Thursday, 26 August 2010

When life hands you lemons (or at least, the checkout girl does)...

Make lemon cake! I did. Twice. We have this tradition at work that when it’s your birthday, you take in cake (hmm, what a birthday treat). I decided to make my triple lemon cake (although there was some pouting and agitating for brownies). I had cycled that day so I shot home and started making the cake bit immediately (being a triple cake, there are – surprise – three stages). It wasn’t until I got it out of the oven an hour and a half later (only an hour in the actual oven, folks) that I realised something was wrong. It hadn’t risen. This would be because I had used plain flour by mistake, sigh. I had to start again but had run out of lemons to zest for the sponge. So it was more like doublish lemon cake – the sponge wasn’t terribly lemony but then you soak it in a lemon syrup whilst it’s still warm. And then I was lemon icing it at 6am yesterday. Bf has nobly said he’ll eat the flat version btw. And the version I took to work was polished off, despite there not being many people in.

So, I had 2 pieces at work yesterday and went to a posh, cheap lunch menu Chinese with 2 friends yesterday (veg dim sum and a small portion (of yes, non-diet) sweet and sour chicken with rice). I also had half a dozen Celebrations – and then I felt awful. So awful I can’t tell you. So full and rather sick and so, so tired and apathetic that I could barely sit upright at my desk. I don’t think that my body responds terribly well to sugar overload – and I assume that’s what it was. I went home and still couldn’t eat, I felt so sick. I finally had some melon and parma ham at 9pm to try and balance my blood sugar levels for today.

But. I am SUCH a freak. All the time I was feeling so sick and so awful, my mind was busily seeking things I could eat - to make myself feel better. Now I knew that nothing was going to make me feel better and that any food was in fact likely to make me feel worse if anything. But I still had an almost overwhelming urge to eat my way out of it. I really can’t think of many things that are more stupid and more self-sabotaging than that. As it is, I’ve been working really hard to keep a lid on food this week – that a few treats don’t mean I have to abandon the diet entirely. Again, my mind is trying to reject usual choices for meals, wondering what naughties I could have instead, for the sake of it, just because I’ve had a couple of off-diet choices during the day. I am crazy, seriously I'm worried about my twistedness. And I'm absurdly all-or-nothing. Well, I’m not giving in to it - it's been usual meals pretty much, thank you. And I really need to work out what I can do about the eating-my-way-out-of-sickness lunacy too. Okay, I didn’t give in to it but it’s still freaking me out that my mind can (and does) work like that.

I did have a salutary lesson over lunch with my friends yesterday. I’ve quietly been feeling a bit sorry for myself about turning 40. Stupid, I know. Well, now I am ashamed of it. I used to work with these 2 girls and we have since all gone different ways. They told me about someone who joined my old team – who they were friends with - who was diagnosed with cancer at Easter. She died at the beginning of this month. She was 27 and they're going to her funeral next week. At least I get to see my 40th birthday (and hopefully a great many more); life can be fragile, it’s precious and we should enjoy every moment - not everyone is that lucky.

Happy bank holiday weekend everyone - enjoy every minute. See you on the other side of the big 4-0.


Linz M said...

I don't think you are a freak at all - because if you are, then I am too.

Even when I feel at my sickest, I am sat there trying to work out what I can eat to make myself feel better. It's ludicrous. When I had the mammoth gain the other night, my initial reaction was that a Chinese would make me feel better... it didn't. Harumph. I always try and self medicate with food - probably why I am such a fatso.

Very sad about the young girl, makes you realise just how precious life is.

Happy Birthday as well. Have a brilliant time x

Seren said...

Definitely not a freak. I do exactly the same thing. Kind of a "Oooh, wonder what will settle my stomach?" type thought process. Well, actually, a whole lot of NOTHING would probably be the best things says poor, beleagured stomach in reply.

And all or nothing thinking - yep, check.

Have a brilliant, brilliant birthday. And am glad all the lemon cake has gone or else I would have been wondering whether it was possible to bike a slab up to York, and that would never do.


Claire said...

Hope you have a fab birthday and yes that is a good way of looking at it. I think it was Woody Allen who when asked how he felt about getting older said 'It's better than the alternative.' xxx

Lesley said...

God I love lemon cake!! And I bet yours is gorgeous.

Debbie, the Ex-Yo-Yo Dieter talked about how she got through self-medicating with food in a really interesting post a few months ago. Must dig it out again. It was something about allowing yourself to really feel what is bothering you or your pain. Just let it wash over you and work out where it hurts (physically). And then you realise a) that the pain is not usually as bad as the fear of pain and b) that it's definitely not hunger!!

Haven't got that right but I remember a few weeks ago I tried everything to distract myself from feeling bad (just a sad mood). Worked through distracting myself, feeling the pain, choosing a different mood, asking for help. And eventually asking for help worked - I emailed you as it happens and we had an exchange of emails which really made me laugh and I came out of my bad mood and didn't eat. (so thanks for that).

But what I'm saying, very slowly, is that there is a whole armoury of ways to deal with bad moods and pain. Food shouldn't be part of that armoury though.....

I have bought you a birthday card but with all the grief going on in my soap opera have forgotten to post it - bad bad friend. But I will be thinking of you tomorrow on your birthday and I will be very glad that you made it to 40 and hoping for very many happy returns!!

Lesley xxx

Milly said...

Definately not a freak! just learned some habits like alot of us that don't help us when things aren't going to plan, for me illness, stress, occasions, tiredness to name a few are all the excuses that take me off plan. I hope in time I learn to deal in a healthier way!

It is sad about the young girl, it makes me realise that we should be grateful that we can celebrate our 40th. I am the big 4-0 in december, I have been feeling dreadful about it, beating myself up about my size, poor fitness, health issues (thankfully nothing major)however in the last mth I have met 2 women of a similar age who I am sure would love to be me, their health is appalling & this will not improve, makes me realise I need to make the best of what I have, stop beating myself up & try to improve my fitness. I think all the cycling you do is amazing so keep trying to be the you you want to be, we will get there! Milly x

Lainey said...

That's the thing about food. We (well, I know I do) use it to make myself feel better both physically and mentally. It's a reward, a pick me up, a consolation and a comfort. It's every bloody thing!

Hope you've had a rip snorter of a birthday. x