What it is like not to have an eating disorder anymore

For one thing, I am not afraid of food. I’m not afraid of any specific foods nor of food in general. I’m no longer afraid to walk into a grocery store. I do read labels, but only because I cannot eat salt so I need to check the sodium content. I usually do not even notice the number of calories in a serving, only the sodium. Sodium matters due to a real, extremely serious and possibly life-shortening, physical health condition that I have that was caused by psychiatric drugs.

I was never one to mirror-gaze. Not that I am afraid to see myself in the mirror. It’s just that I never did look at myself very often. I never fit that stereotype of the anorexic who spends hours self-criticizing or pinching herself in the mirror. I’ve always thought that doing that was on the vain side  (not to claim that anyone who does is vain!).

To me, clothes are to keep me warm or to protect me from the elements. Nothing else. So I don’t wear frills, nor lacy things, nor spaghetti-string tops. I never did. I find such clothes impractical. I might go back to makeup, though, now that I don’t have to wear glasses. I don’t want to look like my face is painted like a clown face, though, and I know if I wear makeup it’ll look that way since I’m terribly out of practice trying to put it on. Correspondingly, I have no tattooes. Nothing in that sense changed.

I can make any recipe I want without fear. I no longer say to myself, “Oh my god, I can’t eat that, it’ll make me fat!” I do often say, “Wow, I am hungry.” Even very very hungry sometimes.

I can keep food in the house without worry that I might binge on it. Any kind of food. But many foods I don’t keep around since I don’t have much use for them or I can’t eat them at all, for instance, pizza or potato chips. Actually I have a couple of large bags of chips sitting in the basement and I don’t know what to do with them! Maybe they’ve gone bad.

I went up a size or two. Not a lot, since I am not very tall.  I don’t worry about sizes anymore. My boyfriend, who does not know my history, said I was “perfectly proportioned.” Is that a compliment?  I suspect so. He said a few other things, too.

I can’t believe all the years that food shopping was scary. Decades of fear. I remember I was afraid to eat in a restaurant. I just ate at one last night and they made my meal totally from scratch and without salt! I avoid restaurants due to the cost,not because of “ED,” but I don’t mind going if cost isn’t a factor, if I am attending a buffet event or if someone else takes me out.

I am able to find something on the menu that isn’t salty. I’m very fussy about no salt, but I don’t make a stink of it, I just very quietly order the non-salty option. Believe it or not, French Fries usually come unsalted, or you can say, “No salt please.”

Other than sodium, I don’t have taboo foods. There are a few things I just plain do not like. Okra. I don’t like okra. Is not liking okra an eating disorder? Okraphobia? Please, please, put that one in the DSM, just for me, and give me a great drug for it!

If anyone asks me about the No Salt rule, my reasoning is that I want to live. This isn’t some taboo because of trendiness nor because all my friends are doing it nor because it’s “clean” to eat no salt. I’m doing it because I don’t want to die young. I’m only 60 and insanely healthy and I want to stay that way!

“Clean eating” is insanity. Food is full of bugs! It’s full of yeast-type bugs, and in fact, mushrooms are fungi! Food grows out of the dirt! We are dust! If we didn’t have bugs inside us we’d die.

There’s dust in the air, dust on our clothes…Oh please, get over it……

There’s no such thing as Perfect Eating either. If humans are imperfect, so are their epicurean habits. So are all their habits. We fuck up daily. Celebrate!

Have you ever gone halfway through the day only to figure out your shirt was inside-0ut? Celebrate! Are your socks mismatched? Celebrate! Have you ever smashed up your car? Celebrate! I hope you were insured, but sorry to say, we don’t have sock insurance. Or you can do as I do….Wear white ankle socks!  They’re fool-proof!

We do not have eating insurance, either. You don’t get a payoff every time you mess up. In fact, we shouldn’t define anything as “messing up” except the time you spill cherry pie on your white shirt.

You may have a spare white shirt, but we do not have spare bodies. Why waste your body on an ED when life is too much fun! Enjoy it! So if you do indeed spill cherry pie all over yourself, laugh!

Now mind you, I spent over three decades immersed in ED, and now, I’m ED-free and extremely thrilled.

You may, or may not, know it when you get there. It might creep up on you. You might wake up one day and realize you don’t have an ED anymore. Or the freedom may hit you like you just ran into a brick wall.

I don’t think in terms of “recovery” at all. All I know is that I feel very solid within myself, very centered and happy. Happiness doesn’t depend on another person, nor on what I weigh, nor on which clothes fit, nor on what the scale says. It’s there to begin with, solid inside me, part of who I am. That’s a very good feeling, by the way.

 

2 thoughts on “What it is like not to have an eating disorder anymore”

    1. Yes, there’s an entry on that from about a week ago. I know you were away but notifications were not sent out and so readership went down the tubes. Go check out what you may have missed.

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