As a recovering bulimic, (all though I prefer to say my bulimia is in remission) one may think that every experience I had eating was an unpleasant one.
Not even close.
Bulimics love to eat. The ritual of a binge/ purge is a reward, a really good high. We love eating. I mean you would have to enjoy eating in order to become a bulimic. What may have started out as an easy way to try to lose weight turned into a ritual of meal planning, binges, closely followed by the purge.
Even going out to eat was magical. I could eat all the good stuff knowing that I would come home and get rid of it all. No one ever suspected a thing if I ordered the biggest hamburger on the menu. All I had to do was throw in a side salad for good measure. I had many many tricks.
However, once I got my bulimia under control, what was once a wonderful magical high, became very unpleasant. We all have our trigger foods. For me, if I have a trigger food, (which is basically all the good stuff) my brain would play tricks on me and tell me “It’s okay, have all you want, you will get rid of it.” Pre-recovery, I was like “Heck Ya!” Post-recovery not so much.
One of the hardest things about recovery is going out to eat on special occasions. The trigger foods are limitless. Every table you see, someone will be eating something that if you are not careful your brain will try to convince you “Go ahead, just this last time.” It really does not work that way. If you are not careful you will go through about 2,000 “last times.” The key is to keep away from the trigger foods, and as you can imagine that is hard to do when you are in recovery. But it can be done.
I remember one time, as a family we decided to visit a nice seafood restaurant for the first time. The menu was complete hell to even read. Everything was triggering me. I was sitting there, silently praying for the strength to order something that would not trigger me. Then, a member in our party says “Hey Jen, did you see the seafood platter, that looks good.” Game over. I knew from that moment on, I was going to order to seafood platter and come home and purge. What should have been a nice evening out with lots of family, turned into me analyzing how much time I had before my food would digest. How am I going to find time to purge when I would not even be returning to my own house for the next three hours. I was pre occupied. I could not focus on anything that was going on around me, well, other than the delicious seafood platter that was large enough to feed two. That I was focused on.
Now a days things are a lot easier than they were in the early days of recovery, but it is still hard. I just know how to be better now. I will take a look at the menu online before we go out. I will go over it with a fine tooth comb and find something that I know I will enjoy without triggering me. It does get easier, but it never quite goes away.
This was a writing prompt from the wonderful Mama Kat. I would encourage any bloggers to check out her weekly writing prompts.
9 thoughts on “What is an unpleasant experience you had eating?”
Hello Vodka Calling! I am in recovery for overeating, so I can certainly empathize with your dilemma when going out to eat! It’s been a little over three years for me, and I can tell you that it does get easier. Never give up hope…and do not let yourself go back. There is so much freedom ahead of you! Trigger foods will always be with us…but we can fight them…just for today!
Thanks for sharing. It’s interesting to hear about your experiences with Bulimia. It helped me to understand eating disorders better.
Wow! I’m so glad you shared a little insight to what this feels like. I’ve never struggled with an eating disorder, but I can definitely see how easy it would be to fall to one. I’m currently a calorie counter and it can get out of control. I don’t have any impulse control, especially at restaurants. At home I fall into a really nice habitual eating schedule that I’m fine with. But restaurants kill me. The food is so good and always way too many calories. I’ll just splurge that “one time” (every time) and tell myself I’ll work it off. It’s a messy little cycle, but I’m so glad you fight it.
I can’t do it. I literally can’t. I ended up with haemorrhages spattering my eyelids when I tried, but no success.
I restrict, and sometimes anything is a cause for panic because there’s an expectation that I’ll eat, and an understanding that I’ll be fine (like a normal person) about calories and fat and carbs and there’s no escape once it’s in, so it’s easier to not-to because then my brain is quieter.
That said, remission is good and I’m on a mostly even keel these days but it’s a struggle to maintain some days.
You’re preaching to the choir!! The struggle to maintain is so so hard. No one gets it unless you have been through it. It really is like it’s own addiction.
It is. I am noticing old habits creeping back, which is worrying. More checking. More dissatisfaction with my body. More comparison *sigh*
And then this…which is that I want to stop all those things but also I want to be thinner.
While I’ve never been bulimic, I have been struggling with emotional eating over the past couple of years, in particular. I’ve gained so much weight as a result. I go back & forth between the extremes of not eating enough to going on an eating binge when I see something tasty. It’s a nasty vicious cycle too. It is interesting to see some of the parallels & differences between to the two struggles. . . Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for reading!
I really do equate it with that of drugs or alcohol. Just because you may not purge you food, the demons and the struggles are just the same.
I can definitely see that correlation! I tend to have drinking binges from time to time too, so it’s DEFINITELY related. That part I get. The self-control involved is daunting sometimes. . . I cannot thank you enough for sharing about this.