I love food.
It’s crazy that I’m admitting that, but this ‘story’ illustrates JUST how MUCH I do.
I’m obsessed with food. Even though I’m in recovery from an eating disorder, and I’m still very much afraid of many foods, today–yes today I realized how much I still am very much ‘drawn’ to food.
Now before I begin, mind you, this is typical for those who have eating disorders, and those in recovery. For those of us in recovery, this ‘obsession’ will fade away (or so I’ve heard, as I’ve never been recovered long enough) as your body begins to trust you with you providing it adequate nourishment. Adequate nourishment which I’ve been learning to do, day by day, hour by hour. But anyways, I digress.
So, what triggered (the irony) this discovery? This epiphany of sorts? This realization that I’m still very much ‘attached’ to food, ‘pulled’ by it, and ‘obsessed’ with it?
To put it shortly (of which of course I won’t )…
My fridge broke.
Yes, it broke.
“Broke down, good for nothin’ fridge!”
And the frustration, and panic that ensued–well–shed light on the truth. The truth that I’d been running from (man, it seems like I’m always running).
Let me set the scene…
I was prepping my breakfast, planning to get it ‘down’ so that I could go for my
weekly grocery run. As I’ve limited myself to trying to only buy food once per week, because I often ‘overbuy’ food (also another characteristic for some ED peeps) So yeah. Back to the scene. I cooked up my french toast (my new fave), and poured my milk into my coffee, and grabbed my ‘delightful’ bowl of strawberry yogurt. I was kind of excited.
Well, because it’s one of my favourite breakfasts, and even though I’m struggling to accept my body at the moment, it’s one of the foods that I genuinely say, “To hell with you ED”. So yeah.
Okay, so as I took my first sip (y’all know that FIRST sip) of coffee, and I realized it tasted off. I decided to try a swig of the milk I had poured from my jug, and I immediately spit it out ( I should’ve smelled it first). I was mortified at the taste. But, more than that, I quickly began to panic. Why? Because the previous night I had been drinking from my other jug of chocolate (my other fave) and I noticed that it tasted kind of funny, despite the due date being 2 weeks from last night. So I poured it out. As I thought back to the previous night and my awful tasting chocolate milk, I realized that something must be wrong with my fridge. I linked the two. And that’s when–when I-
Began to panic.
I frantically checked the temperature of my fridge with my hand and it felt unusually warm. It seriously almost felt like room temperature. I quickly tasted my yogurt, and to my dismay, it too tasted ‘off’. And I continued to panic. I checked everything.
And they were all warm.
Crap. Shit. F^&^&&*&!
Yes, I really did swear. I think God understood (LOL).
What was I going to do?
I checked the freezer. And to my luck, it was actually working.
But still. I had no time to think about that.
I was in all out, full on, red-alert panic.
My food. MY FOOD!
My PRECIOUS FOOD!
It was going rotten. All rotten.
All that waste. All of it.
Part of me cried. Part of me was grieved.
And I’m not exaggerating.
Now here’s where I’ll explain how this situation all ties in.
As I began to throw out all the spoiled food. I realized that my unnecessary ‘meltdown’ from disposing of this ‘uneaten’ food, was tied well–well to the remnants of the eating disorder.
I realized that there
were are still roots left. Roots that would take time to be uprooted, and burned. My sadness surrounding throwing out food was related to how I still spent a lot of my time thinking about food. Grocery shopping. Planning grocery shopping. Opening and closing the fridge. Planning meals….
You get the picture.
And I think this showed me that even though my body is at a now normal weight, my brain is still very much disordered.
Food obsession has been linked to starvation and eating disorders (Google the Minnesota Starvation Study). The more deprived the body has been of an adequate food supply, the more it (the brain) becomes obsessed with food. With getting it, securing it, and
inhaling eating it. It’s a built-in protective factor that God so cleverly created within us. But the body can’t differentiate between real famine, or self-induced starvation. Hence the food obsession, the food driven behaviours. Thus, perhaps explains my reaction to having to throw out the spoiled food.
A ‘normal’ ( I
dislike hate this word, because who REALLY is normal, but I mean those without EDs) person in this situation would probably have experienced some frustration, annoyance, anger, but most likely the person would move on. There would be no grieving, no panicking, no trying desperately to save the food. And definitely no thoughts of either wanting to ‘binge’ to make use of the food. Or thoughts of, “Fine, the food is gone. I may as well not eat then. I don’t need to replace it. I’ll just restrict because it’s more money that I’ll have to spend.
There wouldn’t be disordered thoughts like this. Now I’m not bashing myself. But I realized just how disordered such thoughts are. How ED infested these thoughts are. How food obsessed I still am--that to part with it, means either “ALL-OR-NOTHING”.
I realized how….
Well just how DUMB, ED really was.
Because if I really think about it…
I mean if you really think about it….
Okay let’s think about it together…
I was willing to ‘starve’ all because my fridge b-r-o-k-e d-o-w-n.
I was willing to eat the entire fridge, to salvage what was in danger of being lost.
I was willing to put my recovery in ‘jeopardy’ because ED just couldn’t let me throw out one morsel–one ounce of food.
ED screamed at me to save all I can. That without this food, my world would implode.
I was willing to do all this. I contemplated all of it.
Man, I was so ready.
But in the end…
In the end,
And so I thank God my fridge broke down.
Because really, everyday in this journey, I’m learning something…
I gained insight into my behaviours, I learned how sneaky ED thoughts are; and I learned what I still need to work on.
So here’s to my “broke down” fridge. And here’s an F-U to ED.
By Wangui Muya (March 22, 2017)
Mad love and blessings!
P.S. Maintenance showed up and replaced my “broke down” fridge with a completely new one! BOOYAH!!!!!!