Eating ham is the bravest thing in the world.

Food terrifies me. What goes in has the potential to make a sudden re-appearance, and for that reason I do try to avoid eating.

I have just embarked on my Christmas holiday to the Lake District (land of a thousand rain clouds, and not metaphorical ones for a change) with my partner and my mum’s furball that we are dogsitting. We brought with us a magnificent ham courtesy of the boyfriend’s mum, and I trust it about as much as I would trust a dog poo with “I’m a ham” written on it. The boyfriend therefore has to be eating ham pretty much constantly to confirm to the little melodramatic fool in my head that it is safe. A terrible task, isn’t it? I am fully aware that it’s a total joy for him, but whenever he eats a piece of ham I am filled with an immense feeling of gratitude that he would take that kind of risk for me.

I get really cautious at this time of year. I tend to lose a lot of weight and people tell me off and I get rather grumpy and cry a lot. Last year I got so frustrated with my own eating habits that on Christmas day I downed my class of wine, said “oh f#@k it” and ate everything in the world. And surprisingly enough, I survived. The bit that makes it so tricky to get around is that I have the useless, irritating ability to feel my own digestion happening. I associate this sensation with feeling sick, and therefore I avoid eating just to avoid the aftermath of worry. A course of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) last year helped me to distinguish between the two, but I still subconsciously interrogate every counter-argument I can think of to the point that it seems completely unconvincing.

But even not eating has its problems; lack of food means that adrenaline is released to free up more sugar for the brain to use, and so anxiety is increased to an uncomfortable level whether I eat or not. Refusing my body food is worse I think, I become scared of eating because the resultant anxiety from adrenaline release generally results in paranoia and heightens my fear of food, and it becomes a horrible feedback effect.

There’s a lot more to this anxiety thing than people think. It creeps into anywhere it will fit.

Anyway, good things about today:
1. Christmas decorations are finally up and they look very pretty
2.Gooey Christmas brownies with lots of yummy things in
3. My dog is just impossibly lovely!

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