Why I’m Happy I Gained 2 lbs this Weekend.

As someone who has been overweight for years, I have a very abusive relationship with food. It’s a constant push and pull between what my body tells me is false and what my brain tells me is fact.

The main reason I continued to support my disordered eating habits was simple.

If I ate more food without obsessively exercising 6 or 7 days a week and “fasting” (aka starving myself ) then I would gain weight. Its a math game. 1 slip up would’ve put back years of hard work.

No matter how many diet books I read or how many times I met with my nutritionists, my body would only respond to eating 1200 cals or less.

To me, this was not an irrational thought. It was a proven fact. Year after year, I watched myself eat less than everyone around me, workout out way more than anyone I knew and still never reach my dream weight.

So the first step to my recovery is debunking this myth.

This past week, for the first time since 2011, I took a week off from working out without compensating. I tried not to eat less or do other physical activity in place of my normal workouts.

And something magical happened. After a weekend of binging and a week of not working out, I gained 2 lbs.

How is that a miracle? Well, over the last few months when I fasted and worked out, my weight tended to stay the same or fluctuate -/+ 3lbs. 

Ha! I have my proof. I can eat more than 1200 cals, not kill myself working out, and be about the same.

This week was tough mentally. My mind and body were telling me stop eating and go for a run. I even had thoughts about purging (which I doubt typcially do). My mind berated me every day but I chose not to exercise and eat.

But despite my inclination to binge, I still wasn’t able to eat regularly through out the day.

So, step 1 is complete. Now on to step, 2 eating breakfast, lunch, dinner. The thought of which overwhelms me so completely that grocery stores give me panic attacks.

But I can do this. I will do this.

-(Rule)

When you try to convince yourself you don’t have an eating disorder.

I have an eating disorder. Before today, the closest I have come to actually talking about it is saying that I have a weird relationship with food. Which is true, but it also makes me feel like I’m hiding from something.

You see, since I can remember, I’ve always been the ‘fat girl’ or chubby as people like to put it when you’re 8. And no, this is not body dysmorphia talking, these are cold hard facts.

The last time I was a normal weight I was probably 5 years old. But fat people can’t have eating disorders, they’re fat. Maybe you’re right. Let me tell you how this journey began and you can decide for yourself.

When I was 12 years old I decided to take my weight into my own hands. I could  just diet and exercise and the weight would go away, forever. I had tried before, basically every year since I was 8, but I wouldn’t fail this time. I couldn’t listen to one more person call me fatso.

So I did. I started eating low fat, then I was introduced to low carb, then I started eating turkey bacon, I cut out all soda, chips, and candy. I was on a roll.

Every morning I would eat 1 egg (70 cals), 1 slice of turkey bacon (35 cals), 1 slice of low fat wheat toast (40 cals) and drink 4oz of skim milk (45 cals) for a total of 190 calories. On good days, I would have a chance to eat a piece of fruit!

I ate a variation of that same breakfast for basically the whole year.

My plan was working. I was dropping pounds like crazy. It could’ve been the food or it could’ve been my new found workout plan.

I had convinced my mom to buy me Turbo Jam also known as the fun kickboxing dance party. And when I wasn’t doing that I was trying to bench press on my brother’s weight bench or use my jump rope. Every time I missed a jump I would force myself to start over until I got a 100 in a row. I hated myself. I would be so angry that I would slap myself for messing up.

Then I started having thoughts. Maybe if I ate even less and worked out even more I would finally be skinny. All of my friends were skinny. I was even heavier than my older sister and brother.

So I did. I ate less. Lunch at school was a piece a fruit. After school my snack was a workout then a perfectly portioned low calorie sandwich or exactly 1 cup of low calorie soup.

To workout more without anyone noticing, I went outside to play with my friends more often. Every game I suggested was some kind of cardio. Nowadays, I wonder if they ever noticed.

Double Dutch-check

Basketball-check

Running races-check

We even found time to occasionally play hide and seek and tag. While everyone else was laughing and having fun, all I could think about was am I burning enough calories and is my stomach and thighs jiggling too much.

But I stayed the course. I fasted and exercised and dieted and exercised and it was all okay because I was a fat pig, right? No one would tell a fat person to stop losing weight. Dieting is normal. It’s not an eating disorder. There’s no way I’m anorexic. The BMI chart told me so. And who could argue with that logic?

Then 1 day during 7th grade (after I had lost about 70lbs) I sat silently eating my apple in the cafeteria when someone made a joke that I was bulimic and they heard me throwing up in the bathroom.

“That’s not true!”I shot back. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have an eating disorder.”

I told myself I’m too fat to be anorexic and the thought of vomiting makes me cringe because I suffer from migraines that cause nausea. So there’s no way I have an eating disorder.

But I did. At the time, I convinced myself that not being fat was the most important thing …at any means necessary. Everyone thought my progress was soo great! The thought of having control over my body gave me power like nothing else ever had before…

This isn’t bad. This is a gift. I have confidence now. People like me now. Someone complimented on something besides my test scores. It was working.

How could this be wrong?

I was 13 and starving and I felt proud. Well it was wrong and it got worse. I went to 8th grade where my bulimia met depression and insomnia.

I’m sure you can guess how that story goes.

-(Rule)

Mental Illness is not Glamorous.

Hello Love,

I’m Rule. Welcome to my blog. Before we go too far, I want to set the record straight on what this and my future ramblings will pertain to. The following posts will be about my on-again/off-again relationship with my mental health. Unfortunately, I’m winning at the moment and my mental health is suffering for it.

I know what you’re thinking. Mental health is soooo boring and overrated, and I should just stop being emo and grow a pair. If only the world was a wish granting factory I would make that deal with the devil. But its not.

Alas, I’m sitting here on my mom’s living room floor while I look at my 1.5 year old niece and hope she’ll never have these problems.

What problems? Currently, I am 21.5 years older than my niece and since I was 13 I have been waging a war against chronic depression, generalized anxiety disorder, insomnia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and non-purging bulimia.

Yes, you read that correctly. It might sound like I’m being overly dramatic and trust me, I really wish I were. But the truth is, when you don’t take care of one mental health problem it can snowball into something else.

Now I have a long list of symptoms of a larger problem–self harm.

No, not the kind where you cut yourself, but I’d be lying if I said I have never tried. Nope. This self harm is deeper. Well, if I’m being honest, its more like self hate.

So in response to my now decade of self hate,  this blog will chronicle my journey to self love… starting with non-purging bulimia. Along the way there will be sprinkles of my random thoughts and pet peeves like how the best compliement you can give a girl is that she’s beautiful when there so many more things to celebrate besides physical appearance.

But I’m getting a head of myself…

Keep reading if you want to know what it’s actually like to struggle with these issues or if you are struggling yourself.

But fair warning: this blog will sometimes be hard to read. There will be days when my sunny disposition just can’t possibly shine through (but my saracasm will, ha!)

Depression is not long car rides down an empty road at night and eating disorders are not looking longingly into a full length mirror pretending that you’re not pretty. Mental illness is not glamorous.

You’ve been warned.

-(Rule)