I met the goal I set for myself when I began this journey about a year ago: I lost the 75 # I had regained after once having lost 100#, and I’m more physically fit than I’ve been in years.
Those successes, however, pale in comparison to another, and it centers on the name of this website: The Biggest Liar. I’ve said before that I relapsed into my eating disorder because I listened to the voice in my head that said I needed food to cope with my feelings. Until the past 2 1/2 weeks, however, I had not faced a true test of healing and recovery from my eating disorder.
I experienced workplace incidents that triggered the PTSD I have as a result of childhood trauma, specifically Childhood Sexual Abuse. Moving past this has been especially difficult in light of the fact that I cannot merely avoid returning to the place where I was triggered; I obviously have to go to work every day. The fallout of being triggered was experiencing symptoms that I have not experienced in years, most powerfully that of dissociation and confusion. I didn’t “eat over it.”
Last week, two of five kittens that a stray pregnant cat gave birth were slaughtered in the most horrendous way by some neighbor dogs. I was able to place the surviving three with a local humane society and they went into foster homes–as in–INSIDE foster homes. I was unable to bring the kittens, who will be six weeks old tomorrow, inside our house, and my efforts to keep them safe failed. I am hoping that time will make what I saw not so vivid in my head. It was awful. Again, this would have been something I numbed myself over, but I didn’t.
I first began eating a lot of sweets as a child–but it really took hold and became extreme binge eating when I as a teenager, after I told my mom what had been happening to me at my stepdad’s hands and nothing was done to help me.
I had fleeting thoughts of pigging out as a result of the traumatic events of the past weeks, but the thoughts passed relatively quickly, I believe, in part because I cannot physically DO THAT any more. I could make unhealthy choices, and I caught myself starting to automatically choose protein bars over “real food”, but I am staying mindful.
In truth, in the worst of the past weeks, I actually went the other extreme, finding it nearly impossible to eat. At the end of one day, I updated my food tracker and realized I had only consumed 245 calories. The tracker enables me to pay attention to my protein intake as well as calories, carbs, & fluids, so I forced myself to consume some food. When I was in the throes of my eating disorder, I used to alternately binge-starve-binge-starve–but I don’t think that is what was going on so much as just being so anxious that I didn’t have an appetite at all.
I feel like I’m coming out of the fog, and I made it through without, for example, going to Sonic and getting a milkshake. I haven’t had any sugar like that in over a year, and there’s this thing called Dumping Syndrome which is supposed to be awful, and it happens when sugar/high fat are consumed after so long NOT eating it. Besides, I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.
I’ve never given weight numbers all along, but now I will. At my heaviest, before 2004, I weighed 225 pounds. I had gotten back up to 205. I now weigh 130. For most of my high school years, I was between 135-140, and, Lord, did I think I was huge. My biggest dream was losing 20 pounds so I could be stick-thin like the cheerleader types. Sadly, big round butts were not “in” when I was in high school, or I would have been the envy of all (LOL).
Last time I saw my primary care doctor, he was enthusiastically talking about how, after I lost all my weight, I could have plastic surgery and have my loose tummy skin tucked and my boobs lifted and my arms tightened. Aside from not having a money tree in my backyard, I intend to have none of that stuff done. My body is my body. We have been through a lot together, and we have the scars to prove it. I am not judging others who have such procedures done, but I have no desire to undergo cutting and pain and the risks inherent in such major surgery, besides that I swore I will NEVER undergo surgery again unless NOT having surgery will allow me to die.
Nope. I’ll take my skin, all of it, and continue to work daily to eat healthy, work out to the best of my ability, and enjoy the benefits of not carrying around the equivalent of 2 huge bags of dog kibble on my body.
Right now, I’m one-day-at-a-timing it, taking baby steps to get through the dregs of being triggered, and looking forward to finding my long-lasting “Steady On.”