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For the Love of Peanut Butter This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By , Walnut, CA
I love peanut butter.

I have loved it since I was a preschooler munching “ants on a log” during snack time, and I cannot fathom having a peanut allergy. However, when I was 15, even mentioning my favorite childhood food made my heart beat with fear. Why? I had anorexia nervosa.

When people hear the term eating disorder, they usually assume those who suffer from it can recover simply by eating normally again, but it's not that simple. Anorexia is a psychological disorder; shoving cupcakes down someone's throat does not heal the mental component of the disease.

It is a slow and difficult process, especially because victims have a warped perspective of both their bodies and food. I was 78 pounds at one point; despite my ghastly skeletal appearance, I thought I was perfect. I was convinced donuts and pizza were pure evil.

When I turned 16, I suddenly wanted to recover. It's impossible for me to explain why or how it happened, but I knew I could not deprive myself any longer. The next few months were the most difficult of my life; I would have a gigantic argument with myself at every meal.

“Eat the egg yolk.”

“No! That's 50 calories!”

“Eat it, eat it, eat it!”

Eventually, it was time to face my number-one fear food: peanut butter.

Because I still obsessed with how healthy foods were, I decided I would only consume natural peanut butter made without hydrogenated oils. That was easy enough. The next step was opening the jar and actually eating it.

I sliced an apple, took out a spoon, and slowly unscrewed the lid. I started panicking. What if I consumed more than one serving? I carefully scooped out just one tablespoon – 100 calories.

For the next month, although I was no longer counting calories, whenever I was craving peanut butter I ensured that my metal tablespoon was with me. If I couldn't find it, I would eat something else. Then one day that tablespoon had a run-in with the garbage disposal, and I finally realized that in order to overcome my eating disorder once and for all, I had to eat peanut butter without measuring it.

I grabbed the jar from the fridge and unscrewed the lid, took out a knife, and smeared it onto my whole wheat toast. Was it two tablespoons? Was it 1.36? I didn't care. I popped the bread into my mouth.

Success.

If I can overcome this disease, so can the millions of people who are suffering from eating disorders. It just needs to be attempted one step at a time because everyone is stronger than they realize.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 9 comments. Post your own!

FaeNotMyNameThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Jul. 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm:
I'm glad you were able to face that fear food of yours. Peanut butter is a fear food of mine, though I know I (not my eating disorder) finds it delicious. Kudos for you for finding the motivation to recover
 
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ohheyyyelli said...
Jul. 8, 2011 at 6:29 pm:

First off, you are a really talented writer!

Secondly, I have ednos, and I can relate to this so much. I did reach a point of "recovery", but I always relapse. I don't think I will ever be free of my ED forever though. I hope you are still in recovery and can leave this all behind you and live a happy&healthy life. 

 
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Kimmy_KrakThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Mar. 5, 2011 at 9:02 am:
In the magazine a drawing of mine was shown with this piece and it really resonated with me because i went through an eating disorder myself and even though it has been close to four years, it's still a struggle. be strong
 
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BrainsANDBeauty This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm:
This was definitely informative, and I am so glad I got to read this in the magazine.  So empowering.  Congratulations!
 
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HannahBanana23 said...
Feb. 14, 2011 at 2:09 pm:
Wow that takes guts to overcome an eating disorder. I could not fathom how it would be like to have an eating disorder. Im glad your eating peanut butter again. :)
 
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Duckie430 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm:
this piece really touched me, i have an eating disorder myself so i know how hard this must have been to go through, & also to write about. congrats on getting published, i absolutely loved this.
 
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cloudskater1 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 11, 2011 at 11:32 pm:
OMG this was amazing!!! and super congrats on overcoming this, it mustve been horrid!!! mad props 2 u, keep writing and fighting!!!
 
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SoulxFinder said...
Feb. 4, 2011 at 11:51 am:
Congratulations! That is a huge thing to overcome. 
 
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SuperChunky said...
Feb. 3, 2011 at 7:26 am:
WOW!  And congrats!  It took courage! 
 
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