At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Monday, 4 January 2016

The Rebellion...

You are not allowed to finish your hot chocolate; it is absolutely obligatory that you leave at least some in the mug...
You aren't allowed to eat the whole piece of bread. You have pick some bits off it...
You can't have sweet treats during the day, as you eat too much chocolate in the evening...
You must not clean your bowl or plate...
If you have a big hot chocolate or snack too near lunchtime, then you can't have a proper lunch...
You can't have any more than a tiny handful of nuts. And always put some of them (half at least) back in the bag once you have measured them out...

Just a small extract, of the so-called list of  ED rules; each and every one of which I know, that I must rebel against and break down.

When it came into my life all those years ago, ED spared me not a single ounce of pity. So I guess it's past time for me, to play it at its own stupid game: to adopt the very same strategies and techniques, which ED used to ensnare me in its webs of falsity and deceit all those years ago. I need to be ruthlessly and brutally assertive, when it comes to fighting this monster. I can't afford to be the one who shows it any pity, now. Otherwise, I will be the one to lose this fight.

To make it a it more coherent for me I categorised them under a number of headings: dinner, lunch, breakfast and snacks, and finally a more general one. I'm not entirely sure how many to take on at a time..I was thinking perhaps three a week.

I know that I did make a post like this back in November Tear down those Rules . I looked over this this morning as I was finishing off this post, incorporating the rules I mentioned here before into my new "revised" list. Because I realise now that when I first wrote my original list...I unintentionally and unconsciously left out a significant number of these rules. Some of them are more hidden, vague or obscure, but this does not, in any way at all, make them any less real.

I'm glad to say that since I wrote that post, I have certainly tackled and addressed at least some of these rules, and seeing how I have made some progress since this time a few months ago does give me a true sense of hope and renewed strength. But talking is the easy part, I's in the action itself where the true challenge really lies. But I amdetermined to stay strong, and do everything in my power to make 2016 the year that I smash, break, tear up this thing for good. The Year of Our Rebellion...against the tyranny of ED...

walking at dusk with Mam and Dad yesterday...
I could almost feel, the sense of change, in the beauty of that evening sky.

And so, as before, I wrote out the ED rules in full...and then drew up another list, a list of Emmy's New Rules: the opposite of ED's ones. Starting off with the general ones:

Stick to my meal plan every day…
To not ever skip a meal, a snack or a hot choc..
To challenge myself by eating my fear foods..
To not hold back from trying new things.


Always have a good breakfast, as this is the one time I feel the most hungry..
If possible have it with others, but don’t make yourself go hungry either!! (unfortunately everyone else at home has breakfast about 10 when they're here..which is a it too late for me...I get hungry way before then!! :o ;) )
Vary my cereal from day to day
Have a GOOD bowl of cereal, don’t be stingy
If porridge/readybrek don’t make it too dry.
Toast: don’t pick off bits unless they’re burnt, etc.
Don’t feel I have to minimise on peanut butter. Have over a tsp!!


  • Vary my snacks from day to day..
  • Do not refrain from having scones/teacakes etc, just because Mam doesn’t offer to do them for me anymore…
  • If nuts, have a GOOD handful
  • If bread and PB – don’t pick off bits and have a good dollop of pb..
  • Dont be afraid of having certain snacks like the half bagel, or granola bar. 


Again don’t pick off any bits!!!
Vary filling from day to day. Don't always go for the "safe" option!!
• When making lunch for myself...ensure that I give myself enough of the protein filling!! This is the one thing that for some reason I seem to have a big issue with...think “if Mam was here with me now, what would she think if she saw this amount?”


  • To be talkative and chatty at dinnertimes. To engage in the conversation and not let the ED anxiety overwhelm me. 
  • To thank mam for my food..
  • To not pick off bits of food
  • To not push food off my plate
  • To not spread food around my plate
  • To clean my plate and my dessert bowl
  • To not take small, minimalist portions of potatoes or whatever is on the table for serving oneself. Ask Mam to help me if I am struggling!!
So, for this Week, Sunday 3rd January to the 10th: here is what I am going to primarily focus on and use for my goals! :D

  • I think the dinner ones for me are particularly important for me to address first..because there were a few mealtimes over Christmas which I strongly feel were spoiled because of my behavior :'( as in, me not talking or making the effort to communicate with anyone, just sitting there enveloped in impenetrable silence, letting the anxiety literally consume me. And I am really, really anxious to change this. So for this week I am going to focus on being chatty and as chirpy as I can manage to be at dinner, no matter how loud ED voice may get. because I know myself..there has been many a family dinner when I so desperately wanted to speak to my loved ones, but I could not; alongside the anxiety, I suppose there was also part of me which was going along with ED's conviction that I have to "bottle up" to make everyone aware of my distress. And besides, I am hopeful that if I make the effort to talk, I will begin to feel much more comfortable and relaxed. 
  • Alongside number 1 of the dinner goals...this week I am also going to tackle the third of the lunch goals. The reason mainly being that I know it is really, really important for me to make sure I am getting enough protein/calcium and I know full well that when I make lunch for myself...I do not give myself enough of the protein filling (ie. I would put in a roll a few measly scraps of cheese, less than a thin slice of ham, a small dollop of tuna mayo, etc.) So this definitely needs to be addressed asap.
  • The cleaning of the plate/bowl/mug: I will continue to work on this week. I know I've used this as a goal before, and I have had some success with it - dessert bowl is no longer a problem (i always used to leave some of the lovely custard :'( but recently I have addressed this and now there isn't a spoon of lovvely custard left in that bowl!! ;) dinner plate, still needs to e worked on - some nights I do, other times, not so well, and I have to be prompted to "eat that bit of chicken, emmy!! " etc. so the aim is not to have to be prompted anymore. I hate wasting food and I know that leaving stuff on the plate is just another stupid rule created by ED which has to be broken!! :D
As I mentioned before, a few of these new rules I have already been successfully putting into place for some time now, but as long as I continue to make progress, I guess it will be of no harm to incorporate them into my goals too, just so that I keep up to date with them. goes...the time for me to rebel against the code of smash the chains constructed through those rules, and set myself, and my recovery, free. Free to grow, to reach for the sky. <3 xxx


  1. Wow you are such a strong and determined young lady. Realising your ED rules and then making goals to quash them is a fantastic idea and I wish you every success. I know you can do it Emmy! One little step at a time, don't overwhelm yourself, and you can do it, I just know you can. I cannot wait to hear how you get along. Maybe you could document it in photos to show us on your blog? Thinking of you and wishing you nothing but the best. Sending big hugs and much love xxxxxxxx

    1. <3 thank you so, so much hun!! that really means so much ! <3 and that is such a great idea hun, definitely I think that will really help me so much in keeping to my goals and destroying ED's rules for good!! All my love to you dear, take care, hugs back!! <3 :* xxxxxxxxx