But at my eating disorder heyday, I remember being asked by random strangers for diet tips or how I stay so-thin-its-borderline-holocaust-victim. It was crazy and of course, I never dispensed my “tips”.
So feel special, ladies and gentleman (cause I think I get one male reader on average per post): today, I will dispense the secrets of the eating disordered:
Tip #1: Trim the fat, and by “fat”, I mean fat (duh) and friends
On your quest to skinny, friends are like that evil witch from Hansel and Gretel (believe me, I’ve had friends that actually cackle).
They’re evil and cunning. All they want to do is feed you so they can be skinner than you (that whole eating you part from “Hansel and Gretel” doesn’t really apply though). Plus, friends get in the way of the essential activities like moving a lot, training for a marathon, moving some more, and vomiting. Friends? Who needs em?
Tip #2: Cook for others, NEVER for you!
This is a great way to have a relationship with food without actually eating it! Blog and write about food too if you can! That also lets you “experience” food without having to basically tape that bagel to your ass!
Tips #3: Avoid “white” food
Haven’t you guys heard? Sugar is the new Hitler! Avoid sugar, milk, cheese, chalk, white-out, and semen.
Tip #4: CAFFEINE!!!!
You probably alread know it’s important to drink often so you’ll get too full to eat. But it’s hey to make sure what you drink is high in caffeine! Since you’re not opting to get fuel from food, you’re gonna need energy to exercise! Caffeine is your answer!
Load up on coffee (hold the milk and sugar, who do you think you are, Mario Batali?), down diet cokes, and green tea! I promise, you won’t be too wired because you will have low energy to begin with since you swore off that white stuff.
Tip #5: If you MUST eat, eat a shitton of fiber (pun intended!)
Chose cereal and breads with the most fiber in them! Yea, they might taste like wood but it will help you shit!
It’s like a slightly-ghetto version of a colonic! But remember, these still might be carby, so only treat yourself to fiber
wood-rich when you feel “indulgent”. Sometimes, I get really “sinful” and I let myself go and have a bowl of all bran and water (remember, milk is white! no white!).
Tip #6: Find a “cause” (and by cause, an excuse)
After a while, you will get thinner and people will not only be jealous, they will try to “help” you and suggest you go into rehab or whatever. This is the time where you “adopt-a-cause”.
Say you’re “vegan” or “vegetarian” or “allergic to wheat/sugar/fat/taste”. These are fabulous excuses! Or better yet, say you have a disease so people feel sorry for you:
Hey Eden, you’re tailbone is protruding. Erm….maybe its time you like, consider eating, or something?
I am SUCH a pig! Of course I eat!!!! I just have this awful disease where its like a have a tapeworm but I dont and it also makes me allergic to carbs….oh and I love animals so I’m going vegan by the way……
Tip #7: If all else fails, lose a limb
Do you really need that left arm? Chop, chop my friend. 10 pounds gone. Skinnyville, here you come!
In all seriousness, I cringe at the fact that some people think these tips are real. And the sad thing, most people will get these ideas from health magazines or mainstream media. The intentions will actually start to be good; taking advice from a “health” magazine. But they spiral into this horrible mental prison in your head that is hard to break free from. I hope this post didn’t trigger or offend anybody. Except maybe you people still stuck in your disorders. Its nothing personal, I just hate your fucked up disorder.
So do you have any messed up tips you’ve learned? Would you like to unlearn them? Maybe you have unlearned them, how did you do it?
Omg all of the ‘tips’ that I hear of anorexics using are the exact same ones from the health magazines! Fiber, water! exercise! Eat slowly! Chew 20 times! Use Chopsticks! oy the list goes on and on- it’s heart breaking!
This might be one of my fave posts. Jicima and daikon radish is white- can I eat that?
only if you allow yourself some white flour every once and a while 😉
Deb, you cannot have jicama and daikon. They have 10 more calories than leafy fibrous veggies, and one more net carb.
net carb? like, does it keep mosquitoes away? If so, Deb needs that!
What about white asparagus, white eggplant, mushrooms, cabbage and napa cabbage? Especially if they come with a mosquito net carb.
all white things! I’m a food racist.
The Chinese have a new tip: Ingest tapeworms.
Does semen have calories? Damn it.
did you miss that part of my post? I have tapeworm!
No, there are some Chinese woman who actually eat tapeworm, not a disease.
So I guess we’ll have to spit, not swallow.
(But what if they notice and think we’re throwing up and GASP find out that we are GASP eating disordered?!?!?!)
This takes me back to a time in my senior year of high school. It was the first time I’d been exposed to “fitness and health magazines”. As I was reading them, I was shocked because it was basically the opposite of how I was living my life, even though I ate (and still eat) what I consider to be a healthy diet. You could only have chocolate a few times a week, your meals needed to be measured and have a certain number of this and that, fruits and vegetables must be present at every meal, etc. Around that time I was also taking an anatomy course and a psych course, which I think helped a lot in helping me see the light. I learned more about my body and gained confidence that I WAS fueling myself properly, despite what those magazines said. And the psych course taught me about the perils of social psychology and ulterior motives of the mass media. Those tips aren’t for healthy people and they aren’t meant to be taken literally. The truth is (with eating disorder being the main exception), most people are not able to follow those plans long term. The magazines “downsize” the portions even more to make up for this so they can say that their “programs” are successful!
Sorry for the novel, but this just took me back! I haven’t read tips or magazines like that in years because I know they do not apply to me (and probably shouldn’t to anyone else either!).
Bahaha I love that you added semen to your white food list. Are you by chance a Tucker Max fan? (One of his stories is definitely about an anorexic diabetic who tries to regular her bloodsugar with semen…sort of funny the way he describes, totally not funny in real life)
Let’s see…some tips I’ve heard: mix Dannon light & fit with pudding mix for “ice cream” (um, vomit) 10,000 ways to burn 100 calories in 10 minutes blah blah blah.
OMG this sounds exactly like me. I always felt like someone was trying to sabotage me so I’d never let people cook for me. And I would stalk the Starbucks bar to make sure the baristas would only use sugar free syrup. But if I was unsure I’d drop the drink in the trash.
And hmmm, I was a vegan for the majority of bout with anorexia…
My rule was 5 hours. If I could go five hours, my hunger pains settled into dull aches that I could easily ignore.
I’m sure the barista just spit in it. But thats calorie free (i think) so dont fret.
this is my first post I have ever read on your blog and i can safely say you have a new regular reader 🙂 this has been my struggle for the past year.. you NAILED it in this post! I love that you can make light of it now though, it reminds people like me that these behaviors are not normal and nobody should live their life like this! thanks again and happy recovery 🙂
(Stupid, Contradicting) Lessons from “Health” magazines:
1. Eat the same thing everyday, less variety will make you eat less
2. Eat a variety of foods, more variety will keep your diet not boring and easier to stick to
3. Don’t eat fibrous foods right before going to the beach because they make you bloat
4. Eat a fibrous meals every single day until your belly starts to cry out in pain
5. Never eat chocolate, it has too much fat and calories
6. Eat 1-2 oz of dark chocolate per day (same thing with eggs, margarine vs butter, and coffee)
Along those lines I have tons of messed up “tips” from my eating disorder. The hardest one for me to break was never eating another meal if you haven’t exercised since your last meal because of course you have nothing better to do than eat and exercise, oh and blog/take pictures of how (little) you eat.
I hope this doesn’t sound bad, but this post literally had me laughing out loud. Only because I’ve done all of these (except #7!) myself and you hit the nail on the head over and over again.
One I’d add that I was often guilty of when it came to eating out:
1) “Save up” calories for days in advance of an excursion with eating out (ie restrict your food even more, exercise even more, stress over everything under the sun even more)
2) ALWAYS insist on restaurants that have nutrition information available.
3) Spend hours and hours obsessing over the calorie chart, adding up possible meal combinations, then readding them and comparing them again, and again, and again.
4) After all of that, no matter what the options were, pick the grilled chicken salad, dressingonthesidenocheesenooilonthegrillplease.
5) After days of preparation, when you’re finally faced with the food in front of you, freak out because the portion seems bigger or smaller or greasier or somehow inconsistent with what you’d envisioned, making it impossible to calculate with absolute precision.
6) Choose to eschew rather than chew after all.
I love being able to own the ED stuff with humor, loved this post.
Poor head of nails!
I hope you’ve unlearned some of those things. Its important to sit back and look at the silly behavior. Because frankly, I’d like my left arm.
What a fantastic post! I have have had eating issues but never a full ED. My sister did and it was devastating to watch.
I would add to your list, overeat on nutritionally void food so that you feel full to the point of being sick but don’t consume many calories. I guess this is a combination of your fiber +caffeine.
I once watched my sister eat an entire head of cauliflower (hmmm..that’s white) and litre of diet coke for dinner and then sat with her while she cried because her stomach was so sore.
Note: Excessive amounts of cauliflower and diet coke are really only appropriate if you are planning to enter a farting competition.
I am gonna second that theory about farting
When I was in college you could buy it OTC without signing your life away.
It took my spaz quotient to a whole new level, but it sure did kill the appetite and make me want to run forever.
Holy freaking Danger! What was I thinking???
you know what kills MY appetite? the live birth 1970’s videos they showed my in my 9th grade health class.
and there sure as hell was no such thing as bikini/brazilian waxes back in the 70’s… JUST SAYIN’ haha
oooooooh my god an ENTIRE HEAD OF CAULIFLOWER AND DIET COKE! dude thats like stomach explosion
my ohhh my was this fun to read!! it surprises me that the more society and humanity evolves, the more ridiculous trends become, or at least are still practiced. i just had a 30 minute conversation with my older brother on why taking ‘muscle surge’ pills that he ordered online will not make him look like Ryan Reynolds…the fact that i was even having to reason with him as he proceeded to tell me ‘but the guy i bought them from is jacked’ … hmm but then again, that’s another story.
in terms of eating disordered behavior and beliefs, one thing that pops into my mind is a documentary i saw at one of the clinics where i girl refused to drink water because of the caloric content… 😉
water has calories?
so funny now, but realizing that i actually believed these for the most part, absolutely scary and repulsing. It truly does bring out the absolute craziness of an ED…
On a more positive note, yay for being the one male reader!! :]
have a fantastic weekend ❤
Don’t use toothbrush to brush your teeth because you might accidentally ingest some, and gain 7 or 8 pounds.
Your blog is awesome!! I’m totally needing a laugh today and I found you!! thanks so much!! I have dealt with my ED for over 18 years on my own, I’m recovered for the most part, I for sure can laugh at all these ridiculous things we put our minds and body’s thru…thru life, laughter is defintely the best medicine!! glad to have found you!!
18 is too long! glad you are in a better place that you can at least laugh at it.
Can I tackle you (out of love) for this?
Hello Eden’s Eats,
This post triggered me initially, however i’ll try to lighten up. My mental prison of eating disorders’ weird rules included most of the things you mentioned though i did not really remember. At around age 12 or 13 i couldn’t eat anything with fat or added sugar in it and panicked or rather was revulsed at the thought of say a danish, for example. i actually didn’t know the word for anorexia till some people in the hospital informed me of such a disease. Then things got worse till i was 22 when i went slightly psychotic, but started to value my whole self and cooking was arduous but i got it done, and bulimia or binging had no power over me.
So i can’t say exactly what the triumph was other than an innate sense of safety where i lived at the time and people helping out. People i trusted (2). And a lot of rock and roll music that was extremely important.
i don’t care if i’m obsessed with food and whatever i put in my body. i just haven’t figured out how to stay sane in an insane and unsupportive, unwelcoming city.
i don’t know where in the States you are physically but i’m in Canada ya’ll!! maybe i should care more and take back the previous sentiment. i care too fricken much, then hit the opposite extreme.
The saddest thing from bulimia is losing teeth and now i’m strugling to gain a lot of courage or guts to get every damn tooth pulled and dentures put in my mouth. i personally don’t know of anyone with dentures as a result of complications from bulimia, and i might never know them…maybe someone can send me an uplifting anecdote from their life.
In case some kids are spying on these letters- the best advice i have is to never start making yourself purge!!! harder to stop than crack/cocaine.
Over and out, special agent Kasia
This is a great article. I find it so baffling that people really want to know about eating disorder behavior to use as dieting skills. It’s like suicide.