I’ve found…me.

Remember the girl who started this blog; her biggest worry was losing control of her life by gaining an unknown number of weight. She feared missing the “comfortable” feeling of having her hip and shoulder bones protrude grotesquely. She bemoaned the prospect of feeling and experiencing a flow of emotions in contrast to being numb and tuned out to the world. And when the beginnings of a nourished brain prompted her to confront the root of her depressions, she was dangerously close -repeatedly- on turning back to that twistedly safe nothingness.  Would it be all that surprising when I genuinely admit…I barely know her – if at all!?

peaceimage source

With reaching a healthy weight, a free mindset and the return of Aunt Suzy; I still struggled with knowing and understanding myself. I had a constant sensation of nurturing a gaping hole in my heart, a restlessness not willing to be quieted for any given period and through the busyness of everyday life, I was aware of a probing concern of feeling uncertain in my actual personality. Over time however my traits and quirks were surfacing..the real me, in all her loud annoying glory. I didn’t even realize the personality establishment taking place, until it unexpectedly fell into place so to speak on few day’s of vacation as off 2 weeks back. Or more appropriately explained: I became aware of it then; a strange place, interacting with others, a change of routine…it dawned on me how comfortable I am with who I am. I accept and love my quirks and demeanour, whether they serve in drawing others to me or rubbing someone up the wrong way, it all collectively makes me the person I am. And that’s enough.

We don’t need to be anything other than ourselves. Do you enjoy hyperventilating over the tiniest of things? Bouncing around uncontrollably when excited? Incessantly chirpy when content? Own it. Regardless of it irritating your brother or that new human you’re trying to impress…be you!

be youimage source 

WIAW: “Perfectly” Intuitive

“Eating more intuitively has proved greatly liberating for my mind, body and soul. With a memory of continuous planning and precision with meals and food; the taste of freedom fills me with excitement on a regular basis. This rush of sorts, putting me in a sense of elation.  Well what happens when you crash?

I have to commemorate the reason of why I assumed an intuitive approach in the first place. Was it not to further loosen the grip of the eating disorder? To relieve my perfectionist mind of it’s continuous struggle in consuming perfect [in my mind] meals? Surely I cannot expect to hit the nail on the head every single time in consuming the right thing at the right time. There will be slip-ups… I will not always be ” in tune” in the best manner, but this is what intuitive eating is all about. By feeding the anxiety in becoming frustrated and fearful of consuming a food that might not make me feel perfectly comfortable, I am destroying the purpose of learning to eat intuitively. I do not want to move from restriction, only to launch into another form of reigning control over what passes my lips at certain times in the day. I can honestly say I consider barely a food as something to be feared which I regard as an accomplishment… yet the very fact that I dwell on the effect an unfortunate evening of sugar leaves on me – only to entertain the hesitance at ingesting sweets for the days following – is a nudge in the gut to wake up and see the direction I am journeying on to completely break free of all negative -mental- associations with food.   The trials and error all part of the journey in better understanding the way my body works.”

The above rant was the beginning and the end of a draft left hanging about 2 months back. Reading it right now I am pleasantly surprised at the progress I’ve made in eating intuitively since then; all the while losing the image of “perfect”. I thought it would be cool to share and celebrate the good habit I’ve fallen into by listening to my intuition (and my 3rd period!!!) in the past Sunday’s noshings a la Jenn’s famous What I Ate Wednesday party.

wiaw-fall-into-good-habits-button
I love starting the day off with a warm hug [in a mug]…

my hug in a mug, piping hot with a splash of full cream milk

double chocolate coffee, piping hot with a splash of full cream milk.

I am head over heals for the hot new coffee to reach our shores: Beanies. Fighting the overwhelming desire to possess ALL THE FLAVOURS, I grudgingly settled on the Double chocolate (but of course) and Amaretto Almond but once home I soon regretted the latter over the French vanilla which I had debated 5 times over.

Over constant trial and error I finally feel like I’ve reached a sugary sweet spot with eating and meal times; to the point where I have an understanding of my “hungry times” and the foods that work for me for the most part. I know that I’m on an oatmeal groove for now – until I crave something different of which I will unhesitatingly venture into.

breakfast

banana oatmeal topped with cinnamon, applesauce, honey and peanut butter.

If you’ve never prepared your oatmeal by frying the banana first – give it a shot some time. I.am.hooked. Other than playing around with toppings and add-ins depending on my mood that morning… oatmeal makes me happy. Why change it?

I enjoy a strong sense of flexibility in my diet; impromptu dessert runs and coffee shop visits nourishes my soul.

snack- chocolate brownie tart

Shopping fuel: chocolate pecan brownie tart with vanilla soft serve.

Heavenly!

After switching snack and meal times around in a frenzy to accommodate a ridiculously wayward appetite.. I am actually content to be experiencing more of a routine in hunger signals. I know that I need a snack or well…dessert between breakfast and lunch.

A lunch [a late one on that particular day] comprising of a fair amount of veggies leaves me most satisfied and energised..

lunch- tuna salad

tuna salad…thyme & olive oil roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.

I make a mean tuna salad if you ever want to pitch up for lunch and I’m -as is the norm- too lazy to legitimately cook.                                                 Half a mashed avocado, a few tablespoons of Lime & Black Pepper sachet tuna, 1 chopped up dill pickle, 1 small finely grated carrot and a few diced plum tomatoes. You may want to commit that to memory…and please dunk some roast potatoes in there.

The over-analysing of meals, the extra precautions to ascertain if I am truly hungry, the anxiety of “did I consume enough?” to return my health and periods…it can all stop. I am capable of trusting my body and -most importantly- honouring my hunger and cravings.

snack- apple/dates and PB

Evening snack: dates  chopped apple and peanut butter.

New favourite snack! Bonus points for a crispy, slightly tangy apple…the flavours mingle together like magic. Can you perceive how much of a rebel I am in challenging my braces by the level of pulverising the apple received? Uhm yeah, not.

I can eat what I want, when I want to. And I truly believe that without breaking all ties with restrictive eating by completely going a little loco over more processed food, I would not adore more wholesome foods as much as I do today.

supper- chickpea mushroom curry

Supper: avocado quesadilla, chickpea mushroom curry thingy, steamed spinach. Orange juice.

I’m turning into a right old decent chef if I do say so myself. My downfall is the laziness when it comes to kitchen labours…regardless, this chickpea curry (is it an offense to throw the term “curry” with reckless abandon?!) was delicious. I mean, I had it again the evening after. And I have a feeling I coincidently had something closely resembling on the last WIAW I partook in. The detailed procedure as follows: I sautéed sliced onions and some fresh crushed garlic in coconut oil for abit before tossing in about 3 sliced white mushrooms. Seasoned the mushrooms with some sea salt and black pepper and once cooked, tossed in the drained chickpeas. About an 1/8 of a teaspoon of turmeric stirred through and cooked on low for another minute or so.

Ironically enough, I had to release myself of the notion of attaining the instinct of in intuitive eater in order to develop a good sense of intuition myself. It is rather pointless and a waste of energy to berate ourselves over the effects of enjoying an extra serving of dessert or the likes. Our body will deal with it sufficiently, provided we continue to treat it well. Move, rest, eat as we receive the signals when we’ve reached a place of balance.  That’s all folks!

 

What is your view on eating intuitively?

Current favourite dessert?

Cooked or raw veg -predominantly- ?

Thinking Out Loud #31

A headache hasn’t visited my head for ages, so much so – I’d forgotten what a pain it is. I’m taking the recent plaguing of one as a cue to release some of the mental baggage by joining in on the stream of randomness brought to you by Amanda. Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Thank goodness for a mid-week holiday is all I can say! Not that I excused myself from the office – having a good amount of catching up to play – but just the relief of a day without any calls and queries coming my way is a much-needed chance to restore my sanity after an absolutely shaky start to the week. When Tuesday dawned I was just about ready for the week to wrap up and felt in NEED of a 14 day weekend.what a week!image source

  2. I am traumatized people. When it came to work-related issues I’ve always had a sensible 90 year old brain on me…a few minutes of my naïve 19 year self surfacing was sufficient to destroy me. How else do I explain how in the world I’ve been *almost* completely scammed over the phone by some Windows technician fake? I don’t understand; me who trusts very few, sceptical of most, too occupied and “wise” to stumble into a trap. Or maybe that was the old me? Argh I just want to keel over and die when I think about it. What, you think that’s a touch too dramatic? Well, the bloody rouge managed to possess my precious laptop for a good while, because I was too gullible and impulsive. The worst part of it is the impact it had on me: mentally assaulted is not underplaying the way I feel.

Sylvester- don't mess with meimage source

 3. That is the distressing element though; I cannot get back at him who cruelly took advantage of my susceptibility. I am frustrated for letting up my guard after approaching the call with wary rudeness, knowing full well the danger of scams in business and I intended to deter the varmin hastily. But after coaxed by a few key words that impacted me as the “real deal”…argh moving on…

daffy duckimage source

    4. Oatmeal cooking methods are getting fancier around these parts. While Dad has been applauding the simplicity of instant oats, I am utterly adoring a key factor in this recipe at Oh She Glows. The procedure of cooking the banana for a bit in coconut oil before tossing in the liquid and oats is sensational. Fancier still, I went with a caramel-ly take on things the morning after by adding 5 small chopped dates along with the banana and allowing it to get a little melty prior to pouring in 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup rolled oats and a generous pinch of salt,, then leaving it to cook on low.

topped with cinnamon, chunky applesauce and peanut butter.

topped with cinnamon, chunky applesauce and peanut butter.

There is a little mindless game I amuse myself in when cooking up my oatmeal. I’ll fill the 1 cup at the sink -to the brim- and proceed to slither to the stove with exceptional steadiness in order not to spill a drop. I’ve developed into quite a veteran at the sport 😀 .

5. I just cannot take to cooking oatmeal in milk. I’ve tried again recently, curiosity compelling me to since I failed to clearly recall the last time I’d rolled with milk…  and while I’m all for the creaminess – the milk seems to mask the true earthy flavour of the oats. Not a fan. What I am a fan of is repairing my relationship with dried fruit (well, fruit in general) as per the bag of dates in my possession. Since it seems likely I won’t be getting up an entire post dedicated to it [which was the original plan]…you’re probably assuming that it was an ED fear to hesitate over dried fruit. Expected, but that is not the case. Having instilled in myself an outlandish phobia of fats, and consuming only veggies and fruits while harbouring a dominant sweet tooth meant that more often than not my entire supper consisted of a controlled portion of dried fruit or a huge bowl of sliced watermelon. Not surprising then that for the most part I am not in inclined to fruits; not because I don’t enjoy it, but there is a distinctive negative stigma surrounding it in my mind. Fruit = safe food.

6. Now that I’ve been for a good long while averted from fruit simply due to not craving it, I aim to start including more variety of dried/fresh fruit in my snacks…to try it out and see if I in fact enjoy it. I need to allow myself to experiment with eating all fruits once again without shunning them as part of the “ED history” and always choosing a more dessert-ish option over fruit without even giving myself a chance.

dates and a cappuccino

dates and a cappuccino (as inspired by our host!)

Jee willikers, do these dates not appear like cockroaches in this photo *shudder* !? I’ve been called out countless times -by photographically wise comrades- the error that is leaving the spoon in the shot. And yet, I keep forgetting – I cannot drink my coffee or hot chocolate without a spoon in!

7. This mental heaviness that has clutched onto me doesn’t seem to be have any plans in deserting, which means some action is required. It’s like… brain fog. No not brain fudge, brain fog. Very different, best not to confuse the two. Bright colours and soft materials prove to have a gently positive effect so that’s happening… picture083The polkadots instantly bring someone dear to mind 🙂 . Oh and fresh air! All the fresh air please…which I’m off to inhale right now before settling down to a big bowl of chocolate peanut butter oatmeal.     Any tips in getting through mental trauma? Perhaps I am behaving dramatically, but then I truly feel slightly destroyed. Share some thought with me! That would serve to delight me…

Greater victories

A day in terms of hecticified busy-ness can be allocated in one of two standard categories: 1) nonstop bustling, hopping from one task to another. 2) occupied with slow-moving chores that primarily consist of waiting. <-my personal pet hate depending on the specific surroundings. Yesterday was basically that – waiting, oh.my.goose so much waiting. On returning home in the evening I felt slightly overwhelmed; the day was drawing to a close, yet I had barely begun. In a ravenous state with a million and one things looming like a rock over my head, about to crash and splatter my brains (and some major PMS cravings)… I needed coffee. And [leftover] cheesecake. For a very late lunch. As I settled down, allowing the mix of decadent creaminess and sugar to help in regaining a sense of calm and focus, I realized something epic. Food -of any kind or form- is no longer a challenge. Coming home after an extensive period of sitting on my behind without any “activity” and collapsing with dessert because I want it, is not a feat in my eyes anymore. It’s my normal. I’ll crave my veggies soon enough don’t you worry. That’s not to say I am fooling myself in trying to believe that skipping lunch and ODing on dessert is sensible or healthy… it is enjoyable now and again I’ll give it that much. And I am not writing off the fact that for any human overcoming fear foods there isn’t reason to rejoice and jive with delight!

It’s just weirdly fantabulous to know that I don’t have a single fear food. Wait, what!? Yeah really. discovering quoteimage source

Whereas not too long ago there were occasions allocated to greasy, fried foods…and of course it had to be documented and announced because I “challenged” the fear of oils and unknown calories and blah, blah. Now I would only feel inclined to make special mention of a meal or dessert in order to sing it’s praises, or give my critical review – respectively. Like the prawn wrap and chips about a week back…

prawn wraps/chips

Bugger that was glorious.

Food in itself is not an achievement for me any longer… it’s just food. A magnificent part of life, but not one to be battling with and “winning” by cutting out this and will-powering on that.

Oh and the waiting? That concluded to a mini victory toward something huge -hopefully- in the not too far away future 🙂 .

 

WIAW..Do you know?

If the past weekend is anything to go by – winter could be at it’s peak. What happened to my Spring premonitions? Gail winds, air that pierces through like an icy dagger and sunshine completely MIA…. I’ll be holding onto the layering of knits, jumpers and leather for now. Oh and comfort food, you’re not going anywhere. Saturday having been thee coldest day ever, I decided it would be fun to document the day’s eats that served as powerful internal insulation against the elements. Brought to your viewing pleasure through the much-loved celebration of yumminess hosted by her loveliness Jenn.

WIAWbutton

DO YOU KNOW that awakening with chocolate chip cookie-cake on the mind – and with said cake in the house – is reason enough to have it for breakfast?

breakfast- cookie cake

Warmed, alongside chilled full-fat milk.

I’m done with tactics of staving off and denying cravings. I know that there is no way I’ll be able to get my mind focusing on other important matters if I fail to allow myself the freedom to just eat exactly what I please. Yes, even if that happens to be pie cake in the early AM. Obviously I went back for another slice…one slice of pie cookie-cake for breakfast just doesn’t cut it. I was seriously impressed at the decent time span I was kept energised after 😀 .

DO YOU KNOW that despite harbouring a set of taste buds highly in favour of well-spiced chicken, I am absolutely opposed to the sight – let alone the handling – of raw meats?

lunch- chicken&veg

Perfectly-spiced chicken, leftover roast potato wedges, steamed broccoli and carrots.

Good thing too. With a Mum and sisters’ who have honestly surpassed the title of “masterchef”, I am undeniably content with keeping away from the behind-the-scenes to every delicious portion. After denying myself of meat for such a long time, consuming it now is always tied with a feeling of liberation and all round fuzziness.

DO YOU KNOW hard-core oatmeal lovers stand a strong chance of craving a bowl during the day if it hasn’t made an appearance in the AM?

sweet&salty oatmeal -snack

with half a banana cooked in…topped with a splash of cold milk, roasted salted cashews, and strawberry jam. Coffee with a dash of coconut milk.

Sweet and salty nailed. I’ve been loving the sparkle a little coconut milk adds to my coffee these days…truth be told – it started off in a bid to use up opened tinned coconut milk and has morphed into an intended act.

DO YOU KNOW even lazy kitchen-slobs are sometimes motivated to put a little extra thought into cooking? But then again, my definition of cooking isn’t everyone’s pot of food either:

chickpea mushroom stew-dinner

chickpea mushroom stew with a wholegrain tortilla. Freshly squeezed naartjie juice.

Heh, how elaborate do I make my meal sound!? Well I believe it deserves a rather exaggerative title, given that it required abit more labour – than is my norm these days – to come together. I would really recommend braising mushrooms together with chickpeas though; the flavour is glorious.

 

DO YOU KNOW chunky applesauce on a warm buttery pastry croissant tastes just like apple pie?

croissant bedtime meal

half with chunky applesauce & cinnamon, half with Nutella. Rooibos tea.

The applesauce even gave the chocolate take a run for it’s money. Apple pie in a matter of minutes? Yes please.

Give me a recent foodie fact; Do you know…..? 

Thinking Out Loud #27

Collaborating in the famous Thursday movement with Amanda today; an invitation to ramble on without a concrete purpose and aim? Hard to turn down… as the week draws to a close, it’s needed.

Thinking-Out-Loud

 

1. Two 1/2 cup measurements of liquid do not equal to 1 cup. Theoretically yes,  but in the outcome of my bowl of oatmeal – no. I see myself questioning every some school lessons, beyond what I’ve learnt in fractions. The takeaway from this: do not be lazy to wash out the dirtied 1 cup…. AM oatmeal is too precious to risk spoiling the texture I love.

 

2. As a form of establishing my body’s state of “idealness”, the day after discovering that I was in fact at my goal weight for quite some time; Aunty Suzy arrived in her first LEGIT, REAL, UNDOUBTFUL visit. Cue several hernia’s amid sobs and squeals [of joy]. After a considerable stage of toying with my mind – the game’s over in that aspect 😀 . Naturally this was cause for a celebration that included pizza. Because, pizza can only serve to make Aunt Suzy happy right 😉 ?!

Mushroom, tomato, feta and parmesan

Mushroom, tomato, feta and parmesan

 

3. On that note let’s talk about what aided in the arrival of her esteemed visit. While I am not a medical anything, I actually have a few notions on factors which helped heal my body sufficiently… hear me out! I was rather late in taking the step to consume full-fat milk on a regular basis, but I felt tons better once that was in a daily rotation, along with full-fat cheese whenever I was in the mood for cheese. Eating aside, I have concluded that the percentage of body fat I possess right now plays the determining role in things. I will -honestly- not call myself fat ( because hello! I am not) but I’m aware that I comprise of a decent amount of fat…in all the right places 😀 … if that makes any sense.

 

4. If you haven’t detected the vibes yet, I feel I should mention anyway: I’m on a confident stint as off recently… comfortable in my body, content with myself – it’s  a strangely thrillingly stupefying sensation. I don’t know where it came from or how it got here, but I’m loving it. It could be something in the air since I know I’m not alone in this!?

body positivityimage source

We are quick to voice our struggles with “bad” body days… it feels good to simply proclaim how good my mind feels on that side of things.

 

5. I constantly internally declare to grow up with my reading choices, only to fall back onto – I suppose – material that should captivate humans of a younger calibre. Whether that means my mental capacity is immature for my age or not, matters little right now, because this one has me snared big time!Wings

I started it on Monday and come Tuesday evening I was eagerly getting stuck into the sequel “Spells“.Spells

Enchanting ❤ . When you fall in love with the character(s), you know it’s a winner. Pike, you’re a beauty.

 

6. I have dropped out of my food photographing groove in the span of the last month. Perhaps its partly due to having guests around joining us at most meal times – which means everyone dining together, directly translating (I imagine) into the guaranteed probingly inquisitive drama that would ensue, should I pull out my phone for a pic before my meal. facepalmimage source

 

7. When it comes around to wanting to share the gloriousness of a particular meal or the magicalness of a combination of tastes on the palate, I kind of really want to punch myself for not having just taken the bloomin’ photo. I *almost* didn’t get yesterday’s lunch on camera, but after a few mesmerised bites (you know when something hits.the.spot!?) there was no way I could refrain from broadcasting it.

potatoes roasted in olive oil, steamed broccoli, roast onion cream cheese for dipping

potatoes roasted in olive oil, steamed broccoli, roast onion cream cheese for dipping

 

8. On the discussion of eating in company at the table; I would never have believed the truth in it – myself having being accustomed to breakfast in bed while blog reading – had I not experienced it every single day for 30+days straight, but there is a higher sense of satiety and “completeness” derived when mealtime is valued over company – in the moment. Of course I speak only from my personal take on this…

 

9. I’d love to hear your thoughts, so do extend on any of the topics that you wish to share 🙂 .

 

Now that I know

I know my weight. The exact numbers down to the point. A gigantic leap from the figures made known to me a year ago before my full-fledged recovery – stared back at me. I actually didn’t expect the knowledge of my weight to have any impact on my mind whatsoever; the scale never featured in my eating disorder…I suppose it could have been a different situation had we even owned a scale! So, ignorant of my weight before restricting intake and never weighing while spiralling downward – I was running on the falsely rewarding sensation of “controlling” and “succeeding” .

No matter how blissful ignorance; for quite some time I’ve been deliberating on where I stood in the “healthy range”.  When the chance of a consultation with a scale presented itself, I hesitantly took up the opportunity.

scaleimage source

I am not going to even try to kid myself. I am shocked. What did I expect the numbers to be? Well, at the guidance from my Doc I needed to reach a weight considered “safe” as quick as possible, thereafter making a conscience effort to get to – in her words – my ideal range. I imagined to have reached the safe zone. Lo and behold, I am at my ideal ideal weight… with a 0.6 points above that. The daunting task of gaining 16 kg’s happened seemingly effortlessly; I can barely believe that at one stage the very thought of such a quest was enough to make my heart skip a beat. After the initial silent shock of allowing the number (my weight) to sink in… what now? I quietly mulled over whether I was going to allow this number to establish a meaning in my life, to impact or change my way of viewing myself. And you know what? I see no reason whatsoever.

defined by a numberimage source

Honestly, I don’t feel as though I appear to weigh that much… being aware of it shouldn’t change anything. Other than simply playing a role in my health measurements that number does not feature in the person I am. I need not announce it for the world to know and it can get lost among the head of figures I possess in my role as an accountant.