In addition to the posts I am planning to write about my development of disordered eating and how I am recovering, I also wanted to do a series on specific things that are part of the issue. I have seen this on other blogs, such as Melissa’s Trying To Heal, and thought it would be a great idea to talk about my own fears, habits, and rituals. Perhaps people can relate to these, and I would love to hear from others on their own experiences and input!
*I am not trying to offend anyone in this post! It may seem like I am, or have a bad view of people later in the post, but that is certainly not the case. I was so irrational and crazy at that point.
I am beginning these posts with a discussion on my interest in baking and how it has evolved. I realized how much I wanted to write about this as I had spent this afternoon baking raspberry oat bars with a crumb topping (recipe to come!). I have been doing a whole buncha baking since being home for spring break, it’s been fab!
I had always loved to bake, this beginning at a young age. It was never anything complex, just simple brownie, cookie, and cake recipes that began from a boxed mix (they always turn out perfect). In addition, pancake making became my favorite activity! After watching my mom cook these hot cakes almost every weekend for a few years, I took over the position around the age of 9. It was a ritual I looked forward to: using a boxed mix, adding milk, eggs, and oil a few stirs (keep the batter lumpy 🙂 ) and then a big ole pour of the first pancake onto the hot griddle. That first one was always mine because it had the most butter on it from soaking up the freshly buttered pan. I would consume its fattening deliciousness while making the rest of the batch and would also eat some of the batter, don’t knock it until you try it! :p
These pancakes were a favorite of mine, they tasted great, always came out perfect, were easy to make and everyone loved them. As I grew older, I began baking more and experimenting with more complex recipes (well complex for me). Instead of using boxed mixes, I would bake brownies, bars, cookies, cakes, truffles, fudge, etc, from scratch. Although the finished product was not always perfect, it was fun trying to figure out what went wrong and how to improve it for next time. I would taste test the food of course, savoring and sharing the baked goods which came out to perfection.
When my disordered eating worsened, and I became fixated on losing weight, and only eat what I considered “safe” I continued to bake, but NEVER ate any of my own food. I would make buttery, oily, fatty desserts and bring them to school for my friends to enjoy. I loved seeing their reactions and give me their thanks and words of pleasure as they graded and enjoyed my food. In my own kinda messed up mind, it was like I was living vicariously through them and eating the desserts.
But also, making chocolate chip cookies from scratch (for example) and not eating a single bite of the dough or the finished product gave me a bit of a rush and feeling on control. These feelings would embellish when I would see my peers eating the food I believed they would feel guilty about and would make them fat, yet they could not resist it. But HA! I COULD! The insane control I had over myself gave me a high, I believed I was stronger than these people by denying myself pleasurable food and would not be feeling guilty like they all were.
I am quite aware of how positively messed up this is. Because I was depriving myself of what I truly wanted, I became obsessed with researching recipes online, in magazines, books, and from other people. They were always for foods I would never touch myself, but knew other people would enjoy the finished product. I was attempting to suppress my desire for food, yet was actually worsening it because my body was in a state of semi-starvation mode.
I read an an article recently that was describing a test that had been conducted in 1944 in Minnesota. It studied a group of men that volunteered to be on a restricted diet for a period of time and then have the results measured. The findings were remarkable and one noted piece was that the men became obsessed with food- researching and fantasizing about it, constantly going grocery shopping, creating recipe collections of foods they could not eat, talking about it and so many other effects. Here is the link to the Wikipedia description of the study, The Starvation Study.
When I first read this, it was quite shocking how many of the effects the men faced in the study, I was also battling in my own life. I developed such a focus on food because my body was obviously trying to tell me something, EAT!
This reading, plus other supportive methods are getting me out of the deprivation/food obsessed mode. Now when I bake, I do actually EAT what I create, and always sample the batter! By the way, yellow cake mix and brownie batter are definitely my favorite :D. And nope, I don’t worry about food poisoning from the eggs!
I hope this post was helpful to anyone that read it. Reflecting on these memories enables me to realize how irrational I have been and how the mind is a very powerful thing, to put it simply!
One last question, what are some of your favorite dessert recipes, I got a hankerin to try something new! 🙂