I haven’t gone into huge detail about eating and food, because all people think when they hear the term ‘eating disorder’ is of course eating and food. I’ve already expressed my prefence to rename my illness as something like ‘extreme anxiety and super-doom with compulsive thoughts and behaviours’ (might need work?), and thus I have not discussed food all so much. Now, I shall a bit.
You know what’s pretty nice. Eating food and enjoying it. Today was probably the first day in a few weeks (I’ve been having some challenging times) when I didn’t feel any doom or anxiety before eating. It’s because I was entertained by various seminars relating to my future work life and volunteer work, discussions with loved ones, and one very special dog (I am a renowned dog-sitter). I simply didn’t have time for foolish ED, that pesky beast. I put food in me before it got to say anything. This is called keeping your blood sugar well-maintained.
Why not do that all the time, you may ask? Eating food regularly solves your problems, why would you not do it? Ah, but it is not so easy! I currently have little appetite and struggle to feel hunger. I refused it for such a long time that it can’t quite believe it’s allowed to make noise now. When I was ill I didn’t feel full the way I can feel now. I felt a physical discomfort upon dining heavily but it was in my stomach, not in my consciousness. It felt like there was a disconnect between my stomach and brain (later I found that this was actually indeed the case – malnutrition, the friend of absolutely no-one ever). I never felt satisfied after eating, I always felt some kind of ‘mental hunger’ remained. This is why I could eat and eat and eat so much during my binging episodes, yet never feel satisfied by food, it was never enough. Only when I felt nausea and uncomfortably full I could stop. To be sick. Then go to the shop again. Buy more food, food that would never satisfy me.
This evening I felt ravenous. I ate more than I thought I would eat. I didn’t want my binging foods though, I didn’t have a compulsion to eat my way through the biscuit isle. I wanted yogurt and had granola to go with it. I felt it was simply because I didn’t eat enough during the day. It’s amazing to be able to reason with yourself, to be smart with food. To have control, yet to also allow yourself extra, if you’re craving it. It’s not the end of any existence if Pihla eats an extra bowl of yogurt. My body asked for it. I obliged. It feels satisfied, ready for snoozing. Tomorrow I know I don’t have to fear that I’ll collapse at the pool when I go for my morning swim. My body has energy to burn on things like learning, exercise, playing music, work, writing, kissing boys (well, one boy)…whatever I should want to do.
Have I told you lately, that I love you, recovery? Will I tell you food, that I love you too? Perhaps not quite yet, perhaps I never will. Perhaps I don’t have to love food to appreciate it. Not everyone is a connoisseur. Not everyone needs to be super chef extra extra. But it’s so lovely to treat it like something that is not going to make me or the world explode. A popular saying in the ED scene: ‘Eating isn’t going to kill you, but not eating will’. Holla!