I had something strange happened to me yesterday evening: I found a Facebook group focused on supporting people with binge eating disorder and I wanted to join. To clarify, I did an online test for binge eating disorder a few years ago and it looked like I don’t have it but I think the criteria are just too strict. If I want to eat less but can’t then that already means I have a problem because my free will doesn’t control my food intake, and if it is not free will, then what is it?
So I wanted to join this group and there was that question there: Do you have any online program, a website, a store? You can’t recommend it in the group, this is not allowed. Tell us a name of your favourite film so that we know you understand.
That’s a really weird question, is it? I thought, I sometimes write about my food issues on the blog, but I don’t have to recommend it, it’s not an issue, but I didn’t know what to say to this part of the question, or whether I should say anything at all or should I just answer the second part? And then I typed: Chocolate.
Chocolate is a film with Juliette Binoche, and a very good one, it was, in fact my favourite film for quite a few years. At first I wrote it there because it kind of made sense as it was about food. But then I thought, maybe I should change it to something else, that wouldn’t be triggering to moderators? But I thought, no, Chocolate is a film and I really liked it, it stays there.
I sent the request (it didn’t get approved yet) and I started wondering whether I chose Chocolate because I wanted to present a challenge? Is it possible that my eating is a form of challenging behaviour? But then, if that’s true, what is it that I’m trying to challenge?
I guess, possibly the system that doesn’t work for me? Part of this system is, probably, that I stopped buying my favourite blueberry muffins from tesco like 8 years ago (I hope they didn’t change the recipe) only because they are sold in packets of 4 and they need to be eaten within 2 days. Two per day is a bit much so I thought, never mind, I just get some biscuits instead. But I’m angry with myself for not being able to have the muffins!
But the other thing is the constant judgment in the British society regarding what and how much you eat. In Poland I was explained by my mum to never comment on other people food choices when I was little and I must say that other people also never commented on mine. The British however see nothing wrong with telling a colleague ‘why you’re eating cottage cheese? It looks like cat’s puke’. Seriously, I don’t exaggerate, I heard that comment myself and cottage cheese is one of my favourite foods.
But the third thing that doesn’t work for me is that people who have problems with their weight are not supposed to discuss their eating habits openly. It seems like the fact that we’re somehow not coping needs to be hidden. We are doing body positivity – obviously there’s nothing positive in feeling overeaten from the time you woke up, but we’re not talking about it. You’re either on a diet, and you can’t do it alone because that means you are struggling financially – if you want to be on a diet, you need to join dieting club. If you’re not on a diet, you’re doing body positivity. Unless you have binge eating disorder but then this is something we don’t talk about and anyway, body positivity will cure you of that because food will finally be allowed.
But it’s not allowed, is it? Cottage cheese is not allowed because your colleague thinks it looks like cat’s puke.