Rocky Road Home.

We’re back from our two-week trip to the Philippines which was a huge adventure in itself. We moved around a fair bit and stayed in 5 different towns altogether. It wasn’t the easiest of experiences in travelling for me but it did open my eyes to a lot of things with regards to relationships, myself, as well as the Philippines. I’ll keep our travelogue writeup for another day though.

German Pancakes

 

Today, I just felt the need to share about our first full day home yesterday. It turned out that after 2 weeks of travelling, facing not-so-great food, and indulging quite a number of times as well in carb-heavy breakfasts, even in ice-cream more than a couple of times, I felt quite sure that I’d gained weight. The numbers on the scale yesterday morning apparently showed otherwise and Flo was quite adamant that I should be admitted into hospital because I have only been regressing further ever since the beginning of the year. He texted Mum and Dad to inform them that he felt that it needed to be done but being as stubborn as I am, I still refuse to seek medical help.

I’m not sure if it was from the whole morning itself – finding out once again that I had not gained and was facing a possible stay at hospital come next week (because this week one of my BFFs gets married and I cannot miss it for the world!), I became determined to show Flo and my parents even more that I can do this; I can recover without being an in-patient. So I decided to plump up my breakfast and subsequently, went on to two binge/purge sessions because my starved body essentially blanked out my mind and I started eating without tasting and when I finally did taste food I felt so sick both physically and with myself that I had to get it out. To be honest, it felt terrible having not engaged in such behaviour in years, and also to feel so weak and lost.

At one point after the second binge/purge, I called Mum and said that I need help but I don’t want to go to hospital just yet. I asked for her to keep me company today and possibly Wednesday while I stabilise my food intake with more wholesome meals that can also involve dessert but in moderation. I am not afraid now so much of weight gain, rather, I am more afraid of entering a binge/purge cycle that will make me feel worse and I don’t want to run the risk of developing another form of ED. While I know that the body needs food and is probably craving for lots of things I have previously deprived it of, I don’t believe that bingeing will solve anything. It won’t be the easiest thing to refrain from I don’t think, having been caught in this cycle before, but I am in a much better frame of mind today and I believe that with the support and love that I have around me, I will find a balance.

Binge/purge sessions tend to make my stomach feel topsy turvy after and oftentimes, it also means that I feel the need to ‘punish’ myself and restrict even more afterwards. But yesterday, I decided that I had to take that two steps forward. So, before Les’s wedding rehearsal (which I was in no mood for after such a messed up day), I had a small helping of granola with milk. I went on to have a good dinner without stuffing myself – just enough to not upset my traumatised stomach, before coming home into Flo’s arms and trudging on with my evening snack.

My tummy feels much better today although my ED brain is trying to convince me that since I feel much better psychologically today, I can and should carry on with my ‘usual’ meals once more. Only, I know that my ‘usuals’ will only continue to set me back and I have lunch plans with Mum and Dad, and I’ve planned the dinner Flo and I will be having this evening so as strong as ED feels and as much as I feel inclined to go with ED, it cannot and will not have its day today.

Duli Beach

Rewinding back to Sunday, after Flo and I had breakfast at the resort, we had about an hour half before we had to check out. So we sat on the lounge chairs in front of the resort’s restobar basking in the sun and talking. Our last leg in Duli Beach made me share some hard truths with Flo – ones that he often found difficult listening to in the past but he did this time around and came to a better understanding of me. And because he did, he told me that what happened in my past was not my fault and I need to realise that and let go.

Forgiveness of oneself is the hardest thing to do and letting go is even harder. Flo said that I’ve punished myself more than enough already and it’s time to start allowing myself to accept all the good things that I deserve, even if I may not feel like I quite deserve them.

As Flo spoke, I started to reflect on his words and I have to admit that what he was saying held a lot of water. I think that I have placed a lot of guilt on myself even for situations I found myself in that was beyond my control. I constantly felt that it was only through my own fault that I got myself entangled in undesirable circumstances either through my own naivety or sheer stupidity. In turn, I have never felt deserving for all the goodness in my life. In turning away from embracing my blessings, I have inevitably caused misery and worry to my loved ones. The only way I can show them just how much I love them now, is to stop beating myself up, to start accepting God’s blessings upon me, and to treat myself the way I deserve to be treated. After all, my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit and even in my darkest of days, I somehow still believe that He is nearby, waiting on me to call upon Him for strength.

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And I did. Yesterday evening at the church for Les’s wedding rehearsal, I found myself sitting on one of their pews while waiting for the rest of the bridesmaids to arrive, and in the silence of the sanctuary, sought comfort in God that He will help me through this time of recovery, along with the support of my parents and Flo. I believe He will. And today, as trying as it might be, I will face my demons and fight. I will enjoy my meals knowing that it will bring me towards a healthier place in life emotionally, physically and psychologically, and that I will be one step closer to the life that I truly deserve.

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Food Pho Life.

I’ve been wondering quite a lot about a few things. The usual things. Usual-for-me things. My brain has recently been shouting at me to Wake UP! And I can hear myself fighting back even as ED tried to bring me down.

Yesterday, I thought to myself:

Why am I still engaging in such disordered eating habits?
What do I need to prove to myself? Or anyone for that matter?
How did I slip down so far and why is it harder than ever to pick myself back up again?
Why do I keep letting ED win? To see how low I can go?! Because I know that ED will never tell me that my weight is ‘low enough’.
Don’t I want to get better? Because if I do, what does it matter that my weight goes up now!? Why the constant need to go down when that would be completely contradictory to the idea of wanting to get well.

No. Recovery still, is in no way easy. Whether at the beginning, or in the middle, or at the end. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. The greater the struggle, the greater the outcome no?

I can totally understand why it has become increasingly difficult for Flo to believe that I will be able to get healthier on my own accord.

6 months ago, he asked me to get better for when Naima came to visit in October/November. I didn’t.
Over Christmas, he asked me to gain some weight while he was away in Germany the two weeks. I dropped.
Since moving in nearly a month ago, we agreed that I had to gain every week. I lost.

Right now, I catch myself in photographs and sometimes find myself completely surprised at how skeletal my head is becoming. Why don’t the mirrors reflect that when I look into them?
I wear the same few items of clothing because nothing much fits me.
I try to cover up no matter how hard the sun is beating down because I don’t want to scare people.
I have to cover up anyway because recently I’ve been feeling the cold a lot more.

I wonder how Flo can still feel attracted to me with my bones jutting out and poking him every so often.

So since Tuesday, I’ve been trying harder to push myself. It began with a no-so-huge push but it was a push nonetheless.

I met Flo for dinner that evening after a day of torrential rain, and with the weather being so wet and chilly (by Singapore standards), we went to one of our two favourite Vietnamese Restaurants – Mrs Pho along Beach Road. The other one’s nearer home but I had to make a quick delivery for my brownies so we decided to have dinner closer to town.

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Decisions were quickly made. Beef Pho for Flo and Chicken Pho for me.

As usual, the light, yet flavoursome hearty broth, warmed me up and I tucked into the generous chunks of shredded chicken. Carbs are my nemesis… Or ED’s. So noodles for me are usually a hard one to swallow. Literally. I generally take no more than a couple spoonfuls of noodles before giving up but that night, I told myself that I had to eat more.

I knew that I wouldn’t be able to finish all of the noodles anyway, just because they always seem to give so much despite asking for less. Still, I pushed myself and had way more noodles than I’ve had in one sitting in… years! So much so that I didn’t actually keep note of how much I had. Enough to feel a sense of bloatedness that’s for sure.

In a way, I felt almost proud of myself underneath that sinking sense of guilt. And it upset me a little that Flo hadn’t seemed to notice the mountain of effort I’d heaped into that bowl of pho. I guess the fact that there looked to be quite a bit of noodles left in the bowl didn’t make for compelling evidence of the attempt I’d made at eating more.

Of course, it will take time for change to be seen and for me to pick up momentum in recovery. As long as I have the continual support from the people who mean most to me, I know that I will be able to make it.

On a happier note, Flo and I had Amanda and Alex round for dinner last night. I made the salad and some roasted carrots which turned out so sweet!! Flo did the cooking of the meats – Sirloin Steak, and Chicken and Beef Shashlik (off the skewer). Yes, my baby can cook!!

I love both Amanda and Alex, and I’m excited for them to move into the condo a little way down the road from us next month. Just chilling with them and exchanging the most random stories never fail to put me in good cheer. It also makes me so happy to see Flo enjoying their company too.

I can’t believe tomorrow’s already the eve of the Lunar New Year! From the Year of the Monkey to the Year of the Rooster. I’m most excited about meeting up with family especially because there are some that I see only this one time a year. It’s sad how we let time get the better of us so I appreciate when Chinese New Year comes around each year and we are able to finally meet once more. 🙂

One of Those Days.

Throwback to Friday:

Just one of those days where everything feels meh. It started off raining and raining and raining and stopped around lunch time but the skies have been quite dreary since, aptly reflecting my mood.

That said, I’m quite glad that I managed to pull myself together and get my tasks done for the day. We have glass walls in our kitchen which allows me to use marker pens to write the things I plan to do each day and I can simply wipe it all off with a damp cloth after. So today it was mainly baking for some of the cafes and getting ready a cake for a private order for tomorrow.

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It’s another Passionfruit Curd Lychee Cake with Vanilla Buttercream. The curd was a little more flowy then I’d have liked but thankfully I managed to work it. Overall I’m pleased with the cake and I hope the birthday girl and her family will enjoy it.

Also after much procrastination post-lunch, I made a short walk to Dad’s friend’s print shop about 10min away from here to pick up my new business cards and business stickers! I decided to make some stickers so that I can put them on cookie jars and cake boxes. I’m hoping that they will help market me a bit more since they’ll be on every box and container that I use compared to business cards that I only hand out on occasion.

There’s been a fair bit of things on my mind today – mostly related to my future. I think oftentimes we tend to want to enjoy the present, which isn’t much of a bad thing of course, but we end up forgetting to look forward to consider how the present might evolve over time. It seems that turning a blind eye to certain things now, and hoping that they will iron themselves out is acceptable. It isn’t. Eventually, those things might become destructive as resentment builds up. Which is why communication is so important. While I know that my communication habits have improved, there is still room for me to vocalise my thoughts and fears. I’ll try to elaborate on this another day.

Off to make dinner. On the menu: Poke Bowls!

Today:

It’s been quite a whirlwind of a weekend and I cannot believe Flo and I will be in the Philippines this time next week already!

I did make my Poke Bowls the other night and I must say that I was quite pleased with myself managing to put something quite delicious together. Our poke bowl had a salad base which I topped with Spicy marinated Tuna, Salmon and Swordfish sashimi (I marinated them myself!), home-pickled julienned Cucumber and Radish, Roasted Pumpkin, Chuka Wakame (a seasoned seaweed), and some lightly Sugared Walnuts. To be honest, I’ve never tried a poke bowl before but Flo gave me his two thumbs up so I’m going to happily assume that these bowls met the mark.

Saturday went by crazily fast. We made our cake delivery before going to Dempsey to have lunch and to pick up some fresh meats from Huber’s Butchery.

We had a Linsen Zuppe aka Lentil Soup which was hearty with smoky bits of bacon inside. A touch salty for my liking but that aside, I actually think I will try to replicate it at home one evening!

We shared a Roast Beef sandwich in Brioche Bun but it was a bit disappointing in that the beef seemed a little well done and the bun was quite oily.

Anyway, we were caught in the heavy rain soon after our shopping for sausages, steaks and kebab skewers were done, and ended up spending at least 40min trying to book a taxi since Uber and Grab were offering to take us home for $30!! Twice the amount we finally paid for the taxi we managed to book in the end.

I managed to whip up a quick German Cheesecake for yesterday’s housewarming before we rushed off to meet Flo’s friend, Nico, and girlfriend, Jecky, for dinner. Nico and Flo hadn’t caught up in years but somehow, upon meeting they got on like no time was lost between them. I enjoyed meeting Nico and Jeckie very much. Each time I am blessed with the opportunity to meet Flo’s friends, I cannot help but be blown away by how splendid they are. I’m glad because it also reflects the kind of man Flo is to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

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Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early to join some young adults from Hope Church, as well as some local Food Bloggers and Influencers in Bread for Life.

We broke into small groups and handed out a loaf of fresh bread to each home in this one block in Toa Payoh. It’s a block entirely made up of one-room rental flats and most of these are occupied by single elderly.

It was eye-opening for me having only seen homes like these on TV or heard about them from others. To see old aunties and uncles receiving their loaf of bread with such gratitude and happiness was extremely touching. But it was also heart-wrenching to see how some of them live – from homes with piles of boxes and old newspapers everywhere, leaving only a narrow path for them to move to and fro; to sparse homes with few luxuries.

While I was away, Flo picked up all the last minute items we needed for our housewarming. Our initial plan to have a small BBQ by the pool was eventually scrapped as the weather was acting a little unpredictable. So in the end, we decided to hold it at home where about 20+ of us managed to squeeze in and create a rather cosy atmosphere together. Even Nico and Jecky managed to come over!

It was food galore indeed but somehow, we managed to find just enough space on our small dining table to fit everyone’s dishes. We had a delicious spread of some local food, homemade braised vegetables, homemade roast pork, some Thai food, a variety of sushi, some fast food as well, Mum’s delicious Thai olive rice, a simple charcuterie and cheese board, homemade penne carbonara, homemade mushroom soup, homemade marmite chicken wings, fresh fruit… In the end, we decided to do a rain check on the meat we bought from Huber’s because it’d have been way too much otherwise.

Still, I was very pleased that somehow, everyone managed to save some room for dessert! The Vanilla Bean German Cheesecake was well received and as most of us at the housewarming have never tasted German Cheesecake, we were pleasantly surprised and how light it was, and how the buttery crust added that welcomed touch of richness to it. The Quark used created a tangy, almost lemony profile to the filling and was much easier to eat compared to its American counterpart especially after a heavy meal.

It was all in all a wonderful gathering I think. Tiring for sure but to have so many friends, and my beautiful parents over, really filled our home with love. I had fun catching up with my friends, and also meeting some of Flo’s friends that I have heard of but never met before. It was also heartening to see everyone treat our home with respect. So much so that cleaning up was a breeze for me.

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This morning, Flo weighed me and I somehow managed to lose more weight this week. I’m a little puzzled and more than ever, I know that Flo feel so much at a loss at what he can do to help me. We agreed that this week I won’t be swimming and I will make a greater effort and eating more. Otherwise, I might have to admit myself into hospital and I know that I don’t want that. So… for now we will keep fighting ED together.

This is Me.

I’m sitting here waiting for the rain to stop wondering if I want to pick up a couple things from the supermarket today, or wait for tomorrow. If I go today, I get it out of the way and I can concentrate on doing prep work for one of my cake orders. If I do it tomorrow, I’ll still be able to do my prep work just that it’ll be another thing more on my to-do list.

Funny how these days, I prefer to get everything done as soon as I can rather than procrastinate. I look back on when I was younger and remember how Mum used to have to nag at me to do anything at all – homework, cleaning my room, tidying up my baking space… I used to wonder how mothers could be so on the ball with everything. And of course, I still wonder and marvel everything that’s on their plate. Sometimes thinking about the future and the possibility of being a mother scares me. I feel so ill-equipped in having to care for a baby round the clock. I’m getting a little ahead of myself now.

Today, I could see the extent of my parents’ love for me. I mean it goes without saying that I’ve always known just how much Mum and Dad love me and look out for me. This morning, they came over because they wanted to pick up the cake orders for one of the cafes for Dad to deliver on my behalf. In doing so, Dad gave me a lift to PB (where I bake once a week) and Mum decided to assist me since she had nothing planned for today.

After my baking was done, Dad picked Mum up and I made my own way home only to receive a text a bit later that Dad had actually bought lunch for himself and Mum, and had planned to drive me home and lunch together with me. It warmed my heart so much knowing how far my parents are willing to go for me even though, as I had replied Mum, I didn’t want them to go through the trouble of travelling up and down just for me since it would be tiring for them and we don’t live quite so near to each other.

In the last couple of days, I have also seen the kind of love Flo has for me. It is more than I could ever have asked or hoped for in a man. And just as Mum and Dad see past my ED and love me for the person that I am, so does Flo. I know this and am quite certain of it because in this current state, I am not the nicest person to hug, or cuddle up to, neither do I look the healthiest or the prettiest. Still, Flo snuggles with me even though every once a in while, he yelps when a bone pokes into him. Every day, he looks at me and tells me that I’m the prettiest girl of all.

So yes, I may have the label of ‘Anorexia’ slapped onto me, but I am not ‘Anorexic’. I am not defined by a medical term that doctors may use to apply to me, or random passers-by may throw at me. Rather, I am a daughter, greatly loved; a girlfriend, greatly blessed; a friend, greatly cared for. I have a heart that is compassionate, and I have a passion for baking because as I always say, wherever there is cake, there are always happy smiles. I can be witty, I can be cheeky, and I can be serious when I need to be. I don’t have the best of tempers, and I can be extremely stubborn. When I give, I give with a sincere heart, and when I love, I love fiercely.

I know that anorexia has rubbed away some of the potency of my emotions, and along with that train of thought, I also know that I have so much more to give as a daughter, a partner, a friend. So yes, while I have a disorder, it isn’t who I am. I am Natalie.

The Bigger Picture.

As I sit here mulling over this morning when Flo weighed me and told me with a look of disappointment that my weight had not shifted at all since last week, making it 2 weeks of stagnation and zero progress in weight gain, it just blows my mind how fear can feel so much bigger than what is it.

It’s odd thinking now, and really reflecting on ED – how it really is mind over matter, and that in the grand scheme of things, all it is made up of are thoughts and fears. They feel real, they feel like vicious bullies, but the reality of it is that they are clearly from the mind, created by me. The articles I read of battles and victories over ED give me hope, but the action is mine to undertake. Every evening I go to bed hopeful that I will be stronger tomorrow. Every morning I wake up wanting to stick to the familiar.

Yesterday, as Flo snuggled up to me, he shared that one of his best friends is having a baby. Another best friend of his. I know how much Flo wants children, and I want them too. This article I just read really speaks out to me right now. I too developed anorexia later than most – at 20. I also am now at a point where I want to recover because I have a man whom I love dearly and whom I want to have children with.

I am aware that weight recovery will mean that fertility will return as long as I can get my period back without being induced by pills. I am also aware that my future self will one day thank me for getting off my butt and really fighting for my future. After all, this is the time, NOW is the time where I make it or break it.

In 5 years time, I can look back with regret at how I didn’t do enough, or I can look back proud that I pushed myself even though every day was a challenge. I can see just how much love Flo pours out to me every day, and how much he tries to stay upbeat about my situation even though I also know how much it breaks his heart each week when my weight doesn’t move up. It makes me feel guilty that I am not doing more and not giving it my all. It is selfish of me seeing that I am no longer just looking at my future, but Flo’s future as well.

When I step back and look at the bigger picture, I wonder why and how I am allowing weight to control me. Why does keeping it down make me feel more in control, more validated, more accepted? It is almost as though I have allowed myself to feel as though I deserve a smaller space on this earth compared to everyone else. Yet, who is this world has that right to tell me that I am not good enough, strong enough, acceptable enough? Only I.

So I guess I have allowed myself to be a victim of my own self-destruction. Some days I go to bed wondering if I will wake up, other days I wonder if I will pass out while swimming and slip away. Most days though, I feel too alive to think that I am ‘sick enough‘ to be considered sick, and that it will be a long time more because anything ever happens to me.

What is weight? It is merely a number. A number that has come to hold too much value and power over me. In a way, to acknowledge this as a fact is making me feel rather shameful at allowing something so small and insignificant rule over me. It is not greater than I am. It is not God.

Have faith. Jesus heals. I still believe.

In other news, I had a relaxing weekend this week. Last Friday, Flo and I went to have Vietnamese at our favourite Vietnamese place. Food was good as usual even though the gravy in the Sweet and Sour Squid dish made me feel a bit uneasy. It was too tasty to be ‘healthy’ but also too delicious to resist. Flo also wanted his Rare Beef with Lemon Juice which delivered in flavour and tenderness as it did the last time.

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Our Summer Rolls weren’t mind blowing, but they were a nice start to our meal before we went on to watch Rogue One. I wasn’t too impressed and nodded off more than a few times in the cinema. I had expected it to be part of Star Wars, and found out only after the movie ended that it was merely a side story which explains why I totally couldn’t figure out who the goodies and who the baddies were. I think I’ll stick to the main Star Wars films from now on.

Saturday we went back to visit Mum and Dad. Flo whipped up some Weisswurst aka White Sausages all the way from Hamburg. Unlike the usual sausages, these were warmed up in just boiled water and before consumption, had to have their skins removed. Flo introduced Sweet Mustard to Mum and Dad to go along with the sausages and they loved it. All the more so after Dad realised that the combination of the mustard with Sauerkraut was instant addiction – and the sauerkraut was more because Dad insists that no German meal is complete without it. All these were eaten alongside some Pretzels, but according to Flo, they lacked the fresh crispness that is usual of the ones found in Germany. Ah well, we have to make do while in Singapore!

I’ll admit that after eating out with Flo two consecutive days, I wanted my comfort food and while I tried some of the sausages, I still chose to have my ‘safe’ meal in part as a treat to myself but admittedly, also out of fear.

Anyway, I had quite a productive Monday today baking loaves of banana breads for one of the cafes I bake for, doing a load of washing and ironing as well as vacuuming and mopping the floor. I realise I quite like cleaning floors but ironing is still very much a pain in the butt! Keeping our home clean has also made me more particular about a lot of things – I pick random bits of dirt off the floor all the time even if it’s only a speck, I have to wipe down my kitchen sink and its surrounding area every time after I’m done with it, and I find myself arranging things around to try and make the place look neater. I can totally understand now why Mum used to do and say the things she did.

When Mum used to tell me “One day you’ll understand“, I can tell her now that I am beginning to understand. The rest of my understanding will probably come when I have kids, and they do the things that I used to do that annoyed or upset her. Typing all this down now, I can see now that in the last two weeks of living here with Flo, I have grown. Perhaps not in the way of health right now, but in other ways. And for that, I am proud of myself even though there is still a way to go in so many aspects of my life. Still, I know that no matter how old I get, or how long I’ve been living away from home, Mum and Dad will always be my steady pillars – never far away and always there to give me a helping hand when I need the extra support.

Enough.

I read a nice article yesterday on Facebook about how its writer beat her battle with an eating disorder and what turning 30 means to her this year. I guess I’ve read enough articles to know what I should and shouldn’t do, and how life springs forth the minute we let go of the ED. The journey, however, is one that tends to make the ED sufferer feel like they are at the losing end, especially at the beginning. Endless days of feeling disgust at gaining weight, bloatedness that never seems to go away, self-loathing at how ill-disciplined they may feel at exercising less and eating more.

Isn’t there a saying that goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step“? That first step is often the hardest to take no matter how many people may be egging you on, shouting endless encouragement and giving boundless support to you. In my mind, it’s always easier to think that tomorrow will make all the difference. Truth is, it never does.


Thursday evening, Flo decided to take me out for dinner. Only a couple of months ago, I considered Japanese food as pretty much on my ‘safe’ list. Yet, I found myself feeling horrible about what I’d eaten. We’d shared a portion of Chawanmushi, Salmon Sashimi, and a Saba Shioyaki Set. I usually love sashimi but Wasabi Tei, the restaurant we went to, cuts theirs in generous, thick slabs. And while I enjoyed it, ED didn’t. All I could think about after was how much salmon I’d just ingested.

I know how blessed I am in that Flo never holds back on telling how much he loves me. And almost every day, he will remind me that he will accept me in whatever shape or form I come in simply because he loves who I am. I joked that if that were the case, then he should be perfectly happy with the shape and form I am in at present, but of course, I know that he means it doesn’t matter how I look as long as I’m healthy.

It’s funny how everyone can tell me that I am enough and mean it, and yet, I remain so harsh on myself. Every so often, Mum reminds me that I have so much going for me – a wonderful man, parents who support me unconditionally, a little business in baking that I love running, a good degree that I can fall back on, and uhm.. usually she adds good looks to the list as well but I’m a little embarrassed to put that in although I kind of just did.

 

At what point do we say to ED that enough is enough? At what point can I tell myself that I am enough? Not long ago, I read an excerpt from Beating Eating Disorders’ Facebook page that I happened to start following a couple of weeks back. One part read “You could be seconds from dropping dead and it (ED) will still tell you, you are not sick enough… It’s a life-threatening mental illness with one intention: to kill you“. Completely true.

How much more do I have to lose before it’s enough for ED? It will never be enough. I have to realise and accept that I am enough without relying on ED for approval of my own self-destruction. I no longer have reason to hold on to a disorder that only puts me in good standing to lose all that I have around me right now, and dangles false promises to me that somehow life will be perfect if I lose a bit more… and a bit more… and a bit more.

Downs and The Aunty Life.

Monday night was a bit rough for me and Flo post-dinner with Mum and Dad. It was really good seeing them and seeing Dad looking happy and chatty. It warmed my heart knowing that perhaps me being out of the house is enabling him to relax and worry less. I was all the more delighted to hear that they will both be going on a Baltic Cruise come summer with Grandma, Grandpa and another couple. I’ve been wanting so much for Mum and Dad to travel together now that Dad is retired, and Dad’s reluctance always meant that Mum wasn’t able to see as much of the world as I know she’d have liked.

Also, they have plans to then visit Halifax which will be awesome seeing that Dad hasn’t been back to Canada for 30 over years now! I’m sure a lot has changed and it’ll be wonderful for them both to be able to catch up with Dad’s friends from Uni days. On top of that, it also means fresh seafood galore for them which I’m rather envious about. I’ll probably be guilty of licking my phone at the photos I anticipate Mum will be sending me while they’re there. One day I’ll go visit with Flo!

As I was saying, Monday evening I just started feeling down and as usual, with feelings of negativity come feelings of fatness for me. I don’t know if it was because of hormones (time of the month), the ED, or the stress of all the changes that have been going on, or a combination of all of them, but I was quite irritable and teary.

Flo and I got into a bit of a misunderstanding that we didn’t resolve until earlier today partly because I didn’t feel like talking. All I wanted to do was close myself off and be far far away. I always say that I want to be far away but that far away is never a place that exists in reality.. It’s simply the desire to want to be away from everything.

I questioned whether I really wanted to recover, whether I had shifted myself from being a burden to my parents, to being one to Flo, and whether it would be easier for everyone if I slowly disappeared *poof* so quietly that no one would even notice. Of course, that would only happen in my imagination.

And suddenly, all I wanted to do was to be back with Mum and Dad, in the familiar comforts of my own home, my own bed, my own routines and schedules, my own safe foods. Essentially, the fear of moving forward made me want to move backwards.

I managed to go for a swim yesterday morning which helped clear my mind and relax my body. I feel better although I cannot say that I feel stronger mentally to fight the fight. For now, I don’t really want to think too much or too far ahead into the future.

Speaking of future, I was quite tickled by myself yesterday when I popped down to Cold Storage to pick up some last minute additions to Flo’s and my dinner tonight.

We decided we were going to recreate the Gorilla Bowl that I had at Elephant Restaurant in Ubud Bali. I couldn’t get hold of cooked beetroots or baba ghanoush though so we had to forgo them.

What I did see though, was fresh prawns at half price! I decided to buy a packet home and quickly freeze them in smaller packets so I can always have them for lunch or cook them for our dinner.

Also, I had to get some fresh salad greens for our Gorilla Bowl and whaddya know? I found myself a packet of salad veggies on sale as well! I felt very proud of myself. In fact, I think Cold Storage, while generally more expensive compared to the other supermarkets, is quite good whenever they slash their prices. Other supermarkets tend not to let go of their produce at reduced prices, not as often anyway.

Interestingly, I actually found myself feeling quite excited about my new toy – a scourer for the shower. I used a sponge pad in the morning and while it did the job of cleaning our shower – which by the way is already rather clean!, I wanted a scourer to really get at the more stubborn parts. Oh the satisfaction of seeing the greys between tiles turn white again.

Which is why I suddenly feel myself morphing into a bit of an aunty. In Singapore, to be an aunty is to be like one of those older women who hanker after discounts especially when groceries shopping, looks for the best deals possible at all times, and who pees a little in her panties at the thought and sight of a sale. For those unfamiliar with what an ‘aunty’ is in the Singaporean context, here‘s something that will give you a clearer idea of her awesome qualities. Of course, it’s a little tongue in cheek so don’t take it too literally. That being said, I hope that while I take on some ‘aunty’ characteristics, I’d like to think that I will avoid picking up on her more negative traits.

Oh! And this morning, I woke up thinking back to last night when I found our sink lacking in sparkle for my liking considering I cleaned it yesterday afternoon. So first thing I did was ‘Cif’ it and gave it a nice scrub so now it’s up to standard. I think it’s because I used a different cleaning agent that might not have been as tough on stains.

Today it was back to the grind for me at Professor Brawn followed by a wait at home for our new mattress to arrive as the old one was a little soft and was giving Flo a bad back. The men came a little later that expected so I got round to packing Ginger Cookies for Chinese New Year orders.

Our new mattress arrived about an hour after its expected time but I guess that’s to be expected. Anyway, when I asked the men if they could take the old mattress away for us since he asked what I wanted to do with it, they said we had to pay extra for that service. I was a little dumbfounded so decided against it and told them to help move it into the second room so that Flo can decide what to do with it.

Gingey and Teddy say HI!!!

Our bed is now dressed and I’m excited to jump into it later tonight. Can’t believe that a new bed has got me excited. That, and fresh washed and dried towels… And a sparkly basin…