Living with anorexia

A bigger bite

I eat everything in tiny little bites.  Barely a nibble.  It takes me a long time to eat anything.

My support worker challenged me on this whilst I ate a snack with her.

“You’re just nibbling round the edges,” she told me.  “Try and take a bigger bite.”

So I did.

It felt incredibly strange.  It was probably the first time for a long time that there was more than the tiniest possible bit of food in my mouth at one time.

photo-on-04-02-2017-at-12-11-3I tried to explain why I found it so unnatural.

“If I take bigger bites and there is more food in my mouth, I feel like I am eating more.”

I know this is irrational.  The food is the same size, same amount and same number of calories regardless of whether I eat it in three giant mouthfuls or nibble at it for hours.

She made me take another big bite.

It was a strange sensation.  After months of never taking a normal-sized bite of food, it now felt so wrong.

The last time I was challenged on this was when I was a day-patient.  At meal times, the staff would point out any eating disorder behaviours.  I was frequently told not to nibble at my food.

Maybe I am trying to make my food last as long as possible.  I noticed when I was a day-patient that I never wanted to be the first to finish.  I would watch everyone else and make sure that I was eating more slowly.

Maybe I want to be able to enjoy the sensation of eating, but without eating much.  I often watch other people eat, and am amazed at the huge bites they take.  A whole sandwich can disappear in a minute or two, before I have even nibbled the length of one crust of my toast.  I want to shout at them “Stop eating so fast!  Slow down and enjoy it!”  But I resist.  I know that I am the one eating strangely.  They are eating normally, exactly how I used to.

Maybe I associate bigger bites with binging.  I have rarely binged, but the occassions that I have, have probably been the only times that I have not nibbled at food.  Maybe I worry that if I take bigger bites, I won’t stop eating.

Maybe, maybe, maybe

It’s just one behaviour on a long list of things I need to work on, and it’s probably not a priority right now, but I feel like it will be a tough one to crack.




9 thoughts on “A bigger bite

  1. I just happened to find your blog through Mindfump, I will be reading more of your journey every time I get the chance, will be interesting! Strenght to you, take care! 🙂


  2. Interestingly I never got into the small pieces and small bites behavior. For me, it’s learning to eat slower because I just want to get it over with. Maybe being in the military started that behavior because we were given like 5 minutes to eat and get back out to work. We inhaled our food, we didn’t actually eat. I have yet to meet another veteran who eats slowly unless they’ve practiced and practiced.

    However, because my stomach doesn’t tolerate food anymore I eat one bite then wait, eat another, etc. But the bite I eat, I have to consciously chew it properly. I don’t like food in my mouth but I love the taste! A huge myth is that anorexics don’t like food. Food has nothing to do with it and we all have ridiculous rules about what and how to eat.

    Years ago one of my rules was to not eat anything orange. The therapist I had at that time couldn’t get past that for weeks. I finally switched to an eating disorder specialist who didn’t bat an eye.

    Right now I wish I could eat, even like I was able to last week. It’s frustrating when your body turns on you.

    I’m really proud and encouraged that you are willing to try, as well as willing to look objectively at the behavior in order to figure out a way to deal with it, and change if necessary.


  3. My son is still struggling with eating slowly and eating small bites. He spends a lot of time eating and it really frustrates him. He drinks Ensure Plus as part of his recovery meal plan and it takes him forty-minutes to drink it. He also hides from his grandmother when he is drinking his recovery drink, she is one of his triggers and her dementia does not help. It makes is difficult to do anything spontanous, he is working with his therapist on this issue and she is having him plan a lunch that will include guests. He will prepare, serve, and eat the meal at a theraphy session. Wish us luck as this will surely cause an overload of anxiety.


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