Stopping this spiral

It’s happening again. I am obsessing over food. I am restricting. I can’t think anymore. Food is on my mind all day.

I want to cry and scream and make it stop. I am so sick of living this way!

I am going to try. I need to try.

I need to fight back against anorexia. Ed is so loud and he needs to shut up. I am going to fight. I am going to reach out. I can’t fall again. I have to keep going, for my family, for my treatment team, for my support, for my girls, for all the people who love me, for the girls I met in treatment, for myself.

Telling the girls

I was planning on posting about this yesterday and then today and now even though Ed has me in a sour mood I won’t let him ruin my happiness from yesterday.

Moving on, yesterday started out pretty good but I woke up after barely any sleep and with tons of anxiety. I went to church alone but joined a few other “orphans” so I didn’t have to sit by myself. I immediately found Kim after church and flipped out had her reassure me it would be okay and finalized a time for our outing. I helped with Sunday school  then headed home until the outing.

Kim is amazing. I may say this about 27  times this post but seriously, it’s true. She’s very insightful and could tell I was still anxious. Her daughter Jamie*, Amber*, and Claire* were the only girls who showed up (out of 7 total). This actually was a huge blessing and I know God planned it that way. Jamie came up with the idea to go to Starbucks and Amber announced that it was adoption day at Petco so Kim quickly decided we had to do both. This gave me an extra hour or so until we went to the beach and I truly appreciate her for that.

We headed out to Starbucks and got our drinks, then went off to Petco. I think we  probably spent close to 45 minutes there. It was so so fun! There were tons of kittens and we stopped to pet each one of course. Having that extra time to just relax calmed my nerves a ton.

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It was the perfect day for going to the park and beach. We had a nice walk through the woods that took quite a while since Kim stopped us for pictures a ton :). The whole time was lighthearted and all of us were laughing and smiling. Once we reached the beach we spent some time soaking in the sun and scenery. Something about the waves and beachy air calmed my nerves more. After we got a few more pictures, Kim kind of nudged me to say it was time to tell them. Thankfully, a picnic table up on the walkway was free so we took camp up there.

Kim started us off in a lovely prayer and then explained that I would be sharing my story. I was a little shaky and fumbled words, but I got through nearly all of what I wrote. Ed was screaming at me the whole time. That on top of the uncomfortable feeling that being so vulnerable gives you made it tough. I wanted to discredit myself afterwards but Kim wouldn’t let me. She kept gong on about how proud she was of me and how well i did.

After I was done the girls didn’t have too much to ask so we headed back. I chatted with Kim on the walk back while the girls stayed behind and talked together. We all jumped back in the car and went to my house.

Originally they were just dropping me off but it turned into a half hour ordeal because I had to show them Mr. Milo :). It was a great way to end. We needed something a little more lighthearted after all of the negativity an eating disorder involves.

The true highlight of yesterday was when Claire commented/texted me about the afternoon. She thanked me again and again for sharing my story, told me she loved getting to know me, that I was part of their little family now, and said that all of the girls would be helping me on Friday when there’s food at the lock in. That made me cry and I still am so happy thinking about it. I know this was the right thing to do.

Overall, I am glad I did this. It needed to come out and the girls reacted so well. I still will have to share with the remaining four girls but I’m not scared fr it. I pray that God can use this struggle as a way for the girls to connect with me or open discussion in our small groups. I am not letting Satan destroy me through this disorder anymore and now I have even more support behind me to fight it.

*I am using pseudonyms for the girls to protect their identities

What will you gain when you lose?

So many advertisements, celebrities, etc claim that simply by losing weight you will acquire confidence, beauty, attention, power, and more. While there may be a few “lucky” ones who are able to lose weight the healthy way and do gain those things, it isn’t always the case.

I was one of those who didn’t end up so lucky. Like millions of others around the world, I developed an eating disorder. What you will gain from these diseases is nothing like what everyone wants you to believe about weight loss.

Your confidence will cease to exist. You will grow to hate your body and yourself. You won’t feel worthy of food or love or anything good at all. You will get so good at brushing off compliments that you won’t have to even think about it. Every chance you get you will tear yourself down even more.

You definitely will get beautiful, if you consider dull and thinning hair, cracked nails, rotting teeth, huge dark circles under your eyes, fine hair all over your body, dry skin, and jutting bones pretty.

For those people who wanted more attention from weight loss, an eating disorder will help you get it. As you slowly waste away, you will grow accustomed to the worried looks of friends and family. Soon, all that will be on other’s minds is your eating habits and weight. All the loose clothing and excuses in the world won’t stop them from commenting.

At first, there is an illusion of gaining power a control through the eating disorder. You feel strong for denying hunger and exercising more than your body is meant to handle. Every time you listen to the eating disorder instead of your voice, the feeling grows stronger until eventually you don’t have any control at all.

A restrictive eating disorder may cause you to lose weight as you intended, but it will do so much more harm than good. Your body, mind, relationships, and future will suffer. Each day will be hell.

You will have to lie to anyone close to you. You will stay up late at night thinking of food and how to avoid it. You will become extremely isolated. You will always be cold no matter how warm it is. Every time you get up you will have to fight passing out. Sitting in a chair for more than five minutes will become impossible unless you don’t mind having your legs go to sleep. You will become extremely weak and will still force yourself to exercise. Concentrating on anything other than your eating disorder won’t happen, partly because the ED voice won’t let you and partly from malnutrition. You will get chest pains and wonder how much longer you can do this without your heart giving out. Depression and anxiety will be so high you might not care anyways.

Please, don’t let any internal or external pressure push you into an eating disorder. You are beyond incredible just the way you are. If you feel like yourself or someone you know is showing signs of an eating disorder, get help as soon as possible. It is so important to fight against the disordered thoughts and behaviors early instead of getting deeper into it.

Some websites with information on eating disorders and their treatment: