Archive for July, 2006

Shopping Lists and desire

July 31, 2006

About a year ago, a typical shopping list for me would have looked like this:


Swiss Miss Diet Cocoa Powder


Generic brand instant oatmeal (regular flavor)


Boca Fat Free Vegan Burgers (the lowest calorie count of all vegetarian burgers—70 calories a patty)


Chopped Broccoli






That’s it.  The quantity would vary, depending on my calorie needs/confidence/supply.  But the items would remain the same.  Sometimes a flash of recognition would come, and finally I admitted to myself that I had eaten a packet of oatmeal, doused in a tooth-crushingly sweet amount of artificial sweetener for breakfast, everyday, for four years straight, without variation, even in summer.  Always accompanied by an apple.


I was sick of it.  I was living alone—no one would gloat or care if I varied my routine a bit, increased my calorie allotment for the morning to incorporate taste into my food groups.


Now my shopping trips are more random—veggie burgers of faux chick’n I like, regardless of calories, different fruits, vegetables (frozen, but with sauce like creamed spinach), avocados, the occasional jar of peanut butter, a bagel or a muffin, even whipped butter, tuna, fat free mayo.  But with variation, shopping takes much longer, agonizingly longer.  What do I want?  What do I really want?  I can’t remember…


As a child, I liked hot dogs with mustard, fried clam strips, blueberry-studded frozen waffles and Pop Tarts, birthday cake, pepperoni, and provolone cheese.  All of these things, even if I desired them, would be too harsh on my stomach.  I have tried them all, except for the fried clams and they just don’t do it for me anymore, no more sing.


It’s just tough to fast forward from a child’s palate to an eating disordered life and then try to go back and find out what tastes good, with an adult’s tongue but not with an anorexic or bulimic head anymore.


The name

July 30, 2006

Oh, and just so you know–the name of my blog comes from Marya Hornbacher’s memior of having anorexia and bulimia entitled Wasted.  I have binged on sugar free jelly but I’ve never been a fan of rice cakes.  Given that I have dined on broccoli and low-carb katschup, though I’m certainly no one to sneeze at anyone who has, in fact, eating jelly and rice cakes for supper!

Hello world!

July 30, 2006

“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!