Homemade Thin Mints and My Anger at “Thinness”

WARNING: This post is extremely personal and I don’t want to trigger or upset anyone.  I am just speaking from my personal experience and yours might be different. Lets play nice and keep nasty comments to a minimum.

Lately, I’ve noticed how angry I am at some people. At some emaciated looking woman at the grocery store checking the labels of a salad bag. At this woman who was bone thin running in the streets. Even at some blogs. Blogs of some seriously thin girls touting how they a new non calorie sweetener or whatever (mind you, its not like I don’t use splenda, but I’m also not bone thin either).

I suppose this is just anger towards me. I used to be that label checker, that new low calorie food detective, that running girl. But I look back in disgust.

If the “me” from back then looked at the “me” now, she’d call me “fat” and “out of control”.  My food intake used to be VERY meticulous. Always calculated and measured. Exercise was rigid and endless.

But I got tired. Physically and emotionally. It was boring eating the same thing every single day, and lord knows I am not one of those people who get a runner’s high. I’m no longer in denial and seeing other people in denial makes me angry. I want to strangle their eating disorder, rip it to shreds, yell to it “F*** YOU!!!”.

But I’m not some “recovery fairy godmother”. My mission in life is not to go cure every person struggling with a food/exercise issue. As much as I want to yell and preach at those girls I’ve seen, I won’t. I know of they want help, they’ll have to make that decision for themselves. Recovery is a joke unless there is a will.

My roommate from treatment, Michale, was one of the funniest people I’ve met.

This was only the second day after I first met Michale in August of 2008, I was already in the treatment center for about a month and she was my new roommate

She and I would laugh ourselves to sleep. She was from Toronto, and I always made fun of her pronunciation of words like “out” and “about”. Michale was also a big foodie. She loved food (who doesn’t?) and she had good taste. Michale’s eating disorder was stubborn though and no laughing matter.

Actually, my current roommate is in this picture (the hot, middle one). I'm the frumpy one on the left, and Michale is one the right. This was already about two months in treatment. We went to a flea market on our "outing" packed with out afternoon snacks...of course! and PS, check out my cleavage! Yep, you get some nice looking boob action after a few months in treatment!

A year after I left treatment, Michale passed away from complications of her anorexia. She was 28.

When I heard about Michale’s death, I hated her a little. To be honest, I hated everyone who was skinny. I hated myself.  That was when I realized that I don’t want to die and have people think, “well, at least she was thin…”. Michale died for a stupid reason, and there’s no way in hell I’m gonna let that happen to me. For my sake, and for Michale’s memory.

So this is why I get so angry when I see those people walking around, checking labels, running their hearts out when they can barely catch their breath.. This is why I hate reading blogs of people clearly in denial of their issues.

Why did I write this?

Its getting close to the anniversary of Michale’s death and I’ve just had a lot of pent up anger that I wanted to let out. Like I mentioned, I’m no recovery fairy godmother because its not like I’m super cool with food either. But I’m no longer at an unhealthy weight anymore. Because a million things can kill me, but I’m to angry to let thinness be one of them.

What makes you angry? Do things that actually pertain to how you are/used be anger you? How do you feel about “thinness”?

So to go along with my “thin” theme here, I decided to make a rip-off of the Girl Scout thin mints (mind you, I dont lone most dessert-mint things because it reminds me of toothpaste, but these are an exception, they are that good!)

2 1/4 cups sorghum flour (for a gluten free version) or all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup  sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup milk (any kind)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract (you can totally omit this if mint gives you that toothpaste feel)

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. With the mixer on low speed, add in the milk and the extracts. Mixture will look curdled. Gradually, add in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
Shape dough into two logs, about 1 1/2 inches (or about 4 cm) in diameter,

I know, its phallic, and yes, I'm that immature....tee hee

wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 1/2 an  hour.
Preheat oven to 375F.
You can roll the dough out and make cookie cut outs like me, or, slice dough into rounds not more than 1/4 inch thick – if they are too thick, they will not be as crisp – and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cookies will not spread very much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake for 13-15 minutes, until cookies are firm at the edges. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate. Dip them in melted chocolate (you can microwave chocolate chips or do what I did and do it over a pot of boiling water). Now you can turn down those Girl Scouts because you can make better ones at home!


52 thoughts on “Homemade Thin Mints and My Anger at “Thinness”

  1. I had never thought about it, but you are totally right. I do get more angry at people who do things that I used to do and were stupid and I got over them. Food is one of them, but fortunately/unfortunately not the top reason. Guys and things I did for/because of them is the top reason, again fortunately/unfortunately.

    About thinness, I am scared of it. Really scared. Ever since a person I love very much was in that state (she’s seemingly over it now, but is anyone ever really over it?) I look at thinness as a possible indication of a relapse. And I am so scared to see her like that again. And I know that I cannot do anything more. And so, I am just scared. Of her being too thin, of anybody around her being too thin, on models on TV and magazines being too thin and trigger her back.

    Sorry for the longest comment ever. I guess that the post hit a nerve…

    • yea, I know what you mean…it scares me too. being to thin makes me feel weak physically and emotionally. And I’m glad I hit a nerve with someone! I love blog posts that make me think.

  2. I, too, hate reading about how much weight people have lost or what low calorie product they are using- even though they aren’t admitting that the low-calorie-ness of it is the reason they like it. “Oh, I love Fiber One cereal for all 3 meals everyday!” Lie.

    Your post really moved me and I will have Michale in my prayers tonight. I remember my friends from treatment and I really hope they are all well. Although, unfortunately, only 1/3 of people actually beat this awful disease. I’m glad you wrote this and I’m thankful for YOU Eden.

    • 1) haha, I used to eat fiber one, back in the ED days!!! I dont miss it. 2) aw shucks, I’m glad I moved someone! And it totally sucks some people’s disease is stronger than their will to live. But their memory keeps me from tampering with food and whatnot.

      • It’s such a tragedy but we can only use their memories for motivation to beat this disease forever.

  3. I used to be a calorie counter as well and I’m not sure how, but I eventually got over it one day. Probably because I was tired of how consumed my life had gotten by it. And I have a good friend who I find myself getting angry with once in awhile because I can see her doing the same things. Not eating until dinner and then running it off on the treadmill later. It’s hard to be understanding sometimes.

  4. Hi, this is my first comment. I’ve never suffered from disordered eating but I think this is a really valuable post and applies across many things in life. Once you have gone through something and come out the other side, it is natural reaction to feel anger and struggle to feel empathy with those going through it. Your honesty is refreshing. My husband is a bodybuilder and struggles with body dysmorphia. He lost a lot of weight in his late teens and turned to body building as a way of coping with a difficult life. He struggles with seeing “fat” people. If we are near a food court and there are overweight people eating, it makes him angry. Friends and family view that as insensitive on his part, I simply understand that because he has ‘been there’ and doesn’t want to go back, the anger is really about him. Provided he doesn’t voice the anger to the poor innocent bystander tucking into the fast food, it’s not harmful to anyone else and by recognising it in himself, it really leads to self awareness.

    Long story short, well done for being so honest.

  5. I love this post. You, and your friend are in my prayers.
    Maybe i dont find new blogs very often, but i dont think ive ever come across a blog like your talking about.

  6. I started reading this, agreeing with everything you were saying, and then it hit me. Michale died? She was gorgeous. My heart hurts right now, and I am saddened. But I cannot thank you enough for sharing this. It really opens up my eyes even more the seriousness behind this nasty disorder. I am thankful for you, your honesty, and your heart! I hope that you can remember her laughter and smile on that anniversary.

    • she had photos in our room of herself pre-eating issues and she totally WAS gorgeous. When she was at a healthy weight, she was stunning. But her eating disorder made her look frail, pale, and tired. It amazing how thinness can strip someone of their beauty.

  7. You know my thoughts. Thank you once again for posting exactly what I was going to but haven’t had the time to “class up” enough yet. Now I can just say, “Yup. I agree 100 percent.”

    I’m sorry for your loss. On the other hand, I’m jealous of your cleavage gain.

  8. Awesome awesome AWESOME post! But first off, I am so sorry that you lost Michale. She seems like a beautiful person, inside and out, and it just sucks so much that such a STUPID ANNOYING disease had to do this to her. ARRGH. I HATE eating disorders.

    Okay. Onward. I think i’m hypervigilant about it now that I’ve “recovered” from an ED but there are so many times when I see girls at the gym or in the supermarket or walking down the street..and i just know. Because our faces all get that same thin emaciated look after a while. And you can just tell. There’s this one girl who takes this body conditioning class with me at the gym and there was something about her (and this is going to sound downright mean) that just repulsed me and I couldn’t figure out what. Until last week, I realized. She had “the look”. She was super stick thin, ready to break in two and her face was just gaunt. That was a major breakthrough for me…the fact that I could look at someone like that and NOT find them attractive.

    Anyway. I hope that when I talk about losing weight or getting healthy lately, you’re not offended or irritated. I’ve been struggling with more of an overeating disorder lately where I go kind of crazy and just eat everything in sight. Which is a whole other beast and sucks just as much as having anorexia. I just want to eat like a normal person goddamnit! thanks for listening Eden and always being so inspiring!

  9. I think there’s a balance. I was seriously overweight and now I’m at a reasonably healthy weight and I definitely don’t want to get too skinny (I like my curves, and my husband would hate it if I looked like a stick!) I really don’t think I have or have ever had an eating disorder, and I totally know what you mean about seeing those bone-protruding girls on the treadmill or picking at their salad and more than feeling angry, I just feel really sad for them. Sad that they feel inadequate, sad that they feel compelled to behave that way. I enjoyed reading this, it’s made me think quite a lot. I’m so HAPPY for you that you’ve overcome your obsession with super-thinness. You’re beautiful!! And I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, that just breaks my heart. Posts like this just might be able to help someone else in her shoes to confront their illness and get better. 🙂


  10. Uh oh, this is an issue.

    I too think about how I’ll be eulogized or, if I’m feeling less morbid, occassionally what people say about me behind my back – and I’m so, so embarrassed to admit this, but I am attached to the idea of being known as the “skinny” one. I think I’ve somehow internalized it to my identity. And this is infuriating to no end, because it’s ME, goddamnit. I SHOULD be totally above this. Before I understood I had an eating disorder I heard about how an ED could strip one’s personality, and now I understand why; that what I strive to advance are not my passions, my virtues, or even my banter, but rather just my emaciation. Cool, Charlotte. It’s truly ridiculous and I am so, so angry about it – and yet, I don’t know where to turn for help.

    I’m rather hopeful that at least now I can identify the crazies, which I think is a good start; battling them all day, every day, is another issue. So when I see girls like me in the grocery store, it’s frightening because as much as I pity them and want to reach out to them, I know that I’m in no position to do so. And when I read what girls like you say, I’m insanely envious that I’m still trapped in my warped little world. But posts like these do give me a kick in the ass toward the right direction (or “inspiration,” if you will).

  11. And PS – what I will NOT do right now, as I had originally intendend, is go for a run. Ha! Tricked the crazies this time.

  12. Pingback: Own It | I Have Issues

  13. wow wow wow. Awesome post. I am speechless, but you really said it all. I always read, but never comment- this one was great! Thanks Eden- you really make me think a lot…..you are younger than me and SOO SOO SOO wise in your words and thoughts, which is why I enjoy reading your blog so much.

    • For someone that is only in their mid-twenties, I feel like an old lady. But I think its because my mom died when I was young so I had to pick myself up and take care myself. Obviously, I was never good at that…Thanks for commenting. Please do so more often, i love to hear from readers!

  14. I’m glad you wrote this- people like that make me angry too. But not because I’ve ever had an ED- because I work with a population who didn’t ask to be helpless but they are. They can’t eat (they are tube fed by a tube that goes directly to their stomach or intestines) they are all wheelchair bound (most can’t even move any of their limbs), none of them can talk or take care of themselves. And a lot of them are children. These people/kids didn’t ask to be this way and I know if they could they would wish to be able to eat something, anything! And yet there are people who do it to themselves and choose not to enjoy what they have, which does make me angry.

    • i don’t mean to be rude bu ED are sighlty more than CHOOSING to do do it to ourselves!!! i have worked in medicine , known a surgeon who had an ED (was on sick) i am sure if you were to ask ED sufferers oveereaters/ an /bulimia etc they would tell you about the guilt. sorry but that kind of attitude really bugs me i have family members recovering from alcoholism and i hear comments about people should forfeit help (medical/ financial as they “choose” to do it) my remember you NEVER know what goes on behind closed doors. sorry not trying to argumentitive but had to say it.

      • sorry have to comment again after reading more of the comments i have realised that its more about frustraion / anger at people struggling not blame anger so my above comment may sound harsh now sorry April.
        by the way Eden i guess seeing people in the midst of ED may not be suitable for you now, maybe in the future this might change or it may not does not matter everyone is different dealing with whatever crap they come across it’s what makes them. no need otherwwise all mental health professionals would have to have suffered a did their patients. also you say in previos comment about not taking care of yourself don’t put yoursekf down, you are younger than me/friends and have shown so much strenghth and wisdom = you have grown into someone with their head screwed on right.

      • Of course not- if I believed that I wouldn’t work in medicine. However, ED are fully treatable and you can get help fairly easy but many choose not to because they are so focused on one thing. While others with other diseases wish they could get treated and can’t.

  15. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ve had a lot of people die in my life from one thing or another, including my father (at age 9) and my husbands best friend AND his brother. That’s only naming a few too. It sucks.

    I wanted to ask you how you actually got over the counting/measuring? I tossed both my food scale and other one the other day and have been doing ok without them. It was a big step for me. Any tips as to how to stop the mental tallying? It’s cumbersome, but I feel if I could stop that, I’d be so much further along…

    • I am so sorry for you losses. Life sucks and living life is all about making it a little “un-sucky”. I will address how I got over the counting thing in a future post, I think it deserves its own post!

  16. I am so sorry about you friend…that absolutely breaks my heart. People should read this post and long to be healthy – not stick skinny and sickly! I think there are many blogs out there of girls who think they are better, but truly are NOT. Two thumbs way up for the honestly!
    Oh, and I wish I would have seen this post yesterday. My husband just bought 4 boxes of Thin Mints from a girl scout yesterday!

  17. I don’t know what to say, and I don’t want to say the wrong thing, so I’ll keep my comment brief.
    1. I’m so sorry you lost a friend in such a difficult, preventable way. My heart goes out to you and to anyone who knew Michelle.
    2. I think you “anger” at thinness is probably anger at your past history with the concept, and maybe that’s a good thing? I think it shows that you are so far away from the place you used to be.

    I’m still quite ignorant when it comes to talking about eating disorders (though I absolutely respect those suffering and in recovery and I would like to be more informed), so I hope that I didn’t offend in any way.

    I truly believe you are someone to admire Eden!

  18. I’m so so sorry for your loss – its so terrible to lose someone, and its ok to be angry about it.

    I get angry at super thin people, too. Although, sometimes I’m not sure if its because I feel like they are dumb or if I feel like a failure. I have a really good friend who I’m constantly annoyed with, and I know its because she’s at least 25lbs underweight. But then, I find myself getting annoyed with me when I’m around her – because she’s “disciplined” enough not to eat the bread, or she works out all the time while I can’t make it off the couch on a cold Sunday.

    I don’t know where I’m really going with this, but I think my annoyance with myself indicates that I still have work to do (don’t we all?). Thanks for writing this and for showing us some cleavage 🙂

  19. hi eden, this is my first post! lurker coming out of the dark 🙂
    i too get angry, for the same reason. i am a recovered anorexic and when i see people following the same habits i used to have, it frustrates me a lot. i noticed a lot of the blogs i was subscribed too had underlying eating disorders, and needless to say, they were not helpful at all to my recovery or to my health to continue reading them. i unsubscribed from a lot of them, and i urge anyone who reads a blog that frustrates them or that encourages their ed to simply stop reading it. however, this post made me think of something else that makes me extremely angry – when i see girls who are clearly in an abusive relationship. i had a boyfriend of three years who was very emotionally abusive, and when i look back i cannot believe i let someone treat me like that, but at the time, i put up with it all, thinking i needed him. it is SO frustrating seeing couples, or hearing about friends who put up with men who do not treat them well, control their lives, or put them down. being in an abusive relationship is very much like having an ed in my mind…it is so hard to escape from, we become dependent on it, it defines us. thank you for this post.

  20. So sorry that you lost your friend, I would imagine it’s very hard to lose someone to a disease you’ve experienced yourself.

    To answer your questions, I have definitely had twinges of frustration similar to what you described. It took a long time for me to not feel like a failure if I wasn’t the absolute thinnest person in the room. I’m at the point now where I have more objectivity about that, but there are still shadows of it, depending on context.

    One thing that did and still does, sometimes, make me angry/frustrated is when other people have food quirks that would totally be attributed to my ED if I did them, but for them are just “preferences”. I know there is indeed a difference, but it can still be pretty frustrating to feel like every preference or habit of mine could probably be written off as a “behavior” and seen as bad.

    Another thing is when nonEDers talk about just forgetting to eat or skipping meals. I’m trying to figure out how to eat healthily and “normally”, but this is what “normal” people do so what gives? I know that they’re probably eating a lot more intuitively than I am, but it’s still an automatic wtf reaction in my mind sometimes.

    Great post, as usual!

  21. I wish I had some insightful words to offer, but I can’t summon any up. This is just a tragic story, but so important to tell and I’m glad you did. I think it will hopefully it home for those struggling with this disease…

  22. First off, I’m recovering from anorexia. So even though I do think you’re right, I’m not sure I got to the “hate” part. I mean, I obviously HATE this disorder and what it’s done to me, mentally and physically. But for now, the only emotion I feel is fear. When a friend starts talking too much about weight and diets, I just freak out. My first reaction is to keep reminding her she doesn’t have to loose any weight (all my friends are at a healthy weight). But then it seems like fear takes over. I start worrying too much, watching my friend’s eats to make sure she’s not restricting, and literally crossing the line.
    My biggest fear is to be responsible for a loved one’s ED. I’d feel forever guilty for motivating such behaviors.
    It’s just tricky. There is no “right answer” when it comes to eating disorders.
    But I definitely do hope that I get to the “anger” state as soon as possible. Getting involved could only make things worse – for me and the other person.
    Thanks for sharing this, though!
    Great post, as always.

  23. I am deeply sorry for your loss, and I can’t begin to express my thanks for sharing this story. I think my reaction is most similar to Lindsey’s. The gravity of seeing the photo and then learning that Michele passed away–I literally gasped aloud in front of my computer. I understand you are not an MD, RD, etc., but do you know what complications of anorexia are responsible for causing such a dire, unfortunate outcome as the one to which Michele succumbed? Also, anecdotally or otherwise, do you know of instances where people who are not “bone thin,” but who have EDs still can have the health concerns of those that are bone thin? Thanks Eden.

  24. I am sure she would love you for this. I am so sorry about the terrible emotions you have involved with this. Thanks for sharing the story (and a recipe for my all time favorite cookie 😉 )

  25. I’ve lost a close friend to something self inflicted (a drug overdose) and I know exactly what you mean about the anger. Thank you for putting it out there and being so honest here! (Not that this surprises me in the slightest. You are a pretty honest, ass kicking, kinda gal)

  26. i didn’t know Michale, but i was at MNV when i heard about her death during a family group. it was really, really sad. i’m so sorry that she died. for so many people who have died from this. and i’m sorry you were so close to someone who later passed.
    i get angry, too.
    it’s hard to not be angry at people who are in denial of their illness.
    especially when the rest of us “have” to keep on going on in recovery, becaure we are no longer in the dark, we know better now, we have to keep going.
    i so get this, Eden, I understand and feel your anger and have felt that way so many times before.
    you’re not alone in that.
    thank you for being so honest. really, thank you.

    • Wow, you were at vista! I should have expected her to be somewhat of a legend there. She was there in total about a year! You can email me this but I’m curious how your experience was. How long ago were you there?

      • sorry if i’m just being dumb but i can’t find your email address for some reason…? hah i’d love to email you b/c i’m curious what your experience was like as well!
        and yes, Michale was quite a legend. I didn’t know too many people who knew her, but the staff was rather shaken up by her death you could tell…

  27. This is so sad about your friend, Eden. That makes me feel so sad for her. She was so gorgeous. I bet she’d be proud of you and proud of this post. I know I am proud of you. And we need to figure out a good day to see each other!

  28. Thank you for sharing this story, so important to talk about. Sometimes the hardest things in life are right there in front of us. Sorry to hear about your loss, Michale seemed like an amazing person! She was lucky to have a friend like you in her life. I get mad sometimes at the same issues, but I try to remember each person has to make their own choices. But then I get mad at myself, because shouldn’t I want to help them. And yes I do, I wish I could help all girls and guys suffering, but I can not. I can only do my part and share my story and show others that food is good. Food is nourishing. Just like you do 🙂

  29. This is powerful Eden.

    I do recognize these feelings myself. I’m not in that mindset now but when I struggled I hated girls that were super thin because they carried the look of someone that struggled and I was just f-ed up in head but looked “healthy” on the outside.

    I do get angry inside watching certain girls struggle publicly in their blogs but be in complete denial. I get eve MORE angry at their commenters who just go along with it all and encourage the behaviors.

  30. I’m sorry about the loss of your friend. So sad.

    Frankly, I’m not that interested in eating disorder issues. I like reading your blog b/c I like you. I think your funny and creative past eating disorder or not. I do find reading about your experience interesting. I’ve never severely restricted my food but I have eaten too much and was fat and depressed b/c of it. I know I will see people eating a bunch of crap and then complain about not feeling good or being overweight. Sometimes it annoys me b/c I used to be that person but most of the time I feel sad b/c I understand. I certainly don’t blog for the ED crowd. I’m a mission to encourage people that they can lose weight without losing their mind in the process. While I have compassion for EDs it’s just not my experience or interest.

    • To be honest, I think too many people are “fascinated” by the ED crowd and not in a good way.I don’t know if they think its “interesting” someone can do that to themselves, or that they themselves have underlying issues. And it totally goes both ways (as in for seeing overweight people struggle a well). People are quick to think that you need to be underweight to have a disorder. So not true.

  31. So sad. I to was one of the girls in treatment surrounded by boney females who I doubt are healthy or alive today. I hope they are alive of course and happy, but the percentages of how many eating disorder suffers who don’t survive it is astounding.

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