Challenge 6: Food For Thought

Nothing like being 4 months late ay?! Apologies, as always, sometimes time goes by and I genuinely don’t feel able to or in the mood to write. However, the challenges have still been going ahead!

June’s challenge was a food related one – I decided to give myself four letters a day across a period of five days and I was only allowed to eat food/meals/brands that started with those letters. Sounded pretty easy initially until I actually started to think about it. My colleague wrote down some letters and folded them all into a bowl; this way I had no choice over which letters to choose together and made it more tough.

So first up Monday’s letters were: S, A, T, and C – probably the easiest day in my opinion. My choices of food were: toast and cheese spread, strawberries, cheese and chorizo, cheese and cucumber sandwiches, tomatoes, cucumber sticks, crisps, sausages, sweetcorn and sweet potato mash.

Tuesday: Y, H, D and O. If I can remember correctly this was the evening I went to Clevedon with my friend and couldn’t eat any ice cream or fish and chips or even drink a nice cold cider! It certainly made the challenge feel harder at that point. Food choices: honey yoghurt, halloumi (of course), doritos, dairylea dunkers, hot dogs with onion and olives (weird combo!) and a yorkie. Definitely not a good variety of food really but that was never the aim of this challenge after all.

Wednesday: N, E, L and B. I remember being annoyed at this challenge already by this point; I missed the freedom of choice and hated being restricted. Food choices: BLT sandwich, Naked smoothie, Niknaks, Lindt chocolate bar, brownie, eggs and bacon.

Thursday: P, F, W and K. Food choices: porridge, watermelon, fishcakes, peppers, walkers crisps, fajitas and a kinder bueno.

Friday: R, J, G and M. Food choices: granola, melon, grapes, minestrone soup, roast chicken crisps, malteaser bunny and macaroni cheese.

When I first started the challenges my aim was to try and incorporate information regarding mental health conditions. As challenge 6 was a food related task, I wanted to highlight some information about eating disorders.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding conditions such as anorexia or bulimia; many people believe that anyone who is slim MUST have an eating disorder, but also anyone who looks like they are a “healthy” weight can’t have one – they’re not “skinny” enough to be ill. I follow a young girl on twitter who documents her journey with an eating disorder (@JodieGoodacre); she talks about how her crisis team told her those exact words – she wasn’t skinny enough. It absolutely blows my mind that someone whose sole purpose is to help someone whose at rock bottom, would say something like this. It screams ignorance and a lack of understanding – despite the job they’re in. However, I would never want anyone who is struggling to read this and be put off asking for help – please don’t be – there are so many amazing professionals who really do go above and beyond for people who are struggling. Don’t let the minority be the reason you keep things bottled up and in turn allow your mental health to suffer further.

After some research I found some good information on http://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk, here are a few of the myths they have counteracted:

“Eating disorders are a choice” – Wrong, they are a mental health disorder and require specialist help.

“Someone must be underweight to have an eating disorder” – Wrong, its not just weight loss that indicates an eating disorder, the thoughts and behaviours in relation to food need to be addressed too.

“Eating disorders only happen to young girls” – Wrong, as with any mental health condition, they do not discriminate. Eating disorders can affect anyone.

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