Tag Archives: purging

Overheard

I was standing in line at the DMV and the lady next to me was renewing her license. She was asked to look over her information.

“It’s correct except I don’t weigh 50kgs anymore.”

My ears started flapping, but I prevented myself from turning to stare at her. No one wants to be gawked at like a freak on a Tuesday afternoon.

“Ok how much do you weigh now?”

“I think, maybe 60kgs?”

She doesn’t look self conscious. She doesn’t giggle shyly or hang her head ashamed. No one can say for sure, but to an onlooker it seems like she gained 10kgs and that is just fine. Normal. Unremarkable. Not noteworthy.

I have never put my correct weight on my driver’s license. I always lowball – within REASON.

At ballet school we were taught to subtract 10lbs from our actual weight when asked for an audition. As a rule of thumb I have continued to do this because it seems REASONABLE. Reasonable to lie about my weight because no number is ever really acceptable.

Today I went to get a cup of coffee in the mall and a shop employee was hob nobbing with the barista. No one can say for sure, but she looked like she was afflicted with the rex. I had admired her skeletal like arms as she handed me my coffee with trembling hands and a smile that lit up her pale, hollowed out face.

The shop employee was showing the barista his lunch. She looked at it like a maniac. Like she was fascinated and revolted at the same time.

“I’m not going to eat all of it now,” he informed her and her co-coffee worker. “I guess I’m telling you so that you don’t laugh at my fat ass.”

The other barista comments on how she likes to tell herself she will save food for later and then eats it all in one sitting instead. I’m stirring my coffee slowly, deliberately eavesdropping.

The rexy barista hasn’t moved. She is in the same spot still transfixed by this lunch that has wandered in to high jack her shift.

He gets his coffee from skinny and skinnier behind the espresso machine and looks at his lunch with unbridled delight.

“I’m only 15lbs away from my goal weight anyway.”

I pick up my coffee and stroll out into the banal abyss of mall. I take my extra 15 pounds of “baby” weight with me. My extra 15 pounds of sleepless nights, more calories for breastfeeding, anxiety, bad day with the babies, hormonal, postpartum, non exercising excuses, sneaky glasses of wine and a few too many chocolate binges of baby weight.

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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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Business As Usual

I want to say something profound, but there is nothing new.

I have gained weight.

I am starving.

And bingeing.

And purging.

And dying.

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Coping

I have been slowly falling back into my ED habits. I say slowly because part of me is not sure if this is going to set off another bout of kidney issues. I am consciously restricting (although it is not very severe at the moment) and the purging is becoming more regular. Thankfully, my binges are not of epic proportions at the moment, so it is easier to hide. The few months of not engaging in ED behaviours when I thought that was causing my kidney problems, are over. I am so thankful to be able to cope for now. Tonight I knew dinner was going to be purged. My plan was to come home and not eat after being disgusted by myself all day. Lately, I have become more aware of myself size-wise and the usual loathing for the sight of my naked flesh is back. It started with a photograph of me in a bridesmaid dress that I will be wearing in June. I was blown away by how huge I was. “Beached whale” sprang to mind and has not left since. The last month I have been suffering terrible distress over my relationship and it’s never-ending complications and drama. I found that purging eased my anxiety. There are only so many nights you can freak out, sob yourself to sleep and expect your boyfriend to remain understanding. Part of my distress is that I think there are things he doesn’t understand or doesn’t care to.

On Saturday night we were out for dinner with 3 other couples and their kids. We got to the restaurant and everyone was picking their seats when my boyfriend suddenly disappeared. He was outside on the phone to the mother of his daughter and it drove me insane. For the two hours that we were out as a family, he had to go outside so that his child could talk to her mom because it would be totally unreasonable for her to wait until the morning. I understand that I am just supposed to “get it” and go along with it, but I lost my mind. Everyone else was sitting there with their partner and mine was nowhere to be seen. Rude to our friends and more than rude to me and I have no intention of tolerating it. The situation is so ridiculous and yet even more is asked of me. Every few days it is a massive ordeal of me breaking down, crying and having to explain it to him. I know it can’t go on like this. If he doesn’t eventually get it without me having to point out every unreasonable thing that I’m just expected to tolerate, then I can’t survive. I figured he knew how much he had to ask of someone to be with him in his situation and that would mean that every effort would be made to make it bearable not the opposite.

Back to ED. We got back from the restaurant on Saturday evening, he went to put his child to bed and I went to throw up. The relief was immediate. I remembered why purging works: the numbness after. Tonight, after eating dinner, despite my intentions not to (mmm…pasta), I waited for him to take his daughter for a bath. Bath time upsets me because I can’t be a part of it. It is the time when she calls her mother (and they all pretend I don’t exist) and I am left to clean up dinner and the kitchen, parent the other child who barely gets a look in, tidy up and make lunches for school. It upsets me, but then what part of sharing my boyfriend’s time and attention with his kids and their mothers doesn’t upset me? So tonight I waited til bath time knowing that as usual, he is so focused on her that I can get away with whatever I want and he will never notice. I glugged a couple of glasses of wine (which I know I should give up, but I can’t) and purged dinner while he was upstairs with his child and I was quietly “not existing”.

It is the only way I know how to cope. It will mean that I, and more importantly we, can survive this.

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Dying to Live

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“The truth is, I don’t think that you are going to live very long,” he told me last night. He said it just like that. This man pressed all the wrong kinds of buttons and even though I was crying uncontrollably, I asked him to drive me home. “I just want to help you get better. Why are you running away?”

Because the truth hurts. This week I had the same thought about dying – I just won’t admit it to him. I lay writhing in agony after a particularly bad binge that followed on the heels of an insane amount of laxatives being put into my system. My kidneys hurt all the time. My legs cramp. My stomach aches excruciatingly. Suddenly it occurred to me that I might kill myself (unintentionally). I lay in the dark, alone, and wept for home and for my mother. I want so badly to live; to love life; to be free. Dying would be a terrible mistake. It is not at all what I intend to do.

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