Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.

freEDom: Societal ED.


It’s Tuesday!

That means it’s time for the lovely Sloane’s FreEDom from Perfection campaign. Click over there to find out more about it!

So, Friday night.

I drank too much, ate too much (at 1:30 am) and woke up with a hangover, a stomachache, and a sh*tton of regret.

Of course, the first thoughts in my head:

  • “What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you do that?”
  • “Ok, you’re eating healthy this week.”
  • “You know, it wouldn’t hurt to lose a pound or two.”

These thoughts immediately bring in a rush of panic. Of course, I’m reminded of my ED, and I’m paralyzed with fear over relapse.

I posted a line or two about my thoughts in my post that day, which of course, resulted in some lovely feedback and support. But the one theme that stood out to me? My feelings were NORMAL.

In Jenni Schaefer’s Goodbye Ed, Hello Me, she brings up the idea of Societal ED. If you’re not familiar with her work, Schaefer has written two books on eating disorder recovery. This book (her second) focuses on life deep into the recovery/recovered process.

She describes a situation where someone makes a comment about her body, leading her to question whether or not she should drop some weight. Was it the voice of her eating disorder? Not necessarily – she was reacting the way most people would react to the situation; most would experience temporary negative emotions about their body. Due to images that we see in the media, there is pressure for women to look a certain way; a societal ED.

Realistically, I know that overeating once in a while is not going to effect my weight. I’m not going to wake up the next morning 5 pounds heavier, nor do I have anxiety about that sort of thing anymore.

So maybe the thoughts I had weren’t necessarily part of an ED or the beginning a relapse; it was the reality of living in an image-and-diet obsessed world. We are constantly fed images of the perfect body, complete with examples of the ‘perfect’ (read: unrealistic and unhealthy) 1200-1500 calories a day diet. So, when I completely blow that number out of the water, it’s expected that I’m going to feel some guilt.

Is it ok that this sort of guilt happens in society? Of course not. But the occasional bout of poor body image is expected (especially for females), and quite frankly, pretty unavoidable, in a society striving for the thin image. Really, what matters is how I respond to these feelings.

Did I undereat on Saturday? Yes – but not because I was actively trying to restrict, but because I felt like shit all day.

Since then? Eating habits are absolutely back to normal, and those feelings I had are gone.

Case in point: I went out to dinner with friends to celebrate the end of the semester last night.


Sushi at Sushi Eight! (although between the Chinese and the sushi, my body feels like it’s 98% soy sauce right now. Good thing it’s delicious).

Split between the four of us:


  1. spicy crab roll and a dynamite roll (shrimp tempura, cucumber, avocado, fish egg, and mayo)
  2. green dragon roll (shrimp tempura roll topped with avocado) and a red dragon roll (same thing but topped with salmon)
  3. salmon, mackerel and snapper sashimi, bean curd sushi, and salmon sushi


  1. yoyogi roll (black pepper tuna and avocado topped with more tuna)
  2. my seaweed salad
  3. volcano roll (shrimp tempura roll topped with BBQ crab meat and scallops), a carpenter roll (eel and cucumber topped with avocado and tobiko), a california roll and a cucumber roll.

While I tried at least a piece of everything, my favourites were the salad, (seaweed is weird. But in an oddly delicious way), the sashimi, the yoyogi roll, the crab roll and the carpenter roll. Delicious.

Sushi 8 has a decent dessert setup, but the thought of the delicious ice cream in the freezer made me hold out until I got home. A few spoonfuls right from the container was a great way to end the night. Open-mouthed smile

So, society teaches women to feel guilty about overindulging. But I can choose to ignore those feelings the best I can when I’m struck with them. Because life is too short to lose sleep over the occasional bout of post-bar indulging. Smile

Jenny’s Christmas Challenge

Gifts are always opened Christmas morning at my house. When my brother and I were little, we would wake up at the crack of dawn, tear into our stockings, and then run into my parents room to show them everything that Santa brought us. After my parents had dragged themselves out of bed (and gotten the coffee going) we would open presents.

We’re not going to be at my parents until afternoon on Christmas, so presents will be waiting until then. But I’ve got some on Christmas Eve and some on Boxing Day to open too, so it’ll be festive, that’s for sure.

Talk to you later!

<— Any Jenni Schaefer fans out there?

<— When do you open presents?


33 thoughts on “freEDom: Societal ED.

  1. Love this revelation! Seriously, oh my goodness…I think sometimes after I’ve had a similar night out, I wake up in a similar state of mind and then have a miserable day because I’m terrified of the negative thoughts that I think are coming from my ED…they may be, but you make an excellent point that society pushes those same thoughts on us…I never realized that before (in this instance anyway), so I’m incredibly glad that you made this point…and even more so that you haven’t let it affect you negatively 🙂 Role model, darlin…definite role model!

  2. Congrats on making it through something tough! I think this is the part I struggle with now. It isn’t the real ED talking. It’s the societal part of it, the part that makes us feel like we have to behave a certain way. Good for you for recognizing that and just sticking with your normal schedule. That is absolutely incredible!

  3. Great post! I have to remind myself of the same thing. You’re not going to gain 5 pounds of fat just by overeating at one meal. It’s the choices you make on a regular basis that count. And to regularly make balanced choices, you have to have a balanced life (that includes eating out!). 🙂

  4. Such a great an inspiring post! It’s nice to know that that kind of revelation is possible as it gives me hope to achieve the same type of consciousness about ED and food. Love the blog!

  5. Good for you for taking your feelings, recognizing them, & putting them into perspective! That’s huge. I have not heard of Jenni Schaefer but will check her out. And presents whenever they come, we usually have about a trillion things going on Christmas so whenever we can fit them in 🙂

  6. A similar thing happened to me a month or so ago with the drinking and overeating. It wasn’t like I was freaking out I was going to gain 5 pounds, it was pretty much exactly how you felt but then I started to think too much and that it was not okay for me to feel guilty and I was going to fall into an ED pattern again. You are so right that it’s NORMAL to feel this guilt once in a while because that’s the way our society is. Not saying I agree with it, but just because for one morning where I’m feeling hungover and bloated that I have a couple negative thoughts about my actions the night before, it does not mean I am going to relapse into a terrible downward spiral. Our society trains us to feel this guilt (which sucks), but it happens, and what matters most is how you move on from there. I remember that day I went on a run, then went out to lunch with a friend and ordered whatever I felt like. By that night I had forgot about the whole thing. And that right there is freEDom.

    • My thoughts exactly Hayley! I’m glad you’ve able to recognize those sort of thoughts for what they are, and move on. Society teaches us to feel these things, but we don’t have to respond and act on them. Just have to move on!

  7. Just reading this is making me feel a lot better about some of the feelings I have been having lately. The last day or so, I have been coming back into myself a lot more. I ordered that dress and I’m feeling pretty damn good about it 🙂

  8. Seriously love this post. I had never really heard of or thought about the idea of societal ED before you mentioned it, but it makes perfect sense. Even though I’ve come so far in my recovery and really do consider myself recovered from my ED, I still get plagued by the occasional pesky ED-like thought and it frustrates the hell out of me. It’s like, why am I still thinking like that, ya know? But society definitely plays a huge roll in that, and even though I hate to admit that it’s ‘normal,’ there’s no denying that the majority of women probably feel that way, which is kind of comforting because it doesn’t make me feel like I’m still sick….

    • Glad you appreciated the post Amanda – that’s my thought process with it too. I know I’m not still disordered, even with the occasional bout of negative thoughts. It’s not the ED, but you know there’s something going on there.

  9. I’m so confused about the fact that many say 1500 calories is low calories .. I mean, it obviously IS low for the average woman, but for me (I’m Asian and petit, 5’2) it’s actually what I burn in a day according to basically all calorie counters.. I know that this number is considered to be low for the general population, but do I go with what the calorie counter says or what the whole health blogger world says? LOL

  10. i couldn’t agree more, I adored her books. they were good to read at different points in recovery

  11. Good for you making a recovery from that hang over. It’s never fun, but hey… we all do it from time to time. No sense in dwelling on it. P.S. I swear a little apple cider vinegar helps. 😉

  12. Yum! I love sushi but I can’t have it at the moment 😦

    I’m glad you’re thinking healthy thoughts. Even when I was completely recovered, I would still struggle with feelings of guilt after a big night of eating. It took me years to be able to completely let go of any guilt and realise that a few meals here and there aren’t going to ruin my body. It feels nice to be able to eat anything I want and not worry about weight gain!

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  14. I’m thinking that I need to reread my Jenni books. Like ASAP. Between Goodbye Ed, Hello Me and Life Without Ed, I’m pretty sure I learned more from her than I did through my whole inpatient treatment. Actually, I read them during treatment and didn’t take a thing out of them because I didn’t want to recovery. Rereading them between my first and second relapses helped, but I think that now, I’ll really take EVERY PAGE to heart, and not just what I want to acknowledge at the time.
    Congrats on squashing the popular view in your mind. I think that knowing that there are so many gals out there fighting with me is starting to change the “society” within me, which I’m stoked about. We’re creating a paradigm shift, if only within our circle, but hopefully we can give it a wider audience, spread the word, and possibly even start a revolution. I believe!! 😉

  15. GOD BLESS THIS POST! Seriously, Sam I needed this. Holy crap I wish I could just squeal and hug you. Those thoughts are terrifying, but they are also a part of being a woman in American society today. Its sad, and frustrating and I hate it, but its reality. This is such a huge part of final recovery, and shows that you truly are healed. You are an inspiration and I wish I had the words to explain how much I admire and look up to your strength and honesty. GOD you rock.

    • It’s an unfortunate reality for sure, but reality nonetheless.

      Thanks so much hun! I definitely have a huge smile on my face right now – I got into blogging not only for a space to collect all my thoughts and rambles, but to discuss ED’s and show people that healing is not easy, but it is definitely possible. Thank you for letting me know I’m accomplishing that!

  16. LOVE this post! I’m a big Jenni S. fan 🙂

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