“I’m starving! Let’s pop in here and get a burger,” your friend says to you, which immediately makes her no longer your friend, because, unbeknownst to her, you have an eating disorder. You can’t just eat. A burger. What goes down, in a disorderly mind?
A burger, are you insane?
Do you know how many grams of fat are in there?
How many grams of fat are in there?
And it comes on a bun. Bread?! Please!
Why don’t they make those lettuce-wrapped knockoffs anymore?
Does the bathroom there lock?
Maybe just a few fries. Mostly with ketchup.
Ketchup’s a vegetable, right?
Why’s this gotta be so hard?!
It doesn’t. But if you want to beat it, it can be just a little absurdly funny. Humor is seductive that way. While a sad, skinny you—clutching a bowl of tears, blood, and vomit—is in no way funny (or seductive for that matter), if you’ve heard this mental soundtrack before it’s because you have an eating disorder that either has or will likely soon become full-blown bulimia. I’ll bet you’re also a high-performing, Type A person who hides stress well and has a lot of responsibility—corporate, domestic, dangerous, lucrative, or otherwise. Part of the reason you got to that point is because you’re incredibly hard on yourself. It’s also the reason you’re a little too good at being bulimic.
But, is it doing anything good for you? Are you impressing anyone with your iron will and disgusting, unproductive routine? No. It’s like volunteering to be Sisyphus but without arms. “I’ll push the rock with my face and teeth, thank you.” Because that’s what you’re doing.
I hope something shifted in your brain just then and you finally saw (as I did, after twenty long years) that starving, stuffing, and punishing your body in an effort try to look and feel good is just that: a joke. My goal is to expose the disease—its roots and progression, its pervasiveness, and its preposterous yet exceptionally-stubborn justifications—and give you the long-overdue perspective you need to overcome it.
So, let’s dig in. I need a big Tupperware tub and a spoon. You?
What … too soon?