A TRAVELLERS TOXIC RELATIONSHIP WITH FOREIGN FOOD

Warning for talk about my eating disorder. 

So, as I wrote in my first ever post, “An Introduction”, I have a month long trip to Thailand to get through… and it has finally arrived! Yes, for the past few days I have been exploring Phuket, riding on Tuk-Tuk’s and walking across gorgeous landscapes. So far, I have also volunteered for one day in a school in Takua Pa; it has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I am beyond grateful for the opportunity.

However, due to the volunteering aspect of the trip, I have had to move away from my comforting hotel in Khao Lak and stay near to the school I am teaching at until the weekend. So far, this area has predominantly offered me street food, which is a struggle when your bad brain is screaming at you to focus on counting calories and nutrition content. Needless to say, I almost broke down after buying a banana crepe.

I knew food would be an issue for me when I organised this trip, understanding I did not have my “safe foods” to hide behind or rely on. I wanted to improve my independence and provide not just an amazing opportunity, but a rewarding one too. I wanted to escape the issues I thought I could just drop at home carelessly like a left over bag of chips. But I will admit that I am struggling. I am struggling to find vegetarian proteins. I am struggling with allowing myself to eat unhealthy foods. It’s like my mental illness has packed its own little (or rather INSANELY MASSIVE) suitcase and hopped on that 16 hour flight with me, consistently being the antagonist in my head, whispering all the manipulative, untrue “facts” to me. I am desperately trying to block it out, knowing it is okay to eat whatever the hell I want. But why can’t I just comprehend that?

When I first told my Mum I wanted to travel a bit during this gap year, she was very reluctant and apprehensive on letting me go, purely due to the concern that I “wouldn’t eat well enough”. As pessimistic as this sounds, I feel truly like I am letting her down. Not only is this impacting the trip, it is impacting my self confidence and self worth. I feel like I am not good enough to do the simplest of tasks, and when I am thousands of miles away from home, it is not like I can rush back to that safety and comfort.

I am having a once in a lifetime experience and I really don’t want to let my eating disorder completely ruin it. I just wanted to document this issue and update on my mental health throughout this trip. I will most definitely do a post regarding all the amazing experiences I have in Thailand too. I apologise for the negativity in this, a post without any real purpose besides me having a place to post my emotions… I’ll end this on a positive note. The children that we’re teaching are incredible. They’re so eager to learn. They’re incredibly enthusiastic and that makes teaching so much more enjoyable and interactive. As a whole, I definitely do not regret coming here.

I know I will be okay. I must keep going.

2 thoughts on “A TRAVELLERS TOXIC RELATIONSHIP WITH FOREIGN FOOD

  1. edrecoveringathlete says:

    This is your space, no need to apologize for being honest about what you’re facing. Honesty is such a huge part of recovery, the ED thrives off secrecy.

    I hope the amazing experiences there can help distract my mind from the disorder and allow you to make the most of your time.

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