Ana & the Life Savers Candy

***Trigger Warning***

This posts talks about eating disorders and anorexia in particular which may be triggering to some.


This morning I went to my daily IOP where I had to fill out a daily report card for how I had done during the 24-hours since leaving IOP and it was not a pretty report card either. In the past 24-hours I have purged, cut, and Ana is in control of my eating; let’s just say I wasn’t looking forward to having to turn in my report card especially since my therapist was running this morning’s IOP session.

Part of the IOP sessions are what they call mindfulness exercises; exercises designed to help you get back to center and slow your mind down so you can deal with whatever is going on around you. So far they have not been helpful as I have not yet been able to slow my mind down enough long enough to focus on the exercise. However, sometimes it takes something little like a Life Savers candy to make you realize how out of control things have gotten; or more appropriately just how out of control you eating disorder is.

For one of the mindfulness exercises a bag of Life Savers were passed around the table with everyone being instructed to take two Life Savers and to be sure they kept one for the exercise. When the bag came around to me, I took it and instinctively checked the nutritional information printed on the bag; serving size – 4 candies, calories per serving 60. This of course means each candy has 15 calories in it, which in the grand scheme of the universe is nothing, but…I found myself in an internal debate with Ana about those 15 calories (which represented the first calories I would have consumed today). I will admit the smell of the candy was enticing and for a moment, I considered eating the candy and Ana could go to hell. That was just one of many thoughts that went through my mind but it was not the thought that won out in the end.

When it came time for the exercise we were instructed to take the candy, hold it in our hands, feel the candy, the raised lettering on the candy, and then to put the candy in our mouth. That was where the exercise ended for me; the internal debate with Ana resumed and in the end Ana won when I tossed the candy into the trashcan. I’m not sure which I’m more upset with, myself, Ana, or the therapist for having a mindfulness exercise that involved food…guess I’m upset with all the above for various reasons.

Sometimes it only takes something as small as one piece of Life Savers candies with 15 calories to make you realize how bad their eating disorder is. Since I could not bring myself to eat that piece of candy, it tells me my ED is the one in control now…

Peace, love, and contentment,

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