Lent with an Eating Disorder

Lentil dish

A lentil dish that I ate out in Oxford

Lent used to be rather simple. Give up candy. Don’t eat sweets. Turn down desserts.

However, anorexia made it more confusing and dangerous. Recovering from that the next few years was difficult but possible. Trying to find a new way to fast that did not include restriction made me creative.

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Why Do Loneliness and Hungry Go Together?

Olaf cupcake

Olaf cupcake

For some reason, certain emotions seem to be linked together more often than others. Happiness and relaxation, sadness and tiredness, stress and irritability.

Another pair that I often link is loneliness and hungry. When I am lonely, I get hungry often. This does not seem uncommon from what I can tell. Others seem to eat when they are lonely or feel unloved.

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Today I Ate Too Much…And That is OK?

Breakfast

Breakfast with my wonderful coworkers

This morning, I had a character breakfast at Ohana which is in the Polynesian resort. Piles of Mickey waffles smothered in syrup, selfies with Lilo, and laughter with friends were well worth the price.

“You will not eat the rest of the day,” I told myself. However, my friend stopped for food in Hollywood Studios. I joined in a bit nervously. After that, there was a College Program party where more pizza was served. Once again, I joined in the festivities, feeling happy but fat.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with BED or Compulsive Overeating Disorders

Mario eating food

Mario eating a S’More

When thinking of eating disorders, most people know about anorexia and bulimia at least by name. However, even more common are disorders that fall under EDNOS or eating disorder not otherwise specified. Two of these are BED  or Binge Eating Disorder and Compulsive Overeating. These are just as painful and certainly dangerous to your emotional, physical, and mental health.

Another hard element of these eating disorders is the judgement that goes with them. All eating disorder are judged, but if you also struggle with being overweight, that makes it even worse. Although most people would not have labeled me as having one of these disorders, I certainly feel like I had them through my teenage years. Some of the comments that I heard have altered my body image and confidence for over a decade now.

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Dark Heart and Dirty Fingers

I must warn you: today was not pretty. Writing a warning label never appealed to me. It seemed silly. However, this post might need that. You could possibly be triggered by this poem.

My heart is hurting so much although talking to my mother and being helped by two dear friends was very beneficial. Thus, totally explaining everything is too much. Here is a poem instead. It is nothing fancy or polished. It simply comes from my raw state of being.

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What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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Top Ten Quotes on Compulsive Over-Eating

Mario eating food

Mario eating a S’More

Even for people aware of eating disorders, compulsive over-eating tends to be forgotten. After all, the danger appears to be less if someone is eating and keeping the down the food. However, the agony of this mental illness is just as real as are the medical consequences. Heightened blood pressure, diabetes, loss of mobility, and depression are just a few of the conditions that can accompany compulsive over-eating.

Instead of seeing this type of eating disorder as less important, we should try to support and understand those who struggle with it. For years, this plagued me. The result was deep self-hatred, poor body image, and longing to starve myself. Obviously this disorder is a serious problem and not something to belittle or criticize.

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Fat Talk Scarily Becomes Easier

Looking in the MirrorThrough my teenage years, I never engaged in fat talk. After all, why draw more attention to my disgusting body? When other girls complained about their appearance, I cringed inside because I knew that they were healthy while I was obese.

However, anorexia and losing weight has made talking negatively about my body easier. Scarily, each day this talk becomes even more simple. Now, I can spout out the very language I hated other people saying. Worse yet, there are sometimes people who weigh more than me in the room. I am, in fact, becoming the very person that hurt me growing up without ever intending to be cruel.

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How Big is a Binge?

Eating a chocolate egg

Eating a candy in Oxford

Often, I write on the bottom of my food logs for my dietitian “felt like a binge.”

Binges terrify me partially because I used to struggle with them. Restricting is awful, but eating out of control large amounts filled me with anguish instead of fixing my issues. Going back to that lifestyle still scares me.

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Happy Birthday to Me!

On the bridge in Bath
On the bridge in Bath

On the covered bridge in Bath which is one of the two in Europe to have shops on it

Today I turned 23. Wow, that number makes me feel so old. That might sound silly, but I feel like I should be done with school and moving on with my life. Perhaps I should be engaged or in a serious relationship. My job should be more professional and sophisticated.

Anyway, I am trying to remember that I am on a different path than the typical 23-year-old. By the way, who really is that typical young adult? Could I meet them? Everyone is unique and has a different life journey. Fitting into certain boxes because of our age does not work always.

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