Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Figuring it Out

it started with eating. sure, later i found drugs, alcohol, spending, obsessing about men...

but it started with food.

i'm going to get to the bottom of this. i'm going to be okay.

i've been reading a great book, Food: The Good Girl's Drug, by Sunny Sea Gold. It's all about binge-eating. i identified one million percent. my eating disorder started with binging, day and night. after i gained 70 pounds, i caught the starving disease. starving, as it so often does, lead me to binging, then purging.

i've come a loooong way, baby, but i still worry about my weight, still think of food when in need of comfort, still look forward to eating alone at night and well, i haven't got this down yet.

i'm going to. i'm not giving up until i'm living in this world content with my body and having food in its proper place.


Saturday, i'm going to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. i've never been before. i'm not sure it's for me, but i'm interested in seeing how it works. AA, of course, changed my life in every way, but it makes more sense -- you can (you must) abstain from alcohol. but food? we'll see.

i've decided to make a study of this whole thing on my path to real freedom.

Ciao, ED.


  1. It's really interesting to me how similar our stories are. Mostly because most people don't go from Binge Eating to very restrictive ED. I also started with binge eating and gained ~30 pounds. Then I lost 40 pounds with insane dieting and tried to keep it there obsessively.

    It's also interesting that we're both 'healing'. A year and a half ago I was convinced that unless I was at my very skinny weight the rest of my life I could not be happy. Which meant that I could never eat/think like a normal person if I wanted to 'love myself' (love the skinny way I looked). The sad thing is, I had accepted that as fact. Meaning that I had to starve myself to be happy.


  2. Also, is OA "overeaters anonymous"?

    I've always thought about going to something like that, but I'm afraid I won't fit in because I haven't 'looked' like an overeater since I lost all the weight-- even though the remnants of the behaviors still hang around. I feel like I would make the people who 'look' the part feel uncomfortable, therefore making myself uncomfortable.

    Anyway, good luck! Keep us posted. I'm interested in hearing how it goes.


  3. Hey there,

    again, great post!

    Even though my very first encounter with ED was not through binge eating, my current state definitely started with binge eating (and gaining 40lb in 10 months). I can definitely relate to not being able to accept my body at a weight that seems too high to me, turning to food for comfort and actually looking forward to eating alone and eating whatever I want to. It's so sad - I catch myself thinking that people are just so complicated, unpredictable and judgmental, so that's often why I turn to food instead of trying to reach out to a friend or (what's even harder) try to be social with people that I don't know too well. BUT, I found that spending time with animals (my parrot or dogs and cats in the animal shelter) helps a lot - especially when I'm volunteering at the shelter (usually by walking dogs or playing/cuddling with them), the ever-present ED thoughts give me a bit of a break :-)

    Anyway, I've been to OA quite a few times (maybe 15x?) and I liked most of the meetings. However, I have a lot of trouble with the concept of surrendering to my higher power and I think that's the main reason why I still haven't found an OA sponsor and became fully committed. Also, most of the people at the meetings I attend have been in OA for several years (or even decades!) and are in strong recovery, so most of them are of a pretty normal weight. I don't think anyone there would feel uncomfortable to see a "normal-looking" person, but they may think that you look normal because you already lost lots of weight ;-)

    Also, OA is for anyone who has problems with food - even for people suffering from anorexia or bulimia. They even have a special information packet for people with these EDs: http://bookstore.oa.org/products/725-focus-on-anorexia-and-bulimia-packet. I definitely know at least one person from the meetings who used to struggle with purging as well. I'm actually thinking about asking her if she could help get me started - with following a food plan (that's usually what "abstinence" is) and working the steps... But I'm still not sure if I am convinced that I'm going to be committed to stick to the program.

    Oh, and thanks for the book recommendation - I think I'll check it out! Have a nice day :-)

  4. I think you're doing the right things. Praying for you! x

  5. Yasi; Yes, i did mean Overeaters Anonymous. i've been to one meeting and there were folks of every shapes and size. my friend, who's an average weight (although she's got so many issues), goes regularly and very comfortably. i'll let you know.

    our stories do sound very similar. and i too thought i could only be "okay" if i were skinny. (i say "okay", because i was so far from happy during that time.)

    thanks so much for writing!

    Zuska; thank you for the info. i'm looking forward to going to meetings.

    i do have a question about abstinence. does everyone abstain from wheat and sugar or just people who feel they have an allergy?

    thru AA, i got pretty comfortable with the Higher Power idea. i just know that my decisions usually stink, so i gave up trying to control myself and others.

    i did the Steps thru AA and that sure made all the difference in the world.

    i highly, highly recommend going thru the Steps. i think you just have to be willing to explore the idea of a Higher Power, particularly in the beginning.

    Thanks again for your input!

  6. Just Me; Thank you for the support and prayers --so lovely.

    i know i'm on the right path, but it can feel hard to stick with it. some voice is saying -- "get yourself on a diet, pronto". but i'm not going to. so there. thanks again.

  7. Regarding the OA abstinence, I don't think everyone abstains from white flour and sugar (not sure about wheat - I thought 100% whole wheat was fine), but I got the impression that most people do abstain because refined carbohydrates make them want to overeat/binge. Personally, I don't think I could stay without any kind of natural or artificial sweetener for a long time - I'm too emotionally addicted to it at this point. I think the first step is to commit to a food plan and try to not use food for anything else other than fuel and nutrition.

  8. I hope you know how inspirational you are. Your vivacity in fighting this disease has truly pushed me forward in my own recovery- and I speak only for myself. You have such a huge impact on all of us. You are such a strong, hopeful woman; thank you for being so real.

    You're in my prayers as you continue to recover. I hope OA works out for you; I think it will, because I know it is a 12 step program.


  9. I used to go to OA for several years, and it was really helpful. (I also met my husband there!) Since you are familiar with 12 step programs, you know that. I found it was just one tool, there are many others including medication and therapy.

    So good luck to you, you will get it figured out. Take care.

  10. Zuzka: thank you for the info! i'm really interested to learn more. i think a food plan might work for me for a bit, although i do really believe in intuitive eating. we'll see!

    Shae; so sweet. thank you. i am determined. life is a zillion times better than ever, but i really want freedom and confidence. here me roar!

    Grace; thank you. i do find the Twelve Steps really helpful. i do also take Lexapro which helps immeasurably. i am really interested to see what OAs all about. i have never once done a food plan. we'll see.

  11. YES!! CIAO ED! :) thanks so much for this post!!!!!!! It's time to move on past ED and on through life.

    stay strong babe