Wednesday, June 2, 2010

death to the blimpy christian

This blog is coming to an end. To find out why, go here.

Thanks for reading. I hope you'll follow me to the new blog.

Cheerio then.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

party time

So I attended yet another party last night. I seem to be at a couple of parties every weekend. The Husband Unit is out of town so I was flying solo. It was fun - lots of chatting and wine - and lots of finger food.

I ate (deep breath):

Many Indian-themed snacks (mini bhajis etc.), a large handful of nachos with a delicious guac/tomato/cheddar dip, lots of crudites (carrots, cucumber, peppers) and 2 small slices of cake - 1 slice of birthday cake and 1 slice of black forest gateaux. Everything was good except for the cakes. I didn't enjoy them (they tasted artificial) but I kept operating the spoon to mouth action until my plate was empty. I also had two glasses of wine.

This evening I have visitors arriving from the UK for a few days. I need to get this sty cleaned up. I've made a list of household duties and I intend to cross them off one by one. I already have the first few items covered:

1. Get dressed.
2. Eat breakfast and read blogs.
3. Put on loud music.

Sure I'm practically halfway there!

My breakfast this morning (which I am still eating) is pumpkin apple oats with jam and peanut butter. I went grocery shopping late last night after the party to stock up on nice things for the visitors. I noticed a change in myself while filling up my basket though. In the past I have always used guests as a reason to overeat, and to eat the wrong kinds of foods. Now don't hear me attaching moral values to certain foods - I genuinely believe no food is "bad" - there's room for a little of everything. But when these friends have visited in the past I have bought nachos, crisps, chocolate, sweets and lots of alcohol - to "make sure they'd enjoy themselves". Actually it was really to make sure I'd enjoy myself. Last night I made sure we had lots of fresh fruits, nice breads, a wide variety of vegetables, salad materials and sandwich stuff and then of course the ingredients for some tasty dinners. I am hoping we can barbecue but the weather is taking a turn for the worse.

Anyway, I suppose I'd better go cross off some of the less enjoyable things on my list: "de-louse couch," "unblock bathroom," "bleach beds" etc. Ta-ra!


Friday, May 28, 2010

food

Breakfast: 1 egg, 2 slices of wholewheat toast; one with butter, one with peanut butter and a little raspberry jam.
Lunch: Small wrap with light cheddar, ham and sliced onion. Handful mange tout. Small pot Glenisk yoghurt with blueberries.
Dinner: Apple and pumpkin oats with cinnamon, raisins and peanut butter.

I made the apple and pumpkin oats by steaming some peeled and chopped apples and butternut squash, and then making a puree. I added the puree to the oats as they were cooking, with some milk, water, cinnamon and raisins, and then topped with the peanut butter. Yum.

the weekend came early...

Well yesterday was a good day. My very stressed-out husband finally completed his last exam...so eight papers and seven exams later, he is done. We went out together for a celebratory lunch, and then headed a few hours north to catch a gig that our friend played at in Lisburn. It was not the most nutritionally sound day I've ever had - as soon as I am separated from my usual routines and plans it becomes difficult either to make positive choices or as happened last night, find positive options!

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 slice wholewheat toast.
Celebratory Lunch: Half a starter portion of nachos, followed by just over half a main course portion of very spicy chilli con carne, which was topped with chopped peppers, onions, scallions, tomatoes and cheese and served with corn salad (all of which I ate) and Mexican rice (I ate one tablespoon) and refried beans (which I did not eat, because they resemble poo).
Snack: Cup of Butlers hot chocolate.
Dinner: Half a portion of chips!
Snacks at the gig: 2 cups of coffee, 2 rice krispie chocolate squares, a handful of marshmallows dipped in chocolate.

I have hives all over the place, presumably from all the sugar in the afternoon and evening. scratchyscratch

The Husband Unit is now away for a few days for a stag (that's bachelor to the US readers) party where they are canoeing out to a small island for some barbecuing, drinking, swimming, hiking etc. It sounds so good that I wish I were going. Meanwhile here I have a party to go to tonight (and another tomorrow night) and two friends flying in from the UK for the next four days. Lots of things to look forward to, and lots of things to do to get ready. And yet here I sit in my pyjamas at lunch time, drinking coffee...

Edit: I forgot to add that I will be starting therapy with an eating distress therapist one-on-one next week, as well as Group Therapy. This won't be the first bout of counselling I've ever engaged in but it will be the first time I have ever talked with a professional about what's really going on with me in terms of the eating disorder. I am very anxious about all the layers of complexity being uncovered, but I am choosing to trust these guys...so far the support from the clinic has been invaluable. I also have an appointment with the nutritionist the following week, and I am just as nervous about that. As I was explaining to a friend last night, I feel like I am finally understanding what it is to eat well for my body without dieting and I am so concerned that there will be a list of "dos and don'ts" from this nutritionist that might re-awaken the sleeping diet mentality in me...but my fears are ridiculous, because this nutritionist is a specialist with eating distress and she will already know in advance how insane my food-related thinking is! So, yes. I thought I'd divulge that. I'll let you know how I get on.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

official weigh-day

So the scales read 236.8 this morning which is a loss of 0.8lbs this week. I was surprised it was such a small loss - the scale was giving out lower readings for the last few days, but I am trying not to be a slave to the tyranny of the scale. :) You can't gain a pound in a day - not really. You'd have to ingest an extra 3500 calories to do that (I definitely didn't ingest 3500 surplus calories yesterday). I ate more than usual this week though, and I exercised a little less than usual (the Husband Unit had a calf injury so I lost my gym buddy, which makes the gym less fun, and I only like to exercise if it's fun).

HOWEVER. I am no longer "severely obese" as according to the BMI chart: I am merely "obese" now. Next goal - merely overweight! :D So overall I am actually extremely pleased with this week's result!

This is also the first week where I have felt and seen a genuine difference in my body. The Husband Unit has been commenting on it too. It's funny that that coincides with my smallest loss to date. All of my clothes are becoming loose enough that they will need to be replaced soon. That is both a positive and a negative. I have little or no spare cash for new clothes, but it's good that a change is needed. :)

Tá an ghrian ag taitneamh go hard sa spéir - the sun is shining brightly in the sky. The Husband Unit will complete his seventh exam for his college course this morning - seventh and final. We're off to enjoy ourselves for the day. S'long waifs!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

good eatin'...and sunbathin'

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 slice wholewheat toast, coffee.
Lunch: Vegetable soup, and most of a chicken, lettuce and tomato panini.
Snack: Small ice-cream cone.
Dinner: More barbecue! I ate 1 small fillet of salmon with a little lemon butter, 1 pork sausage, half of a white hot-dog bun, grilled onions, grilled red peppers, a large handful of mixed salad (spinach, mixed Italian leaves, tomato and scallion) and half of 1 baby potato. Dessert was mixed berries and a tablespoon of ice cream.

Ice cream! Twice in one day! I didn't even notice. It was irresistible in this sunshine.

I got another rejection letter: sigh. Tis better than silence!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

less fat than a cartoon

So there are lots of things going on in me, but as usual I am utterly incapable of putting them into words while they're happening, so any remaining readers (I don't know if anyone's reading) will have to continue to wait for anything interesting, as right now all I seem capable of is parroting my food intake.

One good thing: I was watching The Simpsons last night - it was Season 7, Episode 7 - "King Size Homer" - it's a classic. It's the one where Homer decides to gain 61lbs so that he can legally be considered disabled in order to work from home. He weighs 239lbs at the beginning of his journey so I was overjoyed to see that I currently weigh less than Homer Simpson. Something to be proud of folks!

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1 slice brown toast, coffee.
Lunch: 140g prawns in a tomato and garlic sauce with 40g spaghetti.
Snack I: 30g natural liquorice.
SnackII: Handful mange-tout.
Dinner: Chicken burger with lettuce and red onion, and a small portion of oven chips. Mixed fruits (raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, mandarin and apple) for dessert.

Monday, May 24, 2010

eats

Breakfast: Banana oats with raisins, peanut butter and raspberry jam.
Lunch: Barbecued spicy ground turkey kabob with yoghurt sauce, a little barbecued chicken and some spicy mixed vegetables, with spinach, mixed leaf, cucumber and tomato salad and 1 slice of garlic bread. Mixed fruits for dessert (blueberries, strawberries, apple and mandarin).
Dinner: Steak and ale pie with broccoli and green beans.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

fud

Breakfast: 2 egg omelet with onion, ham, mushroom and tomato.
Snack: Rhubarb yoghurt, strawberries.
Lunch: Leek and potato soup, 2 slices of tomato bread with butter. Coffee and 1 chocolate snack bar.
Dinner: Barbecued chicken breast with courgette, red and green peppers and aubergine. Barbecued banana with a teaspoon of Nutella.

The weather is FANTASTIC here. It's been nothing but sunbathing, walking, barbecuing and profuse sweating. Good times!

Also, my husband looks great in shorts!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

overload

Ack, it's been a rough couple of days in some ways, but still good days. There has been a lot of food. I am determined not to add a moral value to what I have or haven't eaten. It is quite difficult to type it all out when I look at it honestly, but here it is.

Food yesterday (Friday):
Breakfast: Cinnamon bagel with peanut butter.
Lunch: Small wholewheat pitta with ham and light cheddar, 1 apple.
Dinner: Baked fish and oven chips.
At a hen party (bachelorette party): 2 Chinese chicken balls, a handful of jellies, a handful of honey-roasted nuts, a dark chocolate Rice Krispie bun, 4 chocolate-dipped strawberries, 3 glasses of white wine.

Food today:

Breakfast/brunch (continuation of hen party): 3 small grilled pork sausages, 2 slices grilled bacon, 2 slices white pudding, 3 small pancakes, maple syrup, strawberries, coffee, orange juice. Several chocolates.
Lunch: Onion bagel with light cheddar.
Snacks: Packet of Tayto crisps, 1 dark chocolate Rice Krispie bun.
Dinner: 5 slices of a 1-person-pizza, some potato wedges with garlic sauce, 1 beer. 1 ice-cream sundae.

I can honestly say that none of this was emotional eating. But it sure was a lot of food.

Moderation. Consistency. Vegetables... these are the things I need! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

snacktastic

Boring post ahead (nothing new there says you). I am still snacking! After lunch I had a strange sensation where it seemed like I was craving some fats. That's why I went with the chocolate and cheese. (Well, that's my story and I'm sicking to it.)

Sometimes when I am hungry I know that it is not true hunger and I can sit it out, or have a glass of water or a cup of tea. Lately though I really have felt flickers of genuine hunger between meals. I do think it's hormonal, but I didn't feel the same way at this time last month, so I don't know. Anyway, it seems that I have hunger I can ignore, and hunger I can't (shouldn't?) ignore. That's what I experienced an hour after lunch today. It can be satisfied with small snacks thankfully, but I think somewhere I still think of snacking as the gateway to binging, which is not true. People who have a normal relationship with food snack all the time. I just need to make a concerted effort to have plenty of healthy snacks around the house.

Breakfast: Chicken Caesar bagel with rocket and red peppers.
Lunch: 2 soy veggie burgers (not good), on 1 bun, with light cheddar, onions and ketchup. I didn't finish my second burger. 1 apple.
Snacks: 2 squares dark chocolate, 1 slice light cheddar.
Planned dinner: Not sure yet. I'll update later, but I'm thinking we might get a Chinese take-away, oOoOoh.

Edit: We did get a Chinese takeaway. We got a chicken curry with boiled rice, some chips (fries) and some prawn crackers, all of which we shared. It was still a huge portion each - how did we eat a full portion before?! Anyway I am very full and satisfied now. We are off to a farewell party so I am looking forward to a glass of wine. G'nite!


official weigh-day

Today the scale read 237.6, which is a loss of 1.8lbs this week.

If I can get to 237 or lower next week, I will be officially out of the "severely obese" category. Small victories... :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

keeping on

I spent the day at the zoo with my friend and her daughter. The sun shone and we were generally a happy trio. I snacked a little more than usual. I am hungry this week!

Brunch: 1 bagel, toasted, with 2 grilled rashers and 1 egg. I made berry smoothies, but I didn't like the yoghurt I used in them (fat-free bleurgh), so I only drank a few sips.
Snacks: 1 apple, 1 kids-size ice cream cone, 5 pecans, 28g raisins, a few bites of melon.
Dinner: Fajitas made with chargrilled steak, sliced, with mixed peppers and onions. I made a good spice mix for these (salt, pepper, a little brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika and chilli) and we ate them with salsa, sour cream, a little light cheddar and warm tortilla breads. I just had one tortilla but lots of steak and veggies. Yum.

I have several things to get through this evening; hopefully, all going well, including a trip to the gym. Ta-ra!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

fat, but good enough

It's been a nice day so far; coffee and walks with friends; lunch at a good restaurant. Yesterday was a little bleak: although the urge to binge was not a big problem, I found myself feeling extremely low, and even angry, about the weight that I am currently at. I caught a glimpse of myself in an "honest" mirror (i.e. one where I have not already composed my features and am facing it head-on) and got a load of the misshapen body which at my age, should be in great condition.

Over the last number of years I have come a long way in accepting myself, and also seeing myself as more than simply an unsolvable weight problem. Generally, I like myself well enough. Yesterday though, harked back to some of my darker days when I genuinely felt like the world's ugliest woman. It was the first day of its kind in this process.

I got through it (a) with the unfailing support and kindness of the husband unit and (b) by contradicting my own negative thinking at every turn. I also napped, which always seems to help me. :)

Today, all seems brighter. I am on a journey: I can do no more than this. I have reached this point before (or something similar to this point) where I have had some success with weight loss or whatever, and then gotten a "glimpse" of myself somewhere, usually in a photograph (oh the pain that photographs have caused me). This would fill me with such despair that I would eat and eat in order to squash the feeling down. Not this time though. In fact, and this is a big deal, my impulse was not to binge at all, but to talk it out. Which I did.

Breakfast: Cinnamon raisin bagel with half a banana and peanut butter.
Lunch (out): A Caesar wrap, and a handful of my husband's fries.
Snack: 1 square dark chocolate.
Dinner: Salmon fishcake with green salad dressed with chilli and lime, and crushed baby potatoes with lemon, parsley and a little butter.

Monday, May 17, 2010

eats

Breakfast: 1 mandarin, 1 plum, 10 pecans.
Lunch: 2 home-made pancakes, 2 lean sausages, grilled, 1 egg, scrambled.
Snack: Rhubarb yoghurt.
Dinner: Grilled striploin steak with roasted butternut squash, steamed broccoli, steamed baby potatoes and mushroom sauce.
Snack post-gym: Alpro soya chocolate pot.

falafel

We ate these for dinner the other night. If you're not familiar with them, falafel is a hearty Middle Eastern snack-food made primarily from chickpeas (garbanzo beans). The ingredients blended together form a paste, which is rolled into balls and traditionally deep-fried. I didn't deep fry mine - I just misted a pan with olive oil and browned them. This recipe serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained (reserve the liquid)
A drizzle of olive oil
Half an onion
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled
Salt and pepper
1 tsp chilli flakes or chopped chilli (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 tablespoon flour
Squeeze lemon juice

Method:

1. Pop everything into the food processor until a thick paste is formed. If it seems too dry and crumbly, add some liquid from the drained chickpeas until you get a good consistency.
2. Form the paste into little patties. If frying in a shallow pan with just a little oil, flatten them slightly.
3. Fry the patties in a little oil in batches, and keep warm in the oven.
4. Serve with hoummus, tzatziki, salad, couscous, warm pitta...anything you like really!



Home-made tzatziki. This is chopped cucumber, mixed with chopped fresh mint, low-fat natural yoghurt, black pepper, sea salt and lemon juice.

Shop-bought hoummus. :)

Falafel balls in a wholewheat pitta with all of the above, plus lots of green salad and scallions.

catch-up

So I was finally so busy that I missed a day of blogging. I know you will have been weeping in my absence, but fear not; I have returned to regale you with tales of food beyond your wildest dreams and wisdom of which 'til now you have only heard whispers. (Not a guarantee.)

So on Saturday night I went to a party. I snacked on bits and pieces. None of them were healthy, but I did enjoy them, for the most part. I am having a hormonal few days and very much wanting to snack. I ate a handful of cocktail sausages (exact number willfully unknown), a tablespoon of chicken curry with rice, a slice of garlic bread, a handful of crisps, a slice of birthday cake and a glass of white wine.

Yesterday was a long, unusual day. I took a road-trip northwards with 19 other folks from my church. We took our worship team and led an evening service for another church. I sing, and it involved a lot of singing. We were a little anxious, as it's a strange context for worship, but we made it through and they were delighted with us. Here's how I did with food:

Breakfast: Banana raisin oats with peanut butter.
Snack: 1 mandarin and 10 pecans.
Lunch (main meal, in a pub): Chicken in a garlic and herb crumb with peas, cabbage, carrots and gravy, with a little mashed potato and stuffing. And...free dessert! Meringue with fruit and cream.
Snack: A handful of wine gums in the car.
Snack around 8.15pm: A slice of Madeira cake.
Evening meal, at around 10.30pm(!): McDonalds! Most places close in Northern Ireland on a Sunday so we were very limited in our restaurant-choice. I had a Chicken Legend sandwich with medium fries and a Diet Coke. I thought I was making a reasonable choice. However it transpired when one of my companions checked the nutritional information of all of our meals that in fact the Chicken Legend has more calories in it than the frickin' Big Mac. Wtf?! It didn't even taste that good. And my tummy has been complaining ever since.
Snack: 1 chocolate.

So not a stellar weekend with food. I do consciously relax a little on the weekends, but it is becoming a pattern now it seems where I eat more poorly Friday, Saturday, Sunday and get back to healthier choices Monday-Thursday. I need to review this, as this is "diet mentality" which is a road to failure for me. I need consistency, consistency, consistency, with the odd treat thrown in. However it's difficult, as the weekend brings with it restaurants, parties, celebrations, dates, BBQs and the rest, and I also maintain a "no deprivation; all in moderation" policy within myself. I just need to keep thinking and attempting to be mindful with what I eat. An important thing to highlight is that I do watch my portions (and ironically, find I am very satisfied with smaller portions). This makes a huge difference. There is a big difference in terms of calories of having a plate of chicken curry with rice to having a heaped tablespoon of it. There is a big difference between a measured handful of crisps and sitting snacking with the bowl on your lap all evening. I have finally realised that these things matter...not just to my weight, but mentally too.

However the weekend has ended and I am probably a bit malnourished. :) So, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible this week. Happy eating y'all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

hungry day

Yar, I could eat everything. It's almost certainly hormonal. Also feeling a bit blue. I didn't make any plans and am procrastinating on several things I need to do, thus leaving me feeling limbo-ish.

Breakfast: Half of an onion and poppyseed bagel with 1 slice light cheddar. 1 chocolate Apro soya dessert pot. These are delicious and low-cal too, but maybe too sugary for the morning. I might keep them for a late evening snack in future.
Lunch: 2 home-made pancakes (see below), with 1 slice grilled bacon and 1.5 eggs, scrambled. I also had a slice of watermelon and a square of dark chocolate.
Snack: 5 pecans and a plum.
Planned dinner: Home-made falafel with wholewheat pitta, salad, tzatziki and hoummus.

It's not even 4pm and my tummy is rumbling for dinner. Bah! Better go distract myself for a couple of hours. S'long waifs!

pancakes

The husband unit and I recently became fans of the Amercan-style pancake. In Europe, the most popular kind of pancakes are crepes, and these are eaten savoury or sweet with a variety of fillings, and it would be ridiculous to try to make them without lots of eggs and butter, as that's what makes them wonderful.

However fluffy American breakfast pancakes are altogether a different beast. I decided to attempt a healthy version of them today for our lazy Saturday lunch, and was really, really pleased with the outcome. So pleased, in fact, that this is how we will be making them from now on. These are light, fluffy and tasty, and using this recipe, come in at about 80 calories each. (I should add - I genuinely don't count calories day-to-day. However I do like to know what I am eating, so I work out the calories of new recipes, once, and then forget about it.)

This recipe makes 6 pancakes.

Ingredients:

30g white flour
30g brown wholewheat flour
30g oat flour (I made this by putting 30g of oats into the food processor and whizzing until floury)
1 medium egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of low-fat milk

Method:

1. Sieve the flours into a bowl. Some bits won't sieve though - because oat flour and wholewheat flour is a little chunky! Simply tip these chunky bits in on top of your sieved flours in the bowl. Add the other dry ingredients and stir.
2. Add the egg and milk and whisk well.
3. Heat up a small non-stick pan without oil to a medium-high setting. Put a quarter cup of the batter onto the pan. When lots of bubbles rise on its surface, flip it. Leave for a few moments until it seems firm and swelling, then remove, keep warm, and repeat.
4. Eat!


Here is the watermelon and delicious Americano coffee we had with it too. Husband Unit took this photo and insisted that I include it. :D



Friday, May 14, 2010

all is noise and fury signifying nothing!

I went to see Macbeth tonight. Spectacular. It is late so I will keep this brief. I was out all day from 9.30am onwards so I ate lunch and dinner out, and they were both a treat.

Breakfast: Half of an onion and poppyseed bagel, with a slice of cheese and a rhubarb yoghurt.
Snack: 2 mandarins and a soy latte.
Lunch: Sloppy joe! I had never had one of these before. If you haven't had one, it's minced beef cooked in spices in a tomato-based sauce, and served over bread with a variety of toppings. Mine was a very spicy mixture, piled onto delicious tomato bread, served with mayo and sliced tomatoes. It was delicious and very filling.
Dinner: Steak, with potato wedges and salad. Dessert was an almond Magnum. 1 beer.
At pub post-theatre: 1 more beer.

Great day. I walked for hours so I'm sending these aching bones to bed right now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

8 week recap: the post you've all been waiting for

So I am fed, and I am rested, and I have some time, so I am sitting down to update a little less about food and a little more about the journey with ED. Even as I sit here typing I am unsure of what I am going to say next. Here goes.

The last eight weeks have been amongst the best and the worst in my life thus far.

The pros:
  1. Finally acknowledging a difficult and embarrassing problem (binge eating disorder).
  2. Developing a network of support for dealing with it: sharing the truth with friends and my GP, praying daily with my husband, attending group therapy at an Eating Distress clinic, keeping this blog.
  3. Making some realisations that are helping me not just now, but will continue to strengthen me throughout my life (more on this to follow).
  4. Losing 23.6 lbs in weight without going on a diet.
  5. Developing a more moderate appetite and stable blood sugar (this is HUGE).
  6. Increased level of fitness, with no guilt or self-punishment involved.
  7. An improved and more positive thought-life, which in turn allows me to go easy on myself instead of constantly self-criticising. This also means accepting compliments and encouragement, and giving myself credit for small victories. I am also starting to understand what it means to give up my perfectionism, which has never gotten me anywhere. I can choose perfectionism or happiness; not both.
  8. Enjoying my body and being thankful for it, and as funny as it sounds, especially my legs! My legs are long, strong and muscular and have walked me through 27 years of life. I want this enjoyment of my body to increase and increase as time goes on. I have spent long enough berating and hating it.
  9. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a chronic insomniac. For the first few weeks of therapy I was very restless and unable to sleep at night. This was because I had no way to deal with my emotions. However, since finding peace about a few long-standing issues in my life, I am now sleeping like a baby. Well, maybe not a baby, as they often sleep fitfully and wake in the night for a feed. :) I am sleeping like a log...should a log be capable of sleep.
  10. Finding out thanks to the members of my group therapy that I am not alone in my difficulties, and in fact that I have an awful lot to be thankful for.
The cons:
  1. Feeling every emotion and being very raw about it. I have given up my old coping mechanism (binging) so now I must feel every emotion that comes to the surface. The option to stuff it down with food no longer exists. This means that I am very emotional and very, very tired a lot of the time. I am sleeping about 9-10 hours a night and usually have a nap during the day, too. I spend quite a lot of time looking at the causes or reasons for my negative emotions. I've had a few epiphanies too (these are the realisations I alluded to above, and will get to them in a moment).
  2. Being mechanical (right now) about eating. I do not yet have freedom around food, and I still have anxiety around it. At the moment my focus is eating nutritiously, regularly. My policy is to enjoy treats in moderation, but to avoid them whenever I am feeling low. I do want to lose this mechanical, disciplined approach to eating, but that is a behaviour that will only come when I have gained full freedom from ED.
  3. Increased anxiety. This is linked I suppose to point 1. I seem to waver between great peace of mind and great anxiety. I know that this is normal as I try to figure out ways to cope with negative emotions that don't involve food.
  4. "Black" days. There have been several, and I know there will be more. The only thing that I want to do on those days is binge. I haven't yet successfully implemented any of the coping strategies suggested for those kinds of days actually on those days. I want to be able to actually take steps on those days to make myself feel better instead of crying all day or hiding away raging with anger and unfulfilled desire!
  5. I am less sociable right now, and I laugh a lot less than usual. That's ok though, and I think things will return to normal as I get healthier and happier.
The realisations:
  1. I do not have a blood relative who I can turn to in times of worry, upset or distress. There is no parent or sibling or aunt in my life who is sufficiently clued-in, caring or non-destructive enough that I could approach them for help (and actually receive it). In short, I feel somewhat abandoned by my family. I realised recently while walking with a friend that this unacknowledged fact has been the cause of a deep, deep unhappiness in me over the years, and every time I would feel the anxiety of having no family to support me emotionally (and honestly, never having had any emotional support) I would respond by escapism with food. Often of course my experience has not been simply a lack of emotional support but the presence of emotional abuse and manipulation by broken and unhappy people. I thought I had broken free of this years ago, but I hadn't. I had managed to find forgiveness for a lot of things said and done to me by my family, and I had put some strong boundaries in place, but I was not free from the negative emotions that came with this. My favourite way to spend an evening would probably have been to have a great meal out somewhere with a couple of glasses of wine, and then see a feel-good movie with a big box of sweets and a Coke (despite already being stuffed). This was the easiest way for me to forget my troubles. Now, I simply have to feel the feelings. Making this realisation has actually meant to my complete surprise the power that these familial disappointments have held over me is now broken. I feel lighter and freer and less anxious about my family than I have in years. Nothing in them has changed: I have changed.
  2. I can live without binging. I hardly believe this as I am typing it. When the only thing that keeps you going is eating away your troubles, to remove this leaves a pretty bleak landscape behind. But it's true: I can live without binging. How do I know? Because I've done it for a couple of months now, and I didn't die, and I didn't fall apart.
  3. I really, really like natural, whole foods. My tastes are changing miraculously so that I am mmming and aaahing over fresh fruits, nuts, vegetables and other things that are really nourishing and good for me. I find myself in the mood for broccoli or oats with natural peanut butter. It is very satisfying to actually want what it is you are eating, rather than simply eating what you know is good for you, perhaps with a mild reluctance. Processed foods and junk foods, when I am not in a "black day", are losing their lustre.
  4. My body is a blessing to me. I won't lie and say that I am thrilled about my rolls of fat everywhere. But I am thrilled with how my body has responded to me caring for it. When I look in the mirror I don't see someone lighter: I see the same thing that I saw when I weighed 278 lbs. But I do see brighter skin and softer hair. I also enjoy movement: walking, running, cycling, weight-lifting. I have no training schedule, but it works out that I now get exercise every day. I have made myself no promises about how often I will go to the gym or anything like that. I only promise myself that I will get regular exercise, and I insist on only doing things I enjoy.
  5. The ED has in many ways made me the person that I appear to be. My friends have an impression of me as someone very strong and capable. I have always honestly felt quite strong and capable, even when I was in bits. I always had a job and made my own money and took care of a lot of my own needs, starting at age 11. I moved out and supported myself fully and put myself through college without any help from anyone. I was someone who never depended on anyone else. Why? Because my complete support system was food. I had learned that food would not let me down, or shout at me, or make me feel bad. That is now all over. I now depend very much on my husband, my doctor, God, the therapists at the Eating Distress Clinic and my friends, in order to be ok. And that's alright. But I will take the parts of my personality that became strong because of my dependence on food, and I will keep them. I will simply discard the dependence on food. (Simply! Ha!)
There is more, lots more, but I don't know where it is yet. This is what has been going on with me for the last eight weeks. I am looking into a future that seems bright, despite currently being unemployed with no prospects, and severely obese. (I actually just chuckled writing that.) In the past whenever I would attempt to get my weight under control, and I'd lose a few pounds, I'd be praying that I could just maintain my willpower and keep going. I would always be binging here and there, say once a week or so, and still managing to lose a bit of weight. My habits however never changed, and more importantly, my thought processes never changed, so inevitably I would begin to find the deprivation too emotionally difficult, and I would eat and eat and eat until I had regained all the weight. Then I would cry and start the process all over again.

That vicious cycle of dieting that I have been in since I was a teenager is now well and truly broken. Diets can fuck off. I am never going on another diet as long as I live. I am going to eat mindfully but I am not going to count calories. I am going to get regular exercise. I am going to work on understanding myself and finding ways to cope with my problems that aren't linked to food. When I look at things this way, I don't know how I couldn't succeed. Even if my weight loss slowed right down and I lost only ten pounds a year, who cares? I'd get to a healthy weight eventually.

Life is for living. I don't know everything about what living means yet. I don't know what full freedom looks like. But I am definitely, definitely ready to find out.

--

Breakfast: 2 lean sausages, grilled, with 1 egg, and a sesame bun. Tea.
Lunch: Half a quesadilla, with grilled chicken, light cheddar, mozzarella, jalapeños, onion and scallion, with salsa and sour cream, and a big chunk of cucumber, sliced. 1 square dark chocolate.
Dinner: Chicken and chorizo with garlic, onion and chilli in a tomato sauce, with pasta.


official weigh-day

The scale this morning says 239.4, which is a loss of 2.2 lbs this week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

wednesday food

Another entry from the world's most exciting fatblog.

Breakfast: 1 egg, scrambled, 1 grilled rasher of bacon, handful fried mushrooms.
Lunchtime dinner: 1 chicken enchilada (with peppers and onions) with salsa and sour cream, 1 tablespoon rice and a handful of salad. 1 sliver of chocolate cake and a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream.
Snack: About 10 cashew nuts.
Evening: Banana oats with raisins and 1tsp peanut butter.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

it's usually the former

I'm just too tired to update at the minute. Good tired though.

Breakast: Cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter and half a banana.
Lunch: Ham and cheese sandwich on brown bread with a salad of mixed leaves, tomato, cucumber and peppers with a honey mustard dressing, and a handful of strawberries.
Dinner: Baked breaded cod and oven chips.
Snacks: Soy latte and 1 square dark chocolate.

Monday, May 10, 2010

again, just the food...

Breakfast: 40g granola with some natural yoghurt. 1 egg, scrambled.
Lunch: 140g prawns, stir fried with garlic and lime, with a salad of mixed leaves, beetroot and coleslaw. Handful of strawberries and a square of dark chocolate.
Snack: More strawberries.
Dinner: Home-made baked garlic and herb chicken strips, corn on the cob, half of a small bread roll.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

fud

Breakfast: Watermelon, strawberries, natural yoghurt and 1 slice cheese.
Lunch (picnic): Roast chicken, 1.5 medium white bread rolls, green salad, coleslaw, handful peanuts, raisins and grapes, and a few wine gums.
Evening: Half a cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter and half a banana.

I am busy, and tired. Life updates to follow this week.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

not a low calorie week!

So I participated in the 5am 5k run this morning for the suicide prevention charity, Pieta House, in the Phoenix Park. It was great! I only managed to run about half a kilometre though - it was my first experience of running on ground rather than on a treadmill, and it's much harder! My goal is to run the entire 5k next year.

The sun rose as we walked and jogged and chatted. The Husband Unit ran the whole thing without breaking a sweat. :) Five of my friends participated too. When I crossed the finish line, Husband Unit was there to cheer me on. What a great feeling!

The BBQ was lit when we finished and everyone enjoyed delicious sausages and was given soft drinks and muffins. Our goodie bags contained a tshirt, a keyring, pens and various snacks and bite-size treats. Any calories burned while walking were quickly recovered, and then some!

I came home and napped very sweetly. I'm now eating a very late lunch of oats. Very strange food day!

Breakfast at 3.30am!: Half a bagel, buttered.
Post 5k: 1 large pork sausage in a bun with ketchup. 1 chocolate muffin, 1 lollipop, 1 bottle iced tea.
Lunch: Banana oats with peanut butter and raisins.
Dinner: Chilli con carne with all the trimmings, and a small portion of home-made chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream (it's my friend's birthday).

Friday, May 7, 2010

just the eats

Breakfast: 2 eggs, scrambled. Half a cinnamon bagel, lightly buttered.
Lunch: The other half of the bagel, with peanut butter and half a banana.
Dinner (we nipped out for a movie and to a burger joint): Chicken tenders, 4 onion rings, a handful of fries, garlic mayo.
Snack in cinema: Half a tube of Fruit Pastilles.

Nary a vegetable in sight. And me running a race at 5am!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

light at the end of the tunnel

Not a fantastic day for food, but it was what it was.

I had breakfast and lunch out, both with friends, and dinner at home with the Husband Unit. We were planning to eat leftover chicken with salad and some oven chips (fries), but when it came to it, I just didn't fancy it. Instead I fried an egg and ate it with my oven chips and a small sesame bun. Carbtastic! To compensate for the lack of vegetables with dinner, I ate fruit for dessert. Just when I thought I was done eating for the day, a delightful young girl from around the corner popped in with cookies! I genuinely didn't want to eat one (genuinely!) but I know it meant a lot to her, so I did. :)

Breakfast: Cinnamon and raisin bagel, buttered, with a sliced banana. 1 cappuccino.
Lunch: Roast chicken breast, green salad, 1 tablespoon potato salad, 1 tablespoon light coleslaw.
Snacks: 2 mandarins.
Dinner: 1 egg, small portion oven chips, 1 sesame bun. Strawberries and watermelon.
Snack: Half a chocolate chip cookie, tea.

Not the most nourishing day ever!

I just received a phone-call about the possibility of a job. Feeling hopeful!

Didn't make it to the gym: sore throat (hope it doesn't last). Did go for two walks though. I'M AMAZING.


official weigh-day

The scale read 241.6 today, which is a loss of 1.6 lbs this week.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

midweek malaise

Today has been a very glum day. I got up around 7.45am with the Husband Unit for our usual prayer and breakfast, although for once, I had no appetite for breakfast and just managed a cup of tea (very unusual for me). After he left for work I went back to bed for an hour. The hour turned into three hours and it was almost midday when I woke, after a stream of bad dreams.

In the afternoon, when I was still in my pyjamas, the doorbell rang. It was a delivery man, with an enormous bouquet of spring flowers for me! I couldn't believe it. I assumed immediately it was from my husband, as that is exactly the kind of thing he does for me all the time. The card however was unsigned. It simply read; " A little colour for you :) ". I would take a photo, but my camera isn't working. Suffice to say it's a very extravagant and gorgeous arrangement.

If the person who sent me this is reading, please, please let me know who you are. This is not the first time I have received a beautiful anonymous gift and while it's wonderful, it's also frustrating. Somebody has just blessed me and I want to know who! And I want to thank them and let them know just how their gift brightened my day. Thank you, whoever you are.

The flowers encouraged me oddly enough to get dressed and get something to eat.

Brunch: Large wholewheat pitta with 2 tsp jam, 2 tsp crunchy peanut butter, a medium banana and a handful of strawberries.
Dinner: Chicken breast, stuffed with goat's cheese and wrapped in ham, baked, served with cranberry sauce, roast potatoes, gravy, broccoli and carrots.
Planned snack: The husband unit is bringing home a small treat later - either some Malteasers or a little bar. I plan to enjoy this with a nice cup of tea.

After a couple of weeks of general vexation, I have decided I am going to re-start the job search in earnest. I can't go on like this, with no routine, forever. I scan the job adverts most days, and apply for one here and there, but I think I actually need to get out into the city with a hundred CVs and just apply everywhere with "Staff Wanted" signs. I need work, man!

easy naan bread

I made home-made naan breads last night to go with our curry. They were surprisingly good, although they weren't much like the kind you'd get in an Indian restaurant. Soft though, slightly crumbly and with a wonderful warmth, taste and texture. I made two small naans, and only ate half of mine. The husband had the other half of mine today with his lunch. I wish I had a photo, but the camera is dying. :(

Makes 2:

1 tsp dried active yeast
1 tsp sugar
100g plain flour
pinch black onion seeds (nigella seeds)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp groundnut oil (any oil is fine)
1/2 tsp dried coriander leaf
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tbsp milk

1. Set oven to 140 degrees
2. Mix sugar and yeast, and add a tablespoon or two of lukewarm water. Mix briefly and allow to get frothy.
3. Mix dry ingredients together.
4. Mix all wet ingredients with the dry, including the now-frothy yeast mixture.
5. Form a dough and knead briefly.
6. Put the ball of dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave in a warm place for 15 minutes until it's almost doubled in size.
7. Knock the air out of the dough and knead briefly. Form two balls and roll them out on a floured surface into two ovals, about half a centimetre thick. Mist with oil.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until risen and golden.
9. Eat!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

lime and garlic prawns with bruschetta

So our post-gym lunch was a bit spectacular. However the camera died while taking photos of it, so I only got the first bits, which is too bad, because it really was a feast for the eyes.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

280g raw prawns (shrimp), headless, without shells, de-veined
1 lime
Fresh coriander (cilantro)
3 cloves garlic
5 tomatoes
2 small ciabatta rolls (or one larger one, split in two)
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Put your prawns into a shallow dish. Crush two cloves of garlic and add to the dish. Finely chop some fresh coriander and sprinkle it over. Slice your lime in two and squeeze out all of the juice into the dish. Stir well and put in the fridge to soak up the flavours.

2. Next take your array of beautiful tomatoes.




Chop them up to the size you like, and mix in a large bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside to allow the flavours to develop.


Yum

3. Slice your ciabattas in half and spray with olive oil. Place under the grill (broiler if you're American) ready to crisp up in a few moments.

4. Heat up a cast iron griddle pan (or any pan if you haven't got one of those) and mist with olive oil. Throw in your prawns and cook until pink and tender (about 3 minutes). While they are cooking, toast your ciabatta and rub the toasted side with a cut clove of garlic.

5. Plate up. Using a slotted spoon, load the tomato salad on top of the garlicky toasted ciabatta, with the lime shrimp alongside. Eat!

This was so good. I followed it up with a hot cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit.

chewsday

Planned food for today:

Breakfast: Toasted bagel with cheese, raspberry tea.
Lunch: Raw prawns marinated in lime juice, garlic and coriander, and charred on the griddle pan, with a mixed tomato salad on a slice of garlicky ciabatta.
Dinner: Chicken and vegetable jalfrezi with brown rice.

I'm really looking forward to our lunch-time salad. I went to an organic market yesterday and picked up five beautiful tomatoes of all different colours, shapes and sizes. The most beautiful one is the tiger tomato which has vivid green stripes! I plan to chop the tomatoes in a gloriously colourful haze, and toss them with olive oil and good qulaity balsamic vinegar, and pile them on top of a slice of lightly toasted, garlic-rubbed ciabatta. I'll take a picture (more for my own pleasure than anyone else's).

The Husband Unit is making dinner with an organic sauce we picked up in the same place. He's a nervous cook but I think he's got all his plans in order for this one. :)

I'm going to the gym this morning. I plan to give it 100% today. Some days I feel like only a little stroll on the treadmill, and then working hard at lifting. Today however marks 5 days until I run the 5k I've signed up for and I want to up the ante a little. I've walked 5k and more many times, but I would love to be able to run at least part of this race. It is my first official race and I would like, also, not to come completely last. Please Lord provide an old lady or somebody in a wheelchair for that particular honour. :D Although having just typed that, I realised that there are probably thousands of old ladies and wheelchair-users out there with better cardio health than me. :) Ack. I am nervous about being horribly humiliated.

Group therapy tonight.

Monday, May 3, 2010

fail numero uno

Well, I had my first round of emotional eating last night for the first time in over 7 weeks. Thankfully it didn't reach binge status, but I wasn't physically hungry at all (I had eaten my dinner), and was definitely looking to fill an emotional gap left by arguments, tiredness and the ED.

I was helping out at youth group where there was an array of treats. This included apples, melon (these laid out especially for me!), popcorn, Jaffa Cakes (these are like little soft chocolate-orange cookies), jellies and cashew nuts.

I completely ignored the fruit. I ate about five jellies, 2 Jaffa Cakes, a handful of popcorn, a handful of cashew nuts and 2, yes 2, cups of hot chocolate (it was the instant variety, made with hot water). I don't think I've ever actually had more than one cup of hot chocolate in a sitting before. The hot chocolate was so sweet and warm and filling...I immediately felt peaceful after drinking it. That is the clear, clear sign of emotional eating - having your emotions soothed by what you've just consumed.

I guess as failures go, I failed reasonably well. I am determined to do my best not to repeat this. It isn't as though I ingested a lot of calories; I probably broke even for the day. But I had no intention of eating, and then I found myself compulsively, mindlessly putting the food in my mouth. I was also reminded how good it feels to emotionally eat, which is totally destructive to my goals. Why is this process so complicated?

Eats today:

Brunch: Banana oats with cinnamon, raisins and peanut butter. 1 boiled egg with two slices of granary toast.
Dinner: Probably yesterday's leftovers - pasta bolognese.
Snacks: I'm packing some fruit as we head out possibly to the cinema and for some walking around the city. I may also have a soy latte while we're at it.

Here's to a brighter, better week.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

sunday blues

Today has been challenging.

Breakfast: 1 wholewheat pitta with 2 tsp of peanut butter and half a banana.
Lunch: Pastrami, rocket and cream cheese dressing on sunflower-honey bread.
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognese with beef, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and red peppers with 40g pasta.

Lunch was completely unsatisfying. I've been trying lately to not make bread the centre of any meal. I do eat (and enjoy) my carbohydrates, but I prefer them to be an add-on to my lunches and dinners rather than the main element. I like my meat and fish and vegetables to be central, and the bread/poatoes/pasta to be sides. The sandwich was eaten at a roadside cafe (an unusually beautiful cafe full of hand-hewn wood furniture and open log fires) and it was mainly bread. The fillings were pretty minimal (1 slice of pastrami, a few leaves, a drizzle of cream cheese dressing), and I was still hungry when it was finished. I felt very irritable and distracted. I really wanted sugar to go with it...chocolate, Coke, anything. I find that white bread sometimes has this effect on me. But I was craving salty snacks too. I was so unsatisfied that the urge to binge started to rise with strength in me. I felt very angry all the way home. I took a nap and this helped to overcome it somewhat, although this definitely continues to be a difficult day in terms of food. I have eaten my dinner and already I want to have other things to eat. :(

The weather is also atrocious. I never used to find the bad Irish weather a problem. Why? Because I would make myself a hot chocolate and have a few biscuits (that's cookies to the US readers) with it, or some buttery toast and marmalade, tucked under a blanket. Food was my comfort for every last inconvenience. Now I can just have the blanket but for the most part need to forgo the biscuits and snacks. For someone who has used food as an emotional crutch since they were a child, this is very stressful.

Not much "funny" in this blog lately.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

wedding eats

Well, not a very successful day for eating. The Husband Unit was very ill this morning with an upset stomach so our plans of getting to the gym and having a large brunch before a 1pm wedding went out the window, and I ended up eating too much later on as a result. I went a very long time without food (as did everyone else present!). However, I did not binge, and largely that is what this journey is all about.

Breakfast at 9.30 am: 1 egg, 1 slice granary toast.
Snack at 3.00 pm: Two thirds of a yellow Snack bar (that's shortcake biscuit and chocolate).
Lunch at 3.45 pm: 1 slice of roast beef with a scoop of mashed potato, half of a roast potato, and some carrots and cabbage. This was followed by a latte which came with a small coffee biscuit, and a purple snack bar (which is a chocolate sandwich biscuit).
Dinner at 7.00 pm (wedding BBQ): 1.5 sausages, 2 spare ribs, 1 slice of marinated chicken, 1 tablespoon of potato salad, mixed green leaves, 1 small bread roll and 2 slices of bread (this was all irresistibly home-baked) - all with butter. Dessert was two delicious hand-made chocolates and a carrot-cake muffin. I also drank about five glasses of white wine!

Yikes.

Eating lightly for the next few days might be in order!

I still find special occasions confusing. I battle the urge to binge mixed with the need to feast and celebrate appropriately. The most important question however seems to be whether or not at these events I am feeding my hunger, or my emotions. Today, I was clearly feeding my hunger (the only thing that had me in grumpy form was the six hours between breakfast and lunch!). Getting too hungry is always a problem. I eat FAR more at meal times when I am extremely hungry. Perhaps a solution to this is to carry nuts and fruit with me when meal-times will be unpredictable.

There is no way I would have eaten as much as I did today if I had had lunch at between 12.30 and 1.30, as I usually do.

Oh well, live and learn.

The wedding was beautiful, although unfortunately we left early, due to having to travel tomorrow morning for the Husband Unit's work. As I am typing this I am realising that it will be another unpredictable day in terms of food, so it might be worth packing some snacks now to prevent a midday binge.

Hope you're all enjoying a relaxing weekend. I'm going to go drink 5 litres of water to flush all this alcohol out of my body so that I can get up in the morning!

Friday, April 30, 2010

more fud

Breakfast: Banana oats with cinnamon, raisins and peanut butter.
Lunch: Stir-fried chicken with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onion, chilli, tamarind and a little steamed rice.
Dinner: Burger and chips (fries), 1 slice of brown bread.

We fancied a Friday night treat, so I put a couple of burgers on the George Foreman, and a medium portion of oven chips each into the oven. We ate the burgers with sesame buns, a little light mayo, light cheddar, onions, lettuce and ketchup. The slice of bread was for the obligatory chip sandwich. :)

We also got two beers and a small bar of Galaxy chocolate each, which we have not yet enjoyed, but I plan to! Not a low calorie day but hey.

Was very shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Gerry Ryan today. RIP Gerry.

In brighter news we have a wedding to celebrate tomorrow. Unfortunately the dress I am planning to wear is now too big. A good complaint I suppose!

fud

Breakfast: Bagel with ham and cheese on one side, and jam on the other.
Snack: 2 mandarins.
Lunch: 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 slice light cheddar, 50g wafer thin ham, crudités (cucumber and peppers). 100g natural yoghurt with 10 grapes and 20g granola.
Dinner: Out at a friend's place. Bobotie (a South African dish made with minced beef, curry spices, chutney and fruit, topped with egg and baked), with rocket salad and half of a poppyseed bread roll. Dessert was a mixture of pureed mango with natural yoghurt and topped with passion-fruit. Tea and 1 Lindt chocolate.
At the cinema: 2 jelly babies.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

official weigh-day

Today the scale showed 243.2, which is a loss of 1.4 pounds this week. I'm happy with that.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it

We just ate the moussaka, and I've added an image below if you want a nosey. It was really delicious. Delighted!

We both worked hard at the gym and I was suitably purple-faced and sweaty when we headed for home. The heaviest weight I lifted was again on the leg-press, at 141kg (310.2lbs)! I need to have a shower but I have the post-workout chills and don't much like the thought of diving under jets of water right now. Until I do, Husband Unit will have to tolerate the stink.

Food today:

Breakfast: Banana oats with cinnamon, raisins and peanut butter.
Snack: 2 mandarins.
Lunch: Half a wholewheat pitta bread stuffed with egg salad (2 hard boiled eggs, mashed and mixed with light mayo) with about 50g of wafer-thin ham, and some crudités.
Dinner: Moussakka with a salad of butterhead lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and green peppers.
Snack: Cup of tea with 1 digestive biscuit (for the Americans reading, that's similar to a Graham cracker, only round, and nicer :p).

My friend brought round his digital 8-track machine to lend to me so that I can record some songs. I have also decided (five minutes ago) that I am now a writer, and am going to have a go at devoting a few hours every day to my new job: writing. :)

moussaka

I made a moussaka this morning for our evening meal...that way we can pop it in the oven, go to the gym, and come home to a delicious cooked meal.

I made this version a while ago, and it was amazing, but I wanted a slightly less luxurious and calorific version to bring it into our everyday repertoire, so this is what I did. This recipe has approximately 2500 calories in it total, so one sixth of that is approximately 420 calories.















500g lean lamb mince
1 onion, chopped
1.5 cans of chopped tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp mixed spice
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

2 large aubergines

1 tablespoon butter
1 heaped tablespoon flour
1 pint low-fat milk
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon grated mozzarella
1 whole raw egg

1. Brown the lamb mince in a large saucepan with the onions and garlic. Drain off the fat and discard it. Return the pan of meat, onions and garlic to the heat.
2. Add tomatoes, herbs, spices, red wine vinegar and seasoning. Stir well and leave to simmer for an hour. Stir and taste from time to time.
3. Slice the aubergines lengthwise and salt them. Leave them for 30 minutes to draw out the bitter juices.
4. Make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and stir well. Cook this paste on a low heat for 5 minutes (this gets rid of a floury taste). Remove from the heat. Stir in the milk, one splash at a time, until you have a lump-free mixture. It should be thin and smooth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy. Lower the heat and continue to stir and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses. They should melt immediately. Leave aside to cool.
5. Rinse the aubergines and pat dry. Heat a cast-iron griddle pan and spray lightly with olive oil. Fry each of the aubergine slices briefly on both sides until lightly charred and tender. Set aside.
6. Whisk the raw egg into the cheese sauce.
7. Begin layering like a lasagna. Ideally you should have a layer of meat, then aubergines, then meat, then aubergines, then meat, then the cheese sauce. However I ran out of meat and had to put the cheese sauce on top of a layer of aubergines, oops! This should not make a huge difference but it won't look as attractive.
8. Bake at 180 Celsius for 45 mins approx, until bubbly and golden. If you are baking it from cold (as I will be) allow another 15 minutes or so for the cooking time.

Eat with a chunky salad!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

painting and paella

I had a good day! It seems like the first one in a while. It was nothing exciting...I got up for the usual prayer and breakfast at 7ish, and then went back to bed for a cheeky little nap after my husband had left for work. I got up and did some cleaning (a rarity lately) and some reading. A friend called in for lunch and ended up staying most of the day, until after dinner. I got on the train and opened the book of Romans (specifically chapter 7), where I had my mind blown once again by God's amazing challenge to a life that rejects rules and norms and restrictions and expectations. I went to group therapy where we discussed using creativity to aid recovery. It was a very exciting conversation. What can I do, personally and collaboratively, to learn to use my gifts creatively in a way that aids my emotional well-being? I'm going to give this some thought this week. The thoughts of painting, or sculpture, or recording music or whatever... these things seem like bright and hopeful activities. Any of the locals reading, if you want to do something together, let me know.

Food:

Breakfast: Bagel with peanut butter and half a banana.
Lunch: Half a large wholewheat pitta with ham, cheese, lettuce, cucumber, boiled egg and peppers, followed by mixed berries and a little natural yoghurt.
Dinner: Paella.

The paella was good. I have no idea if it was in any way authentic, as I've never eaten it before. Here's what I did and it served three hungry people with a little left over:

225g risotto/paella rice
800ml chicken stock
100ml white wine
140g raw prawns (you can use cooked ones either)
1 large chicken breast, cubed
Half a chorizo ring, sliced
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Handful green beans (I used fine beans)
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 small red chillis, chopped
2 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt and pepper

1. Fry chorizo until it releases its lovely flavourful oils. Set aside. Fry chicken in chorizo oil. Set aside. Fry prawns. Set aside.
2. Fry onion, garlic and chillis in the remaining oil until soft.
3. Add rice and peppers. Stir to coat with oil. Add stock, wine and smoked paprika. Stir well.
4. Leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
5. Add cooked meats and green beans. Stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes until everything is thoroughly heated though.
6. Taste, season and eat. Delicious!

I'd say the important bit is the quantity of liquid to the quantity of rice. The rest you could play about with, adding more or less of the meats, fish and vegetables as you prefer. I would also consider highering the ratio of wine to stock next time, maybe 250ml / 650ml. Anyway, it's very tasty. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

monday mundanity

Still not feeling 100% physically (still having abdominal pain etc.), but emotionally I feel quite a bit better. Last night I really argued with myself about food. Specifically I back-and-forthed about ordering a Chinese takeaway. The Husband Unit also fancied one. But I decided in the end that I was definitely doing it to make myself feel better, and that's not a good motivation for eating (for me). So I contented myself with another delicious and exciting glass of water.

Food today:

Breakfast: Watermelon and honeydew melon, 2 slices apricot bread and a little cheese.
Lunch: Pork stir fried Chinese-style with carrots, onions and mushrooms, with a tablespoonful of egg noodles.
Snack: Apple.
Dinner: Red lentil dhal with home-made rotis.

I saw "Cemetery Junction" today and it was great. I had a moment (or two) of overwhelming longing when queuing to buy our tickets at the concession stand, surrounded by sweets, chocolate, popcorn and nachos.

I bought shoes for an upcoming wedding (€4!) and we went to IKEA for a filing cabinet which is being enthusiastically constructed as I type. Here too I resisted the meatballs and Daim cake, as well as loading up on treats to take home in their supermarket section. I really do feel bombarded by food wherever I go. :(

Might hit the gym tonight...but the Indian spices from the dhal do tend to repeat if you work out after eating. Mmm. Are the spice-burps worth it?


Sunday, April 25, 2010

strawberry smoothie dessert

So I made smoothies for me and the Husband Unit for our evening meal. They were delicious and filling, so I thought I'd share. Bear in mind they have quite a few calories, which is why they make a good meal, as opposed to a drink. I will probably make them again for a quick breakfast. If you want to cut calories, leave out the peanut butter and maple syrup.

These smoothies are very thick. If you like them thinner, use less strawberries or more juice/milk. I like them thick, because it's like having a big glass of dessert.

This makes about 2 pints, so 2 large servings (450 calories approx each) or 4 medium (225 calories approx each).

Ingredients:

350g frozen strawberries
150g strawberry yoghurt (I used Glenisk low-fat)
1 banana
1 cup of orange juice
Half a cup of low-fat milk
Quarter cup of oats
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of peanut butter

Method:

Blend. Eat with a spoon. :)

pfff

Last night we went to a great seafood restaurant in Howth, called "Deep". I had goat's cheese, followed by cod, and the Husband Unit had fish cakes, followed by blackened salmon.

It was wonderful.

We also walked on the pier with 99s. For anyone who has never experienced a 99, it's a vanilla soft-serve ice cream on a wafer cone with a chocolate flake stuck in it. (I only managed to eat about a third of mine...I just can't do quantity the way I used to.) 99s are fantastic and are the stuff of memories for Irish kids growing up in the eighties and nineties.

Today:

Breakfast: Pumpkin banana oats with cinnamon, raisins and peanut butter.
Main meal: Grilled chicken breast with a roasted sweet potato and ratatouille with chorizo.
Evening: Nothing yet. Maybe some fruit salad and yoghurt.

I am feeling physically unwell, and emotionally extremely out of sorts. I didn't make it to church today. The urge to binge hovers on the fringes at all times. It's lashing rain and earlier, I heard the biggest thunderclap I've ever heard in my life. Even though the rain is depressing (and the cold - and I can't turn the heat on because the boiler needs to be serviced), I do enjoy thunder and lightning. I always have. Is that odd?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

honesty...

Last night at the party, across about 5 hours, I ate lots of melon, raspberries and watermelon, 3 grape and cheese sticks, 3 nachos with M's delicious dip, 7 Pringles, 2 jelly sweets, 1 chocolate-dipped strawberry, a slice of carrot cake, a handful of crisps and a few peanuts. I drank water and Diet 7up.

Written down it does seem rather a lot (oops). However, it was a million miles from a binge, and it's better to acknowledge the quantity than to deny it. I did avoid excess with any particular food, and also steered clear of the cupcakes and other quickly-eaten calorie-laden treats. I really enjoyed myself and danced also for at least three hours.

Food today:

Brunch: 1 egg, two sausages and a bagel.
Snack: Handful grapes.
Dinner: Variable! We're going out somewhere for date-night.

The sun has disappeared, along with my good mood. A trip to the cinema is in order. S'long folks.


Friday, April 23, 2010

that friday feeling

It's another beautiful sunny day here.

I managed to make it to the Friday morning prayer meeting (8am) ...I'm always so glad when I go. We were even up early enough to walk. :)

Speaking of prayer meetings, the commitment that the Husband Unit made with me to meet for prayer and breakfast every single morning has continued since Day 1. This has been so important to me. Being unemployed, it gives me a good reason to get up early. It also encourages me to prepare a good breakfast, and start the day's eating on the right foot. It's also a chance to get a solid thirty minutes together each day, in a lifestyle where we often don't see much of each other. I wish we had done this years ago.

Breakfast: 40g of granola with rhubarb yoghurt. (The rhubarb yoghurt was too sweet...I'll stick to natural yoghurt in future.)
Snack: 2 small slices of apricot bread.
Lunch: Bagel with grilled chicken breast, roasted pickled peppers, salad, Parmesan shavings and Caesar dressing.
Dinner: Spicy prawn and vegetable stir-fry, I think. Something with fresh prawns anyway.
Post-dinner snacks: I'm going to a party. I'm bringing a fresh fruit platter to share so I'll eat some of that, and possibly a slice of birthday cake, but hopefully not much more than that.

...and that's all I have to say about that. Hope you all are preparing for a fun and restful weekend. I plan to dance, cycle and eat good food. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the wind was so gentle it tied my shoe-laces

Breakfast: Pumpkin banana oats with cinnamon, raisins and peanut butter.
Lunch: This was so crap! I was out and got a brown bread sandwich with ham, cheese and red onion, with a cup of vegetable soup. The soup was lukewarm and inedible, and the sandwich tasted like cardboard. I was hungry so I ate three-quarters of it. It came with a handful of crisps (that's chips to the Americans reading) and I ate those. I also ate four chicken bites from my God-daughter's Burger King meal!
Snack: 2 mandarins.
Dinner: Leftovers from yesterday - spicy sausage in a tomato sauce with mixed vegetables and 40g pasta.

Today was nice. Not only did I get to spend time with three of my favourite people and soak up some sun, I also got some treats, courtesy of the Husband Unit, who announced that I should "go crazy". So I did. :)

I bought myself a really good urea-based facial moisturiser and some really good Max Factor foundation, as well as some (very cheap) nail polish, eyeliner, lip gloss and concealer. I also got a new black boyfriend cardigan (as opposed to a new black boyfriend), which goes with everything. I always feel a little guilty buying things for myself. Still, I'm really chuffed with my purchases and looking forward to trying them all out.

There's a lot of stuff going on in my head but I'm still not in a position to really write about it. Maybe another day.

Tally-ho, bean-poles!

official weigh-day

The scale this morning said 244.6. That's a loss of 2.6 lbs this week.

I have a really nice day planned...shopping and lunch with a good friend, followed by a walk in Donadea Forest Park with another friend later.

Shout out to Deborah who is graduating from her Masters degree today. Whoo! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

death to the old self

Yesterday was the worst, darkest, most tormented, loneliest day I've had since starting on this journey. Some days the urge to binge just strikes and takes a strangling hold of me. My surroundings suddenly fade to grey and I can't see anything beautiful, in me or anyone or anything. All I can hear is screaming in my head. I felt angry about not having anyone to talk to, but couldn't bring myself to ask anyone to talk because, no matter how much I am loved, most people in my life simply do not understand ED. Understandable, seeing as they haven't got it. I became panicked about the normal planning of meals and going outdoors, because I didn't trust myself not to buy junk food secretly and eat all of it. I am desperately afraid of binging. I don't mean that in the abstract: I actually have fear in my heart at the prospect of having a binge. Ironically, I'm simultaneously filled with fear about never binging again, as binging has definitely served a clear purpose in my life, getting me through very difficult times.

My stress levels were through the roof. I choked down about half of my dinner and then left for Group Therapy. I need to take two trains to get to the clinic - all in all it takes about an hour. While I was waiting on the platform for my connecting train, I was hit with the stabbing pain in my intestines that indicates a bout of IBS. This was of course stress-induced. I needed to to use a bathroom, but in order to find one, I'd have to miss my connecting train to the clinic. So that's what I had to do.

By the time the pain and waves of nausea had passed, I had long missed my train and the next one would have meant arriving 45 minutes late to the group, which is simply not fair on the others. I felt desolate. I thought about buying sweets and crisps to cheer myself up; I thought about getting a latte and a pastry. I actually stood and looked at the contents of a vending machine for a few minutes. I eventually got back on the train, went home, and curled up on the bed at 9pm, and just read.

When the husband unit got back from work, he joined me, reading too. At about midnight I finally started talking to him and it helped. He is reading the book my therapist wrote, "Hope" but more than that, he is listening carefully and without judgment when I try to discuss the ED. He was so compassionate and understanding and helpful that I felt much calmer going to sleep. I did take a pill to help me sleep though...I've had several sleepless nights and I couldn't take another one, with eight solid hours of thoughts of food pounding in my brain.

I woke this morning and, as before, the cloud had lifted. I have spent the morning reflecting, journalling and praying and reading some posts on the website that my therapy group share, for some positive encouragement.

Food today:

Breakfast: Cinnamon and raisin bagel with peanut butter and half a banana.
Lunch: Scrambled eggs and a wholewheat pitta. Watermelon.
Dinner: Spicy sausage in a tomato sauce with onions, garlic, mushrooms and red peppers, with spaghetti.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

untitled

I am hunger.

All day. I feel bad, and freezing cold. I'm glad I have group therapy to look forward to tonight. (Bizarre eh?)

Breakfast: 2 pumpkin muffins, toasted, with a little jam and peanut butter.
Lunch: Wholewheat pitta with cheese and a little coleslaw and a large mixed salad, with lots of beetroot.
Snack: Half a cup of low fat milk, 2 chunks of watermelon.
Dinner: Roast chicken, gravy, potatoes, carrots and broccoli.

I forgot to add yesterday that I ate a square of dark chocolate with tea after lunch. Not that it matters...but just for the sake of full disclosure.

I hope this feeling passes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

food recap

Breakfast: Cinnamon and raisin bagel with peanut butter and half a banana.
Snack: A few raisins while baking...and then I had to sample a muffin. It would have been wrong not to! :)
Lunch: Small wholemeal pitta bread with ham, light cheddar, a hard boiled egg, beetroot, mixed leaves, peppers and 1 spoonful of coleslaw. 2 slices of melon.
Snack: 5 grapes
Dinner: Baked chicken breast with a pesto stuffing (breadcrumbs, basil pesto, parmesan cheese) with sauteed broccoli, yellow and orange peppers and cashew nuts, dressed with soy and a little maple syrup.

pumpkin muffins

Well, once again, it's not pumpkin, it's pureed butternut squash, because you can't get pumpkin in Ireland at this time of year. These are bready breakfast-style muffins rather than treats.

This recipe makes 12. Approx 125 kcals per muffin.
















I recommend using non-stick baking parchment in the muffin trays rather than the muffin paper cases shown above, as due to the lack of fat in these, they do tend to stick to the muffin paper. You'll need a set of American measuring cups to make these...they used to be hard to come by, but now you can buy a set in any Tesco.

These are my own creation! And tasty too if I may say so.

(wet)
1/2 cup of brown sugar (well, this ain't wet, but it goes in with the wet stuff!)
1/8 cup of soft butter
1 egg
1/2 cup of low-fat milk, and an extra splash
1/2 cup butternut squash puree (or pumpkin, obviously)

(dry)
1 cup of wholewheat flour
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/4 cup of porridge oats
1/4 cup of raisins
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 190 Celsius and line your muffin trays with squares of non-stick baking parchment.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk and butternut squash and whisk well.
3. Sieve your flours together in a large bowl and add all of the other dry ingredients. Stir.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until you have a batter.
5. Fill the 12 muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen, golden and when pricked with a knife, it comes out clean.
6. Eat!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

sun-day

Breakfast: Granola and natural yoghurt.
Lunch (BBQ): 1 burger in a bun with cheese, lettuce and onions, 1 regular sausage on a slice of French bread with onions and ketchup, 1 Bratwurst sausage on 2 slices of French bread with ketchup, half of a marinated pork kebab, 1 glass of 7-up.
Evening: 2 bites of banana and a handful of grapes.

It was another beautiful day; not quite as sunny but beautiful, warm and dry nonetheless. I cycled everywhere. I'm still crapping myself (not literally you understand), and my arse hurts a lot, but I'm enjoying it.

The husband unit and I ate a small breakfast at 9am. Lunch was at 2pm, and I was absolutely ravenous. I ate far too much and spent the afternoon feeling ill, bloated and regretful.

I struggle to write in-depth here about the emotional battles of ED. I don't even know if I can do it now. But I decided today, while having a late afternoon "nap" that I would use the BBQ as a learning experience. When I am very hungry, I should eat one thing and pause for ten minutes. If I find I am still hungry, I can eat a serving of something else. I do not need to leap in and grab as much as possible as fast as possible. What I did today was not emotional eating, it was habitual. I stuffed myself because I was extremely hungry, and did not listen to the signals of my body telling me that it had had enough, long before I stopped eating. As a result I felt ill and worse, regretful. Every incidence of over-eating acts like a trigger for me.

Anyway, new dawn new day and all that.

cyclelogical

So we took our freshly serviced as-yet-unridden bicycles from the shed on this gloriously sunny day and set off for Kevin's sister's house. We quickly realised that my tyres were completely flat. This is very angering, because I paid €25 to a guy to service the whole bike which includes, you know, putting air in the tyres and basically...nothing else. Grr! I'm going down there on Monday to fight with them for handing my bike back to me, charging me buttloads of cash and doing absolutely nothing to it. I demand a recount. I mean refund.

After a lot of effort, we figured out how to pump up the tyres. The difficulty is that it is a vintage bike and doesn't have standard fittings. The husband unit was stellar. After 30 minutes of frustration, we were finally ready to go.

I cannot emphasise enough how nerve-wracking it is at 247lbs and having not been on a bicycle for 15 years to get out into traffic, but I did it. It was a little wobbly and my steering was terrible, but we got there. Also my shoes kept threatening to come off. In the moments where my little heart wasn't still with terror, I even quite enjoyed it. The sun, the freedom, the wind whipping in my hair...I think I'm going to enjoy this! We're planning another short adventure tomorrow to church.

For lunch I ate: 1 slice of ham, 1 slice of turkey, 1 tablespoon of some kind of Greek chicken dish, 1 chicken nugget, 1 slice of garlic bread and 2 tablespoons of tomatoey pasta. No vegetables! There was a green salad but it was literally drenched in dressing, and I like my dressings sparse. For dessert I went for the lightest option - pavlova (for the non-Europeans, that's meringue with cream and fruit). In this case, there was no fruit on top, but lemon curd and almonds instead. It was extremely sweet and I didn't really enjoy it, but I kept eating. I don't even know why. I also had a slice of Malteaser cake - 1/16th of the whole thing. This was also too sweet and dense. I am losing my sweet tooth!

For dinner we went as planned to a new Mexican place. I think it was a chain restaurant actually - Cactus Jacks? It was good. I wasn't too hungry so I just had a starter of tortilla chips with chilli, salsa and sour cream. It was delicious, but I only managed half of it.

bed nw slepy asdb

Saturday, April 17, 2010

fall schmall

Ta an ghrian ag taitneamh go hard sa spéir inniú! The sun is shining brightly in the sky today. We're planning to bike over to my husband's sister's house for her daughter's birthday party today. It's not far, but I haven't been on a bike in 15 years, and the chances of falling on my face repeatedly are very high indeed.

I'm looking forward to it though. A friend bequeathed her bicycle to me when she left the country recently. I had it serviced and the saddle replaced. It's a girl's dream...basket, ribbons, a bell... never what I would have gone for but it is so pretty. I plan to attach square wheels and cycle over mountains at sunset to the amazement of villagers below.

Planned food:

Late breakfast: Cinnamon and raisin bagel, with some peanut butter and a sliced banana.
Lunch: Party-food...knowing my sister-in-law, there'll be two feasts; one for the littlers and one for us. Ours will probably be something very lavish and exotic, and lots of it, as well as mounds of rice and salads, and ten kinds of desserts. She doesn't do things by halves.
Dinner: Date-night. We're going out. To do what has not yet been decided, but we're thinking of going to one of the new Mexican restaurants in the Italian quarter in town. I'll try not to feel too guilty for abandoning our usual Mexican haunt, where we have been eating for twelve glorious years. ¡Ay, caramba!

So, it's mostly variables. I'm going to enjoy whatever I have, and just try to watch my portion sizes.


Friday, April 16, 2010

go underdogs!

Last night we went to the cinema to see "The Blind Side". I really enjoyed it. Apart from it being a genuinely great (and true) story, it was refreshing to see Christians portrayed positively in a creative medium for once. I know we deserve our bad rep, but hey, there's good stuff there too.

At the cinema I had a 46g bar of Galaxy chocolate. It was great.

Food today:

Breakfast: 2 small slices of apricot bread, 100g of yoghurt with a tablespoon of blueberries, 1 slice of light cheddar and a handful of grapes. A mish-mash, but really good.
Lunch: 1 egg, 2 tablespoons of baked beans and 2 slices of poppyseed toast.
Snack: 2 mandarins, 1 square of 85% dark chocolate.
Dinner: Fish pie (made with salmon and prawns) topped with mashed potato, and lots of steamed broccoli on the side.
Post dinner: I helped Kevin make a cake for our niece's birthday party tomorrow, and I ate 3 Malteasers and then I licked the spoon. If you know what I mean. :)

Today I have been quite hungry and have had to operate some self-control with portions. Most days I don't feel physically hungry except right before mealtimes (this does not diminish the constant urge to binge, which remains present, whether faintly or at a high volume, almost all of the time). I am off out to the pub now to spend the evening with some friends. I won't be having any alcohol as my kidneys couldn't take it right now, but that's ok. I know I will be tempted by the crisps and peanuts. I don't know what to say about that because I have a "no deprivation" policy. If I really want some, I'll have some I suppose. A small portion of nuts never hurt anybody...except for all those people who've gone into anaphylactic shock and you know, died. Cheers everyone!