A girl with too many thoughts...

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Food, Food, Food...

Food, food, food - it's all my mind thinks about at the minute. I spend my whole day consumed by thoughts about food (if you pardon the pun). I go to sleep at night thinking about what I will eat tomorrow, how I only have to get through one night of sleep before I can eat again. When I wake up the next morning, I think about all the food that I can eat in that day.

I count down the hours and the minutes until my next meal/snack, telling myself to just wait a little bit longer or just be a little bit more patient and I'll be sure to enjoy eating it more and feel like I deserve it more. When I'm out, I look forward to coming back because I know that I can sit alone and enjoy whatever meal I've been planning. I don't have to think about anything else, it's just me and a bowl of bloody cornflakes.

This might sound strange coming from somebody with a restrictive eating disorder. Surely eating is the last thing I want to be doing? However, this is a common misconception surrounding such eating disorders. This may be true for some people, but not for me. People wrongly assume that I restrict because I don't like food or because I don't have an appetite for food, but in fact it is completely the opposite.

I love food. It makes me happy and it brings me comfort. It doesn't matter how down I may be feeling, some kind of delicious food that I enjoy will always give me at least a little sense of joy. But, you see, that's where the problem starts.

I hate that I am so emotionally dependent on food. I hate that I like it so much and that it has the power to influence how I feel. It scares me how much thoughts about food take over my mind and it makes me feel out of control. I convince myself that if I let myself be free to eat to my heart's desire, then I'll never stop eating. I'll eat and eat and eat and the weight will pile on. Therefore, in order to gain back a sense of control, I have to restrict.

I have to prove to myself that I'm better than that. That I do have will power and self-restraint. I have to fight the thoughts that are telling me to eat like a normal person because they make me feel out of control, like I won't be able to stop. I feel guilty for thinking about food and the only way for me to relieve that guilt is to eat less.

It's a vicious cycle though, because restricting makes me hungry. Depriving my body of the nutrients it so desperately needs makes the thoughts about food stronger and more repetitive. When you're body is desperate for energy, eating in order to give it that energy is all your brain can think about. Forget normal day-to-day life, that goes out of the window. Screw that essay that's in for next week, all I can think about how I'm going to both eat and not eat at the same time.

The conflict is exhausting and it's driving me crazy. All I want is to have normal thoughts towards food and to stop associating food with guilt, control and emotions to the extent that I do. Yes, it's normal to feel a bit guilty if you know you've eaten one or two more chocolate bars than you should have that day. What isn't normal is to feel guilty for eating an extra apple, or a bowl of cereal for breakfast, or bread at lunchtime.

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