Why Eat?

Something that I've noticed during my recovery is that everyone eats. And they enjoy eating, too.

I know - it sounds obvious, right? Well, when I was deep into ED, I didn't realize how important it was that I eat. I mean - I knew that everyone ELSE has to eat, but of course, ED told me that I was that one special person who could survive without food.

Everyone is weak. They need food to do their work. But now you. No, you do not need to eat. Look how strong you are! Look how you are able to function without food! So why would you eat?!

And for the most part, I'm sad to admit that ED was right - I was able to function. I woke up, did my school work, went to school, and got As on everything. I studied, I read, and I passed all of my courses. So, it sure felt that I could function without food.

But what I neglected what the fact that I was not actually functioning. Sure, I was getting great marks in school. But I lost my personality, my smile, and my sense of humour. I lost touch with all of my friends, and even tried to isolate myself from my own family. My left leg was so thin that I began to limp on it as I walked. My face was so bony that I resembled a skeleton. So, ED, was I REALLY able to function without food? Of course not.

Now, as I am eating, I notice that everyone actually eats naturally. When I'm with my friends, I excuse myself as I take out my food - 'sorry,' I say. 'But I need to eat now'.

And the response I get is amazing. My friends look at me and say, 'yeah. sure. Maybe I'll eat too'. And I'm staring at them. WHAT?! You mean people actually eat if they want to? Because they enjoy food? I eat because the clock tells me to! And this person has no problem with it?

Of course, not everyone I stay with eats at the same times as me. But everyone is so natural around food - they could not care less whether I am eating. And when they eat, they take out their food and just eat - there is nothing else to it. Eating is a normal part of their day, just like waking up and studying is. It is just something they do - no strings attached. On the opposite, I eat because I HAVE to - I don't necessarily feel hungry or am craving something. But then again, it will take my hunger cues some time to readjust. My body still is in shock - it is amazed that it is getting nutrition, but it is also scared that another famine is coming.

This revelation - that people 'just eat' - was a big thing for me. It helped me become more comfortable when I had to take out my food to eat in front of others. After all, I'm 'just eating' - like any other human being. It made me see how ED played with my thoughts, trying to convince me that eating was not necessary - that it was an option. Now I see that eating is NOT an option; it is a necessity for life. And EVERYONE does it.

It's just food. And we just eat. It is that simple. So the next time ED tries to tell me that I don't need to eat to function, I'll remind him that I am human - and just like everyone else - I need to eat.

After all, it is a blessing that my God has given me the opportunity to have food available whenever I need it. And my body appreciates the nutrition. To top it off, it is one more step on my way to recovery.

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