I have suffered with an eating disorder for 25 years. This is my path through recovery.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
What's Eating Me?I wish I had an answer for that question. Eating the way I did today makes me feel less than human. I'm really outing myself today and laying my vulnerability bare here by talking about the specifics of what I ate, which is not something I usually do to this degree except with my most trusted inner circle of friends, but maybe I can learn something or help someone else learn something by bringing my secret bingeing out in the open.
Lunch was leftover sesame chicken (about half a standard Chinese restaurant serving, sans rice) followed by a soup bowl of homemade chicken and noodles. I knew while I was eating the sesame chicken that it would be sufficient on its own. I knew this, and yet there was this odd fear in my gut - a feeling that somehow it would be insufficient and that would be A Bad Thing. My gut, however, couldn't tell me anything about whyit would be A Bad Thing, it just did its utmost to convince me that my only path to survival lay in pretending I hadn't recognized my knowledge.
And so I did. In effect, I ate two lunches. This does nothing to convince me that I know what a proper portion size is, which was the topic of my latest conversation with Attila (my therapist). It also does nothing to convince me that I have any means at my disposal to actually defeat this ugly disease.
I followed the same foolish path with my dinner, only it was lemonade I filled up on, having not realized quite how thirsty I was until a large glassful had gone down. The funny thing is that that's a trick used by many dieters - drink a glass of water before eating so you will feel full faster. Ironic, seeing as I didn't wantto feel full so I could eat whatever I wanted. Musta been the rebel inside me because I did it anyway and am really pissed at myself for it. I ate 3 mutantly enormous cheese-stuffed mushrooms, a bowl of baked potato soup, a large garlic cheese-stuffed chicken breast (and as if the cheese were not enough fat, the chicken was lightly breaded and fried), asparagus, and a mountain of mashed potatoes. I ate all but half the mashed potatoes.
I'm still unhappy even sitting here writing about it, but all I can do now is pray for God's forgiveness (done), try to forgive myself (or at least not beat myself up about it), and use this as a "diagnostic moment" as my nutritionist calls it. I can think about what moved me to do this today, pray about it, and plan for the next time I feel like this - for when I feel that need to eat past my levels of comfortability and fullness; past that knowledge that this is not what is best for me, not what I need, not even what I really want. I need to plan to think about what hole I'm trying to fill and find a healthier way to fill it. I did try to think about this today, but I was all too willing to do what was comforting and familiar - the behaviors I've engaged in for the past almost thirty years - the very behaviors that no longer protect me the way they I designed them to do.