that’s the way you’re built

This is how I see it now: my eating is disordered — I no longer have an eating disorder. My mind has recovered but my body has not.

You would never look at my diet and say “Whoa, Mari’s got the right idea!” If you ever do that, I will pull you aside and ask you if you are okay, because my diet is still maybe enough to sustain a child under ten. Maybe. If the child is sedentary.

This is what my body knows, though, and this is what it wants for now. It is asking for more as the days pass, finally. FINALLY. So I plan to have foods in the house that I like, follow the Steinfelder Method (“Just eat what you can”), and smile because I like this strange little human form. Honestly, the best thing I could do for my body image was grow my hair beyond my shoulders. Dysmorphia is weird that way.

I have Brianna JackFruitson’s rant about “Breaking Vegan” running in the background. She’s been where I have and she has a sensible thing or ten to say on the subject. Now she eats herself into vegan ice cream comas and she’s happy. I agree with her: you can be eating disordered on any diet. Sure. Some people probably do use veganism as a way to further enable their orthorexia. Darlings, I was eating disordered on a diet that was chiefly soda, candy, and pasta. I never got the hang of orthorexia, given I was picky already, but I can testify that it’s what goes through your mind, not your GI tract, that makes an eating disorder.

Look, I don’t see a radical swap to vegan. Like I said, picky, and also at present way too fond of my animal by-products. I die old, I die young, I still die someday. We know not the hour and all that. I’m going to enjoy what I’m given. And I’m going to stand aside and be fine with you doing the same unless you’re doing it to hurt yourself. Love your body. Learn the hunger signs if you unlearned them in order to starve. Work with your body, not against it. Don’t starve your internal organs. (Yeah. Most of my friends are thinking that the reason I am not too visibly different as I gain — except in the arse, that’s growing — might be the return of visceral fat.) Still figuring out when it’s mealtime? Listen to your tummy. If it’s growling, try eating something. Which I will do, in a bit.

Meal planning is helping me shoehorn some variety in here. Just this past week, I have eaten lazy pizzas, Ramen, burritos, and pasta. Oh, and don’t forget the ice cream sandwiches. I have had lunches, not just dinners. It’s very loose, this plan, but it insists there shall be variety, even if it’s predictable variety. Is it a coincidence that I’ve got more energy to putter around the house? It’s even possible that increased variety kickstarts increased intake -> more energy -> increased intake and so on. It is Fish Fingers Friday (hold the custard). Protein! Yesssss! Healthy fats! More balance! I’m looking forward to Random Chicken Weekend. Could be Indian, could be Chinese, could be Italian. Shrug.

I know I have bad habits that need changing. Again, I’m listening to my body. Unnatural restrictions won’t help, but when I hear “Self, you can stop the caffeine now”, I stop. I swap to decaf Pepsi. When I hear “Self, you want a non-soda option right now,” I go for it. Maybe today wasn’t such a great habit-changing day — I still ate a good supper. I still looked at my body and acknowledged my belly curved outward today. (Fair’s fair, I’m bloaty and a bit bunged up.)

I’m going to write a lot more about this. It needs to come out. I am going to need some of you to brace yourselves and read it at some point.

I love you. Please take care of yourself.


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