Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Things No One Tells You About Recovering from Eating Disorders

Snacking can be good for you.

Snacking can be good for you.

Here are a list of things, might be a short list actually, but some things that actually surprised me to learn about myself and my body when I recovered from disordered eating.

1.  You will poop a lot more.

You laugh, but I’m telling you, I thought there was something wrong with me when I started eating normal amounts of food and had to poop every day!  Seriously, at the height of my eating disorder, I think I averaged once every three or four days.  I’m serious.  And I actually looked it up to make sure that was OK when I started pooping more often.  But it makes sense.  If you’re eating more, you’re going to poop more, right?  Yeah, I just didn’t think about it like that and suddenly it was like I was a poop factory or something.  It was a little weird.  So, unless part of your eating disorder is abusing laxatives, you are going to poop more than you’re used to.

2.  Intuitive Eating is hard.

One of my major complaints about people who endorse intuitive eating is that they say anyone can do it.  Well, no, some of us can’t (and sometimes it takes us a while to come to terms with this).  Some of us have spent years re-wiring our thinking so that not eating feels like victory, and we honest to god don’t even know when we are actually hungry.  Especially if you’re just coming off severely restricting, you’re either going to never feel like eating, or feel like eating ALL THE THINGS.  I’ve come to kind of a middle ground.  I eat whatever I want, figuring that if I want it there’s a reason.  But I eat meals on a schedule.  It’s not a strict schedule, but it is a schedule to make sure that I actually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, and a couple of snacks.  Because left to my own devices I’ll get absorbed in something, like writing, reading, watching TV, and I will forget to eat.  All day.  As in, I can usually remember to eat when I first get up, but unless I’m looking at a clock constantly (like at work) and see that it’s noon, I don’t eat.  Next thing I know, it’s six pm and I have a low blood sugar headache and I’m a grouchy, bitchy mess.

3.  You will backslide.

Now, I hope that those of you who go into actual treatment are told this.  Those of us who figured shit out on our own, the literature wasn’t so good until fairly recently.  But just like with any other addiction type issue, you will backslide.  When I’m stressed out as shit, the first thing I do is start skipping breakfast.  Then, that turns into skipping lunch, and that one’s mostly, I’ll look at the clock at noon and think I’m not hungry, then it’s two, and “it’s so close to time to go home and eat, it seems silly to eat now.”  Yes.  Bad call.  Look, you’re going to fuck up, no one’s recovery is flawless.  You’re going to on occasion start starving yourself, or bingeing, or throwing up, or over-exercising again.  The important part is to not beat yourself up over it.  Just note that you fucked up, and start eating again.

4. There is no such thing as normal.

Look, do whatever you have to to get food into your body.  Follow a schedule, create rituals that put food in  your body instead of keeping it out, do whatever you have to to make sure you eat and that it stays in long enough to do you good.  I know, rituals are what got some of us into this mess.  But sometimes rituals can get us back out, too.  I have a bagel every morning.  Doesn’t matter what kind, where I get it, what’s on it.  I have a bagel every morning, and that starts my good eating behavior for the day.  If you don’t need rituals for this, more power to you.  Just remember to eat.

And not get freaked out by the pooping.

I’m not even kidding, it freaked me out.


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This entry was posted on January 7, 2013 by in Fat, Featured Articles, HAES, Surviving.

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