Wednesday, 27 May 2009

I...Love Food

It seems to be a fairly common misconception that people with eating disorders hate eating. I can only speak for myself, but I have never hated eating. The thoughts/feelings that arose from it (about myself), yes, but not eating itself. I love food and always have. I have never enjoyed the sensation of hunger (which is probably partly why I chose starving myself as a "coping mechanism?)

When I was 13, I vowed to never again say out loud, "I'm hungry". To do so meant admitting that I had needs and wants which I would far rather have ignored. I have had many a heated argument with people who suggested that I was hungry- me? NO WAY. I didn't want to show what I felt was a sign of weakness/lack of control. I secretly loved being in hospital where I was forced to eat because FINALLY I had the 'permission' to eat that I didn't feel worthy of giving myself.

I don't know quite when this changed but it most definitely has. I think a lot of it has come from reading blogs and seeing that eating is not only essential to health/life, but also a great source of pleasure and interest for a lot of people. I know there are a lot of people who struggle with finding a healthy relationship with food/their bodies, and I'm still working on that. But I am no longer scared to admit to being hungry, to needing food, to needing anything. It's not a sign of weakness or greed- it's part of being human.

Part of me feels like this is just too good to be true. That it is just a matter of time before I start spiralling downwards again- but the bigger/stronger part of me is thrilled at the thought of never having to starve myself again. And I DON'T have to. I like to eat and I want to live, so there's nothing to be negotiated further. ("Mmmmkay, anorexia? You hear me?") There are still niggling doubts and questions at the back of my mind: what if my body starts changing and I can't deal with it? What if I start questioning whether or not I WANT to live? How do I deal with stress without retreating into my eating disorder. I need to keep reminding myself that anorexia causes a whole set more of problems than it solves, that I am strong enough to face the world head-on without resorting to 'coping mechanisms' which don't work. That I deserve to eat, that I deserve to be healthy, that I deserve to take up a place in the world.

In other news: still no news/feedback about my article. I don't know how to interpret this so am just...waiting (and WAITING) and still no sleep. FGHJKJHVVJUJ! Anyone got tried and tested natural sleep remedies?

Random quote for the day which is completely unrelated to my post, but relevant nonetheless:

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle"


Munchables! (is that a real word?)
edit: according to spellcheck, no, it's not a real world. I am still using it. My blog = poetic license, no?

Last night's lack of energy called for Amy's help...

Teriyaki bowl with extra vegetables.

I've had this meal before and really liked it, but it tasted strange last night- a very strong taste of ginger (ICK!) and a very strong taste of lime (another ICK- ginger and citrus fruits are my most hated foods!). The vegetables were a stir-fry blend including pak choi for Katie's new food challenge- it had no flavour so I covered it in ketchup It tasted not unlike cabbage but with a tougher texture. I am not a fan.

Breakfast this morning, bright eyed and bushy-tailed at exactly 4:47am (I need coffee and food as soon as I get up!)

Pumpkin banana oats topped with peanut butter. Love it. At any hour (and it did make up for being awake so early!)

Snack was my last mini Clif bar...

...topped with white chocolate peanut butter. Loved this too.

For lunch I made a wrap! Well, assembled the wrap. Wrap + filling + ever improving rolling skills (right, Jaime?!)

Coronation chicken salad and spinach in lavash wrap. Kind of looks like egg salad, but there is most definitely chicken in there (along with raisins and dried apricots). Loved this too (sensing a theme with today's food? Oh-so-loveable!)

I am in a surprisingly loving/happy mood today- maybe this lack of sleep isn't such a bad thing?!
Hope everyone is having a hoppin' happenin' Hump Day!


ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Aww, thanks so so much for the shout-out :)

Haha I loooove me some ketchup. Makes anything taste good! (Well, almost!)

Leah @ Simply Fabulous said...

I absolutely loved this post!

I remember when I was knee deep in the disordered thinking and my sister looked at me one day and said "But Leah, you love food! You like to eat." No way, I didn't admit it back then. Admitting it was like admitting that she was right and that (heaven forbid) I did love food.

Truth be told, I always did and I am no longer ashamed to admit that I still do!

Gaining Back My Life said...

You asked about natural sleep rememdies - and I have tried a couple, but please bear in mind these are only my personal experiences and your body may react differently. *THAT* little disclaimer being said :),

"Power to Sleep" by Irwin Natural was $$$ ($18 for one month supply) and did absolutely nothing. I may as well have been taking a sugar pill.

Melatonin, which I'm taking now, is wonderful, especially since I don't wake up with that hungover feeling you can get from Benadryl or Tylenol PM. Plus, it's super inexpensive (I paid $3 for 1 month). I get really wacked out dreams, but not nightmares - which is v. good.

Hope that helps!

Olga said...

I really love how you structure your posts. I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder, but I went through a tough period in high school where I wanted to be stronger than my hunger and also felt it was a sign of weakness to admit to it and give in. What you wrote is very inspirational and true: we are human, and eating is a function of our being. Besides, it can also bring so much joy! Seeing as we have whole blogs about it! hahah

And don't worry about feedback about the article. I'm a journalism major and sometimes you have to wait a while!

Lauryn said...

i, too, love this post and your happiness and positivity! so true, though i havent always had the best relationship with food, i have ALWAYS loved it -- which is a good thing! my aunt hates food, hates eating, is picky about everything, and is generally unpleasant at mealtimes, always making comments about everything that goes in everyone's mouth. i agree with how you said food is a positive thing, not only for our bodies, but for our souls!

LOVE those oats too =) have a great day!

itsawrapteacher said...

I agree. I love food so much and hate that hunger sensation. It's just a matter of turning off the calorie counting in my head. I guess that's my Math brain at work.

Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point said...

you know i love food! thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. don't be shy!

K from ksgoodeats said...

Munchables is a word in my book! I LOVE it!!

Ew I'm not a fan of ginger either :( Lime is so-so in my book...lime in foods is no bueno, lime in drinks is always bueno!

nicoleishappy said...

thanks for coming to my blog! and yea the trio bars are sooooo yummy. its basically nuts with some dried fruit. and your cliff bar looks very good.i might have to make that snackum.

and sleep tactics: when i can not sleep i grab a glass of milk and one or two oreo cookies. haha i know weird but it always works...and i dont even like milk usally

Cacti Don't Cry said...

While I definitely relate to feeling like I'm not "allowed" to say I am / be hungry, I'm not even sure anymore when I am or am not!! I do like food in an artistic way -- I like to cook it and make it look pretty! Eating it -- not so much. But you made me think when you said that it wasn't actually EATING that you disliked, but the feelings that followed the action. Good point.

You can write your own dictionary! :)

As for "natural" sleep remedies... melatonin and lavender never really worked for me... Benadryl / Klonopin sometimes does, but that's not very NATURAL! ;p Try a hot bath?

<3 <3

ElleMigliore said...

I know I've said this before but you need to quit whatever place you're working at right now and become a full time writer because your posts are not only beautifully written but it's like you take the thoughts from all of our minds and are able to put it into words!!

I had never thought of the "need" concept behind admitting that you're hungry but after you mentioned it, it makes so much sense!!! I'm so glad that you have gotten past that point and into such a more optimistic and positive place.

In regards to your "what if" worries...when I was having panic attacks about losing control and "catching" a mental illness after interning in the psych ward, I was always using "what if" statements. one thing that my mom told me that really stuck out is that you have to "what if" the positive to. "What if you DO recover and end up being happy?" "What if you get past this and aren't scared anymore?" etc, etc... you get the point.

Anyway, happy and inspired to see that you're doing well!!

dietlexy said...

Omg lovely lovely post! I hate the feeling of hunger too! but I do like feeling empty! this last few days Ive been having lots of kidney beans for protein with salads or stir frys and they leave me nicely full without feeling 2 heavy! Once again your food looks lovely especially da banana oats with peanut butter! When I was starving myself I used to secretly love when my mom sat down and forced me to eat! xxxxxxx

dietlexy said...

o forgot to say this! I used to take valium to help me sleep but didnt wna get hooked so now I just imagine I have taken it and it is slowly knockin me out and it helps me drift off! xx

Anonymous said...

Aaagh this is such a cool post :) I feel the same way - it is scary but so liberating to feel that I have ruled anorexia out as a 'solution' anymore. I think niggling doubts are allowed, it takes a while to change such deeply ingrained responses to stress - but I am sure it CAN be done. Other people have done it!
If munchables isn't a real word, it should be :p it's amusing!

Pammy said...

I totally relate to this post. I feel the same way about saying "I'm hungry" but at the same time I do love food... and I enjoy a good meal. I love reading your posts. They are always so insightful!

Much love

Anonymous said...

i was talking to my friend about the whole annorexic thing and she told me the same thing - she loves food, just fears it.

love your cliff bar with pb :)

Sheena said...

It's weird that those with eating disorders, who are willing to admit it, are some of the most avid lovers of food. Maybe struggling and parting ways with food for so long just made the heart grow fonder.

I hope you get feedback soon and that you can sleep. Take Care!

brookesballbuster said...

Ellie, your blog is so powerful! I am thrilled to have found you. I myself have experienced bouts with eating disorders but have been in recovery for a few years hubbie has helped a great deal:) Anyways, so happy to have found you. I'm excited to get to know you better!

Syd said...

Yummy looking food. I don't know where you get all this great looking stuff.

Jaime said...

ahh thanks for reminding me about amys bowls!! i totally am needing one asap!! :)

thanks again for the wrap shout-- girl you wrap better than me who are you kidding !!

mini cliffies are the best! have a great day xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words :)

Well, I'm so glad that you are finally realizing that it is OKAY to have needs and that you are NOT greedy or weak for fulfilling those needs. You are human. As we all are. And why would you want to be anything but human, right? Definitely an insightful post.

And Clif Bars w/ PB = yummm in my tummm.

<3 Nell

Anonymous said...

SO happy to hear that you are in such a good mood today and even more happy to hear you talk about such amazing realities in your life. I think that you are so incredibly in tune with realizing truth and just accepting it and dealing with things as they come. You're just so insightful and you absolutely deserve everything that you have come to realize! I'm soo happy for you! :)

So the eats look delicious...those oats i must try and I'm thinking that wrap looks amazing!

Hope the rest of your day was just as amazing as the beginning of it!

The Novice Berker said...

Thanks so much for your comment. :) Topping your mini Clif bar with white chocolate peanut butter sounds madly decadent and delicious!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with ya girl.....I never hated food either!! I actually LOVED food and was proud of it until I grew into my restricting ways. I decided what was healthy and how much of it was too much etc, putting all these rules on everything. It's no way to live and food is meant to be enjoyed and indulged in! We only have one life, and it's meant to be enjoyed! :)

Telstaar said...

This is so cool hunni :)

I remember my first time round with clinical ed and I didn't really like food, genuinely. I'd been bought up with a pretty bland diet so I didn't know the joys of food.

This time round, its been completely different, I DO love food, I just struggle to eat it and struggle even more to decide WHAT to eat when I do allow myself to do so cause I like it so much!

In fact, my counsellor figures out where my ed is at by whether or not there is ice cream and quelch fruit sticks in my freezer! LOL!

Keep making strides forwards hun, you're doing so well :)


Thinspired said...

I'm sorry you haven't heard back yet! Gah, that must be driving you crazy. Of course, I haven't read your newest post yet so maybe you have?
I love food, too, but in the past I have definitely tried to convince myself otherwise. It's so silly looking back at only made me think of it more.
I love the quote on this post. So true. We all have our battles.