Eating disorders are not just losing hair, feeling hungry, or suffering dizzy spells. Eating disorders–the obsession with food, with perfecting the day with food–consumes all of your mental space, making it difficult to engage in LIFE.
This was a typical day before I began a raw food diet:
7am: Wake up—you must wake up early so that your food schedule is correct, so that you are tired enough to fall asleep early to avoid eating at night.
Weigh yourself after going to the bathroom. The scale is hidden and since everyone is still asleep you are able to weigh yourself without anyone seeing you. If they found you doing this—or even found your scale—you would feel ashamed. You pretend weight doesn’t matter, but you know that the number determines your mood for the day.
7:05am: Drink as much water as possible to feel full. It’s hard to force water in right when you wake up but you must do this to avoid gaining weight from unnecessary extra calories.
7:15am: You’re famished. You went to bed hungry so that you’d be hungry in the morning. Every part of breakfast must be exact—half a banana, 1 cup of oatmeal, 2 cups of milk, 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Measure out a cup of cereal to bring to the cafeteria and pour it into a bowl so that you can learn to measure with your eyes, so that you know where a cup of food should stop in the tiny black bowls. There is shame in having these measuring cups. Hide them in the drawer of your room.
You yearn for a bite of a waffle again. You dream of the day when you will be able to heat one of those suckers up on the waffle press. You give yourself false hope that someday you will eat one again—a huge one with sweet sugary maple syrup, rich creamy peanut butter, and little chunks of chocolate chips. But that hope is just to keep you on track for now, because you know deep down that there is no way you’ll let yourself have that again.
You leave the cafeteria still a little hungry but you tell yourself that hunger will go away, just concentrate on your homework. Drink water—drink lots of water. That will keep your stomach full.