I’m not that old. But I know that I’ve gone through enough to make me feel older than what I am. My age isn’t important. What’s important is what I’ve learned. What’s important is how I’m growing and how I have grown.
A lot has happened within the past few years. A lot of it no one truly understands. My family doesn’t fully comprehend what goes through my mind, what I’m experiencing, and how I’ve gotten here.
So, let me do a bit of explaining. Maybe someone else will get it. Will step into my shoes and figure it out. Or maybe someone else has gone through something very similar.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been unhappy with my body. Many girls are. I’d be seriously surprised if there was a girl out there who has never faced low self esteem and body image.
So what makes my story different from millions of others? Maybe it’s not different. But it’s my story nonetheless.
I used to be very active as a kid. Always running outside, always on the trampoline, jumping off swings, swimming, and playing in the woods. I had a hearty appetite, which was fine at the time. But as my interests slowly started changing, as I became older, I started liking the indoors more. I enjoyed sitting on the couch reading and writing, rather than venturing outside and being active. My parents, especially my dad, encouraged me to do sports. I tried them, lost interest because I lacked the talent that I thought I needed in order to be good on a team, and retired once more to the books waiting for me at home. The books, the computer, and the food…
If I look back now, I had an eating disorder long before I had an eating disorder. I would binge like crazy. In one day, I could easily pack away this much food:
Breakfast: Two Eggo waffles and plenty of syrup.
Lunch: Grilled cheese, tomato soup, milk and three Oreo cookies.
Snack: chips, pretzels, sometimes fruit, cookies, hot chocolate, marshmallows, crackers, a bowl of cereal.
Supper: Pizza (two slices and maybe more) with a blizzard from DQ to follow.
I’d stay up late and would snack later on into the night. More cookies. More crackers. More popcorn and chips.
I easily ate 2500 calories a day. When I was active, that was fine. But eventually, my activity dwindled down to nothing and the calories remained the same. I started getting comments from my dad. I realize he did it because he cared for me and didn’t want me to become overweight. But I’m overly sensitive. So it hurt. I didn’t want to listen to him. So I ate more and justified my eating by saying, “what’s the point anyways? Not like I’m going to exercise any of this off.” or “Dad says I should watch it but mom’s telling him not to say things like that. It’s obviously not true. I can eat more then.”
It was unhealthy and I knew it.
This is a pretty typical scenario. Lots of girls, again, experience probably pretty similar situations. In the midst of that, though, hell broke loose and shit happened in my life. Details that I’ll spare you as of right now.
I eventually needed to desperately control something in my chaotic life. I turned to the one thing I knew that I could fix: my weight. I had a goal. I wanted to run a 5K in 3 months. So I started running. 5–6 days a week. 30–40 minutes each day. I hated it. But kept going anyways.
I manipulated my calories until I got to the point where I was burning more than I was consuming.
My day looked like this:
Breakfast: half a banana.
Lunch: Salad with no dressing and about an ounce of chicken breast.
Supper: Half a cup of soup and half a bun.
It slowly started getting worse than that. I would say I wasn’t hungry, that I felt sick. And would go as many days as I could without eating. I went from a binge eating disorder to anorexia.
I went from 119 pounds to 99 pounds in about 2 months.
It was awful. I hated it. I felt fat, but I looked like a skeleton.
My parents began to worry. I had started to worry but I didn’t know what to say. I was depressed. I didn’t want to do anything, but then at the same time, wanted to do so much in order to fix what I had ruined: my body.
I eventually went and got help. It was either get help when I could decide myself, or I’d get help in a treatment center whether I wanted to or not. I hated being controlled and told what to do, but I gave in. I was literally exhausted, mentally and physically.
A lot happened. A lot of struggles. Tears. Grabbing of my skin and wanted to rip it off with my nails. But I made it. I gained back weight. I recovered. Slightly.
Today, I still have issues. I’ve realized recently that I’m still nit picky and very critical about my body.
But I have also gained a confidence in myself that I never had before. Ever. I weigh 123 pounds, which is 4 pounds over where I started two years ago in January of 2014.
I found my passion amid all of this. I found something that I never thought I’d love, something I love far more than I have anything else that I’ve tried.
I found bodybuilding and powerlifting.
Good really and truly does come out of the bad. Sometimes those icky times are what you need to go through in order to find what’s meant for you.
It happened for me. And I’m not that old.