30 January 2013

A neat little box of anorexia, food and life?

"Wow, the range of veggie food in here's growing, that's brilliant..."

...But Is it? 

For me, a recovering anorexic, it's much more than that simple observation.

Stood in the refrigerated veggie section of my local supermarket today, I could have challenged myself, expanded my diet, tried new foods. But, I picked up boxes, looked at them. Considered putting them in my basket, but ran away from buying nothing more than my 'usual'. Again.

It’s a lot more than whether I chose to buy them or not. I've been thinking long and hard about what it is that scares me about trying food and expanding my diet, is that more food feels out of control and more variety feels irresponsible, unpredictable, dangerous, almost?

What if I try it?
What if I like it?
What if I want it again?
What if I keep wanting it?
What if keep eating it?
Will I want it every week?
What won't I have if I add this?
What if doing this makes me fat?
Is this food ‘who’ I am?
Do I really want to try ready meals?
Do I want them in my life?
Do I want other foods to juggle?

How will more new, or resurrected foods, fit with my life, my structure, my meals, and my plan? I guess it feels overwhelming to have more food, more variety, and more options.

It’s like I can't figure out where new foods fit in to my plan, how? Do I trust them, do I trust me? Why do I WANT to add or try more foods, isn't it just easier and better and safer to just stick with what I eat now? I have variety (more variety than I have EVER had in my life, actually) So why add more? I'm fine, healthy, I eat carbs don't I, I hit the recommended number of calories a day, just look at the things I DO eat, so what's the point? 

It throws up a ridiculous amount of uncertainty, but I need to remind myself that the desire for it to FIT in with my 'plan' as it stands and my way of thinking about food isn't just down to me is it? Really? 

I want Ana to accept it and say it's okay for me to add more variety, calories, bigger meals. I want Ana to be okay with me adding more to life too, but she doesn't want that either. SHE'S NOT GOING TO IS SHE? 

It doesn't fit my PLAN or my thinking, my meal plan or rules not because all of them are still governed to an extent by anorexia. It’s a reminder that my meal plan and my need to control it all so closely are maintaining my eating disorder, not pushing my recovery.

They don’t FREE me at all. It is all still part of my eating disorder’s control OVER ME.

That’s why it feels uncomfortable, strange, bad, naughty almost, to even LOOK or consider buying these foods or any new food, let alone EAT it. Whether it’s a different packet of rice with 50 more calories, a yoghurt that’s got 10 more calories per 100g in it or a lasagne that’s got two whole DAYS worth of old 'anorexic calories' in it.

This is WHY I can't FIT these things into my life right now, it’s why I DON’T try them. It's why I constantly pick up and put down new foods, probably 90% of foods in the supermarket, every time I look. I just stare at these things sort of longingly on the shelves, all the foods I dismiss immediately because of their calorie content, whether I like them or not, whether I want to try them or not. It’s not always because I don’t want to TRY it, it’s because I feel like I CAN'T try it. 

This is more proof that I am not recovered or living freely or purely by MY rulebook. This is more evidence that I am not yet living a life I would live without anorexia, it’s not yet my 'third position', despite me thinking I am already there. 

I can't fit, and will never be able to fit this stuff, new foods, new people, new experiences in to THIS life. They will never fit in to anorexia’s routine, rules or plan for me. 

Yes, okay, until now I have been able to squeeze all this stuff into her plan, gradually increasing the 'acceptable' calories in the Quorn or Linda McCartney products I eat, the number of calories in a meal or the number of slices of bread I 'can' have.

But it is getting to the point where I need a new box, because I can't squeeze any more life in to this one. It just doesn't fit in here. 

It’s like my anorexic box is bursting at the seams with bits of ‘life’ I’ve crammed in here. 

It feels so all over the place and in consistent and conflicting because sometimes I can't find the life bits from the anorexic bits in this VERY messy place.

Honestly? Even figuring this out terrifies me, and I realise there is a MASSIVE difference between recognising WHY it doesn't fit with my plan or structure and changing that – but at least it’s making a little more sense. But now I need to accept that a full, happy, healthy life will NEVER fit in Ana’s rigid box.


  1. I can relate so much
    I am trying to recover from anorexia/bulimia and also drug addiction
    I have my safe foods and anything else is incredibly scary
    Food and shopping are a minefield
    It's stressful thinking and over thinking every little choice

    I'm glad I found your blog
    I'll look forward to reading more x

  2. I agree 100 percent! Since starting recover, I have stuck with safe foods but I am slowly branching out. I have just reached the point that I can go grocery shopping without freaking out. Enjoyed finding your blog. Thank you for the wonderful post!

  3. Thanks for your lovely comments guys x