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.
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).
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).
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.
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.