a friend of mine posted a blog at some point (I don't know when, I read it yesterday) discussing how she feels guilty eating meat, even though she likes it. Whether or not to eat meat is a personal and biological issue, and I think it is up to the individual.
I? Eat meat. And I like it. Which is really a good thing because my body needs it. That's right. I have to eat meat. At least one serving a day. Without it, my body starts to digest my lean muscle tissue. I start consuming myself. I get crippling headaches.
I can go a day or two without animal protein as long as I make sure I eat some beans, nuts, or tofu. I can survive on Soy Beans. But to be safe, I generally have some sort of animal product at or before lunchtime to keep the headaches at bay.
It was the Chiropractor I worked for that finally diagnosed me. Chiropractors, for those of you who don't know, ARE doctors. The have the same training as MD's, but when it comes time to learn drugs and prescriptions, they learn adjustment techniques instead. The total required training hours for a Chiropractor is actually higher than for a MD.
One day, I felt a headache comeing on, and she tried to stop it before it really got going. At some point, when her ministrations didn't work, she happened to smell my breath. At that point, she knew exactly what was going on with my body and sent me for a burrito.
Today, I happened accross an article on MSN about how much protein your body needs. One sentence stuck with me. That protein deficiancy is one of the dangers of anorexia.
I am not going to pretend that I am anorexic. But I will admit that I suffer from an eating disorder. Never diagnosed, I still know it is there.
I'm not sure when I developed this problem, I do know that I was young. I'm sure it likely happened right about the time my mom had another kid and I had to learn to fend for myself. Breakfast and lunch were up to me. My family always had a sit-down dinner. Now, I'm lazy. Some days I would grab a carrot for the road, some days I would slap together a peanut butter and butter or plain peanut butter sandwhich. Many days, I would have nothing. In elementry school, I would sometimes borrow money from the office to eat, sneaking the change out of the jar over the washing machine to pay it back, some days I just wouldn't eat. I would watch my friends eat the lunches thier mothers packed for them. I learned to ignore the fact that I was hungry.
In 6th grade, I was able to walk home for lunch, so I would eat some instant rice or buttered noodles while I watched Hollywood Squares. When we were disallowed this privilage, my bad habits started up again. My friends would share their lunches, or the ones who got free lunches would send me to get it or pick it up for me while they had something off the lunch cart. I will always be greatful to them for this. One night, my parents asked us all what we had for lunch and my reply became something of a family joke, "A Dorrito". I don't think it occurred to them that perhaps there was something wrong with this answer. that perhaps I needed more supervision to make sure I was eating.
In 9th grade, I had a friend who bought me lunch every day. I gained 25 pounds within 6 months. Throughout high school, my patterns remained the same although they got a little better because I was more likely to have cash. I'm not saying I ate well, choosing cookies or hostess doughnuts, but at least I ate. Sadly, at home, I had learned to eat what I could when it was available. Like most growing teens, I was a seemingly bottomless pit, easily out eating my father at buffets. I understand that my body didn't understand the concept of "full". I didn't understand that it's not a good idea to eat a whole package of cookies or half a tub of ice cream in one sitting just because I could and it tasted good.
I'm lucky. Although my weight sits higher than I would like it, I have never been much more than a little chunky. If not for the Miss Santee pageants, I likely would have continued to see myself as a skinny little kid in need of a good meal, making up for lost time when I had one. Bathing suit competitions will do that. Learning I had a very low score in that area was the best thing that could have happened. It told me I needed to get into shape. I lost 15 pounds that year. If not for the Dr's diagnosis, I would still ignore my hunger as a pest, instead of my body requesting fuel. I will now stop and say "I need to eat" instead of continuing with whatever I happen to be doing. I also try to stop eating when I know my body should be full, although I do have a bingeing habit. Once I learned to clean my plate, I learned to do it well.
Healing comes in strange ways. I'm still learning self control. I eat lunch every day, although I still have a bad habit of skipping breakfast. I can eat just one scoop of ice cream and be satisfied with it. Now if I could just do the same with cookies...