A story of food disorder by Missy

Hi everyone. Thanks for visiting my site! I would like to share my own personal story with you, since I found that hearing other peoples’ experiences helped me to feel better.

Since I was a little girl, maybe 7 or 8, I’ve been worrying about my weight.
My mom has her own eating issues and insisted that if “I got fat I would be unhappy”. However, although her intentions may have been good, she inadvertently helped to introduce a theme in my life. Before she said anything, I hadn’t even given a second thought to my body shape yet.
As an young adolescent, I actually was overweight by about 15 pounds. At this point, I still didn’t really notice except that others began to tease me about it. Even some of  my “close friends” at the time would constantly berate me for my weight and make me feel ugly.

By my freshman year of high school I’d begun to thin out a bit naturally due to growth in height, however, at this point I was already on the road to an obsession with my weight and had begun to diet. My diet was extremely restrictive. What I thought was “eating healthy” was actually a diet
that included almost no fat whatsoever, so I was restricted to a few “safe foods”. An example of my meals for a day might have been: A small bowl of cereal w/skim milk, a salad with fat free dressing and grilled chicken,and a piece of grilled fish, rice and vegetables. True, this does sound nutritional. However, when one forces oneself only to eat certain foods, and punishes oneself for eating any foods that are enjoyable to them, it becomes restrictive and can often lead to eating disorders.

And, for me, it did lead to a disorder. By my sophomore year of High School,
I had lost about 20 pounds, and was the thinnest I’d ever been. However, due to my restrictive diet, I soon gained it all back. This was around junior year and I was so depressed by this that I could hardly function. I didn’t want to go to school or be with friends. I just wanted to be alone. I would wear a long pea-coat everyday, even in warm weather so that I could cover up my body and not feel insecure. I began dating my current boyfriend around this time too. He didn’t notice/ care about my weight, but I did. I was embarassed to let him touch me, to hold me, and nevermind see me naked. He felt terribly that I was so insecure and I often resented him for seeing me naked eventhough I had allowed him to, because in truth I assumed that he must see me as fat and ugly, since  in my mind, all guys wanted super-thin, tiny waisted girls.

That year I also began to engage in binge eating. There was no purging (vomiting, over-exercising, etc.) afterwards. I would simply consume huge quantities of junk food inorder to
make myself feel better and then feel horribly sad about my body. Before I binged I would usually change into a large, flowing shirt of some kind in anticipation of the fact that I would feel too ashamed to look
at myself in the mirror otherwise (I thought delusionally that I would see the weight gain immediately).
This led to even more anxiety. I was still dieting constantly but the bingeing caused weight fluctuations. I was worried constantly about it and would plan not to binge before important events or parties, etc. so that I would feel a little less guilty on that day. However, this rarely worked.

Senior year came and I was still bingeing and depressed though I’d somehow managed to drop enough weight so I was no longer overweight (according to today’s accepted measurements of height/weight ratio etc.). I still felt like I was enormous and disgusting however. Sometimes I would even drive around in my car from one fast food place to another so I wouldn’t have to be embarrassed that I was back buying more food at the same one.

The summer before I went off to college, I exercised obsessively to try to get back to my “ideal” thinness that I had reached sophomore year of HS. It didn’t work obviously, but I began to feel better about myself in college anyway as I saw more body types and began to re-learn the idea of beauty.
Still, I was far from recovered. I became absolutely vicious with my boyfriend about whether or not her thought I was fat. He would always, always insist that I was beautiful at any weight and that he thought I was crazy to think I was fat, but I didn’t believe him. I couldn’t because everywhere I looked, guys were drooling over tiny, thin women. So, I assumed my boyfriend was the same. It must have been extremely frustrating for him to go through this with me, and I honestly don’t know how he did it.
Sometimes I would even feel angry when we were making love because I would picture him thinking my body was fat or not pretty enough and it would enrage me. Of course, this was completely delusional, but I did not realize that at the time. Often I would lose my arousal quickly or if I maintained it I wouldn’t be able to have an orgasm.

Of course, during this time, I was in counseling but it was mostly for depression and anxiety and we only briefly touched on the issue of my binge eating disorder.

However, I wound up transferring schools my sophomore year of college and in the new place I decided to go see a new psychologist and she referred me to a nutritionist. Finally I was on the road to recovery! I was afraid that the nutritionist would tell me I had to gain all my weight back in order to recover. She didn’t. She worked with me, and was very patient and understanding. She made a sample meal plan for me that incorporated foods I enjoyed and were nutritious at the same time. She taught me how to make my own meal plans and to stay around a certain calorie limit most of the time so I wouldn’t become overweight again. At first, I was terrified to try the new porno diet. I thought that maybe she was lying to me and the meal plan would actually make me gain weight. I couldn’t believe that a diet with actual fat in it could possibly not make you fat. But my nutritionist taught me that it is calories that make us gain weight not fat. So I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as the quantities were ok. I was extremely nervous still about this and wound up calling her several times to talk about my frustration and nerves but she convinced me to follow through with it and I figured that whatever the outcome, it wasn’t going to be worse than bingeing forever. So I took that first plunge and after a couple of days I started to feel healthier. At first my body rejected the “good fats” like those in peanut butter and olive oil and I actually had an oily discharge when I went to the bathroom for several days (sorry everyone hehe but the graphicness was necessary!). But,  I was so happy, I cried several times during meals when I realized that I could eat food again and not feel guilty. I didn’t gain any weight, I even lost a bit because of the lack of bingeing. Being able to eat what I wanted boosted my self esteem and happiness immensly. I no longer had to feel like the only one at the table who couldn’t get dessert or try a new pasta dish, etc. My mood began to stabalize because I wasn’t constantly obsessing about my next meal, and I had more energy to do things that I needed to do like school work, hanging out with friends, and singing with my band.

Most amazing of all was when I began to look in the mirror and more and more I would see how beautiful I really was. I realized that somewhere between my adolescense and my adulthood, the fat on my body became a mark, not of overweightness, but of a womanly figure. I have hips and breasts and thighs. So what? That’s called nature.

Anyway, that about brings us up to date. I  now consider myself recovered at age 19. I haven’t felt so great in years. Things are going amazingly in school, in my personal life and with my amazingly special boyfriend who’s been with me through all of this( I Love You, Lee!).

 

Anyway, thanks for reading. I hope this has been helpful or at least educational.

Very Truly Yours,

Missy