Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Eating

     Another post from Mercedes' Choice after she rescued my chance to do the Challenge this year, by providing me with new topics after I accidentally deleted all of the ones I had.

     It was suggested I put a warning here. This topic is about eating disorders, weight loss, weight gain, and the like. Please do not read ahead if it could trigger anything with you.

     Eating is a good thing and you should do it. It's basically that simple, but I know there are plenty of people out there who struggle with it.

     I have never had an eating disorder, but my weight has been all over the place since I was a pre-teen. The first time, I was about 9-12 and I was so stressed out, that eating food did not help me gain weight. I ate food, but my weight dropped, but nobody knew why. Once we moved and were out of reach (except by phone) from my dad and his family, we figured out what was wrong.

     The fear and stress of what his family does, made it impossible to gain weight. Some people get stressed and gain, I got stressed and lost. For my height, I should have been about 95-100 pounds. Not long before we moved, I weighed in at 77. My mom freaked out and accused me of having an eating disorder. She began monitoring my food intake and would buy sodas and cookies and chips, since regular food wasn't doing the trick, but it didn't work.

     Then we moved right before my 12th birthday. I had a friend, who isn't my friend anymore but was the best friend I could have asked for at that time, help me calm down. She helped me realize that there wasn't any danger anymore. And I started to gain weight. By the end of the school year, I could wear a size 4 (which was about where I needed to be since that was the second to last time that I also got taller) without it falling off my hips.

     The problem was, once my body started gaining weight, it didn't want to stop. I ended up at 135 when I was 14, which was not where I needed to be yet. I should have been 110 or so. I ended up in a size 6 when I was 15 and it stayed steady for a while. I was chubby for my height, but I was hitting my final growth spurt, so the chubbiness went where it was supposed to... for a while. I wasn't exactly happy, seeing all the 110 pound girls my age when I weighed more, but I was okay. Until I started gaining again, despite no real change in anything.

     I ended up about 145-150 and almost a size 9 before I decided that was enough. I had officially reached the "overweight" range instead of just "oh its just a little chubbiness". I changed what I could, but I also got a babysitting job. That alone made me start running around to keep up with three kids, so the weight started coming back off. Then I went a few months without a job and it came back. Then I started working in a restaurant.

     I only worked a few days a week, but I noticed a change anyways, especially once my hours increased. From October until the next May, I went from a loose size 9 down to a loose size 7. I ended up back at a size 6, but that's where I need to be with my height and body type now. I was perfectly happy with it.

     Back in the last week of February, I found out I was 110. I knew I lost weight again (stress and loss of appetite this time around) but I hadn't realized it was so much. I lost 25 pounds and ended up 10 pounds under the absolute minimum weight I can be and be healthy. I've started gaining some weight back since then. I'm not sure of the actual number at the moment, but my jeans are still loose, but they're not falling off my hips anymore.

     My point of this post, is I understand weight struggles and though I've never had an eating disorder, I understand the need to do anything to make yourself feel better, but not having a healthy diet isn't a good choice.

     I don't even believe in diets, actually, unless your medical doctor puts you on one for medical reasons. I believe in balanced eating. Like the food pyramid that we were taught in elementary school. Vegetables, fruits, grains, and meats for every non-vegetarian and non-vegan out there. A full meal of food, three times a day, maybe with some dessert or a snack if you get hungry again. However, I also believe that you should be physically active. That should naturally counter a balanced diet, so that you stay at a healthy weight and have a healthy life.

     If you don't eat, if you force yourself to throw up, or if you eat insane amounts of food to where you get sick- you are giving your life to the eating disorder and whatever caused it. You are giving up everything you have, because if you don't get it under control, you will die. And then, even if you don't care if you hurt yourself, you cannot imagine how much you will hurt the people who love you. Do you really want them all to think "I wish I could have saved him/her." or "I didn't realize they were so sick. I should have paid more attention and done something."

     Let me put it this way:
     If you don't fight to be healthy, then who or what caused the eating disorder will win and they will have successfully made sure that you can't come back stronger than ever. You're strong enough to have survived this far and you are the only one who can save yourself now. Don't you dare let something like food ruin everything for you.


P.S. Here is the phone number to NEDA 
1-800-931-221-800-931-2237 or you can go to nationaleatingdisorders.org and find a local support group.
The suicide hotline number in the US is 
1-800-273-82551-800-273-8255
The suicide hotline number in the UK is 
+44 (0) 8457 90 90 90+44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (local rate) or
+44 (0) 8457 90 91 92+44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (minicom)
 If you have any other numbers, treatment centers, or websites from your part of the world, please comment them below and say where it works for. You could save a life.

12 comments:

  1. Great post! I went through a couple periods of time when I didn't eat. I was about 19 the first time and I was having a hard time when I went away to school overseas. I was depressed. I didn't think I needed to lose weight, but it seemed the one thing in my life I could control was food. I chose to not eat. When I came home from school, I weighed 98 pounds (I'm 5'4"). I still remember the look of concern on my dad's face when he picked me up from the airport. I continued a pattern of eating normally for a while and then not eating for a while until I got pregnant the first time. It's been 12 years since I've done the whole starvation thing. Now I weigh more, but I'm probably healthier. Great post!

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    1. From what I've been told, eating disorders and control are closely related. I'm glad that you're healthy now. 98 is really low for 5'4". I'm actually 5'5" or so (I suppose I should have said in my post but I didn't think of it, since most of my heights are unknown when it happened). There are so many more things to control in your life, even if it feels like everything is uncontrollable. I think that the need to control can be turned around. Instead of controlling food, control the disorder to take away its power. I will never say that it's an easy thing but I believe that it can be done.

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  2. I can't really speak on eating disorders, but I'm just fortunate that I was raised from an early age to appreciate healthy foods and to treat junk food as exactly that... a treat.

    I know many people my age who were raised on McDonalds and are not only severely overweight, but find themselves fighting tooth and nail because healthy food tastes awful to them. Junk food is all they know, and eating anything else is just pure torture.

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    1. When I was little, I had fast food so rarely I would ask for fruit instead of chicken nuggets or fries. My dad always wanted to eat it but my mom made sure to give me healthy food because she saw my grandmother struggle with eating habits forced on her as a child. I don't think it's fair to the kid not to raise them to live a heathy life. It not only affects that kid but their kids as well. I understand not wanting to cook but if you're feeding somebody else, you have to do it for their sake.

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  3. Unfortunately, society's views on what a female body should look like, encourages eating disorders. Thanks for sharing these help sources!

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    1. Add the pressure to be thin to the pressure of every day life and its not surprising so many people have an eating disorder. What's surprising is society still encourages it and then blames the victim. Where is the support and belief that everyone is born to be different and healthy, not bones with a layer of skin.

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  4. My heart goes out to anyone with an eating disorder. It's one of the hardest to overcome because you need food to survive.

    Elsie
    AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

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    1. I saw a post saying "With drugs and alcohol, you can quit cold turkey, but with an eating disorder not eating is the problem". It doesn't mean an eating disorder is easier to handle than any other disorder or addiction, but I think it points out just how different and how dangerous it is.

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  5. When I weighed about 90 pounds (in seventh grade and was 5'5") my mom said my legs were too big for me to wear a short skirt. When I was a senior in high school, anorexia was a new term. A boy asked me if I was one of those girls with the disease that kept me from eating. Willy Dunne Wooters says that with my mom in my life I didn't need enemies. When I finally gained weight during my late forties from taking a medication that made me crave carbs, X told me I didn't realize how "big" I was. When I had problems with my feet from standing on a cement floor at work, he screamed at me that I should look in the mirror and that my feet hurt because I was so fat. It was strange because he'd been more than 100 pounds overweight for many years. He delighted in torturing me. I've lost some weight and Willy Dunne Wooters loves me exactly the way I am. He begs me all the time not to become too thin.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Janie, your mom and your ex are dickwads that I want to punch in the face. I'm sorry if you find that offensive but NOBODY should EVER be talked to like that. You deserve so much more, so much better. It seems like Willy is your Prince Charming and that you're lucky to have him- but he's even luckier than you survived so that he can have you. If he ever says one bad thing to you, I know where my roommate keeps the freshly sharpened knives and my friends come first.

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  6. You've gone to the mat on this eating/under weight-over weight thing. Good for you for standing your ground and getting control over your weight and your life. I was always a skinny kid until I hit puberty and then fat just piled on. The fatter I got the more I ate. I was miserable. Then somewhere about 16 or 17 all of that stopped. Who knows why. I've never had a problem since. I eat healthy food. I eat whatever I want, but I never go above 105.

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    1. My mom was always tiny and doesn't gain weight. Even when she had me, she ate so much at a buffet that she was asked to leave, but she didn't look pregnant until she was like 7 months along. Some people just don't gain weight, while some can't lose it. As long as its at a healthy weight, that's good. Otherwise, a doctor needs to be involved.

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