Sunday, 22 July 2007

Back to life, back to reality

Back home and alone again... no, the marriage hasn't failed! P and I will continue to maintain our separate houses in city and country for a few years yet. It works well for us, and I'm very pleased (of course) that it does. Our ceremony has changed a balance in our relationship - as I knew it would. There is something about openly committing to someone that opens new doors and closes others, and forces readjustment and reassessment. After eight years together, P seems to have discovered a new seam of romantic impulses buried within his usual cynicism - and that is fantastic, and I am enjoying being openly loved. :-)

I turned 35 yesterday and when I woke up in the morning, there on my bedside table next to me was the new Harry Potter. He had gone out while I was sleeping and taken a cab to the nearest supermarket (sensibly not walking at midnight after having been mugged several yeards from his front door a few years back) and grabbed one of the last copies. Yay P. :-) Of course, this meant that he had at least 3 hours reprieve in which to sleep before I bounced at him demanding birthday treats during the day (our waking and sleeping hours do not coincide!) - and then that I spent most of the day stumbling around in a post-Potter haze. Fortunately I had little more planned for my day than a rare and precious visit to Borough Market, some lunchtime deliciousness, and cooking of huge plates of vegetables in the evening. I have so missed my veggies this week. I have, I suppose I have to admit, not been as CR'd as I would have liked to have been - and there has been bread and cheese and copious amounts of leftover wedding booze. We, er, seriously overcatered in that capacity and I still have crates of the stuff at my place and so does P. It's quality stuff though, so I am not too distressed. :-)

One slight hiccup over this week has been that P has become convinced that my CR pratice equates to an eating disorder. Oh dear. Yes, I have pointed him at the CR Society and shown him CoM which, as a software developer I expected him to respect and see as what it is - a nutritional tracking tool, not one for encouraging and maintaining obsession. But because I weigh my food when I can, and require a lot of veggies and leaves, and refrain from bread and pasta when I can and make an effort to monitor my nutrition, he sees this as obsessional behaviour. Oh dear. He promises to reserve his full judgement until reading and researching fully though.

I appreciate where he is coming from, I appreciate he sees my ribs and my hipbones and worries (somehow he didn't notice until this week!), I appreciate I have a past where I have not eaten as well or as much as I should have done - and I am suffering the physical consequences of that every month, apparently - and sometimes I wonder myself if I have slipped back into a mindset that is overly orthorexic and tending towards anorectic thinking... but then I think, no I have NOT. I eat huge amounts of healthy food, I want to eat huge amounts of healthy food, and when I eat too much of food that is healthy but not so in quantity (the bread, the cheese), I feel it horribly and so I restrain from it when I can. Is that wrong? No. Well, I think not. But poor P sees this as increasingly awkward eating behaviour for our lifestyle - and he is right, because we eat out loads and as a CRON-ing veggie it's not easy to find suitable meals in a restaurant that are veggie based and not carb-laden. I admit I won't eat a risotto, gnocchi, pasta, goat's cheese tart, if there is an option of double or triple salad, or the opportunity to order several side dishes. And of course pizza is out, and take-away... and ad-lib eating, grabbing a sandwich on the run, snacking on easily available snacks, that sort of thing. And when I get overly hungry, I get incredibly irritable almost beyond rational thought - and that is a problem and pisses me off as much as it does him.

So I am awkward. But I am not anorexic. And somehow I need to convince him of this, and soon. It must not become a conflict.

So. My first new challenge in this new life. There will be lots more. :-)

I might post some more wedding pics if anyone is interested? (*hears mutters of enough already*!)


skinnybitch said...

Hi Sara,

Happy (belated) Birthday!
How did you like Harry Potter?

As for EDs and CRON, did you read Emi's excellent post on this? It might help to show P what she had to say.

Anyway, I understand why people who don't know much about CRON can get concerned. When anyone close to me expresses concern about my weight, I choose to see it as a manifestation of their love - they care about me and want to make sure I'm not hurting myself. I'm sure that's what's motivating P in your situation as well.

It's really kind of sweet when you think of it that way.


Sara said...

Hi Robin...

I liked the latest Harry Potter as much as I liked the others; which is to say that they are a guilty pleasure. I don't think that JK Rowling is a particularly talented writer and sometimes her prose just makes me wince, but she came up with some fabulously detailed (albeit derivative) ideas and all kudos to her for making of them what she did. She's made a legend for herself, and that's truly wonderful and inspiring.

I really thought the last chapter, or epilogue, was an error of authorial / editorial judgement though! What about you?

P doesn't deny I eat healthily. He does think, however, that carbohydrates need to come from bread, or pasta, or rice, and because I eschew those on a normal day-to-day basis (although not this week and am I feeling it!??) and get my carbs from veggies (and a LOT of them, I never did get the Zone thing right), that I am setting myself up for health problems. That, and the weighing of food. I think it's the weighing that's got him freaked out more than anything else.

I hope if he reads some of the science behind the theory he will be more sympathetic. But of course he wants proof - and there is none.

Emily said...

Hi Sara - we have the same birthday!

Maybe you could get your health checked out by a doctor to show P that CR is benefiting, not hurting you. If you're not menstruating, you might want to get your bone density checked out as well.

But really I'm commenting to say that July 21 is definitely the perfect day for a birthday :)

(I still read everyone, even though my blog is gone for various reasons).

Sara said...

Hello Emily! We miss you. :-) Very good to know you are still around. Happy birthday to you! I hope you are well and happy and healthy.

I had my bone density checked in 2006 (or it might have been 2005!) - and it was fine. I was advised to take D and calcium, which I do, and I'll save up to have it checked again next year. Unfortunately my reasonably consistently low weight over the past fifteen years and refusal to take hormones to, um, correct the side-effecthave been written up as stubborn disordered thinking in my medical records and any request on my part for check-ups is met with "eat some pies, woman"... which is not entirely helpful, not least because "eating pies" made no difference whatsover. :-)

Arturo Veve said...

Hi Sara
More pictures, please!

JD said...

Happy Birthday! :-)

I've never tried explaining CRON with the 'CRON' label to other people. I just tell them that I am trying to eat more nutritious foods. I simply tell those who ask that 'I don't eat rice', or 'I can't eat pasta' or 'unfortunately bread doesn't agree with me' and they seem to accept that more readily than 'I'm on a calorie restricted, optimal nutrition diet' which they can then pick apart with their oh-so dreary reasoning about how brown bread is healthy.

My flatmates find the weighing thing a little unusual though they don't seem to care. My boyfriend gets slightly more concerned because he gets to see me when I'm annoyed at myself for eating something nutritionally useless or when I'm being ultra-choosy trying to find out which restaurants might serve something I can eat. He does sometimes question whether I have an eating disorder. It's hard for him to understand though because with his caloric requirements he can easily eat restaurant portions of risottos, cheese and pizzas and appears to be able to lose weight just by willing it so!

Btw - how do you manage to walk around Borough market without consuming half a pound of cheese and sausage? I have to carefully avoid the stall with the brick-sized chocolate brownies.

Mizpah said...

Of course we would love some more photos!

Luckily my husband is very supportive of my choices. But even I can become a little 'awkward' :) at times.

Sometimes getting the balance is challenging, and like you I also have moments when I doubt the clarity of my motivations.

But talking about these things openinly and questioning yourself honestly is the best way to approach it I think.

skinnybitch said...

Hi Sara,

Harry Potter: Yes, I agree about the last chapter. Also, I think she tried a little too hard to wrap up each and every story line. But for the most part, it was a fun read.

P's issues: There's plenty of science to back you up when it comes to avoiding things like white rice, white bread and non-whole-grain pasta. That's not specific to CRON, either. Every book I've ever read on healthy eating says to cut those things out.

I think the question is this: Does P feel concerned because he thinks you're hurting yourself physically or does he feel that CRON is mentally unhealthy? If it's the former, showing him the science behind CRON might help. If it's the latter, I doubt the science will sway his opinion. This is what I learned in my endless debates with Mara on Rudd Sound Bites. It doesn't help to prove that CRON leads to improved physical health if the person you're talking to thinks this "fixation" on healthy eating is, itself, mentally unhealthy. I hope I'm making sense.


Sara said...

Hi Robin...

Unfortunately I suspect it is the latter... He sees me as too thin, and obsessed with counting calories and so on. I've tried to explain that I personally count calories and now weigh and measure when I can because I've learnt that if I don't I don't eat enough. It is unfortunate also that I do not perceive myself to be thin, and have taken to use the phrase "Fat fat fat" to express all kinds of emotional and personal disatisfactions when they occur. I've sort of dug myself into a pit and made a none too comfortable bed in it to lie in with that one. :-)

I recognise his concern because he loves me and is concerned about me and doesn't want to lose me early to some "Karen Carpenter heart attack", as it he put it the other day. And obviously I don't want that to happen either, which is rather the point. Altogther it's all a rather fraught and murky issue tied up with all kinds of things in my past and his, as these things tend to be. Hey ho, things will work out one way or another!

Thank you for your comments!

April said...


Happy birthday! I would love more wedding pictures!

More on the other stuff soon... gotta run to work.

You share a birthday with my best friend's youngest son. Awwwww... very good day.


Deborah said...

More pictures!!!