If you’re a regular reader, you will have noticed that I didn’t post any public blogs from mid-March to mid-June. In March I managed to come down with the flu, shortly followed by norovirus. Then, when I’d just about recovered, England went into lockdown due to COVID-19. It was a weird time to try to be productive, so I decided to take a break from writing for a few months to try to regain some energy.
I wasn’t sure what regaining energy was going to look like. I’ve been battling chronic fatigue since my early twenties, so much so that my GP suggested I might have ME before COVID-19 prevented further testing.
Image description: I, a non-binary person with a grown-out undercut and steamed-up glasses, am looking directly at the camera while wearing a floral face mask. Part of my outfit is visible – I’m wearing dark blue hoodie and a sparkly dark blue backpack. This is basically what I have looked like through lockdown.
As part of my plan to rest actively and increase my energy levels, I see a HAES-informed nutritional therapist/intuitive eating counsellor a few times a month. I’d love to write more about my nutritional therapist in the future but, for now, suffice it to say that she’s very knowledgable, super lovely, and always open to my experiences as I navigate nourishment as a person of size.
I’m pretty early in my IE journey, but right now I (try to) eat three meals and three snacks a day; I honour my health and hunger; I’m working on my body image and self-esteem; and I’m also learning how to cook.
Image description: Cheese-topped cottage pie with carrots and broccoli on the side.
I’ve always loved cooking, especially baking, but I’ve felt that I needed to work on my technical skills for a long time. My lack of technique gave me a lack of confidence in the kitchen, something I started working on a year or so ago but that I still something struggle with. Learning to cook ‘properly’ has been on my list of things to do for ages and, with the extra time during lockdown plus my fiancée’s expertise as an ex-chef, I’ve been enjoying making more complicated meals in the kitchen.
Video description: A pot of lemony smoked basa fettuccini is stirred briskly by a wooden spoon.
I’ve also stopped being vegetarian for the time being. As part of my intuitive eating self-work no foods are off limits, and that has included meat. It’s been difficult to adjust. I still feel like I don’t deserve to eat anything that’s caused something else suffering, and I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that that’s basically never possible (curse you, capitalism!). For now, the most important thing is that I’m not restricted when it comes to food.
This has also meant I’ve been learning how to cook meat for the first time in my life!
Image description: Creamy chicken and mushroom orzo sprinkled with cheddar and chives. It did not look this grey in real life!
Nourishing myself during lockdown hasn’t always meant cooking fancy comfort food. Most of the time it’s meant quick peanut butter sandwiches, cheesy Doritos dipped in hummus, takeaway pizza, and a persistent craving for green veg (my current obsession is spring greens fried in butter and olive oil with a little sprinkle of salt). Sometimes it’s meant ice cream for breakfast, making a very wonky loaf of bread for the first time, trying to learn how to make smoothies, and eating a giant bag of banana chips in one sitting because I was too lazy to make anything else.
Nourishing my body and my life has been a really important step in getting back the energy I lost this year and beyond, to the point where I have more ‘spoons‘ now than I have in years. I’m excited to continue to nourish myself past lockdown, for the rest of my life.
Image description: A small freshly baked loaf of white bread with a light crust.
This is usually where I put the links to my Patreon and my tip jar. If you liked reading this piece of writing, please consider donating to this amazing fund instead! It helps Black people in the UK access free therapy.