Eating Disorder Recovery: What Do You Want to Eat?

When you first start trying to eat like a "normal" person again, there's usually a period when you feel just obsessed by food.

Now, eating disorders are of course functionally obsessed with food anyway - what you are eating, what you aren't eating, how much you're eating, how little you're eating, what you're going to eat and keep, what you're going to eat and "get rid of."

But in early recovery, the feeling of obsession takes on a different quality.  Since it's been however many weeks/months/years since you were "allowed" to eat what you want, suddenly you have to... you know... figure out what it is you want.  At every. single. meal.

Going from not thinking about what you want because there are only certain things you eat in your disordered routine, to having the option of deciding what you actively want to eat, at least three times a day, is an unexpectedly major adjustment.

I mean, we're talking about, there is a lot of food to choose from, setting aside things like money and assuming you're not working around allergies/sensitivities.  Bagel or toast?  With egg or cream cheese?  Any cheese on that egg?  Any tomato on that?  Or will it be oatmeal or granola and yogurt or yogurt?  What about the fruit on that - strawberries or banana or other berries or mango or kiwi or what? 

Or what if you want to be really brave and eat something everyone else calls "bad"?  I mean, those are all fairly "healthy" foods I just rattled off.

And that's just breakfast. 

And we're still not at the "actually gaining perceptible weight" bit yet.  Oh, no.  That comes later.

No, early on the challenge is all around, "It's okay to want to eat that," but even more so around, "It's okay to have to think about what you want to eat."  Allow me to get cheesy for a sec and extrapolate from there:  "It's okay to think about what you want."

Oh, lord.  Well, I've had my cheese quota for today, then.

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