Sunday, February 27, 2011

Damn Cookies...Ice Cream...Cinnamon Rolls...

I have slender friends. Friends with amazing bodies that match their beautiful minds and personalities. Sometimes I hear those friends talk despairingly (is that a word?) about how much they hate their bodies and think they're too fat. And all I can think is, "If you think you're fat, then when you look at me you must think I'm a freaking whale..."

But that's not true. We all look at ourselves so differently than we look at anyone else. We hold ourselves to a tougher standard. It's just human nature. I'm human, for sure.

When I was in high school, for a while I was anorexic (well, mostly anorexic-I ate something, but barely anything, so I think starving myself counts regardless). I wouldn't eat breakfast, I would go to work or school and eat "lunch", which usually consisted of some lettuce or a diet soda, and then I would go home and tell Mim that I had eaten a big lunch and wasn't hungry. I would also exercise a lot...A LOT...and let me tell you, I looked GOOD. But I never felt good. And I always hated myself.

Then one day I just couldn't handle it anymore. The pressure to be thin, combined with the immense amount of pressure I put on myself to excel in school, and the stress and heartache originating at home broke me, and I broke down into tears and told Mim everything. I remember how she hugged me and comforted me, and she made me feel like I was beautiful no matter what and she was proud of me for being strong enough to admit it and want to get help.

A lot of things drove me to it. Look up eating disorders in a book somewhere and you'll see my chubby face. For a while I thought I had moved past it, but it keeps rearing its ugly head over and over and over again, except for now, instead of anorexia, I have a problem with binge eating (and unfortunately, I can't force myself to purge, so I just stay fat). I do have one friend in my life (anonymous, for now at least) that also suffers from emotional eating problems/eating disorders, and we talk about it a lot, and I tell her things I wouldn't admit to other people (except the whole internet, apparently, because here you go), such as that I wish I could throw up after eating, or I wish I could just not eat, or I wish I could eat a freaking tapeworm (they used to do that, you know) (it's extremely tempting, though it can kill you) (plus then there's a worm inside you, eew).

I feel the need to eat. So I eat. Then, I feel disgusted with myself. But the need to eat is so strong, and I feel helpless to fight it. And after I eat, I feel like a complete failure for not stopping myself. I feel like I should be stronger. I feel like I should have the willpower. I feel like, even though things have happened to me in the past that have been hard for me and left scars that may never fade, I have a great life now and my feelings (and eating habits) should reflect that. BUT, I'm broken. So freaking broken. And I have no idea what to do about it.


magnolia said...

oh, hon. i know this all too well. interestingly, my saving grace in the whole starving-myself thing is that when i do it, i get psychiatric symptoms that scare me into staying on the right path.

i got thin the first time in college while starving myself. i was also vaguely psychotic at that time, so it "worked" for me. smart, successful women have so much stress. this is where it works itself out, i think. ugh.

Anna W said...

At least I'm not alone, right?


Kim said...

I don't have the same exact food issues, but I have body image issues, so I can relate on that field.

I'm sorry you're going through this and that you've had to go through it for a long time. I'm sure it has made your life really difficult at times.

I'm going to be honest--the only thing other than meds that has helped me with my issues is therapy. A good dose of "Health At Every Size" literature has made the path a little less rocky as well. But therapy is amazing. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend it.

I'll be thinking about you.

JRose said...

Reading this (and the corresponding links):

and this:

Always helps me when I start getting disordered... which happens so much less now than it did once upon a time.