I’ve gotten to know many fellow ED sufferers since starting mindfoodly. I’m learning that while everyone’s journey is unique, many of our experiences are similar (that was the driving force behind the eBook we’re putting together).
One thing in particular I’ve noticed is a tendency among many people recovering from eating disorders to find breakfast cereals a safer, less confronting step to take in early recovery. This was certainly the case for me.
Carman’s Crunchy Clusters were one of the first things I became comfortable eating in my recovery journey. I can’t say why this was—but then again, there’s not a lot about EDs that stand up to reason and logic!
Every Friday night I would go to bed excited for the next morning, knowing I’d be pouring myself a big bowl of cranberry clusters and allowing myself to enjoy eating (at a time when the thought of enjoying food was almost unimaginable).
I’m so thankful for the role Carman’s played in getting me to eat again—but it’s important to note how quickly the ED attempted to take charge of the situation. Though I was able to challenge the ED’s command to restrict all foods by eating Carman’s Clusters, I quickly realised it was taking my love affair with the cereal and turning it into something unhealthy. Specifically, the ED began to convince me to obey a couple of rules that allowed it to assert its control:
- “It’s okay to eat Carman’s Clusters, but only on the weekend” (a classic ED tactic)
- “Enjoy the clusters, but don’t even think about branching out to a different brand or type of food”
The ED had taken something I loved (eating Carman’s for brekky) and twisted it into a rigid set of rules I was afraid to break.
Eventually, after a lot of help from Matt, my parents and my treatment team, I acknowledged that following these rules was not helping me recover (limiting when and what you can eat is not part of a balanced, healthy approach to eating).
Now I enjoy a variety of foods for breakfast on the weekend—and in the last two weeks I’ve even started mixing up my weekday breakfasts (something the ED has held onto for a long time).
Carman’s are a still a regular in my cereal bowl, but these days it’s my choice—not the ED’s.
Note: this post is in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Carman’s