Category Archives: weight

Undefined

I am triggered by everything:

A photo of dancers I used to idolize when I was 16 and starving, desperate to be even half as skinny as they were and still are. I scroll past them. My brain does a double take. I back track. I scrutinize their emaciated arms, their collar bones, their sunken cheek bones. They are all smiles, superior in their anorexia, mocking me. Twenty years have gone by and they are still thinner than thin.

I see my reflection in an unsafe mirror…so that’s what thighs and hips and stomachs look like after two babies in quick succession – well mine anyway. A vast, mass of undefined lard, rolling and oozing and overflowing, fleshy like raw dumplings, doughy like unbaked bread, ever expanding…never ending. Never ceasing to amaze me in horror to fascinate me as I stare. “Is that really me?” I don’t recognize myself, this untamed, unmanageable, out of control lump. I don’t fit into my clothes or my brains neatly, compartmentalized boxes: bulimic ballerina has been replaced with fat stay-at-home-mum. Fat, frumpy, fleshy, unfit to be a mother or an anorexic.

I read an ED memoir a friend lends me. I stop. I put it away on a shelf where I cannot see it. I pick it back up a week later. It makes me remember that I used to purge just as easily as I breathed. After this long, would I even notice if it crept back in? If I slipped a couple of times that were more intentional than unintentional? After all, there are days where I seamlessly substitute my calories as I go. Latte? No, americano. Vegan mayo? No, mustard. Salad dressing? Not necessary. More pasta? No, more veggies. Two slices of toast? No, three quarters of one slice is more than enough for breastfeeding two babies. I shake so much, so often from hunger. I don’t get any thinner.

I don’t want to think of the other bad days where I unintentionally eat two muffins instead of one. When I eat half a bag of chocolate chips and then wonder why I’m carrying this “baby weight” 7 Months later. I’m surprised when these things happen. Half a packet of digestive biscuits later I am unsure where I went wrong. But I’ve never pretended to know so why start now?

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Postpartum Take 2

I had another baby.

A year after our first baby, we welcomed another baby girl. It’s been a whirlwind journey. I had visions of continuing this blog after the first baby, but took an unplanned hiatus. I didn’t have anything to say some days. Other days I had so much to say, I was too overwhelmed to know where to start. Every time I tried I couldn’t find the words.

I wanted to express what it was like to be pregnant, to give birth, to become a Mum, to breastfeed and raise a baby while trying to beat ED into submission.

I hope to tell those stories from not one, but two pregnancies now. I made it through both of them without restricting or bingeing or purging. They were both so different and I can’t pretend that I was ED free entirely because the running dialogue in my head throughout reminded me that in the shadows it was lurking there, in the bright moments, the extreme joyousness, the overwhelming and the trying times, I was never far from it. Even now it dogs me.

I will begin again to speak of it. I will tell the story, the dark parts that I wish my daughters will never know.

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hey fatty…

This is how I wake myself up: 

 

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Words of wisdom from a friend. 

  

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Bereft

I have been back nearly two weeks. They have been a blur of emotions and days and I cannot quite recall them in minute detail. 
I have existed: gone through the motions, done what’s expected of me at work or home. 
I have not eaten. I have eaten too much. I am now full of emptiness; of leavings and longings and loss. 

In the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep (too scared to close my eyes, too numb to keep them open), I wandered into the kitchen in my underwear and started foraging for food. 

The sight of my mostly naked body was simply an annoyance. Instead of halting me, it spurred me on. I made pasta without thinking about it. I could have gone to sleep hungry, but instead I started looking for comfort in carbohydrates, for happiness in the bubbling tomato sauce and for love in the soft, melting cheese. I let it caress my insides with warmth. I let it soothe me. I ate sitting on the floor with my fat rolling out around my panties and bra, cushioning the agony, shielding me from the dying sensation that will not leave me alone. 

I sobbed into some wine. I wailed in a bubble bath. Tears and snot and mascara mingling with the grimy water, dull as my soul. 

I am a tomb of nothingness. 

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Post ED Assessment

They weigh me – backwards, of course.

They take my blood pressure: lying down and then standing up. The nurse watches me as standing up gives me a head rush and raises her eyebrow as I put my hand out to steady myself.

They check my urine for hydration levels because of all the purging.

They do blood tests and look at my electrolyte levels…because of all the purging.

They check my teeth and my throat…again, because of the purging. They poke me and prod me, feeling my stomach, listening to my heart.

They turn the heater on because I am freezing in my hospital gown. What a cliché. All the patients here are freezing, shivering, wasting away.

They give me endless papers to fill out. I have to rate my quality of life with ED, my body dissatisfaction, my mood swings, my anxiety, food obsessing.

They ask questions. They ask more questions. I go through the last 20 disordered years, dredging up stuff I have buried under tonnes of pasta. At one point I cry unexpectedly. I minimize and deflect. I confess to feeling guilty for wasting time and resources that could be better spent on other people. I admit to being embarrassed that I am not thin enough or sick enough to be here. I tell them that I honestly don’t believe this outpatient program will “cure” me.

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Paying For My Mistakes

 

My mother warned me when I was young that my ED would cause my kidneys to fail.

I’m scared. I went to hospital again on Tuesday for the same kidney infection that I have had since October. Despite IV antibiotics, this is the third time in as many months that I am being treated for the same thing. It won’t go away and I don’t know why. I am wait listed to see a specialist and in the mean time, I keep getting sick and it is terrifying.

Last time I was in hospital the doctor warned me that I could go into renal failure. It scared me enough to stop purging because of the extra stress that puts on my kidneys. I tried purging twice after my last hospital stint and was in so much pain the next day that I haven’t purged again in a month. Not purging has triggered all sorts of ED anxiety over weight gain. It has, however stopped me from bingeing which in the long run is a good thing.

I have been so sick that I haven’t been able to work out in nearly 2 months now. I am starting to realize just how much this is impacting my quality of life. On Tuesday I sat in the ER crying. I am too young to be losing out on life because I am sick all the time. We couldn’t go out for New Year’s Eve because I was sick. I have had to miss out on so many things in the last couple of months  – work included – because I am so ill.

I started to panic that this may somehow be the unraveling of everything. All the years of abuse have finally caught up with me and my body is breaking down. I never loved myself enough to care and now that I love someone else and want a life with them, I am facing the reality of paying for what I have done. Last night I lay in bed with my boyfriend, the anxiety suffocating me. We are talking about moving in together, getting married and having children. I silently wonder if I am about to lose him and all we are dreaming of because of my ED. The irony of it is not lost on me. This man loves me enough to give me the life I have always wanted. I don’t even want to voice these thoughts and fears to him. Last night I told him I was so scared. “I am scared for you too,” he said.

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The Skinny

 

I fit into my skinny jeans. I haven’t been able to wear them for 18 months. I am down nearly 20lbs since June. I really want to lose just 10-15lbs more.

My latest hospital stint set back my gym time and training, but on the plus side I didn’t eat much.

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Insults and Insensitivity

 

My boyfriend informs me that he feels insulted when I say that I am fat or ugly. He says it is as though I am questioning his judgement (which I am). He says that he is so infatuated with my naked body (cue some non-self-induced barfing) as well as in love with me and that it hurts him to hear the negative comments.

Later on I think about the conversation, feel bad, eat my feelings and throw them up. Problem solved.

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