I read that quote scrolling through Pinterest one day. That quote was what I needed to see that day. It was that day that I decided to fully commit to break my eating disorders. November 30, 2016 was the day that I decided to finally give myself a break, mentally and physically. I decided not to consume my brain with this pressure to be perfect with my body. Fair warning: this is a past trauma story so if you're not interested in learning about the past history, feel free to skip.
Junior year of high school was absolutely the worst year of my educational career hands down. Everything that could've gone wrong, did go wrong. I cried so much that year because of stress. I was nearly failing four classes and because of that lost my right to play sports or participate in extracurriculars, friendships were broken, relationships were broken, and I felt no sense of control in my life anymore. I felt like everyone was controlling my destiny and everything was just happening to me. No matter how much I tried to put up defense and build up, it really did not count for shit. My teachers at my school were not helpful by any means, if anything they made issues worse. There were so many days I went home because of the stress. It was just better for me to stay home where I felt safe and loved. If I went back to school, I felt like I was worthless and had nothing left to offer. I turned to food to handle my emotions because I literally couldn’t find anything else to handle my stress. I gained a good 20 pounds this year.
So what happened after that? I decided that I didn’t like how I look and that I needed an outlet for stress. No matter what. I needed an outlet especially during my senior year of high school. I went back to what I knew. I knew that exercise was the way to go. When I did participate in sports, I was more accomplished and happier. Though what is different this time, I used a scale. I measured my progress with a scale. If I couldn’t tell a difference in my clothes, I at least had the number to reassure me that I am successful. I took my inches but mostly remained the same.
Though whenever I did hit a plateau or gain a pound, I would freak out because I am going the wrong direction. So what would I do? I would restrict my calories. Therefore, I would not eat as much as the day before or add on excessive exercise to burn my calories. Did it work? Yes. Did it relieve stress? Only when on the scale. How was I the other six days of the week? A stress case.
It finally hit me after three months of these motions that it is hurting me. One day after my AP government class, I did not feel right. I felt light headed and malnourished. I just went home. I am down to 129 pounds at that point. It was then that I realized I am on the path of anorexia. Why? It was the only thing that I felt control over where no one else can step in and say I am doing this wrong.
It took a mental breakdown to realize that I have an eating disorder. I am very lucky because I relied on many people to help me through this struggle. I told my best guy friend Alec at the time, that I was scared. Now there are very few moments that I am
scared like to the point where I scare myself. That was one of the first moments I had scared myself. It took therapy and new job to help distract me of those issues.
Now three years had passed and I have been through ups and downs with my weight but I always was able to surpass the anorexia and eating disorder temptation. In 2015, I was in a car accident. Now I was able to walk away without any physical scratches, but I did have severe injuries to my back and my neck. Nothing that Advil could fix. I needed serious pain killers to help my muscles relax and throughout that summer I suffered from relapses that required even more drugs with nastier side effects. I literally spent the whole summer on the couch with my upper body healing. You don’t realize how much you use body parts until you cannot use them.
Fall 2015, I decided to rehabilitate myself with fitness and exercise. Surely but slowly I did it. I went from 160 pounds to 142 pounds because I did cardio and strength training. Diet was fine because I was losing 1-3 pounds per week. Was it stressful? Not entirely. Was it consuming my mind? Yes. Did I think it was easier if I just skipped a meal? Oh definitely. Did I restrict my calories to help with that? Yes but unconsciously. I only at yogurt for breakfast that was 80 calories. Yeah that’s enough to have. *eye roll*
After a roller coaster of weight gain in early 2016, I got down to my lowest weight in years. I cut 17 more pounds off in three months so that landed me at 134 pounds. How did I get there? Nutrisystem and eating six times a day, exercising five days a week, and consistently thinking about my diet. It was super exhausting and controlled a lot of my thinking processes.
I moved to Florida in 2016 and was fine for about a month. I realized I gained 10 pounds and I flipped the fudge out. I definitely felt like the piece of shit because I let myself get there even though it did not even look like I gained anything. Honestly, I cried to my closest roommate Cristina about it. She definitely let me cry on her shoulder and helped me relax. I definitely sent myself into a tale spin. Going throughout October and November, it was a constant struggle of not letting weight or food control me.
I was doing really well hiding it until I had a breakdown after work. I had a breakdown because I got what is called a coaching because I was not “working.” When in reality, I was talking to my coworker about my eating disorder because it was consuming my mind. It killed me being at work after that. Like I felt so unhappy and let down by my company, I could skip a meal. My husband was like right there front and center ready to hold me andwould let that happen. He basically got me to cry in his arms about everything. Gah that was one for the books.
I finally realized that nothing helped until realizing that I have my husband behind me and supporting me in my fight against my disorder. Sometimes you do need that unconditional love and support from someone else that doesn’t have to love you like your family. He made me carry my own weight in fighting it but knowing he loved me for me helped me progress faster.
Now I am strong enough to fight my eating disorder on my own. Back then, I was not sure if I had the strength to fight it by myself. I’m not ashamed to admit that. I’m not
giving it control anymore, I finally feel at peace about my eating disorder. Am I jealous of those who haven’t gone through it? You bet your ass. I mean who would want to deal with this? If it wouldn’t be this, it probably would be something else. Luckily, I have been able to rise above and not rely on anything worse to get me through these hardships.
As of November 30, 2016, I have been eating disorder free. I have not skipped a meal intentionally. I have not binged and purged nor have I made myself sick (unless I am actually sick and try to speed up the process). It’s a day by day progression but I am getting there. If I win at eating disorders, then I’m failing at the life that God has given me. I know I have more to give the world than just my looks and a body. Let’s see what I can do with what I am given :)