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

Catch Up

I am behind in my blog, so this will be a long post.  I am copying from my diary, so I will delete most of the daily entries and try to keep just the gist of each day.  It’s been a progression to me, so I want to record it.

Wednesday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- 5 frankfurters, curry sauce, pot of tea
Porringer 3-  2 cumberlands, meatballs, cabbage, carrots,  1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, teacakes (see yesterday’s photo)

Yesterday I was slumped in a depression I could not shake.  By evening, I could hardly respond to anything with any semblance of cheerfulness which made husband try to cheer me up which is always annoying, even when tender and backed up with love.  What he doesn’t know is that I just needed to have some alone time to myself to regroup.  I tried talking about it, but I could hardly put a finger on the problem, let alone explain it. 

He beat me to the door when his Christmas present arrived and I was so hurt and angry that he saw it.  He would have been at work and I could have hidden it.  At this point, it’s like why bother with Christmas at all?  Which is petty and ridiculous on my part, which I can see clearly.  It’s just the feeling is all wretched and I feel sort of at a loss.  This time last year we were apart for an entire year so that I could bring in the income and I had romantic notions for this Christmas which just isn’t going to happen the way things are going. 

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Thursday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 1 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Binge – 3 oatcakes with butter and cheese, 8 jam dodgers, 5 digestives with chocolate, pot of tea
Porringer 2- cottage pie: minced beef, turnip, carrot, potato mash
Porringer 3- Kebab meat, peppers, onion, carrot, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream

Thursday was a very iffy day.  My mood was still very down and yet, with alone-time finally to myself, I felt somewhat better.  I decided to go ahead and send my grandson’s birthday present out, even at the expense of it and send a few Christmas cards too.  The cards alone cost £1.20 each to send, they were small cards and I cringed.  I sent 5 cards and felt sick at the cost but took a deep breath.  Funny how sending letters and cards use to be such an inexpensive thing to do.  So, to send 3 children’s paperback books, 5 cards, I spent £16.

I wasn’t sure if I would binge the moment I had time alone and after feeling so much depression and anger.  In a small way, I went through with it, even though my desires were not overruled with it at all.  I ate everything listed before 7am, almost instantly after husband left for work.  It wasn’t worth it, other than having a release of emotions that I just needed something of my own for just  a moment and unfortunately that kind of thing is still attached to bingeing.  So even though it was not a massive amount to eat, the intentions, emotions and carb concentration all amount to what I call a binge these days.  It was not loving kindness to myself, but a destructive expression of anger.  It’s been a bad start to December.

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Friday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Binge – 4 oatcakes with butter and cheese, 3 jaffa cakes, 3 digestives with chocolate, pot of tea
Porringer 2- minced beef, onions, mushrooms, brown gravy, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, 2 jaffa cakes, 2 digestives with chocolate, 2 shortbread fingers

I can look back and remember how I felt when a binge was about to take place, how I thought and the usual pattern of it all, the predictable consequences, but something is different now.  They are not as strong a force as they once were.  The more I question my motives and beliefs about eating, the more I am able to take a step back and consider what direction I am going with it.

I good part of last year I made myself continually ask what it is I really wanted.  I didn’t have any ready answer, but the question was necessary.  All the things I was doing about my diet and weight were no longer working.  My life was in an upheaval and I did not know where the landing was going to be.  I was confronted with all kinds of new experiences and shake-ups and lifestyle changes in the extreme.  It was the perfect time to ask….what did I really want?  I had every reason to drown my fears and angst in food and drink, but something more needy was surfacing in the chaos.  Either that or I was getting mighty tired of playing the same dieting/bingeing/remorse games over and over again.

I still ask the question, I still look to define it.  Lately, the answer has been coming to me, not all dressed up in idealism, but in a form of a simple truth.  I want to feel a sense of wellbeing.  And of course, the obvious methodology to obtaining that is to stop all the things I do that prevents it from happening.  Not really a light bulb moment, is it?  Stop doing what hurts.

What I really wanted right now was to stop feeling so down and letting depression take hold.  Food was not going to alter that inner dark emotion, it only adds more angst to it.  So I got up and found the few Christmas decorations I had kept, put up the tiny tree I found at the charity shop last month and put on some Christmas music to work with.  Smile, even when you don’t feel like smiling.

It was so cathartic.  I felt my muscles relax.  I felt my breathing lighten up.  As I decorated, I felt a sense of home and comfort.  Okay, perhaps I miss the oodles of family decorations amassed through the years that I handed over to my daughter.  Perhaps it is a bit small, but it is not about stuff, is it?  The little tree needed decorations, I found a few 49 pence bags of ornaments, a star for the top and added chocolates to the advent calendar for husband.  Dean Martin was a gift from husband many years ago (I am a Rat Pack fan) and his singing and swinging a martini made me smile too. It all gave me a sense of accomplishment for the day.  This instantly improved my mood.

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Saturday’s Meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rasher, 2 cups coffee with double cream
Porringer 2- 4 oatcakes with butter, pot of tea
Porringer 3- 3 frankfurters, 1 egg, pot of tea
Porringer 3- minced beef, onions, brussel sprouts, brown gravy, 1 glass wine
2 cups coffee with double cream, 1 square caramel biscuit

Somewhere in our history, we have been made to feel guilty about eating.  I know that I have dealt with the issue, and it is common amongst women to feel they should not be eating, but I was surprised to realize the extent that my husband feels guilt.  Last night, we stayed up late and he had the munchies most of that time.  As he shuffled past me to the kitchen, his guilt made him feel the need to make comments for me to hear. 

I cant resist.
If it’s in the house, I will eat it.
Tomorrow this will stop.
Just a few more.
Maybe cheese will stop the cravings for sweets.
I meant to have this last through Christmas.
I ate too much.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me to want sweets like this.

When I cut a small square of the caramel biscuit for myself for my coffee, I thought instantly, I should not eat this.  I think that very thought every time I eat something heavy in carbs and sugar or is a highly processed or snack food.  For me, even taking one bite is the same as bingeing on a massive amount of food.  I should not eat the first bite, so if I do, I am bingeing.  That is disordered thinking.  Once I consider it a binge, then the amount no longer matters.  This is the start of the games I play about eating.  One bite?  I might as well eat as much as I want then.  One is never enough, two is too many.

I watched him play out his own game last night, because I myself play it all the time.  I know it well.  I suggested to husband last night that perhaps he should just relax, it is December after all and Christmas has a lot of treats in it, perhaps a balance is the best approach.  He shook his head, no, he was going to stop (after the night’s eating was done) and not continue to eat sweets for the rest of the month.  He talked about his belt getting tighter and that was just not acceptable.  I said no more about it but thoughts whirled around in my head about our perceptions and I wondered why we feel so guilty about eating and especially why we play the same game over and over again.  Why is it, that one biscuit is never enough?  Who told us that, and why do we believe it?  I had one caramel square last night and it was enough.  Did I need it?  No.  Is it a healthy food?  No.  Did it spark a binge?  No.  It was the thoughts surrounding it: the guilt, the attachments, the lies I tell myself.

As husband made his pilgrimages to the kitchen, I was tempted to follow.  Camaraderie in eating is a subtle way to make allowances for one’s own greed.  If he can have more, so can I.  I know we have both played this game, sometimes by his bringing home a chocolate bar for me when he wants candy, sometimes with me putting biscuits in the tin that I know he likes.  We indulge the other as an excuse to eat for ourselves.  Who could possibly say I was overeating if the only other person in the room is overeating themselves?  Sometimes I feel as though he wishes I would tell him no, he cannot have it, as a mother would.  But that is just another game tactic.  Once reproved, we tend to act out in defiance and have what we perceive we should not be eating anyways.  Sometimes I imagine he is being silently disapproving of my eating and I try to appear more perfect in my choices.  We hide and dodge our own eating issues, often getting quite tangled up in it all.

My conclusion?  That the  idiocy of the eating games we play just became a little more apparent last night.  Once again, my choices for eating are based on circumstances and is more situational than being a true personal choice.  How much of my decision to eat the caramel square came from my desire to have it?  Could it have been influenced by husband’s desires?  How much of this was a marital game to be played out in the disguise of camaraderie or equality?   Even more interesting to me is why I always feel even one bite of anything I consider worthless food as a binge fraught with guilt?  Believe me, all these kinds of thoughts take away the pleasures of eating.  I had no true desire last night to eat more than I did, even though the temptation was ever present.  This isn’t what I want.

What do I really want?

Amulets of Protection

Ketosis=wellbeing.

It takes longer to get into ketosis.  It use to take about 4 days, now about 2 weeks.  True body-adaptive ketosis takes about 2-6 weeks. 

Ketosis has many benefits to me.  It evens out my mood swings.  It is effectively like being on Prozac.  Sometimes it even feels like zombiehood, I am not as emotionally reactive.  My appetite plummets, I begin to eat less naturally without thinking about it.  My hard round stomach begins to deflate, my ankles and hands take on more definition as the fluid begins to leave my body.  More importantly, my blood sugar hits and stays in the normal range, from the 200’s to the 80’s and 90’s.  The binge beast within starts to slumber.  What is not to relish about being in ketosis?  It feels like wellbeing to me!  I feel protected by the amulet of ketosis.  But there is the danger, feeling protected allows the enemy to slip through the crack of vulnerability.

Last night, I watched a vlog of an obese man who has just lost 29 pounds in 12 weeks on a low carb diet and is so thrilled, his whole being lit up describing how well he felt being in ketosis.  I smiled too, knowing how truly is the best thing to ever happen to an obese person struggling with appetite and hunger.  Eating unrefined fats, meats and green veggies can do miracles.  Then, in one stroke, one unguarded moment, ED slipped right in.  The man said that he loves eating low carb and enjoys the foods, but he’ll probably have a LITTLE cheat during Christmas because, as ED pointed out, it IS a holiday after all and this IS the real world.  My heart sank when I heard the words.  OMG.  ED talking through this man.  He did not hear it, but I did. 

One little cheat couldn’t hurt, right?  How many MILLIONS of times have I heard that before and believed it?  How many millions of times have I fallen into that trap?  I would not be obese today, had I just once and for all time stayed on my low carb diet.  The diet that I truly love the foods I can eat, feel satisfied and more importantly, can hear my body sing in happiness!  It’s absolute madness to leave ketosis and this diet. 

Yet, even with knowing that madness, remembering my own history with bingeing and dieting, even with all the scientific evidence, even with all the wealth of information on the health aspects, my own ED voice continues.  Today, I have to get whatever Scottish treats I can fit into the Christmas boxes I am sending to my parents and to my daughter and grandchildren.  As I tried to sort out what to buy, who would like what, I imagined the tastes and thought about the potential extra’s that would not fit in the boxes and that they would start to entice me into eating them.  The one thing ketosis does not do is stop ED’s voice.  Ketosis does lower the voice, but does not drown it out altogether.  As I wondered yesterday if I should bake husband’s favourite ginger biscuits, as I thought about what to serve for Christmas dinner, ED gathered strength.  This is HIS territory, he’s prepared to battle me to hold his ground.  Gee, and didn’t it cross my mind while preparing the grocery list that I miss salty oat porridge?  It’s so cheap!  I could have it for lunch and save money!

That vlog helped me realise that I am not in a protected zone at all.  Ketosis is health and wellbeing, it cannot protect me from the binge beast.  I never thought about it in quite this way before.  Perhaps because I never comprehended that I had an eating disorder.  As the SOS group reminds me every day, DON’T, NO MATTER WHAT.  That is the only thing that works.  I need to stop thinking there is an amulet to rely on.

I am heading in the right direction, but I am still learning.

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- plain full fat yogurt
Porringer 3- 2 1/2 cumberland sausages, grated carrot, cauliflower, 2T brown gravy
Porringer 4- kebab meat, broccoli, brussel sprouts, onion, butter

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

Let Them Eat Cake

It is afternoon as I am writing today, long past the usual time.  The whole day feels off and I am exhausted from who knows what.

Yesterday’s meals:
Porringer 1- 2 eggs, 2 rashers
Porringer 2- jack maloney sausages, grated carrot
Porringer 3- minced beef, roasted carrot, roasted brussel sprouts, sautéed onion, 2T brown gravy

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

L101154Two really weird things messed with my thinking yesterday.  One, was that husband wanted treats early on in the day.  He asked before leaving if I wanted anything from the bakery.  I said no.  He was in a playful mood and said he might bring something home for me anyways.  I said it wasn’t necessary, I was fine without.  I gave it no more thought until I saw that he had 2 fairly large wrapped packages of bakery items and something else in a bag.  He said it was hard to decide, so he got several cakes.  All day, they sat on the desk hidden in their wrapping and I thought about how I was going to have to deal with the whole thing at evening coffee.  Lots of things went through my head, like going for it, denying it, and if I did eat them, regretting it.  There wasn’t a huge pull towards it, because the second weird thing that happened is that my appetite finally hit zero.  Ketosis has kicked in and I feel it. 

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Our local bakery.

When evening coffee time finally happened, I took a deep breath as I prepared my answer of a polite no and feeling a bit guilty since he obviously bought more than the usual two pieces of cake for himself.  I felt he wanted to have a shared festive evening and while I was trying to make a desperate last minute decision, I saw that he simply pulled the packages closer to his computer, put his headphones on and began to eat.  He wasn’t sharing!  I was practically in shock.  More in shock later, when he opened a bag of candy and ate that and my jaw dropped when he then made cheese and ryvita.  This was right after eating a full dinner.  What shocked me was that all of this would have been a binge for me and I never thought of what my husband eats as a binge.  Did my husband just binge?  My head wasn’t wrapping itself around this situation.  I felt like I had been busted upside the head and asking wha’ happened?

I wasn’t sure what to make of it.  Did I feel slighted and left out of the one person party?  Did I feel relief that I did not have to go through the process of denying myself bakery cakes?  Was I resentful?  Was I wondering why husband was eating more than usual?  A couple of days ago I would have really reacted badly to it all and probably ranted about it.  Yesterday had such a weird aura to it and my appetite was so significantly down that I sort of let it all wash aside.  What’s the big deal?  So he eats and I don’t.  I didn’t end up with a tummy ache later, nor did I fall into the pit of regret.  I continued knitting and let it slide by me.