When you were learning to eat with other people, in recovery, did you tell them you had an ED (history)? You've said often that your friends at school don't know your history, but there must have been a period when you were still getting comfortable with eating with others -- what happened then? did they not know about your past? if not, how did you handle their expectations of you being "normal"? or else, what did you say to them?
I am not such a good role model in this area because i never told anyone in the schools i went to that i had/have had an eating disorder and havent even told them about my cystic fibrosis (a chronic illness i cant even recover from) or about my depression or anxiety. This of course isnt to be recommended, because i do personally think it is good to tell your friends and those you trust that you have/have had an eating disorder or mental illness - just because then they can understand and support you better. For me, i wasnt even planning on telling my boyfriend about my past with an eating disorder despite the fact i had a blog about it, hahahah... but i was put in a situation several months after we began dating where i had to tell him and turned out he already knew anyway as he had googled me, hahaha.
So, when i first began school again in 2011 i was still very sick and was suppposed to follow a meal plan and use my Mandometer (a device that weighs food) for my school lunches but i didnt follow either. Instead i ate lunch with those in my class but ate rather restrictivly i.e didnt want to eat pasta, rice or potatoes or bread and didnt like things with cheese so often i didnt eat so much for lunches. And my class noticed but never said so much, just thought that i was eating a "model diet" as they all thought i should be a model. At times they pointed out that i ate very little and it wasnt so good, but if i am honest there was a hell of a lot of food, calories and weight talk during lunch and many had a sort of weird food relationship anyway so it was just a weird class/situation for me and definitely didnt help me recover. I cried alot and hated that school when i went to it and never made any real friends.
Then i started a new school in 2012 when i was alot healthier and able to eat more and actually eat carbs and eat normal food and then my eating wasnt anything strange and nothing to really talk about. Apart from the fact that i ate alot more than the others and they all knew that was because i worked out. I never felt the need to mention anything about my past as i knew it was in my past and not something that affected me in the present and i thought it was silly to bring it up. However as mentioned i didnt even talk about my current illnesses which i think is a little silly of me, as they are my close friends and i did have many hospital visits during my 3 years in that school and never said why. But i am pretty sure they figured it was something like depression or anxiety... because in my first few months there was a rumor spread about me that i was depressed (which i was) but i thought it was a little silly of the girl who had began saying that about me, it was a little petty of her. Because the first few months of beginning that new school i struggled alot with making friends and didnt feel that i fit in and did feel stressed, lonely and fell into depression again i.e i struggled alot at the end of 2012 just a few months after being declared healthy.
But back to the actual question!
My healthy habits and getting comfortable with eating food around people was done during summer 2012 when i recovered from my relapse and began to eat more intuitively. I got comfortable with eating with my family and eating different and varied foods again i.e not just salad and egg whites, but also trying to find balance after struggling with binging and purging for several months during my relapse. Food wasnt such a big deal for me when i began my new school and i was focused on intuitive eating and thats what i did. I ate when i was hungry, stopped when i was full. Bought snacks when i wanted extra food, took a cookie if i wanted or said no if i didnt want it. There wasnt anything abnormal about the way i ate - if anything it was just that i ate more than everyone else. I never felt the need to tell anyone, but that was my personal choice.
If you find that it would be helpful for YOU, i would recommend telling friends. But i felt that because it was in the past i didnt want to be judged in the present. I didnt want the label on me - the person with the eating disorder/past of an eating disorder. Also i felt that people would look more at what i ate if i did tell them... when eating should just be something normal and not something people focused or thought about or that i would be judged for how i ate.
Eating disorders arent something to be ashamed about and if it helps, tell people. It can also help if you feel ashamed for eating more of often, then people will know why. It is up to you how much focus you want to put on your eating disorder .For me it helped me to start school and just be normal and not directly have a label on me. It helped to eat normally and not have food as a focus, just as something delicious and energy. Rather than having food as a focus because everyone knew i had a past with an eating disorder, but instead i was just a normal girl who worked out alot, hahah.
I dont think i have answered this so well as my brain is a little scattered, but feel free to comment if you want me to give better advice, or if someone else can give better advice. I.e if someone who has actually told friends about their eating disorder and how it went etc :)