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


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 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 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


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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. 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!


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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!


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!