(Un)Healthy History

Published June 23, 2012 by Becca

I know I shouldn’t be weighing myself more than once a week. A momentary water weight gain doesn’t need to effect my mood at any point. Though I havent really had one yet. My home scale either shows no loss or loss. So far. But I love stepping on the scale now seeing even just a lower number than I’ve seen in a year. And seeing a steady loss week after week is very motivating. I weighed myself this morning and already it showed a .8 loss from Wednesday. I just thought yes, I’ll happily eat more fruits and veggies to keep seeing the weight come off.

And that’s such a stark contrast to the last time I lost a major amount of weight.

When I was 14 and a freshman in high school, I weighed 211 pounds. At 5’6. I was grossly overweight. 20 pounds of puberty chub had climbed to 60 in a little over a year. No bueno.

And one day in the fall, after a friend has suggested I lose some weight, a switch went off in my brain and I became anorexic.

It really was like that. I wasn’t one day, and was the next.

The first few months of it were extreme. I would routinely go days without eating. And if I did, it was usually under 1,000 calories. And almost always it was junk. The weight fell off of me. I think I lost 40 pounds in 3 months? And the next 20 in another 2-3 months. I only ever got down into the 150s. After that, starving myself got harder. I lost energy and momentum. I missed food. I got tired of fighting with my friends at lunch to eat. So then I threw bulemia into the mix. I could eat and keep the weight off! Brilliant! (Bulemia is rarely good for *losing* weight.)

My eating disorder led to self-injury and depression/bi-polar episodes. I spent my sophomore year in and out of therapists’ offices and mental hospitals and half way houses. My eating disorder came and went depending how in control of my life I felt. It always spiked in hospitals and especially the half way house. (I say half way house cause I’m not entirely sure what to call it- it was a therapeutic group home for kids. Otherwise known as hell.)

The following summer after I got out of the home (it was only making me sicker), my parents and I ignored all the problems while we searched for a boarding school for me to go to (I was notorious for refusing to go to school). The alternative was to live with my father. No thanks. My mom and step dad wanted to send me where my older cousin was. He went to help manage his severe ADD and was doing really well. On the day we were supposed to go up and interview, I threw a major fit.

I decided i wanted to go where a girl I had become friends with from the hospital was going.

I also call that place hell.

My eating disorder took a back seat as I adjusted to a new living situation. Fall semester was very rough for me and everyday was a struggle it seemed. If anything I turned to food for some relief. Even with an active lifestyle and having scheduled meals, I managed to gain some weight up to the high 160s. My clothes weren’t fitting great and it bummed me out.

My school started a Weight Watchers group for kids and teachers so I had joined. I was familiar with it from when I was a kid trying to lose weight. *sigh* That’s such a sad statement.

But once again that switch went off. I don’t know what it was this time, but my goal once again became to eat as little as possible and WW made it all too easy for me to keep track of that. And this time around I threw exercise into the mix.

I was doing lacrosse and running on top of it. I’d work out 6-7 days a week and sometimes on no food for days. And again I would purge if I felt like I ate too much. Which it usually wasn’t. I lost about 20 pounds and got to 145. I loved my body though. I was the thinnest I’d ever been and I was incredibly fit. But that was probably the sickest I’d ever be.

My eating disorder took a back seat again over the summer and during my senior year. I kept running and gained back 5 pounds, but I was relatively ok.

My eating disorder hasn’t really shown itself since high school. There were a few tough moments here and there in college, but for the most part I’ve been good.

And steadily gaining weight. I stopped exercising. I didn’t eat healthy at all. It was the freshman 15. The sophomore 15. Junior 15 and senior 15. There was the new relationship 20. And the break up 10. All the way from a great 150 to a horrendous 248. (They say it’s not uncommon for anorexics/bulemics to swing the other way into over eating. Especially if they never learn to not use food as a coping mechanism.)

I always tried to lose weight. And I succeeded many times. I joined the gym (with no income- that should be illegal for them to do!) and worked out a ton for 2 months and lost like 15 pounds. It was awesome. Then it was summer and I lost interest. And I don’t think I ever went to the gym again for my 3 year membership.

At the end of each semester I would tend to gain 10 pounds. And I would always lose it because I had a cut off number. 190. I was able to maintain 180 for over a year. 180 wasn’t great but I still looked cute. Then one semester I jumped to 205! (That can be accredited to my discovering kosher Coke make with sugar not high fructose corn syrup.) And that time I stopped trying to lose it. And I kept climbing. I was 217 when I met my ex. And then went up to 230. 243. I dropped to 228 last year because of an extremely grueling job that was 10 hours of non-stop work and going up and down stairs at least 20 times a day and no time to eat. I was a stair climbing machine. Something I want to get back. But when I left work to get hand surgery, I was a lazy bum and gained it all back.

And there are so many other times that are just too much to list. But nothin ever stuck.

Until now?

I’ve been doing my running since November. I’ve missed time here and there but I keep coming back and I claim that to be a huge success on its own. And finally with some stability in my life, I’ve been consistent with it for 2 months and am really seeing progress!

Weight Watchers is really resonating a chord with me this time around and it’s not a chore to be altering my lifestyle like I am. It’s not always easy to do what’s right, but for the most part every day I set out wanting to make conscious and healthy choices. Everything I eat I think about before putting in my mouth. From cheeseburgers to veggies. And this milkshake I’m sucking down.

I’m not entirely sure why now is so different. I think I’ve been leading up to this for awhile. With running since November and I’ve been trying to eat more balanced meals for the past year or so. My palate has really expanded a lot in the past 2 years and I’m enjoying so many more vegetables and food than ever before. (like asparagus, Brussel sprouts, quinoa!) Food is so much more exciting when you’re not so limited (ahem, Marissa). And as a cook, I love learning new ways to prepare a food and incorporate them into a dish.

At first I was a little concerned tracking my food could trigger my eating disorder, especially considering the really dark and out of control place I was in when I started, but it hasn’t been a problem. I don’t always eat all my points, but it’s never on purpose.

And I do feel in control, but in a much more positive and healthy way. It’s a nice feeling, to say the least.

Sorry that was so long. I guess I ramble and I have this insane memory so sometimes it’s hard for me to leave out details. But like I said in the beginning, I plan on getting to the root of my issues so I keep the wait off. And figuring out why this is working wouldn’t hurt.

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