This topic was sprung on by a conversation I had with my Mom last night (Thanks for the inspiration Mamma.) Its the difference between healthy eating vs. disordered eating. Now this may seem obvious to some people like, “well duh of course it’s different?” But for family, friends, and peers of people recovered/recovering from an eating disorder the lines can sometimes get a little fuzzy.
What I mean by this is that for someone who’s suffered from an eating disorder, your eating is constantly under a microscope. People are constantly watching and monitoring what your eating whether you like it or not people will always be hyper aware of what you eat since you were that person with an eating disorder once upon a time.
It gets super annoying at times. Although yes, I did suffer from an eating disorder, that does not mean I need to eat every single thing offered to me. The looks I get when I pass on dessert are the worst. It’s like people think “oh there she goes restricting again” when in reality I’m just full from dinner! I’m at a point in my recovery where I can comfortably decline food when I’m genuinely not hungry or just don’t feel like eating what’s offered.
Think about it, as a human it’s normal to not constantly want EVERY food that is offered to you, so why should it be any different for people who have suffered previously?
Now I’m not saying this applies to people in active recovery because at that point your hunger signals can still be skewed so it’s hard to trust them.
But personally my hunger cues have come back, I eat when I’m hungry and I stop when I’m full, something that took me a long time to practice.
Something that goes along with this is wanting to eat healthy as someone who’s had a past with an eating disorder. Every time I opt for a salad instead of pasta people raise their red flags. But again, I’m at the point in recovery where I’m confident that choosing what I eat is based off what I want.
I went through a stage in recovery where I had to eat everything, all the sweets, all the foods I had been scared of for ages. And as good as this was to show me that a single food doesn’t make you fat. I no longer fear these foods but that doesn’t mean I want to eat them all the time.
I’m a firm believer in putting nutritious whole foods into your body. Fuelling your body with good foods that make you feel good. Since I started recovery my mentality has drastically changed from eating to look good to eating to feel good.
I find eating whole natural foods like this makes me feel my best.
I do enjoy the occasional treat that I no longer feel bad about eating. But I also do not want to eat them as often as I was in recovery and I don’t think I should feel bad about that. It took me a while to learn that concept, because I felt like if I wasn’t eating sweets and treats I was “restricting” when in reality I just truely did not want those foods anymore.
I make my food choices based from a good place, not a disordered place. I’m happy and healthy enough to now know that difference. And it’s important for friends and family to understand that. Just because I don’t want to eat processed sugary treats all the time doesn’t mean I’m sliding into the oblivion of anorexia it just means maybe I genuinely value my health.
I put my body through the ringer with my eating disorder, now it needs some love. And feeding it whole unprocessed foods is my personal preference to feel good.
Of course with the occasional donut… Because everyone knows how much I love my donuts.
Moral of my rant is that people who have suffered with eating disorders can eventually learn to make dietary decisions for themselves based on other values than their disorder. It’s okay to want to eat healthier than you did while in active recovery, just make sure you are doing it for the RIGHT reasons. If there is any hint that your choices may be coming from a disordered place than take a step back, because that’s not what healthy eating is.