Thank you to all of those who have reached out regarding my “Unexpected Eating Disorder” blog. It’s very heart felt to have so many loving and caring people in my life. Hugs to you all!
As promised, the series continues…..here’s how it started:
When I reflect, I can see where and how this began. It took until about 9-10 months ago (yes, 2017) before I was willing and able to admit I had a problem.
About 8 years ago, I changed my exercise plan and eating habits. Instead of walking daily, I added running, strength training and yoga. Instead of cereal every morning, I ate eggs. Instead of sandwiches, I ate salads for lunch. Instead of Hamburger Helper, I ate meat/poultry and veggies, rice, potatoes or some other combination for dinner. I did this during the week and then would eat whatever I wanted on weekends. I would enjoy going out and going to parties with cocktails, snacks, chips, dip, candy, etc. It took about a year of following this routine (eat healthy during the week, consume whatever I wanted on the weekends) before I realized I lost 20 pounds! What? Having never felt like I was overweight at 125lbs (height 5’5”-5’6”), I never thought my body would change as much as it did. I went from a size 8 to a size 00 and weighed in at 105lbs. My lowest weight was 99lbs (but that was after a surgery). I was eating healthy and exercising. No problem here.
I liked being thin so I started to exercise more (generally 2 workouts a day) so I could eat more. By doing this, I still felt skinny and beautiful. I loved my new body. I loved feeling strong and athletic. I loved fitting into little black dresses or cute summer tank tops. I was loving life! I loved being skinny while still enjoying the food and festivities of life! I was eating healthy (most of the time) and exercising (a lot). No problem here.
Fast forward a couple of years when my health started to turn and found I needed to cut some major food groups from my diet because my body was reacting to the foods. I cut dairy and gluten from my diet. I eventually cut eggs and almonds. I cut blueberries, cashews, kale, chia seeds, flaxseeds, salmon, legumes and the list goes on and on. At one point, I hired two personal chefs to make food for me because I was finding it more difficult to come up with recipes I could eat. As my list of restrictive foods grew, the substitutions became less. As the substitutions became less, my weight started to increase. It’s now 2014 and while I was eating healthy (very restrictive) I was also gaining “extra” weight. Now at 115lbs, I felt I was “overweight”. But still no problem here.
Having to eat the same foods every day, I started getting tired and frustrated. By late 2014, I started cheating on more foods. I started to eat more foods from my restrictive food list for 1-2 days. I would suffer physically for this, but found if I juiced (only drank fresh green juice) for 2-3 days, I would be able to maintain my weight. This turned into cheating on foods for a week, then juicing again for 2-3 days. Then I started to binge eat for 7-10 days, juice for 2-3 days and then I added fasting to my routine, just so I could maintain my current weight of 115-118lbs. It was a cycle. By 2016, I’m officially 10-13lbs “overweight”. I believe this is all par for the course because of my health challenges. I told myself every day that I will lose the weight once my health is back. Again, no problem here.
By 2017, I was consumed…. every day, every minute, every thought, morning, noon and night, revolved around food….. I told myself I had to because of my health. I also refused to gain any more weight. I was obsessed..I had to lose weight. Could I fast for 3 days? Could I juice for a week? Or vise versa? Reality set in…. I think I have a problem.