Made It

Back from 4 days travelling interstate with the family. This trip was much anticipated (having been postponed twice already due to COVID) and we definitely made the most of it. It was a nice break and we had quite a bit of fun, but it’s good to be home.

I had two blowups at the kid. Only one of them was really a hangry moment, trying to make breakfast this morning. But after 4 days of constant stress due to crowds in a strange city, tiredness from constant sightseeing and general stress from anti COVID measures and being away from home and all the rest…. I forgive myself. We are only human.

But this blog is mostly about food and my issues with it, so the news on that front is…. interesting on a couple of fronts.

Despite being in a big city and surrounded by cafes and restaurants, and eating out a lot (including pizza and burgers other ‘fun’ foods), there really wasn’t a lot of anxiety. I just tried to eat intuitively, (ie whatever I felt like, but to hunger signals) and prioritise protein. Never really felt like I was about to lose control, so it’s been quite a while now.

We did stay in self contained accommodation so I brought sachets of protein oats and yoghurt and things to make sure I started off each day with a good breakfast – that probably helped. We also walked miles and miles on a couple of days, so I knew I’d be burning plenty of calories, plus the hotel also had a reasonably well equipped gym and I got a couple of early morning lifting sessions in. Those two things made me a little less anxious about getting a bit looser with food, it’s a holiday after all.

I’ll weigh in tomorrow morning, if I’ve gained a little weight I won’t care, but I would be very surprised if I have – realistically I’m expecting to be a little lighter. Trying to be zen about it – weight is not the thing that defines me. And honestly, I am probably in the best shape of my life right now. I’ve put on a couple of kilos of muscle this year.

The other interesting thing is that I met up with a family member up there, someone who I didn’t even know existed until a few years ago. I think we’d talked about it once before, but she reminded me again that she’s been struggling with disordered eating since she was a child. It just shows how much of a role genetics also play in whether someone is likely to suffer from this issue. To be fair – I think she had a much different upbringing than me, and her issues may be more deep rooted in childhood trauma than mine, but there are some real similarities there as well. Of course, me being me, I had a few words to say on the subject…. but hopefully it was a positive conversation and helped give her some comfort and strength.

For me, the upshot of that conversation was that it (again) put things in perspective. I get frustrated and feel like a failure when I lose control of my eating, and I get tired of my life revolving around food, but the reality is – it’s only been about 4 years now since I was really deep in a bad place of undiagnosed anorexia and orthorexia. 3 years ago I had a BMI of 19 and was so underfed and exhausted and miserable that I was close to taking my own life. Yet here I am now, probably 90% healed, eating Easter eggs and pizza almost like a normal person.

In the day to day hustle of life, it feels like this has been going on forever. But progress just takes consistency and patience, and hopefully when I’ll be able to look back on this as just a blip in a very long life. And for anyone else battling this rotten disease, I wish them the very best of success as well – it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.

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