I was crazy once. I lovingly refer to a time, several years back, when I was “crazy.” Crazy = bulimic. Not happy times for me.
How did I arrive at such a place? Through a series of stupid ass choices, that’s how.
It all started when I weighed in at my Weight Watchers meeting in ’04 (I think). I was on a plateau of weight loss. Any one who has experienced such a thing knows how frustrating it can be. You keep doing everything right and the number goes down, then up, then down, then up. Or worse – stays the same. Ugh. It sucks.
A good friend of mine suggested that I start “burning at both ends” which is athlete speak for working out twice a day. One intense workout in the morning; a lighter one in the afternoon. Three days a week. Plus two other intense workouts on the other days. I cannot stress enough how wearing this is. But, it did the trick. And I was losing again.
Enter the family dynamic. All that working out makes me a bitch. Pair that with disordered eating (eating less and less as I get closer to weigh in at the end of the week), and my husband was ready to murder me. He requested (in so many words) that I quit doing that. And so I did. Stuck with five workouts a week.
But, now I wasn’t losing any more. So what is a girl to do? I made the choice. I remember the day I made the choice. Drop 100 calories from my already meager diet. 100 led to 200. 200 led to more. Before you know it, I was eating only 600 calories a day. Or less.
Enter the other bad choices. Laxatives. Water Pills. And finally, the ultimate insult to my body – purging. Oh yes… I had really gone down that spiral of disaster. My body was on a rollercoaster. Little food, not enough hydration, purging…
It took a toll on me that I cannot describe. I developed habits that, outside of the bulimia, I knew were bad. I started avoiding eating in front of people; I started avoiding any function where there was pressure to eat, at all.. I started negative self-talk that was unlike *anything* I have ever heard in my life. I said the worst things to myself. I started distancing myself from people. I became a person that I am not.
A friend of mine, who’s known me for 18 years, said (to describe me), “This isn’t the girl I have always known. I wish you knew her when she was herself.” He didn’t know how I had been torturing myself for months and months. And even he saw that something was wrong.
Now, the benefit? I was a size 4. I weighed less than I had ever in my adolescent and adult life. But I was hollow.
It took me years to get right with myself. I gained a lot of weight back (I wear a size 12 now… but there isn’t anything wrong with that). I think it was a process I had to go through to get back to even. I figured out that I really do like myself. I am pretty awesome (I told you before – I teeter on the line between conceit and confidence). But there are things that I have had a hard time undoing.
I still don’t eat in front of people. At least, not a lot. I still struggle with being very full. I haven’t purged in a long time. But, to be honest, I have slipped a few times since I went through recovery. I have a hard time with “dieting.” I can and will restrict my calorie intake if I am not vigilant against it. I have to make healthy choices and be more forgiving to try and overcome that instinct.
So… here we are. Up to now. Why am I writing this? Who knows. I felt “crazy” for about 35 seconds today until my BFF brought me off the ledge. Gave me perspective (which is why I love her so much). What happened? I cancelled a meeting today that I would have gone to last month (before the diet). I was feeling nervous about eating in front of people (which wasn’t a big deal before the diet). I made the choice to go, until an opportunity came up that gave me an out. And I cancelled. And I felt guilty, like I had given in to the “crazy”.
But, I didn’t. And I am not. I had half a cupcake today (I weigh in tomorrow). I am eating chinese food for lunch (which is another no-no with all that sodium).
I’m still working on it. I feel like, had I known that choice I made in ’04 would have taken me this long to reverse, I would have made a different choice. But (since it is January and I am still being thankful), I am glad that I have the insight to see myself struggle and the strength to win. I am thankful for people who love me, and teach me to forgive myself. I am happy to feel good in my skin, again. I am grateful to feel like “me.”
Today – I am thankful that I am mostly over the “crazy.”
Someone may stumble across this post. Someone looking for help. Someone wondering about where they stand. Are they struggling with an eating disorder? What does that mean? Can I get better? Right now, I’ll speak to you. Here is website that gives you some overall information: Bulimia nervosa info from the Mayo Clinic.
And yes. You can get better. With help. With patience. With forgiveness. But you have to make the choice to do it. It all starts with a phone call. And if I can be helpful to you, leave me a comment. You can beat it. But you have to start today. Make the call. Do it today.