locking horns with the irrational monster who lives in my belly

Today I was told the following

-that I look really healthy and am obviously not underweight

now

my interpretation of that was

-that I look really chubby and am obviously not slim.

or worse

-that I look really fat and am obviously not skinny.

This pisses me off something chronic.

Seriously – I’m not annoyed about the comment – it was genuinely not meant negatively – it was a reflection of my current good health and lack of brink-of-deathness.

I’m pissed off that my interpretation is STILL so backwards! I frickin HATE that, I KNOW I look healthy and well and normal and all those words I so feared becoming.

Ok while I’m on this topic I had another disturbing experience at the weekend – it was mentioned to me that some girls we were meeting were very skinny and something to the effect of ‘about as thin as me at my thinnest’. What annoyed me again wasn’t the comment, nor the perceived fact – that’s fine- its nice to have warning if people are going to be worryingly thin… but my triggered reaction – some horrid creature inside my belly was offended at this comment, tapped on my brain and said – go-on say how much you weighed at your lowest, and how little you ate…but thankfully I wrangled it back down and tried to be vague and not look like Id just been affronted. THAT is ridiculous! how can ANY part of me still be in ANY way PROUD or DEFENSIVE of what I did to my body?! FFS!!! PLUS how can I expect people to know how bad things were before they knew me when I was until recently TOTALLY incapable of admitting any real problem let alone talking about it (hence blog posts smeared all over with recovery and body image stuffs now I feel able to express myself). Gah! So annoyed with myself, so very annoyed.

Sorry belly monster but this is how things are now – you are gonna have to stop trying to strangle me and control my thoughts because I’m much stronger now, and I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m in a competition with every other woman in the world, being ranked by BMI  and sliding down the scale from what society perceives as beautiful and desirable and down into the murk of what is seen as bland and unexceptional. Well fuck that. I just need to remind myself that it is EXCEPTIONAL that after so many years in the  of strangle hold of various spectrums of an eating disorder that I have FINALLY got myself healthy – for ME, not for anyone else. I have been told repeatedly by professionals that people like me never fully recover, that they will always be on the spectrum of disordered eating – so now all I have to do is prove them wrong…if only I could silence the monster in my belly and believe in myself a bit then we are all set :).

oh here’s a fun game – go to http://www.bmivisualizer.com/ put in your height then without looking a the weights or BMIs consider based on how the 3D model looks what you think you look like to other people. Look at what value you settled on then compare to reality – I think I look like BMI 21.4 even though unclothed Im more like 19.2 – obviously this is not an exact science!! studies have shown that women of normal weights often perceive themselves to be bigger than they are.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379703000205

I think I look 6 kilos heavier than I am- no wonder I am paranoid about looking much chubbier than I used to be!! also this one is fun http://bmijs.is.tuebingen.mpg.de/en/body_masses/get_data but I get the same answer!!

anyway that just number and perception procrastination – i find it fascinating that even women without disordered eating or body dysmorphia still think they look bigger than they actually do…have you seen that program ‘how to look good naked’? have you noticed that when women put themselves in a lineup where they think they fit size-wize they almost always think they are bigger than they are? well they do! ok enough rambling i have students to supervise and foundation to slap on my gloriously clear facial skin 🙂

Why are we beating ourselves over the head girls? for goodness sake – beauty, happiness and success are not measured in pounds ladies, so do me a favour and just appreciate the health you were blessed with. Unfortunately on my cycle ride to work I suffered a flashback to measuring my waist at my most sick and quite honestly I don’t understand how I could be so tiny and not think there was nothing wrong….<shudders> yuck. If I ever need or desire a tiny waist in the future I’ll keep on munching and wear a damned corset 😉

Yeah well it’s not the first time…

And it probably won’t be the last.
I genuinely fail to understand how I am supposed to reply to text messages that I have not received! In the absence of ren and stimpy “eureka” and a little picture of an envelope how I am I supposed to know that somewhere floating in the ether is a message waiting ti descend into my phone?…I am asking in all seriousness, have I got a bit of brain or tech know-how missing?

Back to reality then after a lovely weekend in wales .
I can summarise my trip in photos..

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Do any of those need explanation??? First off delicious meal cooked by lovely friend – it was her first attempt at vegetarian cooking anf I thoroughly approved!
Secondly a  visit to (googles name) st fagans ( im told you don’t say it Fayy-guns but rather as it looks…anyway this place is some sort of outdoor national history museum…full of buildings moved brick by brick for their preservation to this site. Despite the hoards of tourists the place remains peaceful (due to the size of the place) and encompasses a lot of rural welsh history. Very pretty, interesting and complete with an old fashioned high street and funfair including hall of mirrors (yup. Im not actually that short) then delicious dinner at a veggie place ( complete with awesome wooden mooses head and neon sign saying ‘eat art, drink music’ which I kind of want for my living room). After this on to a cocktail bar which I would sooner forget, followed by a charming bar with garlands, parasols, fairylights, beds, (not as in a hotel, or a brothel, they just substituted for seats. Downstairs they played old black and white films on a projecter and the cutest old piano was tucked away behind the stairs.

Basically there were some really cute and kooky places in Cardiff, but you know what…there is also a darker side of a night out on the town!

I’m not used to walking onto a street only to see a bloke and woman rutting against each other…gr…oss!!
Now I know that I complain about lack of compliment and attention but really I didn’t expect our taxi driver to ask if we were out on ‘the hunt’ and then proceeded to sing ‘lady in red’ very badly at me ( oh god! Should have gone with the maxi dress…red minidress a little too much for some people to stay polite about. ) I suffered looks in the restaurant which I interpreted as ‘you are too old to wear stuff like that’ and after having some gross letchy Chav ask I’d the seat next to me was taken (yes it was) loitering then touching my hair…well I haven’t needed to use that particular reflex for quite some time but it quickly returned.   I immediately spun around and shot a look that said ‘get the fuck off me or I’ll kick you in the nuts’

I still have that knack it seems.

The rest of the evening I avoided eye contact with anyone except my immediate company, completely paranoid that I looked like a hooker (overdressed 30-something..).

Argh! So maybe there is something between no attention and being letched at where I could be happy. Plus I learnt something…although mojitos are delicious, daquiris are unpalatable and heartburn inducing.

What happened? How did I become so old and nervous and worrisome? Maybe it’s because I care. I now care what happens, who has fun, who gets hurt, what I feel like. I consider the consequences whereas I never really thought I had anything to lose when I was younger. To some extent I didn’t care because I figured I wouldn’t be alive to have to handle the fallout.

Right now, even though I’m unsure, even though I feel chubby, even though I know I’m nothing but a catalogue of faults and errors, I still think it’s an improvement on the earlier versions of me. If only someone could learn to love or at least overlook or forgive  those faults and misdemeanors…that would make life a whole different spectrum of colours.

Wholesome Health & punting with pimms ( and a bike)

Its official. I’m healthy.
Woohoo!
Dietician says to maintain between current mass (53 kilos) and 55 kilos. Fab.
Soo now I can truly try intuitive eating 🙂 this new freedom allowed me to have 4 slices of quorn chicken, 4 crackerbreads with olive spread, a tin of chickpeas and a chocolate truffle for dinner. It was nearly 10pm so ok that wasn’t the most balanced meal ever but it’s what I felt like having!

Alright then body, whatcha gonna do now?

Have I mentioned that I stopped counting calories. Spontaneously stopped caring. To have to check food total is sufficient is a chore. It looks a lit like my body is now attuned to having about 2500 cals and if it doesn’t get them it reminds me with unavoidable hunger. Biology and biochemistry in motion that is folks!

I know, it’s all basic human physiology etc but for someone who has lived, slept, sweated, eaten and drunk what they only considered in terms of calories and numbers it’s totally fascinating to know that after all that mental anguish and self abuse, it genuinely is possible to revert to what nature intended. 🙂
I guess the immediate reaction upon having dietary freedom like this is to eat a lot of cake. That’s what I have been doing but once a normal sized serving of cake has been consumed the craving passes then the next thing I want is some fresh fruit or carrots or something. Not because of perceived ‘health value’ not to ‘save calories’ just because thats what I fancy!

I’ll be doing spot checks if I feel overfulI or think overfulI eaten very lightly but on general it’s goodbye counting!

Yesterday the lab took to the cam for punting. Of course sods law dictated that I’d overrun my prep and miss out on the fun. But. Determined to show my face for this social outing (lord knows I’ve missed enough thanks to social abd food anxieties) I diligently cycled into parts of the city that I didn’t even know existed trying in ernest to reach the towpath but every entry seemed to be private land….
After some very garbled text messages I figured I would just carry on up a bit further and found a delightful meadow by the river where young people ( im no longer a young person…) gathered to smoke pot and drink beers in the sun…merrily cycling along and hoping to god I didn’t get a puncture….well long story short I found one of the punts, we put my bike on board and punted away!
Now I’m no expert but I’m guessing that for a punt hire company taking a bike on board is a fineworthy offense so after pimms and lemonade was drunk (full sugar, unknown volumes / cals/don’t give a shit) myself and bike were dutifully ejected from the punt so I could cycle off home.
Must remember to decontaminate handlebars which definitely went in the river!!!

Sleepy self

Note to self : need to buy new pencils.  Combination of only HB and 4B makes drawing a extra challenge!

I think my friend liked the pic, dont know if she realised I spent over an hour making that ’50’ for the card ( I hope it stays all together)

I was told this evening that tge reason why I hate beer and grapefruit could be because I am a supertaster…I’ve never heard this term before so I looked it up. Apparently there is quite a lot of variation between the number of taste buds and flavour perception between people and they can be classified as nontaster, taster or supertaster. Fascinating! I’m not saying I’m in any way ‘super’ but I seem very sensitive to certain tastes…I told SO about this and he replied with his usual cynicism that I just like bland food and am picky and should stop going on about it. Somehow he thought I was making it a competition like hey guess what I’ve got more taste buds than you…its just that I find it interesting that maybe I’m NOT just being awkward, maybe the reason why grapefruit makes me gag and I dislike salty fatty and highly spiced food isn’t just because I’m picky it could be because the taste is more intense.

So sad that what could have been a decent intelligent conversation was turned into a critique of my eating habits.

And that online grocery shopping I was so proud of ( and got SO some extra treats) was judged a waste of money etc.

You know yesterday I got to thinking, maybe there is only a finite amount of space allocated in my brain for shoes. The situation is this; I found a pair of dusty shoes which I had forgotten I owned, cleaned them up and wore them…at which point I wondered why I didn’t get some similar yo those I saw in a shop that day. It took literally hours for me to remember that I DID have some like that…they were bought to replace these ones! Now im wondering which pair of shoes has now been shoved out of my memory catalogue to make way¡!

One more thing. About presents. I think it’s better to get someone something perfect or very thoughtful even if it turns up a few days late, rather than giving something pointless and rushed on the actual day…not everyone agrees, I wonder if I’m alone in thinking like this?

minor crafty project

Right now I am in love with the song ‘accidents’ by Ida. The harmonies and sweet naivity of the vocals layered over undulating guitar fingerpicking is just so – beautiful. I’ve finally moved on from my phase of listening to Live’s album ‘throwing copper’ over and over.

A friend told me thursday that it was her birthday on fri..grrrr…why must people sneek around pretending they don’t have birthdays then throw a bbq and not tell people that is for their birthday! (what? I could have checked her bday on facebook? yeah but you have to suspect its coming up…) anyway I’ve been wracking my brains (ha- wrote brians – if I had brians I wrack them too, maybe brians are better gift finders than mooses) for a gift and have failed despite my early morning rise and journey into town on what is likely to be the hottest day of the year thus far.

I managed only to get a lacklustre card and frustration. So –  I thought – I know!  will craftify the card….sooo, I have been arty-crafting (please read: making lots of mess with a noble goal but ultimately – still mess) I saw a card I liked in the shop but decided I wasn’t paying £6 for something I could make myself….well let me tell you – if you enter into such a misadventure as this, I suggest you check your current supplies because it really took far too long to work out that, no, I didn’t have any superglue, and well, it turned out ok in the end thanks to some stickyback felt (supposed to be for feet of furniture – meh), a sample of curtain fabric, some thread, some wire and a few old beads.

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As you can see the cat pic was there already 😉

So now I may try to do a little sketch of her pony – I need some low impact activity to while away my home alone time – then off to the aforementioned BBQ (largely attended  by friend’s colleagues – who I also kind of know) sans SO, trying to figure out whether I am safe to drink wine and walk back home alone or not – if so I shall have to stop in at the local shop and get some plonk which I don’t mind sharing / only drinking one glass.

Right now is strawberries, meringue and oat cream time 🙂