I’ve always been a list maker. I love that shit. Call me neurotic (and rightly so, I suppose), but I find it hard to function and blend into the normalities of life if I haven’t got my life neatly pocketed into at least five different categorised (and ordered by priority) lists. I don’t know what it is about making lists. When I see all the things that I’ve been bothering worrying about written onto scrunchable paper, it puts everything into perspective and allows my anxiety to rest. Even if I don’t ever complete those lists, it doesn’t matter, because I can rip up the old ones, make new shinier ones and forget any of it ever happened. My year round to-do lists and goal setting therefore makes New Year resolutions redundant.
I’ve had a great year, but I suppose everything seems great when you’ve experienced something as low as an eating disorder. A few days ago I was considering my highlights, and here are a few: Spending my birthday in the Széchenyi thermal baths in Budapest, Not Plant Based turning one and meeting all our internet friends who love and support us, eating apple mac n cheese and drinking a pint on the top of a mountain I just climbed for four and a half hours in Interlaken, Switzerland, getting a 6-page feature in Sainsbury’s magazine, being featured in the Times, trying Solvenian dumplings stuffed with cream cheese, drinking wine beneath the vine where its grapes grew in Italy, quitting my “stable” but boring job, and achieveing a career goal WHICH I’M NOT ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT YET BUT IT’S REALLY EXCITING AND I HOPE I CAN SOON! All of these moments, I’m sure would’ve happened without lists and resolutions and goals, all of my favourite moments, I have noticed, have come to me through a combination of dreaming, working hard and enjoying spontaneity, and I recognise that if I don’t make a resolution this year, the world won’t stand still. It will keep turning, because I am happy, and motivated and want to experience so much more. I want to eat so much more.
By “more” – just to slow down the panicked heartbeat of those binge eaters reading – I don’t mean volume. After spending a great deal of time softening then eventually ceasing my urges to binge and purge and actually enjoy what I was eating, not just eat it to fill an emotional void, I have no interest in going down the route of eating until I feel I am going to pop. No, I mean surrounding myself in what I love – which happens to be food. My Instagram feed is full of noodles, pizza and how-to cooking videos – all of my social media feeds in fact. I can’t get enough of the stuff – food. I love eating. I love the social aspect of eating. I love eating out. I love trying new things. After spending years fearful of cooking, only doing so so that I could reduce the calories of what I ate, I am enjoying feeling comfortable in a kitchen. I want more of all those things. In 2018, I want to use the pasta maker my parents bought me for a Christmas present. I want to learn how to make fresh ravioli. I want to eat and eat well, but that isn’t a resolution for 2018, it is a life resolution, and I don’t need to write it on a to-do list in order to achieve it. I simply need to live.
Some of my favourite things I ate from last year: