6 October 2017: I still fear losing self-regulating privileges.

I still fear losing self-regulating and self-portioning privileges. And I very much fear losing movement privileges. I never want to return to a meal plan based on exchanges, percentage completions or fixed limits with juice, milk and Chick-fil-a visits. But I anticipate those upcoming conversations, knowing I’ve returned to subconsciously punishing my scapegoat body in thinking I’m not worth good things. I eat little, fearing I’ve wasted what I have, then overindulge in milk and honey, fearing I’ll never see it again.

Last grocery trip, I paced aisles with a bread loaf in my basket I knew I wouldn’t buy because I feared the irrational likelihood I’d change my mind and my bread would be bought out first. And I needed my particular loaf because I’d scanned every other loaf to determine mine was best. Before checking out, I returned my loaf to its overstocked shelf with intense, sad feelings and fearful thoughts I’d never eat that bread again. It was my orphan brain again.

Psychological deprivation battles from traumatic nutritional neglect are hard, but even harder having developed new food intolerances. Food intolerances are a valid category, but still category, of dieting. Before, I’d have manipulated this opportunity to intentionally restrict. It’s the oldest trick in the ED book. But now, I hate food intolerances.

I grieve lost satiation because I know my genuine preferences. I honor my healthy body-to-self relationship rather than following others’. I’ve legalized food: It’s all fair game. There are no good or bad foods. I respect my baby-born hunger and fullness cues. I trust my body knows what, how much, when and when I do not want components. The orphan stomach is adopted: There are less cravings, overeaten or undereaten plates and no Costco-like cabinets with items set to expire.

For the first time ever, I’m bereaved to avoid dairy, beef, high fiber and fried foods, acidic, processed and sugary foods. I once coveted a safe, restricted diet; now I crave the abundant one.

Yet in a cyclical, sick, twisted and disordered game, ED uses this bereavement to validate feeling undeserving. My gastrointestinal illness is somehow my fault. These limits are a punishment for gluttony. Or My gastrointestinal illness is somehow my fault. These limits ensure I never waste food again. Or My gastrointestinal issues are well-deserved. I do not deserve pleasure or food gifting my body strength. I am unworthy.