Today I CHOOSE to eat

I’ll admit it, I’m in a bit of a funk. There is no reason. Everything is pretty good really. I have a job, a loving partner, a beautiful dog, amazing family and friends and a house. I’ve travelled, been to university, been given great opportunities in life, and I now have enough money to buy myself and people I love nice things. I want no sympathy. I’m just feeling low, and it’s all because I’m feeling fat. I’m find myself sitting here the biggest I’ve ever been and I can’t get used to it (although the blessing in disguise it that I grew boobs – not everyone can do that naturally at the age of 33!).

I’m 33. I was an Australian size 8, and am now a size 12. I am not a little girl anymore. I do realise that my metabolism is slowing down (supposedly what happens as you get older). I’m also not going hard-core at the gym anymore (for I was like a woman possessed – which in itself wasn’t healthy – and my muscles have now been given time to ‘relax’ – eek!)

I am also eating.

‘Eating’ you say. ‘Everyone eats!’ Well, everyone should eat. But from early in life I habitually denied myself food. To put it bluntly, I starved myself.

The earliest memory I have of this is from primary school. I used to throw my school lunches away because I was being teased for being fat. This progressed into my teens, where I was skipping meals to have a flat stomach as it was ‘more attractive’ and I was fat. In my late teens I started working out at the gym and eating properly – but my obsession then gravitated to over-exercising and going out on the town binge-drinking. That stopped when I had to give up the gym and move into a place of my own. That is when full-on depression set in, as did agoraphobia. I hated myself. I didn’t like my body. I didn’t want to eat, and I didn’t want to live. I just wanted to sleep. Of course, I knew I needed to eat, and I did – I just didn’t eat properly. I don’t believe toast passes as a sustainable and nutrition filled diet.

I was stuck in a vicious circle – in order to eat I needed to go to the shops to buy food, but when I finally got over the fear of going to the shops where there were people, I would find myself on the brink of tears, wandering the aisles distressed, dizzy, and so confused that I didn’t know what to eat.

This settled down as I entered my first relationship at the age of 23. It became harder to skip meals when I moved in with my boyfriend, but it didn’t stop me from trying. And with my erratic blood sugar levels, I was susceptible to fainting and mood swings. I wasn’t a pleasure to live with. Eventually he realised that if my moods changed, he had to feed me. So, he started cooking for me. And I started eating.

At this stage I had started anti-depressants, was sleeping way to much, and had put on weight (on viewing the photographic evidence of me at this time – I wasn’t fat). I just didn’t feel good – I believed that I was the ugliest thing that existed. The fact that I had a boyfriend who adored me didn’t matter.

And then I went overseas for 9 1/2 months, travelled, worked, ate, explored, socialised, lost weight and felt truly happy for the first time that I could remember.

On coming home, initially I was on a natural high. I started seeing someone who was a lot of fun, and completely different. Unbeknownst to him, I had actually slipped back into my old pattern of skipping meals, and I was also drinking way too much. I had also started taking laxatives to give me that flat stomach look, and because I was having sever stomach cramps (I now know that I have IBS).

Predictably, my depression came back with a vengeance, and I slipped into the good old not-eating mood cycle again.

Hot Chocolate

Lucky for me the guy stuck by me – he realised what was going on. To this day he tells me off (nicely) when my mood starts to change, questioning if I have eaten or if I need to eat. He has also helped me to realise I am attractive, beautiful, sexy, and a woman (it only took me 33 years).

And for the record, I’m not fat – I never was. But who cares! More than anything, shouldn’t we be happy and healthy, as what is life without it?

So today I choose to eat.


Note to readers: I have only touched on child-hood bullying in this post, with no intention to trivialise the issue. There is just so much to write on that subject, and I will do that in future posts.


So much food, so little time

After a week and a half of Christmas celebrations and catch-ups, I am ready to boycott food!

The Weekend before Christmas

It all started with our road trip to see my Dad the weekend before Christmas. His partner is an amazing cook, and he’s not bad himself. We were welcomed with a barbecue – meat, meat and more meat, some champagne (beer for the boys), and a little salad. A lunch of gorgeous chicken rice followed the next day, with vinadaloo for dinner…mmmmm. Since the next day was Sunday, we had to honour Dad’s wishes of cooking us breakfast – so it was bacon, toast and eggs (fresh from the chicken coop), with tea.  I forgot how good fresh eggs tasted. Yummo!  Bypassing lunch, as our digestive systems were truly struggling with the intake of meat, we came to the reason we were there – to celebrate Christmas.  And this couldn’t be done without food – so we ate…turkey, veggies, gravy, and more champagne to celebrate of course.

Christmas Eve Eve

Rolling back home from Dad’s, we managed to eat lightly for a couple of days (although Denis did make his first attempt at glazing a ham – which turned out beautifully – damn him!) until Christmas Eve Eve was upon us.  This was when we celebrated Christmas with my partners kids (as we wouldn’t see them for Christmas), so he cooked up a lovely meal of gnocchi and salad – pasta is the kids favourite dish. Lucky for us Santa also visited us early that night!

Christmas Eve

I managed to escape any breakfast or lunch excesses on the 24th, surviving on a piece of toast and some left over gnocchi (which was a mistake, as my stomach reminded me for days!), and luckily avoided a huge dinner.  We had spent Christmas Eve with some of my partners family – where santa again visited, bless him – and fortunately had to leave before dinner was served.  The ham and salad sandwichI ate that night was welcomed by my stomach.

The 25th of December

All week I had tried to come to terms with the fact that we had to do both lunch AND dinner this year.  I had kept telling myself that this would make sure that I didn’t go too mad at lunch – I would pace myself. But Mum outdid herself as usual…chicken, turkey, pork, veggies, bread, gravy, trifle, pavlova, fruit mince pies, crisps, chocolate, cheese, crackers…to name but a few. Plus champagne.  I must give myself a pat on the back as I really didn’t go to mad at all. I was pleasantly content. And then dinner rolled around where we went to my Brothers house.  Roast beef! Plus pork, turkey, vegies, more gravy…but hold the champagne!  I managed a healthy sized serving (meaning nowhere near my typical sized serving), and sadly had to pass at the most gorgeous looking pavlova as I had to go back to Mum’s for – wait for it – pudding and custard.  Now that’s a tradition of Mum and I.  She always cooks me pudding and custard on Christmas night. Sometimes it seems like I am the only person in the world who east it, but it’s my little piece of comfort food that I have once a year.

The 26th of December

Boxing Day. Mum cooked us breakfast, and sent us on our way with a big bowl of trifle and a pack of fruit mince pies.  On all appearances driving home in the morning, it was the traditional ‘day of shopping’ for people in Perth, as cars were parked on median strips, verges, parks – everywhere. Luckily we got to avoid the shops, as we had more food to look forward to at my partners Uncles 70th birthday celebrations. Now, my partner is Anglo-Indian, and the typical food fare at his family gatherings is curry. I never actually ate curry before I starting going out with him, but I have discovered that it is truly addictive once you develop the palate.  I had planned not to eat at the party, but that was just plain stupid thinking.  On walking into his Aunt’s place, well, you could just smell the curry and biriani cooking. NOOOOOO.

The 27th of December

You would think by now that the celebrations would have ended, but we had been invited to an afternoon with some friends who had a pool, which turned out to be a fabulous idea since it was going to be 40 degrees celsius. Luckily I still fit into my bathing suit at this stage – and everyone was pretty much in the same boat – so it wasn’t too much of an embarrassment.  Some wonderful thinking by my friend, saw grilled vegetables served for dinner, with organic free range chicken, some prawns, bread, and corn on the cob.

The 28th of December

This brings me today. I feel like a beached whale, and have not even really been hungry, although I had to force myself to eat since I was giddy.  I must say that I’ve never relaxed so much at Christmas, diet wise, and it feels good (well – at the time). I’m back to work tomorrow which is probably a god send, as I will be distracted by work.

There’s only one problem…New Years celebrations are just around the corner!  It is at times like this I can see the benefit from living in a country where it is winter in December and January. At least it allows you to cover up all the excess blubber that you tend to put on over this period.

I have a problem

It’s a serious problem.

Listening to people eat really stresses me out!

Okay, not ALL people. I would like to believe that most people are very quiet eaters. It’s the people who slurp, chew loudly, mouths open, gulp food and generate buckets of saliva when they eat.

  • It’s partly about etiquette – it is polite to eat with your mouth closed. Thats good manners. Unless you can’t breathe through your nose – then I understand it’s a big ask…eating or breathing…hmmm. I know my brother and sister and I had this drummed into us growing up.  No wants to ‘sea…food.’ hehehe – Yes that’s a bad joke.
  • Gum chewers.  People aren’t cows, and as far as I’m concerned gum is like food – and people should chew with their mouths closed. They really should! I work in an office where you can literally hear a pin drop. I used to sit next to a guy who did this.  Lovely guy, really bad gum-chewing habit. Thinking back, there does seem to be a pattern here. I took a film course once at University with a really good friend. We spent many nights squished together in an editing suite trying to create our masterpiece, surviving on vending machine hot chocolate, chocolate, and gum.  She chewed gum with such a ferocity, I’m surprised our friendship survived. I was so close to snapping! In hindsight, working part-time, studying full-time, filming and editing most nights, plus partying – whilst surviving on a diet of sugar, fast food and gum – it possibly wasn’t her fault!  That would be my over-tired, unhealthy, anxiety riddled self.  Apologies to the friend in question for being so grumpy!
  • Fruit-suckers. Back to the office that is as quiet as a funeral parlour – or even more so.  I used to sit next to a guy (different guy) who loved fruit. Bless him!  I love fruit to. He especially loved juicy fruit, and when he ate fruit, he sounded like he was eating soup. This used to get me so anxious – I had to launch for the headphones of my iPhone – usually in the bottomless pit I call my handbag, frantically trying to untangle the headphones from the contents of my bag, and shoving them in my ears to drown it out with some music.
  • Saliva generators. The person I refer to here will know I’m referring to them, and they know I have a problem.  They don’t eat like this all the time, and they do love their food (and they are the best cook!) but sometimes when I hear them eat, I get very agitated. That’s when the volume of the TV gets turned up, or I go into the other room…for…something. Unfortunately for them this always seems to align with ‘that time of the month’ – I really do believe that my senses of hearing go into overdrive then! We figure if I get enough sleep, and pass on the sugar…I won’t snap.

Good news is I am working on my problem, but I still admit that the best way for me to deal with it is to leave the room. Continue reading