Finding The Balance: What It’s Like To Be A Foodie In Eating Disorder Recovery

foodies and food
Stephanie Mccabe

For starters, this is the first time I am openly discussing my eating disorder, my struggle and my recovery. I am sure anyone who is or has struggled with this disease can relate, that sharing your struggle whether it be with close friends and a family or a larger audience is never a comfortable conversation. However, for me writing this article and opening myself up to the vulnerability of my disease and society shows me how far I have really come. Writing it is one thing, having it published is a whole other obstacle. So if you’re reading this, then I am one step closer in my personal recovery.

I am sharing my personal story in hopes that something written within these worlds will allow some to relate, some to be inspired or some to be aided in their own personal recovery.

Let me start by stating two things. First I love food and I don’t mean salad. Pizza, pasta, hamburgers, fries, chicken fingers, chinese are all amongst my favorites . Secondly, I have the biggest sweet tooth a girl can have. I can hardly resist a chocolate chunk cookie, a cupcake or a bag of candy however my 5ft1 frame and ruined metabolism might not agree with me, or at least that my opinion when I look in the mirror some days.

Looking back I remember the day I stepped on the scale and has surpassed the 100 lb mark, I was a freshman in high school. I remember the days I began to skip lunch at school and a summer in particular where all I would eat were mini marshmallows (Yes, I know – they’re all sugar) but it was enough to give me energy to get through the day. I would cook dinner, put it on a plate or bowl just to dirty the dishes and throw the food in the garbage to convince my parents I had eaten before they got home. After getting to a point where I could no longer starve myself, I would binge and purge and repeat. This went on for years, sometimes in the form of anorexia, and at others bulimia or binging.

Today, almost 5 years into my recovery process I can confidently say that I have found a balance. No, that doesn’t mean I am free of this disease or that I don’t suffer from the occasional slip up, or that the thought of what I will eat next doesn’t control my every thought. What it does mean however is that I have made progress, and that I know can enjoy a slice of pizza (or three) without purging and that I know the following day will consist of veggies and kick-ass workout.

Thank you to the first boy I ever told about my disease, sitting across from you at 3am after the bar over wings and spinach dip. I will never forget the moment I finished sharing my story and you looked straight at me, told me to eat the last chicken wing and I did so with no guilt and no regret. That was the beginning of my recovery.

My lifestyle change was balance; I developed a love for working out and I actually enjoy and look forward to salads on a regular basis, but I let myself have a cookie, slice of cake or whatever it is I desire most of the time because I know maintaining and being healthy today allows me to live my best life. Yes, I have days where I struggle with the way I look or feel but along the way I have come to learn that the less you care about what society dictates in regards to your appearance, the more confident you can become. TC mark

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