Threshold of Revelation
Just experienced the threshold of revelation… (Angels in America, represent!)
Recovery, as in: learning to eat healthfully and in the required amounts to nourish my body, along with feeling no shame, fear, or animosity towards food intake, takes a lot of persistence, presence, and devotion. What I have been unable to put my finger on is why I wouldn’t want to wholeheartedly do this.
It’s been drawn to my attention I don’t actually eat a lot. I thought I was eating a lot, since I’ve been eating way more than I usually do. And actively trying to include more food groups, and combining food groups in one sitting even. Apparently it’s still not enough. This kind of sucks, because that means I have to put forth even more effort. Why am I uncomfortable with that?
I realized, because most of society – whether or not a person has and eating disorder or disordered eating – does not eat well-balanced meals 3-5 times a day. I realized I always felt closer to the norm in restricting than I did with intuitive eating. (Of course, since I never got skinny, I regarded myself with such contempt, the binge/purge cycle was kept secret and was comforting in the isolation… because in my extreme attempts to fit in/fit the mold, I still failed) So to let go of bulimia is to let go of the secret, the masochistically comforting shame, the security blanket. I can do this… I can find strength and confidence elsewhere and move on from that. But to shift from restrictive thoughts and behaviors feels like the ultimate betrayal of not only the eating disorder, but of my strive for “right-ness”, and of society’s approval. So wouldn’t I WANT to betray society’s approval? Theoretically, yes. In practice, that petrifies me because I know the facts. The facts that such a vast majority of women of all ages would rather lose a limb than be fat. Rather get cancer than be obese. Rather be CALLED STUPID than be CALLED OVERWEIGHT.
So for me to say, fuck ALL OF YOU, I’m going to eat whatever I want whenever I want however I want because I LIKE it… feels like an extreme political statement. Which I apparently am not ready to make. Because god fucking damnit, I want the thin girls to like me. (FAIL!)
Oh, wait I got off track. My main point was everyone (okay obviously not everyone, but a freaking lot of people) restricts… in the name of PERPETUAL DIETING. Just reference oh, my mom. Or Oprah.
So on a personal level it’s distracting, confusing, and exposing to be surrounded by people who, on a normal basis, don’t eat that much. Like at work, if people just eating something small and quick for work, I will feel incredibly weird bringing a shit ton of food to eat. Oh well. I’ll stick with coffee for now.
Oh! (Way to completely degenerate into fragmented thoughts) Read this article: The Perfect Pantomime by Aimee Liu. She pretty much hits the nail on the head. Her book, Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders is really a must-read for anyone in the sphere of eating disorders. Well-informed and well-presented, she pulls a lot of pieces together. I love her gun analogy. An eating disorder is like a gun in the innocent hands of the sufferer: shaped by genetics, loaded by culture, and triggered by emotional pain and existential dread.