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Friday, 16 August 2013

How Times Change

   Pasta had not been invented.
   Curry was a surname.
   A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
   A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
   Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
   All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
   A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.
   Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner.
   A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.
   Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
   Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking
   Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.
   Coffee was Camp, and came in a bottle.
   Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
   Only Heinz made beans.
   Fish didn't have fingers in those days.
   Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
   None of us had ever heard of yoghurt.
   Healthy food consisted of anything edible.
   People who didn't peel potatoes were regarded as lazy.
   Indian restaurants were only found in  India .
   Cooking outside was called camping.
   Seaweed was not a recognised food.
   "Kebab" was not even a word never mind a food.
   Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold.
   Prunes were medicinal.
   Surprisingly, muesli was readily available, it was called cattle feed.
   P ineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
   Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock.
   The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties .. was elbows!
and ......People didn't eat in public!

Do you want to add to this list?  Please let me know

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Sharing Meals: Carers And Eating Disorders

I haven't been here for a while, sometimes you just have to think about other things, like walks in the woods, going to the sea with family and eating ice creams (Cornish of course) and rejoicing in having the best fish and chips in the world arguably at Rick Stein's takeaway at Padstow.

And how nice that we were all able to sit down as a family and enjoy.

I think that it's possibly the worst thing in the world is to be with someone who won't share in the meal because they are on some kind of strange diet or they are allergic to fish or because they are terrified of eating. I've done a family check and everyone finds it traumatic and distressing when there is someone who won't or can't eat with everyone else.

Why? We're all individuals. Perhaps we have a caveman gene which puts us on alert when someone in the tribe is not thriving or participating. I have no idea why sharing a meal with  loved ones and sharing enjoyment is so important. Last night, youngest daughter cooked for us and eating together was central to the fun.

People with eating disorders really don't know how much of a burden they put on other people. Much more than other mental health problems. Maybe because sharing food seems to important to social health.

People with eating disorders  under-estimate the impact on carers, siblings and friends of strained atmospheres, the overall burdens of being with them and  the worries carers have about the future. Loved ones  worry about the effects of bizarre eating  on the sufferer and the effects of parent's behaviour on their children.

People with eating issues under-estimate the effort it takes to pretend not to notice bizarre eating habits or to try not to make comments. They under-estimate the stress of trying to encourage someone who is struggling.

When we offer unwanted care or attention is being offered, the person with the eating issue is likely to get aggressive or convince themselves that we are the problem not them.  Then we have to cope with their anger  AS WELL AS the stress and worry of their disorder. The carer struggles to figure out how to communicate their feelings without unleashing a tsunami.

It's not YOUR business says the sufferer. It's my choice to eat what I please. And so it is. No-one wants to be forced to eat things they don't want or like. Yet there is a fine dividing line where we can see that eating has become a form of self harm, and we react to it.

Poor carers.  How can we bridge the gap to make sure that people with eating issues are at least sympathetic to the trauma of living with someone who cannot eat around  the campfire with us.