You Can’t Half An Egg: An Anorexic Diet

I am not anorexic because I can’t face putting a spoon in my mouth. I don’t sit in the corner shaking at the thought of a slice of ham or a floret of broccoli. Eating is not the issue. The issue is my stomach. I was always the fat kid growing up, primary school I came last in every sports day running race. In secondary school I was picked to throw the discuss and play in the front row of the rugby scrum. My life was one long constant physical reminder of my increased sized. And therefore, even when I lost the weight at the end of my teens, even as I should have been starting the road to a full and happy life, I constantly saw a fat, bloating tummy. I constantly lived with what the media call a muffin top, a beer belly. And I constantly felt inferior to those around me.

Beery Belly - The Aanorexic Diet

Apparently, this “fat” Chris was shaped like an apple, a media label, a defining factor, an isolating difference. It sat there mentally poking me. Even kilometers of rowing couldn’t shift it. So I let anorexia have a go. And years later, I’m only now realising the truth. One size does not fit all and the answer lies in nature.

Now don’t panic, I’m not about to become a tree hugging friend of the earth. But I’ve opened my eyes to the fact that nature, the planet, our bodies, are all designed to work together. Screw every diet, every latest piece of advice to cut out this, eat that, or fast for two days a week. For the last 30 years fat has been the enemy, “Eat Fat Be Fat” and now even that is wrong. I read The Big Fat Surprise recently and it makes a compelling case for allowing fat, meat, dairy into your diet while removing carbohydrates – sugars.

However, before you blindly follow it’s lead, I lived for months off a seriously low sugar diet married to a naturally low-fat lifestyle. If the traffic light was anything but green I’d put it back on the shelf. If I didn’t need it I wouldn’t eat it. Lunch was a bowl of low calorie low sugar soup. Dinner was lean meat and four veg. Breakfast, the aforementioned microwave vegetables. Snacks didn’t exist and my life was rubbish. So rubbish in fact that I started to turn mentally foggy. I became very weak, my urine stank, and getting up in the morning left me feeling like I’d been 10 rounds in a boxing ring. My head spinning my limbs tingling and numb. I also lost the ability to control my body’s desire for sugar, any sugar was craved, natural or refined, and like any substance abuse, as the body adjusts to it’s daily intake the necessary dosage goes up to reclaim the effect. I got seriously deranged cravings. My brain demanding sugar, it went into overdrive and I’d give in from the pain. I’d eat a biscuits. And then feel guilty, shaking at the thought of what I’d done, but without warning or control, my mind completely ruling my body. What started as blind faith lead down a path where one biscuit became one packet, one packet became two and then at it’s worse three. A night.

The problem was though, these wild sugar swings meant highs and lows like you wouldn’t believe, and “top up” sugar wouldn’t help. The crashes so severe that a small treat had no effect physical effect. The mental pain a constant drum. Honestly, the daily crashes sent me virtually suicidal. The demands in my head for sugar, so loud, so relentless, felt identical to the clarity of helplessness addicts of stronger narcotics suffer while waiting for their next fix. I know, I quit smoking cold turkey.

Happy Rice - The Aanorexic Diet

In the end, the only thing I could do was put sugar back into my diet. But on my terms. Biscuits were banished under the umbrella of you can’t eat what you don’t buy and instead they were replaced with natural sources of carbohydrates. In came apples and oranges. Dinner was accompanied by rice and I wake up every morning to porridge. Overnight my body thanked me. Instantly I changed. My mind ceased to shout. I had one rule though: if my body wanted sugar, quick fix carbs, it could take it unrefined. From wholegrains.  It’s not quite this simple but the first step was essentially: if you could pick it from a tree, or grow it in the ground then I would eat it, sugar or not.

While life picked up mentally things didn’t really improve physically. Anorexia was still allied to my inflated stomach. Life just coasted back to the destructive normality anorexia proclaimed to save me from. I’d still bloat. I’d still look down and see a fat kid struggling to get his freshly washed and essentially starched 28 inch waist jeans to do up.

It was time for round two…

Posted on by 5WC in Anorexia First Edition

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