The biggest reason for giving up on an eating disorder is because you’re loved, accepted and bought by the Lord of the universe. Whatever those voices tell you, the truth is this:
it’s not too late
you’re not too sick
other people (and God Himself) care
it’s worth it
you’re not a burden or a waste of space and
there ain’t no part of your past that God can’t use.
There’s nothing more important – or more hopeful. Check out this link for more info.
But even if you think that religion is a load of bunkum for the soft-brained, it’s the essence of sanity compared to the madness of an eating disorder. Whether your struggle is with:
an unhealthy obsession with ‘health foods’
an unspecified eating disorder
life is more than food and the body. Whatever the magazines tell you.
So let’s start by asking the question – who or what are you getting thin for? For the sake of argument, we’ll go with the old chestnut of ‘Mr Average’. This is that imaginary guy we’ve all read about, the one who’s apparently looking for a ‘woman’ shaped exactly like him.
I’m not convinced. In my (undoubtably limited experience), knobbly knees don’t have quite the same allure as luscious curves. Cruella De Vil versus Nigella – it’s a no-brainer. Nor is this a modern development – those of you old enough to remember ‘He-Man’ will also recall that, even in the playground, She-Ra outfoxed Skeletor.
Any red-blooded men I’ve met are as terrified by the words ‘harem pants’ or ‘statement heels’ as they are by the wraith-like clothes hangers who promote them. Those sharp, glossy models appear to be selling sex, right? Which would imply some sort of invitation. Well class, turn back to your Vogue textbook. It seems to me that the subtext reads something like this, “look – but don’t even think about touching.”
That’s not sexy. That’s arctic.
But ok, horses for courses. So let’s say you’re dating your dream man who, like ‘All Men’ prefers his ladies to be skeletal. This is a great basis for a lasting relationship – one errant cupcake and it’s curtains. But hey, it’s your choice.
Or maybe he goes to the opposite extreme. Perhaps Warlock is actually a feeder, who can’t bear the thought of you slipping out of obesity and into a world where he’s not so important.
Either way, here’s a cosy little threesome – you, him and the eating disorder. What have you got to look forward to?
Well, how about this? – shopping! Alone! For food! Whether your preference is for Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lidl, Waitrose or Iceland .. the food courts are your temple. What do you mean you’re busy? Now you’ve cut out your friends , you’ve got nothing else to do but think about all that food you will – or won’t eat. (Discounting going to the loo or manically exercising yourself into the ground).
So, the choice is yours – you can either
a.) walk around the grocers like a nutbar, picking things up and putting them back, (alievated by a temporary loss of willpower and some friendly checkout banter, along the lines of ‘OOOooh, someone likes lettuce’).
Or you can
b.) embark on an equally demented and wild-eyed Supermarket Sweep, where you fill your trolley and stomach as you empty your bank balance, (‘OOOooooh someone likes chocolate hobnobs. And maltesers. And gherkins. And butter. And sugar puffs..’)
But that’s not all!
Next, there’s all those romantic meals you won’t be going on. Not eating and avoiding food-based social occasions takes up valuable energy you might otherwise expend on frivolities like breathing or having fun. And not just chez Warlock – with friends, family, work buddies and the human race, of which we’re supposedly a part.
Not to worry though, there’s the re-runs of ‘Come Dine with Me’ to go home to. Or you can just eat yourself into a coma and get rid of all that food via your new porcelain best friend.
To be honest, you’re not going to be feeling much like socialising now anyway. Sure, you can fit into a smaller dress size, but you’ve no-one to go with and real life is starting to look a little unsafe. Not only that but constant hunger, bad breath, stomach cramps and permanent low-lying anxiety/depression make every day feel like it’s that time of month. (Except of course that your periods stopped long ago).
Periods though are overrated. As are babies and relationships. Think of the savings on birth control. Saying that, if in a moment of madness you do consider some sort of intimacy, you’ll need to invest in a lawnmower or a substantial Waxing Fund. That’ll help ward off the attractive fur your body’s been growing in the absence of food to keep you alive. (I’d say it’ll keep you warm too, but ain’t nothing gonna heat up a skeleton).
As your weight drops (or if you’re overeating to keep people at bay), your sex drive will also disappear. Which is just as well given that your (interfering) boyfriend dumped you after you ruptured his chest with a bony elbow. And guess what? No matter how much weight you lose, you’re not going to suddenly look in the mirror and shout, ‘dammit girl, you look HOT, time to whack on the Barry White’.
The reality looks more like this. A gradual, painful retreat, from friends, loved ones and perhaps from your own growing sense that this is getting out of control. You see, that eating disorder doesn’t want to share. She wants all of you.