Ladies & gentlemen, meet my stomach, a fickle and changeable Dictator.

I’m awake and up earlier than my husband, so I’ve left him snoozing in sunlight to talk about food over a coffee. He’s had a long week.

My relationship with food is long-winded (pardon the fart pun). I used to eat it unashamedly until about 15/16 when I discovered teen magazines and went on a diet. I wasn’t even fat – I just wanted to look what I considered I ‘should’ look like. Normal eating resumed through A’levels, all the way through sixth form and right through Uni. I.e. I stopped being a right wally. I dieted on and off through my 20s and exercise led the way very much (not dieting) through my late 20s to early 30s. There had been one constant through all of this flipperty gibbet behaviour though – that I LOVE(D) food. I LOVED IT. Food is amazing. Textures, colours, tastes, shared, alone, food for the soul, food for love, food for sad times, food food food yummy yummy yummy for my tummy.

Since treatment – my hot romance for the variety and breadth of food has waned. It’s like food was my 90s Christian Slater. I could have looked at that face forever, but now I don’t love him anymore. His hair has gone all Bram Stokers Dracula on me and my heart is forever brooookeennnn. Alright, melodrama over…

So, I can’t eat properly now. My appetite is up the wall and frequently in the bog. I want to eat nice things, but the thought of many once enjoyed pleasures now turns my stomach. A couple of weeks ago, my mum made my husband and I some cottage pie. It had bubbling crispy cheese on the top. I used to love her cottage pie, but I sat down, saw it, then ran for a heated vom. Equally, my husband used to make me this amazing panko coated plaice. He made it recently, and I vommed on my t-shirt after one bite. He’s a seriously good cook (when we first got together I definitely gained significant weightage). Our situation now is different. Daily, we have to bow to the fascist dictator that lives in my stomach. His whims and tastes change every few hours and keeping up is difficult. It goes a bit like this:

Husband (on the way home): what do you think you want for tea?
Me: Ohhh maybe some kind of chorizo pasta dish?
Stomach dictator: NO! No fancy chorizo pasta for you, silly human! Have you forgotten my power?! I see your idea and laugh! HA HA HA! Tonight, you will eat plain vegetables with a flavourless pie. You will only eat 2/3rd of it.
Me: Actually, scrap that. I’ll just have one of those freezer pies and vegetables.
Husband: Are you sure? You ate that yesterday. I’m happy to try and make something plain.
Me: Nah, I’ll have the pie again. You make sure you can cook something nice for yourself though.

So while it’s kind of nice to be back in my skinniest pair of jeans and to have lost 28 pounds, it’s actually crap. I LOVED food and now I have to judge what I think I can successfully manage a reasonable portion of, without throwing up. The Dictator also likes really crap (not healthy) foods:

Sweets, chocolate, lucozade, white bread, Birdseye oven foods, desserts, french pastries, crisps, ice lollies.

Thankfully I’m just about managing to flip a ‘V’ at the food fascist by still eating veg, lots of fruit, filled pastas, brick lane bagels (not healthy but vital), pad thai, tarka dal, yoghurt, miso soups, vegetable soups, chicken soups. But this is nowhere near the variety of foods that I used to like to chow-down on. Week by week, we’ll try and increase my flavour palette without anymore Exorcist puke scenes. I hope we’re successful.

In other news – I’m in a significant dance training programme. I’ve made my husband watch this and this video over and over again. This is so that he can teach me and tell me if I’ve got the dance moves right. If I’m gonna be skinny, I might as well don a white vest, my denims, and copy these ultra-fly dance moves for trips around town. I think the general public would like it ;).



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