Don't worry. I won't be going nude. Ever. You can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. After reading a couple of very inspiring blog posts, I decided to share a bit of my story. Please go here to read what moved me. It brought me to tears.
You see, my dear friends, I've been fighting. This battle has been going on for quite some time. Many points in my life, I have thought I may be the victor, only to find the opposite is true.
The war started in the early to mid 1990s, when I was in junior high. I had always been a "big" girl. I was a chunker. Jokes and comments were made. I took it in stride, but these destroyed me inside. I was tired of watching all the skinny girls, thinking their lives were some how magically better because they were thin. I was tired of being called Big Butt Bertha and Thunder Thighs. These are names that no person, no matter the age, should have to listen to. I was hurt. I was scarred. I'm still hurt. I'm still scarred. I had to do something to change my body. I had to make these people stop.
I started starving myself. I limited myself to no more than 600 calories a day. The reduced caloric intake and physical activity lead to a drop in 30 pounds. It happened pretty quickly too. People were no longer calling me fat or other fat names. People were complimenting me. They'd ask me how I lost the weight, and I'd say I was just watching what I eat. It was a high for me, their comments. For once, people noticed me. For once, people weren't making fun of me. My life must be perfect now, right?
Of course it wasn't perfect. I never told anyone what was going on. My parents surely had to have known, but said nothing to me. I decided to save myself after doing a report and presentation on anorexia and bulimia. I read the stories, and didn't want to be one of those girls. I had to stop. I managed to gain control. I started eating and kept exercising. I finally had energy. I felt alive.
Fast forward six years and one kid later, I was pregnant with Tater Tot. Before I had gotten pregnant, I was at my heaviest weight ever. It terrified me. What I did at this stage in my life disgusts me. I can't believe I would put my son in danger. I started binging and purging. I used the pregnancy as a cover up for the purging. It was just morning sickness. It lasted the entire pregnancy. I am so thankful that Tater Tot was perfectly healthy and normal weighing in at nearly 9 pounds. I was lucky.
The "morning sickness" secretly carried on well after I had Tater Tot. I was logging every bite I put into my mouth. Entries with a star next to them meant I had purged. I was no longer binging. I was actually eating very healthy and then purging. I dropped 80 pounds from my prepregnancy weight. I was the smallest I had been my adult life. I was over the moon. I was getting lots of compliments. People noticed me. I was beautiful for once.
The weight didn't stay off for long. Turns out, I had a thyroid problem which contributed to my rapid weight loss. The problem was corrected. The weight came back. Well, not all of the weight. I put 40 pounds back on. I thought I was ok with this fact. My husband loves me and says that I'm beautiful. Every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror or in a window, I wanted to cry. I couldn't take it any more. Something had to change. Why not try throwing up your food again genius? Problem is, you don't actually lose weight doing that. You end up putting some weight on or just maintaining.
After battling two different eating disorders over the course of 16 years, I had to right the ship. My husband was concerned for me. And I became concerned for my daughter. I would die if I found out she was battling these demons. I know there will come a point where I will have to tell her my story. I will cry. I will hang my head in shame as I do now. It's not something I am proud of. It is my story. I'm on to a new chapter, and I'm hoping this will be the best chapter. This will be the chapter where I finally win the war. This will be the chapter I come out on top.