I get asked a lot, “why are you doing this?” and the answer is complicated. When I was in high school I was a dancer and sprinter. I danced during the fall and winter and ran with the track team in the spring. I was never a very good runner but I was a good dancer. I also managed to get my weight to 135lbs with a 17% body fat percentage. I was fit, I looked good but I was struggling.
I suffered from both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. My chosen purge form was exercise. I fooled my friends and myself into thinking I was leading a healthy lifestyle but I never fooled my family. While living under my parents’ roof I struggled. My family knew my sickness and maintained it in the only way they knew how: forcing me to eat meals with them and then making sure I didn’t do anything to purge. Exercise was where I found a loophole. If I’m working out – aren’t I healthy? Isn’t that how you’re supposed to do things?
All through high school I maintained my weight. My sickness hit its lowest point while away for my first semester of college. From the time I was dropped off at the end of August to when I went home for Thanksgiving I had dropped down to 103lbs. I was killing myself slowly and couldn’t even see it but my roommate and best friend from high school could. She would badger me into eating and discourage extra workouts. My health prevented me from doing a lot of things and I almost failed out of my freshman year. It dawned on me that I had a few choices: get better and live my life or keep going on the path I was and kill myself. I chose to get better.
With a lot of love and support I managed to get “better”. Something that anyone who has ever suffered through an eating disorder can tell you is that you never truly get “better”, you just manage to keep from going backwards. While everyday is a struggle, I’ve managed to get to a point where I can manage and live a normal life. I can enjoy food without too much guilt and I can workout without becoming obsessive over the minutes and hours I put in.
As I struggled to get better I put on weight. Some of it I needed and then some of it I didn’t. I swung back the other way, in my relationship with food. I had spent so long depriving myself that I got to a point where I never said no. I was the queen of eating out. I fell in love with food after having been away from so much of it for so long. In an effort to get over anorexia I developed a different type of eating disorder. I ate emotionally – food wasn’t fuel anymore it was both a reward and a punishment. As a result I tipped the scale at a staggering 190lbs.
When I saw that number I had a reality check the same way I had when I saw the sale read: 103. This was wrong. My body, the only vessel I had to take me through my whole life, was being abused and I was the one doing it. I vowed at that moment that I would take the weight off and I would be healthy about it. I fought, and fight, everyday to keep on a healthy path but I’ve managed to do it.
Over time I took off about 40lbs. When I met my current boyfriend [who is so very much more than that] I weighed in at 145lbs and wore a size 4/6 jeans. I was happy and healthy. I had lost the weight by watching what I ate and by working out 3-5 times a week. I was also 23, which helped me in that my youth let me take the weight off more quickly than if I had been older. However, over the course of the next four years of dating Ben I put on about 25lbs. The weight snuck on slowly as I changed from an active retail job to a sedentary office one. I also stopped cooking as much as we began to eat out more. The weight gain was gradual and it wasn’t until I noticed the scale tipping at 175-ish that I got scared.
After a hectic year in which we: purchased a house, relocated for jobs and had my 16 year old sister come to live with us I decided that it was time for a change in my body. While still a good ways away from my heaviest, I didn’t feel good in my own skin. Towards the end of 2011 I began to start working out with consistency and being mindful of my eating habits. At all times I am aware of my ED [eating disorder] and I know where the line is and where things can get dodgy. I’m dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle and taking this weight off in a healthy way.
Nothing in life is worth risking yourself and weight loss is definitely not the thing to let kill you. I am dedicated to posting my journey here on this site and helping others reach their goals in a healthy manner. I know how hard the pressures of society can be and I know the struggle of weight loss and gain. I’ve been there and I can tell you that the journey is long and hard but it’s definitely worth it.