*Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders*
To eat, or not to eat- that literally used to always be the question for me. Was it worth it? Did I really need it? How hungry was I actually? How much is everyone else eating? These, along with countless others, are the questions that plagued me at literally every dreaded meal. Granted it wasn’t nearly as bad when I was alone, but if there was anyone around..forget it.
For years I had always just thought this was normal. I assumed everyone had these same thoughts. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this was not the case, at all. However, I never would have pegged it as an eating disorder. I mean, I still ate something. And I never made myself vomit up anything I’d eaten. Just the thought of that made my skin crawl. So I was in the clear, right? Nope, wrong!
It wasn’t until I was well into my adult life that I realized that I might actually have a problem, but I still did nothing to change that. I mean, I honestly thought I was happy with my weight. It wasn’t until I (finally) got into a healthy relationship that I decided I needed to change. Having someone that would always cook for me was wonderful, but a little scary at first. The dreaded questions would pop back into my head; ‘is she going to judge me if I eat this whole plate’, ‘maybe I’ll just leave a little bit’, ‘am I eating it faster than she is’.
Every night I would sit at the kitchen table and talk to her while she prepared our meal. Our conversations would continue on while we ate, and well on into the night. Soon, I was too busy talking with her about everything under the sun that all of those awful questions never even had time to make their way into my head. (Her continuous flow of compliments definitely helped as well) After a while, I was no longer dreading each meal or trying my best not to eat the entire plateful. I could eat and actually enjoy my meals without feeling so self conscious.
For me, talking about my eating disorder was not an option. I even went to therapy regularly for other things, and never brought it up. Even after I realized I had a problem, I still remained silent. As we all know, that is never the answer. It is always better to talk about anything and everything, and I am a huge believer in therapy. However, that may not be the case for everyone. Personally, having someone that truly loved me for everything that I am turned my life completely around. I was eventually able to talk to her about my eating disorder, and that changed absolutely everything! Now, whenever those dreadful thoughts make their way into my head I can talk to her and she can help me shut it down. So now, when pondering the question ‘to eat or not to eat’— this girl is happily gonna eat!