Food for Thought, or, Attempts on Kissing an Eating Disorder Goodbye

Beatrice-Blocks-a-Binge

Losing weight and liking myself have been linked in my mind since I hit puberty at the tender age of 11. As a barely chubby and really just curvy girl of 15 I wouldn’t ride on roller coasters that went upside-down because I thought I would break them. I’d be racing along and over a bend and my weight would snap the bar and straps and I’d go plunging to my death. It didn’t matter that all the grown men on the ride were heavier. I was going to cause the disaster. I was going to die because I was just so fat. I’ve always seen myself as bigger. At 140 pounds I felt I looked like 300 pounds and somewhere along the way I actually became 300 pounds. Then I became more than 300 pounds. Part of that is from eating like a 300 pound person. I can eat a lot. Yay, I’m vegetarian and eat a lot of tofu, kale, and organic fruit. But I also love cheese, ice cream, bread, pizza, donuts, and french fries. Not just a donut here and there. Two or three or maybe more. To be “nice” to myself or to relax after a bad day or to reward a milestone or to celebrate I will eat an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Crunch Ice Cream. When I fail at eating healthily and in reasonable amounts I don’t just eat a little bit bad. Why get a small french fry? If I am ugly, stupid, fat, worthless, sloppy, disgusting, repulsive and embarrassing why not go for the large fry and add a large chocolate milk shake? I tell myself, “why bother with controlling myself when I fuck things up every day?”

In the spring of 2003 I was hospitalized for two weeks after a suicide attempt (I was in one hospital of 72 hours, out for a week, and then back at a bigger hospital). I suffered from clinical depression and PTSD. My psychiatrist maintains that I am Bipolar, but I disagree with that diagnosis. What was truly surprising was my diagnosis of compulsive eating disorder. Here is what a compulsive eating disorder feels like:

You feel you eat enough, but you can’t stop eating. However much you eat, you keep on having more. At times, it feels as if you have been taken over by someone else, and you can feel physically bad and very guilty when you stop but you do it again anyway.

You might make promises to stop, but, whatever triggers you, starts it off all over again and you feel out of control. You try to diet and you can’t even get started, or you may lose weight, only to put it all on again and even more. You have probably tried lots of diets but you may be fatter than ever.

It seems like an unending cycle of eating, remorse, dieting and overeating again. You feel very ashamed of your eating habits and so you may eat a lot in secret. You can’t make sense of what you do. You long to eat normally like everybody else, just take food or leave it. But it’s never enough. (source here)

So there I was, in an Atlanta-based mental hospital in a women’s ward that specializes in eating disorders. I was the only fat girl. Around me were anorectics and bulimics. One girl had to be rushed to the hospital because her kidneys were shutting down from abusing laxatives. A few were in wheelchairs and recently had feeding tubes removed. I saw bulimics with the uncanny ability to puke silently. They just opened their mouths and quietly spilled out so much silent shame. We had to leave bathroom doors open and couldn’t be alone after meals. No outside food was allowed and we had to each fill out sheets indicating what we ate and how we were feeling. Snacks occurred at regular times. Snacks in lovely portions that would send me into a panic because I couldn’t have more. The bulimics couldn’t throw-up in secret, but that also meant I couldn’t eat in secret. On Tuesdays we had a challenge day. The anorexic women had to eat ONE bite of chocolate cake (oh how they cried!), the bulimic women had to eat ONLY ONE bite of chocolate cake and not throw it up (oh how they cried!) and I had to eat ONE bite of chocolate cake and not eat the rest (and oh how I cried).

I didn’t feel out of place among the emaciated. Half of them thought they looked 356 pounds and the other half cowered in abject horror that a cracker would send their 80-pound frame hurtling towards my doughy, fleshy size. We had lots in common. Every last one of us had either been raped, physically abused, sexually abused, or neglected. Maybe our lack of eating or eating too much was a twisted way of making our bodies our own again, of controlling things we could, or making people not look at us as sexual beings to be consumed and owned. The abusive man who raped me when he was drunk was very happy I was fat. If I ate something healthy he would get angry. He would go to the store and buy junk food. He told me losing weight meant I was trying to “cheat” on him. He wanted me fat so no one would look at me. As long as I was fat and ugly I was his. When he wasn’t drunk he could be really nice and I felt so honored that someone would be willing to go out with me. Despite my horrific weight (at the time I was right around 200 pounds) someone would consent to be with me. Then I realized the bigger I was the less it hurt when he abused me. It is harder to forcibly spread one’s legs when you have large, hefty thighs. When some one is spitting out a string of curse words and calling you a fat slut it is helpful to have a wide expanse of stomach and breast between you and he; you get less saliva and beer breath stench and it makes it so much easier to disassociate.

But I digress. The point is I was fat. Really fat. And unhappy and I hated myself. The nutritionist, therapist, and psychiatrist were in agreement on one thing:

I should never diet. Ever.

As my psychiatrist said: “drink water, go for a walk, and eat until you’re full.” He also said that I could very easily swing the other way and become bulimic. In fact, at one point I ate so much I would throw up without trying.

My problem wasn’t purely about food. It was about depression, control, self-loathing, and safety and it was all wrapped up with a giant “prone to addiction” bow.

When I got out of the hospital I did as the doctor ordered and very slowly, very very slowly the weight started to come off. Between college graduation in 2004 and June of 2008 I lost 108 pounds. I was down to 248 pounds. I lost the weight gradually at a barely perceptible 25 to 30 pounds a year.

Then I started to gain weight how most people gain weight. I started dating. We went out to eat, we snacked while watching TV, we got married and I started cooking home cooked meals instead of the simple meals I ate when it was just me and Hope. I got pregnant. I got big. I lost a little and got pregnant again. I had her and now here we are. I’ve gained back up to 305 pounds. 57 pounds heavier.

And I hate myself. I can try to intellectualize and say I want to lose weight for my health. I can say it has nothing to do with body image and everything to do with making sure I live a long life for my kids. This is all mostly bullshit. I want to feel pretty. I want to wear what I want. I want to not have sores on my thighs from my legs rubbing together. I want to know what it is like to be calm with someone looking at me. I want to be okay with sleeping with my husband. There we go; there’s a TMI. I no longer want to have sex with my husband. I don’t want anyone to see me in my clothes, so I certainly don’t want my husband to see me naked. I should also point out that I know Sam thinks I am beautiful. He loves my thighs, and hips, and butt and EVEN MY STOMACH. He loves my stomach. He is sexually attracted me at 248 and at 305 and he will be sexually attracted to me at 145 and at 400 (he certainly didn’t mind how big I was when I was pregnant). He loves me … all of me. My hang up is I don’t love myself even a little bit. When we go out I think about how handsome he is and I feel worthless. I don’t deserve someone so personable, and handsome, and talented. At the same time I KNOW THAT I DO. I’m smart, I’m creative, I’m a good mom, etc… and I can tell myself these things until I’m blue in the face, but it doesn’t matter until I learn to love my body.

Ultimately, until I learn to honor, appreciate and cherish every dimple, dent, and roll I will not lose weight and I will not be healthy. It just isn’t going to happen. I have to love ME even if I never get to ONEderland. I must appreciate the body I am in. When I love myself I won’t need to eat Ben and Jerry’s to feel better, I won’t want to cram myself with food to stuff up the feelings of loneliness and hatred, I’ll be actually tasting my food and not in a panic to scarf it all down. Even if I don’t lose a single fucking pound I will be healthier. Yes, there are health risks to being 300 pounds. Suicide and depression are actually health risks as well and if we wanted to go by my health file I’m more likely to die of suicide or drug addiction. Once you have a suicide attempt and four psychiatric hospitalizations under your belt and a year and a half of meth use mental health becomes far more important than creaking knees, high cholesterol, or midsection fat.

I’ve completely changed the way I think about my body and my health in the past few days. I may log my food intake, but only as a way to keep binge tendencies at bay. I spent a portion of my tax return on clothes. Nice clothes. I haven’t bought nice clothes in a while because I was waiting to lose weight. As I type this I’m at work (on my lunch hour) wearing new black slacks, a black tee with chiffon insets, an antique necklace I wore at my wedding, earrings, cute shoes, and I’m wearing makeup. I feel pretty. I feel like I might kinda like me right now.

I completely didn’t intend to write all of this. I meant to write about dieting and how I’m going to embrace healthy eating and then mention my new clothes. As I began to write this all came flooding out of me. Shame. The shame of being fat. And hope. Hope for learning to love myself like my friends and family love me.

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105 comments

  1. I’m in awe of your bravery and you have stirred up so many feelings about my own history with disordered eating. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing.

  2. I’ve been thinking about your post for a while now, and trying to find a way to respond to it without sounding like an idiot. I have struggled with a lot of the same issues as you and continue to struggle with them daily, and I just want to say how incredibly brave you are for writing about them so honestly. I love that you’ve gone to get clothes and dressed yourself up a bit — there is something to be said for feeling beautiful at whatever size you are, and when you’re not comfortable with yourself it’s so easy to hide behind hoodies. I hope these good vibes only get stronger for you, and I’ll be rooting you on from my little corner of the world!

  3. This is such a brave post. I’ve battled bulimia and self harm for many years and in some ways still do. It was never my size I hated it was myself.
    Stay strong, look forward and try and go easy on yourself. Looks to me like a lot of people care πŸ™‚

  4. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and tell you in person what a strong, brave, and honest woman I find you to be. I hope that in pouring out your true feelings in your blog it will light the spark in you to begin to love yourself. And to begin to see yourself as the beautiful, extremely talented, and thoughtful person you are. All the very best to you.

  5. *hugs*

    Amanda, you’re a powerful writer, and I dearly hope that you can love yourself. Shame is a terrible, powerful thing, but in my experience it keeps its power by being kept secret. I’m so impressed with you for overcoming that and sharing your feelings.

  6. Read this earlier this week on my phone as I was nursing Norah and finally commenting. Thanks for being brave and honest and talking about an issue people keep so quiet about. You have nothing to be shamed about, and I hate that weight / food issues have such outward notice-ability when a lot of us can keep our compulsions secret. I’d feel really embarrassed if I had to wear my anxiety issues plastered on my shirt, and it is no less shameful (just as unhealthy), but it’s easier to hide. Lots of love and support for you as you journey to health.

    1. I read your post. I would highly recommend talking to therapist and getting a physical. I had a friend who didn’t eat and didn’t really know why. It turned out to be a thyroid problem. Or, if the problem is emotional and you just haven’t uncovered the why, an eating disorder specialist can help figure out the problem and get you on the path to healthy eating.

  7. What an inspirational piece. There is a place in heaven for angels like you, who with just words touch lives. I can’t stress enough on how big a smile a person suffering from bulimia or excessive eating disorders will show after coming across this blog. God bless you, kind soul.

  8. You are so inspiring. It’s amazing to hear your backstory and I look forward to hearing more about your weight loss! I wish you the best of luck, and I’m definitely following your blog. Oh, and I’d also like to congratulate you on being Freshly Pressed!

  9. I don’t believe any addictive behavior is ever gone. To think so, puts me in jeopardy. The healthier I am and the more work that I do, the better off I am, and so too then the rest of the world–if only because it’s not subjected to me on whatever it is πŸ˜‰

  10. This is a beautiful post! I’ve only recently accepted that I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder my entire life, and started seeing a therapist and nutritionist who, like yours, told me to never diet at all! It’s such a scary concept for a chronic dieter to just eat in a “normal”, healthful way. Kudos to you for writing something so honest and heartfelt – I’m rooting for you πŸ™‚

  11. All I can say is you’re not alone. I am positive most if not all people suffer from a negative self image, at one or multiple times in their lives. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story. I wish you all the very best of your journey to self acceptance. X

  12. Hey there… I read every word of ur blog, and would like to say some things… YUP, its true.. You can’t love others until and unless you love yourself first(in this case ur hubby). Also, self criticism on ur part is higly appreciated… takes alot of guts to appreciate your problems.. regardng u sharing the whole sexual abuse story with us, really proud f u.. its hard to come out f d closet… and now regarding being fat… its ok.. u myt get fat, bt at one point in life, you tend to think about all that you might risk by being overweight(our health, physically n mentally, our friends, colleagues, lovers, etc). One needs to move in d right direction ASAP if you want to live younger, healthier, longer life. Thats d key for me… I myself was trying to harm my body. But with time, i startd hating all that, and got on track. Its important to keep fit. And thanks for sharin your story with us.. appreciated. Cheerio. Stay healthy, stay young! πŸ™‚

    1. I completely understand what you are saying. Right now I’m trying to live more healthily, but without counting calories. I exercise several times a week, I’m trying to make healthier choices (like taking the kids for a walk instead of watching TV), I’m vegetarian, and I am eating all organic, GMO-free foods and cutting out processed items. Oh yes, and water, lots and lots of water. Thanks for the encouragement.

      1. Yup… its not really necessary to count your calories for that matter (unless you want a well toned n chiseled body). Just include fat-cutting foods and supplements… As you said that you are having lots n lots of water, thats a great way to go. But even a better way would be to have lots of warm water. Just cuts right through the fats. And you will see the results very early. And also have green tea as much as possible. Its not only herbal (which means completely harmless n body-friendly), but is a powerful fat buster. Eercise regularly, do lots of cardio, and you will be up and slimming in no time. Waiting for the positive results. Hope you will post the new pictures in no time! Keep pushing. πŸ™‚

  13. You’ve helped a lot of people by writing this. I think you’re wonderfully real and when you remove the mask, the rest of us can unveil ourselves as well. And that is just so freeing. Shining the light on the darkness means it’s not nearly as horrific as it seemed in our heads. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ve been there.

  14. I don’t know if this will help you but I feel you should try to get back to the root of the problem, the abuse that you suffered. You need to try and forgive the guy and all others that may have heaped unwelcome stuff on you. Throw all that pain at God, let Him take it all and let God deal with the guy. Transfer all that episode onto God’s huge shoulders and forgive the guy, pity him. Try and rid yourself of the emotional baggage, the hidden resentment and bitterness that you’ve been carrying. Then you can I hope be free to live your life as you want. It’s easy to say God loves you but a whole different thing to know it and accept his help. With God’s help you can recover and be strong.

  15. Wooowww…. I proud of you. I also, sometime had an eating disorder. May be I can say the past of 18 years. Ehhmm… I feel I want to write my history too hehe… πŸ˜€
    You’re amazing Kate. Remeber that big is beautiful and indeed we love you πŸ˜‰

  16. I am obese and bulimic, have been for years and years now. My doctor and I agreed that just general calorie “awareness” was better than me totally losing control, but I am supposed to track days I don’t eat, eat “normally” or even track binges. It worked for the first few weeks, not sure if it has helped or hindered since.

    This is a great post. Even if you didn’t intend to write that much, I am glad you did. I needed to see this, as I am sure many others did as well.

  17. Reblogged this on Not a Punk Rocker and commented:
    Today is Accountability Sunday, but I am trying to get to the Muppet Movie. Yep, priorities.

    While waiting for the kid to wake up, I found this post on the FP site. Some good reminders for me as I have been struggling and a look from another point of view in the eating disorder battle.

  18. Courage, that’s what you have – the courage to go out in the open and tell complete strangers the lowest point of your life.
    I hope that you can have a someone with whom you can be accountable with, and remind you every single day that you are a strong and beautiful person. Worthy of love even from yourself

  19. Thank you for spilling your guts. I share your shame, we can get past it and live the life we dream. But it takes time and professional help. You are so wise in getting help. I hope I get to meet you one day.

  20. Beautifully written. You have a talent for writing in a way that readers can easily connect with. I hope that all the comments on here help you to believe that you are worth loving

  21. Thnx for being brave,and share your story cause alot us want to say the same thing,but cant find the words are ashamed to say it because of insecurities.stay strong,im happy for you..:)

  22. You are incredibly strong, brave and inspirational. Reading this made me aware of all of my own insecurities. If you don’t mind I am going to share this on fb, I think it is very powerful and could help someone!

  23. Wow! I like how you’re making the best out of what you have. It’s like the “making lemonade out of lemons” adage! I’m glad you’re beginning to love yourself, because that inner feeling is what you’ll exude when you come into contact with other people. In short, how you make others feel is only a reflection of how you feel about yourself. So if you begin to love yourself more, I’m sure your husband will start noticing how much more you love him. Good luck and oh!, I’m sure your lemonades taste very sweet!

  24. the one thing that stood out for me is that you are loved because you are you…a number is just and only that…a meaningless number. I have found that it doesn’t matter what I weigh, I am miserable at either end of the spectrum because of so many unidentifiable things that play into my feeling trapped and alone. If only we could see ourselves as the ones that love and care about us unconditionally do. I once did a bible study and commented that I I do onto others as I do myself. My friend was like BS, if you treated others like you treat yourself they would all be dead. LoL, I had only thought about the first part, that I truly care about others.
    Take care, loved your post…thank you

  25. Your story breaks my heart. I wish there was a magic pill out there that would allow us all to see just how wonderful we are – no matter what size. Unfortunately we live in a world that promotes self-loathing, and it is very cruel. But I can say, just reading your story – I think you are lovely!

  26. I was gripped as I read this. Thank you for baring your heart to us, that takes courage! I have read that healing from abuse of any sort has to start by acknowledging there was a problem. You are there already. I think it is precious that your husband loves every part of you, in that atmosphere you are safe. We are here for you, keep us posted!

  27. I could so relate to what you had written! I lost thirty pounds and gained half of them back. I am still trying to lose another twenty pounds to look sexy. Being curvy always makes me feel like obese! I too battled bulimia constantly and is so glad it didn’t corrode my teeth.

    Press on bravely and hope you get lighter and healthier. Hugs from thousands of miles away.

  28. Wow, you hit the target all right! Telling it like it is!

    If it is ok to say this, it actually was a relief to read writing by somebody who really does know what it’s like. And yes, at times putting food in mouth is a valuable way to affirm and participate in the difference between where the world stops and the body begins. Essential to me is saying, in every social situation, “Will this person jump down my throat if I say what I think and what I feel?” Because if they do, then the next thing jumping down my throat will be the food once I get home.

    Thank goodness you have a kind husband! How wonderful!

    Blessings and support, Mary

  29. Thanks for sharing this. I was diagnosed with binge eating disorder (atypical bulimia) and I have been battling with it for years. It is difficult in a culture that seems to understand bulimia and anorexia but not binge eating disorder. I have been trying to get cognitive behavioural therapy on the NHS as it has a good response for people with eating disorders, but in the area I live in it is only available to those with bulimia and anorexia. If I lived thirty miles down the road I would be able to get it. It just feels so unfair. I wish you all the best with your fight.

  30. I share the same eating disorder. Thank you for being so open and honest with your story. I hide it from others and in some weird way I hide it from myself….I guess by not acknowledging it or the issues behind it. This encouraged me to do just that. Love to you!

  31. The important thing is to FEEL good about yourself. I think that’s where we all should start. This post really made me think about my own relationship with food, although I eat like a bird since I have Diabetes. It’s still a rocky relationship.

    You sound like you have a lovely husband and beautiful family. I hope that they keep you realizing that you’re more than just what people see on the outside.

  32. This is a very soul provoking story. Sometimes I wish I had a super strong appetite suppressant when I feel like eating everything in the house. Thank you so much for sharing. I have a big hunch you are going to be just fine πŸ™‚

  33. You are a rockstar!! I have learnt that diets are a waste of time and energy, your first and most important task is to believe that you are WORTH IT!! And you are worth it!

  34. Your story is heartbreaking. Food is a cruel “thing” that can take advantage of you, and something that will never disappear. Being strong and determined like you are may be the begging of revenge. Stand strong! Be who you are. Enjoy the food you eat, enjoy the clothes you wear, enjoy the presence of your family. Most of all enjoy the person you are becoming; fashionable, outgoing, healthy and most of all happy!

  35. Your post touched my heart so deeply. I can say through your words by reading your soul that you are a BEAUTIFUL person. Please don’t let your low self esteem makes you to believe the opposite. I know how it hurts: insecurities, low self esteem… There is nothing to do with your weight. Today to me, you are a wonderful and beautiful person who is brave enough to share with us her own story. Thank you for sharing! I wish you all the best!

  36. WOW. Thanks to everyone for the likes, shares, reblogs, and comments. I’ve never had so many people comment before and I’m a bit overwhelmed. Your lovely words of encouragement have truly given me the warm fuzzies. It is nice to know — when sometimes the internet can be anonymous and given to bullying — that there are so many kind hearts. I may not be able to reply to each comment, but I will try to visit all of your blogs. Bless you all!

  37. As someone who is just starting her recovery from bulimia, I thank you so much for posting this. Knowing that there are others who are fighting the same battle with eating disorders, no matter which ones they are, will always make the journey easier for me. Thank you again and I can’t wait to read your future entries!

    -Jenny

  38. There are a million responses I could write to this blog: how I can completely relate, how talented a writer you are, and how refreshingly honest. But most of all, I just want you to know that you are so brave! Well done, keep it up and I hope your positive thoughts about yourself continue and flourish into the only thoughts in your head.

  39. I don’t know why I haven’t been following you before. I also have an eating disorder. I am getting through it. But the secret eating thing. Oh man, that will probably be a part of my life forever.

  40. That was the most soul bearing and thought provoking blog I’ve ever read ! I admire your honesty and bravery and just speaking out the truth I am sure you have helped loads of people fight their hidden “battles ” today . You rock !!!!!! X

  41. That was great! I have had weight issues in the past but mine was from consuming thousands of calories of alcohol a day. Actually, I see they are both addictions and so very powerful. I love your honesty πŸ™‚

  42. I’m so sorry you’ve ever had to put up with someone treating you like you deserved less than you did. Sharing your story is so brave and I hope that more women are able to see themselves as the beautiful people they are because of it.

  43. Have you looked into the FAST diet (which is NOT a diet)? It was originally a TV programme on the BBC in the UK a year or two ago, by a scientist called Michael Mosely and he ended up having to write a book called The FAST Diet, though it was never about dieting. I only eat twice a day, 12 hours apart, which is a modification of his ideas, and it’s about being healthy not dieting because there is a lot of research now showing that if we fast for 6+ hours between meals we get our cholesterol down, our blood sugar stabilises, and cancer is kept at bay – try Googling it, and good luck. Fran

  44. This is so beautiful. I have been through something so similiar, and I might not be so brave as you to try and recover just yet, but slowly I know I’m going to get there and people like you constantly inspire me to do so. I hope you are doing well & just remember that whenever things get dark again, there are people like us all over the globe to support you.

  45. Wow. Although I’m not in directly the same situation as you, I understand completely where you’re coming from. It’s genuinely so comforting to be able to here about other women who are struggling with the same issues. My weight fluctuates so much and being exactly 5 foot makes the weight far more noticeable. I’ve always been very conscious of how heavy I am, I won’t friends give me piggy-backs, I won’t let my boyfriend pick me up. Regardless of how many times he may tell me that I’m not fat, I still can’t see it. Some days I’m fine, other days I look down at myself and I can’t leave my room. On my good days I know I’m okay, I know it doesn’t matter. But god forbid I view my thigh from the wrong angle!
    It’s lovely reading pieces like yours so that we know we’re not alone, it is genuinely strange how many women are suffering out there though. Thank you so much for this post and you’re extremely brave to be able to share this with everyone!

  46. Thank you for such a sincere post! Loving yourself is very important and I am glad you are on the right way!
    You know, I have read somewhere: “The life will just pass by while you are unsuccessfully fighting against your overweight, losing it and gainig back again, but in the end there will be only a fat corpse left”.
    It is a harsh one, but it soo true! Day after day we are just waisting our time, dreaming about the life that will come after we lose weight. But we don’t lose, because we keep stuffing ourselves with tonnes of food, thinking that tomorrow we will finally stop and start a new life. But tomorrow the same story appears and the life we dream of NEVER COMES.
    We need to think about that. We need to be strong and struggle every day.
    We need to GET what we want!

    From all my heart I wish you luck and a lot of self control.
    DO THIS!!!
    I know, it is hard. I understand you. And I BELIEVE in YOU!

  47. I know for me, my weight makes me unattractive to the men who raped me. I don’t feel safe enough in my body to protect myself from men, so I keep the weight on.

  48. Oh Amanda, I just want to hug you right now so much. I’m so behind on blog reading, and I almost hit “mark all as read”–so glad I saw this post before I did. I already knew you were an amazing woman from reading your blog over the last year or so, but wow, lady, this post–the grace and honesty you told your story with, just wow. You left me in tears. Tears of heartbreak for what you’ve lived through, and tears of joy for your new attitude. You ARE beautiful!!! And to be honest, tears for myself, because while our stories are not identical, there are so many similarities (rape, and weight gain as defense, and suicide attempt, and hospitalization, and more weight gain, and the gradual-oh-so-gradual journey to accept myself no matter my size). In telling your story, you’ve told the story of many women, and I hope you know that in doing so you’ve touched people. I have no doubt whatsoever in my mind that there are people out there that you’ve helped with this post that you’ll never even know about. Thanks for sharing your story, thanks for your honestly, thanks for being you.

  49. I love you… My problem is; I am skinny but everyone in my world wants me to be thick. I’ve always been “boney” growing up, I’m 19 now. It’s not that I want to be skinny but sometimes I feel good being able to be the size almost everyone wants. Don’t get me wrong I still feel hurt when people tell me to go eat a sandwich or think its okay to tell me I am so damn skinny. I don’t eat often and it’s not because I have an eating disorder. I don’t eat often because eating sometimes feel like a chore. I usually eat when I feel hunger pains. I want to have a good diet, not losing weight diet, I want to like my collar bones sticking out, and I want to feel like a “real women”. You know, that title men only reserve for curvy women. When you call me skinny, It hurts me no more nor LESS than it hurts when you call someone fat. Skinny shouldn’t be an insult nor compliment…I’m 104 pounds btw. Someday days I want to be 95 pounds others I want to be 140 pounds. What I really want is to learn how to love myself CONSISTENTLY

  50. The parallels between yours and mine are horribly stark. I know what it’s like, to be force fed so that ‘no one else will look at you’. I know what hating yourself is like. What it feels like, to sometimes feel pretty, and then catch a glimpse of yourself somewhere and spiral even lower than before.

    I know these things, and you said them out loud. Thank you for this incredibly brave post. We need to learn to love ourselves, a little more each day. Because we deserve to be loved. We deserve our own love, the way other people love us.

    Stay strong Hun.

    Hugs

  51. You don’t know me, at least I don’t think you do. We have some mutual blogging friends and I found my way here a few months ago and I’ve been reading along, but I haven’t commented before today. I just couldn’t let this post go on read without saying: thank you. This post is so brave and honest and amazing, just like you. Thank you for sharing it, thank you for sharing the struggle to accept yourself and love yourself as part of your journey to health. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  52. Reblogged at healthylifecounseling. Your post is so beautifully written, and so heartfelt. We have a lot in common (including our name and being Georgia girls!) I look forward to reading more of your blog posts, as I am all about the mind/body connection and having a healthy relationship with food. In my world, DIET is a four letter word. LoL.

  53. I read this one when you first wrote it, and I’m reading it again now. Totally in tears for your struggles and the shame that go along with them. Just know you are loved. By the people in your life, and by those of us on the outside who just wish we could see and talk to and hug you every day. Love you, Amanda.

  54. I am absolutely in love with your bravery! I soooo can relate to many of the things you have expressed in this post but never could dare to express the deep dark places that you have. I do believe that we have to step out into the light to actually see where it is we are to go. Wow… I sit back and I am encourage with my own blog as I have been sitting dormant.. waiting for that perfect thing to say…when in reality…all you have to do is be honest and show your true self. Thank you…. thank you. πŸ™‚

  55. Darlin’, my heart breaks as I read your words and though I struggle with a different ED than you everything you write is relevant. I wish I could take the pain away and give you what you need to start to love yourself again, before ED took over. Do not fret, you will love yourself again it’s a long journey but a possible one. One day, one step at a time. Try finding one thing you like about yourself when you look in the mirror and focus on that/those things. So when you feel your worst you can remind yourself that you have nice eyes or whatever. Chin up, I’m fighting this fight too, you’re not alone!

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