By Anne Falkowski
At 45, I made the decision to face my disordered eating. It was a dark creepy crawly which followed me around for more than half my life. (It’s not unusual for women in their 40s or older to have untreated eating disorders for twenty, thirty or even forty years.
I decided it was time to let go.
I could do this. But I needed help.
I called the experts and landed in an office the color of fog and ocean. The colors of healing. This was a place for anorexics, bulimics and eating disorders not otherwise specified (like myself).
There was a large rubber plate of fake food next to the tissue box. On this fake plate was a mound of beans, a thick slice of bread, a pile of broccoli and an unidentified piece of meat. I liked to run my fingers over the beans and feel their lumpiness.
It was in this ocean room, while I fingered the beans, when Mark, the therapist, told me I was a food restrictor.
“Are you sure? Wouldn’t I be thin if I did that?”
As always, I was hyperaware of my body which refused to be the size I wanted it.
“Well, not necessarily.”
His hand reached up to touch his tie. Mark always wore a shirt and tie. He was twenty years younger than me. At first his youth threw me. How could a clean cut baby-faced twenty something counsel me, a middle aged woman, who had been dealing or not dealing with disordered eating probably as long as he had been alive?
He told me that we cannot pick the bodies we want.
I wanted to be slim, slender, thin, and bony.
“It doesn’t work that way. We don’t get to choose our bodies.” He held my gaze. Continue Reading…