Two Lives, One Lifestyle

National Eating Disorders Week by Kelli
February 28, 2010, 11:09 am
Filed under: Kelli, National Eating Disorder Week

Hey bloggies. Wow, I am feeling much better. I left work around 1PM yesterday because I was just SO run down and felt pretty sick. But after getting almost 20 hours of sleep over the last two days, and have two 10+ hour nights of sleep the days before that, I think I am finally feeling better. I think this has a lot to do with eating to fuel my body. I am going to start concentrating on really fueling my body for the intense workouts I am starting to do for marathon training. I left my body vulnerable to sickness by not getting the correct nutrients. I know work can get crazy sometimes but I need to remember to eat on time! I guess I have a goal for this coming week 🙂

In light of it being National Eating Disorder Week I have done a lot of thinking about my own eating disorders in the past. After reading the I love to Eat post I decided to share my story. I know when I was going through recovery I enjoyed hearing about other people’s stories who has gotten through, or almost gotten through, treatment and were actually at the point where there was light at the end of the tunnel. So here it is…my bulimia story…

When I was in 3rd grade I went to a sleep over at my friend’s house and when everyone was changing into their pj’s one of the other girls screamed “Kelli! I didn’t know you were so FAT!”. Well that did it. There was a transition right there and then and I officially started my first diet. I started a diet that I designed in my little 9 year old mind, which included walking my dog all the time and skipping breakfast and my after school snack. I cut out more food slowly. I remember losing weight instead of gaining it that year like every other 9 year old on the planet. From that time on my relationship with food was horrible. I did not see food as a treat or something you ate when you were hungry, I saw it as the enemy.

Fast forward about 3 years to 6th grade. I was still secretly struggling with food and was constantly made fun of for being “fat”. I did everything from tell teachers about being ridiculed to trying to take control of it myself. In fact, in the beginning of 6th grade I slapped a boy for calling me fat and ended up getting detention. The boy who called me fat did not get in trouble at all. One day all the 6th grade girls went into an assembly and to talk about eating disorders. A woman from the local hospital came and talked to us about anorexia and bulimia nervosa. She described how women would make themselves “purge” their food after they ate. I thought it sounded like a GENIOUS idea. I went home and tried that very day, and I was hooked.

Over the next 9-10 years I went through the vicious cycle of starving myself, bingeing, and then purging everything I ate. I would get to the point where I wanted to stop, and would get control of the disorder for a small period of time. Then something emotional would happen, I would eat my feelings, would feel guilty about it, and would purge. I relapsed almost everytime there was a transition in my life. When I was applying to college my bulimia was incredibly bad. With the help of my high school counselor, I was able to get some control over the disease before leaving for college. My freshman in college I had mono. When I was recovering and my appetite was back, I would feel SO guilty for eating and would purge. Another relapse. I had some control over the disease for the next 2 years (the longest I had gone without throwing up since I was 12 years old). My senior year in college I was engaged and about to graduate. I suffered a huge relapse due to this transition. I was still bingeing and purging through my wedding day and honeymoon.  In the 3 months after my wedding my husband really put his foot down, thank god.  He insisted I get professional help and pledged to help me in what ever way he could.  He sat listening to me for hours.  Even though he knew my history with bulimia, I don’t think he (or I) truly understood the root of it until those talks.  I started seeing a therapist who really helped me with my anger and guilt issues.  It was a slow process, and I found my anger being replaced with anxiety and depression.  A lot of the anxiety was attributed to my job, but I never would have realized that without the help of my husband and my therapist.

Over a year after starting to get professional help with my disorder I can honestly say I feel incredible.  I am in a job I love and finally feel at peace with my relationship with food.  I can finally say that I really love food without feeling ashamed.  I am in control of my anxiety and feel really good about where I am in my life.  It is still a day to day struggle to not binge and purge, but the struggle honestly is much easier.  I find myself going days on end without even thinking about purging, but as soon as I feel stress this is the first solution that always comes to mind.  With the help of yoga I have learned how to deal with stress, and I hope one day when I feel stress I was think about doing yoga instead of jumping right to thinking about bingeing and purging.

This horrible cycle of bulimia severely damaged my teeth and metabolism, but I am working through it.  I am looking into cosmetic dentistry to fix the color of my teeth.

If anyone out there is going through this horrible cycle I am begging you, please get help! There IS light at the end of the tunnel, and there will be a day when purging isn’t ALL you think about.  I know it seems impossible, but its true 🙂

Well, there it is, my eating disorder story. I will be back later today with a weekend recap.  To be honest, it’s not very exciting.  I have literally slept all weekend!!