Day 28 - Adaptation

I don’t even feel like I’m eating less anymore. In fact, for the past few days I’ve felt like I’m over eating. I pretty much force myself to eat more because I get scared when I do the math on the amount of calories I’ve consumed that day and find them to be dangerously low. I’ve said it before, but it’s amazing to me that in such a short amount of time my body has completely adjusted to this way of life. I’m consuming less than half the amount of food I used to and I don’t even notice it.

Lately I’ve been thinking about anorexia. Not because I’m anorexic by any means, but because this month has shown me how a person could do it. Before, I assumed that anorexia meant constantly being hungry, so hungry that you were in constant pain. I never understood how people said they just sort of, “fell into the disease without realizing it.” But now I understand that like a lot of pain, the human body adapts around it. Like I said, if I wasn’t carefully monitoring my calories, I could easily eat way less than I should be eating and think it perfectly normal. If you were to add to that the psychological pressure to get or stay thin, I could definitely see how it happens. For better or worse, the psychological pressure about weight issues is something I’ll probably never fully understand since there’s way less of it on men than women.

That said, the main thing that I know will have me back to eating “normally” almost immediately is taste. I really do miss taste. I miss crushed red pepper, strong garlic, sweet onions, that tangy vinegary taste of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce… I think that come December, I’ll be eating a lot of strong ethnic foods just to indulge in all the different tastes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why didn't you cook with onions and garlic? Would have made your food taste much better, and it's only about 20cents for a whole bulb. Buy a bottle of soy sauce, and a little bottle of cooking oil. Boil some ramen, then stir fry it with the oil, garlic, and whatever other vegetables you can find. Plain is OK too, or sprinkle a bit of the MSG powder that comes with the ramen.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, there was nothing keeping you from using these spices etc.

I think you should try another month using spices this time. Seriously.

Phase II.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Redzilla said...

Wish I'd found this earlier, but it's very fascinating. I spent most of high school restricting myself to 600 calories a day, with no higher purpose than wanting to be the thinnest girl in school. It's madness the kind of bargains you can make with yourself about food when you're in that situation. Looking forward to backtracking and reading the rest of your posts.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Terra said...

I found your blog rather late, too, but I just wanted to say that I came to the exact same conclusion about anorexia in college. I decided to fast for a week (no real reason, other than I wanted to see what it would do to me...) and that was the most profound thing I took away from it. After a few days of craving every bloody thing you see on the TV and in ads, you suddenly don't want anything. I LOVE food and before I fasted, I could never understand anorexia. I thought you would have hunger pangs all the time and always crave the yummy foods you weren't allowing yourself to eat. But, like you said, after awhile, it becomes a chore to make yourself eat. I'd be interested to read about your experiences once you went back to your old eating habits? I read a lot about fasting before I did it and I read a lot about "breaking" the fast. With everything I read, it was harder to break the fast than I thought it was going to be.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an interesting post, because I went on a weight loss diet a while ago (quite successfully, too) and got to a point where I was pretty much forcing myself to eat more because of the calories I needed.

I was quite disinterested in food, and once I was in the routine it seemed very easy. Breakfast would be something I'd eat becuase I knew I should, not because I Was hungry.

It didn't go far enough that I caused myself any harm, but it was certainly an eye opener.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't understand. Onions, garlic, and other staples are extraordinarily cheap in the US. you could've done a lot better in the taste dept.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with all of these other people. what's wrong with using spices?!?

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, along the same line as many of the respondents here, you could so easily and cheaply (or free!) add flavor to food.

I suppose you could interpret it as offensive that to be poor means you eat nothing but rice and ramen. That's a mode of thinking that I think must be more common among those who were raised with a more comfortable financial situation.

When you *really* have to live that way, you get way more resourceful than you are in this project. Even the poor comprehend the fact that nutrition is an absolute necessity for life, and it's absurd to think that eating the way you are is the way you have to eat when you're poor. Sure, many people do, I imagine. I've never once had ramen, though, and have lived in poverty nearly to the point of homelessness. What'd I do? Food banks, Red Cross, charitable organizations, churches, and absolutely never pass when invited to dinner.

I've been reading this from the beginning, and was finding it interesting at first. The more I read on, however, the more I feel my face flushing with irritation at the concept of eating rice and ramen to know what it's like to be poor. Such a typically sedentary approach to surviving on a budget.

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I came across these set of blogs while checking my mail. I must admit I clicked it because it delt with food. I'm a middle school girl struggling with anorexia, and while reading these I just couldn't help but become amazed at how well I could relate to these feelings. It was incredible seeing how the phsyciological part of the disorder could come on accidentaly. It also shocks me that the less you eat, the less it takes to make you full, and how the less you eat, the more you become intreiged by food everywhere.
Anyway, I found your expirement really amazing, and just thought I'd share my side.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Zach R said...

In my Highschool health class (such a joke) we had this assignment where we had to plan out a week's diet. The conditions were this: It needed to have all the food groups, with proper portions, and have the proper amount of calories. It made me realize that it's damn near impossible to meet those standards. Simply getting the proper amount of calories was hard in a way because the amount of food it took was WAY too much to eat in a day.

I've also fasted for a day and I was surprised by: A)how not hungry I was during the day and B)how little I ate in the days afterwards.

Also the other thing about Anorexics is that they believe they're overweight. So that would definitely add to the ease of putting off eating, at least a bit.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is pretty interesting information that you are telling here. I have also found some usefull information on this website. Also, huge info about calories, calorie counters, different types of diets, diet food, fitness and weight loss. Please visit, really usefull information!

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, please, take it from someone who's been through the utter hell of anorexia and back: the way down is far, far "easier" than the way back up.

If you go into a drastic calorie reduction plan as a healthy person, of COURSE it will seem half-manageable to eat like a refugee for a while. After all, you've got a lifetime of bodily health as your buffer.

At some point, though, nature bites back. Hard. And it's not fun. AT all. Not fun, fog-inducing, painful, incredibly dangerous, life-ruining, horrible.

Not to mention you won't know how the hell to deal with it by yourself because your muscles and organs and brain cells are quite literally being consumed to allow your heart to continue beating.

I assume you sorta know this stuff judging by your concern with going too low with your intake, but I just want to urge you not to play around with this kind of fire if you value a productive life! It's not worth any dollar amount in savings, not worth lowering an arbitrary number on a scale, not worth pointlessly fitting into a lower dress size, not worth getting a six pack nobody else really cares about, not worth any sort of pride or vanity or savings or any of that.

By the way, I'm a guy. Late 20s. Lost years of life to a miserable eating disorder. Fell into it in this order of thinking: eat healthier; go gluten-free; go 100% natural; count calories; limit calories; fast; go freakin' crazy; enter the black hole.

I'm still reeling. And I'll probably never fully recover. Sigh.

9:19 AM  

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