I miss my eating disorders

I used to be fat.  Really fucking fat.  Like 5′ 3″ and 187 pounds fat.  And then some boy I had a crush on made a mean comment about my weight and I went straight home and threw out every single item of food in my apartment.  I decided to stop eating.  Then I decided to exercise obsessively.  The pounds melted away along with the shame of being fat.  It was wonderful!

The compliments about how great I looked started rolling in and I had a surge of confidence that felt as good as cocaine rushing through my bloodstream.  Oh, and I also started using cocaine because it turns out you don’t feel like eating when you’re fucked up. I would buy jeans from The Gap and within a week they would be too small so I would take them back and secretly “exchange” them for a smaller size in the dressing room.  I never looked at this as stealing but more as a means of trading.

In the meantime I graduated college and moved to Seattle.  Things were going fabulously until my hair started coming out in clumps and I began passing out on my way to work.  Turns out my diet actually had a name and it was called anorexia.  I already knew this but I always associated that term with supermodels so it took me a long time to accept the Kate Moss diagnosis.  My boyfriend threatened to break up with me if I didn’t stop obsessively working out and counting my calories.  I even knew how many calories were in a tablespoon of semen.  Yep, I was that serious about staying under 1200 calories a day.  That often determined whether I spit or swallowed.

I shoud note that my boyfriend at the time was also the same guy I had pined away for when I was a fat girl.  He moved away and we didn’t see each other for several months so when he returned I was only half of the person I was, literally.  What I had lost in weight I had gained in self-confidence. He would tell me the reason he was suddenly attracted to me now was because of my self-assurance but I know it was probably because I wasn’t a fatty anymore.

So to make him happy I started eating again but just in small amounts.  I would weigh myself every single morning and if the scale went above 100 I would panic.  To counteract my eating I would secretly exercise more but he caught on to my tricks.  The scale hit 105.  I was terrified of him dumping me so then I had another idea.  I’ll just purge after I eat.

This also has a name and is called bulimia…and then there’s the fancy bulimia anorexia nervosa.  It sounds like an exotic dish at a Mexican restaurant but it’s basically just a cycle of starvation, followed by a binge and then topped with a purge.  I quickly discovered how much I enjoyed eating 12 doughnuts all at once and then throwing them up.  It was a win-win!  It was exhilerating and tiring all at once.  I could have my cake and throw it up too.  This all worked well for about a year and then my boyfriend came home from work early.  I had my head in the toilet and an empty bakery box by my knees.  It didn’t take much for him to figure out what had been going on and why I always had busted blood vessels in my eyes.

I started seeing a psychologist who specialized in eating disorders and eventually it resolved itself.  The relationship with the guy didn’t last but my relationship to food improved.  I have the ability to eat normally without the desire to starve myself or binge/purge. But I don’t like this.

I miss the need to obsessively exercise two hours a day and wear a size 0.  I miss surviving days on only carrots dipped in mustard.  I miss annihilating five pounds of baked goods in one sitting and then flushing them goodbye before they make it to my ass.

I want my fancy Mexican dish back honestly.


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