I went to Olive Garden for the first time this weekend with my boyfriend, his kids and his parents. They have bottomless pasta bowls. Danger Alert. It’s like taking a bulimic to a buffet. They don’t know my issues and have only seen me eat veggies and hummus so they don’t know that it was a bad idea. I was so excited it was awful.
First came the endless salad and bread sticks. I munched my way through as much as I could even though Heath’s dad warned me against filling up on bread. I informed him casually that I have no problem eating seven bowls of pasta at a time. He didn’t believe me. I asked the waiter what the record was as I ordered my second bowl. He wasn’t sure but he was amazed when I ordered my third bowl and then impressed when I was on my fourth one.
“Usually we can tell the people that are going to eat seven bowls because they have a certain body type,” the waiter mimed a fat person. “They are not usually your size.”
I laughed as he went to get my fifth bowl.
“We won’t judge,” he said
“I will,” Heath’s dad said. He kept shaking his head as I out ate everyone at the table. My boyfriend is 220lbs and couldn’t finish a second bowl. It was embarrassing for me that I was so out of control.
Eventually the waiter asked if he should bring another bowl. I explained that even though I could eat more, we had to leave because the children wanted to go. He brought another one anyway.
“To be fair you didn’t say you were full, ” Heath observed. “You just said we had to leave.”
Some people don’t understand that when you are eating your feelings you are never full.
The whole family was incredulous that I had managed to eat that much. I’m always surprised especially as I had warned them. I forget that although binges are normal to me, they are not to others. I wasn’t particularly proud of my behaviour, but sometimes I am out of control in front of people which is scary. I usually save that kind of eating for when I am alone. No one needs to see that. I felt distressed and repulsive. I wish my boyfriend hadn’t witnessed it.
We took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese and as soon as we got there I went to purge. The family looked for games and I looked for a toilet. No one even noticed I was gone. Later on my boyfriend found me while I was looking for water “Too much pasta?” he asked with a smile, not noticing the post-purge signs.
I shook my head, “no, I feel great.”
I couldn’t explain to him that the pasta was never going to stay down. Nothing freaks people out more than purging does. Anorexia is acceptable if horrifying; bulimia is downright disgusting. Sometimes I wish he just knew. He showed up unexpectedly at my house on the weekend and there was an empty box of ex-lax on my nightstand. He knows enough is wrong, but I like that he doesn’t ask any more.