If you’re new from meals and moves (or anywhere really), welcome! Today is not a normal post – I’m typically much sadder and scarier (and sarcastic-er).
This post is the fourth installment in my eating disorder story (Part I, Part II, & Part III). My plan is to have two more posts – one to wrap up the bulimia years, and one to show you where I am TODAY! Merely THINKING about writing that last one puts a smile on my face. God’s grace has brought me so very far!
Where we left off:
Full of fat and calories, ice cream was something I’d never have DREAMED about eating the year prior. Purging gave me back options that anorexia had stolen.
During my childhood, I remember eating huge bowls of ice cream or drinking my dad’s homemade Chocolate Milkshakes. We were an ice cream family. You could always find a Breyer’s “Take Two” or Rocky Road in our freezer (this still holds true).
This particular day, we had cookies and cream. It was really late at night. I’d already purged dinner. Mom and Dad were watching TV in their bed, Katy was already asleep. I snuck down and dished myself out a mug of ice cream and snuck it back upstairs to the bathroom. Cold and creamy – I inhaled it.
Then I stood over the toilet and started to throw it back up. Midway through the purge, I heard a knock at the locked bathroom door.
Caught. By my mom.
I’m not sure I’ve ever been that embarrassed. No, I take that back. One time my dad caught me smoking a cigarette at a street fair. He didn’t say anything, just turned and walked away. That silence was FAR worse than if he had yelled.
Whereas my dad was silent in his anger, my mom was the complete opposite. Her words were like hot lava, all gushing out at once, blaring into my red face – “What is wrong with you?” “We can fix this!!” “You WON’T do this again!!”
She never asked how long it had been going on. Deep down, I think she knew. (After I posted Part II of this story, I asked my sister if she knew about my anorexia and bulimia. She said, “I remember that you had hair all over your body. And that mom caught you that one time.” My mom and I don’t talk about this period in my life.)
I promised her that I’d never purge again. I also promised to start eating more. Two lies that I knew were lies as soon as they were spoken. As twisted as this sounds, I was having WAY too much fun playing this game. I enjoyed binging and purging. I enjoyed the compliments that came because of my size. And, as I’ve said in the past, the high you get from being IN CONTROL of your body, is unparalleled.
I didn’t want to change. I simply got better at hiding my purges.
**If you’re triggered by words or descriptions, please stop reading. I’m ashamed and embarrassed by what I’m about to describe. I haven’t even told TRAVIS about this next part, but I believe that someone will be helped by my vulnerability.**
Instead of throwing up in the toilet, I would take a Tupperware container up to my room, go into my closet and purge into it.
There was an methodical order. I would lay out a towel, making sure that the area was covered well (because vomit is disgusting). Then, I’d stick the container in the very center of that towel and purge into the container. After I was done, I’d take it and empty it into the toilet, then stick the container back under my bed.
This method proved to be much quieter than doing it in the bathroom. I was “studying” after all.
Along with the “closet purges”, I sought out another easy way to purge that didn’t involve the risk of getting caught. I found a local gas station with an external bathroom (the kind where you had to go inside to get the key). After binging at home, I would quickly drive to the gas station, get the key, and go stick my finger down my throat. I still couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I’d go turn the key back in, give the attendant some unnecessary story about how I always have to pee, and drive back home. Elated….and numb.
A note on the binging – Throughout this entire three years, I never let myself go overboard with the binging. I think it’s because my body was slowly starting to put on weight. I had gained around 10 pounds. My body hung on to every single calorie that I allowed it. Had I been able to stay super tiny while eating a box of donuts, I probably would have let myself.
If you were to look at me during my senior year, you would say that I looked A LOT better than my junior year, even healthy. Inside, I was FAR from healthy!
Puffy cheeks – a side effect from purging.
The last year of my ED, I went through a “starve all day, binge at night” phase. Like Eden said, every one’s definition of binging differs. For me, binging meant eating two granola bars, then two bowls of cereal. I usually binged on “healthier” foods – I just couldn’t trust that I’d get everything up.
Senior Trip – Panama City, FL – I’m in the Cheetah Print. Up ~10 pounds from the previous year.
Spring and Summer of my Senior year, as I was gearing up to head to Carolina for college, I became even more obsessed with losing weight. I was still skinnier than I am now, but I was SO uncomfortable in my own skin. Knowing that I was about to encounter a whole new group of people, pushed me into a place of vulnerability. These would be people who didn’t know how good I was at running or how kind my family was. People who would judge on first appearances.
I searched for tips to lose more weight. That’s when I found laxatives and Diurex. So I added these to my arsenal and took all this baggage with me to college.
**I’m going to wrap this up next week. And you’ll get to meet Travis. And hopefully, you’ll understand my love for him, and for God, a bit better.**
Again I say…
If you think you might have an eating disorder, tell someone!! Tell your parents or your husband or your pastor and go have them get you to someone who has been trained to help with EDs!
Life is just too short to live with this s*it!!
Thanks for reading.
QUESTION: Have you ever dealt with disordered eating? If so, how did you recover (if you DID)?
(P.S. I wrote a guest post for Janetha, about staying fit during the holidays. There’s even a little workout video – go here.)