I found Rachel’s post to be very interesting — and largely true to my experience. In face, we often decide on the restaurant based on what we’re getting. Sometimes we get salads, other time’s it’s pizza… sometimes it’s just a drink and dessert. But usually it’s almost the same thing. I don’t think that it’s that odd… but my intake is definitely influenced by my dining partner.
My big exception to this, though… is going out to eat with other eating disordered friends. No, this isn’t “let’s encourage each other to only eat lettuce.” Pretty much the opposite, actually. I would NOT order something that I considered to be disordered while out with a friend who has also struggled. It’s some kind of spoke ED etiquette — no matter how you are REALLY doing right now, you have to do “well” at that meal. It’s just not cool to be triggering. You suck it up for one meal and do what you know you’re supposed to do.
Also, going even further… I definitely overcompensate when out with non-ED friends who know my history, or out with family. Why? Because I don’t want to look anorexic. They’re already more aware of my eating patterns (and often still watching me), and I just don’t want anyone to think that I’m not okay. My parents have put up with enough throughout the many years of the ED… I’m a self-sufficient adult. I a) don’t want to worry them, and b) want to be treated like an adult. Not a high-schooler who is still struggling with the same issues. And with non-ED friends… I’m just trying to avoid the anorexic identity. I don’t want that role. Oh, and I avoid hanging out with chronic-dieters… girls who sit at dinner blotting their pizza with a napkin or spending the whole meal talking about calories. Those girls are NOT fun. Refusing to get ice cream, go out for a drink, etc. — that’s not fun! I want to fall into the “fun person” category… not the anorexic who doesn’t eat and won’t go out.
So yes, I overcompensate. Yes, I’ll have a drink. Sure, let’s order dessert — I’m game. I could use ice cream, why not.
Granted I may be screaming at myself the rest of the night, and trying to compensate with not eating much at other meals… but I just don’t want to be the girl picking at her salad in the corner. I’ve been there, and it’s lame. So, now regardless of whether or not I’m doing horribly, you’re not going to witness it at dinner.
Performance eating? Definitely. My old nutritionist was very against this… but I don’t know. I would strongly argue otherwise.