Saturday, 7 March 2009

Stepping Up To the Plate

Thank you for the great feedback and support on yesterday's post. I was hesitant again to post because I felt kind of stupid writing a whole long entry about a fear of cheese. At the risk of offending all the cheese fanatics out there, I'm going to say this: I don't have the time or energy to waste thinking about one particular food item. Cheese is great, but not worth spending an entire day obsessing over!

Lexi's video post yesterday got me thinking about what recovery means to me on the whole. There is SO much I want to say about this and I'm not going to even skim the surface in this post because it is such a huge topic and I have so many thoughts and goals around it. I pretty much agree with most of what Lexi said- it's NOT about just eating a cake or "eating normally". BUT, for me at least, food is an issue that needs to be addressed. I went years going to therapy and talking about my difficulties, not mentioning food, and thinking I was doing really well. It's a pretty dangerous approach if you are heavily engaging in eating disordered behaviours whilst doing that because a lot of physical damage can be done before any significant changes take place.

So I am going to talk a little more about the food aspect because it is something that I can't really afford to be ignoring right now. I have been thinking more and more about the foods I eat, the foods I avoid, the rut I am stuck in. Also about how I can talk and talk until I am blue in the face about the bigger picture of recovery and life without anorexia, but there is a limit to how much progress I can and will make as long as I stay so entrenched in my behaviours and routines.

To be completely honest, I've been struggling a lot since moving on Monday. Not so much in terms of restricting, but some of my other difficulties- eating the same things every day, hoarding food (I have a habit of stocking up on "safe foods" and this week has been spent literally packing my fridge and cupboards full of one particular item I eat for lunch every day). I'd been doing much better with variety in my diet and I'm not sure why it's become so hard again- I justify it by thinking about the cost of food: it's balanced, nutritious, pretty cheap to buy. But really? I think I am scared about moving/being independent and reverting back to what is familiar and safe.

This move is NO DOUBT a fabulous thing for me, but is definitely throwing up challenges. It's not even been a week so now is a good time for me to really look at how things have been going and what needs to change. Obviously the eating aspect is part of it. Yes it feels safe to eat the same foods every day. Yes I can then budget well, plan, etc. It's not how I want to live forever. The list of foods I feel "okay" eating is getting shorter and shorter every day, and I am not okay with that. I'm not going to lie down and let anorexia stamp all over me.

It's time to walk the walk, and start making real and concrete changes before this gets out of hand.

I took on board what you all suggested in terms of introducing fear foods back into diet, and now also have the task of adding recent staples back in- the lovely Sam suggested that her and I each make lists of some foods we avoid and set weekly goals together so I am working on that.

I'm 26 and it's time I start being an active participant in LIFE instead of wittering away my time bouncing in and out of hospital and avoiding people/situations/the world because I am afraid of what food may/may not be available.

So the tasks at hand...
  • incorporate some of my recent foods back into my diet- just because I have moved apartments doesn't mean I abandon the progress I had made
  • make a list of my "fear foods" and set my goals with Sam
  • report back in my blog about what specific food goal I set each week and how it goes (remembering that I don't need to eat XYZ every single day, but I don't want to feel controlled by the FEAR of it)
  • to not buy any more of this staple lunch item: I kid you not, I have over a month's supply, by which point, I *will* be eating a wider variety and ready for a new lunch challenge!
Anyone else want in on this weekly food goal challenge?
Now onto actual food/culinary goodness since I have pretty pictures to share :)

Breakfast today featured this cereal:

For anyone in the UK, this is great. It's little bran flakes with dried blueberries and strawberries. I'd written to the company recently and they sent me 6 boxes of me beloved cereal- THANK YOU Alex at Alara! I mixed it with chopped/microwaved apple and fage- the picture does not do the size of this justice. The apple was humongous and it was a pretty hefty cereal serving (we don't have serving sizes on most UK nutritional labels so I have free reign with no mind-twisting government guidelines to abide by!):

Snack was inspired by Lee's post about non-bar snacks- this was one of my suggestions and since I have always loved rice pudding, caught my eye in the store. I wouldn't class it as a "major" fear, but the only kinds I've had over the last few years have been low-fat/diet varieties. Still taste great (some of them do anyway!), but this looked like a good alternative to my usual snacks...

Wow. Move over diet food desserts, there's a new kid in town... This was, hands down, the best rice pudding I have ever eaten. Calorie-wise, was equivalent to most of the bars/other snacks I eat, so wasn't hugely anxiety-provoking, but I am SO glad I tried this. Sweet, creamy, vanilla-y...mmmm....what's not to like? Can't wait to check out more of this company's products!

Close-up of creamy goodness:

And just for kicks, am posting my dinner. I don't usually post my lunches and dinners because they tend to be pretty repetitive. I am, as I think I've mentioned, a terrible cook. But I can cook pasta sauce so you can bet your bottom dollar that if I *do* branch out from the norm and cook something from scratch, you guys are going to see it!

Spinach and ricotta tortellini with steamed runner beans- yes, a repeat of last week's dinner, but like I said, it's all I can cook :P


Pammy said...

i think its a really good idea that you are setting goals for yourself in terms of fear foods. you can totally accomplish whatever goals you set out to tackle. good luck honey!

aussirish said...

hi hun
im so proud of you for setting goals for yourself and putting yourself out there with this challenge :)
its so easy to get in a food rut and sticking to the same foods...and i think if your having the same thing everyday because you really like it then theres nothign wrong with that..but if its for ed safety reasons then facing up th the fear of change is the way to go, and its great youve recognized that :)
the eats look great! especially din dins!
have a wonderful sat. night

Anonymous said...

Great idea setting food goals. I did that for myself, I would never try something new and am doing that more now.

Stef said...

Sorry you've been struggling this week. Where did you move to and from? I had to move back home when I was really sick with my ED and even though I'm sure moving back out eventually will be great for me it gets a bit overwhelming to think about! I think a fear food list is a good idea b/c now you can write down all the foods you avoided like the plague when ED controlled everything and instead CHOOSE to enjoy whatever items you want and feel a sense of accomplishment! Yay :) mmmm that tortellini looks delish!