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Food Extinguishes my Fire.

by Valerie
(Ottawa, Canada)

I'm a carb junkie.Cereal is SO readily available. All the time.

I'm a carb junkie.Cereal is SO readily available. All the time.

This....Is DESTROYING me.

It started off with good intent. Lose the belly pudge that stubbornly,(and cheeseidly) followed me into my mid-teens. Enough was enough, I was going to lose it and feel better about how I looked.

New-found running capability became apparent, and finally, FINALLY, I stopped sucking in my gut. Within the same week a couple of months after I had started, I not only felt like my efforts were paying off, and the weight was coming off....and I felt like I was useless because I remained so stubbornly fat.

I had this friend who had a thin curvy body, and she ate like a pig! I was so mad I couldn't look like her, despite my hard work and suffering. Hell, running on a treadmill alone in a cold basement isn't fun!

So I decided that what I was doing wasn't yielding results fast enough. Time to get serious. Did I ramp up my running to push myself past what I thought I could do? Haha, no. "How many hours can I go without putting more food in my body?" "Let's walk at a faster pace; it'll burn more calories. Look, they're walking faster than me. Not for long." "I'm not having dinner NOW! I have to run in 10 minutes!"

Admittedly, eating dinner was a must so my parents wouldn't find out I was restricting more and more, and since I'm short, people have longer strides than I.

Sigh, skipping over the ED I, ugh, preferred in terms of results, my family, mostly brother, kept making comments that I was "too skinny." I did not need that. I was already eating more because I didn't want to let a friend down, or worry her. That ribbon I kept drawing on my wrist? It reminded me I was eating for someone else. You thought it looked cheap? It was saving my life.

Back to the point. They didn't like what I had worked SO hard for? Fine, I'll eat till I'm fat enough for them. After I confessed that binge to my mom, she agreed she'd stop commenting about my size if I started weighing myself, and went to the doctor.

But it had started. My first binge.

Of course, I was underweight. But with eating regularly, even if not enough, I felt fine. Energetic enough to run and do karate. My period had stopped coming....but that was it!

I made no effort to gain more weight, but binges started coming more often. Especially after I had given up running when I realized it was taking over my mind.

I had some friends I lost over the months I struggled with the worst of dieting and running, and I was hurt they moved on without me because I couldn't see past my condition. And that made me lonely, and for some reason only God knows, I turned to food to fill that loneliness. Not writing, not my dog, not community work, but food.

At some point of my roller coaster of control, I actually managed to gain...more weight than I would've ever liked to. Xlbs, I think. The doctor was happy, and my mom was glad I was regular again, but I was disgusted. I did not want to be in ANY of the green for an average girl my age & height. I resolved to lose some of the weight. Not all, because my mom WAS worried, but 8 lbs. To hell with my body having the capability to conceive kids.

But, that just sent me into a relapse of my restricting. I was going to the gym every day, often more than once, and skipping lunch, tiny dinners... I had to be better for my friend. I couldn't let her down. so, just 6lbs. My hunger led to over-eating, and deciding I COULD eat again led to binging. I couldn't believe I was so stuck in my loop. After one particular binge, I just had to get out.

After spending 4 hours pouring out everything into a journal, I told my parents of my lack of control. They don't know I had (have?) anorexic tendencies, but they, not really understanding, decided I should keep a food journal for a week. After 2 or 3 bad days, I started feeling guilty of what they'd see when they read it. I managed to not binge, and that combined with time at the gym finally started to give me results in my weight loss! Xlbs finally!

But then...I spent a week-one week-at a friend's cottage, and gained it back. Then, discouraged, in the month and a half that followed, I managed to gain 2-6 MORE. I...I'm kind of avoiding the scale, so I don't know how much exactly.

Ugh...writing that down, and feeling the chocolate in my stomach right now is making me feel physically sick. But I wouldn't throw up. I've tried before; I get too scared. Gosh I wish I could sometimes.

I have some friends now, who don't know, but they still like me. But they're also pretty lethargic. I'm falling into a pattern again. I thought I was getting better, I FELT like I was getting better, but there's nothing better about not eating for 2 days, or eating, *inhale* a muffin, a small cookie pizza, two bowls of cereal with what was supposed to be a healthy apple and yogurt,diving into the chip bag, polishing off the caramels and Girl Guide cookies, and a french vanilla cappuchino on top of that, all in one, not pleasant day. No, that's a lie. I made that pizza with someone I like, and the cookie(s)& caramels were after going to see a spectacular show with my mom.

IF NOT SADNESS/LONELINESS, WHY DO I KEEP BINGING?? I hate how it makes me look, and hate how it makes me feel. I feel guilty and sick(literally usually), and have such a negative energy. I want so bad to just ENJOY my "golden years" (god I hope that's not true, cuz this really sucks), but I can't do that if I'm constantly pinching fat, or feel too full to move, OR too weak from lack of food. It's not like I can just stop eating, sadly, because that's another dangerous habit of mine.

I decline food, I take it and feel god-awful. I shy away from eating in front of others, I feel shame when they see me only have one apple at lunch. I'm out of shape because of binging, but I'm scared to get trapped in exercise dependence again. I CAN'T LIVE MY LIFE LIKE THIS. And that's what scares, and pisses me off the most. The fact that I might let life pass me by because of this obsession.

There's someone wonderful for someone else hidden under here. But she doesn't get to shine. Not anymore...

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program