Saturday, July 25, 2009

"I Was a Baby Bulimic"

Tonight I read this article by the New York Times food critic, Frank Bruni.

I wrote this comment back to him:

I read this article with near-astonishment at the recognition I felt. Thank you so much for writing it.

We must be almost exactly the same age, and I could have grown up right next to you. As a teenager, I was a 'mother's helper' in Madison, CT for 4 summers back in the day. My dad and I did the Atkin's diet back in the 70's. Also, the fasting and the liquid protein diet. I can still remember the bad taste of that protein. So many of my life memories are food related. I had the very same favorite ice cream treat from the truck. I still imagine eating it sometimes.

I was such a fat baby that the doctor TAPED MY CHEEKS DOWN so I could see. I battled with my compulsive eating, compulsive dieting, compulsive purging for years. I have maintained what appears to be a 'normal' weight for about 10 years now, but I still never stop obsessing. I now follow a strict gluten-free, dairy-free diet to help manage multiple sclerosis. I guess I'll never be free of the curse. I learned around the age of 35 to get brutally honest about my problem and write about it. That helped me with much of the shame. The shame is just poisonous.

My joke with the men in my life has been that what sex is to them, food is to me. A bubbling provolone topped cheeseburger can distract me completely from any conversation - it's like cleavage.

I look forward to your book's publication, and feel compassion for you and everyone who has lived with an eating disorder for so long.


Anonymous said...

Oh my god what a depressing article that was.

trrish said...

That's funny. I didn't find it depressing, exactly. I suppose finding a kindred spirit of any type brings a certain amount of joy, however dismal the subject matter.

Linda said...

And I had you pegged as one of those always-thin people who never had to worry about their weight. So funny, the assumptions we make about people without knowing what's really going on. When I meet someone who admires how "thin" I am, I'm shocked - me, thin? No, maybe not fat, maybe a little better than "average", but never will I be thin. Crazy things we let ourselves get wrapped up in...

trrish said...

yeah, that is funny. I have a theory that anyone who ever was a bit overweight always sees themselves that way.

I have always thought of you as one of the thin ones, Linda :-)