Thanks for nothin'

Thanksgiving is a living hell.


Food. Everywhere, all day long. Endless talk of food, thoughts of food, an eating disordered nightmare.

Thanksgiving is about family and togetherness…but the food takes center stage. When I was in the height of my eating disorder wanted to crawl under the table, pop in some earplugs and hide.

I recall thinking everyone was watching what I was eating. In reality they could have cared less, they were too busy enjoying themselves.

I recall watching others enjoy their food, eyes lit up with excitement when the huge, glistening brown turkey finally landed on the table. As their mouths watered, mine dried up as I calculated the fat grams in my head.

That was then, and this is now.

I spent Thanksgiving first with my parents, for brunch at the house I grew up in. Grandma whipped up the usually 14 course meal.  We grazed as we talked, eating accompanying our lively discussion.

We headed back home in the late afternoon to spend our first Thanksgiving “as a family,”  just the four of us; my husband, and two children. We had beef roast, and pasta, and garlic bread…and homemade apple pie. Our “traditional” favorites since we had no one else to please.

It’s the little things.


I hope and I pray that one day you to will join me here on the other side.

Where life is about living.

And eating is an afterthought.



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18 Responses to Thanks for nothin'

  1. sarah says:

    youre right, mamav. thanksgiving was a living hell. i hid my food inside of my mashed potatoes then excused myself to go on a 10 mile walk. the fun continues today as i woke up to my mom baking another pie. i told the lady i nanny for that i’m coming all weekend and next week. with that and school, i hope to avoid the smell of any more turkey as it makes me want to vomit.

  2. Josie says:

    I’m there. Living, not obsessing, but not enjoying it. Don’t have thanksgiving either.

    There’s a weird irony here considering the USAs ‘obesity epidemic’.

  3. Laura says:

    I’m with you MamaV! And it was delicious and lots of fun :)

  4. palmtreechick says:

    Yes, it is a bit of a dreadful day. We had way too much food and we celebrate it Italian style. Ugh!

  5. Chris says:

    Amazingly enough I cooked a huge Thanksgiving Feast all on my own. I had one to many helpings and kept it all down. I thought about purging again and again. By the end of the day I was so very thankful for the fact that I made it throught the day. In fact today I might say it really wasnt that hard!! I hope that whatever got me through is something I can tap into all the time!!!!

  6. kim says:

    thanks for sharing a little bit of your Thanksgiving and Grace with us. It made me cry when she corrected you when you said it was pretty good and replaced it with great. amazing. xxxkim

  7. Ellie says:

    I wasn’t even invited to dinner with my family because I’m too fucked up. I got to stay home and sit with my dogs.

    • Alexis says:

      I understand what it’s like to want to wake up one day, have a life-changing eaphpiny of that’s it, that’s the answer and suddenly be 100% better. The reality is that getting better isn’t so simple, it is never an instantaneous change no matter how much time and effort we put into it. The truth isn’t so blissful, but neither is it so terrible either. While getting better isn’t like flipping a switch on, getting worse isn’t like flipping a switch back off. Once we have made long term progress, returning to where we were can take as much effort as it took to get where we are now. We should take some comfort in that.

  8. Rachel says:

    Thanksgiving has been interesting. I stayed home and made egg rolls for my honey and I. I’ve finally come to grips with this nightmare of disordered eating. For me, it’s about portion control. Eat enough to survive and be healthy. Don’t eat so much that I want to purge.

    Sarah – I hope you find your way out of this mess. It’s hard, nobody even makes the remote claim that it’s easy, but once you do, things will be so much easier.

    Josie – Yeah. This whole ‘obesity epidemic’ thing has me scratching my head. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: America is fuckin’ schizophrenic when it comes to food, obesity, eating disorders, etc. I still maintain, though, portion control. Enjoy yourself, but don’t go overboard. That is the key.

    Laura- AWESOME! :-)

    palmtreechick – I hope that one day you find the light out of the eating disordered hell in which you reside. I am still working on it, but I am gradually replacing my negative attitudes toward food with positive ones. And y’know what? I’m more comfortable in my body, and just overall happier. A day such as Thanksgiving *can* be dreadful and hellish for those of us who deal with this. It can also be a new beginning for those of us with this problem.

    Chris – AWESOME JOB! I’m SO proud of you!! :-) Situations like that make me smile and help me stay strong in my battle against ED and OCD. And, it *is* something you can tap into all the time! :-) Just keep at it!

    Kim – :-) Stay positive, and I just love what you said!!

    Ellie – All in good time. You’re not “too fucked up”. You just currently operate on a different frequency than those around you. Help end the hurt inside and find it within yourself to begin recovery. :-) <>

    And to everybody else who will reply to this thread:

    I LOVE YOU ALL! :-)


    (I don’t normally shout, but this needs shouting!!)

  9. kim says:

    mamav i really miss you xxxkim

  10. Niika says:

    I think that America is not “schizophrenic” in terms of eating — I think it is extremely black-and-white. It’s funny, because black and white thinking is considered a thought distortion, and yet when it comes to food, people act like these extremes are somehow normal. The media does rather portray it as though everyone is either really underweight or really overweight — as if people either live on a stringent, regimented diet and exercise plan, or constantly eat the worst possible foods and indulge at every opportunity. Why can’t people understand that truly normal eating is not like EITHER of these? That the only two alternatives are NOT either living on salad or shovelling food in your face 24/7? I don’t get it. The world doesn’t work like that, guys! Not being skeletal won’t automatically make you fat!

  11. sarah says:

    thats untrue though. these days if youre not skeletal you are fat. maybe thats not what your parents or teachers tell you because they want the best for you. maybe my thinking is just distorted.

    does anyone think that like everyone has an eating disorder? its really weird. like for me, if someones wayyyy skinny, theyre anorexic. and if someone is medium sized, i figure theyre bulimic and if someones fat i figure they eat nothing because they want to get skinny. i’m fucked up and always wrong!!!

  12. Rachel says:

    Sarah, I know that line of thinking. The most I can tell you is that once you shake yourself into a rational train of thought, life will be better. I think that you recognize the issue: that your thinking is distorted. That is an important step. That is the one thing in your statment that you are absolutely correct on: recognizing that your thinking is distorted. Once i realized that about my self, my battle became much easier. It hasn’t been peaches and cream, but things got easier and I was able to shake myself free from the BS that my mind was putting me through.


    I think we’re getting at the same things here, just different terminology. The media portryal is fucked up. There is no happy medium that exists.

    Nowadays, I am generally moderating my calories. In either scenario, portion control. Don’t restrict to starve, but don’t go overboard and eat too much either. I’ve been on both ends. I’ve eaten too much, and I’ve eaten too little. Neither was healthy. Now I just try to generally moderate. Acknowledge that I want the chocolate, but don’t eat the whole bag.

  13. palmtreechick says:

    If only I knew how to get out of it, Rach.

  14. sarah says:

    i’m with you, palmtreechick

  15. Rachel says:

    Sheer hellbound determination to recover and not let the inner demons continue controlling your thoughts.

    I can tell you what has helped me, but it was after I hit the bottom. Out of sheer, hellbound determination, I have been able to change my mode of thinking by generally keeping positive. Once I stopped beating up on myself, it was like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. It hasn’t been easy, but I generally stopped the negative self-talk and that has made a world of difference. I accept myself for who I am, the quirks that I’ve got, and the fact that my mental quirks have helped shaped my life’s experiences, and without them, I would not be who I am today. I have not enjoyed the hell that I have endured, but it has made me a better person. I’ve still got issues with weight and eating, but overall, I keep in mind that my mind has got some difficulties processing things sometimes, especially with weight, food, numbers, etc, but I will not let my disease define me! Damn it!

    I hope it helps, girls!

  16. Retta says:

    your video made me cry momma

  17. Jen says:

    That video was adorable, mamaV. Your kid was so happy to be spending Thanksgiving with you, that was so cute! Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays are the hardest for me, that’s when I gain weight because I’m around my family and I don’t want them to freak out at the small amount of food I’m eating. It must be very difficult for bulimics, having all that food around must make it extremely easy to binge. I ate, but felt horrible afterwards. Throughout the holidays I ended up gaining 13 pounds, but have since lost four, so at least I’m just 104 and not higher. That’s a difficult holiday, but I hope everyone got through it! I know someone said that their family didn’t invited them because they’re too “fucked up” and I am so sorry that you don’t have family support, that must be difficult. It’s easier (or at least supposed to be) to recover when you’re around positive family members and friends, and I’m very sorry that you weren’t given that opportunity. I sincerely hope things get better for you!

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