This is the last and final post in my eating disorder story (part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V).  Like I said last week

I’ll forever be on this “Road to Recovery” – a road, for which there is no final destination. It is foolhardy to say that one can be “completely recovered”. Much like it is naïve for me to believe that I can be ever be “perfect” or “without sin”.

It is a battle against my flesh. A battle that I fight daily. One that I’m winning. But a battle, nonetheless.

But at least I’m choosing to fight and not lie down. I’m CHOOSING…because I have a choice.

I truly wish that I didn’t have an “ED story”.   Sounds just as bad as it actually was – like a scar that I’ll always have.  BUT, I do think that it’s important to show you where I am now.  How far I’ve come and how far I still have to go, so that hopefully, others who are battling that inner demon can see that there IS a way out

And that it looks pretty freakin’ awesome. 

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My Eating Disorder – Today (list style, of course)

My Diet

This is the one area that I seem to get the most questions about – “How do you eat today?”

I’m a snacker.  I consume around 1,600-1,800 calories a day – all in mini-meals or snacks.  I find that this style of eating keeps me from feeling deprived and keeps me full.  Some days when I teach more than one class, I eat more probably more like 2,000 calories. 

I say probably because I don’t count!  I can’t let myself count calories ever again!  That’s a road of restriction and control that I’ll never go down again.

Sample Day – Anorexic years

  • Breakfast: Nothing
  • Lunch: 1 1/3 cup Honey Comb cereal (sad that I still know that this contains 110 calories and .5 grams of fat)
  • Snack: 1/2 stick sugar-free gum
  • Cross Country Practice: 600-800 calories expended
  • Dinner: 1/2 Baked Potato and 1/2 cup steamed vegetables
  • Bed.

Roughly 300 calories consumed.

What I eat NOW

I focus on an 80-20 approach – 80% whole foods (lean protein, vegetables, fruit, dairy, nuts) and 20% of whatever the heck I want.

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Eggs with spinach, broccoli, Chobani, hummus and shredded cheese + Spelt Toast

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Chobani 0% Plain + Kashi + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder + ground flax + Sunflower Seed Butter

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Mama Pea’s Black Bean Burger, Mushroom Pizza

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Lamb Burger/Potato Chips, Bruschetta Chicken/Red Quinoa/Salad

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi/Chicken/Spinach, Shrimp with Cheesy Pasta/Spinach

I definitely find myself saving room for SWEETS!  I have a huge sweet tooth, which I don’t really try to curb.  Before bed every night, I either have cereal with protein powder milk or ice cream.  Or both.  Oh, and don’t get me started on under baked brownies.   

When I’m full, I’m done. When I’m hungry, I eat. Some call that “intuitive eating”. I’m not a huge fan of this term because I know that there are times (like after a workout), when I may not FEEL hungry, but my body NEEDS food.

 

My Body

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Even after two pregnancies, I weigh less today than I did when I got married.  About 10 pounds less.  And I haven’t starved myself or purged to get that way.  It’s taken A LOT of hard work at the gym and by eating sensibly.  

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I touched on this before, but I definitely feel as though I over-exercise.  I’ll admit – part of it DOES have to do with me wanting to burn calories.  But another part of me just likes the MOVEMENT.  I really enjoy exercising!  Like probably more than almost anything else in my life (aside from Travis).

Even though I enjoy it (and see nothing wrong with that part of it), I still have to reign myself in.  Just like with controlling food, I sometimes have to say, “45 minutes is enough for today.”  And be done.

My Mind

Most certainly, THE HARDEST thing to change.  My thought process.  Those voices.  Anxiety and a need to be in control. 

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A HUGE turn-around point came when I stopped focusing on CALORIES and started seeing FOOD AS FUEL. When you see food as something that will either harm you or help you run more efficiently, you’ll be in a much better place!

I no longer prescribe to the thought that a calorie is a calorie. That’s true in a sense. But my body feels and moves so much better when I feed it nutritious, whole foods, rather than junk.  Even if that junk has the same (or fewer calories).  That’s why I don’t drink Diet Coke anymore, or eat “low fat” or “100 calorie packs”.  That is just overpriced junk.

A few thoughts that STILL arise:

– What if I get fat?

– Maybe I SHOULD try this new diet that I saw.

– I shouldn’t have eaten that.

Will these thoughts ever end?  Probably not.  I just know how to combat them now.  I talk things out with anyone who will listen (usually Travis).  I think about the bigger picture (there are people who would KILL to have food!  Will any of this matter in the end?).  I think about how my children view food, how they view MY relationship with food and body image.  I basically a) step back, b) think, and then c) refuse to participate in poor behavior or a faulty thought process.

A few things that I DON’T do now:

Purge (though the urge still exists – its much quieter and only comes about once every 3 months.  I haven’t purged in about 8 years.  A giant victory!)

Restrict/count calories

Go on diets – I just don’t even go there.  I become obsessed.  Travis knows this and won’t allow me to restrict myself in any way.

Cut out food groups or label foods off limits.

Weigh myself. – this is something relatively new, but I haven’t weighed myself since Clara was born, so 16 months.  Just like with counting calories, I can’t allow myself to get wrapped up in the numbers game.  To allow my day and my emotions to be dictated by a number is LUDACRIS!! 

——————

So that’s me.  Where I am now.  I’m most certainly a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?

Thank you for listening to my story.  For being completely non-judgmental and in fact, very positive about this whole messed up ordeal.  I KNOW for certain that at least two girls have sought treatment through these installments.  That fact alone has made it well worth it opening up and becoming vulnerable. 

If anyone ever needs to talk, my email is always open! 

splendid…lindsay

  1. Bek @ Crave says:

    Even though everyone is unique and individual I feel I am very similar to where you are now and it feels good to know that there are others in the same boat. And we can help ourselves get stronger and recover better more and more each day!

  2. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

    Lindsay, I just read through your entire series and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed a tear…or two…or a dozen! It’s no secret that you are an inspiration to me to live fit and healthy, but to know now what you had to go through to get to the strong and healthy Christian woman you are today? Well, I’m speechless. Like literally. No words. Except these: I love you! :)

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  4. alicia@fitmixer says:

    Lindsay! You are SO amazing and such an inspiration!!! Holy cow. It’s nice to hear people’s stories. To know you’re not alone. I truly admire your strenght and courage. Thanks for sharing :)

    • calee says:

      I’m so excited for you that you’ve gotten this far. I am with you — things that I know I won’t kick are those nasty thoughts. Coincidentally as I was reading these posts, I ate a Baby Ruth bar that my friend accidentally got out of the vending machine earlier (she has a peanut allergy). BUT I was hungry. And we’re stuck at a craft show. No other options. I already ate the rest of the stuff I packed!

      I love your 80/20 approach. I’m going to start concentrating on that. I try to eat whole foods all the time, but I bet that I’d do better if I thought about it more. Because there are definitely fro-yo trips … maybe I’d get less if I thought about how much of my day’s intake was in that cup (it’s probably like 40% now … whoops!).

  5. Meredith @ DareYouTo says:

    I just read this entire series and am completely touched and inspired. I especially appreciate your acknowledgment of some of the aspects of your ED past that continue to haunt you, that you still grapple with, and how you–and we all–are a work in progress. Congratulations on overcoming this too-common obstacle and even more kudos for sharing your story to help change others’ lives. You’ve certainly come a long way toward taking care of your body in the best way possible. Out of darkness comes light.

  6. Kirsten says:

    You. Are. Awesome. It is difficult when you realize that these thoughts will always be there. What matters is how you deal with them. And you are dealing with them beautifully. Congrats on your progress :-)

  7. Christin@purplebirdblog says:

    You are an amazing woman, a true badass. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it to you… the real heroes in life in my eyes are people who work through their issues and the hard stuff (because we ALL have it in one way or another, my battle was/is drugs and alcohol, but through God’s grace I deal with my own demons), come out on the other side, and in turn don’t wallow in their sorrows, but rather turn the negative into a positive and use it as a tool to help others. Adversity abounds and will touch every person on this earth, but what we choose to do with that new knowledge and the lessons learned is really what makes us special. This comment is long and probably going to spam, but I just want to say I love what you’re about. You rock. <3

  8. Kelly says:

    Such a wonderful and honest story. I think eating disorders are addictions. Addiction to control (or the idea of it) and the same with exercise. I think you can literally be addicted to it. So recognizing that urges towards those addictions will always be there is what I think is healthy. Accepting that those urges will always be there, sometimes more and sometimes less, but still there and then working on chaning your thought process to beat those urges.

  9. MCM Mama says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. So inspirational. I love the idea of adding protein powder to things. I’ve found that having frequent protein helps keep me from getting huge cravings but I sometimes have trouble finding a protein I want to eat…

  10. Kiah says:

    Congrats, Linds, on all the progress you’ve made, and for sharing with us! Also…sic abs! One of my 2012 fitness goals is to get me some of those :-)

  11. TriGirl says:

    The fact that you have inspired others to make a change is amazing. That’s what I love about blogging. Congrats on your journey! Like you said, it will never be over but you seem to be doing so well :)

  12. katie says:

    and AMEN gosh our flesh sucks sometimes- I have to wake up every morning praying to die to my flesh, I want to be completely filled with the Spirit and not of my sinful desires. We need to be open so the Holy Spirit can fill us UP!! I cant wait for heaven when our flesh is 100% gone and we are totally overcome by the Spirit 24/7.. its going to BE AWESOME!

  13. katie says:

    OK I basically just stalked your entire blog! You are so awesome! Oh my gosh. I love seeing what you have overcome with the Lord and where you are now- that is a testimony in itself! It is SUCH an encouragement to me!!!! Thank you!!!

  14. Allie Finch says:

    I could go on & on about how wonderful & brave & beautiful you are, but you know this already, right? ;) I’ll just say it’s not often enough I see someone emphasizing “FOOD AS FUEL”, & that realization is exactly what changed my relationship with food & exercise. Thanks for being a wonderful role model & promoting healthy changes. love you.

  15. lindsay says:

    i love you, this you! A battle of flesh is always going to be a battle, but with Gods armour we are protected, we are strong, we are BRAVE! I love that you approach it this way.
    Good eats for sure. Nourishing yet simple.
    What do i need to do get my hands on that lamb burger? You know we are huge lamb fans! Just call me Mary…. hehe

  16. Jamie says:

    I hope someday I can say it has been eight years. I haven’t purged in about a year now, and I am proud of that. With that being said, even though I eat healthy foods and exercise, my weight refuses to go down at all. Do you think that I after years of restricting/binging/purging that my metabolism is just out of whack? Did that happen to you?

    • lindsaymwright says:

      oh definitely! While I don’t count calories, I do try to have days where I eat more to boost my metabolism. My body craves those days and welcomes them. Then I get back to normal eating. How many calories do you think you’re eating?

  17. Tina @ Best Body Fitness says:

    That’s about how things are for me too. There are things that will probably never change and mental struggles that will likely always be there. But it’s about the progress and learning and making changes for the better and working hard every day to find that balance and self care. Love you!

  18. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance says:

    This is the first post of your ED that I’ve been around for, but I’m so glad that you opened up this part of your life for us, Lindsay! I can relate to you on a few of those things, ESPECIALLY not weighing yourself anymore. Quite frankly, I don’t need to weigh myself to know how I’m doing– It’s much more about how I FEEL now!

    I’m so happy to see all the progress you’ve made :)

  19. Kristin @ eat healthy. be happy. live well. says:

    Thanks for being so open and sharing about this! It’s made me more aware of my relationship with food too. I used to be addicted to Honey Combs and lots of other junk foods. It took me awhile to figure out that food is fuel too. But now it makes it so much easier to eat healthy since I know the good foods are doing good things for my body and mind!

    I’m so glad you’re on a good path now!

  20. Ericka @ The Sweet Life says:

    Thanks for sharing, Lindsay. I think you and I are in the exact same place with being done with EDs. I feel you on the over-exercising and having to say 45 minutes is enough sometimes. Also, those nagging thoughts that rise up and you have to crush every now and again. Actually, reading through your posts brought up some really bad memories but reminded me that I never want to be there again. I’m glad to hear at least two people are getting help because of the posts.

  21. Lee says:

    I’m not usually one to blame society, but I really feel like, as women, the idea of perfection is just ingrained into our minds. Though I’ve never had an eating disorder (I struggled with some disordered thoughts for a while, but never a full on ED), the the thoughts that you still have are present for me too. Constantly.

    That’s great that you haven’t purged in 8 years. Huge accomplishment.

  22. Bex says:

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us… I’m going back to read all your installments and sharing! (and your pregnant belly pic made me well up a bit) xo

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