The Mind of A Disordered Eater – Accepting The Reality of an Anorexic-Bulimic

“You will never eat like you used to for the rest of your life. Until you come to accept that, you will NEVER be successful. Going on a super regimented program in which someone or a piece of paper dictates to you exactly what to eat and when, and in what quantities and how, will never give you the lasting results you’re looking for. You can’t look at a diet and think ‘ok, I can do this for six weeks’, that mentality is doomed for failure EVERY SINGLE TIME. If you see a fitness program as something to do temporarily so you can look great and then revert back to your old ways, you just aren’t getting it.”   – Meg, “Fit Bitch”

My first thought when I read this post was “Well…  …shit.  AND DAMNIT!!”  (…actually to be totally honest, because that’s the goal here, my FIRST thought was “UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH!!!”  THEN that other thing.)  As an anorexic-bulimic, at LEAST 25 years of my life could be summed up by that exact mentality.

“My pants are tight, I need to lose some weight.”  Then I just stop eating for 3 days and it’s fine.

“My pants fit fine, I’ve been good, I can eat what I want.”  Then I head to the kitchen and eat something-salty-something-sweet-repeat until I ache with pain and pleasure.

The life of an ana-mia is a tragic and deluded one.  We think that we’re something we’re not.  We think people see things that only we can see, and most of the things we see are figments of our imagination.  We think there isn’t any problem, no matter how big or small, that cannot be put in perspective with a three-day fast or a four-hour power binge.

This comment from Meg was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Although I do think God has been banging me upside the head for years about my disorder and (what I affectionately call) my “mental bend,” this comment pushed things in my life to finally converge into one spectacular, explosive, painful, fantasy-pulverizing realization.  My self-imposed state of delusion was shattered in that one statement.  It was a general post to a wide public, but that post on Meg’s Facebook page was JUST FOR ME.

“ERIN.  If you are going to be BETTER, you will never eat like you used to for the rest of your life.  YOU CANNOT EAT LIKE YOU USED TO FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.  Until you come to accept that, you will NEVER be successful.”


By definition I have had an eating disorder since I was eight years old.  I remember people telling me “OHMYGOODNESS you are SO SKINNY.”  My plate was dished generously and I always went back for seconds, because “WOW she can eat as much as her dad!”  I heard at every family gathering, most days at school, and often just at home the phrase “you’re so skinny.”  I don’t really remember at what point SKINNY became something I was and not just something that happened to me, but at that point I started defining myself as “Skinny” and it all went downhill.

In the beginning Skinny was something I felt good about.  Being Skinny made me desirable and made my parents proud.

Then Skinny took over.

THEN without even realizing that it was happening, Skinny was something I needed to control.

In the last year I’ve learned a lot about Skinny.  She’s temperamental.  She is fickle and only friends young people on Facebook.  She doesn’t usually like mothers, or motherhood, or muscles, or anything that makes a woman strong or independent.  She doesn’t like women of substance.  (I’d like to say she doesn’t like women with an education, but that’s Ana and Mia saying “any girl that’s that skinny has to be stupid” and that’s not fair.)  Skinny desires greatly to suck all things of worth and material and matter out of the women in our culture.  We think she’s our friend but she’s not.  We WANT her to be our friend, but we really shouldn’t.

Because really, that bitch is just MEAN.  She likes to eat, then mocks you for doing it.  She’s not happy until she starves then complains she’s hungry.  She stands right behind you when you’re looking in the mirror and NO MATTER WHAT SIZE she will tell you “almost, not quite.”

“Just another pound, Erin.  Just one more.”

Last week, for the first time since I was eight, I told Skinny to F#CK OFF.

Starting now, starting TODAY, I will never eat again like I used to for the rest of my life.  No more skipping meals.  No more late-night binges, no more hiding food, no more listening to Ana or Mia or Skinny.  “TIME TO CHANGE, LADIES, there’s a new Sheriff in town.”  I’m not sure who the Sheriff is, or where she came from, but I LIKE HER.  She’s a good mother, she’s capable and educated and intelligent and pretty and confident and sexy and SHE IS ENOUGH just like she is, no matter what size.

I do know that there will be some backslide.  I do know (as much as I hate to admit it) that there will be many mistakes.  It will get easier, though. It will get better.  And EVERY DAY I will do my best to tell Skinny to go f#ck herself.

…which I’ve been told is like doing it with a cricket, and no one wants that.

Comments ( 0 )

    Leave A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Select an image for your comment (GIF, PNG, JPG,JPEG):