A minefield of choices.
Swapping my usual semi-skimmed milk for skimmed was something I started doing quite early on in my eating disorder. It took a little while to get used to the watery, less full flavour, but I took comfort in the knowledge that it was a lower calorie option. Nowadays I won’t drink anything but skimmed milk in my tea or coffee, nor put anything else on my cereal.
My parents have always been considerate enough to ensure that there is always a bottle of red milk in the fridge alongside their green, but are often infuriated that I won’t make what they see as a small change, back up to green milk.
[To clarify, for non-UK readers: there are three main types of milk sold in the UK, full-fat (blue bottle top) , semi-skimmed (green top) and skimmed (red). Milk is sometimes referred to by the colour of the top, so semi-skimmed milk is sometimes known as ‘green milk’.]
This week, after a drastic amount of weight loss last week, my dietitian is desperate to increase my calories. She instructed me to start putting green milk on my cereal. To me, switching my milk seems a huge step.
I know logically there is not a huge calorie difference. But something is holding me back.
The furthest I have got towards this goal is mixing the red and green milk. I promised that I was mixing them equally, but in reality there was very little semi-skimmed milk in my mixture.
Skimmed milk feels comfortable. Safe. Anorexic.
In fact my whole breakfast is safe. Changing the milk took away the safety of that meal and added stress to a previously stress-free time of the day.
Semi-skimmed milk is ‘normal’. I think I have a fear of eating like a ‘normal person’. I feel the same about eating two slices of bread for lunch. That is what ‘normal people’ do.
I can’t do that.
Somehow I need to find a way forward. The threat of hospital is still looming over me. I want to recover at home, but I just can’t find a way to push myself at the moment. My weight is still falling, and I feel powerless to stop it.
Overall, it’s been a frustrating week.