We (my mum, Harvey and I) have just returned (well will have when I post this, currently sat on the plane home) from a wonderful week in the beautiful Zakinthos, Greece. Usually when I jet off on a package holiday, I stay all inclusive. It’s the easiest, least stressful option and requires minimal food related decisions. No menus, no choosing when or where to eat, no purchasing of food/drinks/snacks and portion sizes are set as you please. Half board was quite the opposite (except breakfast). Deciding when or where to eat, being overwhelmed with 3 course meals, choosing from a menu and never quite knowing how much or exactly what is going to turn up on your plate and many a trip to shops lined with biscuits, chocolate and crisps for various child friendly snacks and drinks. On the whole I feel like I managed most of the holiday food pretty well. I had a couple of slip ups and probably couldn’t sustain the extensive eating routine much past today but I haven’t quite pulled my hair out or had a complete mental breakdown. If I’d been alone, it would more than likely have been very different but having family around, didn’t necessarily make meals ‘easier’ but acted as more of a barrier to the ED.
There were times my mind was on overdrive and hours lost to calorie counting and calculating, recalculating and attempting to plan ahead, with limited success but some effect. It was tough to anticipate what might be coming but it helped, when we could, looking at the menus in advance or going back to the same restaurants. Eating more regularly, not being able to purge (i cannot vomit, knowing other people, ie. My mum and harvey, are aware of it – which made it near impossible being in such close proximity), not having the reassurance of my scales and drinking a lot more (I’m not just on about the cocktail and wine BTW) left me feeling ridiculously bloated at times. This along with being in swimwear was unbearably overwhelming at some points and I couldn’t think about anything other. On the plus though my mum was very hot on reassuring me I’d not over eaten and didn’t look 6 months pregnant, despite feeling as though I looked it.
I spent many a mealtime torn. Torn between trying the Greek cuisine, enjoying my meal and the calorie counting and guilt. My mind was in a constant battle, which is mentally exhausting. What I did try (seafood, dips, olives, yogurt, honey, ice cream) I really enjoyed but that enjoyment was rapidly overshadowed by the regret and negative, ED mind set. If I could change one single thing that would be it. The aftermath of eating and the disappointment in myself.
On the whole, I’ve made it out without too much damage (I think). I’m well aware of the repercussions that are more than likely to hit over the next week, especially when stepping on the scales but I’m prepared for it. I accept that this week will be hard, I’m likely to struggle with meals, I’m already telling myself that I need to restrict as much as possible to compensate. The mental war will be in full force but when does progress ever form a linear line? This will be a dip after a huge peak of progress and that, is ok. I’m good with it and when I’ve re-found my routine and steady ground the journey up can continue – I hope!!!