At Daily Life, on body image and big decisions:
A few nights ago, I had dinner with some friends at a barbeque restaurant in town. It was crowded and noisy, and downstairs, a country band was warming up for their evening gig. The whole place smelled deliciously smoky, like a house heated by a wood fire; it’s a scent that, when it hits your nostrils, makes you feel at once comforted and ravenous. I sat with my friends at a heavy wooden table and we talked over our plates of brisket, sweet potatoes, and mac and cheese. Not long into the meal, though, I zoned out for a few moments. While my friends were chatting to each other, I closed my eyes, felt the brisket fairly melt against my tongue, and thought: I am so glad I stopped starving myself.
The precise reasons I started are complicated, and not all that relevant here. Suffice it to say, I was very, very unhappy. I didn’t starve myself because I wanted to look like Gisele Bundchen and I didn’t do it because I’m weak or too stupid to know what denying yourself food does to your brain and your bones and the rest of your body. As I wrote earlier this year, I’m a feminist writer with training as an eating disorders awareness and prevention peer educator. I understood the political and the physiological implications of what I was doing to myself. But I did it because I was unhappy, and sometimes when people are that kind of unhappy, they eat too little or drink too much or slice themselves open. What I can tell you is that last December, after almost two years of hurting myself, and of hiding that hurt from almost everyone in my life, I stopped.
You can read the whole thing here.