Today I’m going to talk about a bit more of a weighty subject. So if you’re looking for bubbly Chef Katelyn goodness, you should come back tomorrow.
In the blog world, it is no secret that most of us have had our fair share of eating disorders. Myself, I’ve had two. The second one I don’t talk about much, even with my closest friends.
But today, I’m going to talk about them. Mainly because eating disorders are a disease, and all diseases can be prevented. One day I will be preventing disease through nutrition and fitness education, but for now I’d like to use my own experience for something quite serious.
Firstly, I would like to make it clear that eating disorders are not a choice. They are not a decision to become skinny and beautiful gone wrong. They are a result of psychological stress in one’s life. Most of the time (or should I say almost all of the time), eating disorders result from a lack of control in some area of ones life. That being said, the beginning of my first disorder.
My first eating disorder resulted from a lack of control in my home environment. It didn’t help that I was in eighth grade, and the pressure to be wanted by boys was starting to build. I never felt skinny or beautiful enough. A friend of mine (who happened to have quite a serious eating disorder herself) was always glowing, happy, the life of the party, and the one that the boys wanted. I wasn’t. I was the sidekick friend who would get asked, “Hey, can you ask her if she likes me?”.
One day, I decided to lose weight. It was a feeble attempt, but because I had been such a chubby girl in my young life, it was a realistic goal. I began to eat healthier. Instead of potato bread, I chose wheat bread. Instead of eating goldfish and chocolate chips for lunch, I had something healthy like you know, a natural peanut butter and jelly sandwich. REAL food.
I also started swimming and rowing, which got me more active and helped me to drop some pounds without noticing. However by the time I started getting compliments about how good I looked, I wanted to keep going. I decided hey, clearly this whole “losing weight” thing is getting me attention, so why not lose more?
It became my bait for attention. I was the girl who had lost weight and was looking good. After awhile though, I didn’t look so good. In fact, I looked kind of scary.
I would starve myself until I couldn’t take it any longer, and then I would have a Light ‘N Fit yogurt. You know, those fat-free 80-calorie yogurts sweetened with Splenda? You could basically say that they have no nutritional value.
So I had a few of those a day.
Soon, my mom was scared for my life, and so was I; I just wouldn’t show it. I knew what I was doing to myself, but I couldn’t stop. It was my addiction, my identity. What would I be if I started eating again? Surely I would get fat, and then no one would like me.
But what I couldn’t see was that I was so skinny, if I ate that extra bite of dinner and didn’t throw it out, you probably even wouldn’t notice a difference.
So when I went to the doctor’s after Thanksgiving that year, my doctor showed me my growth chart, and how much my Body Mass Index had plummeted. Now, I don’t believe much in BMI and its significance on a day-to-day basis, but when you’re that unhealthy, it’s a heavy indicator (and slap in the face) to see what you’ve been doing to yourself.
When you have an eating disorder, you’ve been taken over by a parasite. You’re not yourself. The disease has taken the real you away, sucking away your glow, your beauty, and your perfectly unique personality. Fight it. Fight it back for your life. Your eating disorder wants you to think nothing more than if you’re not the thinnest of the thin, you’re nothing. But that is so not true. You are strong, you are beautiful, you are loved.
In a story I once read, a brother and a sister were part of a large business. The brother was going on the radio, and decided that since he would not be seen by the public, he wouldn’t shine his shoes. His sister told him, “Shine your shoes for the fat lady, Buddy. Shine your shoes for the fat lady swatting flies on her porch in the country, waiting for you to come through on her radio. Do it for the fat lady.”
Who’s your fat lady? Is it your Mama who waits for your phone call every Sunday? Is it your friend who you meet in the morning to run? Is it your professor or your boss who asks you how you are every day? Out there, there is someone who wants to see your shining, beautiful face every day. They want you around. At times, it may be hard to see it, but they’re out there if you choose to see them.
I care about you. If you are in the depths of an eating disorder, or know someone that is, please send me an e-mail. I’m blog here for myself, but also for you. Let’s be serious, if it weren’t for all of you, I don’t know where I would be. You all show me beauty every day, and remind me why we should all love ourselves, every second of every day.
So here’s your Get Out of Jail Free card. Take it or leave it. I’ll always be here.
I’ll be your Fat Lady if you don’t believe that there are tons of other ones surrounding you. Your family, your friends. They’re just like you. Give love and you will see the love that is being sent to you.
Walk with love today, mah boos.