food:: sanctioned anorexia

I like food, and I can admit it freely.  I am a control freak, and I can also admit to that. I am also a recovered anorexic.  If you have ever had anorexia touch your life, you know that it is not only about food, but that it is motivated by control.   My anorexia was halted by the news that I was pregnant in 1996.  For as much as I was an inner train-wreck at that time, I could at least look past my own neurosis to realize I had to eat for this baby’s sake.  So I ate.  A lot.  I gained 50 lbs. to make sure my child would be born healthy.  I had an excuse to control my eating in the polar opposite direction to give this child a healthy start in life.  And it worked.  I let go of the self-imposed stigma pertaining to eating, and I let go of the unhealthy obsession with being coat-hanger thin.  Once this little boy started to eat real food, I had to finally cook.  It’s really easy to not learn to cook when you don’t ever bother to eat more that a saltine cracker or 2, and a glass of milk every day.

The problem was that while I cooked healthy food for my little family, I began to eat in larger quantities than ever before in my life.  I gave myself permission to overeat on a regular basis and ended up getting way too heavy to feel good about myself.  For 16 years now, I have been overweight.  I have also been afraid to lose that weight.  Know why?  Yup, you guessed it.  I still have panic attacks and control freak issues.  This means that I am afraid to diet because I will end up right back where I started.  I don’t want that.  I have told myself for these past 16 years that I would rather be fat and happy than thin and miserable.  It stops me dead in my tracks every time.

My New Year’s resolutions for 2011 and 2012 both included trying to lose 1 pound per month.  I figured if I did it the slow and steady route, I wouldn’t land myself back in Anorexiaville.   That calculated move worked to a degree.  Over the first year, I actually lost 14lbs.  Yay for me!  During 2012 it didn’t work out so well.  I merely held steady over the year and contemplated Weight Watchers, or Zoomba, or something to jump start it again without going overboard.  But when I would make the effort to try one, Anorexiaville keep throwing up these huge flashy billboards, and arrows pointing to JUST STOP EATING banners.  I always look away quickly and then go find the chocolate chip cookies.

When 2013 rolled around, I made the resolution to give it another try.  It hasn’t been working out so well.  And now we are drawing to a close on the year, and I’m trying to decide a new approach.  I’ve been looking into lots of diets; Paleo, Vegan, Clean Eating, South Beach, Weight Watchers…I just want to change my life not follow someone’s dogma.  So I’m throwing that all out and starting over.

Simple calorie counting.  There’s an app for that.

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yarnchick40

madly, passionately in love with yarn

22 thoughts on “food:: sanctioned anorexia”

  1. You are one brave cookie…yes I used a food reference…but it’s my attempt at making you smile. This post was so brave…and it’s the first giant step in a good direction. You will succeed….Go past Anorexiaville, do not collect $200 and hold that head high!

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  2. I think that dieting sends the message to your brain/body of deprivation. Maybe a new way to approach it would something like, “I could have a handful of cookies, or I could have a yummy natural piece of fruit, etc.” Also, it can fun to find cookie recipe alternatives. So, instead of using butter, use safflower oil. The cookies taste even better, in my opinion.

    Everyone has their own brand of beauty, and all the crappy advertiser/media/Hollywood people photoshop and refinish so much it probably even makes the models uncomfortable. Cindy Crawford stated in an interview that after seeing the refinished and touched up pics of herself, that she wished she looked like Cindy Crawford.

    I don’t even look at that mess anymore. I don’t care being Barbie, and never will be! So, I will eat what I want with tweaks to recipes, just being happy and healthy!

    Oh, the beautiful yarn you sent me has been transformed into a shawl based on the half granny square. I will get a pic ASAP! Thank you so much for the yarn!!

    Keep shining!

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  3. As a recovered bulimic, I understand your struggles all too well. My issue was the belief that I was not entitled to my feelings–therefore I
    “stuffed” them back down inside. Once I grew to realize that it is perfectly all right to experience ALL human emotions–the negative as well as the positive–I began to recover. I learned that it is not one’s feelings that are the problem, but how one handles them. Once I began to learn how to be assertive, I stopped “swallowing” my feelings and my self esteem began to improve. It is still difficult sometimes. The book “Feeding the Hungry Heart” by Geneen Roth helped me a lot.

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  4. So, I think your friend ZxMarty (above) hit the nail on the head. I’ve had a similarly tumultuous relationship with food over the years, it really only ended when I grew into myself and got happy being me. It’s become such a cornball cliche, but there’s no other way to say this – You have to love yourself as you are. Easy to say, hey! Love you 🙂

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  5. I have never dared let my weight creep up too much and I go off food when I am unhappy which helps but I would say smaller portions and exercise are better than fancy diets. Reducing intake by 100 calories is supposed to let you lose a lb a week. Research the foods to eat that mean you won’t feel hungry while cutting down – like fibre. Good Luck with losing weight!

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  6. Weight Watchers is great because you can still eat whatever you want, just in moderation. When I was follow it, I found I still had points to spend at the end of the day. I got really creative with salads. Not just the blah lettuce, cucumber, and tomato salad, but hearty, full of stuff salads. Nuts, fancy cheese, even fruit mixed in. When it comes to exercise, choose something that is fun and doesn’t feel like exercise. Zumba and other dance workouts are soo fun that you don’t realize you are burning hundreds of calories. These types of “tricks” make it easier because you don’t feel like you are on a diet or try to lose weight. Also, if you involve a friend in the classes, it will be even more fun.

    Good luck with whatever path you choose. 🙂

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  7. I have not had anorexia but i have had issues with food. Once I gave up trying to ‘loose weight’ and focused on being healthy ie. only putting good things into my mouth I started to loose weight. Before I put anything into my mouth I asked myself whether this was really the best food to fuel my body. Be the best you not the thinnest you! Good luck x

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