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Ruining my Dreams

by Kenzie
(Vail. CO)

Hi Shaye!

Thank you so much for this site :). It has helped me in so many ways and it is so comforting to be able to relate so well to your stories. It always seemed as though no one would ever understand what I was going through. Thank you thank you thank you!

My story started 5 years ago when I joined cross country my senior year in high school. I have always been in sports and have tried every one out there. I did well for my first year ever running and I was hooked. I loved the sport so much. Then I really took my running seriously, which was rare for my usual goofy demeanor with everything. I definitely don’t have the typical runners body. I started thinking if I could lose some weight and look like those girls, I would get faster. I have never had great self esteem. I also am very critical of myself and am a perfectionist when it comes to school and my own life so I strived to be good at everything. I started restricting most foods and was not eating near as much as I should have. (I used to only have a bowl of cooked spinach for dinner). The weight came off and I was running fast. My plan was perfect. (little did I know, I was on my way to a destructive eating disorder) Then one day I was at a team dinner and I ate so much pasta and 3 brownies. I felt really uncomfortably full. I couldn’t gain weight! I had to get rid of it somehow, so I decided I would throw it up, just this once. I felt so much better. My bulimia continued from there. I went on to run competitively in college and switched between mild anorexia and bulimia. The next few years were Hell.

My junior year was the worst though. Thoughts about food ruled my mind every second. It didn’t help that we would have to run in our sports bras and have body fat checks every week. I couldn’t handle it. The sport I used to love was now fueling my ED and ruining my life. I also had a lot of other stress added to my life, like the death of a friend, my family moved, and my boyfriend was a jerk. Between running and everything else, eventually my bulimia got out of control and I started getting hurt all the time, because my body couldn’t handle the stress of digesting, let alone trying to run. I got depressed and the binges and purges just got worse. I was skipping class to go b/p and doing it from the minute I woke up until I attempted to fall asleep. I was not going to practice anymore and my life was quickly slipping away. My body was deteriorating and I was treating it with disrespect everyday. I became isolated, I had to quit running my junior year, and my grades plummeted. I had to drop out of school after my junior year (last April) because I couldn’t handle the stress of school, my ED and depression. I lost my running and my scholarship, I lost my boyfriend, I lost school, lots of friends, and worried my family. This year off, I have slowly been recovering. The past 4 months particularly I have devoted my time to recovery and that is all. I have only purged 20 times in 4 months! I still binge and feel incredibly guilty and have gained a lot of weight. I don’t run anymore because I am afraid to. The hardest thing for me has been opening up to people and even this was hard to write :).

I told my roommate and my mom and they are the only two who know. I lied to my coach and classmates that I was taking a year off to make money when they asked why I didn’t return this year. My mom didn’t do a single thing and is so awkward around anything to do with food when I’m around. I think she still thinks it is about willpower or something and is so ignorant to the whole thing. It’s hard to be around her because it makes me feel anxious and want to b/p. How do I get my mom to understand what I have been going through and let her know it is a serious mental illness? Also, as good as it has been for me to take a break from running, I miss it and I want to start it again for me and just to try to enjoy it again. How do you think I should approach incorporating running into my recovery? It was part of the main problem of this ED, so I am afraid if I start thinking about it again, I will just relapse again.

It has been exiting recovering and I know I still have a long way to go but I feel confident that it will happen someday. Thanks for listening <3. You are such an inspiration.

~Kenzie

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of your-bulimia-recovery.com
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community


The Bulimia Recovery Program