I recently finished reading Portia De Rossi’s autobiography Unbearable Lightness. The main part of the book was about her experiences with anorexia and bulimia, believing she was fat, convincing herself she looked fantastic when her brother cried at the sight of her. There was a long epilogue talking about what she lives like now.
I have never suffered from any eating disorder. I do eat too much. I have eaten way too much sugar all my life. My weight and my cavities speak loudly to that fact. I have a tendency to get a craving for one thing and each that thing every day, no matter how bad it is for me. When I was in Grade 6, barely a day went by that I didn’t go to the nearby chop wagon for lunch – poutine, fries with gravy. I don’t stop myself or correct myself.
One thing that Portia de Rossi talked about in the book was when she got better. She realized that when she allowed herself to eat something real, she would eat and eat as though she was never going to be allowed to eat it again. That was her binging. She had to remind herself that she could eat as much as she wanted whenever she wanted, which made her less likely to overeat – if she could have more ice cream the next day then she didn’t need to eat all the ice cream she could get her hands on that day.
Looking at it critically, this seems overly simple as a solution for people with serious eating disorders, but for me, it’s the time of mindset I need to push on myself.
I don’t need to buy a pack of four chocolate bars just because I’m craving one now. If I want one tomorrow I can get one tomorrow – the stores are not going to run out of stock. I don’t need to gorge myself. There will always be another chance to eat something.