My (Long) Story.

This is a picture of a little girl without a care in the world:

Years passed and I ate what I was given and much more. The drink of choice was kool-aid. Though I occasionally ate something mildly healthy, it was overshadowed by an abundance of Little Debbie’s snack cakes and various other sweet things and junk food/drinks such as chips, pizza, soda, and fried chicken. I remember wanting two hot dogs instead of one. I remember sneaking food out of my babysitter’s purse. I remember priding myself on eating an entire bag of popcorn and still being able to eat more.

Here we move onto the summer before my 8th grade year. I still didn’t have a care in the world. I saw nothing wrong with myself. I was just…me. The only frustrating thing in my life was not getting along with my parents.

And then, on the exact day that the picture below was taken, someone called me…fat.

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Fat??? What? I knew I wasn’t thin, but was I really fat? That one little comment changed everything for me. Still, I continued to eat in the same way. Months passed and it was Thanksgiving 2001. I’d been eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, as usual. I stepped onto the scale to see the weight of 140 pounds. I was around 5 feet tall and seeing that number gave me a strange, sad feeling that stepping onto a scale had never given me before.

 Almost with realizing it, I started cutting back on how much I ate. I began saying ‘no’ when offered extra food. My mom started commenting on how I’d better now become anorexic. I didn’t even really know what that meant, but I did know that I liked the sudden extra attention. It became a bit of a  game…now it was a goal to say no to some things. I told my closest friends and they expressed concern. I basked in the attention and caring. I went to the doctor some time in late February or early March and the scale read a surprisingly low number: 114! So I kept eating very very little…barely anything. I lived on maybe a slimfast bar a day or a piece of bread. Suddenly I had a ‘disease’ to live up to when the doctor called me ‘anorexic’. It wasn’t my choice. I was sick, after all, wasn’t I?

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Yes, this was about control…not of how little I could eat (I had no idea what an anorexic was ‘supposed’ to eat…so I ate practically nothing), but instead of the attention that I got from friends and family. I got so much joy when I caught a friend of mine envying the size of my wrist…and when another friend put her hand on my back to console me and jerked it away when she felt how bony my back had become in comparison to what it used to be.

Eating wasn’t an option. In my mind, I had ‘caught’ a sickness and therefore I just wasn’t allowed to eat. I was always cold. I ached all over. I remember this awful time when a friend and I were outside and I started to laugh and it hurt…I couldn’t stop laughing and I was standing there holding my aching stomach in pain until I stopped.

I tried throwing up for the first time aroud the time when the above picture (in the red shirt) was taken. I wasn’t very successful at it, but it was around the time that I actually ate Easter candy and felt horrible about it…like I had failed as an anorexic. (Please keep in mind that I still had no idea what that word even meant and was practically under the impression that it was a disease that could be caught…not quite that bad, but practically).

People called my legs sticks. Some complimented me on how good I looked…others asked in a concerned voice if I had been trying to lose weight.

I went to a Christian camp that summer where I received more attention from my camp counselor who not only sat with me after meals so that I would eat them (I probably would have eaten a little)if no one was there watching and giving me attention) and following me to the bathroom (I had no intention of puking anyway). It was that week that I got my period back after a few months of going without it…that was depressing to me. I snuck into my friend’s suitcase and stole some of her poptarts, having a mini binge.

By ninth grade, I was always trying to diet….I would pretend to eat slimfast bars but hide them all in a bag, only to binge on almost every single one of them later on. During this time, I went 14 days without eating, after my health teacher claimed that after 2 weeks of not eating, a person would probably faint. Well, I didn’t. I did binge, however. Food from Chik-fil-A, bread, and icecream were main staples in my intake. I experimented more with throwing up but still was not hugely successful. I gained a good bit of weight back:

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Right when my 9th grade year ended, my family made a huge move…I lost my best friends, my school, and the youth group that I loved going to (at that point in my life). However, I was about to go to a public school for the first time i my life and I was excited about not being so sheltered as I’d always been.

The summer before 10th grade, I tried diets where I only ate a breadstick or a tiny portion of rice the entire day. That didn’t last long and I was soon eating all that I could eat, whenever I could eat it again. I didn’t realize at the time just how much I was eating. I beat myself up in my journals, calling myself fat, worthless, and a failure . For the first time in my life, I went into a dressing room and cried when only the size 9 pants fit me.

My arguments with my parents became so intense that they sent me to a strict Christian girl’s home. This was the day that I left:

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I won’t ellaborate much on my time there. I will say, though, that it was in the south and it was a LOT of fried, greasy, fattening food. We got in trouble if we didn’t finish what was on our plates and we were often encouraged to get second and third helpings, usually finished off by dessert. I got into a bit of trouble when I was there for expressing my beliefs at the time (which were very much against theirs) and was practically separated from everyone else–not even allowed to be caught looking at anyone but staff members. I was angry and miserable and I took to sneaking food when I wasn’t even hungry…moonpies, reese cups, and pirouline cookies…it wasn’t about being hungry. it was about getting away with something.

Finally, after a year and a few weeks before I turned 17, I went home.

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My 11th grade year was filled with failed attempts at diets. I would go a few days without eating and then binge like mad. It was always junk. The hatred of myself continued as the weight piled on.

My senior year was my absolute lowest point. My weight reached a new high of nearly 160 pounds on my short frame. I was having a lot of issues with my family and food was all that I felt I had left. I was constantly eating absolutely everything that I could get into my mouth. I was severely unhappy and lonely. My self esteem was lower than ever. I refused to take pictures at this point in my life because I was so enormous that I couldn’t handle looking at myself in them.

By September 2007 (my freshman year of college), I had at least dropped down to the low 140s. I was determined to make a change in my life.

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I worked out almost every single night. Although I still wasn’t educated on the specifics of eating healthily, I began to cut fried food completely out and eat a lot less junk food. I did have a few days when I broke down, but I mostly stayed on top of things during that first semester. I reached 128 pounds by mid-November 2007.

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Christmas break was a struggle for me but I didn’t have TOO many big binges..just overeating on a lot of days.

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I basically maintained over Christmas break. When I came back to school, I needed a new start both with eating and in my personal life. A whole lot of drama had gone down over break and I needed to remember that I was alright. I jumped right back into working out and tweaked my eating so it was healthier than it had been before break. Here’s a picture from February.

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I joined Spark People.com, and continued to lose weight. At the end of March, I went on Spring break and bought my very first bikini. I knew my body wasn’t perfect but it was looking better than ever.

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Healthy, happy, and finally getting a sense of peace in my personal life.

In April, I turned 20. I visited home for a play that my sister was starring in and had the first taste of hardcore binging that I’d had in a long time…eating everything I could. Still, I was a good size and I jumped right back into working out after the weekend at home.

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I continued with Sparkpeople, good eating, and exercise. By the time for my sister’s high school graduation, I was 105 pounds!

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It was the first time in my life that I was PROUD of how I looked in a dress. At this point, I could get excited at cute clothing in stores instead of bawling every time I had to go into a dressing room. I felt great! Unfortunately, that whole weekend was filled with hardcore binging as well.

Back to school. Back to working out and being healthy. in mid-June, I finished the schoolyear and moved in with a friend and her family. I was 102 pounds. Soon, I even got down to 99 pounds. My weight jumped up and down from 100-105. My mid-July I was 97 pounds.

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It was a perfect weight for my small frame. Right after that weigh-in, I visited home for 10 days. I binged for 8 of them…8 days of eating until I hurt and couldn’t even move. No one but my mom knew though, and no one cared because I was so skinny. People were concerned for me but I easily proved to them that I eat. The weight I’m at in the pic below is what I would call my happy weight. I have to admit that that even there it felt like a competition with myself to lose more. You never win if you’re competing with yourself like that. It will never end.

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When I came back to where I now live, I had shot back up to nearly 108 pounds…basically a 10 pound gain in 10 days~!! I ate healthily until I reached 104 but then for the first time, i started eating EVERYTHING IN SIGHT at someone else’s house. It’s where I live of course and I can eat what I want here, but I was no longer exercising and I was sneaking food and hardcore binging every day.

By August, I was 113. By September, 117. October I went down to 111 only to shoot all the way up to 120. I am currently averaging 120-123. This is a LOT on my short frame. The lack of self control is also taking a huge toll on my wallet. I now have a job and am making money but have been wasting so much on junk food, it’s unbelievable! I’m trying to get a handle on that. I’ve been buying bags of candy and cookies and downing them easily along with my other food for the day.

I want to be healthy again. I want to have a healthy relationship with food and stop being so dependent on it in reaction to my emotions and feelings. Food is my reaction. Eating is my greatest comfort. It calms me. However, I am horribly abusing my body, gaining a lot of weight, and I am always lacking in energy because i’m so full with food.

I want to have a healthy relationship with food and eating for the first time in my life. I want to get to a healthy weight that I am also happy at (ideally 105) and learn to love myself despite my weight.

Well, that’s my story. There’s no ending in sight right now. I’d love your support though as I begin this journey of health and fight the daily battle against binging. Sometimes I will lose. Sometimes I admit that I don’t even try…I just want to do what’s easiest WHEN i want to do it and where I want to do it. This results in so much unhappiness.

I will never stay down. I only have one life to live.

Thanks for reading!!

 

 


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