To say that I have a difficult relationship with food is an understatement. The truth is I have an eating disorder. Not anorexia or bulimia, which most people would assume from such a statement, but what in medicine is called UNS, unspecified. To be more exact, I am a food addict. Yes, for real.
I don’t need an excuse to eat. The urge is always there, I always want to eat, and every waking moment that I don’t is the result of a conscious decision and effort to not do it. Resisting when the urge grows stronger doesn’t just lead to me getting hungry – I panic. I cry. I beg. I tremble like a leaf. My entire existence screams at me to EAT! Even if I had a hearty lunch just two hours earlier, that doesn’t matter. Because it’s not a matter of eating to satisfy a physical hunger, it’s addiction.
How do handle an addiction, normally? You make yourself stop. You get sober, stop drinking alcohol if that’s your vice, stop taking drugs, stop gambling, stop… But you can’t stop eating. Basically I am like the alcoholic who tries to get rid of her addiction, but who has to drink a glass of wine three times a day.
Why am I telling you all this now?
Well, here’s the deal. While I can’t stop eating entirely, what I can do is fast for a few days. It’s horrendously difficult, but I can do it. I must be able to do it. It’s not to lose weight, it’s not an extreme form of dieting, it’s all about breaking addiction’s spine. It is about taking back control.
It’s been a few years since my last real fast, but now I feel it is time again. The husband is away, so I won’t have to suffer through the ordeal of seeing him cook and eat. Smelling it, hearing the sizzling of meat in a hot pan, hearing the crunch of chewing… So, now is the time.
It is morning now, and I have had a cup of tea. Day 1 of fasting. I will not eat today. I will not eat.
I’ll drink plenty though, water and tea. If it gets too bad I might allow myself fruit juice. But that’s it.
I know that many see fasting as too extreme, as potentially dangerous. But don’t worry. My body has plenty of energy stored, I’ll be fine. It’ll be difficult, but I’ll be fine. And of course I’ll stop if anything seems to threaten my health.
Commence Fasting Day 1.
Wish me luck.