“Bad Days…let’s not have rice cakes with jelly.”–Marya Hornbacher, Wasted, p. 276
You know the drill–overprotective parents. Spent a wasted, pudgy childhood on the couch watching “The Price is Right” with my smoking, wheezing, asthmatic grandmother while my mother cleaned the house in furious anticipation of my father’s arrival from work. He would come home, she would serve him a mountain of spaghetti topped with a snow of Parmesan cheese an inch deep (I kid you not), serve me a portion twice the size of hers, and rather than fighting over their failing marriage they would fight over the fact I wouldn’t clean my plate, then the fact I was getting fat because I asked for dessert.
Typical, typical. The usual American childhood. Begging for McDonald’s Happy Meals for the toys and marveling at the fact that although different shapes in the package, the 6 pack of Chicken McNuggets were always the same different shape (one the shape of a boot like Italy, I recall). Snarfing down chocolate in secret, hating my thighs, watching my mother do Jane Fonda at three in the morning.
Anorexia at 12 years old, nearly eating myself to death at fifteen, bulimia in college, and relapsing into anorexia and compulsive exercise again in my late twenties. I’ve had enough! So, this blog will not be some silly 12-stepping program about recovery, because I’ve had enough structure, thank you very much, nor is it all of that goddess and loving one’s womanly hips nonsense as I know from personal experience that unlimited cheesecake and sloth is not the solution to recovering from a restrictive eating disorder.
In fact, I’ve found a good deal of wisdom on the running track, when I’ve been training sensibly to make my legs stronger, not to burn calories. The latest wakeup for health came when I realized how poor my running was getting, because of my crappy nutrition, even though I’m not at a particularly low weight any more. This blog is about finding a balance between food and body that is comfortable in an America gone mad, where vanity sizing is so out of control they have to make 00s at The Gap, and the smallest size at Starbucks is Tall.
Oh, and just so y’all know, I’m actually not at a ‘dangerously low weight anymore,’ so no health concerns per se, that are life-threatening. This is about getting my head and body back on track and just finding a sane relationship with food.
For example—I have only eaten out at one restaurant this entire year, unless you count reading the calorie counts of Starbucks sandwiches while eating alone ‘eating out.’ I haven’t eaten something that I don’t have the ballpark idea of calories in years—or didn’t until recently when I tried some French Fries from a local eatery.
Worth it or not worth it?
Greasy, truth be told. My dog enjoyed them more. But no more FEAR of fries, that some how if I let myself wantonly inhale a pile of them.
I look forward to more experiments in the future!