“What was your diet like in the immediate weeks after ending Bulimia? It seems like you’re always changing and evolving, but did you start with a list of safe foods? What advice would you give to someone trying to end the battle with Bulimia when their metabolism is totally fucked up?” – Anne, The Skinny Bug
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”
That’s where I started.
Perfectly defining my post-Bulimic philosophy of consumption, Kate Moss’s statement is concise, blunt, and simple. No food could possibly compare to the feeling of being thin, even more so, to the reality of such. My brain, interpreting the removal of purging as forecast for eternal fat, accepted a future of being the chubby girl. Despite this, I expected to glamourise thin lines forever. My decision on diet, therefore, was to control consumption, attempting a system conducive to thin lines, although not expecting much in terms of producing my aesthetic ideal.
But I got a huge bang for my buck.
Upon ending of Bulimia, I became thin.
In order to manage my consumption, I would need to remove foods that soared me over the edge of pleasure. Hot pizzas. Gooey burritos. Peanut butter cookies. So and and so forth. Foods were groups in themselves. The gourmet cheese group. The eggplant parmesan group. The veggie sausage group. By eliminating these groups, my diet became a naked, clean version of health. Basic and simple, like an Apple Store. Like a New York boutique.
To give my body the essential nutrients it requires to function, in a simple, rational, calming way of eating became my new plan. Having control without the clutter of a million ingredients per recipe, a million products in the larder, became my gorgeous system. And by cleaning my diet and my larder, I became thin. Thinner than any version of my Bulimic self.
Bulimia existed because I loved the taste of food, not because I stuffed my face to cancel emotion, like so many Bulimics claim. As a gorgeous, teeny tiny client who reads my blog mentioned, “I like being small. It’s nice not dealing with a lump here and a bulge there.” Claiming to be much older than me, my client has never lived with Anorexia or Bulimia, but rather appreciates the loveliness of flaunting a gorgeous dress with sky high heels. She loves looking pretty in cute yoga pants at the dog park. It’s nicer being thinner. At any age. Even Gwendolyn thinks so. Thirty-five pounds, 2010.
Twenty-seven pounds, 2013.
That first non-Bulimic morning, one of soberness, was truly magnificent. Vomit-covered enamel and laxative-induced grumbles were moments of yesteryear. Energetic yoga and a wine-complimented film spirited the day’s remainder. There existed no craving to eat the apartment for the sake of polishing off another successful day of overconsumption, only preparing for a new fresh start at the midnight hour. This was my last fresh start.
And I kept my promise to Gwendolyn, for that entire day.
And for the day after.
And even for my 29th birthday, the first in 11 years without bingeing and purging.
On this day, I stand proudly at two years, six months, and five days without Bulimia. It shall be forevermore without Bulimia. Constantly evolving are my diet, my philosophy, and my body; and change is simply fabulous.
To formally answer the question of Anne, on that first day, my objective was to create a plan to prevent the bingeing which, of course, was the culprit of purging. Thus I ate simply. Cleanly. And in a pretty fashion. I knew that chaos simply triggered more chaos, so I broke things down to their elements. And this pattern still exists in my diet, to this day.
Breakfasts, back then, consisted of a Met-RX Peanut Butter Pretzel Bar and Apple. This system morphed into KIND bars which now exists as something vegan, plus or minus cashew cheese kale chips. Always lots of coffee.
Lunches, Ahi tuna salads at restaurants with colleagues. This system morphed into nuts with gin. And now to something like a vegan salad from Trader Joe’s.
Dinner, two-quarts of Vegetable & Bean Curd Soup from the Chinese Restaurant. Two or three glasses of wine. Sometimes fortune cookies. Sometimes not. Eventually, this habit turned into sushi, without the cookies. And gin, with wine only on weekends. Nowadays, I am completely vegan, recently having eliminated vegan meats, rather eating boxed bean soups and or peanut butter. Very clean. Very simple.
Furthermore, back then, during the early days of clean, Bulimic-free living, I’d eat Dairy (Fage yoghurts and the occasional Casein-adorned veggie cheese). Eggs here and there, too.
At three months of Bulimic-free living, however, a model friend complimented my skin. This, I attributed to my almost-dairy-free existence thus slashing dairy completely to become even more ‘perfect‘. Eggs went next. They made me feel dirty.
On Sundays, I ate more: items such as wheat pasta, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, etcetera. These ‘splurges’ eventually went, too. The foods became unsafe as my brain realised my post-bulimic weight loss. “If I eat this junk, will I get fat”?
Each Monday morning, I was surprised to awaken without a Bulimic hangover.
Each month, I became thinner.
As time progressed and the Bulimic weight fully shed, I became more stringent, more worried that I would gain it back. Disappointingly, I stopped practicing yoga and have recently realised that yoga is important for maintenance of a thin body. Thus I am practicing again, earning back my yoga body. Despite my perceived rigidity on this subject of my life, I am happy to announce my comfort in achieving balance.
Although not suitable to those inclined toward Anorexia, my recommendation for Bulimics is to decompose the diet to the basics. Simple ingredients. One or two per meal. Build from there. And build slowly. For a Bulimic, the stable diet must come first. Create one that works. And a stable, gorgeous life shall follow. xo
What have you done, to stop the bingeing and purging?
© Nicole Marie Story Enterprises, LLC and nicoleandgwendolyn.com, 2011 – 2013.