Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Breaking Free From Bananas

I will admit it. I am addicted to bananas. I eat one banana per day for breakfast, alongside a whole-wheat english muffin and a ginormous cup of coffee with two tablespoons of soymilk. Always. For the last four years. Every. Single. Day. I purchase bananas each time I'm at the market, regardless of the quantity I have waiting for me at home. This never changes and I don't want it to. At least I didn't, until I realized this breakfast routine was the dirty work of my eating disorder.

I realized this today when I woke up and started making my usual breakfast. I scooped out the appropriate amount of coffee beans and filled the coffee maker with water. I opened the english muffins, popped them into the toaster, and reached for one of three bananas that were sitting in a wooden bowl on my kitchen counter. All of the bananas were a little overripe, which is how I like them. As I peeled the first banana, the entire thing was rotten inside. Like, brown mushy rotten. Like, no one on the planet would find this appetizing rotten. So I tossed it and opened the second banana-- same thing. Gooey mushy brownness. So I peeled the third banana, same thing. All three completely inedible and now staring up at me from inside the trash can. The coffee had finished brewing, the english muffin had finished toasting, and I had no banana. I commenced freaking out. I paced around my apartment mumbling. Stood there in disbelief. Sent a text message to my fiance, as if somehow he could fix the Bananaless Breakfast Disaster of 2012. Just as I was considering hopping in my car in my pajamas and house slippers to buy more bananas in order to complete the missing breakfast component, my fiance responded with a text of his own that read simply, "You're crazy."

He's totally right.

I am crazy.

This is not normal.

It's not about bananas at all.

I have an eating disorder.

It's about control.

It's about patterns and likeness and familiarity in a world that is constantly changing and overwhelming me.

It's about calories, or the lack thereof. I know a breakfast of a banana and an english muffin is not substantial enough to fuel my body throughout the morning. That's why I'm tired and hungry again not long after I've eaten.

It's about my eating disorder ruining my life. It is not normal to have a major meltdown when I have no bananas for breakfast, when there is a refrigerator and pantry full of perfectly suitable breakfast foods at my disposal. It is also not normal to panic when my banana supply, or my english muffin supply, is dipping dangerously low and run out to the store to buy more. I feel like a drug addict. That's how serious I get about this. And it scares me.

I know that bananas are good for you. They're full of potassium and fiber and even have a considerably high amount of iron for a fruit, which I need because I'm severely anemic. They can also help to regulate your digestive system, and some say reduce your risk of stroke. Plus, they're really tasty and I enjoy eating them. I'm not going to stop. But I know my dependence upon them are the work of my eating disorder, so I have to break free. No more bananas for me, at least not for breakfast, that is.

I am proud of myself for labeling this behavior as ED related, and furthermore, for shutting it down.

So, what did I eat instead of bananas this morning?

I had grapes instead. Tomorrow, who knows?

Do you have any foods that you are dependent upon?