To Love Myself: Eating Disorders

For awhile now I’m been dreaming of starting my fashionista series about how to look as trendy and cute as possible while you are just BROKE.  I kept running into delay after delay and I finally realized that I needed to take a step back and try to get a look at what ELSE was going on. I’m being led to do something really uncomfortable again- I’ve known it for awhile but didn’t really feel like going there.

It’s a fun thing to talk about fashion, style and good bargains, I’m still planning on launching that series in the next month but first I have to talk about what is on the inside… which, yeah, is much less comfortable. Insecurities and loving myself… even right now when I barely can look at myself in the mirror.

I was working out regularly and loving it last year. The class was done through a local church and was amazing and affordable. They didn’t bring it back this fall and so most of the summer and the last 2 months especially I haven’t worked out. I am not a “hey, I’m going to go for a run” kind of girl. I need the loud music, air condition and the inner GRRR in me that gets all competitive with the other girls in a class.

It’s been a rough  nine weeks- I haven’t had the extra energy to even TRY to work out but I still hate myself… I hate admitting this too.  I’ve realized how insecure that I am during this time. I’ve realized how I ignore all the good and obsess over negativity. I have received compliments lately but always laugh them off thinking people are just saying things to be nice. AND they are, but I have this insane notion they are LYING TO ME.

I never realized that until now. That I seriously thought people were lying… like to make me feel good about myself or something and that is totally egotistical. If I give a compliment I mean it. I should extend to others the same courtesy.

Because how could anyone really say I looked pretty? Can’t they see how fat I am? My untoned arms? My stretch marks? Cellulite? and the truth is that I don’t love myself. I love others, not matter what size, shape or color but I hold unrealistic standards for myself.

Part of this is a long, life time coping with rejection from peers starting at an early age, something deeper that I’ll talk about in a later post on this topic and how I deal with having a child with special needs. The other part is that most of my friends have some kind of eating disorder but won’t admit it or don’t know they have it.

I see my friends not eating, letting their kids eat their whole plate of food and not eat any themselves, skipping meals, excessively working out, binge eating then joking about going on a fast when they actually will be, become vegetarian/vegans so no one will tell them what to do regarding food, going on a vegetarian/vegan fast for a short while or pregnant friends who don’t eat enough so they won’t gain any weight.  All of these are food issues- some are worse than others but it shows an unhealthy relationship with food.

I think it’s hard to admit I have food issues because I’m not SUPER skinny or SUPER overweight. I’m just average so it must seem I”m “normal” when I’m really not. Some days are better than others, some weeks are better than others but lately it’s been getting bad again. I think part of that has to do with the fact Ben is out of work and part is just me adjusting to working from home and still trying to efficiently manage the home. We’ve eaten out more, but not too unhealthily because when you are gluten-free your options are limited.

I’ve been eating less and less and drinking more coffee, pop and alcohol. Coffee masks hunger, pop gives me a sugar fix and a glass of alcohol helps me unwind at night. I don’t excessively drink any of them but every day I want all three. I don’t have alcohol every day just to avoid it as a habit but I still want it every day.  Also, I’ve been doing this calorie counting thing where I’ll see I drank 150 calories in a pop then just not eat much food at all for lunch to even it out.

If I’m totally honest with myself:  the more I control what I eat the more in control I feel about my life and successful as a person. On the flip side- I feel like a complete failure as a person when I binge eat.

Which is a pretty classic eating disorder.

I think more than anything else here I want to bring awareness that you don’t have to be 90 lbs or 350lbs to have a eating problem. You can be medium sized and completely obsessed with food, numbers on a scale and the way your fat feels when you pinch it to shame yourself for eating. It isn’t easy to talk about it, but it’s like an accountability of sorts and it gets the poison out of me.  I’m thankful for others who have shared their stories with me, I know I’m not alone in my struggle.

If this is something you struggle a little with or a lot, tell someone you can trust that will keep you accountable or seek counseling. A friend isn’t the best option because eating disorders are very contagious. For me, my first step is admitting this. I’m not cured, but being aware helps me not make as poor of decisions. Feel free to e-mail me or leave comments. This is a hard thing for me to talk about still and I’ve had a lot of questions on whether or not to post, but I feel like if I even help one person not feel so alone than it’s worth it.

 

  • Kristen Compston

    Thanks for being honest Heidi, I think so many women and especially moms (myself included) do this. I really struggle with comparing my post-babies body to my pre-baby body. Your honesty is encouraging and refreshing. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.goodairin.blogspot.com Melanie

    I agree with you 100%–just being aware is a giant step. Food and eating are big issues with me too. Thanks for being so honest. You aren’t in this alone.

  • Heidi

    Thank you both SO MUCH for your comments! I told someone I felt like I posted a nude picture or something and I appreciate that you took the time to let me know I am not alone.

  • Tracylbond

    Thank you for your honesty! It’s hard for us as women to admit that we don’t have it all under control, but it helps to know that we’re not alone. :) If you’re in the NWA area, there are free women’s fitness classes in Fayetteville. It’s W.O.W. Fitness at Trinity Fellowship. Christian women and music, no men :) , and they really promote a healthy attitude about weight, eating, and fitness. My relationship with food and exercise has done a 180 since starting there. Thank you again for your post- awesome words.