Here’s a little dose of reality for you…
I suffer, on and off, from disordered eating. That’s something that people don’t like to be described by, something people don’t want to talk about, and something that people can’t believe unless they go through it. It’s a real thing that people live with everyday, and I’m here to add a different perspective on it.
I can not categorize myself as bulimic or anorexic. Neither of those are eating disorders that I have. Actually, to be quite frank, I don’t have an eating disorder at all. If you look at my first sentence, I said I suffer from disordered eating and not an eating disorder. I can feel the confusion set into pretty much everyone reading this blog, while they simultaneously wrack their brain for some grasp on “how does someone suffer from disordered eating and not an eating disorder”, as well as “you don’t LOOK like you’re suffering”. (Which is pretty much the worst thing you can say to ANYONE suffering, from depression or anxiety, to food disorders… Just never actually tell someone that they don’t look like it.)
So, what’s wrong with you?
Basically, to put my disordered eating into perspective, I have an unhealthy relationship with food- where I don’t see it as food. I don’t see food as fuel, I don’t see food as a flavor or a taste, and I don’t see it as any type of enjoyment. Most of the time, I look at food and see it as a number. This is a pretty common thing to develop when you lose a significant amount of weight, and some people move on from it- I, on the other hand, did not.
When I see a box of Cheez-its, for example, I do not see them as a cheese cracker (which tastes AMAZING). I see it as 28 grams of this food, accounts for 150 calories, which needs to been taken away from the 1,400 calories I’m eating today. This happens with almost everything I put into my body. Another example, in “eating out”… I love french fries- so when I go out to eat, I order them. General rule of thumb is french fries are about 450 calories per side- and very easy to work in my day’s worth of food. When I lived at home, it was an easy thing to keep in control. I worked on my feet in every single job, so if I wanted to sit down and eat 23 pieces of Mike & Ikes for 220 calories, it was an easy treat. I had a balance on what I ate, and worked out regularly, so I lost weight. While I saw food as numbers, the numbers kept a balance, and I had control on it so to speak. This didn’t work when I moved, and was standing for maybe an hour a day- total. Therefore, the numbers got more important to me, because I needed to stay within a box- and I wasn’t talking about a 480 calorie box of macaroni and cheese. You see, you get to a point where you let those numbers define you, and dictate your day, which ends up being totally worse.
When I’m struggling with weight, and I turn to food, I try to ignore my inner monologue telling me to stop eating the cake that Dylan just ordered at Buffalo Wild Wings, because it’s 800 calories. Instead, I just get frustrated with myself because I’m trying to NOT live my life looking at food as a number, and eat more of it than I would have if I was just going to share it- ultimately resulting in my heart winning over my head, and I’ll end up gaining weight from it. (Read that again. Read that run on sentence again. Literally, that is a REAL LIFE scenario. I’m nuts. I’m literally crazy) It’s like I’m playing a game of tennis, and no one ends up winning the match. I either don’t eat, because I see the food as a number- or I overeat, trying to prove to myself I can do what I want, and gain the weight I never wanted in the first place.
It’s hard to find a balance.
If nothing else, I’ve always been honest on the internet. My life isn’t glamorous, and my 100 pound weight loss brought me so much more drama than I ever needed it to. While I love being in my skin, at a smaller size, it’s been a learning experience to be able to sit down an enjoy a meal. I probably could have kept all of this to myself (which I pretty much have for the last five years), but I know that many people struggle with eating disorders, and so many other people struggle with disordered eating without even realizing it. Being honest about my struggle, is here to add some, zero calorie, food for thought. If you’ve been struggling with your body image, the food you’re eating, or viewing food differently, I’d suggest clicking HERE, HERE, or HERE for more information on eating disorders and disordered eating. Part of me is fascinated at this world of how people view food, but none of me in embarrassed that i don’t see food normally. In fact, most of me is proud that I feel like I have a platform to share about it.
Some days are amazing, and I eat and enjoy my food. (or at least do my best to) Other days, like today, I realize that the three cookies from Mcdonald’s were a terrible choice, because they were about 480 calories more than I needed. These are the days when i need someone to vent to about it, and instead of using Dylan as a vocal punching bag for the 393rd time, I turned to the blog.
For real though, this is common. You’re not crazy. This is just another thing your head does, to convince you you’re “different”. You’re not.