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.:)
Thursday, 3 March 2016
Getting back my hunger cues!! ;) And realising that it is me who has the power...
And it's true, last week, I actually did allow myself to feel a little bit of smug self-appraisal: something which doesn't come very naturally to me at all, I can assure you! Well, I guess It felt even better in that I was basically stuffing it in ED's stupid gaping face. That's how I picture it now, you see, every single time that I eat. ED, staring and gaping in sheer disbelief, its formerly cruelly twisted, sneering mouth now hanging open like some sort of stunned goldfish, barely able to quite comprehend what is currently taking place before its very eyes. That being, of course, my revolution. The one who ED thought was weak, the one who it oppressed and enslaved: she is now fighting back, and fighting back with a vengeance. And, in the same manner and approach which ED took when it first came into my life, all those years ago, she is not prepared to take any prisoners. Only one of us can win this battle, Ed.
One of the nicest things of all is though, is that what I initially feared would never, ever happen has, in fact, happened!! That being, the return of my (actually, pretty damn good!) appetite. Im sure you dont need me to tell you the effects anorexia has on the digestive system - not that Im an expert on this, or anything. The little I do know, I have gathered solely from what I have experienced myself while being in recovery, and from what I have read online. But it is very much true to say that when you restrict your intake for an extended period of time, the stomach seems to shrink and you lose a good proportion of your appetite. This was certainly the case for me anyway. To think, that only just a few months ago now, I would have felt bloated and stuffed from eating a measly bowl of cereal, and that an apple was plenty sufficient to keep me going for a good few hours until lunchtime.
What the feck...?!!!
Yep, the very thought of that now makes me want to shake my head in disbelief...
I am now following my meal plan 100% every day and I have to say I am really enjoying doing so!! Yes, I am not going to lie, it was very hard and scary at first. I felt bloated and uncomfortably full and was convinced that I would never e able to keep it up. The food intake that I knew I now had to consume, appeared enormous. But this time, I gave it my absolute all. And that is what recovery takes...that is what recovery requires. Your absolute 100%, over and over again, hour after every hour, day and every single day.
It's true. the first few days are tough. But please, please hear me now when I say this. It DOES get easier. The discomfort WILL go away, eventually (but ONLY if you persist with the process and do NOTgive up half way.) You CAN, and WILL get through this. You can. You just have to breathe, take courage, and let it go. Let go of all those rules and regulations, the fears implanted by ED which have established themselves as your principals for life. It's NOT true. it's time to scrap those principals...destroy them, totally and completely. For those ED rules will destroy you if you let them...it's time to be brave and tear them down.
When I fell back into restrictive ways, one of the things I was constantly fixated with was NOT being full. Fullness = panic and anxiety to me..and more than likely, some form of restriction when ever I could get away with doing so. They very thought of it now seems crazy to me now, but I know very much at the time how real that fixation was. It seemed...so impossible to break. But break it I did.
I guess the most important thing I want you all to get out of this post, is this. Fear - fear created within your own head, by your own mind - is a powerful, powerful thing. But not as powerful as YOU.
It is you, not your thoughts, who ultimately is the one who has the control.
You can choose to act upon these thoughts and fears; let them control you...
Or you can choose to overcome them. YOU can choose to be the one who is in control. YOU can choose to overpower ED.
So yes..to continue where I left off before I went off on a tangent again. Having persisted with following the meal plan for about a week or so, determinedly plodding on, fighting the voice and the anxiety and making myself eat even when I felt full and bloated and food was the last thing on earth I wanted to touch - I began to notice how the constant bloaty feelings were beginning to gradually lessen as the week wore on. And I could clearly see the signs of my returning appetite: I began to feel peckish, even hungry, despite the fact I was not restricting. It was scary at first, and I felt somewhat daunted and confused aout what was happening. but then, I realised that this was a GOOD thing; and that I have absolutely nothing to be apprehensive about. In fact, I feel fully ready, depending on how weigh in goes on sunday, to up my meal plan that one bit more, if that's what beating Ed is to entail.
Anyway, here was morning snack today <3 I made a beautiful loaf of my alltime favourite bread, wholegrain spelt with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Having deftly cut the loaf (oh how I love doing that <3 ) into thick slices after breakfast this morning, I put aside one of the said slices, bunged the rest in the freezer for further snackies during the week, and then popped the reserved one in the toaster, pottering to the cupboard to get out a plate AND of course the jar of one of the most divine concoctions know to human kind (aka. peanut butter ;)) while waiting for the battered old toaster to work its magic. And then, ta-da...a mug of Mammy's hot choc, and generous slathering of Utterly spread (ahem. or should I say the Aldi equivalent. ) and, of course, a good dollop of peanut butter...now THAT's an exceptionally yummy morning snack... ;)