I have been dating someone for 6 weeks. Last weekend, I went camping with him (let’s call him NZ for now). He said nonchalantly, “don’t forget to bring your bikini!”
Obviously, NZ doesn’t know about my ED. I am normal weight so it is not evident from looking at me. I am also good at hiding my weird eating habits and hiding behind being a vegan. He had no idea that asking me to bring my bikini would send me into a fit. I usually need a few weeks notice to starve and tone my ass into one of those. I only got a day’s notice from him.
Being in a new relationship always sends me into an ED tailspin. I worry if I am thin enough. I suffer from anxiety that is always quietened by starving. Although things are going well with NZ, I still have the urge to starve and perfect this body before he sees any more of it.
I purged the night before camping. I ate grapes and drank black coffee the whole day until we got to camp. The first time I had to put the bikini on was to go to the hot springs at night. It was dark. I breathed a sigh of relief. He would only dimly be able to see me. We had our first real kiss lying under the stars in the hot springs.
“You can totally rock a bikini,” he said (with wandering hands). I think he had heard the panic in my voice over wearing a bikini in public.
The next day we went rafting. On went the bikini again and since it was dazzling sunlight (which is not flattering to the cellulite that my legs are riddled with), I put my sarong on too. I survived rafting the frigid waters of the great, white north managing to keep my cover up – and therefore my dignity – in tact.
I thought I had made it through unscathed when his friends called us to go and swim under a waterfall and have a bbq for dinner. On went the bikini for the third time in 24 hours! This time I didn’t get to keep my sarong on. Although it was evening and the sun had gone behind the mountains, I took my sarong off to get in the water (after copious protests that I didn’t want to swim). I could see the cellulite on my massive thighs as I stood there, vulnerable and being eaten alive by ED (and mosquitoes). I was torn between refusing to swim and showing him that I could have fun with him and his friends. I felt physically ill being seen in my bikini, knowing that I am not thin.
The irony is that all weekend he tried to feed me. He handed me chocolate for breakfast by the campfire and laughed at the confused look on my face. He stopped for ice cream on the drive home. He cooked my vegetables in creamy curry sauce and didn’t even notice when I flinched. Eating is just so normal to him. I ate half my meals in camp and handed the rest over too him to finish. Eventually he will clue in that I am weird around food. Eventually he will start asking questions. That is always the worst part of a new relationship. I hate having to ease people in to my ED. Eventually they always figure out that I am clearly not recovered. Eventually…..perhaps there are still a few more weeks before we have to have that awkward conversation.
We are going away again this weekend so all week I have eaten safe foods or restricted during the day and anything I have eaten at night has been purged. I have exercised relentlessly in the hopes that if I have to put that torturous bikini on again, I might look at least slightly thinner than last weekend. This time we will be together for three days rather than just 24 hours. The more time we spend together, the harder this is to hide.