Life with (and without) ED
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I am in recovery from bulimia nervosa.
There. I said it right out loud for everyone to hear.
I believe that eating disorders (EDs) are very much like other addictions - you can't ever say that you're recovered because it will never ever really go away. My ED lurks quietly in dark little corners, just waiting to sneak back into my everyday life.
For years I binged and purged on a regular basis. I read every book and visited every website I could find about bulimia and eating disorders. Sometimes the advice helped, but sometimes it added fuel to the fire. I felt like I would never, ever win the battle.
Luckily, I discovered Sheena's Place while I was living in Toronto. It is an amazing resource center for people with EDs. I joined a support group and attended classes where kind and patient women taught us how to take care of ourselves. The help I got at Sheena's Place was like the hand of a loving parent teaching their child how to ride a bike. It was like a gentle push, guiding me off and away on my training wheels. It was a tremendous gift - self respect.
My struggle continued after I moved away from Toronto, but many little seeds had been planted and my way of thinking began to shift. I realized that I had to stop purging and start taking responsibility for what I was feeding my body every day. It took a lot of time and energy, but I started to really fight back against my bulimia.
Well, I got a handle on the purging, but the binge eating continued and I began to gain weight.
In 2004 I tried the South Beach Diet. I lost weight, but my carb cravings triggered binges that were completely out of control. That loss of control triggered massive guilt that led to me purging again. I gave up the diet, but the relapse continued for almost two years.
It was an uphill battle, but I finally regained control in 2006. Eventually my weight settled at 218 pounds and with Type 2 Diabetes everywhere in my family, I decided that it was time to get control of my health once and for all. A web search for diet information led me to Sparkpeople in May of this year. I signed up and started on the program. My progress has been very slow, but my motivation is health rather than just focusing on weight loss this time. So far I have lost 10 pounds.
This website has been an amazing source of support. There are so many positive, healthy role models here. It makes me feel like I am part of an amazing team. That's why I decided to open up about my eating disorder. By writing it all here on my blog, I am owning it. It's part of who I am. I will always have to be careful not to become obsessed about my weight, my calorie intake or how much I have exercised. I will take a break if I feel like I'm starting to slip back towards my old behaviours.
I plan to post more about my story, but for now, I just wanted to put it out there.