I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Achievement Unlocked: Eating with an Eating Disorder


As I sit here with a belly that is nourished and a sense of satisfaction with myself that I haven’t known in some time I have to recognize how difficult things most folks take for granted are. I have anorexia. I’ve had it since I was sixteen. When my PTSD, anxiety or depression symptoms arise, the first thing out the window is my appetite. Stress gives me stomach issues, too. If you’ve read any of my last few posts you know already that I’m going through some tough times on my own. I haven’t mentioned my eating disorder because, well, let’s face it, most folks are less than sympathetic about a fat girl not eating, myself included (internalized fat hate, much?!). It’s a shame spiral, for sure. It’s something I couldn’t even admit to myself until I went to an eating disorder (henceforth: ED) workshop at the NoLose conference in 2013. I mean, I knew, I’ve always known, but also, whoa “that’s not me” until you can’t pretend anymore. I wasn’t put on this planet to pretend.

When I am feeling my best it is almost as though I don’t have an ED and go about my life like everyone else*. Sure, I’ll forget to eat breakfast or skip an occasional meal for various reasons, normal. It is when something feels very wrong and out of my control that my ED creeps back and takes over. It happens so smoothly and quickly and usually I don’t notice until I’m in pain or dizzy-shaky and unable to go on without the fuel my brain and body needs. Yes, intellectually I know it is in my head. Intellectually I know there is no moral value in food. I know that my brain and body need fuel to function properly. Big ole Duh! Buuuuut anxiety, depression and PTSD are not the most intellectual company to keep, shall we say. Ugh!

Yeah, here I am admitting that I have an eating disorder and the first thing I have to say in this post is about my full (but not unpleasantly so) belly. The thing is, when I was a vegetarian I had to eat better. This wasn’t a health or moral thing, more just something I needed to do (for five years ha-ha!). I learned to cook as a result of that transition. I had to eat more, too, which was kind of a head trip. My doctor at the time supported me so long as I kept mindful of how I felt and tried to get all of the nutrients I could (this is quite difficult and thus why I slowly re-incorporated meat into my diet). I still had an eating disorder then, but mostly only when I wasn’t home. Being at home felt like I could control things and thus I felt more able and willing to cook and eat. I soon enjoyed cooking! I learned to substitute and improvise and was reminded of this currently underused skill last night.

A Facebook friend who is also a fat writer/blogger posted this article about how cooking isn’t nearly as difficult as people make it out to be and to forget all of that and just try some shit. And you know what? It’s super fucking right!!! I struggled when I moved into my last house with my awesome roommate to cook for myself except on very rare occasions. I think part of that struggle was having a shared space and not feeling comfortable with it being a spectator event. I’ve been in my new solo space for 2.5 months now and have only cooked on my stove three times. The first time I made turkey tacos and felt like a damned rock star for having finally cooked (that was about three weeks ago)!

That article and a PDF I downloaded for free online (“Good & Cheap” recipes for eating on $4 a day) and reading through the recipes and thoughts behind staples and leftovers and suddenly I felt inspired. But then I had to go to bed! Ha ha! But today as I applied to job after job after job, ad nauseam, I began to feel weak and faint and checked the time and instantly had that usual ED moment, “I could probably not eat for another hour or so…” and then I tried to think about what I might be willing to eat. I always have nuts and pickles and string cheese on hand for such moments but then that article popped back into my head and said, “Fuck it!” quite loudly and startled the puggo awake! Oops!

I grabbed some things out of my fridge and headed for my tiny counter top. It was so simple and I don’t know why I never buy eggs or try to cook during the day ever, but I am so glad that I did! I feel like I really overcame something today. What did I make? I made scrambled eggs, basically. Well, my bf has been buying these pasteurized “liquid eggs” in a small carton for awhile and loves the convenience of them, so I bought some last week. I slapped a small pad of butter into my beloved green frying pan (it used to be “As seen on TV” but I got it at Ross for $8) and turned on the gas. I chopped some cherub tomatoes and green onions and poured some eggs into the pan, salt & pepper and stirred with my red with white polka dots rubber spatula (having the right tools does make anything easier). I sprinkled a tablespoon of shredded cheese onto the eggs and turned off the burner. I slipped the eggs onto a small plate, folded the onions and tomato into it and blopped some sour cream on top. While this cooked I had two slices of sourdough in my toaster. I buttered those bad boys and cut them into four (I find cutting into smaller, finger food sized pieces helps me) and plopped them on the place and garnished, I guess, with two baby kosher dill pickles.


That’s it! So quick, like 3 minutes total! And I feel so satisfied. I can’t even describe it. It’s just nice. I never cook eggs and go through phases where I can’t stand them, but this was different. This was no rules, no one watching, on my own terms, smothered in veggies “Sarah Scramble!” and I fucking loved it! The different textures were nice rather than confusing or annoying. And since I did it myself I could make sure they didn’t get overcooked (the worst)! Ohmigosh! A revelation! I know how that sounds, but truly I have had some bad fucking times and I needed a little self victory moment, ya know? And damn was that shit hella good! Whew!

This past Monday I was having a very bad ED day and it was after 4pm as I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and happened upon this image:

Screenshot 2015-09-25 at 3.38.35 PM

And I thought for a moment and then got right up, went to my fridge and grabbed the last three of those baby kosher dill pickles (I like Clausen brand but if you have a fave do share!) and it was true! I felt better and then had some nuts and string cheese and orange juice. Not a meal, but it was nourishment that I needed. I was battling the worst demons in my head and without seeing that image I don’t know that I would have eaten at all that day and only the universe knows how awful that is for my mental symptoms. When I finally made it to the grocery store on Wednesday you better believe I bought another jar of those pickles! I think I will always have some on hand because of this and also because I have some very fond childhood memories of my siblings and I giggles and munching beside that giant pickle jar my dad got at Costco.

I also bought stuff to make turkey tacos again, stocked up on beans and am excited to be nourishing myself without help. I’ve never lived alone, so not having those external cues is extra hard. Being mindful of how I’m feeling and actually listening to, instead of ignoring, my body’s cues and reminding myself how important that is, I know is what I need. Staying hydrated I finally got down after years of not at all (my friends see me as the hydration police but I’m okay with that). This is simply another step, another lesson and hey, another victory on my journey.

Rad fatty love and tacos to you,

*Isn’t it funny how we view “everyone else” as something wholly different, better and separate from ourselves? *Sigh*

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