Had one of those moments today – sitting at my desk around noon.
My personal email dinged as I haplessly knocked buttons on my keyboard trying to make a press release for work sound remotely articulate.
I sighed, tabbed over to my gmail account.
A Paperless Post invitation appeared at the top of my Inbox.
I clicked on it – going through the whole masquerade of electronically opening the letter.
Like, cmon Paperless Post, it’s 2017. Envelopes are dying. You can’t trick us millennials with your virtual envelope rip. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
An invitation appeared to a friends house in a couple weeks.
Immediately intrigue followed by immediate dread as I opened the invitation and saw the two glowing little shitty words:
I groaned – audibly – bashing my forehead onto the keyboard.
…. Okay, dramatic. I didn’t do that.
But God I hate pot lucks, which leads me to this post.
5 situations that I just ‘can’t even’ with my eating disorder. Let’s see if you agree:
1.) Pot Lucks:
As aforementioned, I just … nope. Can’t stand them.
Work. Friends. Family reunion. Book club.
Three years in, it’s the ever looming doom of impulse decision making.
There’s this thing about pot lucks, right? The pressure.
First of all, I don’t cook.
I mean, I can like cut up cheese without slicing my finger off – and maybe slap hummus on a cracker … but I don’t cook delicatessens.
Ain’t nobody in the world gonna come beggin’ for me to make them a “Lindsey cheesecake original.”
So, there’s already this pressure of bringing something edible – or at least, running into Whole Foods 20 minutes before the actual pot luck and scouring aisles of pre-made food looking for the ‘best option’ that will suit all the other picky, psycho eaters. (no offense to the picky, psycho eaters – I’m one of you)
Half the time, I end up – finger in my mouth nibbling for 30 minutes – unable to decide between like a cous cous farro kale platter or a linguini chicken basil ginger cinnamon chef’s special.
So, there’s that. Then there’s the actual event. Ya know, once you’ve lopped in 45 minutes late with food you’ve schlepped off into Tupperware to pass as “your own.”
And inevitably, it’s buffet style.
The choices. The disarray. IT MAKES NO SENSE WHY ALL THESE FOOD GROUPS ARE TOGETHER, you’re thinking.
Your mind ticks.
I WANT EVERYTHING AND NOTHING AT THE SAME TIME.
BUT … I DON’T WANT ANYONE ELSE TO HAVE IT EITHER.
It’s true. I definitely don’t want you to have that banana pudding if I can’t have it.
I have weird possession over the food I choose not to eat. It’s like … I want to know it’s an option … but I want to choose not to partake.
Basically, I’m an ass – and I’m lucky our brains aren’t like CNN headlines that scroll across Times Square.
It’s a lot of pressure with buffets and pot lucks. How much do you scoop onto your plate? How many times can you go back? Should you go back? Did I just scoop too many baked beans?! WILL PEOPLE THINK I’M OVERSTEPPING MY LOAD?!
And so it goes.
Happy birthday to you, NOW EAT ALL THIS CAKE WE BOUGHT FOR YOU AND IF YOU DON’T WE’LL MAKE YOU FEEL BAD!
Look, I am not complaining about good friends and family. Cake is great. Love is amazing to receive. Cake is a staple.
But, oh man. Sometimes it’s a mind fuck.
One time in NYC, my co-workers bought me a small red velvet cupcake. “We were gonna get you the big one … but, ya know, your whole bulimia thing.”
We all snorted. “This is why we’re friends,” I giggled – taking a bite and passing it back to them.
It’s true. The birthday ‘treats’ are hard. There’s this attention on you when someone presents a cake or a cookie. You feel like even if you don’t wanna eat it right at the moment (try like 3:00pm in the middle of the day) you still feel obligated to munch down because it’s your “special day.”
Special day = cake. For whatever reason. Thanks, whoever invented artificial sugar and pumped us full of it.
I’ve found over three years, I tend to pass the treat around the table – and it helps.
And look, if you eat all of it – so what? It’s not a big deal. I’ve done it.
If you’re in recovery, truly, you know that shit won’t change your weight in a sitting. Eat what you want – when you want. And that’s the key. When you want.
Don’t eat it because you feel obligated – it’ll just make you tick.
A bit redundant from the birthday section & possibly the pot luck one too – but how many holidays are we just presented with food … so much of it.
Aunt Mildred bringing her damn lemon drop cookies. Granny Suzie hobblin’ in with her nutter butter pecan pie. (I’m making this up as I go along if you can’t tell.) Uncle Fred and his Eggnog (which he’ll probably drink on his own like the alco he is.)
Holidays are a lot of pressure when managing an eating disorder. I’ve posted about this a lot. So much effort to stay present – so much effort to prepare so many foods for so many people usually.
You’re eating shit you don’t usually eat. You’re feeling like splurging because it’s a holiday but you’re still feeling that resonant eating disorder guilt after.
It’s almost inevitable that at some point you feel like you “failed” and are sinking back into eating disorder thoughts and behaviors.
You’re not. But it feels like it.
I guarantee you so many feel the way you do – and I’m preaching to the choir.
Wrote a long post about this last year after a 4-day camping experience with a dude I’d just started dating. Terrible decision, by the way, don’t go camp with someone you’ve only just started dating.
You can’t be real. It’s so hard. You are still trying to impress them, but also being like “oh man I wanna pee in a toilet not the cold hard terra firma earth… but I can’t tell them that or I’m not ‘cool’ enough to camp.”
I’m a Colorado girl, to an extent. But, I’m also a southern gal – and a New Yorker.
Anyway, it was a rough few days.
I let him and his friends choose all the food prior to leaving. Didn’t wanna rock the boat with my own shit. Thought I was past the eating disorder stuff.
I wasn’t. It was exhausting. There’s only so many white hamburger buns and hot dogs I could handle – and by the end of it I was irritable and wanted a kale salad.
I love nature – blanket statement, right? Who doesn’t?
But, I learned that day that there are boundaries for me, and I need to feel like I have a choice in what’s being presented to me food-wise.
Maybe that’ll change. It hasn’t yet – but it could.
5.) Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties:
Possibly, the worst in terms of eating disorder triggers.
Where to begin? The bikini pressure. The women unknowingly or knowingly eye-gazing one another.
So. SO much body shaming with women, man. I haven’t been on a bachelor party – but I have gone to likely 14 bachelorettes. And while some vary in degree of how critical they are in terms of body image talk – they all end doing it, and I am no exception.
I chime right in.
FUCK MY TUMMY, RIGHT? AMMIRIGHT?
There’s a lot of cultural pressure. Negative self-talk. I wish us women were better about it, but we’re not from my experience.
It’s not that we’re even really judging anyone else (I feel that’s a bit of a stereotype at times) – but we are hard AF on ourselves, which in turns reminds others to be hard AF on themselves.
And so the cycle goes.
It’s that mixed typically with the excessive drinking that occurs on these charades – and the amount of shit food that piles into the cabinets of our Airbnb’s at 2am when we’re all hammered off ”bridal tequilla shots.”
Creates a big binge atmosphere, I’ve noticed. Not saying all these women are bingers by nature – but when you’re that drunk, anyone is a binger.
It ultimately creates an environment that can trigger that behavior for someone in recovery with an eating disorder.
My advice? Go to bed, man. Don’t FOMO because you’re not up until 5am.
On my last bachelorette party in Mexico, I went to bed at midnight the last night while 12 girls went out to a club until 6am. Just couldn’t handle it. Didn’t want to.
And you know what – I felt okay when I woke up and didn’t have a taco in my left hand – smeared into my hair.
Ultimately, like I always write, we’re in this together.
And it doesn’t matter what bloody year or month or day you’re into recovery, you’re gonna come face to face with this shit over and over again in your lifetime.
The point, I feel, is to acknowledge it. Acknowledge these feelings so you can learn from them and prepare better the next time this kinda event occurs.
Hell, think of me. Think of all of us that go through it. Insecure, jittery, bumbling around recovery wondering what the hell we’re doing and if we’re doing it right.
There is no right. Only weaving. So let’s weave together.
5 thoughts on ““It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’”
LORD have mercy yes to the bachelorette! I never really considered how weird it can make you feel until this weekend. Which is also like my billionth bachelorette but I definitely usually feel horrible about my body for a plethora of reasons while I’m gone. Who knew lol
LOL, girl I feel you. Love my friends but it’s hard in a big group setting like a bachelorette party. It’s not even so much that we’re body shaming others it’s just the constant amount of self-criticism I hear around me. In turn, it makes me super conscious of my own flaws. Sending you love.
Wow I love this! I totally see eye-to-eye with you on these topics. I found your blog from a Greatist article and I’m so glad I did 🙂
It takes a while to sort it out but eventually recovery means claiming ownership of our bodies, health, sanity and what goes in our mouth. I have a boofette rule: N to the muthfuckin O. Look I even swore. I don’t know where those tongs have been. I don’t know about your kitchen santitation or cookery. It’s my body aka my house. I have to live in it therefore my recovery says I get to decide who or what gets in. Your guilt or fear or comments about my appearance are not welcome. No apologies. In early recovery family especially have a habit of convincing us what they think should go on our plate. I am not a toddler. Thank you anyway. Incidentally I ate 3 pieces of my Papa’s 80th birthday cake then ran 10 miles. It was fantastic.
YEP. N to the fucking O. hahaha on the tongs and the kitchen sanitation. That’s actually not something that even rolls through my brain but I totally understand how it could. Funny. Thank you for sharing.
Agreed on the family/friends part. I know they’re trying to help, but it is hard.
Sending you love n’ all that pretty girl. <3