Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eating and Body Image

One of my favorite sites that I like to read had this article about eating disorders and cooking.  I found that it highly resonated with me, even though I am not college-aged and I am not technically anorexic.  I would not doubt that I may qualify for eating disorder-nos, but nonetheless, I have features of anorexia that have been damaging to my own life and has worn out the patience of those close to me.  I'm actively working on overcoming my body image issues, one day at a time.

In the article it talked about liking to cook for others.  I actually own a homemade sweets business. I love baking, and cooking and have a knack for detail and patience that come in handy with food prep.  I think that I am relatively a good cook.  I rarely eat more than a few bites of anything sweet that I make.  I spend hours in the kitchen cooking and baking everything from scratch.  I am even considering making a blog just to showcase recipes and pictures of foods that I make.  I love cooking!  One customer commented to me that I was 'too skinny' to be a cook and that was me 20 pounds ago.

In this post I talk about my weight issues, as well as the commonality that many ladies with AS seem to have anorexia, whereas ladies with border line personality disorder tend to lean toward bulimia.  I think the difference is control.  Vomiting is one of my biggest phobias.  It is so awful, and uncontrollable.  Sort of, to some extent I can most definitely control it, but once I can't it feels like an awful out of control experience that I have to endure.  If I can control my body, what I eat, and what I look like, then my anxiety will be alleviated.  My anxious, OCD-like self needs order.  I need rules to live by.  I thought I did anyway.  Now, I am getting healthier and seeing that all these rules and restrictions that I place on myself is doing me more harm than good.  They are making my life less safe, less happy, then the opposite intended purpose. 

Yesterday, as my day wound up to almost bed time I started feeling that anxious feeling creep in... I had eaten some candy, and I had been too busy to exercise.  As I realized that my day was almost over what seemed like I might be okay with earlier in the day, was feeling like walls were closing in on me now.  I began to obsess, with all of my usual techniques... First, the thoughts about getting fat, then the weighing myself. then the mentioning it to my husband, who if he does not give me the exact answer in the exact words that I want to reassure me of my body image the night will be filled with arguments about how he really sees me.  (Not proud of that, but it is true) I was able to get a handle on my anxiety and realize that I was indeed behaving in a way that  I didn't want to.  It's been a long hard road to get even this far.  I may always see myself as fat, but I don't have to let my thoughts and feelings rule my life.  I can see them for what they are, notice them, and carry on with my day in accordance to the person I want to be.  The person I want to be is not one that makes everyone walk on eggshells about my weight issues, or that plans her day around food, calories and exercise.  I want to be someone who is fun, caring, and makes people feel good to be around.  Following my anxiety-riddled thoughts about body image were not going to get me to that goal.