Ed vs. the rest of the world

Ed's been talking to me lately. A lot. In fact, a lot more than the usual "a lot." If you've ever read Jenni Schaefer's book "Life Without Ed," I do a lot of agreeing but disobeying. Kind of goes like this:

Ed: You're a freaking whale.

Carrie: You're absolutely right. I am a whale. The blubber inside me could have fueled the Industrial Revolution.* I'm disgusting.

Ed: You know what the solution is, right? Eat less, exercise more, and eventually you'll be a mackerel or something.

Carrie: I know, I know. I want to be a mackerel, but I don't think I want to give up the advantages of being a whale. Slapping the water with your fins, having people ooh and ahh over you in big tour boats. They don't do that for mackerel.**

That's the annoying part. I want to be thin really REALLY BAD. Still. Even after all of this, everything I've been through, the weight loss calls to me like a Siren. I don't want to be lashed to the pole like Odysseus so I can hear their beautiful voices without jumping over the edge of the boat. Because honey- I hear those voices whether I want to or not.

And the only thin keeping me from jumping over that edge is that I've come too far to abandon ship now (what IS it about me and these nautical metaphors today?). That and my mom would jump in after me and I don't want to ruin her hairdo. It's an inside joke.

I almost wish I could learn how to get used to those voices without needing to lasso myself to a freaking pole. Ed telling me I need to lose weight isn't memorable or intoxicating in and of itself- it's what he promises as an end result.

"You will be healthy, Carrie. People will think better of you. You will be more athletic. You will be perfect."

In many moments, I feel compelled to agree.

In my good moments, however, I know this is a load of crap. Being at my current weight has me far healthier than I've been in years (excepting, as Ms. Em knows all too well, some mild adult acne). As for people thinking better of me, being in treatment, the psych ward or the hospital doesn't exactly improve your standing with people. Athletic? When the hell have I ever been athletic. There are certain solitary sports I enjoy (whacking a tennis ball against the side of the house, bike riding, swimming, the elliptical) but other than swimming, I'm never going to win awards, nor do I particularly care about that.

Perfect is another thing. I know it's not possible, but dammit! I feel I have to try anyways. Perfect is boring. Perfect is the Stepford Wives. I'm too quirky for that.

The issue comes down to this: I want what Ed promises on the surface of things. Yes, I want to lose weight. Yes, I want to be thinner. Yes, I want a perfect diet and perfect workout routine. But I also want to enjoy food and family and friends. I want to make it through my program. I will make it through my program.


*I'm reading a book called In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, which is about a New England whaling ship that wrecked off South America. It's quite interesting. They said that the oil derived from whale blubber helped fuel the Industrial Revolution. Hence the comment.

**Seeing as my parents have cable and I won't when I move to school, I've been stocking up on good nature shows to hold me over while I'm gone.


Harriet Brown said...

You keep going, Ms. Carrie, and someday Ed is going to get laryngitis and never recover his voice. Promise.

mary said...

AND....you won't give him the time of day as he's just not worthy of your time or attention. Hasn't he taken enough?
So hard right now, I know.

Jeanne said...


I know this siren's call... all too well. Only for me, ED promises sweet numbness; oblivion from my feelings; an oubliette from my thoughts.

You will make it through your program, carrie - you ARE making it through. One disobeyment at a time.

You aren't alone. That's for certain!

carrie said...

I was just thinking more of this tactic with Ed:

me + frying pan = Ed + dented skull

The frying pan is a great tool on many levels, one being the utility of hitting things. Even me with terrible aim can usually hit some part of the object in question with a nice-sized fry pan (Rachael Ray's line is good for especially hard-skulled individuals). And also, the food cooked in the said fry pan is also good weaponry. Oil is a must- I prefer olive or sesame. Or butter. ;)

Laura Collins said...

When my daughter first recovered her senses, and then her acne, she was incredulous: "What kind of recovery gives you zits?"

Kirsten said...

The negative thoughts sure lash back the hardest during the recovery period, that's true. But testing them with reason is the right thing to do.

On a lighter note: gotta love the smile on the whale!

carrie said...


If Olympia or you or anyone else out there can answer that question, I'd love to know! I stood in line at the drug store for 30 min today because the register was broken, as was the AC, to pick up some more zit cream. Even though I've only used it once, it seems pretty good.


Gotta love that backlash. Grrrr.

ms. em said...

ummm, yeah! i relate to this a lot. and damn the friggin recovery adult acne! have you tried one of those three step acne kits? i've been using them and they seem to work the best for me.

Willow said...

The NPR station I used to listen to in VA Beach read a segment of that nook every day, it was fascinating. I don't think it was something I'd have picked up on my own, but I was super glad to have come across it randomly.

i very much relate to the whale vs. mackeral thing... I am struggling with relapse in a huge way right now. It's all I can do to keep myself from sinking again (sea reference back atcha).

I'm about to run out of therapy sessions, insurance wise and it is coming at the worst possible time. *sigh*

So, when do you get to my neck of the woods? I have my Miss Anorexia tshirt and am eagerly waiting for the Kill Ed party to wear it!

lauren said...

Ed voices are the hardest, they never stop!!!!! I want you to just remember that the harder we try to heal the harder and louder those voices get so that means we have to fight 10x harder than anyone else in this damn world to be good to us! DO it for you because you ARE NOT a whale you are a beautiful freaking soul who deserves to love her body and the person she is and remember hun we are here and we love the soul you are!!!!
xoxo Lauren

Sarah said...

I keep thinking that my life will be perfect if I can just be thin. Of course, realistically I know that all that will change will be the tag on my jeans. But it's so hard to let go of the thought that if I can just get the outside where I want it to be, the inside will be ok.

mary said...

The voices DO eventually quiet down but it really requires a strong determination and resolve to not allow the messages in. [and those nutrients!] Think of ED as the stupidest idiot you ever met shouting nonsense over a fence and there on the side WITH you are all your inner resources, friends, and strengths. See us standing there with you holding your hand.
Then when you can join your friend at the kill anorexia party, at which I hope you eat,perhaps you can both bury the useless bastard.
Again, the messages can and do go away! Don't debate them, change them to messages you want.

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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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