Yes, It Really Starts this Early

This morning, a friend of mine shared this article on her Facebook page, entitled, “Uh Oh: My Child Might Have An Eating Disorder”. I gave it a read, as this is the sort of thing that’s relevant to some of my interests, and I was curious to see what the situation was.

The article doesn’t say how old the child in question is, but she’s pretty young. And I would be willing to bet money that there are people out there–because this is the internet–frothing at the mouth because of how alarmist this article is. The child couldn’t possibly have an eating disorder, she’s too young.

If a disorder is a thing that disrupts or prevents conventional or healthy behavior, then it is entirely possible for a young child to have an eating disorder. And more to the point, I know this because mine began when I was a young child.

This article actually made me remember some things about myself that I’d forgotten. Like how, once when my (step) uncle was visiting, we made cookie dough and put it in the freezer to chill. Then something happened, and the cookie dough was forgotten, and we never actually made cookies. Except I didn’t forget about the cookie dough, and I would sneak it compulsively. (This was at the age of seven or eight, folks.) I used to sneak candy all the time. Like the child in the article, I would also get really excited about sweets, and would ask for them at odd times of the day. I was much better able to get away with this at my dad’s house than at my mom’s, and I remember frequently eating ice cream at odd times, or drinking can after can after can of soda because it was so good, I just couldn’t stop. One year, for Christmas, my Papaw gave me twenty dollars. I walked to the Village Pantry near my dad’s neighborhood and spent all of it on donuts and ate them all myself. Twenty dollars worth of glazed donuts is a lot of fucking donuts.

When the friends I had in my dad’s neighborhood would have slumber parties, I remember I would get so full on snacks and soda that I would consider making myself throw up so that my stomach would stop making me miserable.

If the compulsory ingestion of a substance known to be harmful to oneself is not the hallmark of an addict, I don’t know what is. I am an addict. And I started really, really young.

I’ve been worse about my intake this last week than I thought I was. I’m back around 180. I will be asking for another adjustment when I go to see my surgeon in a week or so (and not just because of the weight increase, but because of part of what’s causing the weight increase–I’m having issues with actually feeling hungry). And I do have the business card for an addiction counselor that my surgeon recommended. I’m just waiting to contact her until we figure out what’s going to happen with our insurance next year. …which leaves me in a bit of a lurch over the next two months, which, lucky for me, are The Holidays.

(Pro Tip: For anyone working their way through compulsive overeating/other eating disorders, the holidays are an absolute nightmare.)

So yes: It is very possible for a young child to have an eating disorder. I only hope that it’s also possible for a young child to overcome an eating disorder if it’s recognized and treated early on. And I wish that family all the best.

Edit: Oh, and by the way, I thought I should give you all fair warning. In conjunction with that whole holiday thing I mentioned, I also suffer from Seasonal Affected Disorder, which you may know by the term “seasonal depression”. It is therefore very possible that my posts may start becoming less thoughtful or exuberant and more negative, as part of the reason this blog exists is for my own catharsis. It’s not guaranteed that it will happen. Last year, for example, I was barely bothered by the winter, and there were plenty of non-SAD reasons for me to be down about things–and I wasn’t. But this year…this year, I started feeling ghosts of it a couple of weeks before Halloween. So if my posts take a turn for the negative, just know that it’s caused by a combination of food cravings and the weather, and that the blearch should subside on the nice, bright sunny days.


Knowing and Being Myself

A while ago I wrote a song about finding myself. This song was borne out of many different situations, but one of the primary feelings I wished to express was the frustration I felt at knowing certain things about myself, but not being able to act on those things for one reason or another.

One thing that I have always known about myself—or have at least known for long enough now that “always” feels like a good word to use—is that I am most definitely a sexual being. I like to feel sexy. I like to feel attractive. I like to be a sexy person. But I have rarely been able to be this person, and it has pained me for years.

At first I was unable to be this person because I was too young. I know that there are many today who do not think twice about thirteen and fourteen year-olds dressing as, shall we say, adults, but when I was that age, it was much less acceptable than it is today (and with good reason—girls that young should perhaps exercise more caution about how they express their sexuality, because when you’re that young, you’re kind of an idiot, I don’t care who you are).

Next I was unable to be this person because of my weight. There were a few shining moments during my teens and during my early twenties where I genuinely felt attractive, but they were infrequent and didn’t last for long. It’s pretty terrible to want to be seen as physically attractive, but not feel physically attractive. Ever*.

But that is—finally—starting to change.

This past weekend I attended The Ohio Valley Filk Fest. I always really look forward to going to this convention. It’s the home of amazing fun and amazing people. It’s also the home of “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”, which is an ice breaker type of event held Friday evening, to which all participants must wear some kind of hat. There’s tea and cider and various tea-related finger foods, and it’s a good time.

One of the things I love about going to conventions is that they give me the opportunity—hell, the excuse—to costume. Yes, I am so very much a costumer (and I can’t wait to start sewing again). So for this year’s Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, I decided to wear this:

 At the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, OVFF 2013

By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes…
I do wish we’d gotten a better photograph.

I would not normally wear something this salacious in public**, even to a convention. But this time I did. And I felt fierce. And it was incredibly wonderful.

I know I’ve written before about how, since I’ve lost a significant amount of weight, I’m starting to look like myself again. But now I’m starting to feel like myself again, and I feel better able to express a side of myself that’s long been hidden because of my weight. And I just wanted to share how bloody wonderful it was!

*I should note that my husband has never, at any point in our relationship, intentionally made me feel unattractive or unworthy of him or anyone else as a companion. He found me desirable whether I weighed 285 pounds or 185 pounds. But I’ve wished to look attractive to other people as well as to my husband. I don’t think that’s an uncommon thing for people involved in monogamous relationships, though I’m hard pressed to explain why that is a thing that is important to me.

**Those of you familiar with my habit of wearing corsets to conventions may call bullshit, but cleavage is one thing. A dress that’s this form-fitting and—*gasp*—shows off my legs is something quite different altogether.

An Article and Other Musings

Happy Thursday, everyone. First, I wanted to share this article, “13 Nutrition Lies That Made The World Sick And Fat“, as I found it very interesting. Obviously one should be careful when getting nutritional advice from the internet, but there are sources linked in this article, which is always comforting. Those of you out there with a nutritionist or dietitian in your life might find the information in this article makes for some interesting (and hopefully informative) conversation. We’ll see what my dietitian has to say about it.

Secondly, I wanted to vent. Sorry if this is TMI, but this month’s cycle sucks for food cravings. I’ve been eating way more junk than I should have, and there are, of course, moments I’m not exactly proud of that have come as a result of this. I am finding, though, that I am able to at least mitigate the guilt and self-hatred by reminding myself that this isn’t something I make a habit out of doing anymore. And really it’s that “anymore” bit that’s the primary mitigating factor. This weakness is temporary, and I am all too aware that it’s almost entirely hormone-induced. There’s stress in the mix, yes, but I think the reason I’m caving in so easily is because of the hormones.

Either way, I’m looking forward to the middle of next week. In the meantime, I’ll just keep rolling this rock uphill…

National Coming Out Day

I came across this in my Facebook feed today, and thought it might be of interest. I know that I found it interesting.

As someone who is very familiar with the feeling of not being “good enough” because of weight-related reasons, I can really relate to this article. I’m sure there are many of my readers who can, too. And the first step toward solving a problem is acknowledging that it exists, so let’s acknowledge this one.

It Gets Better, Unless You’re Fat“, by Louis Peitzman


What it comes down to is good intentions. Call someone a gay slur and you’re homophobic. Use a racial slur and you’re a racist. But when you wonder out loud why I can’t just lose some weight, you’re looking out for me. At least, that’s the perception. The hurtful degradation becomes socially sanctioned, because being fat is considered to be innately wrong. The common understanding is that fatness is unhealthy and unnatural and always the fat person’s fault, despite the fact that science does not agree with these assessments. And suddenly, otherwise good people — those who are proud to not have a bigoted bone in their bodies — feel no shame in condemning us fatties. It’s not bigotry if we deserve it.

Being fat is never easy, but in the spirit of National Coming Out Week, I’m offering this potentially controversial perspective: As hard as it is to be gay, being fat and gay makes everything so much worse.

Lastly–and I do say this unironically–happy National Coming Out Day! Whatever your sexuality or gender identity–or weight–I hope that those in your life accept you and love you for the amazing, unique, one-of-a-kind individual you are. You are the only you that was ever you.

Today, I Danced

When I was younger and still didn’t know what the phrase “morbidly obese” meant, I used to love to dance. I danced at SF cons, I danced at Mensa RGs (“regional gatherings”). I loved to dance in a room of people with the lights low and the music blaring. I exulted in moving with the music. I just loved moving.

Then a few years ago, attending dances at SF cons suddenly became a lot less fun. I realize now that the reason for that was because I was putting on weight, and it wasn’t as easy for me to move anymore. I got tired a lot sooner. And I just felt clunky and awkward.

But today I went to a wedding, and today, I danced. It was wonderful. I haven’t danced like that in years. I presently weigh less than I did when I graduated from high school (the groom and Best Man didn’t even recognize me at first, actually—they’re never seen me this thin), and moving is a lot easier these days.

It felt so wonderful to just move. I got a stitch in my side at one point, and some of my other muscles weren’t fond of the idea at first, but eventually things evened out and I felt fine. I didn’t get worn out or breathless like I’d grown accustomed to doing. It was glorious.

So whatever else might be happening on this journey of mine, today, I danced. I danced, and it was wonderful.