Extreme Makeover: Kitchen Edition

True, nothing has changed physically about my kitchen. Not even the rug I got a Target about 5 years ago for under three bucks. I live in an apartment. Tearing out the cabinetry ain't gonna happen. Certainly not by me and definitely not by management.

However, at the high tide of anorexia, I used the kitchen for one thing: coffee. And the microwave, with which to reheat the said coffee about a gazillion times. I tossed back shots of espresso like a barfly, but coffee took a wee bit longer. I cleaned my kitchen far more than I cooked in it. My fridge contained the following: three Dannon Light n Fit yogurts (vanilla), a bag of shriveling apples, and a case of Diet Coke. I darted in and darted out. I was the martyred Christian condemned to the lions, and the kitchen, my friends, contained those lions. It had, like, food. Food made you fat. I did not want to be fat. In fact, I was willing to die in order to prevent that. Which makes one realize that it's not control, it's fear that's driving anorexia. Pure, naked, frothing-at-the-mouth fear.

There are some things that scare me about my current kitchen. The dark recesses and crevices in which my kitty knocks stray pieces of kibble that can attract roaches, ants, rats, and tarantulas. Also the aging oven. Sounds emanate from its behemoth belly that should NOT be coming from inanimate objects. I swear I have a house elf cooking my food. If only the little dude would do my dishes...

My kitchen has undergone an Extreme Makeover. I actually own butter! Not only own it, but use it! It's quite odd. I can't believe it's not butter? I can. Also olive and sesame oils. Candy bars by the ton. Milk. Dirty pots and pans. Not the dirty pots and pans that sit out for days, attract flies, and then require the health department to bulldoze the place. Just pans that have actually been- I don't know- used in the past decade. And bread! I actually have a loaf of bread sitting around, half eaten. Of loaves and fishes I suppose.

Recovering from anorexia requires eating and gaining weight, certainly. But it's also about changing your whole outlook on life. Food is a part of life. When I was anorexic, I wasn't really alive, a sort of emaciated Lazarus wandering around. Food is bringing me back to life. And it's making me realize that being half-dead (or, as was my case, basically three-quarters dead most of the time, approaching 95% at the really bad moments) really sucks. It was a stable crappy feeling, as life tends to bash me about a bit, but there was no joy. The kitchen is a metaphor for my life.

Ouch. I feel like I'm back in high school English.

But I'm living in my kitchen, cooking in my kitchen, eating in my kitchen. The cabinetry and accouterments are the same. My life, from the outside, hasn't changed all that much. I'm at the same job, hated by the same co-workers, living in the same apartment, with the same aspirations to be a professional writer.* I look pretty much the same. I weigh a little more, but my hair is still a spiky copper color, I haven't taken out my nose stud (sorry, Mom), and I still tweeze my eyebrows on a frighteningly regular basis. Yet my whole means of existing in this world are different. I can smile and mean it- okay not a whole lot of the time, but it's better than avidly looking for cliffs from which to fling oneself to a certain death. Like a lemming. I don't fear things like "working lunch" or "dinner party" or any sort of hint that a piece of chocolate cake will be in a five mile radius.

Aw, crap. I'm getting all mushy now.

*Please note: I consider this blog to be amateur whining, NOT professional writing.

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Hope said...

Love the Kitchen Makeover; Love the Carrie Makeover even more. Keep up the great work.
Sending Love and Lotsa Hugs!!!

mary said...

I realized something this morning when I first read your post. I do MORE cooking than cleaning in that room. I set out to clean my fridge, the most dreaded job of all. The way I figure it is, if I take some of your tidiness tendencies and I give you some of my relax/scattered tendencies maybe there will be a little more balance in the world. How about it Carrie? Wanna learn how to scribble? I know my house can use some cleaning.
And how come you have a cooking elf and I got stuck with a gang of dirty elves? They seem to multiply!

mary said...

*Oh and this is not my professional writing. I save that for my zingers!

CARRIE said...


My elf may cook, but he definitely doesn't clean!

And before, it didn't take a whole lot of cleaning to do more cooking than I did in the kitchen. Now with my little feline friend, I have to at least pick up kibble every day or else it goes kronch kronch under your toes. :)

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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