The other night I jolted awake.
48kg? Heavy Poppy, waaaaay too heavy. Get to 46 at most, 44 preferably.
Right-o. I started planning my meals for the next day; boiled veges breakfast, lunch and dinner, maybe a hot mango tea chucked in for a spurt of energy in the arvo….
FUCK UP. YOU FUCKING IDIOT. TOSSER. LOSER. FUCKWIT.
But this time? I wasn’t talking to myself. I was talking to Ed.
I’m starting to be able to differentiate between him and myself. In the past we’ve always been a unit, concreted together, a fusion, but that is starting to change in my processing of “us”. I’m sometimes, not always but sometimes, able to disntinctly distinguish what’s me and what’s the bastard.
I cannot believe how entrenched Ed is in me. I always knew he was rather embedded and clinging deep into my psyche and perhaps even part of my soul, but being away and actually attempting to tackle him head on has me able to grasp the enormity of his grip. It makes me feel sick. Sad. Angry.
I lay awake thinking for a wee while. Going over the last few days and my eating choices. I’d been doing ok; if started including potatoes in the old options for some carbs to see me up the hills.
But then there was that part of me, both subconscious and completely aware, that was adding up all my calories and making sure I was in taking far less than the rest of the crowd.
Yesterday afternoon Daniel tentatively asked me, “Poppy, are you trying to lose weight?” I tried to laugh it off (as always), starting the whole vegan-sensitive-to-food spiel. He carefully cautioned that I was eating now where near enough. I lightly alluded to a few “eating issues”. He nodded and I knew he’d already known.
Then I thought about Sarah, my absolute Godsend up here. When actually setting my mind to think about it, I had to admit to myself that I was being pretty selfish. I could see her worrying about me, expending energy that she needed to conserve to get to EBC. I wasn’t being fair giving her another hunk of shit to have to think about.
Then suddenly it hit me like Chris Brown (apologies, so crass. Just needed to lighten the atmosphere as the following breaks my heart a bit).
I do this to my mum everyday. Day in, day out. When I haven’t been living at home it’s not so in her face, but when I’m there it’s forefront. Every single day.
I couldn’t breathe. My chest got all right and I actually heaved. I started full on sobbing.
Holy fuck. I am so so selfish.
This whole time I’ve been trying to tackle Ed has had myself as the motivation, and it’s been an extremely trying, testing and turbulent track to say the very least. But maybe my approach is all wrong? Maybe myself isn’t strong enough for motivation to begin with?
I went to sleep with a new driving force to curtail and cut off Ed’s claws.
Do it for Deb.
The next morning I had chapatti with jam for breakfast (like a light Indian flatbread tortilla thing). And I didn’t look back.
Lunch? Same again.
And dinner? Hat trick baby.
I even had a snack pack of Coconut Crunchies bikkies for a mid-afternoon snack, sharing with the group astride a hilltop. I turned the flap of the foil to hide the calorie content as I nibbled, turning my mind off except for my new resounding mantra: Do it for Deb.
I thought I was doing extremely well. I was pretty chuffed with the day’s efforts. Mate, I’d pretty much eaten bread. Three times in one day! I was a superstar.
My group had other ideas.
When dinner was delivered, Tegan looked at my thrice serving of chapatti and said, “Babe that’s not enough.”
Josh admonished, “Is that all you’re having? Seriously?”
Daniel remarked, “You’ve had that every meal today. There’s probably only 100 calories in each one. You’ve trekked more than six hours today. You need more.”
Sarah just looked at me.
They all chimed in with their bloody ten bucks worth. I got uncomfortable. Then I got angry. I had made massive inroads today that they couldn’t comprehend. Fuck them. Fuck them all. Who were they to pass judgement and impart their opinions? I almost got up and left.
Then Daniel pushed his plate forward of the remainder of his potatoes portion. “Eat it,” he encouraged.
I looked at them all and my madness evaporated. They cared about me. They wanted me to get to Base Camp, for my sake and their own.
I ate the potatoes.
When the menu came out to pre order breakfast for the next morning, I ordered porridge. Firmly. It was EBC day and I was getting there.
In the AM when my steaming serving of oats arrived my heart beat furiously in terror. I almost, almost, pushed it away. But I thought about conquering EBC. I thought about my team I’ve come to seriously care about. I thought about my mum.
I picked up my spoon and ate the whole bowl.
It was fucking delicious.
And it got me through the nine hour trek to Base Camp.
(Two days later Tegan caught me on my own and told me she was really proud of me for eating the porridge. She said she had observed me on the way up and could see how it had been a massive step. That? That right there? That’s a compliment).