The weird thing about eating disorders (besides the bizarro aversion to eating) is that they can manifest into weird little habits that don’t have a lot to do with actually ingesting (or lack of ingesting) food.
Most “normal” people have prepare a meal on a plate.
They sit down.
Use a knife and fork to cut bite size (about 1 inchX 1inch) pieces, chew a few times, and swallow.
Then they go nap or back to work or go have crazy animal sex….I guess it depends on the meal…
Anyhow, some people do weird-ass things with their food. If you are offended because you do such things, dont fret. I used to do them too. Let’s examine some of these bizarro things:
Cut, cut, cut: when I first went into treatment, I was a little shocked that after the clients received their plates of food, they spent a good half part of the meal time just cutting their food into teeny tiny pieces.
I dont get what they were trying to do. Make the meal last longer? Hope that they are cutting away some calories? Maybe hoping to burn calories by moving their knife to and fro? Anyhow, this cutting was noticed by staff and thank goodness, one day a therapist announced at the table: “OK, I’ll give you 30 seconds to cut what you need and then I’m taking away your knives!”. Bless that therapist. Because anymore of that sound of knives screeching on plates and my ears would begin to bleed.
Taste Explosion: I think when you restrict your calories drastically, your taste buds get funky. I noticed a lot of eating disordered people dousing gag-worthy amounts of spices and flavor enhancers on their food.
Of course, most of these flavor enhancers would have to be calorie free. DUH! But these would use about half a bottle of Mrs. Dash on their steamed veggies, a salt shaker’s worth of salt on their spinach, or a pound of cinnamon on their oatmeal. I think the lack of food makes them crave the crazy, intense sensations of calorie free spices and such. Anyhow, this is why I never trust an eating disordered chef. Or at least hide the spices from them.
Snail Pace Eating: Sure, “fast” eating is a precursor to a tummy ache, but if it takes you an hour to eat an apple, you have a problem (unless you are a worm, but I don’t think worms read blogs). In treatment, all our meals and snacks were timed. This was torture for those people who ate food at a somewhat normal pace because this forced them to sit at a table full of girls who are still picking off the sesame seeds of their barely-eaten-burger bun. I’m assuming the reasoning behind this is to “make the meal last”..but seriously, it’s all going in the same place! Eating is fun, but I mean, how long does it have to take?!
I’m not saying any of this is bad and its nothing to be ashamed of. It might just be how you eat. Its only bad if all these things get in the way of other “life” things. Like if your late for work because you’ve spent an hour chopping your breakfast. And I’ll admit, at my worst I too cut my peaches into teeny tiny pieces without rhyme or reason. And after seeing all these other behaviors in treatment, I’ve let my own behaviors go and I realized how meaningless they were too me.
Because in the end, a pretzel will be a pretzel no matter how you slice it.
Have you noticed strange eating habits you or others do? If you are a recovered “werid” eater like myself, what helped you change? And just cause I’m curious, what do you do after a meal. Go to work, go to school, go anywhere, crazy animal sex???