Thursday, July 17, 2014

I was always a pretty thin child, in fact, I would call myself the cutest child out of the eight of us. It wasn't until puberty that my body changed so quickly I could barely keep up. What should have and should always be a normal change in an adolescence's life quickly became a nightmare for me. I hated everything about my changing body, including the fact that I just couldn't eat what I wanted to anymore.

Around this same time (I was 11-years-old) I began dancing. I didn't dance for but a few years but learned quickly that in this type of field you needed to be skinny. This is when I got my first real taste of any type of eating disorder "lifestyle." For those who may have not really talked with someone who has had a serious eating disorder this is how we view our disease. We view it as a way of living. We view it as a way to control something when everything else seems to have gone through our fingertips; it's a way to keep something even if it's toxic.

So I started an anorexic lifestyle. I started by limiting my intake to 500 calories a day. This included an apple with a teaspoon of peanut butter, 1 piece of dried toast, and 2 diet sodas. I did this for several weeks with very few cheats in between. I started noticing changes within that week. I was thinning out and people were actually liking me more. There is something so wrong about this concept. The fact that people just like attractive and thinner people more. Maybe they seem more inviting? I don't know what it is, all I knew was that I liked the attention and that the more people complimented me on my weight loss the more I wanted it.

But. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love food. Like a lot. I love the textures. I love the smells. I love the different spices and combinations. I love to eat. I like to try new foods. This can be a big set back to any person trying to cut back their food. Within this time I started researching online different eating disorders. It was easy to research "pro-ana and pro-mia" sites. These were sites that were designed to encourage young men and woman (teenagers and anyone really) to continue on in this toxic lifestyle. They had "thinspiration" articles and pictures and even tips on how to get away with starving yourself or throwing up.

Thing it hit me. I could become bulimic. It sounded like the best of both worlds in regards to losing weight but still being able to "enjoy" food. But I also loved the control and power I felt by not eating. I decided to do both. I'd see how long I could go restricting my calorie intake/starving and than when I would have a binge (think hundreds of calories at a time) I'd throw it up.

Eventually binging and purging became my norm. I would eat and than have to go to the bathroom because my body became accustomed to just...throwing up. I lived this way from the age of 13 all the way up until I got pregnant with my first child, Kaidance. When I first got pregnant with her I was binging and purging after every meal. My OBGYN said I had to stop otherwise I could kill her. So I did. But it was so hard. I wanted to be thinner, skinny....I knew this child was going to change my body shape forever. And she did. Everything expanded. And I hated it.

As soon as she was born I went right back to my destructive and toxic lifestyle. This continued into my pregnancy with my second child Sophia. I was much worse in controlling my urges to starve/binge with her. While I rarely binged and purged there where times where I would go days without eating more than 300-500 calories. At one point Tony was nervous to leave me alone for Christmas (he went to see his family while I had to work) because he was afraid I would starve myself and hurt Sophia. God is so good and gracious in the fact that he spared her heath in all the stupid decisions I made in my pregnancy with her. Let me stress.....I was not starving myself to hurt her, or myself on purpose. Controlling what I ate, how I ate, when I ate, and even the amount that I ate was a control thing for me. I couldn't control certain areas (a lot of areas) in my life and so I controlled food.

I finally, after a lot of prayer and counseling was able to get this under control. Then I got pregnant with my third child Joseph. Even though God had healed me the temptation to fall back into this lifestyle is very real for me. It would be a lie to say that I don't go through seasons where I rarely eat. It's a way for me to cope with my stress and sometimes in extremely sad times or low periods in my life I will use this as a way to deal. God is always reminding me of my worth, and that my health is extremely important to Him. This includes how I eat.

This was heavily laid on my heart this past year after having Joseph. I started feeling those toxic feelings creep back in. I hate being unhealthy. I hate not being able to fit into my clothes and I hate being tired. I started working out in October of 2013 and thought, "I am going to be pre-pregnancy weight before he's one." When I gave birth to Joseph I weighed 210 pounds. Yep, I did. When I started my weight loss journey I weighed 195. 

I did really well from October to January. Really well. But than I started slacking off. I managed to lose 25lbs. I got done to 170. But I still felt blah. I began to try and discover what worked for me. Than I thought, "Why not give running a try, again." I ran with a running group at a local college I attended back when I was 16 (I graduated high school at 15) and so I knew that I could run, I just didn't know after all these years if I would be good at running. So I started running again.

I realized quickly that I'm not a good runner. I actually really suck at it. But I love it. When I run I forget everything around me. I only hear the music in my hears, I only feel the wind on my face.....I can hear the pitter patter of my feet and I feel as though I'm flying. I feel invincible.

I also started seriously weight lifting. I do a rotation. I do arms, legs, full body, arms and legs. There is something so empowering about working your muscles and your body. Pushing yourself to an extreme that you couldn't imagine. I've never been more fit and happy in all of my life.

Today I stand weighing 150. It's not about the weight though. I'm a toned size 7 and have tons of energy. I run, and even though I suck, I keep at it because sometimes we have to do things we aren't very good at it. Eventually though those things become our greatest adventures; our greatest strengths. He perfect his power in our weaknesses and when I'm running (I'm ready to go right now) I know that He is working in me the power to move past toxic thoughts of health, and starvation. I don't want to hang my head over a toilet anymore. I'm worth much more than that.


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