I have always believed there is power in truth. And today I am coming clean about a few things. Firstly, I’m not perfect. Nor do I wish to be. There was a point in time where I strived to be the ‘perfect daughter’ or the ‘perfect girlfriend’ or have the ‘perfect body’ and it almost killed me. Striving for perfection is what led me to an eating disorder. It affected all areas of my life: my relationships, my family, my friends, my work, and my ability to study. Everything that had been going so well just slowly started to fade away as I became deeper and more obsessed with food. Or really the lack thereof.
But one day I decided enough was enough. Life was worth living, and I knew I needed to change.
I can’t say the process has been easy, but it has been worth it. I think recovery for each person is very much an individual thing. Each person has their own journey of self-discovery, slowly undoing the damage that was caused and learning to love themselves again.
When I was in the initial stages of recovery (circa 2010), I decided to seek out the advice of a dietitian. She and I worked closely together, sticking to a meal plan to keep me on track and get my weight moving in the right direction. Regular eating and increasing portions became easier with time, but the mental side was a real struggle. Telling that mean voice in your head to just shut up.
No you’re not fat.
No you’re not lazy.
Yes you should and can eat dessert.
Overcoming stupid food rules and being kinder to myself is how I know I’ve come a long way. You know you’re a little more healed when you can laugh at all the silly restrictions you used to put on yourself. My mom and I were doing this yesterday, and I was in stitches remembering how pedantic I used to be. The conversation went a little like this:
Me: ‘Hey do you remember there was a time when I wouldn’t eat fruit?’
Mom: ‘Yeah you were nuts.’
Me: ‘I know, but it wasn’t me, it was the eating disorder. That thing yelled stupid sh*t at me like ‘Ohmygod fruit has sugar! Sugar is the devil! Eat that and die biatch’
Mom: ‘Haha, I’m glad those days are behind us!’
Me: ‘Yeah me too. Now let’s make cookies and get high on sugar!!! Mwa ha ha ha’
I’ve overcome a good many food fears, but it didn’t happen overnight. For me it was a process of unlearning bad habits, and replacing them with more helpful ones.
From no fat, to low-fat, to ‘Do you think bacon goes with this?’ (obviously I’m making up for lost time!)
From chicken breasts, to chicken thighs, to ‘I’d like my steak medium rare thanks.’
From lacklustre, to ho-hum, to loving life.
And from self-hate, to self-acceptance, to ‘Damn girl nice booty!’
I feel like a little more me and a little less e.d. every day. But like I said, I’m not perfect. I still have my bad days too. The difference is now I choose life. I accept those bad days for what they are and move forward. Because I deserve to be happy, I deserve to work towards my goals, and you better believe I deserve to eat cookies!
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Makes about 30 cookies
- 6 egg whites at room temperature
- pinch sea salt
- ¾ cup coconut sugar (or other natural sweetener)
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 40g dairy free dark chocolate (70% or greater), chopped
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp unsalted dry roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- Line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper. Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F)
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with salt until soft peaks form.
- Gradually add coconut sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Fold in cocoa powder, vanilla, chocolate and ½ cup hazelnuts and mix until combined.
- Drop batter by rounded tablespoon onto prepared cookie sheets, dividing evenly. Garnish with additional chopped hazelnuts.
- Bake 1 cookie sheet at a time on oven’s middle rack for 10 to 12 minutes per sheet, until cookies are no longer shiny.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes before removing from sheet. Transfer to cooling rack.
- When completely cool, store cookies in air tight container, lined with baking paper. Cookies keep up to 1 week at room temperature, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
To download a printable version click here: Chewy Chocolate Cookies
These cookies are like slightly sticky with a chewy texture that is similar to a brownie. On their own they are delicious, but if you are feeling in the mood for something even more satisfying, then do what I did: make an ice-cream sandwich!!!
Simply make up a batch of banana soft serve, spread a small portion in between two cookies, and stick it in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes to set. Pure bliss!