“It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’

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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:

POT LUCK!

Pot. Luck.

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.

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5 situations that I just ‘can’t even’ with my eating disorder. Let’s see if you agree: Continue reading ““It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’”

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Calorie Counting: Does It Ever Go Away?

… I don’t know. And maybe, that’s okay.

Hear me out:

Calorie counting. If you struggle with it, you relate to Lily Collins in Netflix’s “To The Bone” scene when her sister refers to her calorie counting as ‘calories aspergers’, and if you don’t – I can only beg that you never attempt to. ((Also, I originally entitled this post Calorie Asperger’s in light of this scene – but it is insensitive to co-opt the two, so I changed it.))

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To The Bone

Coming off a weekend in Texas. Ate a lot – drank some wine. Went to my 10-year high school reunion and visited family. Feeling uncomfortably full as I write this – sipping a vanilla latte; ordered it and forgot to ask for nonfat milk, which made me laugh a little because I immediately thought to myself “Wonder how many calories that adds on?”

Some things never change.

You know that scene in Good Will Hunting? The 1997 movie about Matt Damon as this poverty-stricken Boston math genius. Beautifully written (RIP Robin Williams). But, there’s that scene where Matt Damon is told he has this ‘ability’ to solve math equations faster than anyone ever. He’s the best in the world – has a unique brain that rattles off numbers.

There’s a parallelism that resonates here with calorie counting for me, which leads me to this post.

 

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Continue reading “Calorie Counting: Does It Ever Go Away?”

Is Netflix’s ‘To The Bone’ Triggering? Spoiler Alert: Yes, But Life Is Triggering

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Been seeing this Netflix movie ‘To The Bone’ anorexia debate flood my social media feed + inbox the past couple weeks, so I watched it yesterday and thought I’d type up a few thoughts.

I liked it.

As unpopular of an opinion as this might be for some, it’s easy to shit on eating disorder movies because there’s so many reasons why they occur. Not all can be covered in 2 hours. What I will say, though, is that I felt. And I appreciated the following attempts:

  • They cast a lead male with an eating disorder in treatment. This would not have been done 10 years ago. Thank you.
  •  Predominately showcased Caucasian females, yes, but they cast at least two minorities (one who identifies with LGBT) as leads with an ED. Thank you.
  • While I would’ve preferred better dialogue on ‘drunkorexia’ or exercise addiction outside of sit ups, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they cast a pregnant girl dealing with pregorexia, a binge eater, and showcased ‘chewing and spitting’. Thank you.
  • Miscarriage scene. Horrifying. It happens. Thank you.
  • They included reference to social media pro-anorexia sites. More people need to understand that they exist in masses, and their kids could be on them. Thank you.
  • ”Calorie Aspergers” may not be PC, but if you have a type of anorexia, you know what they’re talking about. Thank you.
  • They inserted a frustrated sister. Cliche, sure. But, many of us have heard the same from members of our family or friends. Thank you.
  • The movie depicts insurance issues. And the recidivism rate of eating disorders + treatment. Thank you.
  • They showed a group of family members fighting over what to do. Scared. Selfish. Tired of her. Feeling like they did this to their child. Tis’ life. It’s not true. But yes, it’s relatable. Thank you.
  • They exposed manipulations with food. The diet cokes. The smoking. Laxatives. The bags under beds, the sit ups, the arm ring, the cutting off of bread from the fried chicken. Sure, there’s plenty more they could’ve done, but it’s a movie and there isn’t time. Thank you.
  • The stubbornness of these disorders. The habits we create and repeat time and time again. The locked circle. Thank you.

Continue reading “Is Netflix’s ‘To The Bone’ Triggering? Spoiler Alert: Yes, But Life Is Triggering”

A Reminder: Your Eating Disorder Is Boring

Coming out of a minor eating disorder relapse these last couple months, and I went to dinner with a girl who follows my blog this past week: “What made you go?” She asked. “To rehab? Did you have that moment?”
 
I sipped my wine: looked down at 2 tacos in front of me. Sometimes, I wanna have a big, juicy response for that question. Sometimes, I don’t know what to say.
 
I kinda chuckled. “I dunno if I have an answer really,” I said. “I didn’t have that moment – that big climatic scene in a movie. I didn’t have it, and sometimes I feel like I should make one up to feel relevant.”
 
Truth is, though: I’m not the girl Lily Collins is playing in some hyped up Netflix movie about anorexia. I’m not your dying girl on a feeding tube in a hospital.
 
I’m not the girl that people shook their head at in the street, and I wasn’t the girl who had a movie scene moment with an indie one-hit wonder theme.
 
I was just a girl with an eating disorder – and I was simply boring.
 
“I guess it’s that,” I said. “I was bored. I wanted a different story. Got tired of the one I was writing.”
 
I wasn’t dying, but what is being alive glass-eyed? Tripping over your feet? Unaffected unless it directly relates back to calories burned or food lost. Food doesn’t give you love.
 
Saw fields and mountains and beaches for years n’ all I thought was how long I could run them – till every calorie of food was gone.
 
Look at pictures and remember events in my life by what I ate, threw up, or didn’t eat. “Ah yes, that picture. I had just hidden grape leaves in my back packet. Smushed them later in the car when I sat down. Smelled rank.”
 
“I guess I just eventually got bored enough to ask myself ‘what else is there?’ I ended up saying. “And that was enough for me. Eating disorders are boring. People grow tired of you. You get tired of yourself; sit in the same 8-10 revolving thoughts all day. I was just … I was tired of feeling nothing.”
 
I wanted something else to live for. I wanted to cry again; like big ole’ tears. And laugh the most genuine of my 7 laughs (still have them). I wanted to have shit days and joyful ones – and love affairs that wouldn’t last, and anger. I wanted to go on dates and road trips n’ eat camp food because it’s there. Party till 2am or sit in a lazy river. I wanted to run around at a hot springs or laugh at a meal with girlfriends. I wanted to gossip. Dance. Try some blues moves. Read a novel. Fuck up.
 
I just wanted to be a person who no longer found the word ‘boring’ an acceptable meaning for a life.
 
A lady who lives out of a suitcase – than motionless in a box, eyes wide open – feeling nothing.
 
‘Cause honestly, what woulda’ been the point otherwise? I reminded myself that then: biting down into my tacos – what else is the bloody point?
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“But, The Scale Says I’m Fine”: Gaining Weight With Anorexia

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“But, I’m like, fine now.”

The other day I’m on the phone with my therapist.

“How’s your eating?” She asked – after we covered the mundane and I had no other drama to manipulatively fill the time.

“Better,” I said. “I’m diggin’ outta anorexia part 2. I weigh XXX. Put on some pounds in Mexico on that bachelorette.”

I hear her *harumph* on the phone. (And if you don’t know that sound – familiarize yourself with it immediately.)

“That’s not enough.”

I feel that growing flicker of annoyance in the pit of my stomach. “It’s fine.”

It’s FINE. LEAVE ME ALONE. ALL OF YOU – LEAVE ME ALONE.

“And you were …. how much did you weigh when you were in treatment?”

I tell her. “I don’t want to still be that though. I wasn’t even active then. They wouldn’t let me do shit so it wasn’t fair to say that’s accurate – I knew I’d lose a little. That was 3 years ago.”

“Regardless,” she says. “You’re still xxx off.”

“Yep,” I agree – ornery as eating disorders can be. “Yep, maybe. You might just be damn right.”

WHATCHU GONNA DO ABOUT IT, I want to say.

Instead, I wait.

A chess play. Always a chess play with eating disorders.

“So, what are you gonna do about your meals this week, now that you’re not on vacation?” She asks – which irks me.

WAIT, thought I was CONTROLLING this dialogue.

“Dunno,” I say, nonchalantly. “Do what I’m doing.”

“Skip meals?”

“I’m not. I’m gaining weight. I’m figuring it out.”

“But you’re not making it a priority.”

“That’s fair,” I said. “I don’t care if I gain weight or not. I’d be fine if I stayed this forever.”

“But you know you can’t sustain that?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe,” she says. “Maybe isn’t good enough.”

“Maybe is all that I got sometimes.”

Alex
Mexico!

Continue reading ““But, The Scale Says I’m Fine”: Gaining Weight With Anorexia”

6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse

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Haven’t written in awhile.

Mostly because —  I’ve lost weight — And I don’t know how (nor want) to talk about that.

How do you talk about the reality that’s occurring – and less about the past you can reflect on? (Writing about the past is so much simpler.)

What does it mean when you’re generally “okay” and yet — not being okay?

How do you write for the people you know that read this — put yourself out on the gurney —  and still make it human?

It’s hard to maintain a sense of transparency about your life – while also worrying about what other people will think.

So, I write in this way. In numerical values like this headline — because it seems easier to own.

6 “real” signs of a relapse.

I’m in one – but I’ll dig out of it.

And, I think, while I’m in it — it’s worth shedding light on the little manipulations we use in order to get away with it. Continue reading “6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse”

“If I Eat That, I’ll Have To Work Out”: Exercise With An Eating Disorder

Oh, Exercise. The ultimate double-edged sword of an eating disorder.

 

^BUT MY GOD, HOW CUTE IS THAT?

People ask me every so often “What was the hardest part of rehab?”

Depending on my mood, the answer varies.

“The food, the confinement, the emotion overload, the disparity of sick people… the exercise.”

Ah, the exercise, I always land on – or lack thereof.

3 years ago, I was escorted into rehab (yes, escorted. Two people at each side in the case that I bolted… and ran to the highway? I don’t know where the hell they expected me to go.)

Anyway, I remember looking around the vast expanse of my prison-like surroundings, and spotting what looked like a runner’s path.

Circular, brown dirted and perfectly suited to run on during what I assumed would be many hard days ahead, I was relieved to see this silver lining.

“YOU CAN TAKE MY BODY, BUT YOU CAN NEVER TAKE MY FREEDOM (TO EXERCISE)” – the William Wallace inside of me screamed. (Side note: Braveheart, oddly enough, happened to be a fan favorite to watch while in rehab. We were banned from all trash television, as well as any movie baring nudity of any sort – but yet, somehow, Braveheart slipped the radar.)

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As it goes.

Continue reading ““If I Eat That, I’ll Have To Work Out”: Exercise With An Eating Disorder”

The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

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This sentence helped take away 8 years and 40lbs of my life – and I’m reposting it here today because in light of NEDA week, I think it’s a reminder to anybody searching for resources on the internet.

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

Such a simple few words. We say it all the time.

Continue reading “The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder”

5 Things You Need to Know About Eating Disorders & Your Heart

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Originally seen on SheKnows.com

5 Truths You Need to Know About Eating Disorders and Your Heart

Here’s the truth about eating disorders: we are often uneducated as to their risks.

Sure, we “know” they are detrimental, but when I struggled for 8 years I had no real awareness as to what type of bodily harm I inflected on my organs.

I noticed the physical effects: thinning hair, sallow eyes, and stress fractures from running. I observed the light-headedness and fainting spells, but I never took time to explore what that meant internally, especially for my heart.

Now in recovery from my eating disorder, I spent time speaking with cardiologists and medical professionals around the country to learn more about the harmful effects that eating disorders can have on your organs – specifically, your heart.

Here’s what they had to share: Continue reading “5 Things You Need to Know About Eating Disorders & Your Heart”

“Can You Grab My Spanx?”: Weddings With An Eating Disorder

 

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Wedding season.

… We’ve all been there – or will be there – and once you do, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Picture this:

It’s the weekend of your best friend’s wedding and you’re a bridesmaid.

You’re back at your parents house; surrounded by crinkled pictures, dolls in plastic bins, old love notes from high school boyfriends that you refuse to throw out (even if they’re all married with a kid on the way; nostalgia is a real disease), and a high school Geography and Algebra book you never returned.

You’ve just showered: the fumes of yesterday’s spray tan wafting through your nose. Your hair is up in some makeshift form, water running down your back, and a towel wrapped loosely around your chest.

You’re hunched over childhood chest of drawers.

Where the hell is it? You’re wondering, tossing aside a neon yellow tank top you bought in Costa Rica on your Senior trip.

You push around an oversized college t-shirt, a ragged spaghetti top, and some winter Long-Johns your mom bought one Christmas that you never wore them. (They’re polka dot for Christ’s sake).

You sigh. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME I WORE THOSE BLOODY SPANX, You’re now chastising yourself – moving on from the Long-Johns.

Kim’s wedding? Amanda’s? April’s?

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Continue reading ““Can You Grab My Spanx?”: Weddings With An Eating Disorder”