Monday, February 14, 2011

Eating Disorder Awareness Week

In light of Eating Disorders Awareness Week that just passed (Feb 6-12), I wanted to just sort of touch on a subject that's pretty important to me. I haven't really discussed this with people, given that it's quite personal to me, but I figure you do no favors to anyone without being honest with yourself, or sharing what you know in the hopes it can help someone else. For most of my life I've struggled with an eating disorder/and disordered eating. When I was younger I was overweight, food was a comfort to me. I ate regardless of whether I was hungry or not, it was just something to do. When I was 15 I started to work out excessively, and restrict what I ate to 500 calories a day or less. I was never happy with my weight though, no matter how much I lost it was never enough. I wouldn't want to leave the house some days because I believed I was too fat to do anything. Eventually I weighed about 90 lbs, was freezing all the time, couldn't focus on anything, started to grow fine hair all over my body and even talking a short walk was an exhaustive effort. I started to eat a bit again eventually, and then I couldn't control it. I would eat and eat and eat, and just wouldn't be able to stop. I felt this immense sense of shame because I couldn't control myself, I wanted to never have to need anything, least of all food. A few years later I began making myself throw up what I ate, anywhere from 2-8 times a day. I would make cakes, cookies, any kind of junky food I craved and would eat it until I physically couldn't eat anymore. I wish I could stop, and I wouldn't be able to. I would switch between 'good' days, and then would binge the next 3. I tried to stop many times, but it always felt impossible. More recently I decided that I needed to change something (something about that quote about an idiot doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result). I decided I needed to focus on making myself healthy, not trying to make myself skinnier. Eating raw has played an enormous part in that, just the knowledge that everything I put into my body is good for me is incredibly healing. It seems at times that eating disorders are these drill sergeants in your head, always telling you that you're inadequate, fat, eating too much, a pig with no self control, obese, lacking, not working out hard enough, not as good as everyone else. Trying to quiet that voice is a challenge at times, still. But I think every day it gets a little easier. I don't think food should be something I need to feel bad about, there's enough bad things in the world without that. I think I'm incredibly privileged to live where I do, and live the life I am able to. It's a waste of time to sit there counting my calories, hating my body. I think with your diet health should be the ultimate goal, not just thinness. It's taken awhile for me to realize that, but it's so freeing now that I finally have. That's half the reason I have this blog, realizing that has made me realize that I really want others to be able to learn from my experience. While I don't know everything, I want to be able to share what I do. As well as make really good food.

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