Sunday, January 14, 2007

Food: enemy, fuel, or pleasure?

I have an eating disorder dating back to my teenage years.

Turbocharged by fighting back against ADHD minute to minute urges to do something anything eat?

So I learned not to eat all the time. And to push back against the desire to eat. And then the idea of cooking.

Tho I do make a mean Thanksgiving dinner. All are invited.

So I'm curious to hear about firedoglake people and egregiousBlog people and their attitude toward food. It seems...almost positive and happy. How can that be. I am open to learning and changing my attitude.

I was only in serious anorexia once, in high school when I lost 30 pounds and weighed 103 and STILL thot I was fat. A neighbor doctor helped me turn that around, bless him.

Food: the enemy, fuel, or pleasure. Discuss.


egregious said...

Anorexia/bulemia open house. It's all over my family.

What's on your mind?

Kewalo said...

A few years back I was ill and literally had no appetite. Not only not hungry but food was distasteful. I ended up looking like a concentration camp resident.

But it's changed my outlook on food. I don't know if this will make any sense, but food has more value now. I never did get my complete appetite back but what food I do eat tastes just wonderful.

I guess I've been pretty lucky, food has never been the enemy for me. Not always pure pleasure, sometimes just fuel, but never an enemy.

egregious said...

Wo. Do you know what your illness was, stomach/GI tract related or general?

I do get it, that food has more value for you now.

Re appetite, as we age [not me bub!] we lose our sense of smell and taste. No wonder I'm able to eat things which I despised as a child.

But really old people sometimes can't taste what they're eating. That could definitely affect their appetite.

Hope you are doing ok now.

GrandmaJ said...

Egregious - your blog *horing worked - here I am.

Well, about eating, I am the opposite of you. I have always loved to eat -- I eat when I am worried, nervous, happy (to celebrate) and all occasions in between.

My relationship to food is like a lover -- it can comfort me and excite me.

But I do notice that now that I am on a diet, it works simply because I choose to be in control. And that control is very, very tight.

In order to be in control I eat on a schedule, always. For me I can make a good meal plan days in advance and I stick to it. I leave myself no choices during each day. That might work for you.

I am going to the doctor once a month to have my blood tested and to be weighed so I remain healthy, aside from the neuropathy.

I think anorexia and overeating are not opposites, but different styles of the same disorder. Being overweight is very common in my family, but there is a recent case of anorexia, the child of a cousin. Kinda remote but still an eating disorder.

As of last night I am having one of my troubled times. Anxious thoughts, quick tears, worried constantly about -- well everything. It has taken me what seemed an eternity but I now know what to do for myself and so I have a plan for the next two days. Hour by hour. And I know I will be O.K.

Aw shucks, I am talking too much. Give a girl a chance to vent and oooo boy.

yellowdog jim said...


Marion in Savannah said...

Hi, egregious! For me it's always been fuel because food was never used as a reward/punishment mechanism when I was a kid. I've always been a "picky" eater, and there are some things I just can't stand, though. I do notice that I'm less interested in food during this time of the year, and truth be told it was a big ol' chore to do Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. (Also, being around food all day long in the kitchen is pretty much guaranteed to make me lose my appetite, just like a too-huge portion of something in a restaurant.)

GrandmaJ said...

Have to add another experience re food. As my parents were very strict with food in my house and there were no treats, it happens that as a mother myself I tended to let kids eat when and what they wanted. Yeah, I know, not the best but I refused to make food an issue. Food was fuel one wanted periodically.

And so as my kids got older, they would request good meals. They got tired of junk food I would eat, and insisted on vegatables. And not one of them was overweight back then and is not to this day.

Now my daughter has 4 kids and food is the same at her house. There are no candy bars, but lots of healthy cereal, sliced turkey, yogurt, and always milk and fruit. And lots and lots of soup. Not one of them has a food issue or is overweight.

egregious said...

Yellowdog jim, Marion, GrandmaJ---

Good morning and thanks for writing!

Have struggled with food issues for a long time, and probably will for the rest of my life. My nutritional knowledge exceeds my behavior, that's for sure.

GrandmaJ, for those anxious times, a phrase off of a sampler in my mother-in-law's house:

Yard by yard
Life is hard
Inch by inch
It's a cinch

Suzanne said...


I forget to eat. Perhaps it is because my monthly food budget is $100 (less lately due to unforeseen expenses). I buy a chicken and can stretch it into lasting almost 2 weeks. Not a lot of flexibility in what I fix due to that nasty budget thing.

I am trying to be better about remembering to eat. Most days, I now remember before dark - a huge improvement over remembering to eat just before bedtime.

Food is just fuel to keep me going. It has no real appeal tho, because what I like to eat is too expensive.

egregious said...


Good move on moving your meal earlier, well before bedtime. The energy will be put to better use.

I'm sorry that your budget so restricts what you can eat. Sounds like there are other issues of appetite or attitude about food but the money thing is very difficult. I am there with you.

In graduate school I couldn't afford enough food to eat and was very, very hungry. Not always a stereotype, sometimes it's real. For me anyway.