I’ve been meaning to post about the bank holiday weekend just gone all week. Finally after seeing Harvey back to school, catching up on sleep and getting my house back into some kind of order (there’s still a long way to go), I am now sat in Costa, with a coffee (that hasn’t gone cold), watching the world go by and taking the chance to write a post.
Last weekend marked my Nan’s 80th birthday. And what big birthday would be complete without a party, food, cake, wine and all the family coming together? In a nutshell, that pretty much sums up the weekend. We all met up in Worcester, spent a night in a lovely spa hotel and continually surprised Nan! As well as the excitement of a weekend away, I was apprehensive about a million and one things before we got there. The obvious being the food and meals. Sit down dinner, cooked breakfast the next morning, followed by afternoon tea and birthday cake closely behind. It’s safe to say, the thought of it all was pretty overwhelming. Fortunately we had the dinner menus prior to arriving so I had a fairly good idea of what was available, which helped massively.
I said to myself before setting off, that I’m going to leave all my negativity, obsessive thoughts and worry at home for the weekend and just go with it. As always easier said than done but that mindset was a good start. I still calorie counted and I still felt on edge and uncomfortable in my own skin at times but on the whole, the thoughts and feelings were more manageable having told myself, “I can fret about that when we’re back home”. Not having a weigh in this week also helped me chill out a bit, I found I wasn’t constantly thinking about what my weight was doing and craving my scales.
After 29579932 changes of plan for actually getting there, Harv and I set off on the Sunday morning, plenty of stops planned in and the intention to stop for lunch. I could have so easily skipped lunch knowing we’d be having a meal later but I didn’t. Caitlin 1 ED 0! We opted for Starbucks which was fine. Harvey the Toastie Monster was happy, I got my caffeine fix and settled on a delicious falafel wrap for lunch. Everyone’s a winner!
Feeling on top of my game we arrived at the hotel, in one piece, cake intact (somehow) and on time (it was a weekend of miracles). We checked in, hunted down the rest of the gang and waited for Nan to arrive. The look of surprise on her face was priceless and it was this point in time that I stood and thought, I want to enjoy the family moments, I don’t want to be ruled and taken over by the ED as there’s things so much more valuable, that bring a huge amount of happiness and it’s these things that really matter in life!! Not a number on the scales or constantly counting calories and the guilt of eating something that I ‘shouldn’t’ have. Following the commotion of the surprise, dinner time came round pretty quickly, which was a blessing as it meant I didn’t have time to ponder too much and regret my meal choices or justify and re-justify everything I had or was going to eat that day. In the end I settled on a seafood platter with salad, which was a massive success!
I had been anxious about sitting down and having to eat in front of so many people but in reality it wasn’t all that bad. The twins double act deflected from all the anxiety and I spent most of the meal watching them loving their meals (and everyone else’s), their little faces after sucking on lemons and eating gravy with their hands, which made the meal all the more enjoyable. I didn’t feel overly bloated or guilty afterwards, which was a pleasant change from the usual!
The next day was where my stresses and worries really lay. Having breakfast included, I knew everyone was likely to make the most of it. I’m not at a point where I could justify a cooked breakfast, especially with afternoon tea coming up too. I was prepared to be the “odd one out”. It felt pretty uncomfortable at breakfast having everyone eating big breakfasts around me while I was sat with fruit and yogurt but it was also nice to see everyone enjoying their food and loving the breakfast buffet. I kept thinking “one day, I’ll get there, and when I do, that breakfast stands no chance”. Any how, breakfast survived. Next up, Mission: Swimming pool! You might think what’s the big deal with that but, being practically naked around people, that may or may not pass comment, look me up and down, judge me or whatever else, scared the hell outta me. But, I’d promised Harvey a dunk and everyone else was getting in on the action and in all honesty, I had no valid excuse to not get in the pool. So, I gave myself a pep talk: “Right Caitlin, it’s a swimming pool, these people love you; sticky out bones, belly bloat and all. It’s time to put your big girl pants on and man up a bit” so that’s exactly what I did!! We got to the pool before everyone else so I had a bit of time to re-evaluate and when it came to getting in the pool I flung myself straight off the side without a second thought. It’s was so much fun playing and splashing about with all the kids (and grown ups), I’d have regretted it if I hadn’t gone for it. Mission:Swimming Pool – Accomplished.
By the time we’d got out of the pool, showered, changed, checked out and smuggled Nan’s cake out without her seeing I was absolutely frazzled. Mentally and physically but we were having a blast so who cares. After the present opening, a mooch around the beautiful garden and a bit of relaxation, it was time to face afternoon tea and probably the most challenging meal/part of the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I love an afternoon tea but the calorie counting is a huge challenge, you never really know quite how much you’ve had, there was a lot of food surrounding me which was daunting and it would have been very easy to lose control and slip into a binge. And again the internal battle of eating in front of a lot of people. Having said that though, I survived it (just about – it was a close call at one point).
The spread was exquisite, Sandwiches delicious and sweet treats even more so. I hadn’t allowed myself smoked salmon over the past few months (despite it being one of my favourite foods) due to not being able to justify the calorie content, especially as a lunch but being as I was taking back control over the ED that weekend, I went for it and it was as amazing as I remembered. I managed to palm off some of the chocolatey treats to my chocoholic cousin (not that she minded) so that was a weight off. I’m not the best with chocolate as of late. I can never justify eating it and on the off chance I do, you can guarantee the guilt will be too much and I’ll very quickly slip into a cycle of B/P, so on this occasion I figured I’d be doing myself a favour avoiding it! Which isn’t the easiest, given my previous reliance on and love of all things chocolate. And again, success – told you it was a miraculous weekend. Towards to end of it, following countless cups of tea and the high proportion of carbs, I felt uncomfortably bloated. If I’d been at home at that point I think I’d have struggled to not purge. But I wasn’t, so I rode it out and it did eventually pass, thankfully.
By the time the birthday cake was bought out, I was on the brink of a B/P and well and truly stuffed for the day!!! We’d had the cake made specially, so I’d have loved to have a slice but it just wasn’t an option.
I wrapped my slice up to bring home (I ended up leaving it on the table, in the faff to get Harvey ready and make sure we said bye to everyone), but all reports were positive and maybe one day, I can manage a big slice of homemade birthday cake after my big fry up, buffet breakfast!
All in all, an extremely successful couple of days, no weighing and scales, lots of smiles, survived eating ‘fear foods’ and achieved 2 solid days without binging or purging, even with fairly substantial meals! I guess anything really is possible if I put all my energy and focus to it!