I genuinely care about how I look, yes. I’ve always been somewhat thin naturally, but when I went away to college I blew right through the freshman 15 straight to 50. Since then I’ve put in the work through healthy eating and exercise to stay trim, but along the way I have had to catch myself on the verge of several eating disorders.
So I’ve never starved myself for very long. The few times I decided I wanted to look thinner for a big event and made the decision to skip a meal, it lasted an hour or so before my stomach would grumble and I would throw in the towel and eat 5 meals worth. It’s not that it had been so long that I was hungry enough for 5 meals, but when a girl like me goes two or three hours without food it can be scary. This method of weight loss isn’t for me, if I’m going to commit to messing with my health in order to be thin, it might as well be something easier and more rewarding…
This seems like a little more fun because of the binging part. I think I would be really good at that. I like the mentality that comes with bulimia, “I will eat ALL the food then deal with the problem afterwords. In the meantime, pass me the butter!” Starving yourself is one thing, that takes a kind of commitment and mental resolve I can’t fathom; bulimia lets you eat as much as you want. My issue here comes into play because sometimes I do eat more than I feel proud of. We’ve all eaten a full box of Kraft Mac & Cheese and felt that guilt that only orange goo cheese can invoke. After licking the last of the cheesy goodness from the bowl I experience a moment of wishing I had only indulged in half a box and try to figure out how to rid my body of the other half. The problem is that barf is gross and uncomfortable. The worst part is when you barf and then smell it all day because some of it is in your nose. That alone makes this one impossible for me to partake in, not to mention the stained teeth; it’s like wearing a sign that says “I purge”. According to the National Institute of Mental Health bulimia can also be diagnosed when a person follows up their binging with excessive exercise or fasting, so I guess that would eliminate barf… but both of those sound like more work than I am willing to put in. If I was willing to fast I would be anorexic and spare my teeth and esophagus the burden and if I was willing to excessively exercise I wouldn’t have this problem to begin with. That’s just silly. There has to be another way to get the food out of my body…
I stumbled upon this horrible idea for the first time before a Weight Watchers weigh in. It was an accident, I assure you. Before my weigh in meetings I would always try to get up early and poop so I would weigh less, make sense so far? Well some mornings I wouldn’t have to go number two early enough so I would try to think of ways to lose that weight and, naturally, when you want to poo and nothing is happening there is one cure that comes to mind. The conversation I had with myself went something like this:
My brain: Ugh, if you don’t poop before the meeting it’s going to show up on the scale.
My brain: What can you do about it? You can’t force it.
My brain: Or can I?
My brain: Umm… what are you thinking of doing?
My brain: It would only be enough Senna to get things going.
My brain: No no no, I’ve heard Johnny Cash sing about the ring of fire and I don’t want to experience it first hand I don’t have time for that today.
My brain: Just this once, then next week you can go to the gym everyday to make up for cheating a little.
My brain: Well… if it’s only the one time…
My brain: Wait… did this just get scary? Did you just talk yourself into an eating disorder?
My brain: Yup.
My brain: Oh, damn.
It’s that easy for me to go there. Frightening.
I accept that I’m insane and that I care too much about how I look, but for now I choose to use portion control and exercise to look the way I want. I find this method has the downside of being rewarding and it makes me feel accomplished, which is so cliche I might barf (eating disorder!). Yet something about feeling like I’m making healthy choices satisfies me in a way food never could, so I suppose I’ll stick with it. It’s just that these other options seem like a lot less work and responsibility so they tempt me from time to time. Plus, these disorders make you a kind of extreme thin that healthy eating could never achieve so if I ever want to be on America’s Next Top Model or an actress in a movie about a coke addict I have to keep them in mind as an option.