I wanted to go ahead and share my background with bulimia, just to give everyone a little perspective.
I went on my first "diet" when I was 9 years old. I was a chubby child and was told for the first time at a sleep over that year that I was fat. This is probably one of my most vivid memories and, sadly, the one that sticks with me the most from my elementary school days. I immediately started to "diet", or what I thought dieting was in my little 9 year old mind. I was suddenly scared to eat in front of people. I would pretend to eat my lunch at school and then actually throw it away. Looking back this is so scary. I was 9 years old and was supposed to be having fun, and not in any way worrying about what I looked like. I lost weight that year instead of gaining like most 9 year olds do, and remember it as one of the most elated moments of my life. Little did I know that these activities would lead to a life long battle with weight, eating disorders, and control.
I first heard about bulimia and anorexia in a 6th grade presentation. Someone from the local hospital had come to school to talk to all the girls about peer pressure, sex, and eating disorders (all things we would surely start facing in our everyday life sooner than later). The woman presenting was a recovering anorexic and she described how she would cut her food into little bites so her family thought she ate more. She described savoring every bite of food she had because she was so hungry, but knew she couldnt eat more than a few bites. I thought that sounded like a fabulous idea and started to try and do the same thing. I would hold contests with myself, seeing how long I could go without eating and without anyone noticing I wasnt eating. Little did I know that to walk a mile in an anorexics shoes is a very hard mile indeed. When I couldnt take it anymore I binged on everything in site. Afterward I felt this extreme guilt for having such little self control. I then remembered the other part of the presentation, the part that talked about bulimia. I immediatly went to the toilet and threw everything up. It was the biggest feeling of control I have ever had. I could eat whatever I wanted and not get fat! This was insane and amazing and I felt my 12 year old mind swimming with a sense of power. The cycle began from there. I would get stressed and as a result eat everything in site to dull the stress or pain. I would then call myself a fat cow who cant handle anything in her life and has no self control. And then I would purge. This vicious cycle followed me through junior high, most of high school, and the later years in college.
This cycle has continued on and off for the last 13 years. I had it under control in high school, until I started applying to colleges.
I went to college at Bucknell University and honestly had 4 of the best years of my life. I made amazing friends, met my husband, and created memories that will last a lifetime. I struggled with my bulimia frequently in college, but tried to keep this as much of a secret as possible. I went to our campus nutritionist frequently, as well as psych services. It seemed so odd to me that EVERYTHING in my life was going so well (great grades, great friends, great boyfriend...) and still have the urge to purge everything I was eating. This was when it became very clear to me that my problem was much more deep rooted than I had originally thought.
After graduating from college (the saddest day ever) I moved in with my husband and soon after we were married. I struggled with my disease at this transition in my life (even though it was a happy one). I have an amazing support system in my husband and family and they want nothing more than to see me happy and healthy. I have always had a passion for exercise, and along with therapy decided to use exercise in my treatment of my disease. I found that if I exercised (in moderation of course. I have also had a problem with over exercising in the past) I am much less likley to feel the need to purge my food. I have to continually tell myself that the food I am eating is fueling my exercise and my running, and I need it to stay healthy!
It is an everyday struggle for me to stick with a HEALTHY, and balanced lifestyle. I find that the more I plan the easier it is to stay on an exercise and eating plan. I am trying to finally (for the first time in my life) to get to a healthy weight for my height. I am trying not to calorie count, but focus on healthy and whole foods that fuel my body. I used to see (and still do sometimes) food as something to shove in my mouth and then get rid of. I am trying to change my relationship with food and see it is a friend, not foe. This is a continued process, but I am hoping with the help of this blog I can see how far I can go and how far I have come :)
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