Remembering my dance with ED

Daddy and I sat with a few of His female co-workers at the holiday party. (There are only 2 men on staff, including Him.) One of the ladies was substantially over weight and the other was of “normal” weight. The topic of weight loss was a hot topic. The heavier of the two spent a great deal of time joking about her eating and planning to eat a 4th plate of incredibly unhealthy food. She talked about binging in her sleep and uncontrollable snacking in front of the TV at night. She’s a pretty young woman of only 25.

I found myself feeling sad for her. I remember the days of feeling like I had no control over what I ate and that weight loss was totally out of reach. I ate out of boredom, sadness, joy. I don’t think I ever ate out of actual hunger. I was much like this young woman. Self-depreciating humor about my size, weight and food.

I held unrealistic goals for my body for far too many years. I wanted to go back down to my high school weight, which is where the doctors told me I should be. I spent much of my life wavering around 300 pounds. Going back to 150 pounds was totally unrealistic. I’ve had massive weight losses and gains putting my health and body in jeopardy. I understand eating disorders from the inside. The thinking, the feelings, the hopelessness, never being good enough, the body dysmorphia that goes with it.

I’m coming up on 8 years of maintaining a 120 pound weight loss. I’ve gained a bit since Daddy and I have been married, but not substantial in the grand scheme of things. I take it off and put it right back on. Pretty much everyone puts on a little bit of weight when they’re happy in a relationship. Nature of the beast. lol

I am far from thin! I’m curvy and soft. I’m also able to buy off the rack at any store. At this age, I’m built like more women my age than not. I’m happy and content in my body. I feel pretty and sexy. I don’t eat for comfort much anymore. I don’t engage in self-depreciating humor about my body or my eating. I have a pretty healthy relationship with food.

Listening to this young woman talk made me want to show her another way! I remember the hurt and sadness of looking and feeling like that. I wanted to shake her and tell her to stop what she’s doing and get help. The medical ramifications, the emotional roller coaster… the whole thing. I wanted to tell her there’s another way and share with her how to get help and support. At 25 I was just like her. Not ready or willing to do anything about it. I made a passing comment about making major lifestyle changes and losing weight in hopes of planting a seed.

There were many along my journey who planted seeds. For me, it took being in serious trouble in an anorexic swing to get the help I needed. I was forced by my psychiatrist with a threat of inpatient treatment if I didn’t do an outpatient program. I’d starved myself to the tune of losing 90 pounds in 2.5 months while exercising hours a day. As I’d done a few times before, I rapidly gained all the weight back plus some. I gained 110 pounds back. The journey to healthy eating was long, slow and very painful. I wish I’d started and followed through much younger. I wish I’d listened.

It’s easy to sit in judgment of the girl sitting there eating shit tons of crap while she’s really big. I’ve been on both sides of that. I’m not perfect and sometimes I find myself shaking my head in disgust. Talking to this woman brought me back to a point of empathy and remembering what it was like.

16 thoughts on “Remembering my dance with ED

  1. Food is my drug of choice. I don’t know if that was before I discovered alcohol or not. I just remember trying to eat away the pain that comes with living. Thanks for the reminder.
    P.S. I would bet there are plenty of men with eating issues, (even heterosexual men). But where can they share about this stuff? They may not purge, but still.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Anorexia is more stereotypical of a really young girl. When you get into binge disorders and stuff like that, it’s more typical of women a little older. Starts in youth most times, but you tend to see the results a little older. Despite my insane eating (both ends of the spectrum) I didn’t go outside of a healthy weight range until I was about 19. Took me years of insanity to get “really” big.

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      1. What I found in OA is the support of others on the path to getting things under control who actually understand the eating shame and process. Most of those in the rooms are compulsive overeaters, though there are people from all food walks of life. I couldn’t stay in the rooms long terms because the recovery model doesn’t follow a healthy plan for MY long term recovery. I met some wonderful people. They’re very different in OA than AA. They’re more…. injured and gentle hearted overall.

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  2. My business is health. I know how to help people lose weight and have been successful with some big people. But part of it is dealing with the underlying issues that caused the problem in the first place. And there must be some willingness to work at it. Healthy eating doesn’t mean you can’t eat everything but some things must go. And that’s the really hard part. I’ve put on some weight myself the last little while as I stopped eating healthy and allowed myself to eat foolishly. Now I hope to lose 30 or so pounds in the next 4 months. I know how—just have to follow through.

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