Last weekend, while Flo was still away in Phuket, I met Mum and Dad for Dim Sum at one of our favourite restaurants – Taste Paradise.
That morning, I also found myself staring at our kitchen floor, gazing in wonderment at the reflection of the glass creating a rainbow on it. It was so pretty and it made me feel that slither of happiness and hope that everything will be well.
This lunch with Mum and Dad, I ate a whole char siew bao, bun and all. Of course, ED left me feeling guilty for eating it when usually, I eat just the filling. I’d like to say that it felt good, but it didn’t. It did taste good though.
So my appointment with Dr. A most recently ended with her saying to me that I’m doing well and am on the right track to health, not just physically, but also psychologically. We still have more work to do and I have ‘homework’ as well for when I next see her in two weeks’ time.
This session, I shared with her about how distressed the 9-course Omakase meal I had made me feel, especially the morning after. I also shared with her that for some reason, just after Flo had eaten his breakfast that Tuesday morning, I can’t remember what triggered this feeling or thought but I suddenly felt something click in my head – that part of why I’m holding onto ED is because I have a fear of being vulnerable. It feels as though ED has been my armour, and getting healthy means removing that armour and exposing myself to getting hurt.
Dr. A asked what being vulnerable meant to me. I told her that it made me feel a loss of control at the thought of being defenceless, of being exposed to hurt, it made me feel weak and painfully sad.
And I shared with her of the days when I was little, looking different from my caucasian friends in international school and being chided for having slitty eyes, a flat face, and chubby cheeks. I used to pent up all that hurt and sadness because these were the friends I played with, laughed with, had sleepovers with. A part of me thought that perhaps they were merely joking, and that prevented me from speaking up for myself. I held in all the negativity and sometimes, I’d burst out in anger at my parents even though they had no hand in why I was feeling sensitive and upset.
I guess ED created that shield for me. It made me small enough so that most people looked past me or were afraid to say anything to me.
It made me feel as though I could prevent people from spewing hurtful words against me, especially anything related to looks or weight.
It made me feel like I deserved to take up less space because I was unworthy of more.
It made me feel almost invisible.
The fear of reliving that heavy sense of sadness and hurt makes me hold on to ED. And in a way, I think that not speaking up for myself at the time reinforced this sense of weakness and helplessness.
At the same time, I also think “So what?”. I’ve grown up now and I know that I am much better equipped to handle situations like these, if any. Also, what does it matter how the rest of the world thinks of me when I am surrounded by people who love and care for me so much more!
ED has become cunning in the way it is able to distort my thoughts and make me cling onto assumptions and false truths. And I have come to believe many of them without weighing out the facts.
As I am on this road to recovery though, I find that the further I trod, the more I am able to see better how flawed ED’s arguments are.
I’m not going to be worse-off without it!
My weight is not going to spiral out of control.
One big meal won’t make me fat.
Contrary to popular ED belief, I will not gain weight forever.
Dessert is not going to kill me or make me gain weight overnight.
It’s ok to feel vulnerable, and hurt, and sad, sometimes. I’ll learn to deal with negative emotions just as we learn to deal with the rain when the grey clouds hide away the sun. It’ll only be temporary.
And on days where the threat of a storm looms over me, I guess there’s always Peanut Butter and Chocolate to turn to. Because peanut butter is love. Chocolate is love.
Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Mega Love
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars (Yields 1 x 8×8″ Square or 12 pcs):
113g Butter, Melted
80g Peanut Butter (not the natural kind)
1 Large Egg
90g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
120g Plain Flour
75g Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 175deg C and line an 8×8″ baking tin.
- Whisk butter, peanut butter, egg, brown sugar and vanilla together.
- Incorporate flour.
- Fold in chocolate chips
- Bake 18-20min and allow to cool completely before slicing.
I drizzled my bars with some leftover chocolate ganache I had at hand although you can simply top these with more chocolate chips before baking.
At the end of the day, I realise the reason I ended up going to Osaka Kitchen to celebrate Alex’s birthday with Flo and Amanda is
probably because their friendship means more to me than ED. And as weak and greedy as ED made me feel, the truth is that I was being strong in choosing them over ED and with Flo’s support, I was in control in pushing ED aside and chowing through the various courses.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I sometimes feel a flicker of excitement at the thought of growing back into my curves. I am a woman, and no longer a girl.
I want to create an environment within me that will be healthy and inviting for a precious little one to grow and develop in before coming out into the world.
I want to be able to enjoy foods and not tire my brain out thinking about calories and fat and portions and where to eat and what to eat and what not to eat.
I want to be able to trust my body and what it can do for me, while allowing my body to trust me to look after it too.
I know that in time, the ED voice will lessen and already, I can feel my voice getting louder and stronger. And it’s good to feel that strength, that sense of empowerment that I am taking back control.