Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My eating insanity

So, I kinda feel like I need to put this down in writing. Hopefully somebody might read it and realise they're going the same way and save themselves. If not its going to feel great to get it out.
I used to way 256lb/116kg. I was in pain walking, miserable with the way I looked and not enjoying life the way a young adult should be. So after (too many) years of procrastination I started calorie counting, after loosing a couple of stone I joined the gym with a friend and found the fact that I could do exercise which I hadn't been able to do as a youngster at school to be exhilarating. Making improvements in my gym routine became a sort of drug. I got the same feeling from stepping on the scale every morning and seeing a few tenths of a pound disappearing. For a year, the scale went down every morning.
Throughout the whole year I ate 1500 calories maximum. I don't think I went over a single day until my 21st birthday, upon which I weighed 147lbs. I felt delighted with my weight on that day. I felt beautiful in my dress and everybody told me I looked fantastic. Many of these same people went behind my back and told my mum they were concerned I was a little on the skinny side.
I was aware I'd reached my goal weight but I was so terrified of becoming the fat miserable girl I used to be. I upped my calories to 1800 per day and was running 6 days a week, 5km each time. I walked everywhere and would find excuses to walk because I felt I had to earn my meals, because in my head I didn't deserve the food.
I lost the weight by removing high calorie foods and foods that contained more than a couple of grams of saturated fats. Even then at a healthy weight I couldn't bring myself to eat such foods. I developed a mental list in my head of foods I wasn't allowed to eat. Although I wasn't really aware of it at the time. Eating out or being at other people's houses became a nightmare because I didn't have any control over what I would be made to eat.
Then I moved to Sweden. I love it here. But I felt so isolated. No job, no friends. Just my wonderful boyfriend who I felt I'd lost all the weight for. Now that Id moved in with him I didn't want to put weight on again. After all, who'd want a fat girlfriend after having a thin one? I lied about how much food I was eating, exercised like mad. Gave him bigger portions than myself.
The weight just kept dropping off.
One night, and whilst staying away from home for a few days, Id been running in the morning, had an 80 calorie breakfast, worked manual labour all day to lay a roof then eaten about 550 calories throughout the rest of the day I was a wreck. My brain was counting the calories I'd eaten for the day over and over again. Overestimating everything to gross proportions. Terrified I'd put weight on while we were away. I was absolutely exhausted. Was dizzy every time I tried to stand up. I finally admitted to my boyfriend what was going on. I was so ashamed. He looked so hurt and so scared. He just wanted to help me but I genuinely didn't think I could stop doing it.
Don't get me wrong, I wanted to gain a bit of weight. I just didn't want to gain any fat. Stupid isn't it? I'm ashamed to say, even though that was the low point of my mental state, it wasn't my lowest weight. The weight loss continued, even when I was eating 2500+ calories. I ended up with a BMI of 19, which is fine for some people but it was definitely not ok for me. I was freezing in the heat of summer. Blue lips, purple nails. I cried after being in my dads car for an hour because it was so uncomfortable sitting on my sticky-out tail bone.

I eventually did start going up in weight, through bread binges. Granted not exactly healthy, but boy did it put the weight on quick. Then I injured my knee and couldn't run for 6 months, so I put more weight on, a little too much really. But rather 10 lbs over weight than 20 under.

That little voice in my head still pipes up every now and then " lunch over 200 calories?! you pig", "no, no, you can't have an ice cream you haven't been running!" but by now they're just whispers and the grumble of my stomach tends to drown them out.

I feel like the triumph of losing weight from being obese to normal has been completely destroyed by then becoming underweight and I'm so ashamed of the pain it caused my family, especially my Mum and boyfriend. My disordered eating habits affected holidays, momentous occasions and realtionships. But I feel I've finally got the balance. Everything in proportion.

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