Fear Induces Weirdness

Wednesday’s Meals:

Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream
Porringer 2- pot of tea, variety of cheeses and salami
Porringer 3&4- glass of wine, minced beef, cauliflower with  butter (whole porringer full)

Evening coffee- 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream, 2 humbugs
1 whisky

It was going to be a trial coming off the holiday foods and moods and swing into eating regular foods and begin the 3 meals a day thing.  Husband failed by 9am and I ended the day with humbugs and whisky, both of which I did not need, nor felt a pull towards, but you know, that ED thing prevails, where there is just a bit left and wanting to be done with it.  I did not like the mind-set of it, I could have put the last shot of whisky back in the cupboard and thrown the 2 pieces of candy left in the bin.  I sort of enjoyed it and did not feel it was worthy of being called anything negative like a binge.  I note that I am still not liking to drink as I did before, as soon as I was done, I felt yucked by it.

It’s been raining and the mood sort of listless between us.  He is slyly mentioning jobs he finds on the net, as though he were job hunting for himself and it becomes an opportunity to push me into acknowledging it.  He was looking out the window, a lady who uses carers walked by, he makes a comment that they appear to be new carers and asks in the most innocent possible voice ”isn’t that what you are interested in doing?”  I took a deep breath and told him one needs to be certified.

Dinner conversation is getting tense for me, as he will start talking about moving closer to his job to save money, or make a comment about the rise in transportation costs and how he doubts there is much work for him at his age in Denmark, all which have the intended affect of making me squirm in my seat, the subject of JOBS ever so present.  I could stomp the whole thing by just saying I will start looking for work once the holidays are over, but something in me refuses to respond to the pushing.  I will do it in my own time and I do not want to have to report back to him or get advice about it or deal with having to tell him of all the rejections I will be getting.  I bought a 2013 calendar to mark all of my applications in and if he gets out of hand I can throw it at him.  There is no need for me to be feisty about it all, but the feelings of resentment are brewing.

He is struggling to get back on his eating regime and I am aware that I need to be gentle and kind and as supportive as I can be without mothering.   Both of us are feeling a bit on edge, so much rain, darkness and the end of the holidays are surely affecting us.  I hear him sighing often knowing he returns to work tomorrow and I sigh each time I have to prepare meals or wash dishes, the tumultuous 2012 is now done and in some ways, I think it is harder for husband to not have active planning to do. 

Thursday’s Meals:

Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers, 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream
Porringer 2- pot of tea, pork cracklings, raw peanuts
Porringer 3- various cheeses, salami, hot cocoa
Porringer 4- glass of wine, 2 cumberlands, brussel sprouts
Evening coffee- 2 cup coffee with 4 tsp double cream, 2 humbugs

Yesterday I got a call from the clinic that said an appointment had been cancelled and if I wanted it, it was the next morning (today) at 9am.  I said yes before I found out it was at a hospital in another town I have not been to before and it is a significantly large town.  I looked at the bus routes, figured that two buses would be needed and since I have no visual reference point of having been in that town, I called a car hire and decided to go with it even though it was so expensive.  Then I got another call a couple of hours later and was told I did not qualify for NHS care, and I demanded to know why.  The receptionist said I had to be employed to receive care, and I asked, what if I was retired?  Does that mean I would never receive health care again?  She had to check on that.  So after a few phone calls, she called back to say it was a mistake and I do qualify.  In the meantime, of course I am livid and wasted a good 4 hours of my day being upset FOR NO REASON.  Gads.

Of course, it got husband all worked up and he looked up the requirements and printed it out that as a legal resident, I am indeed qualified and told me to fold it and stick it in my purse in case I needed it.  I decided to break the ice with the working situation as I could not stand any more stress.  I handed him the calendar to see my job hunting notes.  I had applied for 7 jobs yesterday and wrote them down.  He was pleased.  So now that stupid thing between us is out in the open.  I will have to tell him tonight though, that it cost about £20 for me to get to and from the hospital, but I really need this appointment with a specialist and if I have to go again, I will at least have a better sense of where it is and will attempt to take a bus.  He is stressed about money, so I am not looking forward to telling him I cost £20 today, his unemployed expensive wife. 

In all my stress yesterday, I felt the overwhelming urge to binge.  It was like I suddenly did not have control and that is when Ed swooped in to reassure me that I surely didn’t.  He urged and urged me.  I quickly ate low carb foods, with two small transgressions into mild sweetness with low sugar cocoa and 2 hard candies.  It helped soothe without a high cost, but ED was whispering in my ear, go to the shops, splurge, go ahead….  However, by evening, I was so spent from the day, that I swore (or maybe it was all ED) that I would binge the next day to my hearts content, cancelling the appointment to deal with another day.  I think it was mostly because I do fear the results of the appointment and this was an easy out to postpone it.  But before I fell asleep, I talked myself back to reason, I now have health care, so use it to stay healthy.  Sheesh.  Relax, calm down, breathe.

I won’t be able to take car hire’s every time I get a job interview, so I will have to learn the bus system.  I only know how to get to the city centre of Glasgow at this point.  It’s intimidating.  I use to be so adventurous, now I feel fear doing anything outside my comfort zone.  How strange. Sometimes the fear makes everything seem odd and out of sorts, like this photo.  This is how I feel in Scotland right now. 

Gilbert Kerr, bagpiper, with penguin Photographed by William Speirs Bruce during the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition, 1902-04

Empty Spaces

I didn’t get a chance to finish my thoughts on the last post, I had to run an errand in order to make soup for husband’s lunch and didn’t want to leave the post visible on my computer.

What I was aiming at, was that there is so much more to any attempt to gain control over eating issues than just having rules in place.  The porringer helps me understand limits and boundaries, three meals help me regulate eating through the day, but what do I do when things get turned upside down?  How to have a rule in place for the times when nothing makes sense?  What would that rule be?

From Alice in Wonderland:

alice falling

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.

This is how I feel.  When there is something outside my comfort zone going on and I am unsure how to react, I take on a very neutral mind-set waiting for whatever happens next.  I reach for the marmalade jar, because even in the worst of topsy-turvey situations I firmly believe food will help somehow.  It is something to do while waiting for something to happen.

Beyond what the situation is, beyond what I need to do, lies this waiting period that I have always filled with food. Empty Spaces.  They need filling, don’t they?  I had not prepared myself to have a something in place to hold onto when things fall apart.

While husband made coffee last night, I realized that the cupboard full of teacakes and biscuits and chocolates was there for the taking.  I have always either had a few drinks or binged to drown out the rising emotions.  I saw the inevitable start to unfold.  I did not need ED to speak up, I was already ahead of him.  This was my own voice.  I am upset, I have an excuse to say what the hell and eat until I can not eat anymore.  Not 48 hours since I became violently sick from drinking and eating, I am thinking of it again as though the incident never happened.  I stopped myself from continuing the thoughts.  I took the smallest packet of chocolate dots, probably the equivalent of 3 Hershey’s kisses sliced thinly and had that with my coffee as a peace offering to myself.  It was my way of putting the marmalade jar back on the shelf.  If I binge now, the depth and darkness of the well will be eternal.

Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking again. ‘Dinah’ll miss me very much to-night, I should think!’ (Dinah was the cat.) ‘I hope they’ll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in the air, I’m afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that’s very like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?’ And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, ‘Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?’ and sometimes, ‘Do bats eat cats?’ for, you see, as she couldn’t answer either question, it didn’t much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and saying to her very earnestly, ‘Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?’ when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.

And isn’t that just the way it is?  In difficult situations, we really don’t always have the answers and it doesn’t really matter.  It will end and be done with someday.  In the meantime, I am falling and I will keep my eyes open and see what there is to see of it.  Food won’t help.

One Binge for November, What a FABULOUS Thing!

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- mixed nuts
Porringer 3- few slices of German salami
Porringer 4- 3 cumberlands, cabbage, turnip, carrot, onion

Yesterday’s drinks:
3 pots of tea
1 glass of wine
1/2 pint Guinness
4 cups of coffee with 2 tsp. double cream in each

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Cooking the cabbage, turnip, carrot, onion mixture.  You can see my porringer warming up in the back area.

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The cumberlands before they are browned.

November has been a terribly challenging month for me.  A birthday month, a transitional month and a dedication to getting my eating stabilized away from bingeing.  I had only 1 binge in November, on my birthday.  Granted, there were a few situations that helped me not binge; husband was home for a week early in the month and I did not have to deal with Thanksgiving (or Halloween for that matter, which candy leftovers use to stray into November).  It’s been a challenge to get the binge beast asleep, but at least I can claim he is officially slumbering because of what happened yesterday.

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It was the day I needed to shop for the treats I was sending to my family for Christmas, a taste of Scotland.  This meant purposely confronting the teacakes and biscuits head on, mulling over them, handling them, taking them home and worrying about having leftovers that won’t fit into the box.  Here was stage for the potential binge, with all kinds of predictable ED thinking about to use the mega horn.
Before I left, I carefully studied the two boxes I had to send the treats in to get a feel for how much they could hold.  I made a list of the types of goodies to go in each box, more child oriented stuff for the grandchildren, more cooking related stuff for my parents.  That gave me something to hold and look at while in the store, reminding me there was a purpose and this was not a free-for-all binge quest.  Off I went and found myself going about it just fine.  I saw a small packet of mixed nuts on sale, so I bought that as a low carb treat just in case ED decided to speak up.  Amazingly, he did not.  Not one sound was uttered!  I was really surprized by this.

When I got home, I heated the nuts in the oven and the amount filled my porringer about 3/4 full.  I put on some Christmas music, busied myself with wrapping the packages and snacked on the nuts.  I was disappointed in them, they were stale and tasteless.  I ate about half and poured the rest back into the bag (which husband relished when he got home).  He kept telling me that he thought they tasted good and then it hit me, my appetite is dropping so fast now that nothing tastes as good as it did before ketosis hit.  Now that I think back on it, at the beginning of the week, I noticed that the dinners had a distinct nutmeg flavour which was odd.  I didn’t like it.  I think this was the changeover point, from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat. 
I felt sort of nauseated the rest of the day from the nuts and I wondered why I had craved them so since leaving America.  They no longer appeal to me as a meal, perhaps a few at a time, but I remember when I could not stop eating them before this. 

Later in the day, I had a few slices of paper thin sliced salami which was just to settle the queasiness of the nuts in my stomach.  It was really odd to me that all these biscuits in my hands and in my face did not stir up ED at all. 

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Everything is now boxed, addressed and ready to go to the post office this morning.  Tomorrow, husband has his work Christmas party and will be gone for the afternoon.  I had bought a bottle of port (which I stashed away) for my own little Christmas party and also bought a bag previously of monkey nuts to roast in the oven.  But now it does not appeal to me at all.  I don’t want an excess of anything. 

What is really weird, is that I can say that and still not comprehend it.  Not want an excess?  How can this be?  Here’s my chance to binge, sight unseen, in the glory of privacy and under the disguise of a deserved pity party.  Husband will be having fun, I want to have fun too!  But as I am writing this, it feels all so hollow and untrue.  I want to feel good, not stuffed and tipsy.  I want to feel sharp and clear, not tired and dull from drink.  As soon as I can wrap my head around the switch being flipped into the off position, I am sure I will gladly embrace the change.  Ketosis, I love you!

Gob Smacked

success

What just happened?

I honestly don’t know.  It started out innocently enough.  It’s cold here.  We have 91 inch windows that help keep the room cold.  After putting up woven curtains in the bedroom, we have noticed the room is warmer at night.  I don’t want to block the view or the light from the lounge windows, so I started thinking about net curtains.  I jumped on eBay to see the selections and that led to wanting to check the charity shops in case a miracle would happen and there would be 3 panels with at least a 91 inch drop.  That’s the innocent part.  I had no other intentions.  I crossed the street to go to the last charity shop and saw that one of our food shops is gutted and they were putting up new tiles outside and the whole inside was gone.  Just like that, no warning.  We buy the majority of our food there and it put me into a panic.  First, this was where I was planning to buy all the treats to send to my family for Christmas.  That’s quashed.  Second, there’s no groceries from there next week, they won’t re-open until the 6th. I felt a sort of panic, like there was suddenly an unexplained food shortage!  Which was silly, there is another food shop a bit further down, more expensive, but we won’t starve.

But the feeling grew and I went down to the open food shop since there weren’t any curtains to be had at the charity shops.  I had no need for groceries, but I went out of some bizarre need to buy something…anything.  And of course, you know what this means…ED is along for the ride.  In the pretence of checking the prices and availability of the biscuits I want to send, I started leaning towards a binge.  I handled several items, carefully trying to decide, should I, or shouldn’t I?

Wow, after my morning writing, you’d think I was somehow wiser.  Nope.  I was on the threshold, decisions were being made, the binge plotted, the cost calculated.  I had other, regular food items like cabbage, apples, cream and a few tins in my basket, but something really bothered me about all this.  It wasn’t so much the binge itself that I didn’t want to do, it was that feeling that every time I walk into a food store is a potential binge.  THAT really bothered me.  Can’t I be a responsible adult and stop seeing the food store as a trap?  I felt like a zombie, I put each food item in my basket back to their proper places.  I did not have to buy any food TODAY, I have what I need for a couple of days more.  I felt like I was outside myself, directing myself to walk out of the store empty handed.    It was truly weird and I waited for the Twilight Zone music to play.  I continued to walk back to the flat, like a woman in a trance and I did not feel happy that I did not binge, in fact, I admit to feeling let down and sad.  I threw the baby out with the bath.  I came home empty handed and all was for naught.  I know I should feel great about it, but it feels like a loss somehow.

Life in the Theatre

popcorn

Trigger Pops.

A trigger is like a pan full of popcorn kernels.  Once the pan is hot enough, the first kernel pops, then another and another until there is an explosion of popcorn.  One trigger begets another trigger.  It can get overwhelming.  I need to recognise it is part of the addiction, it is the first thing one gets before the play starts.

First pop: husband’s comments about wishing he didn’t have to go to work, he just wants to be retired. (I feel guilty not working, but my residency is not granted yet).

Second pop: I get on the scale wanting to see a loss. (I feel I am owed a drop in weight for being 13 days faithful to my porringer plan).

Pop 3-100:  Anything and everything that annoys, irritates, depresses me.  They come fast now, pop, pop, pop.

Yesterday I felt the popping of emotions that precedes a binge.  I was fine one moment, the next (the moment I stepped on the scale) I was plunged into the predictable darkness that a no-loss creates.  I was 17 stone 10 pounds when I arrived in Scotland, I am now 19 stone.  Panic sets, in and  ED perked right up, took his directors chair and started what he does best….direct the the play called THE BINGE.

DIRECTOR

Come on in, ED, take a seat and tell me how unworthy I am, how I should binge to enforce being obese as my statement against the world’s cruel requirement to be thin and beautiful.  Soothe me with visions of cream puffs and whisky.  Remind me of the heavenly tastes, the feelings of pure ecstasy that I will feel by eating or drinking.  Tell me that my need is easily fixed with self indulgence, that a little bit won’t hurt, that I can always offset the damage with a new even stricter diet the next day, maybe even a fast!  Yes, there is always something to wipe it all away, but for now…..just for now….cream puffs and whisky will make the world go away for a little while.  TELL ME WHAT TO DO…take over, I’ll take your lead.

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- duck pate, cheddar cheese with butter
Porringer 3- 5 jack maloney sausages
Porringer 4- 3 cumberland sausages, cabbage, carrot
Yesterday’s drinks:
3 pots of tea
1 glass of wine
4 cups of coffee with 2 tsp. double cream in each

All that ED voice garbage all because I let a few triggers pop and then it became overwhelming.  Old issues were revisited, painful regrets tried back on, haunting images of an ugly pig was seen in the mirror, and I stayed once again in the flat because I knew if I went outside, it would be a shop filled with teacakes that I would mysteriously find myself trapped in.

over-acting

Drama.  That is all it is.  ED has become the director of my life and I am playing a cheesy unconvincing part on a stage.  I know all the lines by heart, I have acted this out so many times.  Still, it is a bad play and no one cares to see it.  ED continues to coach me like an understudy, but I don’t even need him anymore, he’s just been around so long, I am use to his company.  All it takes is the popcorn to start popping, the lights go down, the curtain rises, and I go and do what I do, over act.

Only, I am not doing it.  Day 14, and I have watched the triggers pop, I have heard ED go over the lines, I watched the lights dim, but I did not take centre stage.  It took a porringer filled with sausages to stop myself from bingeing, but my blood sugar stayed in the normal range and my weight has not changed since the last time I weighed earlier in the month.   Maybe it is time to give up the drama.  I wonder what would happen if I threw the script at ED and walked off stage?

Martini Please

martini-main_Full

Yesterday certainly was a mixed bag of emotions.  Nothing too extreme, but enough to cause me a bit of anxiety.  The curtains for the bedroom came and I busied myself with that, a trial run at hanging them yesterday to check the length.  I will have to hem and iron them today, but I am very pleased with them, they will block the cold coming from the windows this winter.  Still, the aftertaste of the store clerk incident, the pressure of being in the shops and preventing a binge, the irritation that this is still a huge deal and not subsiding all left me exhausted and wishing to have a couple of martini’s (or 4).

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- duck pate, cucumber, cheddar cheese, bleu cheese
Porringer 3- plain yogurt
Porringer 4- minced beef, cauliflower, butter

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Porringer 3 was my lunch.  I don’t always fill the porringer to the top.

Yesterday’s drinks:
3 pots of tea
1 glass of wine
4 cups of coffee with 2 tsp. double cream in each

I struggled yesterday about the yogurt serving.  It had nothing to do with hunger, even though my stomach complaining.  Anxiety in my stomach feels like a big gapping exposed pit that yearns to be filled.  Not only filled, but needing an overfill and might as well pack it tightly to prevent it from being ever exposed again!  I stood there, in the kitchen, feeling the urge grow and the sensations in the stomach and personified it as a yearning pit.  I was amazed that the stomach was experiencing an emotion!  I felt I had to eat the yogurt or I was going to run screaming to the shops for teacakes.  The yogurt did help soothe it, perhaps the coating action or something of the sort.  But the ED (eating disordered) voice was ever present, and I caught myself looking at the clock throughout the afternoon, wondering if I had enough time to gorge on something (anything) before dinner and not feel sick.  I did not act on it, but ED was there, alive and striving to find a weak spot in my determination.

This is my 10th day away from the last binge.  ED is trying to find the weak spots in my vulnerability by attempting to convince me that there is never an end to this recovery period, that he will prevail in the end and that it is only a matter of time before I accept being obese as my fate and bingeing as my way of eating.  ED has the smug luxury of waiting, as I struggle to keep a distance from him and panic over my continuous weight gain. 

ED knows I feel vulnerable and uncomfortably exposed.  ED knows how to push me into the teacake aisle at the shops, or whisper sweet names of delicacies in my ear when I least expect it.  ED is stronger than I am and resides permanently inside me.  I cannot slay this dragon, but I can keep him asleep.  It takes a long time to get ED asleep, but I continue to hush the loud noises about binges, I continue to monitor how I feel and react and right now, I know the most important tool I have is the porringer.  The porringer confounds ED.  It doesn’t have any experience with it and that amuses me.

 
Lately my desire to have ED asleep is just keeping him wide awake.  I am going about this with the wrong mind-set.  Today, I will relax, stay with what I want to do and stop thinking about him.  Thinking about him keep me anxious.

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I have been mostly posting photo’s of my lunches because that is when I am alone and think of doing it.  This is breakfast I make every morning before husband goes to work.  His plate is in the back, warming from the pan in front of it.  In the large cast iron skillet I have already cooked 4 rashers and 1 lorne, when it’s done, I place the lorne with 2 rashers on top of the sliced potatoes I made for husband.  I cut the other two rashers up and place them in my porringer behind the large skillet to keep warm.  I then cook 2 eggs each, we like them soft cooked.  I suppose most people balk at the thought of a hot breakfast every morning, claiming they don’t have time, but this takes all of 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to sit down and enjoy, so worth it to us.  Now that I think of it, this meal doesn’t fill the porringer either.  The only one really full is the dinner one and that is mostly because foods like cauliflower take up so much room.

At least I feel better on eggs and rashers than how I use to feel when eating…..

Crisis Averted

I wanted to walk today, but it has been raining hard this morning and the moment the rain took a break, I headed to the shops to get the necessary foods for the next few days.

I was quite nervous and feeling vulnerable as I walked down the food aisles.  I was annoyingly hungry too because it was my binge time (8-10 am).  I try to avoid this time period to shop for food because I have a history of giving in to buying binge foods.  I grabbed the carrots, heavy cream, plain yogurt, and was delighted to find the duck pate on sale.  I also found a treat for the evening my husband goes to his Christmas party at work.  A bag of in-the-shell monkey nuts.  I plan on roasting them and having wine for my party.

I then went to check the sale shelves and as I was attempting to look at the items, a store clerk decided to jump in front of me and re-arrange the shelves!  I stood back, thinking it was something quick she needed to do, but no, each time I moved forward to look at an item, she push in front of me to move an item.  Mind you, she was not stocking the shelf, she was just moving things around.  I became frustrated as she took no notice that a customer was interested in purchasing goods, so I did something I so rarely do in public, I got mad.  I said out loud, I guess it’s best I will come back when you are done, and walked away.  She ran after me asking me what I meant.  I told her that I thought it was rude to prevent a customer from accessing the shelves in a shop.  She said sorry and that she would come back later.  I felt a bit shaken from being outspoken like that and that in itself would have been a definite trigger to grab biscuits or something more but I took a deep breath and looked at shampoos until I felt composed enough to go and pay for my items.

I am not a fragile sort of person, in fact it bothered me that I got disproportionately angry at a clueless person.  I was more worried that I would allow the incident be bigger than it was and let it be an excuse to binge over it.  Eating food, I remind myself has no connection to people’s behaviour, nor my reaction to it.  Eating food is for nourishing my body and if I can wrap my head around it, it is also for pleasing me in a healthy way.

The next shop I need eggs, brussel sprouts and something for my lunches.  I forgot which meat I wanted to get for dinner tomorrow, and grabbed chicken breasts and after getting home, I realised it was minced beef I wants for cottage pie.  Grrr.  That means going to the shop and going through this all over again tomorrow.  I decided on sausages for my future lunches and I grabbed an extra rashers.  This was all good, my eyes only occasionally glanced over the binge foods. I was trying not to make too much eye contact and that helped.  I made it out alive and with only the items I needed and the chicken error.

Although I was loaded down with the bags of food, I could not resist stopping into the charity shop and bought my first UK Christmas decoration!  It was a golden pine cone candle holder and a candle stick that has the days to Christmas on the side.  £1 made me smile, it is so pretty and will go nicely on the table for dinner time.  I also saw that they had small Christmas trees for £3-5 and I wanted to get one, but thought I would see what was available at the other shops first.  So it appears that we can have a tree after all, even if it is very small.

I made it through the crisis time, it is soon time for lunch and a pot of tea and see what is going on my favourite soaps.