what fighting an eating disorder sounds like

me: hi alex, how are you?

AS: i'm fine. but i'm also hungry so i can't really think straight and i keep snapping at my kids.

me: oh that's dumb. you should eat something. like that falafel salad you've been eating for lunch a lot lately?

AS: yes i like that salad a lot but i think i'll just sit here and drink my tea.

me: why?

AS: because i'm not going to eat for a while.

me: that's a bad idea.

AS: i know. i have this layer of my brain that wants to eat, and knows i need to eat, but i have this other layer who's very bossy and says, your stomach and thighs are fatter than we like. just don't eat for a while and then we'll look better and then you can eat again.

me: but you know that starving yourself won't actually help you lose weight, right?

AS: it might. you don't know.

me: okay but remember in therapy how you learned that self-destructive behavior like starving yourself is one of the worst things you can do to your body? you love your body!

AS: yes, usually. but i look so ugly in my clothes lately. i look pregnant. and we both know i'm not pregnant. i just look pregnant because i've been eating girl scout cookies and a lot of ice cream.

me: don't you remember that stuff that moved you so deeply that you read in The Body? about how our bodies are a a miraculous tangle of systems functioning at lightning speed with such specialty and improbability that your physical body is considered *magical* by most of the medical science community?

AS: what is your point

me: don't you remember how many times you've fallen in love with your body, stretch marks and all, because of all the amazing things it has done for you? all the places it's taken you? all the children it's built? 

AS: yes but

me: remember what you decided to do in therapy? N O U R I S H  yourself. that made a lot of sense to you.

AS: yeah but

me: do you want to model this type of self destruction for your daughters? do you want them to believe they don't deserve food when they start feeling chubby? 

AS: no. i 100% do not want that. i would never want them to starve themselves.

me: they're watching you.

me: you're hungry. you're a human being. your systems need nourishment.

me: eat some lunch.

AS: uggggggggggggghhhhggghhghhhgggghghghggggghhgghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ok.