem to do it all the time, though, so thanks for the reminder!!I also overdo it on vegetables a lot… it’s so aggravating because I actually LIKE vegetables, and eating too many of them makes me feel like crap.Congratulations on the class!! I did one of those once, and it was such a wonderful experience. I hope you enjoy it!

  6. I love love LOVE the idea of the daily gratitudes…it is so good to put things in perspective and find at least a couple of things every day that are good-especially since as long as we are really willing to look, there has to be something! :)I know what you mean about not being hungry and being frustrated, but trust your body (I know that is soooo hard, but something to work on, maybe? I know I am trying!) and eventually you will get there!I’m so glad you are meeting up with friends and excited about your class–you deserve all of this wonderful, positive changes in your life! Keep fighting, and I’m sure more amazing things will come your way!

  7. hey huni just ordered eating in the light of the moon, i cant wait to read it :)its good to hear that its getting easier to eat 2500 cals, i think changes just take time, we need to let ourself adjust, and you did that so well done, you should be proud of yourself for nourshing yourself :)i know its so hard to hear we need to trust our bodies and at the same time stick to a meal plan…i mean im tryin to maintain now, but i still dont really feel hunger so i still stick to eating snacks and meals at the same time as id say id be way under with my cals if i waited till i felt hungry. i guess it just takes time, like everything else in recovery. have a nice night sweetiemuch lovexxxx

  8. I know it’s hard listening to your body and figuring out hunger. I have just started to really listen to when my stomach growls. It is the oddest sensation but it lets me know that I am on the road to recovery. I am so proud that you continue to give your body the nourishment that its needs. Keep the faith, stay strong and good luck!!!

  9. Roasted favas? I like that you call them broadbeans πŸ™‚ You had never tried an avocado before last week? Oh missy, you should come over to California ASAP so you can enjoy some California Haas avocados! They’re the best! Interesting about the dexa scan…why do you have to wait so long? I’ve avoided having one, and I think I’ll wait until my eating is normalized and I’ve started getting my period again (it’s been since Dec. 2006…gah!) I’m so excited for you to be social and meet your old friend! I hope you have a nice time catching up. And I’m very similar to you, when I was super restrictive I was THE MOST boring person in the world. I couldn’t really function, I just went through the motions every day but I was walking around in a haze. Yay for signing up for the class! You’re a great writer already, but I’m sure the class will be a fun way to hone in on your skills!

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