I’m not sure what planet I was living on when I thought I could mostly avoid food during this time. Because it’s simply impossible. FOOD IS EVERYWHERE. At least when I was 11, I was only taunted by meal times. Now I just have to be flicking through my Facebook timeline to see a video of a breakfast pizza or a ice cream bomb (or some kale and avocado, but funnily enough that doesn’t bring on the same cravings).

Interestingly, my main trouble point of the day is lunchtime. I say interestingly, as I have always considered dinner as the main meal of the day. Today on my lunch break (when I would usually be eating or buying my lunch), I walked aimlessly to John Lewis. The joys of working on Oxford Street – there is always a very large department store to fill any void nearby. I wondered around for a good half an hour – stopping several times at chocolate stands and even in the kitchen department. It’s scary how long I stared at cooking appliances.

Now here’s the thing – I know this is all psychological. To demonstrate, let me give you a list of all the things I’m craving (this is more for me than you, tbf)

  • Pizza
  • Big fat greasy cheeseburger
  • McDonalds
  • Fry up
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
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This is now a glowing beacon of joy

I don’t eat dairy, and haven’t done for years, so I would never eat a cheeseburger or pizza  – but I’ve seen both these things on social media the past 3 days. I barely ever step inside McDs, yet the golden M is now screaming at me on every street corner. And I only started craving spag bol in the past 15 minutes because my flatmate was having it for dinner. So it’s completely psychological. I’m not actually craving any of the things I eat regularly – like steak and Starbucks!!  So I’m in an uphill battle with my own brain. How the hell do you win that?

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Just a snapshot of my current mental state in today’s blog notes

Distraction really is key and (selfishly), that is one of the reasons why this blog is so invaluable to me. And if you’re reading, thank you!
My next post will divulge the details of my upcoming incredibly sober weekend socialising… will make for good reading I’m sure!!
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PS – I’m still hungry
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Who knew it was possible to lie awake thinking about how hungry you are. I’ve always been lucky enough to go to bed with a full stomach (a luxury I’m aware many do not have). Last night I lay awake until 12.30, until I decided enough was enough and I had another shake. It was categorically the most unsatisfying midnight snack I’ve ever had.
I then spent the whole night dreaming about food. In all different guises – sometimes I was eating, sometimes I was watching others eat – in one dream I was serving food! It is unsurprising, that I woke up today absolutely ravenous.
If that wasn’t a enough of a loony way to start the day – I got into work and shouted at someone who looked like they were carrying a plate of cakes to my desk. ‘Don’t bring that anywhere near me!’ I exclaimed. He looked utterly confused. It turned out to be a book with a make up powder puff on stop. I could have sworn I saw a chocolate eclair.
 

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A eclair as divine as this

 
So I’m hallucinating. I am seeing greasy cheeseburgers and pizzas instead of people’s faces. But that’s ok, right? I mean, it is only day 2. And they do say hunger does weird things to people…
I went to work carrying a super chic cool bag today carrying my food for the day – 5 delicious elemental cartons. The cool bag was debatably socially acceptable (you can make up your mind with the pic below) – unfortunately elemental are best drunk cold. I thought taking a bag of ice to work might be a step too far…(and the BBC doesn’t have a freezer)
 

Why don’t Mulberry do cool bags???

Today I’ve drunk 6 cartons and I can’t get over how hungry I feel. I’ve also felt pretty faint at times – THIS GIRL NEEDS CARBS! I am supposed to drink 9 cartons to maintain my healthy BMI – but I feel like I haven’t eaten in weeks, not days! I’m told my stomach will shrink in time and I’ll feel full with the shakes in due course. WHEN WILL THIS HAPPEN?!!?

If you’ve had a bad day – just imagine me shouting about non existent eclairs.

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As I woke up this morning and walked to the fridge for breakfast, I had three tantalising options. Summer Fruits elemental, Grapefruit elemental or Orange & Pineapple elemental. On face value, that doesn’t sound too bad does it? A delicious fruity drink to start the day…
Unfortunately, I have remembered these shakes with complete rose tinted glasses. They are vile. I mean, they really are disgusting.

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For dinner, I had Summer Fruits. As you can see, I was delighted

These are the things they are not:

  • Not like a juice
  • Not like a milkshake
  • Not like a smoothie
  • Not like squash
  • Not an enjoyable beverage
  • Not enjoyable full stop.

Because this isn’t the first time I have been on a exclusive liquid diet. Twelve years ago I featured in the very cool (!) teen mag, Mizz. The headline was extremely dramatic and I was interviewed at home with a friend from school.

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I told you it was a dramatic headline

Back then, it was harder still, as I was required to drink even more of the shakes to aid my body through puberty. The volume of liquid I had to consume was so large, I had to have half of it passed straight into my stomach, via a nasogastric tube. This is a tube that is inserted up your nose, down your throat and into your stomach. In the photo above, I was 10 years old. I had to keep the tube in constantly and it tickled my throat. During the time I had the tube, I remember watching CBBC and some exciting S Club 7 news (they were my fave) came on the television. I leaped up in so much excitement, the tube completely slipped out of my nose. We went straight to A&E to have it reinserted.
Luckily this isn’t on the cards this time around. Now I’m a responsible adult (ha!), I am able to consume all the required shakes – 9 250ml cartons a day. *Gulp*…
People said to me at school, ‘why did you decide to write in and tell your story?’ I remember distinctively staring at them like it was completely obvious. ‘I’m miserable and hungry! I may as well make some money out of it!’ I wish I could remember what I spent the £150 on (probably more Mizz magazines), but it was hugely exciting.
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Mizz was the coolest magazine to read when you were 11 years old in the 90’s. (I also did enjoy the ‘Four cute poster boys’)!

Raising awareness of Crohns Disease and IBD is extremely important to me. Every 30 minutes, someone in the UK is diagnosed with Crohns or Colitis. 1 in 4 of these people are under 16. A diagnosis of this kind is life changing. If you want to learn more about Crohns, Colitis or IBD in general, you can find more information on the Crohns and Colitis UK website here – All about IBD.
To find out more about my Crohns story, click here.
End of day 1 and I’m hungry… no surprises there. I’m going to leave you with something one of my oldest friends said to me today.

‘Remember, solids are for chumps’. Katharine, April 2016

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bryonyhopkins

I would just like to say on record, I love food. I don’t like food, or eat to solely survive… I really really love food. Breakfast is the first thing I think of in the morning, no sooner have I consumed that I am thinking about my 11 o’clock snack before considering lunch… you get the drift. I really love food. I also, really like drinking. I love socialising – the taste of a cold glass of white wine and a cheeky shot of tequila on a night out. This is just a snapshot of my Instagram… yes, I am entirely guilty of shamelessly Instagramming food.

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Breakfast heaven

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Yes that is lobster. And yes, it was unreal

Imagine how you feel when food is one thing that gives you pain. Not just mild stomach pain, but crippling, can’t stand up or sit up straight, want to curl into the foetal position and lie in a dark room pain. We all eat food, like carbs and proteins, to keep our bodies running. Our digestive system absorbs all of the necessary nutrients and gets rid of all the waste. When you have Crohns, your body attacks healthy cells during this digestive process – causing inflammation. Hence, if you take out eating food and replace it with pre digested shakes, your body has no reason to attack itself.

So…. for the next fortnight (at least!) I will be replacing all meals and food with 9 of these Elemental 028 shakes. And, no alcohol. No tea. And worst of all.. no Starbucks!

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Three boxes of eighteen delicious Elemental 028 drinks. Flavoured Orange & pineapple, Grapefruit and Summer Fruits.

Don’t they look DELICIOUS!

I found out about 2 weeks ago this would be the next course of treatment.A few days later, I saw Crohns and Colitis UK post this link to a Cosmopolitan article written by young writer Tess Koman. Her depiction of the liquid diet was inspiring and so accurate – it was really what I needed to read at that moment in time.  Read Tess’ article here: What I learnt from not eating for a month. After sobbing into a dinner at Pho with my boyfriend on the day I learnt this was happening, I realised I needed to remember why I am doing this. To get my quality of life back.

So I write this the day before I start the diet and I am beyond hungry. Completely psychological I’m sure – but I have eaten everything in sight. (Currently digging into kettle chips and guacamole. It would be rude not to have a feast tonight.) Is it possible to be more hungry when you know you’re not going to eat for a while?? I suspect I will feel far less rational tomorrow as I dig into a carton of Summer Fruits Elemental for breakfast, instead of some delicious marmite toast… 

Sorry – I have to go and eat the contents of my fridge now. (Fajitas are the final meal of choice) With everything else I have for dessert…

More tomorrow!

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