Risky business

I am proud of myself: today the only foods I have weighed were rice flakes and coconut flour for my porridge this morning and corn pasta to go in a tofu-pasta bake this evening. Other than those dry foods, everything else was just guessed. I got a bit freaked out at dinner, I – or rather, the anorexia – really wanted to weigh my cake, of all things, to make sure the bit I’d cut off wasn’t too big, but I resisted. It’s a piece of cake, for goodness sake. Dairy/gluten free cake doesn’t even tend to be very calorific in the first place, so it’s hardly likely to make me gain 10lbs overnight if I accidentally cut off a few grams more than usual. And I can’t imagine getting to my death bed in (hopefully) 50+ years time and saying ‘damn, if only I’d eaten less cake on July 18th 2009’. Ooh, look at me, being all rational about food 😛

All day I kept reminding myself that I was able to do this a few years ago. I had a period of about a year which was freakishly (for me!) non-eating disordered (probably because I was drinking too much alcohol instead of starving myself, but still). I only weighed myself once in a blue moon, didn’t count calories, ran three or four times a week and maintained a good weight for my age and height. I was still with my ex at the time and we ate out a lot, and on the days when I did estimate how many calories I’d eaten the number could come out anywhere between 2000-3500. I maintained my weight the whole time without making any effort to control or restrict my eating, which just boggles my mind completely! It shows how far in remission I was from the eating disorder at the time that I can’t even remember how long this lasted. I was still restricting and bingeing when I was at uni in Cardiff during spring 05, but got a grip on it when I came back home, so from sometime during mid 2005 until early 2007 when I was admitted to hospital (for depression, not anorexia), my weight and behaviour around food was pretty normal and healthy, as far as I remember. Then it was ruined because the side effects of my meds in hospital made me lose an awful lot of weight very quickly and triggered the eating disorder off again.

So. I can do it. My body can maintain a healthy weight without me having to constantly be guarding myself from attack by (gluten free :P) biscuits. I just have to learn to trust myself again. Oh dear, that sentence makes it sound so easy! Still, the only way I am going to gain confidence is by taking risks, and I still think this is the best time to do it. If I waited until I got to my target weight to stop weighing/counting I’d be scared of gaining more weight and I’d probably end up eating too little and losing weight. But at the moment I could cope with my weight jumping up a bit because I still have 10lbs to go, so I’ll be less likely to overestimate the amount I’m eating through anxiety.

So far this whole posts smacks of me trying to calm myself down 😛 But it’s fine. I’m fine. I can cope with this.

Earlier I discovered that the local health food shop is trying to poison me. Ooh, the melodrama! No, what I really discovered was that the chickpea flour I usually buy is actually composed of both ground chickpeas and yellow split peas. Split peas are quite closely related to lentils, which I am very intolerant to. I had a horrible reaction to pea protein earlier this year, so I’m not best pleased that my mortal enemy has been hiding out in one of my favourite flours. You’d think you wouldn’t need to check the ingredients of something labelled ‘chickpea flour’ would you? It’s like buying a bag of oats and finding that actually it’s half oats and half rice. Humph. That’ll teach me to get complacent, anyway.

While I was looking for a new brand of chickpea flour, I also bought: gluten free chocolate muffins, gluten free pizza bases, Branston baked beans (Heinz have vinegar in the sauce, Branston are much more IBS-friendly!), tomato puree, sweet potatoes, vanilla rice milk (all from Tesco), rice dessert pots and coconut oil (from the murderous health food shop). When I got home I made a tofu-pasta bake and boiled my globe artichoke. I confess, I don’t understand the hype around artichokes. I love my artichoke tapas, but plain ones are a bit boring, very fiddly and rather wasteful – you throw away 90% of the poor thing! Maybe I’m just doing it wrong. Anyone want to educate me on the art of artichokes? Oh, and spaghetti squash – I baked half of mine at lunch (to have with beans) but it was a bit bitter and tasteless. For goodness sake, I’ve been vegetarian for 15 years, why can I still not cook vegetables properly?! I did at least have a really good salad with my lunch, but that was just shredded carrot and fennel with some avocado oil and lime juice. Even I couldn’t have got that wrong 😛

I’m sure I had more to say but I can’t remember what for the life of me. Hmm. Oh well!

Three good things about today:
1. My good friend and ridiculously talented artist/illustrator Katie Green launched her first blog today – Katie Green Bean . This counts as a good thing because Katie is both generally fabulous AND the person responsible for introducing me to poi! I love her cute vegetable prints (I have my eye on the beetroot!) in particular but she’s also published a vegan cake book and is currently creating a graphic novel about her experiences with anorexia and abuse. She rocks – but don’t just take my word for it, go and have a look yourself 🙂
2. Not weighing my food made me feel like a total rebel. I felt like grinning all day. Nothing puts me in a good mood like kicking the anorexia where it hurts and dealing with it just fine when it tries to kick back.
3. Fiona has been on holiday for the last week but she’s back online now, so I can talk rubbish at her on MSN and we can plan our road trip – nine days to go!

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9 responses to “Risky business

  1. Congrats on not weighing food! At least less of it anyways. Progress is progress, and I’m glad to hear you are feeling proud of yourself. You have every right to be.
    I totally get you on the “I used to be able to do this!” thing with food. I feel like htat all the time. Its a bit initimidating to start eating what you want when you want it. I’ve started weaning myself into that. I only follow a “plan” 2-3 days a week right now, every other day is “free” lol. It was scary at first, but it is SO liberating. You’ll get there. Don’t worry. One day at a time and it will all get better.
    Thank you SO much for the support on the osteoporosis thing. I had osteopenia in high school actually as well. :sigh: Apparently the religious consumption of calcium supplements couldn’t counteract AN. Bah. It is surivable, you are right. Is it really reversible though, because we’re young? I’ve heard some conflicting things about that, though of course I want to believe in ten years it’ll be almost gone ^.^

    Take care and have a great evening
    xo
    Tori

  2. Well done on not weighing all of your food today!! 🙂

    About the chickpea flour… well, you can never be too obvious! My personal favorite is the can of peanuts, which sports a label emblazoned in huge letters with the words “COCKTAIL PEANUTS,” and says in tiny letters after the ingredients list, “Contains peanuts.” Hello! If you didn’t notice the “COCKTAIL PEANUTS,” why on earth would you notice the tiny allergy information?! Anyway!

    I’m with you on the artichokes — last time I tried them, I also set off the smoke alarm because I was lazy and trying to steam them in the microwave! But I have to admit that I do love spaghetti squash… and I’ve never heard of it described as bitter before!

    Have a beautiful Sunday!

    ❤ ❤

  3. Waaaaaayyy! You didnt weight your food, I’m so proud of you my little chicken pie (easily seen I had a good brekkie lol) Im soo glad you are being so positive, and thank god someone can prove there is life and normal eating after ED, thank you love!
    Lmao @ cornflour story. Artichokes are a bit difficult, only had them a couple of times and each time they have been boiled :S
    Definitly going to check out your friend’s blog
    have a great day xxx

  4. Thats great you’ve cut back on weighing your food, a good way to normalising things again. I like your plan about playing about with it out since you have to room to spare if you do gain weight, probably make things easier later on.

    Health food shops?!and we thought we could trust them, ugh, lol!

    Have a great weekend,
    xox

  5. dancelikenooneiswatchinggg

    you have come so far 🙂 you got this girl xxxxxxxxx

  6. Thanks for the shout Katie!!! You rock too! xxxx

    As for artichokes…I love them, but have only ever had someone else prep them for me and wouldn’t know what to do confronted with such a beautiful globe but paint it and give it a smiley face.

  7. rediscoveringlauren

    Hi girlie,
    congrats on not weighing food 🙂 thats so awesome and such a positive step!! i dont weigh food either…i got out of the habit a while back and its so freeing right? keep it up 🙂
    have a great night hun!
    xxx

  8. Thanks so much for the support ~ I know a desk job would completely crush me and I have tried (and been unable to deal with) so many working environments part time through the summer that I felt like a complete failure. But you’re so right: just because our illness isn’t ‘visble’ doesn’t make it any less debilitating or relevant. I need to remember that and work on finding a vocation that does make me happy.

    Ack, the labelling thing is a nightmare! So many products either have ‘vegan’ or ‘gluten-free’ emblazoned on the packaging and then on the back in teeny tiny letters say ‘may contain traces of wheat/milk’. I know they’re just covering themselves but still…I hope the flour didn’t bother your system too much!

    So, so proud of you for not weighing your food ~ it’s so liberating and hopefully the anxiety about it should fade with every day that you repeat the process. Congrats!

    Trust me, you’re not a failed vegetarian for being unable to make artichokes palatable ~ I can’t either and I just think they’re totally overrated and tasteless. There are too many other delicious veggies out there to waste hours dissecting an artichoke ; )

    I wish I could find those rice dessert pots! I may have to cave and order some online…

    Have a great Sunday : )

    xoxoxo

  9. hey!
    thanks for the comment! I’ve been desperately trying to find a way to follow you but I can’t seem to be able to find where to click! (hey! I’m new hahah!)
    I’m desperate to get to a healthy weight one day too! so far off, but I believe I can do it!
    x Katie

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