Part 1 of my story of how I developed & overcame anorexia…..
Here’s some background on me….I grew up doing dance, I played soccer k-8th grade, I ran cross country my first two years of high school….As a young kid I loved sweets, I come from an Italian home and I never thought much about nutrition. I was just active and I ate food.
During my Junior year I stopped all activities and just got busy working, because you start to make money you want to keep making money. The problem was I didn’t change what I was eating to accommodate being inactive. SO I started to feel fluffy, sluggish, had less energy and just uncomfortable in my own skin. My weight got up to 115 and for me 5’2 at that time I felt gross…..
At some point during my junior year of school I did start to have lots of Digestive issues. I went for lots of tests and they found I had IBS and was lactose intolerant. I didn’t change much of diet but I did remove dairy which wasn’t hard since I didn’t eat much dairy to begin with. I also drank a lot of the weekends….yup I lived on booze and cigaretts when I hung out with my friends…not exactly healthy living….
By the end of Junior year I decided to make some changes. I began getting up everyday at 5 am and just doing squats, sit ups, jumping jacks etc at home. I had no idea how to “workout or what a workout should look like but I was moving. I then started to eat more veggies and fruit. I took a nutrition class and learned how to read a food label and started educating myself on healthy living. I only drank occasionally and I stopped smoking daily because it made me light headed.
I still wasn’t educated enough so I tried those HORRIBLE and unhealthy SLIMFAST shakes…YUCK!!!!! I also tried some of those weight loss pills like Exenadrine and Hydroxycut……but eventually stopped because they made me shake and my heart race uncontrollably….so please don’t take them….
I then just started to make daily improvements on my food.I took a lot of things that I had learned from my previous cross-country coach, plus from the nutrition class at school. I was moving daily eating better and feeling the best I had in a long time.
A big change was coming…..going off to school to become a school teacher. I was nervous since I was always a homebody. Even though the school was only an hour away but it felt like a really long way from home.I was much shier then and very much an introvert. So being far away from home for the first time, adjusting to school (which I was never very good at) I think I took on a lot of internal stress, and my type-a personality and perfectionist kicked in.
So since other things were changing and somewhat out of control as the fall semester went on I was definitely losing weight but I wasn’t mentally trying to or aware that I was losing weight. Regardless…..i had lost weight. I was exercising daily and watching what I ate…but I was restricting.
I went home for the holidays and my older brother was the first to make a comment about my weight being low. He said something like how are you not eating at school or are they starving you? I told him he was crazy obviously I was eating. I had also been having roommate issues and my living situation felt like hell. Fast forward to spring break. My weight was significantly lower. I was more restrictive on the types of foods I would eat. While I was home I also picked up a few shifts as a hostess at the restaurant I worked at in high school. Many of the employees there did not welcome me back with warm greetings but instead we’re making comments about my weight, staring me down from their sections. I couldn’t wait to get back to school. Because at that moment it seemed better than staying here.
During the spring semester I was in a writing class where we had to write a research paper…We could choose our own topic. I now believe it was a God Ordained thing. I chose the topic of Anorexia. I didn’t know much about it but it interested me. I had several friends in high school that bulimic and anorexic. I actually purged a few times in high school but I never liked the way it made me feel. I was just very interested in the whole world of anorexia like how could that happen, how does someone not eat at all?
As I was doing my research I started to read about the side effects of anorexia. I’m reading these things and thinking…..huh, I have that, that happens to me, Ive noticed that…. I started to realize like oh crap I have lost weight and I have many of these symptoms. So, I was trying to just GET BETTER on my own. I shared with my bible study group how much I actually hated spring break and how everyone made me feel. She asked me to stay after the group to chat. She told me that I had a problem and I was not going to be able to fix it on my own. She shared that she used to have a problem and she got help.
So the next day she walked with me over to the school counselors office.
For how my life changed check out part 2…..