She asks, “What are you getting from this, why is it so important, what does it do for you?”
I saw my nutritionist earlier in the day and was informed that my body fat % was too low for my age. It’s healthy for a young athletic person, she says, but not a 52 year old.
Insert typical argument of me saying I think it is fine and that there is no way I’m going to eat 2000 calories; her saying I have to for (multiple) reasons I’ve heard over and over and over. Me saying that I miss being thin, her saying I am very thin…. blah, blah, blah.
Back to my therapist. I admitted that I was much more pleased than I ought to be but also a little disturbed at how pleased I am. [Add visual of me not being able to wipe the smile off my face… I hate that, just saying.] I don’t really understand why I haven’t given this up yet. I was figuring this out last week; I’ve had this for 32 years. Okay, that’s 32 years of being active in it, not counting the exercise obsession and body image stuff I had way before that.
After seeing this therapist for years I finally came out and said it. “It makes me feel powerful. I have complete control. Did you know I could take a piece of candy, set it in front of me and just ‘not’ eat it. That’s power. I mean look at those people in my coffee group who try to hide the fact that they just ate their 5th danish! Seriously? Food is revolting. Having control is the one and only thing that gives me any power. The rest of my life is utterly powerless.”
She interjects, “I beg to differ.”
“Really? I have no control over what happens to me anymore. I have to be always watchful so my back or neck doesn’t go into spasms. I can be having a normal day and wham, pain. I have to make constant adjustments because my life is being chipped away, slowly but surely. I never know if I’m going to sleep, if I’m going to have a good day or bad day, if I can do anything I planned. I am forever canceling things at the last minute because I’m too tired, too much in pain, too uncomfortable, too stressed, too… too… toooooo….. Geez, I have to quit life mid afternoon and sit in front of the TV crocheting all the rest of the day. If I don’t, my fibro flairs up. Talk about powerless!. Anorexia is the only diagnosis I have that I’m not ashamed of. It saves me, makes me feel safe, makes me feel like I’m relevant, makes me feel like I’m not just a ghost, haunting the halls. And I’m supposed to give that up????”
I know it’s just stupid, I know that. I am an intelligent person and yet here I am, acting like a petulant child with the team who are trying to save my life.
She said that some of it, meaning my happy response to losing weight and body fat, is cultural, in our thin obsessed society. But is it? I mean yeah, the culture is obsessed with thinness or fitness but what I want is to be gaunt, emaciated, bony. That is not normal. But whatever… it is what it is.
It’s 5pm and I’ve had almost 1900 calories today. I just need another 150 or so to make 2000. Will I do it? Will I find an excuse not to? It’s funny how we make our rules. When I was in the midst of it I had a number of calories and that was it. It was low. But now that I have to eat the rules continue. Even if I get to 1999, at least it isn’t 2000. Can’t be breaking into the 2000s! Why? Is the world going to end? Am I going to magically wake up and be a 100 lbs heavier? There is only one thing worse than gaining weight, it’s gaining fat!
And on top of all this, I feel like an absolutely horrible person. Why? Because I have 2 friends being treated for cancer. One is stage 3 ovarian cancer which has only a 39% survival rate. I wonder what the survival rate is for people with chronic life time eating disorders? hmmmm