For years I hid. Hid the troubles that went on behind closed doors.
Hid the pain and negativity breeding and setting up roots in my brain.
Hid the binging and purging that would seem like normal life.
I never wanted to burden people with my problems. So I plastered a smile on my face all the time. Emotions were unneeded and could be buried deep down inside ... usually by food. Oh hey emotional eating.
But either way I would overeat and purge. Through high school I honestly thought there was nothing wrong with this. It didn't happen on a daily basis, but would frequently make appearances in my life.
I didn't know much about eating disorders so I didn't have a term for what was going on in my life.
It was just something I did to punish myself for overeating.
A trend and vicious cycle that would haunt me for years.
No one was the wiser since I was still an overweight kid. I didn't lose rapid weight from it. It was just that dirty little secret that no one knew about.
It haunted my in high school and seemed to hibernate during college.
Oh believe me the negativity was still there, but the binging and purging seemed to quiet.
But it reared its ugly head in 2006. It reached its peak.
Because people started to notice.
But there are two sides of the "people staring to notice" coin.
On the one side I was finally getting the "Oh wow you look great" and "Keep doing what you are doing!"
(Note: I was at an all-time low as an adult of 180 during this time. Today I am in the high 150s. I am proud of getting where I am now in a healthy way.)
On the other side the people really close to me started to notice the patterns - not eating a lot, just crackers for dinner, trips to the bathroom.
Additionally it started to scare me when things happened in public:
1) At a trip to the gym I got light headed and almost fainted in the shower.
2) One day I fainted out on the sidewalk with two friends next to me and sprained my ankle.
Neither of these were high points of my 2006, but they do not define me as a person.
While I have successfully remained pretty binge free since beginning Weight Watchers in November 2009, I have had a handful of relapses.
Eating disorders are a mental disease. I believe this 100%.
Still to this day...
if I see a gain on the scale - my immediate response is to not eat the rest of the day. BUT for now they are fleeting. I allow the thought to exist for 20 seconds then I rationalize myself back down.
if I overeat - I want to run and punish myself. BUT I remember what Weight Watchers has taught me - that I just track the slip up and regroup at the next meal.
And there are countless more, but I now realize how much of a mental exercise this disease is.
I know this is a bunch of rambling, but I was thinking about this on my run today. I needed to get this out.
As I said for so long I hid these demons in the depths of my mind and it got me nowhere - it got me to 235 and it got me to an unhealthy place.
So today I am here in front of you just to say you never know what kind of demons someone is fighting inside. If you know if a family member or friend battling an eating disorder, show support and do not look down on them for it. Most of the time they feel as if it is out of their control.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) is here to help.
- Call our toll free, confidential Helpline at 1-800-931-2237