Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Nasty Flu

I came down with a nasty stomach flu yesterday; I was pretty sick. I am much better today, though still weak, and my stomach hasn’t been able to tolerate much more than mush all day. But the thing that was really of concern to me, though this may seem strange, is that when I got on the scale today, I had lost nearly 5 ½ lbs, whereas last week I lost only 8/10 of a pound; clearly the big weight loss had to do with the terrible purging my body went through yesterday. Now that, you might say, is just a reward for the terrible day I went through, and wouldn’t anyone be thrilled with those results? The problem is, all I can think about is that the weight loss, so sudden, so dramatic, will only be fleeting, and I am already worrying about my body reclaiming those pounds as soon as I get back on my feet. A normal body will rebound after such a set-back, that’s a healthy response, yet here I am worrying that my body will do just that.
I am so worried about it, that this evening, when I finally started to feel my appetite return, I ignored it, and wanted to stick to my starvation diet, for fear my body would betray me, by regaining those pounds. How silly of me! How sad, and how silly, that I could be so unkind to myself. Instead of comforting myself, and nursing myself back to complete health, without regard for calories, or fear of what the consumption of those calories will do; just as I would do for anyone I cared for.
What is to be done with this kind of craziness? I guess, the best thing I can do, is to remember that when I allow my compulsion to be thin, to reign higher than my desire to be healthy, red flags should go a-blazing! I need to summon that calm, sane voice deep within me, the one that I know is there, but sometimes simply gets lost in my age-old desire to be perfect. For I guess, compulsive eating and anorexic tendencies are really opposite sides of the same coin, either way, they are an expression of an unhealthy relationship to food, and even more alarming, one’s own body.
So I have allowed myself to indulge in these unhealthy thoughts for long enough. Scale be damned. Body, do what you will do, whatever you need to do to heal. I will love you any way, and if when I get on the scale again, all my net loss is another 8/10 of a pound, I will accept it gratefully, for it will have been honestly fought for, and won. But for now, excuse me, please, I’m going to go fix myself a snack.


  1. i just basically went through the same thing, with a stomach virus. my advice - listen to your body. if you are not hungry, don't eat. but if your body gives you hunger signals, it really is best to listen.

  2. Yes, I am finding this quite a challenge. The battle between wanting to get 100% well and the fear that I'll gain weight is crazy-making, but my health has got to come first. Man, this flu has been a doozy, I was truly sick only one day, but here it is 6 days later and I still don't have a normal appetite, nor desire to eat anything but very soft foods - a dilema, because many of those soft foods are not diet-friendly. Aye-yi-yi. Thanks for your comment.

  3. yes, it is definitely challenging to have an eating disorder and dealing with being sick.
    on a silly note, i see you signed up for an email subscription to my blog, but apparently you didn't take step two of verifying it. it would have been in the form of an email from feedburner and i think you just needed to click on something to verify. silly, but wanted to mention it.
    anyway, i hope you are feeling 100% soon!