Where the Blog Started

This is my “About the Blog” section that I wrote summer of 2009. Since then, many things have changed and I have shifted my focus on the blog. However, I’m keeping the original “About the Blog” post up because I think it’s really nice and is very inspiring. Also, it’s proof of how far I’ve come that I conquered some  of the behaviors featured in this post. I hope you enjoy it.

I’m starting this blog as part of my journey to a happier, healthier life. This blog is a place for me to discuss my challenges, triumphs, disappointments, and progress. It’s a place for me to feel accountable yet comforted. It’s a place for reflection and motivation.

To understand my blog, you’ll need to understand my story..

As a little girl, I was smart, charismatic, charming, chatty, and a little chubby. I didn’t mind much, it didn’t seem to matter at the time. When I was in 7th grade my mom went on Weight Watchers. I started counting points also, as a way to show my support for my mom. I didn’t want her to do it alone. I ended up losing about 20lbs. I was a healthy size and I didn’t obsess.

In 8th grade I started to severely restrict my calories for several months and ended up under 100lbs. In order to keep myself from eating I would say the most horrible things to myself in my head. I remember telling myself how I was a fat, gross elephant and how fat, gross elephants didn’t deserve to eat. I was terribly mean to myself, and although within a few months I started eating again and gaining weight, the negative self-talk never left. This is where all the problems began.
From that time on, my fixation with my body was strong and persistant. My weight fluctuated over the years and I always felt like I was 10lbs overweight. In all actuality, I have always been a healthy BMI, but I’ve never loved myself.

I’ve never seen myself as particularly pretty. I guess I always thought that I can’t change my face, but I could change my weight… and I’ve always defined a “pretty weight” as thin and slim. I’ve always thought that the “desirable” feminine figure had to be rather small. Some of this also comes from the fact that I have small features: small bust, small butt. So voluptuous was always out of the picture. My only options in life were to be skinny or pudgy, and for some reason I started defining myself more and more on these terms than on terms of achievement, talent, or kindness. It didn’t matter if I had great friends, a stellar GPA, a loving family, or a huge round of applause when I hit the stage for my bow at the end of a show… if I felt “pudgy” then I was not good enough, and life was not all it could be.

The low self-esteem and body issues have followed me for years, but they took a turn for the worst last summer. The summer before my sophomore year at college, I lost a lot of weight. I was down to a 17 BMI and a size 0/1 jean. I loved it. I felt fabulous and on top of the world, but even more importantly.. I felt pretty. However, I lost this weight by becoming obsessive over calories and a slave to the gym. There were times that summer that I genuinely feared calories. I was in denial, and said time and time again that it was natural weight loss and that I had no problems. But in all actuality.. there is no way a 5’7″ girl gets down to 108 lbs without some serious issues. **

Surprisingly though, this is not the story of a girl who suffers from anorexia. This is the story of a girl who became trapped by a cycle of bingeing and self-hatred.

This past October, I started bingeing. It began with just once a week, then twice, then the days I binged started outweighing the days I didn’t. I never threw up after a binge, I just stuffed my feelings down my throat. I fell into a deep state of depression. Everyday seemed unbearable and every task, even the simplest ones, appeared impossible. I completely ostracized myself from friends. My days would end with me curled up in a ball in bed with a bloated belly, hysterically crying. My days would begin with shame and guilt as I felt my bellyache from the binge the night before. The cycle was viscous. I was disgusted with myself for my “lack of control” and felt out of place in my own body. As my clothes got tighter and tighter my self-hatred grew. I felt as if I didn’t deserve to live anymore. Violent images and suicidal thoughts started haunting me. I couldn’t escape the torture because it was in my own mind. By the time fall semester ended, I was merely a shadow of the person I used to be.

I got a little better during winter break, and the beginning of spring semester was better. But then, a week before spring break, I started bingeing again. I binged for the four days leading up to spring break, binged every day of spring break, and when I got back to school I just couldn’t figure things out. The rest of the semester went just as fall semester had, and I once again crumbled beneath the burden of my pain.

Now I’m home for summer break, and I have gotten a little better, but each day is a struggle. I don’t binge as often, and my binges are not as extreme. Yet, I face many challenges from my nearly year-long battle with bingeing and emotional eating:

  • It’s very easy for me to feel tempted to binge. Whenever I am stressed or upset, the comforting feeling of food is far too alluring, and its hard for me to keep from bingeing, even though I know the pain and sadness it will bring.
  • I’m very uncomfortable with my body after gaining weight from chronic bingeing. It feels like living in a body that’s not your own. It also feels like a punishment. And the worst part is, that even if I have a couple of good days, if I look in the mirror I still see the body of the “binge me”. It’s hard for my to rationalize that it’s OK, my good days will add up and gradually I’ll look like the girl I want to be. Instead I feel like a failure, and my good days are quickly forgotten.
  • Speaking of mirrors, I am terrified of them. I also absolutely hate to get my picture taken because of what I experienced this past year, and for that reason I have no pictures of my sophomore year of college.
  • My negative self-talk is inescapable, and it’s a constant nagging voice in the back of my head, holding me back from fully enjoying my life.
  • I have difficulty striking a balance between my love and passion for food, and having an obsession with food.
  • I still have a hard time defining myself beyond my weight.

So where do I go from here? I don’t exactly know, but I’m trying to figure it out. This blog is a window into my search for a happier life. It’s about trying to love myself and respect my body. It’s about gaining control and getting a grip on what’s really important in life. It’s a search for the real me, a girl who has been hidden for far too long under a sea of insecurities and unrealistic expectations. It’s time to shed my need for perfection and embrace every beautiful imperfection that makes me unique. It’s time to love myself for who I am. I can no longer wait for happiness. I cannot wait to lose those 10lb, or until I find the “perfect guy”, or until I get a 4.0 GPA. These things are not the magical answer to years of pain and sadness. These things will not make me happy. I shouldn’t put my life on hold until they are attained.

Recently, I haven’t been living my life. I’ve let it go on around me, but I haven’t experienced any of it. It’s time to live again, it’s time to breathe easy, cry a little less, and smile a lot more. It’ll be a long road, and sometimes I’ll feel like giving up. I know that as I take steps forward, there will always be the risk of taking steps back. I have to be OK with that. My journey will have a lot of bumps in the road, but hopefully it will lead to a happier me.

**I must make it clear that this is not a story about pursuing a size zero frame. I don’t want to be the girl that I was last summer. The reason that I mentioned that I felt beautiful then was to make it clear how distorted my view of myself is. If I’ve only ever felt pretty as a size 0/1 then obviously there is something wrong and I need to fix that. A size 0/1 is not the end-all-be-all perfect size. It’s below a healthy weight for me and it’s not something to strive for. I want to be healthy and happy and live a fulfilling life, not be a twig.**

13 responses to “Where the Blog Started

  1. modhealth

    Thanks for reading my blog! Your story and relationship with food and body image sounds so similar to mine. To be honest, I was in such a similar state back in March and I cannot tell you how quickly the tide can turn. Once you get the ball rolling in the right direction, the momentum builds so quickly! Its not always a straight path, but in 3 months, I can say I have developed the best relationship with food that I have perhaps ever had and love myself and my body more than ever. I’m losing weight without restriction and its coming off slowly but surely. And what’s great is that I’m not anxious or impatient about it. I’m just letting it happen and am accepting myself every step of the way.

    For me, seeing a counselor two times a week for spring quarter was absolutely crucial. She was amazing and helped me concretely workout some things so I think its great that you are seeing a psychologist. Shoot me an email if you ever need any support or have any questions (highheelsandrunningshoes@yahoo.com). You can do this girl! You are strong!

  2. loveprevails

    just stopped by your blog and am in a very similar place as you. I have been fighting anorexia for about 5 years and though I have been at a healthy (though it is still hard to say that) weight for about 1.5 years now, I still have terrible self-talk and body image. I have not binged really, but def over eatten, not because i was hungry, but because I was stressed, depressed, etc.. I hope your finding your way through this complicated life we live and feel free to stop by my blog any time… loveprevails.wordpress.com
    I’d love to chat more!

  3. Wow, while reading your about the blog page I honestly felt as if I was reading my own story. I have a brief explanation of my past/current situation on my new blog (i plan on blogging consistently once I save up for a new camera since mine broke), however everything from only ever loving myself when I was below a healthy weight and now binging without purging (minus the occasional laxative afterwords which just makes me feel even more awful and bloated and body embraced. I too absolutely hate looking at myself in the mirror and when i moved into my new apartment a month ago, I refused to purchase a full length mirror until my mom made me get one. Also, I too have stopped “living my life” and find my days filled with me indoors watching tv trying to talk myself out of eating cake, cookies, ice cream, fries…the usual. If I ever do get invited to go out I often decline a.) because I know I wont have anything to wear as I refuse to go clothing shopping for my new and heavier body frame and b.) I fear going out because of the excess calories (which clearly I make up for when that night I binge). I have tried to stop binging and continue to fail. I did not binge last night and am hoping I can pull off the same non-binge night tonight. I do not know if you are familiar with Gena from choosingraw.com (but being a food bloggie I am sure you are) but like me, she resides in NYC and I have set up a series of food evaluation sessions with her (besides publishing, she helps people plan out and live a more healthful life(style)). Anyways, I am hoping this will help. I have tried taking all meat and dairy products out of my diet and am actually feeling a little better but then again my brother came into town this week so it gave me something to do with someone I am not necessarily “embaraced in front of.”

    All of this being said, I see a lot of similarities between the two of us (our eating, lack of self acceptance, feeling lonely, binging, etc.). I know that going through this whole process of trying to turn my life around and be health and happy is going to be difficult and think that maybe it would be a good idea to maybe have a “life-change/I want to be happy” buddy and think maybe we could be this for each other? It is just a thought but should you be interested please feel free to email me. I think it would help us both out a lot if we have someone to not only be accountable to, but also someone who understands and can empathize with not only the physical but mental side of what we are both going through.

    Love the blog so far and keep up the good work!

    -Simone 🙂

  4. Sara

    I’m so glad you started this blog!!!!! I can really relate to you and I hope we can win this battle together. Bingeing is like a drug to me. I get completely addicted to it and it’s so hard to break the cycle. I’m very proud of myself b/c I only binge once a week now. The longer I go without bingeing the easier it gets. I remind myself this whenever I want to binge b/c I know by doing it, it will only make the urges stronger the next day and the next day after that. Good luck to you!

  5. Alyssa

    I have to tell you how close to my heart this hits. I too lost enormous amounts of weight between seventh and eighth grade. I can remember when Christmas time came I thought I would just taste a few cookies and treats. Some turned into many and I gained a great amound of weight in about a month. I can vividly remember going back to school and one of my teachers pulling me aside to whisper in my ear “can you breathe in those jeans?” It was the most mortifying moment of my life. Not only did I hear this from my teacher but growing up I said things like that to myself. I gained a large amount of weight back and then some. My desserts in highschool were packets of poptarts and dinner was mac-n-cheese. Leaving highschool I decided to lose weight. I went from 153 to 130 and was still dissappointed with my looks. The negative talk was and is awful. The last year of college was filled with a serious passion to lose another 15 lbs. I ate little and worked out for hours a day and did not get anywhere. I came home for summer, ate a normal amount but because my body was in starvation mode from school, I have gained a solid 7 lbs. I am leaving tomorrow for my first day as a senior in collge! I am terrified of seeing the people of last year. I feel terrible about myself and I thank you for sharing your story. Seeing the similarities in you will help me not to fall into a little eat, lot workout trap again this year. I have made it now my goal to eat well and work out to be healthy. I have to know however, how do you keep your optimisim there. I am so sad about what has happened and dont see the weight ever coming off. Hopefully if I continue to look at your blog when I am feeling down it will help me to see some light at the end of the tunnel! Thanks for being there when my family just doesn’t understand how I am feeling. It is wonderful to know there is someone who feels just the same as you do. Keep your head up and I will too~

  6. nataliekshaw

    I am so glad I found your blog. I just started my blog and to be honest, I was quite nervous about doing so. I felt a little embarassed to lay it all out for people to read. Since publishing my first post, I have been doign a lot of searching and I have found that there are so many people who can relate to our situations and who can get inspiration through our experiences. I appreciate your honesty and insight. I look forward to reading more!!
    natalie
    http://www.nono2yoyo.wordpress.com

  7. Kathryn

    I am just coming out of a binge lifestyle. When in my freshman year of college, I got up to 165lbs, I new something had to change. Healthily, I lost ~30 lbs, but after that, I wanted more. So, I started purging. And then I was HUNGRY, so I binged. Quickly, I became bulemic and have only just stopped purging ~6 months ago. Although I’ve gained some weight back, I’ve maintained pretty well, but sometimes I just have to EAT.

    I found out that I’m a food addict! A book that’s really helping me love my body and be comfortable where I am is called The Love Powered Diet by Victoria Moran. It’s helping me to refrain from turning to food when I’m tired, lonely, bored, mad, etc. And, it’s helping to stop thinking about food 24 hours a day like I used to. So, I completely reccommend it, and we can both be happy!

  8. I think this blog is amazing… well done 🙂 You are so strong and you’re beating this one day at a time… Like other people have said, this could be my story… I’ve gained a lot of weight in the past year and a half from bingeing and it took over my life. I feel like I’m finally making some headway, though… and I’m trying not to let food and exercise rule my life!!!!

    Em xoxo

  9. eaternotarunner

    I just found your blog and was really moved. My weight has always gone up and down due to bingeing and I know how awful it feels to be out of control. I am also working on trying to strike a balance between health and happiness. Love your blog and good luck with everything 🙂

  10. hey 🙂

    my story is very similar. i have suffered from anorexia for 2 years and then the binges started. i felt like my body just finally wanted to get as much as it could after getting almost nothing, but i totally lost the feeling of hunger and being satisfied so i chronically overate. especially when i was stressed. i can´t say that i am completely healed of it, not at all. but i feel i am on the right track and i have hope that i will make it and someday find a healthy relationship with food! i am so glad to hear that someone made it!

    stay strong!

    i´d love to link ur blog on mine, would that be ok?

    • I’d love it if you linked my blog, and I’ll make sure to do the same for you when I have a free second (if you read my latest post you can tell I’m swamped this week.) It takes so long to recover from eating problems, I still struggle. Although I’m worlds away from where I used to be, when I’m stressed or other trigger emotions/situations hit, responding with food is always on my mind, and sometimes I act on that thought. The important thing though is that I respond with food way less than I used to. Remember, it’s a gradual change but a really really important one. My relationship with food now is so much healthier than it was last year. I wish you the best of luck with everything, I know that some day food will be nothing more than food to you, and that will be the greatest victory. 🙂

  11. Shanna

    I have the same story. I am a perfectionist stuck in this binge-eating cycle. I am addicted to sugar and if I have just a bit I start this out of control binge that makes me feel so uncomfortable and leads to more days of binging. I am glad to see I am not the only one with this problem. I have allowed it to affect my life, relationships, and social gatherings. I feel trapped in this cycle and everyday I just hope I don’t slip back into the cycle. I literally have to live one day at a time.
    I have a very poor self body image and my “problem” started just like yours. After being on a crazy weight loss diet that allowed me to be so thin that I became obsessed with everything I ate. If I messed up by a small morsel, my day was completely shot. Every day is a struggle but baby step by baby step I seem to get a little bit better and realize it’s okay to slip up and not be perfect all of the time.
    My weight and mood fluctuates weekly. Crazy that one week a person can be five pounds lighter than the previous. So sad, but true. I just wish I could overcome this inner struggle.

    • Just keep taking it one day at a time. Make sure that you treat small successes and BIG successes to build up your self-esteem. If you haven’t tried counseling you totally should. I’ve been in and out of on-campus therapy for the past two years and I’m working on switching to a permanent off-campus therapist. Therapy helps a lot. The two people I’ve seen said I was uncharacteristically in tune with why I was doing things to myself, but most people don’t get why they binge eat over and over again when they know they hate it. Therapy helps you find your inner triggers and I think that it makes you feel more in control because you’re actively doing something. Just the confidence alone of feeling proactive can help. Hope you do well, you’ve got my support. ❤

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