Filled Pasta (and life after an eating disorder)

Filled pasta is my proof that there’s life after an eating disorder –

And that you can do things that you didn’t think that you would be able to do.

I used to eat filled pasta, smothered in cheese, as the starter. Crouched in front of the TV, straight from the saucepan, and washed down with milkshake so that the transition to the next course would be swift and (relatively) painless.

Now I eat it, with a knife and fork, from a plate. And the world does not come tumbling down.

This was bulimia’s threat: stop bingeing and you’ll never be able to eat most of the foods that taste halfway decent again. Stop throwing up – if you think you can – but you’ll be back to eating nothing for the rest of your life.

Wrong.

Me and filled pasta have had a little cooling off period to break the associations – but broken, they are, and the ‘binge food’ categorisation is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. It’s taken a bit of time to build up the courage – but we’ve got there now; and food’s not as scary as the eating disorder would have me believe –

I used to eat a week’s shopping each night, carried up the stairs in two journeys, and consumed, bowl after bowl after bowl for hours. I used to keep going, packet after packet after packet, until it was too hard to stand; and, still, the hunger was desperate and overwhelming.

One portion is enough now. I was mis-reading what I was hungry for.

This is another little trick that bulimia uses to keep you trapped: if ten bags of food won’t fill you up, how will you manage on what other people eat? Stop throwing up – if you like – but you’ll never feel satisfied and you’ll always be a step away from out of control.

Wrong.

There’s a bit of a re-adjustment, I’ll admit; but, when you let food stay there for a little while, it all sorts itself out. When you give your body what it needs – and get yourself out of starvation mode – then one portion is plenty.

One by one, I am exploding the myths that kept me trapped.

Day by day, I am silencing the voice and weakening the associations; until, like today, I have enough proof to know that I can do the things that I don’t think that I will be able to do –

And that there’s life after an eating disorder.
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One Response to “Filled Pasta (and life after an eating disorder)”

  1. Elisabeth says:

    This is a great post! During treatment, I was also surprised with the changes that I was able to make in my relationship with food. There were many things that I never thought I’d be able to “handle” eating again. It turns out that over time, I realized that food is just food, and many of the things I used to binge on do no even appeal to me anymore. Over time, I also stopped having binge flashbacks each time I enjoyed one of those foods. It’s definitely a process. You’re doing a great job, keep it up!