Looking back on things, I have a lot of regret about how I treated myself. I never really developed any form of self-love or acceptance of who I was, nor did I ever treat myself and my body as if it was something of the utmost value to me. Instead, I treated it poorly. This started from a young age. I never valued the importance of taking care of my body; I shoveled food into my mouth with no consideration of what harm it could do to my body. I ate junk food on a regular basis and in amounts that I had no need for. I can’t remember ever having a healthy relationship with food. Similarly, I would eat all of that junk food and not exercise. I had no desire nor understanding of just how important it is to incorporate a healthy amount of exercise into my life. The times when I did have to exercise (i.e. gym class) were brutal for me as I was very much out of shape.
When I finally got an understanding that I was living an unhealthy life, I decided it was time to get serious and make some significant changes to get healthy. I finally realized I was very unhealthy and wanted to make a change to that. So I made huge changes. I started exercising regularly and incorporating healthier foods into my diet; slowly weaning myself off of those ‘junk foods’ I coveted. The changes began to be evident. I saw the number on the scale decrease, I felt my clothes fitting looser, and in time, the compliments from others started coming. This was the fuel I needed to keep me going. And so I did.
When I finally reached a good, healthy weight, I had lost over 60 pounds. I went from clinically obese for my age and height, to being healthy as the BMI categorized me. When it would have been a good place for me to stop, I didn’t; I couldn’t.
I was educating myself on healthy foods and unhealthy foods, things to take in and things to avoid or limit. Yet I got so caught up in being thinner. There was always more to lose in my mind. I should have trusted a doctor to tell me what was enough or at the least the BMI to tell me when it was a good place to stop. Yet, I didn’t. I got so bent up in losing more, cutting more, and becoming more toned and skinnier, that it consumed me. That is again where I started to fall out of balance and become unhealthy to the opposite extreme. I beat my body into submission. I slaved away working out, I depleted my body of what it needed, cutting more and more out of my diet, limiting more and more of what I’d allow myself to eat or drink. It turned into my depriving myself to an extreme degree which just facilitated the development of my anorexia.
Again, I wasn’t showing any love or importance on being healthy and taking care of my body. It may have started that way, but I quickly lost my grip on that. Looking back, I wish I could have told myself what I know now. I wish I could have told myself to stop, to keep myself where I was when I was still healthy. How badly I wish I could go back and redo that part of my life and take control of my health at the point where I was at a good healthy, balance in my life. But, I can’t. What’s done has been done.
I treated my body horribly in the subsequent months and years. I will forever regret that. Even in the process of recovery, I’ve half-assed it. I’ve been able to do what is comfortable for me, not pushing myself, not challenging myself. I’ve made excuses for myself and accepted them as my reality. The reality is, I’ve played it safe because that’s what comes easy. There could have been times I could have taken a huge chance and risk, yet I haven’t. I’ve talked myself out of it, scared myself into listening to the negativity, and accepted that as my reality. All because of what? I’m afraid of what? Am I still holding on to this superficial idea that being thin is the only way I will be happy or content or acceptable?
These last few weeks have been really difficult for me. I’ve been dealing with health issues that have my life pretty miserable for me. The most difficult and frustrating part of it? I don’t know what’s wrong. I don’t know the problem so I don’t know how to find the solution. I’ve had stomach issues for years, so I know that my issues aren’t from my eating disorder. But I also know that the restricting and binging phases definitely did not do anything to help my GI problems. I recently tried to cut out gluten and dairy from my diet in hopes that ridding myself and my body of those things (which are known to be problematic for digestion) would be the answer to my problem. I also went so far as to remove all of the sugar-free foods and drinks from my diet because I read just how bad they can be for GI issues, among other things. With all of these significant changes, one would think or hope that some improvements would be seen. Yet, things have been worsening lately. Which is not only perplexing to me, but also extremely frustrating as well.
Without getting into too much detail about what it is I deal with on a daily basis, suffice it to say that it’s not fun and it literally makes life difficult. Eating anything is a challenge. Which of course, is not conducive for a girl who in recovery from an eating disorder. I need to eat regularly and not pass up eating because I feel too miserable to eat anything. Regardless of what I eat or how much I eat, it impacts me right away. Some days are better than others, some times throughout the day are better than others. Yet lately it’s more negative than positive. I’ve been trying to keep positive and not be overwhelmed by things, but it’s really REALLY hard. I can’t keep on every day like this anymore. Something needs to change. The doctor(s) need to figure out what is going on or I don’t know what I’m going to do.
It’s awful because everything else in my life seems to be going so well and finally coming together. I’m finally feeling really happy and things are going so well with my job and with Scott and with family and friends. I want to be able to be happy and to enjoy life. This has sucked the life out of me. It’s so upsetting.
I’ve been doing everything in my power to help my situation. I can’t tell you how much research I’ve done, looking for any answers or any potential answers that could help. I’ve made another appointment with my GI doctor for this coming week, and will also attempt to make an appointment with my regular doctor as well (as now I’m wondering if it may be linked to endometriosis, which my doctor at one time thought that I had and which I failed to get properly tested for in the past), plus I’ve recently got peppermint oil tablets, activated charcoal, and papaya enzyme tablets that I’m taking on a daily basis to try and help. I have also looked into acupuncture, as I read an article saying that it can really be helpful for GI issues as well. At this point, I am willing to do anything and everything in my power to try and feel better. That is the only thing that I’m concerned with right now.
I want absolutely nothing more in life than to feel healthy. In the days that I’ve felt absolutely miserable, it has shown me just how much I take for granted when I’m feeling healthy. It also has shown me what really matters. I kept thinking to myself, I didn’t care about what weight I was, how much I exercised, what foods I was eating, I just wanted to be normal. I just wanted to feel healthy so that I could live and enjoy life. Feeling healthy, feeling good physically, mentally and emotionally, is the most important thing to me. I will do whatever I can to help myself get to a healthy place. Now, my health is a priority. I also now realize just how much I love and value myself. I no longer except feeling miserable as ‘okay’. I no longer want to “punish” myself or my body, like I did in the past with my eating disorder. I want to find my healthy and happiness and live fully. I value myself so much more now and that, to me, is a beautiful thing. I now realize what really matters. It isn’t being skinny, or making sure you work out a certain number of times a week for a certain amount of time. It has nothing to do with what size jeans you wear or the number that shows up on the scale. All of those thoughts or ideas meant absolutely nothing to me when I felt miserable. All I wanted was to feel better.
Sometimes it takes something like this to really make you realize what matters most, and what doesn’t matter at all. I’ve spent so much of my time thinking that my weight and body would provide me with the happiness and self-esteem I was looking for. Now I realize just how foolish that really was. I wasted so much of my life and time focusing on things that matter so little. I truly want to make it my effort and goal now to take care of myself, in whatever shape or form that is. Feeling healthy and being happy are the most important things for me in my life. I will never stop fighting for myself and my happiness and health. It’s about damn time I do things the right way and take care of myself fully.
These days, I’ve been clinging to the ‘good’ or ‘okay’ moments I have. Any time that I feel somewhat decent and not miserable, I celebrate. I try to do as much as I can and live up the times that I’m feeling good. I want to make the most of my life and truly live fully. Even if that means that I forever have to deal with the issues I have right now, as long as I have moments where I can feel good, I will celebrate those moments and try to experience and enjoy life as much as possible. All I want is to feel good and to live.