Warning: word vomit. I was going to combine it with my appointment but I wanted to get this all out there first and it’s long enough. You can wait till tomorrow. sorrynotsorry. This is my FreEDom for the week.
I’m going to share something that has been a big struggle for me recently. I wasn’t sure if I should go into this much detail, but it helps get the point across. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth, and I’m not going to sugar coat things to make me seem cooler or better than I am. I’m not perfect.
I haven’t talked about this much (if any) on the blog. Why? Because I was embarrassed. Occasionally I would briefly allude to “overdoing it” on certain foods but I never really used the right word. Binging. Yes, I fell in the trap that I swore I would never fall into. I will never forget my first appointment with my nutritionist when she said that there was a chance that after restricting for a long time, your body will often rebel and go in the opposite direction. I laughed. I thought it would never happen to me. I’m such a control freak, how could it?
But here’s the thing. My body did rebel. Two years later. Sure, I’m at a healthy, stable weight. I have been for quite some time now. How did I get to this weight (and maintain it), is the question. If I had stuck to the meal plans given to me by my doctors that I had “adjusted” to work for me, I would still be in recovery. I’m not. Why? Because I let myself eat. And eat and eat. Past the point of comfort at times. I was full of guilt and shame every time it happened. It wasn’t every day, but I would go in waves. To compensate for this behavior, I was running miles upon miles. Remember that day I ran a 14 miler? It was because I was mad at myself for
eating a lot bingeing the night before.
What caused this erratic behavior, though? I wanted to stay thin. I liked the complements and remarks I got about how thin I was, skinny I was, pretty I was. I wasn’t comfortable with the gradual changes happening to my body from feeding myself properly. I stopped eating breakfast. I cut down my lunch. I ate a normal dinner, but at night, I’d be starving. I would eat everything I could find because my body needed food.
It all began when I just kind of decided I was sick of the internal fight. It’s not the first time this cycle has happened. I become unhappy with my appearance, decide to step up the exercise and
starve myself cut back on food, and then end up overdoing it binging later in the day. The weight has creeped on before from this cycle, and I would get comments like “you look so much healthier” causing those negative thoughts to worsen. It started happening again, I guess shortly after Thanksgiving (no surprise since that’s when the comments were really bad). I was in a pretty good place during cross country season, but once the holidays hit, it was over. Then the stress of finals and the lack of exercise post-season just added to the equation, and boom. I was miserable, and the cycle started again. When I came home for break, I decided I wanted to kick this problem once and for all.
I told my mom I wanted to go back to my nutritionist to discuss healthier eating patterns (aka adding breakfast and snacks in during the day) and fueling properly for running to reach my optimal performance. This was only half true. I was embarrassed to tell her that I’m still struggling. It’s fine for me to sit and eat a bowl of ice cream after dinner and a couple cookies and look healthy, but that doesn’t change what’s going on inside. She thought I was totally fine, and I knew she wouldn’t understand. She thinks the problems I’m having are “normal,” that everyone feels like they overdo it sometimes. To some degree, yes, but not to the same extent that someone who has had an eating disorder experiences. She accepted my reasons for needing to go, though, and the appointment was made.
Then I mentioned to one of my two best friends from school that I was going to an appt. She has struggled with weight in the past (being over, not under) and definitely has some disordered eating patterns now. We’ve always talked about our issues with each other so when I told her, she asked why I wanted to go and what I was getting help with, and I finally told her just how much I still struggle. But nobody knew about that white elephant, the not so pretty side of an eating disorder that comes after years of restricting. The loss of control. And as soon as I said it and had her unconditional love and support, I felt like a massive weight was lifted off of me. The difference was amazing. I’m so glad I’ve finally reached out. The support I’ve gotten in return is incredible.
I encourage each and every one of you to try it, whether it’s for an ED or some simple advice on running, work, or school.
This time, I mean it. I’m getting rid of the guilt and the hiding. I’m not perfect, nobody is. Those extra pounds don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, and once I regulate my eating better, I’ll probably fall back to a place I’m more comfortable. And no, I haven’t weighed myself. I can tell based on the fit of my clothing. In the past, this would have spiraled into another cycle of starving myself and probably gaining it all back. I hated myself for losing the control I once had and there have been days where I wished I was still in my ED days. But that was my ED talking, not me. This time, I don’t want to just “lose weight” or be “skinny” again, I want to be normal.
That’s enough serious talk for today. Tomorrow I’ll do the recap of the actual appointment, but I felt like this was a necessary prelude to it so I could explain why I went to see her, since I never really talked about it before.
If you didn’t feel like reading this whole thing, just follow this advice: REACH OUT and ASK FOR HELP! You’re going to be so happy you did.