Friday, February 1, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

This year I made one resolution. I am opposed to New Year's Resolutions, and never usually make them, but, I wanted to lose weight this year really badly (I know, how cliche) so my resolution was to get under 200 lbs by Valentine's Day. And I have been losing, and doing fairly well, considering my first week of January was spent on the road eating crap because of the funeral. Anyway... now is the time to back track just a bit.

The summer between jr. high and high school, I was anorexic. Dumb, since I was already thin, but I just remember sitting in class in 8th grade looking at this girl who was wearing short shorts, and she had her legs crossed, and she had these dimples in her thighs, and it really bothered me. A LOT. And I just remember thinking, I don't EVER want to look like that. I am, apparently, very shallow. I also wanted to quit school and go to modeling classes. I swore to my mom that I would finish school later, but I really wanted to be a model. I was tall and thin, and mostly I just wanted people to like me.

I had a really screwed up self image. I still do, though I think sometimes it's not as bad... But anyway.. I just wanted to be liked. I didn't even want to be popular, but I wanted everyone to be nice to me. I was nice to people (I think) and I just wanted everyone to be nice to me. Alas, I had (and still have) unrealistic expectations of the world. Anyway, I am not sure what started me on this kick, other than I was getting ready to start high school, and it felt like it would almost be a new beginning for me. There would be people around from other places than just my small, clique-ish middle school. And I wanted to be perfect. Since I really didn't have boobs to speak of, I thought if I was skinnier, what little I did have would be more noticeable. I mean, half of the time, I still didn't wear a bra, and didn't need to.

And my little nubbies made me SO self conscious when we had to change for PE, and there was this girl there who was just beautiful. And she had the most perfect breasts in the world. Even when I finally got boobs, I never had "perfect" ones. I mean, seriously, these were playboy perfect. So, anyway... I was awkward, and geeky. And I just wanted to fit. I wanted to feel like I belonged. Little did I know that it would NEVER, EVER happen. I am 35 years old, and I still don't fit in. But whatever....

So, I got a call from a lady at church, and she wanted me to babysit for her kids that summer. Like, almost every day. PERFECT!!!!!!!!! I could get out of my house, and hang out somewhere else. I don't know initially what made me think about not eating to get skinny. I think it was because I knew that I would be gone enough that no one at home would notice. So, I just stopped eating. I would drink Dr. Pepper, and on occasion I would eat a tiny bit, to not be so hungry, but it was almost a high from not eating. Because I was losing weight. I would weigh on this family's scale multiple times a day. And the more I lost, the more I obsessed about it. How much more could I lose?

So, I think I began that summer at about 115 lbs. I don't remember how tall I was, but I was fairly tall, and I was pretty skinny to begin with, so when I dropped under 100 lbs, it was pretty ugly. But I didn't see it that way. My hip bones protruded, and when I would go swimming, and we all had to get out for 15 minutes at 3 p.m. for the adult swim, I would lie face down on my towel, and my pubic bone actually hurt because there was not enough cushion between it and the concrete. And I would FREEZE if there was any wind at all. But I didn't see any of it as a problem. I felt horrible, but I thought I looked great, and no one would have ever been able to tell me differently. I think my low point came when I went shopping with a friend and her mom for school clothes, and I was trying on clothes in the GIRLS department. Size 12 in GIRLS. Now, seriously, my daughter who is NOW 12 and a 6th grader is in a juniors size 9. She stopped wearing girls clothes over a year ago, while she was still in elementary school. So, I was trying on these size 12 jeans, and they wouldn't zip up. Ok, I had HIPS, so obviously.... but I just was SO upset. I remember thinking how all the work I had done over the last couple of months was wasted, because I couldn't fit into these CHILD's size 12 pants.

I was devastated. And the fact that this friend's mom was looking at me like I'd fallen off the deep end (because I HAD) made me feel worse. I know now, looking back on it, that she was just SO concerned for me. She didn't know what to say. She and my friend both tried to steer me toward clothes that would be better suited to my actual size, but I just didn't want to have anything to do with it. I felt awful, and I wanted to crawl into a hole. But I realized when I looked in the mirror that night that I had a problem. And I didn't want to talk about it. I didn't want anyone to know. Although when I talked to this friend about it a long time later, she knew and so did her mom. It was obvious, because they had seen my freak out over not fitting these stupid pants.

But anyway, I started eating. Little bits at a time, because at first eating too much made me sick. I actually ate a sandwich at the beginning and threw up, because it was just too much. But I slowly began to make myself eat little bits here and there, and my starved body was very happy about that. I gained quickly, and though I was stressed about it, I knew that my obsession with food and my appearance was not normal. So I kept working at it until my eating habits sort of "normalized". When I joined the swim team, that helped, because we were working out so strenuously that I had to eat, because I was hungry. But I was still thin. The suit I ordered that year for competition was a 32. And I was TALL.

Anyway, I still did the "starve myself" thing before dances, like prom and winter formal. But looking back at pictures, I was still thin. I never needed to diet, but because I had decided that it wasn't acceptable for me to wear a certain size, I would starve myself to wear a dress that was an acceptable size. ANYWAY.

The reason I give all this background is because I began losing weight after we got home from our trip. And my goal was to just be more careful about what was going in my mouth, not so much to lose a lot of weight. But when I started losing, I got excited. And I started eating less because I wasn't hungry. And then it got to the point where I would drink a slimfast shake for breakfast, and then not eat until dinner. I was drinking water, but it was that same "high" from not eating, where I was hungry, but knew that if I could deny my body the food it needed, I had control. And I would get thin again. This weight has been hard for me, it's the most I have ever weighed in my life. So, I wanted to lose it. But when I started to lose it, I noticed that I was weighing myself every day.

And then it escalated to every day before breakfast, and before bed. And it got to the point where I was starting to obsess over it. And then, when I went to a counseling appointment, I told the counseler that I loved the new medication I was taking, and needed more.

Now, granted, I love the new medication I am taking. It helps. A little. But, what helps the most is the side effect- appetite suppression. And it's not a stimulant, so it's not "addictive".
But I didn't need more for the intended use of the med. I needed more for a greater side effect. So, I talked to my friend about my issue with the scale the other day. She told me to stop it.

But I can't. It's this "need". I have to weigh. I just do. So, she told me to bring the scale to her house. Which is a great idea. And since she lives around the corner, I could totally do that, and weigh once a week, which is the healthier way to do it. But, I haven't brought the scale to her yet. And last night I had to tell my dh about what was happening. Because I do want to be at a healthy weight. But I need some help. I don't want to do it this way.

I think what bothers me the most is that he basically told me I was abusing my prescription. And I had a million justifications about why that isn't true. But it is true. I am not addicted to my medication. But I am still abusing it, because I asked for more for a reason other than it's intended purpose. And I have contemplated forms of bulemia. I can't throw up. I hate to throw up and I can't make myself do it. But I thought about buying fiber supplements and taking them with water to help me feel full, and I have thought about laxatives... I mean, really... what better way to lose weight than chronic laxative abuse... UGH...

So, now everyone knows my dirty little secret. I have an eating disorder. Which is funny to me, because now I am a fat chick... How many chubby girls do you know have an eating disorder? Well, other than using food to medicate (which is how I got here in the first place).

Hi. My name is W. I am an addict. And I have an eating disorder.


sherri said...

W, the first step is admitting that you are powerless over your disease remember? You have taken the biggest step!! I am proud of you. BTW I know other chubby women with eating disorders but I would hardly call you chubby!!!! Hang in there friend. Losing weight dangerously is just as bad or worse for you than being overweight. You can do this and do it right. I will be praying lots for you. Know that I love you lady! Sherri

Courtney said...

W... I think you are amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm sorry that you have had to deal with an eating disorder for so long and battle with the highs and lows. I don't know if this will help you, but it helped me when I was having a hard time with my "lifestyle" change. I was talking to a counselor and she told me to list everything that my body could do, like enable me to work, do the nasty (hehe), eventually make babies, taste yummy food (like cake!), stuff like that. Then she had me journal about how I should take care of something that can do so much good things.

I know you know I'm kinda granola-y but this perspective has really helped me try to focus on feeding my body with GOOD food. It's not easy, but I'm hoping it will be easier with time, the more that I work on it.

I don't know if this will help you at all, but know that I appreciate you and wish you all the strength to be healthy.

nej said...

...... and we love you!


Jennifer said...

I just wanted to let you know that I think you're such a great person! You've overcome so much in your life already, and I have absolutely NO DOUBT you will overcome this as well. You're such a strong, beautiful woman.
Please know that your friends are here for you and we'll do anything we can to help you out with this. If you ever need to talk, yell, scream, cry I'm here!
I love ya, Dub-ya!!!

Candice said...

Hugs! Love ya girl!

sara :) said...

Just the fact that you revealed all this information is a step in the right direction. You have so many people who love you and will support you. Bug hugs, my friend. Let me know if you ever need to vent. I miss chatting with you.

MomOf5Gents said...

Love you!

jenalih said...

...and we love you. I'm bawling because your secret hits close to home. I know many "fat chicks" with eating issues/disorders and most of it ties in with other things...for me, I have an addictive personality that swings to extremes. I can't seem to find the middle ground on anything. We can do this together...all of us, if we just keep talking about it and helping each other through it.
Love you W and thank you for putting it out there, you may help someone else realize something about themselves before it is too late.

deb said...

W, I too am so proud of you for opening up with this! You are an awesome woman and you can overcome this! Know that your friends are here for you if you ever need anything at all! And remember most of all that your Heavenly Father and your Savior love you and want whats best for you! You are an AMAZING child of God!