Monday, January 28, 2013


Trigger Warning: talk of addiction and eating disorders.

I have a problem. I have had this problem for the majority of my life, and I have only realized what it was a few days ago. Why?
This is literally what I thought think.

Because I have had a relapse.

Probably triggered by recent events, I had a discussion with Mata this past MLK day that really made me reflect and analyses myself. I had complained to her about the treatment in my P.E. class, and during the discussion she asked me, "Why are you fat?" ....What?

"Why are you fat?"

I had to think about it. Of course, there is always the answer, "why does it matter?" That's like asking me why I'm a girl or why I am tall or why I like Paganism over all the other religions. But for the sake of argument, let's consider it. Why? There could be many reasons why: genetics, socioeconomic class, access to quality food, ability and means to physically move. Genetic wise, my maternal family is all short and average, and my paternal family is tall and stocky. I seemed to have inherited more from my father in that body type than from my mother, but the problem is that no one, no one, from that side of the family is as heavy as I am (they are also not very many of them alive; I am 75% sure I also inherited their tenancy towards heart attacks and cancer).

So what about the other three factors? I was from a poor family; the Working Class. We were only able to buy cheap, typically processed, food like Ramen noodles and $0.99 cent white bread. Fresh fruits and veggies were rare, and were typically frozen or canned. We just couldn't afford $4.50 for a loaf of good wheat bread or $5 for a half gallon of organic milk. My ability to move around was self-restricted as well, preferring to stay indoors and read, eat, or watch TV.

Toxic words like these would replay over and over again.
But, as I have talked about before (TL;DR - Food Issues, linked above), I mostly ate. I would eat and eat and eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. I wouldn't -- couldn't-- stop myself. I would binge without the purge, not because I was against bulimia but because I couldn't force my body to. I have, on many occasion growing up, put toothbrushes or even my fist down my throat in an attempt to vomit. My body would absolutely refuse. I tried to gorge myself many, many times, to the point of bursting, and still my body would not give it up. That is the only reason why I did not become bulimic.

That's not to say I didn't have an unhealthy relationship with food. I obsessed over it constantly. I thought about it always, and especially when it was in front of me. I would stare at my friend's breakfasts or lunches like some starved dog begging for food and my friend's would become uncomfortable. I would sometimes hide in the library to escape the sights and smells, skipping my own lunch or breakfast. I would later, in my teen years, cycle between not eating and binging, hiding from my friends and begging them for money. I would also hide my own eating, not wanting to eat in front of my friends and family. They probably didn't notice just how much I ate when people weren't around and no one was watching.

Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words can make me starve myself.
When I started my journey towards the betterment of myself and found HAES, I started to work on my relationship with food. I would buy myself actual food; real fruits and veggies, organic foods and milk, wheat bread, and everything I thought would be better for my body. It really responded for me, very much enjoying the new sights, smells, and tastes. Slowly, I would recognize my impulses to emotionally eat and would do something else. Soon, I would find an exercise that I actually liked instead of despised, and then another, and another. I would still eat many times a day, 5 or 6 times, but they were small, dense meals that would fill me. I would stop thinking about eating; stop revolving my life around food; stop obsessing about my weight; stop being possessed to horde, and gorge on, food.

I still horde food, but now I don't gorge, and the food is all in the kitchen instead of in my room. I horde food to such an extent that too much of it goes bad and I throw it out. I shop every week, mostly out of necessity, but if I have to put back food because I don't have enough money, I become stressed over it. If I don't have enough food in the house to have a full fridge and pantry, I become very stressed. Sometimes I go look in the fridge and pantry (and this sounds so damn silly) to make sure the food is still there.

I didn't notice just how far I had gone in my recovery until my relapse. I have had a non-stop binge episode for the past week, and I am struggling to control it. My ability to listen to what my body wants has eroded and has been exasperated by the fact that I can now afford to "feed my habit." The sudden stress at home, work, and school has agitated the disordered eating, and the disordered eating is creating stress which in turn excites the disordered eating.

This isn't what I want! This isn't how I want to be! Damn it, I don't want to be consumed by my thoughts; I don't want to be devoured by my depression again; I don't want to be engulfed by this.

Like those addicted to drugs or alcohol, this addiction has truly harmed myself and those around me. Harming myself is obvious (short term; stomach pains, depression and sluggishness, lack of energy, depletion of food stores and subsequent stress over lack of food. Long term; high blood pressure, high resting heart rate, muscular atrophy, etc), but others? Yes; I have lied, cheated, and stole to feed my habit. I have taken money from my parents and stole food from my family's mouths. I have lied to my friends for food, and even taken from them. I have pressured the people in my life for "hits," or just directly taken from their pantries or fridges. But unlike those people who are addicted to heroin or cocaine or alcohol, I can't just stop eating. I can't not have it in the house. I can't not be around it. I can only manage it, and take steps against it.

Being Body Positive helps me. Being an advocate for HAES helps me. It helps me form a positive image of myself and helps develop inner self-esteem. It helps by soothing the underlying reasons for my addiction. If even for selfish reasons, I advocate loving yourself, because if I didn't, I would have died long ago.

I am Kitsune and I have an eating disorder. Perhaps I am fat because of it; perhaps I am fat for other reasons. Perhaps many other infinite things that I can't describe or think of. All that is certain now is that I have this, and I have to deal with it.


  1. It is a true shame that before someone of size can even get help for this addiction, they first have to convince people it IS an addiction, it IS bulimia without the purging. It's infuriating.

  2. thank you for sharing this. it helps people to see it talked about. am sorry you struggle, so many of us do, whether with eating disorders or just disordered eating or thoughts about food or whatever. re: relapse, i think the most important thing is to forgive yourself and keep trying! at least that has been my experience with trying to conquer addictions. frustrating as it is, dwelling on that holds me back. not that you're dwelling. and not that i know what's best for you. your frustration just sounded all too familiar to me, and in the past my best cure is a big dose of forgiveness and hope for the future.

    also your discussion of growing up working class made me mad. i think so many people in poverty are stuck in that situation, where all they can afford is crappy food. and then of course you crave more, because your body isn't getting any nutrients. it's entirely possible in this country to be fat and starving, or at least nutritionally deficient. but everybody looks at you like eating less would just fix the problem. nope, it wouldn't.