Weighty Matters

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Obsessive Food Chatter

on October 9, 2014

You know that old statement that guys think about sex every ten seconds?  I have no idea if that’s actually true, but I’d like the people who think they figured that out to chart a similar study of how often people with eating disorders think about food.  It sure seems like I have food chatter in my head a lot.  I won’t go as far as saying that I think about food every ten seconds or every other thought, but sometimes I have entire internal conversations with myself.

This morning, for example, I decided that, even though I had a tasty, satisfying protein smoothie for breakfast, I wanted/needed/had to have a toasted bagel with butter.  Not having bagels in the house, while I continued my morning routine, I mulled over where I could stop to get that bagel on my way to work.  This went back and forth for a while, even while I was already in the car.  Then I presented the counter argument that I didn’t need the bagel, that eating it was not on my day’s food plan, that I shouldn’t give into the compulsion, etc. etc. etc.

The debate went on until I passed the last convenience store market without pulling in to buy anything.  It’s mentally exhausting sometimes to go through these mind conversations.  And that was just one for the day.

I might have a dozen more, or more than a dozen more, before I go to sleep tonight.  They aren’t really chats, more like arguments, because what’s really happening is a struggle between me and the eating disorder.  Recovery vs relapse.  Abstinence from compulsive behavior against giving in.  They aren’t all long debates like this morning’s bagel discussion, thank God, or I’d never get anything done.  Most of the time they’re fleeting thoughts of “I want” and “No, don’t do it” type duration, then I dive back into whatever I was doing.

Repeating healthy, recovery-oriented reminders helps.  I have good nutritious food that I enjoy with me ready to eat at the appropriate times.  I don’t need the other foods.  I’m stronger than my compulsive disease.  Any positive statement helps.  Those also take time and mental energy.  What I really wish is that I could simply obliterate the food compulsion chatter all together.  Unfortunately, I don’t know how so the best I can do is continue to counteract it.

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One response to “Obsessive Food Chatter

  1. emvardz says:

    It’s frustrating and annoying, but it’s a normal thing when you have an eating disorder. 😦 I’m learning in my recovery treatment groups that one of the effects of starvation (yes, your body can still be in starvation mode even if you do eat – I fought that argument a lot) is that you become obsessed with food. As you begin feeding your body better and you get further into recovery it’ll go away and you’ll have more brain space to think about important things! It’s frustrating but don’t give up, things will get better 🙂

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