Saturday, I texted my mom at 1:25pm.
“I’m not eating well today. Idk what my deal is I’m so bingey. All I want is all the cereal in the world.”
She called soon after and asked if I’d like to “talk it out,” but the truth I didn’t tell her, and only admitted to my best friend later- is that I’d already devoured 2 boxes of cereal over the past 2 days.
…Even writing just that, I almost lied and put 3 days instead of 2 so that whoever reading this wouldn’t think it was as bad as the reality is for me and cereal, even now 2 years into recovery.
This last week or so has not been stellar in terms of my binge eating. I go months and months without touching trigger foods, but what inevitably happens is that I convince myself I’m “fine” (like Ross in Friends when Rachel and Joey start dating “fine”) and fall right back down the rabbit hole of my own ED delusion.
…Because, likely, if you have an eating disorder you love Thanksgiving- but hate Thanksgiving food.
Personally, I have no problem admitting I am the scrooge of Thanksgiving (okay, fine. And Halloween… Costumes and Body Dysmorphia just DO NOT fly with me no matter if I dress like a slutty nurse or a Pentecostal nun.)
Give me your pilgrims, your Indians, your Thanksgiving Charlie Brown VHS, The corporate Vacation Days, Family small talk, The sweet smell of doughy rolls-
But my God, keep your stuffing, your pecan pie, your cranberry sides, your corn pudding like 1000 feet away from me.
There are times I wish I could use a get-out-of-jail-free card on my eating disorder; Thanksgiving is one of them.
If it were up to me, I’d sit at the ”kid table” far far away from the buffet of food and play airplane while someone feeds me a spoonful of carrot mash alongside my cousin’s 1-year old.
Alas, recovery- however- doesn’t exactly approve of carrot mash (although it might just be the ONE food item I actually don’t know the calorie count on…)
Anywho, despite my silent protesting- Thanksgiving feast occurs again- as it did last year and the year before etc., etc.
“I can’t even tell that you have one.”
This sentence helped take away 8 years and 40lbs of my life.
Such a simple few words. We say it all the time.
“Oh, you’ve gained weight? Couldn’t tell.”
“You’re hungover? Couldn’t tell.”
“Wait, I don’t see any zit on your chin? What are you talking about?”
“You got a haircut? Sorry, didn’t notice.”
We’re human. Our sensors are overloaded by stigma. We don’t always notice much outside of our peripheral.
It’s okay, and likely for the good of mankind… But, to someone with an eating disorder- that sentence is a trap.
That sentence is what continues to breakdown conversation for someone who may need the professional help that our country can provide.
1. (Said while eating a meal) “It’s such a relief to see you eating again…. (pause)… You look so healthy.”
*Clammers Fork onto Plate*
…Never eats again.
2. “Was it the media? IT WAS THE MEDIA. Don’t believe the media – they’re airbrushed you know?! Those models aren’t even real.”
… Yes thank you, we too know about Photoshop. Continue reading “7 Things People Say About Eating Disorders That You ”Can’t Even””
7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery:
(Because there ain’t no sense lying about it) Continue reading “7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery”
Last week, I went on a business trip to Idaho and had a full out ED panic in the airport.
Wednesday- 7am in the morning – JFK Terminal 2-
And there I am pacing the airport halls like an Eating Disorder secret service agent.
WHAT DO I EAT? WHERE?
WHAT TIME IS IT?
7?!?!?! 7:00AM. 7 O’CLOCK.
(I CAN’T EAT YET.)
BUT YES, LINDSEY, YES YOU CAN.
(YOU’LL BE HUNGRY BY 11)
WHO CARES IF YOU’RE HUNGRY BY 11-
(SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE)
YOU’RE HUMAN AND YOU HAVE TO EAT.
(NOT TILL 12)
JUST EAT SOMETHING AND MOVE ON.
Bagel? I thought, peering towards the cafe beside me.
NO- TOO MUCH TOO SOON.
Croissant? I said aloud, feeling my mouth salivating.
Bagon, egg, and cheese biscuit? I mumbled, pushing forward- past my gate.
GROSS – IT’S NOT EVEN EGG WHITE
Hudson News store? I can grab granola in the bag.
NO- binge food! I corrected, moving past.
Are you even hungry- or just feeling hungry because you’re awake?
I try hard to feel one with my stomach – and fail.
I turn the halls and start back up the line, past the Hudson store, the croissants, the Sausage, egg, and cheese burritos.
Coffee- I decide- veering towards the Starbucks.
WAIT- NO, I say- veering out.
Coffee just helps me not eat.
Throw my bag on the ground.
Throw a mini emotional tantrum in my head.
I’m a hamster on a wheel.
Go back to my seat- sit down – self-deprecate.
Text my therapist.
Start over again.
Start over again and again and again.
One foot in front of the other.
I lop back down the hall.
Sigh for being so difficult.
Sigh because it’s never easy.
Grab a coffee-
“Tall, please” I say.
Find a granola bar. A banana.
A Chobani yogurt.
I walk back towards the gate.
I’m okay, I remind myself.
I think about the hiking I’ll do in Idaho.
You’re fine dude, I think.
I think about how fortunate I am to be in an airport traveling.
I sit down and eat.
I think about all the times I traveled and sipped coffee.
All the views I missed because I was thinking of hunger.
One bite after another, one meal at a time.
I move on with my day.
Every now and then, I have a moment that I think to myself “my God- that must be what recovery is.”
Today, walking with my coworker- complaining about our long meetings, our torrid love lives, our mid-20s crisis-ing – she stopped mid-sentence- 5:45pm- and said “Yo I need a hot dog.”
“Huh?” I said, making a face.
“I need a hot dog,” she said, crossing toward the vendor. “We’ve passed like 5 stands and I want one.”
Standing there in Central Park, I watched her order a hot dog- mustard included- nonchalance on her face- and I had a moment that I thought to myself- “Shit, this must be what it’s like to grab food when you want it.”
For 8 years, I’ve passed fro-yo shops, 1$ pizza slices, croissants, muffins, falafel vendors- and thought “you want- but you can’t.”
1 year later- I still have moments that I want sometimes and think “Nah- it’s not time, you can’t eat till this time or that.”
It resonated today- such a simple act- because I think, mostly, that being free is allowing yourself the spontaneity of a hot dog. And I’d love to do that some day.
I can eat a handful of chips- a Dunkin Donut hole- a granola bar- even some Welch fruit snacks
But the awareness of it never leaves me- even now.
They teach you in rehab to listen to yourself.
To listen to your hunger cues- your stomach. Your intuition.
But what they can’t teach you is self-respect.
And that’s what lends you your ability to trust your intuitions- whatever they may be.
To trust your cues
And maybe I realize some days, that I am still working on that.
Spontaneous hot dogs people- it’s the small things in life.