Warning – not pretty!
The brain is a funny thing, isn’t it? We think we’re getting somewhere and then something in the back of our heads goes “Nah, this is going too well – let’s throw a spanner”. That’s what happened to me this week – I was not expecting it, and it wasn’t welcome.
Having written the last post on Wednesday, all about my ED, sugar and how it really does me no good at all, I got lots of lovely feedback from my incredibly supportive friends and family. As all good mums do, mine was upset that she hadn’t been able to help me more – but as I told her (and have before) if I didn’t know what the heck was going on, how on earth could she? It’s a very secretive, evil thing, an eating disorder. People need to know this. The very best thing that family or friends can do is to listen with a non-judgmental ear, when we’re ready to talk – which my mum is AWESOME at. So there, mother.
Where was I? Oh yes. Lots of lovely, supportive feedback. Unfortunately the gremlin in my brain took that as “Great! Others are going through similar things, I’m normal! Let’s go round again!” …. Uh oh.
So, Thursday … a bit of an odd day in the office, but a good one nonetheless. The usual craziness. I started the day on autopilot with a flapjack. (-1 point for wellness). An incredibly kind colleague brought me back some chocolate from her travels the previous weekend (and I know she’s reading this – no blame to be apportioned anywhere except squarely on me!), which we tucked into. Naturally I ate the lot (BONG -2 points). We had delicious homemade cinnamon cookies too – small but delicious. I will allow a ‘let’ for those, no guilt to be attached.
Lunchtime … Thursdays at work are a bit odd. This is where the creature of habit falls over, and the gremlin is allowed in. Tuesday is fish finger wrap day. Wednesday is Southern Fried Chicken wrap day. Every other Friday is scampi day. Which leaves a handful of others which, if I haven’t prepared for, are usually a disaster. For once I actually made a sensible decision, and had a ‘live’ omelette (I’ll let you use your imagination for that one).
Afternoon sets in … tea, more cinnamon cookies. At which point it’s chocolate cookie, Boost chocolate bar, and the gremlin has been well and truly let loose.
Tesco on the way home – two packs of fresh cookies (that’s 10 total), a bag of Smartie chocolate eggs, a bag of Daim chocolate eggs (what the hell was wrong with Dime, by the way??), Chinese selection pack of 14 dim sum (sweet chilli sauce), Chinese fried prawns (sweet chilli sauce), oh and I think there was a partridge in the pear tree somewhere.
I can be jovial and light-hearted about this now I’m writing it, but it was an unstoppable frenzy at the time. I’m not sure how much of it I actually tasted.
I woke myself up in a total panic in the middle of the night by choking on my own bile – I’d eaten so much that my stomach wasn’t able to take all the food. My first thought was of the son of some family friends who had died doing exactly that – OK so he was likely drunk or otherwise impaired, but knowing that I have much the same reaction to alcohol as to food, there but for the grace of God go I … (sorry mum – I know I frightened you when I told you this, but I frightened myself too).
I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed to have admitted to this – but it’s important. This is no “Oh I should cut down on sugar” moment. This is an “I could die” moment. Not least because eating that crap will give me diabetes … but I have every intention of living to a ripe old age and being a cantankerous old cat lady. No, I NEED to be a cantankerous old cat lady – it is my destiny, Obi-Wan.
So now what?
Now, I quit the sugar once and for all. It won’t be easy, as it’s everywhere. I won’t panic if I have a piece of fruit toast and it’s got a bit of sugar in it, but I need to recognise that I have an addictive personality, and I’m totally incapable of moderating intake. I know that if I start eating sugary things – sugar begets sugar, end of story. And it ain’t a pretty story.
The same applies to wine, but that’s an easier one to avoid – thankfully we don’t have wine at work (might make it more dramatic though), and due to the location of my office there’s no real opportunity for folks to just stop for a drink on the way home, unlike other places I’ve worked. I learned about my addictive personality then, after a couple of trips to the hospital (again, sorry mum) and missed or drunken train journeys. More apologies due to my ex husband for that one, but he was no angel either. We really didn’t help each other – too many misunderstood gremlins between us.
My target for this week (let’s start small, shall we?) is to really use my Wellness journal. I’ve done my weekly check-in to see where I’ve got to – what went badly last week (Cripes), and what I need to change. Not sure if you can read this image, but effectively it outlines the fact that sugar and lack of planning lead to badness.
The next page in the book is a meal planner – I’ve completed this, been shopping, and I have absolutely no need to go shopping for the rest of the week. I even have contingency toast.
I can do this! I even have a pint of tea, the washing’s done, the washing up is done … sorted. I’ve got this.
And now I must go and apologise profusely to my mother for giving her so many heart attacks over the years …