“I am living with an eating disorder and was living it… it is awful. The sight of blood in puke, the feeling that you can’t relinquish every morsel, the fact that you are growing fatter by the second if it don’t get out your sore esophagus… into the clear water and show you actually bleed to be ‘skinny’. That is madness and I want to take this moment before the cats jump on the keyboard to say ‘Thank You!!!!’ You have in a majestic way made this disease knowledgeable to the public but I also owe you my gratitude. I thought I was alone for so long!!” – Email from Reader, Friend, and Bulimic.
There haven’t been many photos snapped of me lately because I’m on a strict diet. And I want my next photos to provide grand shock value. As the holidays approach, I am reminded that Christmas White does not look good upon a big fat rump. Little velvet dresses do not sit divinely upon wonky breasts. Thick thighs. Protruding love handles. All disgusting on me. Sisters, cousins, aunts, and grandmothers expect a thin Nicole Marie Story. I do, too. There is a certain me who knows that I’ll be slightly disappointed when invited as date to an attorney’s Christmas gala, refusing because I can’t fit into something size zero and designer with room to spare. To parade amongst the classy, I must flaunt a ballerina’s body. It’s the honest truth. My requirement. My rule. Certainly superficial in the long scheme of life, it’s just something that I require of myself. I always shall. Struggling with the manner in which I currently look, coveting my ideal body, I am working hard for physical change, with good business sense, of course. Oh, and yes, I covet something else, too. The gorgeous Starlit Christmas Tree by Restoration Hardware. Nine footer and fabulous. 😉
I’m just a girl.
And she’s just a dog.
And right now, a strict diet is part of our job.
Unlike any diet that we’ve instituted before, this diet is all about numbers, financially speaking. It’s not the ‘Bikini Body Diet Plan’ (1999). Not the ‘Bikini Body Diet Plan Take Two’ (2000). Not ‘Project Lollipop’ (2012) or even ‘Project Lollipop Take Two’ (2013). It’s not any of the ridiculous diets that I’ve implemented during the past 14 years of control, or rather, I should say out-of-control. It’s called ‘Wallet and Waist‘; some in our mafia may interpret ‘waist’ to be a pun. Take it as you may.
The premise is that I establish a strict daily dollar cap for food because frankly, my food expenditures have been absurd. For years, I’ve purchased food directly before consumption, so the newfound daily allowance is simple. And financially brilliant. Eating about twice daily, limiting my calories, therefore limiting my food expense, my waist is whittling whilst my wallet is growing. This means that nightly sushi is gonzo, and soups are in. Ordering from the Thai restaurant, my nightly election has been Tom Kha; and ED girls, the description might scare you more than Tim Curry in The Worst Witch.
“A rich soup made with coconut milk and sweet tamarind, flavored with Galango root and lemon grass, garnished with fresh mushrooms, scallions and cilantro.”
Divine. And, mind you, I’ve slashed daily calories by about half due to this change, so I’m not threatened by the “richness” of the soup. I need something filling and satisfying since I am eating less volume, less often. Something hot, too. But, the other night, something triggered a Bulimic response. Soup is more filling than sushi, and I felt overly full. And fat.
“I need to get this out. I want to get this out. Just a third. Not all. Must keep something. Can’t be starving tomorrow. Although I’ll be thinner. My stomach is too full. Ugh. And I’m growing huger. I’m a stupid fat b****. I need to get this out. Just this once.”
Telling my brain to shut the **** up, I took a nap with Gwendolyn. Awakening, fresh and rejuvenated, we set off to conquer the world! This was diet day four.
But, again, last night, I had my soup. Six days in, I wasn’t craving a purge. Rather, I was craving crispy organic celery dipped into reduced fat peanut butter sprinkled with sea salt. Oh, it even sounds delicious when typed! Like sitting in a prison, one equipped with a gorgeous chaise lounge, I thought, “I’ll drive to the grocery, spend an extra seven bucks. It won’t throw me off financially, having skipped two days of alcohol this week. Yay. I’ll be good. But I’ll end up eating half of the jar, I just know it, throwing me off calorie-budget; and that means skipping tomorrow’s breakfast. But I want those cookies from Whole Foods! That’s breakfast. I earned them. I need breakfast. I’m not dieting to restrict. I’m dieting to eat what I want with a cap. To look superb again. And peanut butter will just make me too fat to practice yoga, and I’ll have a bad day. Unbalanced. And angry. NO. No. I want peanut butter.”
But instead, I took a nap with Gwendolyn. Awakening, I felt so damn accomplished that I didn’t succumb to my craving. I wasn’t even hungry. Peanut butter just sounded nice. Like dessert. Like comfort food. Like mac and cheese. Would I eat mac and cheese? Heck no. So why peanut butter? An unnecessary allowance. Food is not meant to create feeling. Food serves to physically nourish. That is all.
Solidifying my decision to stay diet strong, I opened my inbox to the most beautiful of emails imaginable. From a reader. A friend. A Bulimic.
“I am living with an eating disorder and was living it… it is awful. The sight of blood in puke, the feeling that you can’t relinquish every morsel, the fact that you are growing fatter by the second if it don’t get out your sore esophagus… into the clear water and show you actually bleed to be ‘skinny’. That is madness and I want to take this moment before the cats jump on the keyboard to say ‘Thank You!!!!’ You have in a majestic way made this disease knowledgeable to the public but I also owe you my gratitude. I thought I was alone for so long!!”
These words, written passionately by someone close to me, demonstrate that anyone can be living in the silence of Bulimia or other eating disorder. It’s a very secret society. Often I feel that my writing is slanted and unappealing to Bulimics because I’m so far removed from those physical actions and processes, but really? I still think them, and being reminded of where I existed, bent over the toilet for years of 11, reader feedback is invaluable because it affords me the inspiration to keep writing and helping those who still exist in the physical trenches. I am humbled to know that my blog is positively affecting others in the throes of Bulimia. I am humbled to know that my blog creates a safe place for people to talk. People who have been silenced for years. Decades. Now they can talk about food, fat, and everything under the sun without fear of being discovered.
I’ve recently come under criticism, in fact, banned from commenting at ‘high-level’ Eating Disorder blogs because my philosophy does not mirror ‘science’. A commenter recently hashed, “The difference between you and [another ED blogger], besides the fact that she writes in comprehensible English: she’s using science; you’re using anecdote. Science will always win.”
Yes, there are some persons who prefer to live by the Book, absorbing the mumbo jumbo as presented by doctors, by science, etcetera that never helped me once during my 11 years of stuffing my face, vomiting, and abusing laxatives. But then, there are some of us who thrive on experience. On adventure. On life. What is science if it is not thy own? This blog is about science. About my science. About my philosophy. About my life. And my life just so happens to create response and intrigue in others who are suffering silently. And that, dear readers, is why I write. Sure, my food life, even without bingeing and purging, is never conventionally pretty with roses. It’s a daily freaking battle. Sometimes easy. Sometimes hard. A field of Violets and Dandelions, life after Bulimia is Unpredictable. Wild. And fabulous. And I fully endorse it. 😉
Thank you to my friend for inspiring me. Thank you to all of my readers for doing so, too. You have filled my heart with absolute joy for a lifetime. And now it’s off to the Yoga Mat. xo