Where am I?
Here I am!!!
Wow – quite the break I took there, and I apologize. I think after I finished my applications, I took the lazy route and just crashed every night I came home from work.
Last weekend was also filled with my roommate’s birthday festivities.
I also fell of the bandwagon with healthy eating. Which led to me not wanting to document my food. Which led to me not wanting to blog about it.
But enough excuses. I know this is my first post in 1 1/2 weeks (yikes), but it’s going to be a serious one. As many of you might know, this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I saw it talked about on Kailey’s post (go read her story!! It was powerful), and I felt I should talk a little bit about my background.
I’ve mentioned in my ‘How I View Food’ section, but I realize I’ve never actually told my whole story out front on the blog before. So here goes.
Throughout my freshman year of college, I went from 185 in November to 145 in June. I followed Weight Watchers (by counting points) on my own and used their message boards for support. It wasn’t quite that obsessive at this point, and I still splurged on things such as ice cream, drinking with friends, and pizza.
(Keep in mind I’m
5’7 5’6 3/4 and tend to carry my weight “well.” And by that I mean people have always assumed I weigh less than I actually do).
Over that summer, I didn’t quite feel the need to lose much more weight, however I started to get more obsessive about my running and eating. Once school started up again in September, I continued with the points counting. I would eat my minimum amount of points (which honestly probably only came out to 1200-1400 calories), plus exercise like crazy. I would swim 3 days a week for 90 minutes. Then run 3 miles or do weights on the same day. I would also do 45 minutes Tae Bo plus weights on non-swim days. I would eat as little as I possibly could (think egg white omelets, sauteed veggie salads, light English muffins) on weekend days when I knew I would be drinking later on.
I got down to 134 in February – my lowest (that year).
Sure, I loved my muscles and six-pack abs. But seriously? Too skinny. And too obsessed.
My eating only got more obsessive. In June, I went to London with my grandparents and sister. I had the hardest time eating because we ate out at every meal. I was picky and ordered all my meals “without oil or butter”, “no cheese”, plain salads almost everywhere I went….My grandparents made comment afterwards that I was “embarrassing to eat out with” because of how I would order. People say they gain weight on vacation, right? I dropped 2 pounds because of how I was eating + all the walking we were doing. I remember feeling shocked, yet proud that I was now down to 131.
I started to train for my first marathon (actually first race ever!) that summer. I was doing long runs of 14-18 miles, plus other runs of 8-12 miles during the week. I would get up early and run. Go to babysitting. Then go to my hostess job at a restaurant from 5-9:00 pm. I would get off work starving because I had a latte at 4:00 and lunch at 2:00. All after a 12 miler that morning. I was now tracking my food religiously on Sparkpeople and seriously eating anywhere from 1200-1600 calories daily. While overtraining. I was exhausted and starving all the time.
I wasn’t trying to lose weight at this point at all. While I would some days look in the mirror and criticize some sort of “fat” or “saggy skin”, I definitely wasn’t trying to lose. It was more a fear of gaining. Or a sense of accomplishment for eating so little and burning so much. I think I just got satisfaction out of it all.
With clothes on, I didn’t look anything out of the ordinary.
But once in a swim suit, you could really see how bony I was…
It all continued into Junior year and part of Senior year. I reached my all time low in spring of Junior year. By this point, I knew I was undereating for how much I was running, and I even tried to eat more. This is when I started to eat real cheese (instead of fat free) and buy ice cream to get enough calories in. But I was so busy that on some days, I seriously still didn’t eat enough. I hit 129 at one point, felt how thin/hollowed out my stomach felt, and remember being grossed out.
But yet I still kept running long. And while I was eating more, I was still picky about my eating. (I know I “justified” these s’mores because of the run or hike I had gone on that day. And yet I probably still felt guilty about them:)
It was all the same. I would run long on days I knew I would be drinking or eating a lot. Or I’d run long on days after I overindulged. Sure I loved running for the running aspect, but I also was using it as a massive calorie burner. I would barely splurge on food. And if I did, I’d feel guilty.
I was never diagnosed with an exact eating disorder. And honestly, my eating habits were never that bad where it got to that point. No matter how obsessive I was, I still loved food and did love to eat. I was just way over-compulsive.
I’m not going to say it was an overnight easy turn around. Because it wasn’t. It was very very gradual. I started with just not tracking on Sparkpeople. But of course, I would still calculate the calories in my head. After a while of doing this, I slowly and eventually stopped mentally adding up the calories. It was a gradual thing, and I didn’t even realize it was happening. That’s why it takes time. In all honesty, it took a good year before I could just…eat. Sure, I’ll still try and eat the “healthy and right” thing. And I try to avoid foods/meals that are 1000s of calories. But if I were to eat pizza, or cheese, or go out for ice cream – I know that it’s ALL OKAY. I know it’s wonderful to just enjoy the moment. Enjoy the food. And enjoy time with family and friends. If I do feel guilty over it (hey – it happens!), it comes and goes. And I live.
I tried to eat intuitively, which I did most of the time. I’m not going to lie – with the changes also came some weight gain. And it just so happened that my knee injury happened soon after, which just added to the frustration. But now I know it was for the best (the weight gain, not the knee injury).
Back up to 140:
So that’s my story. Whether you wanted to read it or not! Feel free to ask any questions or anything!