It was always what we did after dinner on hot summer nights when I was a kid, so today seemed like a perfect day - it was a celebration for the Longest Day of the Year! (Not really, but we realized after that today is, in fact, June 21, the first official day of summer aka the sun is out for the longest amt of time)
Anyway, we walked down there but it was closed. Apparently these people don't want to make any money because they decided to close at 8pm on summer nights, which is just dumb because we were NOT the only people going to get gelato after 8 o'clock at night in an NYC heat wave.
Instead we went to the market near by and got some Ben and Jerry's and Haagen Dazs (we got Everything But The and Haagen Dazs Cookies & Cream. Yum!)
got back home and ate and it was nice and whatever. After I had had my bowl, I still wanted more.
I already was feeling really guilty for having ANY in the first place, and my mind was freaking the fuck out about the calories and fat, but I was doing the whole thing where I just kind of push it out of my mind.
(Which tends to work, for limited periods of time)
I sat at the table trying to decide if i would have more or not.
A few of the millions of thoughts going through my head:
"Rose, have what you want. It's just ice cream. Not a big deal."
"Fat pig fat pig fat pig fat pig"
"You already blew it, so you might as well just eat more"
"Mom is definitely thinking that I ate too much"
"calories calories calories. *** Calories for 1/2 a fucking cup! FAT FAT FAT GROSS.
"You know that you have delayed fullness signals, especially when eating sweets""Take care of yourself"
So after all of this confusion, I had more. Not a lot more but enough so that it felt satisfying while at the same time totally awful and indulgent and disgusting and guilt-inducing.
I walked to my room thinking "why do i do this to myself?" "Why can't I just be normal like every other eating disordered person in the world and NOT eat things that are going to make me feel guilty if i know I can't purge?" "What is wrong with me?"
Here's the picture. It wasn't like i was uncomfortably full. I had some fucking real ice cream, so shoot me. It tasted good and so i had more and I felt satisfied after a second serving. When i got to my room i started thinking about how annoying it was that since i'm "in recovery" i can't just go and casually throw up after i eat ice cream. Like it just seems to me like I enjoyed the ice cream, and now i should be "allowed" to go get rid of it because its just unnecessary to have an extra 700 calories floating around, when i could just as well be done with it.
I think of this as "casual purging".
This is kind of how I used to get discouraged about recovery. I would agree that it would be good to stop bingeing and purging, or purging even when I was restricting. But i could never quite wrap my mind around the reason WHY i shouldn't be able to just go get rid of "unnecessary" things like ice cream.
My body doesn't need it. My mind doesn't want it.
My taste buds, and some sort of part of me (soul-self?) that is desirous and pleasure-seeking WANTS Ben & Jerry's.
This is frustrating to me. I don't like that I can't just go and sneak off to the bathroom and get rid of it. I hate that i have to commit to my food. I want to be able to just let some part of myself enjoy the ice cream, but then not have to really "own up to it". Does that make any sense?
I think the first problem here is that purging cannot be seen as "casual" in any sense. I need to wrap my mind (and my body)around the fact that there is nothing "normal" or "okay" or "typical" about making myself throw up my food. This belief might take some time, I think.
The other issue is really getting in touch with "commitment". I need to be able to commit to my food. I need to be mindful of what I am eating. I need to feed myself in a deliberate manner. L, my dietitian, talks a lot about this concept of "conscious eating". I think this is partly what she means.
When I am feeling guilty about something, or having thoughts about it before I eat it that I just push to the wayside for some semblance of peace of mind, I am not being deliberate with my food.
I think this might be a major difference between AN and BN which i think it would be interesting to explore. It is for this reason that sometimes I wish I had some kind of AN tendency to be overly deliberate with my food. I feel like in my BN, and also in my recovery from it, I cause more suffering to myself because I kind of ignore the part of myself sometimes that is screaming "don't eat that". Obviously, ignoring that voice is important, lots of the time, but I think that i go the opposite way, in spite of those voices, to the point where it is just misery-inducing.
Okay I am rambling and i apologize and applaud anyone who got through this post!
Going to go watch Law & Order SVU now :) (guilty pleasures, anyone?)
First my three gratitudes:
1. Air Conditioning
2. Afternoon naps
3. My friends (I just had a wonderful phone call with a good friend of mine, N. I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life)