An Unusual What I Ate Wednesday

Ok, let’s get real.

Despite my near 2,000 calorie day of eating last week, I received a comment on my ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ that what I ate looked ‘concerning’. The reader also questioned whether or not I’ve ‘recovered’ from my past eating disorder…?!

If you’ve read my About Me page, then you know that in my early 20s I suffered from a combination of anorexia and bulimia. Now I’m going to get a little blunt, so if you’d prefer to avoid this, please exit now.

After my dad passed away in 1999, I was all over the place in my life, not the least of which was eating.

IMG_20140415_0003My dad and I at Disneyland…I was about 12.

I actually gained 20 pounds after his death and before my eating disorder began (I had always hovered between 110-115 pounds throughout high school, so this was quite a bit for me).

IMG_20140415_0006My best friend and I, freshman year.

It’s funny how I realized that my pants weren’t fitting the same, but for some reason, I didn’t think much of it.

Then, one day when I was home visiting my mom, I was literally looking for something to eat in the refrigerator when she turned to me and said, ‘how much weight have you gained?’. I promptly shut the fridge and it all commenced. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but it really was a poignant moment in my life. Unlike most mothers and daughters, I don’t maintain the best relationship with my mom, but I still crave her respect and approval. I just rarely get it.

Anyway, I began eating less and less and using laxatives to rid my body of what little I did eat. It was a horrible time. My lowest weight that I recall was 103 (I’m about 5′ 7″ in height).

IMG_20140415_0002In the midst of an eating disorder…my tan is the product of a booth, and what you can’t see is my skinny legs and hip bones (which is where I tend to gain and lose weight).

I worked out every morning before going to school and then went to work two jobs (one at an elementary school, one as a nanny) all while trying to maintain relationships. It definitely took its toll, and after about six months of this, I sort of hit my limit.

I remember being in my truck in a parking lot when I began to experience heart palpitations and irregular breathing. It was a very scary moment, and soon after that, I just made up my mind that I was stopping.

Now this a point I really want to make. Though I stopped the laxatives and began eating more, my mind wasn’t completely fancy free.

To this day, I have days where I struggle with body image, just as I’m sure many other women do. I don’t think you’re ever ‘free’ of that, and I’ve found that frustrating in reading others accounts of their eating disorders. Very few situations, if any, have a happy ending, least of all something like this, and there’s no diet out there that allows you to eat as much as you want without monitoring your intake to some degree.

The difference now is that I know my limits with food. I have a sense of when I’m eating too much, when that extra brownie (even if it is made from black beans) will add a little more ‘pudge’ to my belly the next day, or when I have a need for juicing a couple of meals to clean out my system a bit.

IMG_20140415_0001Happy and healthy at home shortly after the birth of Jade.

I’ve seen a few people criticize the concept behind ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ lately. Some readers and bloggers seem to absolutely hate it, while others write that it isn’t real. Well, I can’t speak for other chicks, but mine is totally real.

This is genuinely what I eat in a day. The catch is that I do make sure to pick a day that is more interesting than others might be. For example, there are days my family and I go to a little Mexican food restaurant for lunch. There, I order a chicken rice bowl that literally layers whole pinto beans, Spanish rice, grilled chicken, and vegetables in a medium-sized bowl. I don’t tend to bring my camera out with me, so I’ve never included it, but that’s as bad as I get.

I don’t eat chips or candy or Dairy Queen or fro-yo (or whatever the eff that stuff is) on the side because I can’t. If I do my allergies flare up like crazy.

What keeps me on track these days is (ironically) not my weight (though I definitely want and strive to keep in shape), it’s my desire, my want, my need to not itch, to not have eczema all over my hands, to not have acne all over my face, and to not have the mood changes, fatigue, and depression that all accompany this way of eating.

I hope this gives you a better insight into me and this blog. If any of you are suffering with an eating disorder, know that you can overcome it. It won’t be all rainbows and princesses, but you can find your limit with food in a healthy way just like I did.

Comments?

 

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Comments: 51

  1. dawn April 16, 2014 at 5:13 am Reply

    thanks for being so open! your healthy lifestyle is something i strive for. :)

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:21 am Reply

      Thanks Dawn! You’ve been so helpful for me as well. :)

  2. Nina April 16, 2014 at 5:34 am Reply

    I have always struggled with my weight. Partly due to a slight eating disorder that was caused from horrible relationships that made me doubt my self worth and part due to a condition I was born with an didnt find out about til my mid 20s. The condition is rare where the major artery that runs across the duodenum was angled inward, pinching the duodenum shut. Therefore my food couldn’t digest properly, causing it to back up and make my nauseas and sick ALL the time. No matter what I ate, I couldn’t gain weight. At 5’2, I never weighed more than 98 lbs. and then when my self worth went down the drain, so did my weight. I eventually had surgery at 26 to fix my problem and I started to gain weight, work out and not too long ago I met a man who loves me and makes me feel like a princess :) And I have to say the sexiest I ever felt was while I was pregnant. At 125 with all those curves and a baby inside, I felt like a goddess!!! I wanted to keep some of the baby weight after my son was born 6 months ago, but between working, dealing with him and trying to be a good wife, I lost the weight PLUS some!! I have been seeing a nutritionist and eat more than I did while I was pregnant an work out to make me feel better. I’m still much too thin and get criticized for it. I hate being this tiny because I don’t feel “sexy” and my motivation for more pounds is to have the energy to deal with an active son, and be healthy for my family. When I first came across your site, I read your story and was so inspired by it. I enjoy reading what you eat because it helps me with my diet, and I like knowing that I’m not alone in the daily struggle for health & happiness. You are an inspiration to me and I love what you do!!! Long winded story for saying keep it up! :)

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:20 am Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment Nina! I too felt awesome when I was pregnant, so I can definitely relate. Why can’t those curves (aka, boobs) last forever? ;-)

  3. Amanda April 16, 2014 at 5:42 am Reply

    Oh Lauren, I’m sorry to hear you’ve received hurtful comments on your posts – good-intentioned or not. I think sometimes people forget they’re only seeing a small portion of our lives (even if you are showing everything you ate in a day, we don’t see what you ate the day before or after, what you did for exercise, etc). And I sympathize with eating to keep allergies and eczema at bay – I’m really, really hoping this Spring/Summer is better for me than last year because that was tough.

    Sending you lots of positive thoughts…chin up. xo
    Amanda recently posted..Oil-Free Peaches & Cream Oat CupcakesMy Profile

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:18 am Reply

      Thanks girl! :) I’ll be sending positive thoughts your way as well for your own allergy situation. It sucks!

  4. Olivia April 16, 2014 at 5:57 am Reply

    Hey thanks for sharing…I love your “what i ate wednesday” post. I’m normally a silent reader (bad habit of mine) But today I think you should hear that your blog is awesome and your fun to follow=) keep up the good work!
    Olivia recently posted..~Photo-a-day~ April 9-15My Profile

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:17 am Reply

      Thanks so much Olivia! I’m happy you commented. :)

  5. Cindy April 16, 2014 at 6:15 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing.
    My eating disorder started at 12. Probably no more than 20 lbs overweight, I had announced that I was “on a diet”!
    A few weeks later, taking a second helping at dinner my father said “Huh, I thought you were on a diet”.
    Shamed, I put back the meat I had skewered and began my starvation diet.
    It would take a novel to write about my ups and downs over the years. Suffice to say, I
    still struggle now with my (over)weight and allergies but feel that I am in a better place, emotionally, to tackle them.
    All to say, THANK YOU. THANK YOU for your terrific blog and interesting recipes and heartfelt sharing.
    It means a lot to me and I am sure, many others.

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:16 am Reply

      Thanks Cindy! Your experience with your dad sounds similar to mine with my mom. I’m happy to read you’re in a better place now, and thank you so much for your comment. :)

  6. amber April 16, 2014 at 6:43 am Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    When I read the first part of your post I felt very angry at the ignorant person who left that comment. I’m always inspired by your WIAW posts and I’ve read through your story before and know your history with eating and see how healthy and WELL you eat now. I’ve never had an eating disorder (so I can’t speak about it from a personal level) but I have worked with many patients (as a clinical therapist and behavioral analyst) that suffered from an eating disorder. They all suffered from some sort of past trauma or there was a deep seeded issue with one of their caregivers. I remember how difficult the disorder was for these young girls and breaking the cycle took YEARS, if at all. So the fact that you overcame this on your own is incredible.

    I can relate to you on the parent issue, Lauren. I was raised by my grandparents (due to neglectful parenting) and I have a very difficult relationship with my father. Many of my childhood experiences is what drove me to become a therapist. The pain I suffered as a child and teenager. however, manifested in other ways….harmful behaviors (like drinking, smoking, drugs, risky behavior, partying all the time), etc. We need to take care of ourselves and when we aren’t getting what we need at home, we seek out comfort. We strive to feel better and reach for some sort of control. And this behavior takes many forms. But like you, I changed my life and changed my behaviors (so I can certainly relate to you on that level).

    You understandably felt compelled to defend your eating, but as you know, the internet is crawling with negative people that have nothing better to do than leave cowardly, hurtful comments. I mean really, that comment was unnecessary and ridiculous. You are amazing, beautiful, and eat like a champion. You have such an obvious, positive relationship with food, as your recipes are awesome and so healthy!

    I hope you didn’t lose too much sleep over that comment…or any of the other negative comments. This is your blog dammit and you can post anything you please. So you go girl, rock it, and don’t let those haters bring you down. They are miserable, sad people.

    Love and hugs to you, Lauren!!!

    –Amber
    amber recently posted..Raw Pepperminty Nutty-RoonsMy Profile

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:15 am Reply

      Thanks so much Amber! :) You’re such a genuinely nice person…it’s tough to find people like that these days.

  7. Sharon April 16, 2014 at 7:17 am Reply

    Very brave and honest post.

    I had (and sadly it is had, not have) a very close friend suffer with an eating disorder that she still battles to this day, which is why she hasn’t maintained our friendship and many others. It is a serious and complicated disorder. The only person that can make the decision to climb out if it is the person who suffers from it. You made that choice and you should be so proud!

    Ignore the negative comments. They are probably suffering in their own way.

    Keep up what you do! You inspire many, many people. :)

    XO
    Sharon recently posted..Tuna Casserole – Gluten FreeMy Profile

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:14 am Reply

      Thanks Sharon! I’m sorry to hear about your (ex)friend. The only thing I can say is that she’s probably embarrassed and ashamed, but hasn’t found her way out yet. I hope you two reconnect in the future. :)

  8. Amy April 16, 2014 at 7:36 am Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to defend yourself. On the other hand, I’m so very sorry that you felt you had too. It is sickening to think that people have nothing better to do with their time than pick apart your eating style. I’m not perfect and neither are you whom ever you are that felt compelled to make such rude comments. I NEVER and I mean NEVER defend my eating or lifestyle to anyone, it’s my life I live it and if someone doesn’t like it, to gosh darn bad….You’re a beautiful lady, remember this is your life don’t defend it.

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:10 am Reply

      Thanks so much Amy! I like your way of thinking. :)

  9. stephanie April 16, 2014 at 7:36 am Reply

    You go girl!

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:10 am Reply

      Haha, thanks girl! :)

  10. Heather Holmes April 16, 2014 at 7:41 am Reply

    There are always the ignorant.There are always going to be jealous, evil, hurting people who want to hurt others.They foster the lie that it will make them feel better about themselves.Unfortunately they are ignorant to the truth that they are still going to be them.And who wants to tear others down….Its sad for them.YOU ARE SUCH A BLESSING TO SO MANY PEOPLE. I had a eating disorder and Lymes.I recovered years ago from the eating disorder as well. Its so hard to want to help others and guard your heart..I know from experience!This world is really light and dark.Keep on shining sister!

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:09 am Reply

      Thanks Heather! I too was diagnosed with Lyme back in 2008, so I know how debilitating it can be. You and I have much in common. :) Thank you for your sweet words! xo

  11. Kim April 16, 2014 at 8:13 am Reply

    I love your site. From one who has struggled with same ED struggles and food allergies, your site is a blessing. You are such an amazing beautiful person.

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 8:22 am Reply

      Thank you Kim, what an awesome comment. :)

  12. Jessica @ Blog-Inspired Cooking April 16, 2014 at 8:49 am Reply

    I’m new to your blog, but I really appreciate your honesty and openness. I don’t even want to go back and look at what that reader posted, but let’s just hope they had the best of intentions and were truly trying to be helpful. If they were being malicious, ignore them, they aren’t worthy of your attention anyway.
    Jessica @ Blog-Inspired Cooking recently posted..Better the Second Day: Roasted BroccoliMy Profile

  13. Mitchell April 16, 2014 at 10:25 am Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    A very nice post.

    Though it may be hard to do, I wouldn’t stress too much over what the haters out there (who hide behind their keyboards) have to say. You’re doing just fine ….better than fine!

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 11:39 am Reply

      Thanks Mitchell! :)

  14. Cassie April 16, 2014 at 10:35 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. That is so brave! People are so awful and insecure… I don’t know why they try and call others out for their eating issues on social media. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
    Cassie recently posted..What I Ate Wednesday: Blogger Recipe Round-UpMy Profile

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 11:38 am Reply

      Thanks Cassie! Some criticism is just completely unnecessary!

  15. Marianne April 16, 2014 at 11:51 am Reply

    You constantly inspire me, motivate me and strengthen my resolve to make my life better. Thank you for continuing to put yourself out there! A huge hug to you ♥

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Marianne! Your sweet comments always make me so happy. :)

  16. Heather @ The Soulful Spoon April 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm Reply

    GREAT post! I completely identify with everything you said as far as your dad passing (which is when mine started at its worst) and craving the approval of your mom. I also get that sometimes readers mistake our current relationships with food as disordered eating, but only WE know how we feel towards food. I’ve learned that some people see different as “disordered” and that’s not the case at all. It’s much more about the mindset around food than it is how differently we eat. I love your blog and am glad to see how great you look!:)
    Heather @ The Soulful Spoon recently posted..Superfood Spotlight Series Day 1 : CacaoMy Profile

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 6:08 pm Reply

      Thank you Heather, I agree with everything you’ve said! I’m sorry for your struggle, but happy to know we can relate on this. Thank you again for your kind words. :)

  17. Audrey April 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm Reply

    I enjoy reading your WIAW posts, and I am usually thinking “she eats way better than I do.” lol Sorry to hear that you had someone question your eating. I was underweight most of my life, and now I weigh about 40 lbs. more. For the most part, I am happy to weigh more, though I could be in better shape. Very good and real post! I enjoyed it.

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 6:02 pm Reply

      Haha, thanks Audrey! :)

  18. Gretchen W April 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm Reply

    Personally, I love your WIAW posts. Never have I ever looked at what you ate and wondered if your meal/snack choices have ever left you hungry. Maybe it’s becauseMaybe it’s because it reality, everyone is different. While I may be left with a seemingly empty stomach after consuming a smoothie, you may feel perfectly content or even full. It may even be the other way around. The point is, we are not all the same, so the only thing that we do know is our own limits. Not everyone else’s. Maybe it’s because your meals actually DO look filling. It seems (to me, at least) that you know how to include the high fiber, complex carbohydrate-enriched food into your diet that are known for making you feel fuller for a longer period of time. That being said, portion sizes are often going to vary depending on what you eat…meaning…if you are eating the more filling fibrous foods, you probably won’t need as large of portions as people are typically used to. The people who have commented on your WIAW posts with negative, close-minded feedback seem to be just that. Negative, close-minded, and uneducated. Of course, this is all just my opinion. (:

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm Reply

      Thanks for your encouragement Gretchen! It seems food blogs can garner quite a bit of negativity, so it’s even sweeter when I get a comment from someone like you. :)

  19. Debbie April 16, 2014 at 2:27 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story! I can totally relate re childhood issues contributing to disordered eating and body image issues….while I have come a very long way, I am still challenged by them:-(. I enjoy your posts and really appreciate your honesty!!! Thank you!

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 5:59 pm Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience as well Debbie! :)

  20. Beth April 16, 2014 at 5:03 pm Reply

    I confess. I am often alarmed at how little you seem to eat. Sometimes I even triggered a bit…but if you are at a healthy weight and are eating 2000 calories a day, that is healthy.

    • Lauren April 16, 2014 at 5:59 pm Reply

      I understand Beth, but what you don’t see is how much of everything I’m eating. I don’t say if I eat multiple bowls of soup or how many cookies, etc. I appreciate your honesty though!

  21. Isadora April 17, 2014 at 10:17 am Reply

    That is one of the hard things about the internet, it is such a great way to connect with amazing people, but on the flip side people can say whatever they want, and sometimes it is not the nicest. You know yourself better than anyone though, so I’m guessing you don’t let ignorant comments like that get you down :) On a side note, which Mexican restaurant do you guys eat at? We have one that we love on Broadway and Wilmot, but I really love Mexican food so I am always looking for new places to try.

    • Lauren April 17, 2014 at 3:07 pm Reply

      Thanks girl. :)

      El Charro is where we go, and they have a few locations throughout town. Also, Mi Nidito is really good, but get there early because they are always packed!!

  22. Tamara April 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm Reply

    Lauren, Just so you know I really enjoy reading your posts and I try your recipes often, they do not disappoint. You also have great insights about allergies that are helpful to others. I think anything we can do to help someone else should be looked on with favor. I hope you can “let go” of the negative comment and continue to find joy in your life.

    • Lauren April 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm Reply

      Thanks so much Tamara. Though the comment was initially hard to read, I’m glad I received it so that I could better convey where I’m coming from with my blog and my own experience. :)

  23. Katie April 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm Reply

    Haters gotta hate -.-

    The thing is, you don’t owe anyone an explanation about why you eat what you eat or how much of it you eat, but I admire your honesty and bluntness. The whole reason I continue to keep up with your blog is because I understand and respect your story without judgement, I like the message of healthy eating and balance that you try to convey to your readers, and most of all, I just freaking love your food!

    I feel confident that if any girl/woman/ even man told you that they’ve never had a low moment where they felt disappointed by the way their body looked, they would absolutely be lying. It’s only human.

    Though I cannot fathom all of the trials you have gone through, I know how it is for people to criticize your habits or lifestyle. I feel like I share a similar perspective on life – I love eating, and I love eating healthfully. I’m still learning to let the criticizers continue criticizing. My roommates definitely judge me for my “weird health foods” and the number of times I go to the gym per week. It doesn’t mean I hate my body or think I’m fat. Actually if anything I have gained more respect for my body with my relatively recent lifestyle changes.

    We all have our own reasons for doing what we do. Don’t let the haters get you down :) You have too many supporters for that! Keep doing your thing.

    • Lauren April 17, 2014 at 6:23 pm Reply

      Thanks girl, you too! I have a feeling you and I would get along really well. :-D

  24. Lindsay April 18, 2014 at 7:58 am Reply

    I’ve got nothing but love for you, chick. Always inspiring to read your blog/recipes/stories.

    • Lauren April 18, 2014 at 8:35 am Reply

      Thanks girl! :)

  25. Mary @ Fit and Fed April 18, 2014 at 1:13 pm Reply

    I enjoyed learning more of your story. I’m glad you have come to a healthy place with food overall, but sorry that you have to be so careful just to keep your ezcema and other issues under control. I have certainly always gotten the sense that your blog is ‘real’ as you are trying to feed yourself and your children.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Easy Vegan Chocolate Pudding or FrostingMy Profile

  26. Link Love: 4/19 | Cowgirl Runs April 19, 2014 at 7:25 am Reply

    […] An Unusual What I Ate Wednesday via Oatmeal With A Fork <– I’m glad Lauren addressed what’s become a bit of a trend for WIAW, and that is questioning what people eat. I don’t see it stopping, but I’m glad she she was so transparent in her writing. […]

  27. Gabby @ the veggie nook April 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm Reply

    I loved your honesty and openness in this post Lauren. I am so sorry a reader left a comment on your post like that. Sometimes I just don’t understand the satisfaction people get by putting others down. I’m so glad you stood up and said something. You have accomplished and overcome so much- I’m so glad you stood up with pride to show that.

    Keep going girl, you’re awesome :)
    Gabby @ the veggie nook recently posted..on being an only child and vanilla espresso almond butterMy Profile

    • Lauren April 22, 2014 at 8:59 am Reply

      Thanks so much Gabby! :-) You’re pretty awesome yourself. ;)

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