Editor’s Note – I struggle with eating disorders. I am unsure if references to eating disorders could be triggering, but if it is possible, considered yourself warned?
Since I was 15, I have struggled with bulimia, anorexia, and binge-ing/emotional eating. Food is more of a weapon than a nutrient for me. I’d love to say that I’m all clear or anything, but that would be a lie. Emotional eating is my largest struggle and it is step one in my cycle. I eat too much, so I gain weight. I gain weight, so I start purging. I purge long enough, I start starving. This goes on until I have lost whatever I have deemed the weight required to lose. Right now, it’s 30 pounds. In two months, I have managed to eat 30 new pounds on me. Worse yet, it’s 10 pounds above my “acceptable” threshold”. I give myself a range that I know my weight will fluctuate and I need to not be upset about it. Well, now I am upset because I have tipped the scale, and my pants don’t fit.
I could go and blame a myriad of things – trauma, medication, anxiety, but I don’t believe in a victim mindset. Food comforts me, food tastes yummy. Food makes me feel better. Food makes me feel pathetic that I use food for more than staying alive. Food makes me feel fat, because I know I am fat. Food makes me depressed, because I hate how fat I am. I can’t blame food though, food is an inanimate object that I insert in my face. I can blame one symptom – my hand picks up food and inserts it in my mouth (or inserts finger in throat and gags). This behavior repeats. I only began speaking about my eating disorders 11 months ago. My recovery for 20 years of this behavior started then, so I think every step of progress I made, in lieu of that pathology is incredible.
So, here we are, I am at a crossroads. I know why I am eating so much – I am stressed the fuck out. I am embarking on every major life change at once. I am moving back in with my ex, who is still my ex, but he’s also my only local/available support system, and I need support. (+1 to me, I asked for help!), I am struggling with a lot of emotional issues and a pretty traumatic year, year to date (-1 to me, stop living in the past!), I am getting acclimated to being around my kids 7 days a week vs 4 from the separation (-1 for me, what mom doesn’t want to be around her kids all the time!), I am going through med changes, managing bipolar disorder, and all this other bullshit that I thought I had under wraps (-1 for me, you should think positively and back and forth is a natural progression!), and lastly, I love getting in my car with my best friend and blasting music and touring fast food joints. (+3 for me, that’s how people take care of themselves and live happy lives). I have gained 30 pounds, and feel like a blob! (-3 for me, and now I want to purge or starve..)
*Do not think I am advocating anything about anything here. My name is MahButtItches, okay? I’m a person who is sick and tired of being miserable and genuinely trying to find the balance of happiness and health, and I think everyone goes to extremes with both, and that balance is sorely lost in that equation. *
So, my relationship with food is one of comfort and one of self harm. My trips with my friend are amazing and dumb. The problem is that too much of a good thing is too much, so I am actually allowing myself to do a detox right now. I am taking a few days to do tons of infused waters, and honestly wean myself off all the sugar and crap I’ve been pounding (we’ll get to that in a moment). I am nervous about this, because restricting can be anorexic behavior too, but I have to make changes. I work best when I do drastic changes first then titrate into normal life. I also know that I get addicted to sugars and stuff. If I go without them for awhile, I stop craving them. My cravings are killing me most right now. I am not trying to give anorexia a new age name and say it’s okay. I am still eating, I am just only eating when I am hungry, raw nuts, produce, etc. and I am drinking looooots of water. I am attempting to walk the line of healthy approach to weight loss and food. Balance – which I lack.
You see, our fast food expeditions are not normal, hahaha. Recently, we drove to Moe’s Southwest Grill and chased it with Cinnabon. This was the most amazing night. I mean, I had the deliciousness of Moe’s porky carnita goodness with their ranch dressing and a big ass fried tortilla shell stuffed with lettuce so you can give yourself the illusion of salad, then a pecan caramel topped cinnamon bun for dessert. I may have asked for extra icing, because it was a long drive. 45 minutes for southwest and cinnamon buns shows you are committed. Don’t judge me. I had a green tea to help chase it down…
Prior to that, we may have done such adventures like Arby’s where I got a chocolate milkshake, and we chased it down with Dairy Queen. One time, we got milkshakes and Dairy Queen and drank them in the parking lot of Planet Fitness so that we could say we went to the gym. This might sound like the lamest excuse for a life, and I’ll not argue. I’ll just say that hours in your car with your best friend laughing your asses off is the best medicine you can get. If you chase said medicine with fried, fatty, creamy, delicious junk, it’s the added smile to get you through a week until you can do another fast food road trip.
The problem is, now I’ve gotten excessive. One day I ordered myself a chicken parm, calamari, and tiramisu and had a milkshake later. I was stressed and upset and opted to chase my feelings with fried fat and cheese. Every day simply cannot be a cheat day you know? I mean, I do yoga like crazy and I am a mom of 3 so occasionally movement happens, but not on any sort of training level that could offset my current milkshake mania.
The cool thing is though, I’m not upset. For all the factors I listed, the parentheses are how I have been arguing with myself, and in reality, having fun and laughing my ass off and pigging out randomly on junk food is what helps me cope with all of it. So, while my pants may be getting too tight, I am going to use this as an opportunity to gently care for myself and help myself fix my relationship with food, improve my relationship with myself, and lose at least 10 pounds, so that I can stop being upset about it (and fit in my pants). My number is kind of arbitrary – just the weight I was when I lost 70 pounds thanks to controling my binge-ing and embracing that produce is not a dirty word. I am going to write a bit about my journeys in fast food, food, and healing my eating disorders here.
What’s your favorite junk food? Describe it to me in all it’s filthy detail hahahaha. If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are looking for someone to talk to – feel free to reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior Road trip tales:
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