Asking for Help

I could feel myself slipping, the world sliding out from under me, my feet skidding on sliding ground, my fingernails scraping at empty air. I could feel myself falling, gravity sucking me down, my legs breaking, my arms flailing. It was terrifying, but I liked it–in a way. And then I came to my senses. I could hear my heart beating a little slower; I could see my thighs getting a little thinner; and I could taste that sourness again, that comfortable sourness, that deathly sourness. I was relapsing, wasn’t I? I was relapsing, and I knew it.

So I took a deep breath, pulled out my phone, and texted a friend. “I think I’m slipping back into my eating disorder.” I wrote. “What do I do?” She didn’t reply; she showed up at my flat with two cups of hot chocolate and told me we were going to Camden. We ended up getting ice cream and having a heart-to-heart. She said some really amazing things that I want to share with you:

  1.  Calories may make you gain weight, but they also keep you alive. Food is fuel.
  2.  Your eating disorder probably only defines you in your head and not in anyone else’s. People didn’t know you had an eating disorder until the end; they knew you as a person. 
  3. It makes sense to not know who you are without your eating disorder, so think about who you want to be–and that is not someone with an eating disorder. Imagine that you left your eating disorder back at the hospital, and eat for the person you want to become.

It was incredibly hard to ask for help and it went against all my natural instincts, but I am so glad I did. Not only did it keep me in recovery, it brought me and my friend closer together. So my point is this: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is no shame in it. It doesn’t make you weak, or a failure, or a bad person. It just means that you’re struggling, and that’s perfectly okay.

EKG Cookies

Want the perfect Valentine for the one who fixed your broken heart? Make your cardiologist these adorable EKG cookies!

Cookies:

Ingredients:

  1. 3 cups flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup butter
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  7. 2 tablespoons almond extract
  8. 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  9. Pinch of salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar.
  3. Add egg, heavy cream, and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat again.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  5. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Beat.
  6. Using the largest heart cookie cutter you have, shape cookies and use a spatula to transfer them to a greased baking tray.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. 
  8. Cool cookies for 2-3 hours before decorating.

Icing:

Ingredients:

  1. 4 cups powdered sugar
  2. 1 cup water or milk
  3. Red and pink food coloring

Tools:

  1. 6 plastic bags, at least one decorating tip, food coloring, and an icing pen OR
  2. 3 plastic bags and pre-made decorating pens in your desired colors

Preparation:

  1. Deposit 1 cup of the sugar in a bowl. Add water by the tablespoon, stirring as you go, until the mixture has the consistency of toothpaste. Place the icing in a plastic bag and configure your icing pen as directed. If you have a pre-made decorating pen, you can skip this step. 
  2. Line the edges of the cookies.
  3. Dilute the icing with at least 1/6 cup of water or until syrupy. Transfer the icing to a bag, slice one corner of said bag, and flood the cookies beginning at the center.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, adding in food coloring to both icing batches. 
  5. Allow the cookies to set over night. 
  6. Use the remaining cup of sugar to prepare and decorate as directed in step 1. Carefully adorn the cookies with various heart rhythms before giving them to your favorite doctor.

Recipe: Non-Fried Fries

Because I don’t want to get burning oil in my eye and blind myself, I have decided to bake these.


Ingredients:

  1. 1 large baking potato
  2. 1 teaspoon olive oil
  3. cooking spray
  4. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  5. sprinkle of chile and garlic powders
  6. pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Slice potato into as many thin slices as possible.
  3. Mix oil, salt, and spices. Toss potato slices with mixture.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil (latter preferred). Spray with cooking spray and spread potatoes in a single layer.
  5. Bake potatoes for 25 minutes. Flip over and bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from tray, plate, and sprinkle with pepper.

Fries Not Lies: Rant On an Image

I was horrified when this image popped up in my newsfeed.

Yes, trans-fats from some french fries will raise your LDL-cholesterol levels and yes, buckets-full will probably lead to obesity, but this infographic is highly inappropriate; the message it sends is disportionate not to mention disordered.

Consider one of each: One cigarette is actually going actually harm you; the carcinogens will reach your lungs, and the nicotine is immediately addictive. One french fry does not have the same effect; your arteries won’t suddenly clog, and you won’t drop dead of a massive heart attack. In fact, on occasion, fries can actually be good for you. They’re fun, delicious, and if your body is craving them, what you should eat.

French fries are not the enemy, and food is not the problem. Weight and diet are contributing factors to heart disease because of extremism and excess (on both sides of the scale). So, cardiovascular health community, please stop fat shaming and please stop vilifying food. Advocate for moderation instead. Encourage people to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet–which, yes, does include french fries!

(original image by Instagram user @epatientbrazil; vandalism thereof by yours truly)