During the days when I was really restricting (usually eating no more then 430-925 cal/day) I was obsessed with food. I would watch the cooking channel or the home shopping channel when they were selling cookware or something just to watch people eat and fantasize about the food. I would also go on the net and look up all kinds of recipes just to read what was in it and think about the food. This is weird for me since I was never into cooking until now. I'd love to go down the isles of the grocery store and just look at the food there. It was really weird but it was great just looking at the food. I would think to myself "at least looking and smelling food is calorie free" I would even literally dream about going to all you can eat buffets and just food in general. I think its weird how I hated food but yet thought of it all the time. Did anyone else experience anything like this?
Completely! I am always baking things for people, making meals for my mom, dad, and brothers, but I rarely indulge in any of the stuff myself. I think I am better about it recently, but it used to be really bad. For some reason it makes me feel better not just if I don't eat something, but if someone else DOES. Like I'm ahead of the game or something...
Anyway, I can definitely relate to the food obsession. Sometimes I'll even go to the grocery store with nothing I "need" and just buy random stuff. It makes me so annoyed even just thinking about it! Maybe once we start indulging more and things don't seem as off-limits, we'll crave them less and be lese obsessed with them. At least I hope!
Oh man, yes, I totally do that. And I'm like you, I was NEVER into cooking before, but I started watching the food network all the time, esp. Paula Deen, I love her, and actually got to go to her restaurant in Savannah a couple of months ago and I got one of her cookbooks there (and she had autographed it!) Anyway, yes, I think it's very weird to constantly be thinking about food. I love to go grocery shopping now too, and like you said, just wonder around the aisles looking at all the food. I'm getting a little better about not cooking random stuff now, and not constantly looking at recipes, but I've basically had to make myself stop. It had gotten to the point where it was consuming too much of my time. I've also stopped my tivo from recording Paula Deen cooking shows (which I was doing 2 times everyday!)
My therapist told me this obsession with food is what the body does when it is so deprived of it. She said it's just like if you were outside in the dead of winter without any clothes, and even if you told yourself "I'm not cold, and I'm not going to put any clothes on", it wouldn't stop your mind from constantly thinking about clothes and trying to get warm. It's just the mind and body trying to keep us alive by trying to make us do what we should be doing. Hope that made sense, it did when my therapist said it to me, but I don't know if I put it as well as she did.
Anyway, I'm sure once we start eating a better diet, the obsession with food will go away, at least I HOPE it does!!!
oh yeah, i've TOTALLY got that. i LOVE grocery shopping, looking at recipes, cooking, baking, staring at menus posted on restaurant windows, etc. the thing is, i eat whatever i make and buy whatever i want at the grocery store (ie: no restricting here!) but it is a TOTALLY normal side effect (so to speak) of anorexia/being under weight. my therapist says that with time and as your weight gets back up to healthy, this obsession with food goes away.
did you all hear about that study they did post WWII? i don't know the specifics, but basically they starved a bunch of healthy-weight men to get them underweight so they could study the best ways of re-feeding them (the research was to use on people in concentration camps). unethical, oh yes! but what happened is that the previously healthy men began to exhibit all the traits of an anorexic - obsession with food and recipes, concern about body image, etc. basically, i think they came to the conclusion that merely by living under a healthy weight range, you set your body up to be obsessed with food, etc.
anyway, it's normal, but still irritating. i figure it'll just go away with time!
Oh my gosh, Joni!!! I totally know that experiment!! We studied that in some of my psychology classes and it is soooo interesting. I also saw on the news the other day that they have done more research on anorexia and found a much stronger biological part of it than they thought existed previously and that it is related to a lot of other obsessive compulsive behaviors like drug addictions and alcoholism.
That is particularly interesting to me b/c my dad was a drug addict and alcoholic (completely recovered and a successful surgeon now! Yay!!!) But still - I'm sure that has a lot to do with my personality and the ED!