an alternative to all the terrible weight-loss, diet ads that bombard the start of the new year: in the form of a post.

before beginning:
this is a continuation.
of a story. about ned.
ned being my nasty, little eating disorder.
he's the worst.
for more information,
check my sidebar
(under the photo of me in
the winter mittens).

i have been meaning to post about ned.

for a while now.

and yet i put it off. sit down for another episode of the office and promise i'll do it tomorrow.

but many tomorrows of tomorrows have passed and i am no more ready today.

but i will begin. in spite of unreadiness.

it is hard to write about ned, but for extremes. or past-tense. let me explain: when i know where i stand with ned--whether it be really bad, or really good, i can write from those places. or if i know how the segment of the story ends, i can write the history. it is the unfolding story with no answer of an ending--the space between--the constant adjustment to perpetually shifting plates that undoes me. and steals my voice.

going home for the holidays was perfection. a place and season that were once the hardest, this year proved easy. and so for whatever reason i got through fifteen days binge free. i denied myself nothing and never once felt as though i over-ate. and because of that...because i felt so unerringly normal, i declared myself happy.

and then i returned to this city. and i am lonely. and now helplessly homesick. and i wonder if this is depression or ned. or are they one in the same as they have been in the past?

i want to write from a place of past. but ned is present and the war wages on.

but progress has been made.

actually there is so much good that has come out of all of this destruction. i am wiser and now a huge advocate of arming one's self with knowledge.

i've almost completely stopped eating meat. not because i dislike meat. hell, i'm from texas, i love the stuff. but i strongly disagree with the factory farming system as it exists today.* and i know that this decision is one thing i can act on each day that will have a positive effect on the environment. this is not to say that i am a vegetarian. as someone with an eating disorder i am weary of imposing any kinds of limits or rules on my food intake. if i want meat, i will eat it, but i like to know where it comes from--if it was produced locally, whether the animal was treated humanely.

i am trying to cut out processed foods. frozen dinners. candy. snack packs. are the ingredients simple and easy to break down? can i figure out a way to make it myself?

one of my goals for this new year was to make my own bread. and so yesterday, in my shell of a kitchen i baked up some spelt (an alternative to wheat) biscuits. and i loved it. i like helping to create the things that go into my body. and i like knowing that what i take in, for both sustenance and enjoyment, is not at another creature's or the planet's expense.

it is my great belief that food and health is now a social and political issues. diets don't work (but, shhh, don't tell that to the billion-dollar-a-year diet industry). there is a reason that 60% of americans are overweight and it sure as hell doesn't have anything to do with lack of will-power.

now is the time to seek out alternatives. a healthy life-style that is good for us and our planet.

what we put in our body affects our mood and mind. and whether the weight fluctuates up or down, our health is far more tied to fruits and vegetables than frozen smart-ones.

i am not ned free. but my real new year's resolution? to do everything i've put off in the past because of my eating disorder. (like going out on a tuesday night in search of cute guys). or taking pictures. {one day i might just write a field-guide for those with loved ones suffering from an eating disorder. i will explain why things like walking past a mirror or a confrontation with a camera can be both crippling and ultimately the answer to survival, but i digress--that is another post for another day}.

and so i told dr. tom that i am ready to take on the second-phase of treatment which involves standing in front of a mirrors and describing your body in non-judgmental terms. it's a five-week course that sounds like some new circle of hell yet undiscovered by dante, and i'm not ready, i am so not ready (i was going to wait for a time when i was) but sometimes it's best to jump in. even if you think you might sink.

and so here i go.


i want to be normal again. i want to be me without ned.

this might just be the year.

*loving in the information in Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. (in fact i gave both these books to my father for Christmas so we can discuss)