One of the worst things about my current state as a ‘recovering’ under-eater/anorexic/whatever, is the indecisiveness that overwhelms me on a daily basis. I spend literally hours each day trying to decide what to eat. Some people suggest that eating disorders leave us disconnected from our bodily desires, making it difficult for those in recovery to know what they want or need to eat. But I think for me, it's chiefly because I’m still conflicted about what to eat now that I’m trying to fully recover. I’m constantly torn between the wish to eat what I feel psychologically comfortable eating (ie. what I know won’t send me into ‘Oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-wake-up-a-whale-mode') and the wish to eat what I crave or what I know will keep me energised for the next few hours. On a wider level, I’m conflicted between my nice, predictable eating disorder rules and the ‘great-unknown’ of spontaneous, unrestricted eating.
In her book ‘Goodbye Ed, Hello Me’ Jenni Schaefer talks about how import it is to let go of all of your restrictive eating patterns and allow your body to find its natural weight. She uses the metaphor of parachuting off a mountain. The problem is, even though I definitely want to get the hell off the mountain, I still can’t trust that my parachute will open. But perhaps the alternative, continuing restricting, is even more dangerous? I’ve been doing it for years – keeping my weight just below normal. Sometimes it feels okay for a period, but at other times it makes me uptight, disconnected from life and preoccupied with food and weight. In the long-term, it risks my health and has probably contributed to some of my relapses. But committing to letting go completely still feels like a big ask.