Ask everyone in my family, and they’ll say I’m a good cook. Probably the best out of all four.
Thanks to my eating disorder I became quite skilled in the kitchen. In order to get well, I had to learn to cook, which I write about in my book Sick. Basically, I was eating all raw foods and then my body became too cold and weak to digest them. Then, I got too habitual with the foods I was able to eat so my eating disorder resurfaced. It didn’t help that I began to exercise frequently as soon as I gained some strength, which made me need to eat (the same things) more. Often, I did not eat for this reason and stayed anxious, hungry.
I stopped liking cooking because I felt I had to do it, couldn’t eat out or enjoy myself. Slowly, with some professional help, I added more in and started to experiment. Today, I’m lazy on cooking sometimes. Soon, when I feel more settled and ready, it will come back . I didn’t just drop doing cooking totally and start watching TV, or something like that. Instead, I opt to do more of the other healthy activities that make me feel good, such as taking care of my face or driving somewhere special to walk. I still spend plenty of time in the kitchen.
When I became “obsessed” with cooking, my eating disorder did not come back seriously compared to where I had been before. But it happened badly in the sense that, once again, everyday folks thought I was just thin or small. I felt like such a nothing and didn’t want to share “anorexia.” Although I was trying to get better, I felt incarcerated as ever.
I don’t like that people seem to think I’ve had more than one eating disorder. Then again, things seemed unclear in my book based on the well-meaning medical “threats” I received and what people said was going to happen! I didn’t have eating disorders. One label is more than plenty, mind you! A doctor said I’d probably become bulimic, but I’ve never made myself throw up. Maybe I was “exercise bulimic” but that would have been at the same time that I was anorexic, anyways. I gained a lot of weight in a short period of time, yes, but that wasn’t anything new. The point is, I cut through and found therapies, such as new types of movement. Also, I know what binge eating is and have met various people with that condition. I don’t have that. I do; however, have lots of shame, insecurity and doubt. Not gross amounts, but more than what I previously could handle. But just because I’m no longer anorexic doesn’t make it right for people to wonder, in light of my history, What’s next. What more is wrong with this woman?