Monday, February 4, 2013

Anorexia Unwrapped: I

Click here for Part 2!

Anorexia is hard to talk about, and it sounds so serious and weird.  It doesn't wrap up nicely in one blog post.  It doesn't have a beginning, a middle and an end.  And it CERTAINLY doesn't have a denouement.  If this topic gives you this face:

Then ignore this, and go check out some s'mores-related recipes on Pinterest and join us later for an adorable cake.  

In light of the discovery of thisishardtowriteabout-itis, I'm starting with a collection of stuff here.  I'm sorry it's not neat and clean and organized, but as it turns out, my life isn't always neat and clean and organized.  Unless my mother-in-law is coming over.  Then I have that shit under control.

  • I still sometimes feel nervous about telling people that I was anorexic.  It's not because I'm ashamed that I secretly starved myself.  It's because I'm afraid they won't believe me, because I'm not skinny enough.
  • One of the funny things about how we categorize eating disorders is that we feel that people with low self-esteem have them.  This may be true, but eating disorders give you false confidence.  In my experience, people told me I looked amazing, guys started paying attention to me, friends expressed envy of how I managed to get so thin.  That's powerful stuff.
  • Anorexia is an addiction, like alcoholism.  I feel like no matter how long I go without starving myself, I will always be a 'recovering anorexic'.  
  • I thought for a really long time that it would go away if I just ignored it and didn't deal with the root of the problem.  I was super wrong.  
  • Recovering, really recovering, makes me feel like this:

           Everything is new and weird, and sort of scary.  But kind of fun.

  • My biggest tool of recovery is saying destructive thoughts out loud to Steven, like, 'I don't feel like eating today' or 'I'm mad and it makes me want to skip dinner'.  Then we talk about it.  It sounds so silly and basic, but that's it.  No hiding, no secrets.  
  • Every time I say the words aloud, "I used to be anorexic", it has a little less power over me.
Have questions?  I would be so happy to answer them in the best way I can.  Comment or message me and I'll save them up for a Q&A post!  And click here for Part 2!


  1. Wow - brave girl. We are all recovering something, right? - Emily V.

  2. Oh ladee. I'm so with you on bullet point one. And the medical profession doesn't help - I starved myself EXTRA EXTRA hard when my GP referred me to the eating disorder clinic at St. Paul's Hospital and they wouldn't admit me because my weight wasn't scary enough.

  3. I love the way your sense of humour weaves through this serious subject. Your writing is unique, informative and entertaining. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hey shantini, I just wanna say thanks for this blog...I'm struggling with these issues at the moment and though I'm not ready to publicly admit to them I'm so inspired by your humor and strength. Thank you thank you.

    1. Dear anonymous friend! Thank-you so much for commenting. I hope you have someone to talk to, anyone. And if not, please give me a shout, anonymously or not, when you're ready. We can do hard things.

  5. Short, sweet, and honest. Thank you for sharing. The thing about sharing destructive thoughts with a safe and trusted person is very simple, but I feel is very effective for many struggles. It has definitely been one of my life lines for destructive behaviours. Thank you for putting that out there.

  6. you are amazing! this was truly inspiring to read. Thank you so much for sharing this! <3

  7. Thank you Shantini. I have struggled with this issue for a long time now. It's hard to talk about with friends because (even though it's diagnosed) they tell me I'm not skinny enough to have an eating disorder. You can imagine what that does to me - mostly just makes me starve and punish myself even more.

    I appreciate you being willing to talk about this and in doing so remove some of its power over you. I'm so glad I met you so I could find your blog! I look forward to reading more posts from you on this.