It is crazy to think that 2 years ago I had officially identified myself with having an eating disorder. I was 20 years old, a full time broke college student, and had “no time” in my schedule to eat paired with “no money” in my wallet to spend on food. These were of course excuses. It started out as me being lazy, not wanting to pack my lunch or go out of my way to buy something off the dollar menu with my change lying around in my car, to an obsession with feeling skinny and hungry. I knew if I just pushed past the first part of the day, I would no longer feel the pit in my stomach. I was going days without eating. There were times where I couldn’t remember when the last time was that I had a meal. I was eating a fruit pack a day. That’s it. I made sure to stay hydrated because I didn’t want to pass out but I CHOSE not to eat. It was a mental demon I fought every day for months.
I remember looking at myself. All 108 pounds of me (which for me is really bad). I could see my ribs, size 0 pants were loose, I looked like I had a bobble head, and I just stared. I sent a picture to my then boyfriend, now husband, and I vividly remember asking him, “be honest, am I too skinny?” We had just recently started dating and he had no idea I had this problem. His answer was the thing that I needed. I had always thought “I could afford to lose some weight”, but his exact words were “you could afford to gain some weight.”
I opened up and told him all about my eating disorder and from then on he made it his personal goal to make sure I ate every day. I would eat a kids menu burger and be so full I felt like I was going to throw up. My stomach had shrunk tremendously, but I forced myself to eat 3 times a day. Buddy (my then boyfriend, now husband) would buy me dinner and lunch meals so I had no excuse but to eat. I hated it. I was gaining weight and my pants stopped fitting me, but when I would be angry with my weight gain I would look at old pictures and continue eating. I realized 2 things: 1. I was pretty prideful about how thin I was. And 2. I had the best boyfriend in the universe for walking through this with me and loving every pound gained.
In 6 months I had successfully gained 30 pounds! I was eating 3 full meals a day, and no longer had the desire to be hungry. Success!
Just 4 weeks ago I decided I wanted to live a healthier life style. I started working out everyday and one thought lead to another and there I was thinking, “If I skipped breakfast and lunch and only ate dinner (a small plate) my husband wouldn’t find out and I could lose weight faster.” It wasn’t even my goal to lose weight, but to be healthy. Starvation isn’t healthy! I did it for 3 days and on the third day, which just so happened to be my 3rd day of my brand new job, I was walking out to my car and started passing out. I sat down as fast as I could. Luckily I was walking with my coworkers so they gave me some snacks they had in their purses. I was sooooo embarrassed. I told my husband and he immediately identified it. Can’t get anything past that smart cookie! But he is my biggest blessing with my health. That was 4 weeks ago. The very first relapse and the very last. Sometimes when you start working out again after recovery, you want to revert to your old methods of weight loss. But the biggest concern that I remind myself of is my health, not my weight.
Post eating disorder sufferers struggle with this daily. I know it because I have been there and seen it. It’s not always easy to start working out again but I’ll tell you one thing, it sure does make you face your demons and overcome them. Hitting this head on has been hard but it has given me more healing then I even thought I needed.