In December 2013, I was gearing up to go to treatment in Florida after 8 years of living in the eating disorder cycle.
In my mind, I had this notion that rehab was gonna be this all-knowing descent into radical self realization.
More or less, I expected to come out of it being Basic B*tch Gandhi… or at the very least, Mother Teresa’s sinful pseudo-daughter. Meditating on the reg – zen-like in feeling, and – of course – still thin because in my jacked up head I thought the weight I felt was “extra” was only there because I binge ate about as much as I starved.
First things first – I think I’ve coined this whole “leftover anorexia” term and I’m feeling called to take a moment here to chuckle at my own irony. (Is it irony? Leftover? Like … leftovers. Like, food. Get it? Oh God, I know. Lame. Possibly insensitive.)
But, it’s another one of those eating disorder topics that seems to be difficult to acknowledge – though my guess is quite a few of us struggle with it.
I’ve written quite a bit about cooking over the years.
From the days of meal planning post-rehab (that lasted all of a month) to New York small apartment cooking (that also lasted approximately 22 days) to Grub Hub’ing (more often than not) to cooking meat for the first time (disaster) to present day Hello Fresh meal plan subscriptions, I’ve phased through it all – which led me to this post, and a comforting realization.
Saturday morning, I woke up in one of those frenzied moods, shoving the comforter back so forcibly that my dog jumped up in fright.
I HAVE X, X, AND X TO DO, I announced aloud, leaping up to brush my teeth – as though I was about to set out to save the world from the Bubonic Plague (or Trump.)
Comin’ off 10 days on the east coast – and booooooy did I miss my NYC life.
Sometimes, I don’t know why I left. Sometimes, I know exactly why. It’s a forever battle – so I’m forewarning you that you’re probably about to see an excessive amount of NYC pics.
Every week, I receive a message along the lines of “HAAAAALP. I’m so and so and I have an eating disorder. New to recovery, I’d like to start writing about it. I want to help people and feel like I need that community. How’d you do it?”
In pure honesty, I rarely answer these emails or DMs. Not because I don’t appreciate them – but because it’s quite difficult to pinpoint or understand exactly why my blog seems to resonate with people. If I do answer, I usually say something along the cheesedick, admittedly unhelpful line of “I was lucky – and I wrote with little regard to other people because I didn’t actually think other people would read it. That, in turn, made all the difference.”
Have any of you – out there blogging in the universe – ever noticed how bloody difficult it is to start a post?
This clearly has nothing to do with what I’m about to delve into, but I noticed that I spent like 30 minutes trying to come up with some “catchy” intro – only to land here – admitting my utter defeat to the intro paragraph.
I lothe introductions and pleasantries. So, Happy Sunday – all the jazz. Hope it’s been a good one. Etc. Etc.
Now, let’s proceed:
DISCLAIMER: I’m covering a topic today that I’ve never seen mentioned in the eating disorder world, and I’m interested to see how you respond. Bash it, critique it, relate to it, I’m open to all feedback (except, like, hateful 1,000-character rants. Then, I’ll just stop reading and repeat over and over to myself “people will love and hate you and none of it has anything to do with you.”)
Anyway, there’s this cultural mantra we live by: “80/20 dieting.” Goes something like – you eat “clean” (i.e. arbitrary set of often mishmashed food rules) through the week, and then you can go ape-shit on the weekend and eat whatever mounds of processed crap you feel like consuming.
*Currently listening to: Michael Franti & Spearhead – Hey Hey Hey*
I have this tendency to write with a specific “flavor of the week” song on repeat (I try headphones so my partner doesn’t feel like he’s being sound-waterboarded lolz.)
Thought I’d start noting them in the case that you have interest in listening to my beats – or relate to the music.
This song’s got me in one of those evening shines.
“You gotta live for the one that you love you know You gotta love for the life that you live you know”
Oh Michael Franti, you’re a babe. Going to see him June 1st at Red Rocks, which is the most magical music pavilion in all the USA land.
Anyway, I digress.
Last week, NEDA published a letter I wrote to kick off Eating Recovery Center’s #MyRecoveryLetter campaign for Eating Recovery Day. (More details on the campaign here…. also, how many times can I use the word ‘recovery’ in two sentences?)
It reminded me: sometimes, I think one of the only reasons I’ve remained so dedicated to writing is the accountability it forces me to maintain.