Below you'll find a picture of me a few weeks ago, enjoying some incredibly good hummus and mixed mezze with one of my best friends at a Lebanese restaurant in Sheffield. Considering where things were when I first started this blog, that I’m now able to do this is a reminder of the fact that, yes, progress has definitely been made. On the days when I feel hopeless, when I feel trapped by the woman upstairs’ yet more stupid rules and obsession with odd numbers, when I get vertigo mid-conversation for no apparent reason, and when my diverticular dysfunction throws me yet more (literal) shit….at least I’m no longer fretting about an open pot of low-fat hummus in the fridge.
As I write, I have just returned from three weeks in Italy through two experiences with Workaway, trying out the digital nomad life that has piqued my interest so much. I never thought I'd see the day that I even appreciated using oil again in cooking, let alone the day that I officially became an extra virgin olive oil convert (around day 3 in Sicily). They always do say there's something incredibly magical about the Mediterranean diet.
Treat this post as more of a status update and photo dump than a fully-functioning blog post. Correspondingly, feel free to treat it as you would such a Facebook update...skim read, look at two photos, and scroll on. We all know that no-one gets any further than picture 6 of your Auntie Sue's 158 snaps from a weekend at Butlin's.
I've been up to rather a lot since being discharged from the Priory at the end of January, but forming it and the woman upstairs into blog posts hasn't been coming easily. Not because the woman upstairs has gone away or necessarily features any less in my day-to-day...almost the contrary. Yes, she's been with me to Italy and back, too. But, these days I am trying to fill my time with the things that the woman upstairs has gotten in the way of for too long. Every last bit of energy is spent doing everything I can to muscle control back from anorexia, that in what spare time is left, I just want to sit and do a cryptic crossword.
I love writing, it is definitely my 'thing'. And I can guarantee you that I have found myself in many a farce because of the woman upstairs over the past few months, so I'm certainly not short of ideas…but spending what little spare time is left putting it into words hasn't felt so right recently. My Masters thesis should probably take priority. I don't really need to give anorexia any more time or brain space. When I started Angry about Hummus, I didn’t really have a goal or direction, it was just a bit of entertainment, and it still is. And I am keen not to lose the platform or the vibe...I am just presently unsure how to proceed.
But I’d love to share with you some of the highs and lows from the past quarter. Some are slightly sillier (but no less real) than others... however, to me, these are each markers of progress, yet also reminders that the journey isn't over yet.
High: Joining the homemade sourdough craze two years late and conjuring up some kick-ass pizzas and crusty breads. Fully laden with full-fat mozzarella, of course.
Low: I still listen to the woman upstairs’ incredibly random dictations as to how much pizza I’m allowed to have.
High: Feeling giggly and cheeky after underestimating how a few glasses of tinto de verano would affect my extremely poor alcohol tolerance with friends in Madrid on a February afternoon. Subsequently stuffing my face with patatas bravas and feeling excellent.
Low: Sobering up fairly quickly and having all of the guilty feelings come flooding back, ruining the rest of the evening.
High: Eating a tin of tuna in olive oil without washing off the oil under the tap first (Yes, really).
Low: I still struggle to resist the urge to wipe anything that looks slightly greasy on the side of my plate before being able to put it in my mouth.
High: Sharing my godson's first experience of an ice-lolly. It was sweet, sticky, and made us both have a slight sugar-rush.
Low: Having to stop mid-walk with my godson and take a couple of dextrose tablets just before this because I’d misjudged my energy requirements. Confusing godson unnecessarily.
High: Coffees out with my mum and friends again involving cakes, bakes, and cookies...rather than always being sat discreetly eating my stupid cereal bar out of my pocket.
Low: Still not being able to trust my mind or body enough to go anywhere for longer than an hour without a stupid cereal bar in my pocket.
High: Officially no longer counting grapes.
Low: Still counting many other things, including nuts, crisps, and Smarties. Only being allowed to consume prime numbers of these items (I have NO idea how, when or why this began...but here we are).
High: Lunch and dinner out with my Dad whilst finally ticking off our very long-awaited day trip to the London Natural History Museum.
Low: Not allowing myself to eat carrot cake that day at the museum.
High: Enjoying gelato, fresh sweet and savoury cheeses, local wine, and mountains of homecooked pasta whilst on Workaway in Sicily.
Low: Traveling to Sicily with a huge box full of cereal bars in my luggage as a safety precaution.
High: Letting friends and even strangers cook for me.
Low: Still not feeling fully able to trust my parents to give me the right amount of food when we share meals.
High: Gradually expanding my sugar horizons and now being able to rely on a wider selection of gummies, boiled sweets, and dragees to raise my blood glucose levels when necessary.
Low: Still needing to carry these around with me. Bringing back a bra from Italy that had a melted fruit pastille stuck inside it from a hot day when I didn't have pockets. (I want to blame women's clothing for never having enough pockets but I recognise that this is a slightly extravagant application of a very real feminist issue).
High: Publicly munching on a really good fresh panino (sandwich - pictured) whilst solo at the top of the Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti in Rome last week, surrounded by people trying to sell me selfie sticks.
Low: I was still clutching a packet of stupid rice cakes when I first walked into the Vatican.
High: BRUNCHES, BAKING, BAGELS.
Low: Not as much brunching, baking and bageling as I would like…yet.
“Little by little, a little becomes a lot."