Wednesday, November 11, 2009

So it begins.

I know it's starting when food in my fridge starts to go bad...because I'm not eating it. When working out only once a day suddenly seems insufficient. When I start sizing up everyone I see (every woman, anyway) not in terms of friend-ability or date-ability, but literally--guessing at what size jeans she wears and comparing us (generally not in my favor). Everyone has certain twitches and issues that show up in times of stress, and food-and-body-weirdness is one of mine. The period around the time change, and segueing into the holidays, is always difficult for me in this respect. Maybe it's a way of dealing with a seasonal affective type issue; maybe it's something to do with the clash between Norman-Rockwellesque holiday expectations and the realities of a live, dynamic and (like most people's) dysfunctional family. Or, hell, world.

To be perfectly honest, it's not just a tic. It is, in fact (speaking diagnostically, clinically) an eating disorder. It's not something I'm proud of, but it's also not something of which I feel inordinately ashamed. I've been living with it for too long: more than half my life at this point. It's been worse than it is now--I've been hospitalized multiple times; I've ended up in the ER with electrolyte imbalances and arrhythmias. It's been better, too--for brief, shining moments, anyway. What's really alarming, though, is how easy it is to blend in--how similar I am (or manage to appear) to the Average (Middle Class) American Woman. Bitching about having a 'fat day' (I think almost all women will know exactly what I mean when I say this, even if they've never heard the term before): check. Though perhaps not to the same extent; if I'm having a fat day, it negates everything else that happens in those 24 hours. I am chagrined to say that the day I found out I got honors on Exam X was still a 'bad' day overall because I got an unfortunate view of my ass in the mirror at the gym. Speaking of which: Going to the gym every day? Check. Buying fat-free cheese, fat-free milk, fat-free butter (WTF, by the way)? Check.

Of course I know better. I can name drop all the slogans, watch: Health at Any Size, Riots not Diets, Fat Dykes are Revolting. Yet as we learned today in our 'Motivational Interviewing' exercise, knowing better and doing better are often separated by a large chasm, one that has to be bridged with patience and compassion (yes, I know I'm a hippie; I want to go into psych. So sue me). Here's hoping, forr all of us.

1 comment:

Tracy Crowe Jones said...

I'm sorry you're going through a tough period, and I feel for you. However, at the same time the ED in me is jealous. I SO want to stop eating and exercise excessivley (and stopping taking my meds), but I know I CAN'T do it because I will completely ruin all the relationships in my life that mean anything to me. I know they keep me well and grounded, but I HATE giving up that control. I know you understand, and I hope I haven't triggered you worse than you're already being triggered. I just needed to vent to someone who I know understands. Thanks. Be good to yourself.