Monday, October 20, 2014

My (BED) Story

Happy Monday!  I hope that you are having a great start to your week. A start full of healthy intentions and a healthy mind.
  
I am sure that by the tittle of this post you kinda know what I will be talking about.  Today I am sharing my Binge Eating Disorder story with you.   This is probably the hardest post I have ever written because it is so personal and this was such a dark place in my life.  However, I get lot of questions and emails about it, so I just had to post it on here. 

I do not want to put out an image of having a healthy lifestyle with no struggles.  I have had a lot of struggles with my relationship with food.  It took me a long time to get here, to have a healthy mind an a healthy body.  Filming a video and sharing my experience made me realize how far I have come, I m very proud of where I am, and I look forward to the future.  It was only a few years ago, and it is a feeling I never thought I would have.

First I want to remind you I am not a registered dietitian nor a nutritionist.  I am not an eating disorder expert, this is just my experience, my story. 

FYI! I filmed a video sharing my BED story.  I encourage you to watch if you are suffering from a similar situation.
Watch below or click here to watch the video.

Prior to embarking on this journey of health and fitness I suffered from multiple eating disorders.  I experimented with anorexia, compulsive dieting, and BED.
I am sharing this with you because I get emails from people with similar stories and I hope that my story helps you recognize some of the signs.  

How it all started...
I believe I was 6 years old when a family member referred to me as the chubby cute sister.  I did not know much about myself at that age, but I did know that I was "chubby".    I was insecure and hated my body from as far as I can remember. 

Growing up I played sports.  I was always very active.  And although I hated my body, I had a good relationship with food, in fact I could pretty much eat anything and ate everything I wanted.  

Dieting...
But, from as far as I can remember I always had this obsessive feeling of wanting to be thin.  I wanted to be skinny more than anything in life.  I remember sharing this with a friend who felt the same way about herself. This friend introduced me to diet pills and the "cookie and milk dinner". I was 12 years old.  I did loose some weight however, no one noticed, so in my mind I was still chubby.

Binging Alone...
After graduating from the 6th grade that friend went to a different school, I was on my own.  I had no more access to diet pills, I was hungry and the cookie just wasn't cutting it.  At 13 yrs old I experienced my first binge eating episode.  I was so food deprived that I literally skipped school went and spent my birthday money in 3 sandwiches, a box of donuts, a large bag of chips, cookies, corn-nuts, Nutella and a snickers bar.  It took minutes to eat all of that food.  Nothing was left.  I was in a field, alone with no one around.  My stomach was so bloated that I had to unbutton my school uniform just to be able to breath.  I felt guilty, sick and scared of what I had done. 

 I did not know this then, but this was just the result of months of nutrients and food deprivation.  I had created a monster that later in life will come back to haunt me.  I have always been very independent.  I have always had the mentality that if I get in trouble I only had my self to get out of it.  I did not trust anyone with my secret and was not comfortable sharing my feelings.  I did not like the feeling of dieting or binging, the fear I felt made me want to start to eat better.  

I still hated my body, but my eating habits (not the quality of food) were normalizing.

Gaining weight...
I went off to high school and I no longer had a passion for sports.  I stopped working out but continued with my normal eating habits.  Naturally, I gained weight again.  I was eating way more calories than my body needed, since I was no longer playing sports.  I started dieting again.  My high school diet consisted of 1 meal a day, some days I would do the the cookie and milk diet.   I had weeks of starving and weeks of binging, this went on for a couple of years.  I never lost weight, in fact I gained a lot more with every diet I did.

Emotional Eating...
I graduated from High School, had a job and a boyfriend who was 15 years older than me.  Shortly after graduating from high school I became pregnant with my son Christian and got married.  I was so young and not ready at all for marriage nor motherhood.  The age difference between my ex-husband and I was a big issue, also the fact that he was physically abusive to me.  Guys, my life was a wreck, since I am an emotional eater I would turn to food to alleviate some of the pain.

I started binging every night. I was the heaviest I had ever been, 205lbs for my 5'1 frame.  As the physical and mental abuse from that relationship continued the more I binged.  I was so unhappy and depressed.  And as I mentioned before, I felt that I had created this life for myself and had to find a way to get out of it on my own.  I was a stay at home mom, we were a one income family.  I was alone and I became really good at hiding my binging and my situation at home from my family and friends.

One night, my ex-husband came home drunk and physically assaulted me.  The abuse was so apparent to my neighbors that they had no choice but to call the cops and brake into my house.  The details of that night are still very vivid in my mind, but let's just say I thought that night was going to be my last night on Earth.  Needless to say, my marriage ended shortly after.

So here I am, a 20 year old single mom working 3 jobs and living in fear of my ex-husband.

More dieting...
After starting working again and getting my life back, I felt the need to loose all that weight I had gained.  Again, I turned to diets.  I did a very intense diet called HCG.  I went to a clinic where they would prescribe you HCG in needle form, diet pills and a 500-900 calorie diet to go with it.  They also recommended a 3-day all you can eat situation prior to starting the diet.  It sounded like the perfect diet.  By the way, I was doing this diet with a friend.  It is all good in the hood when you have a buddy ;o))

This diet became the solution to my obesity problems.  I would do the diet for 2 months, take a break from it, binge after I was done, then go back to the diet, then binge again...  I kept this up for years, and I always gained weight after I was done with it.  I was loosing weight but I my relationship with food remained the same.

After the diet I was still obese.  I was not 205lbs anymore so that kept me hopeful and content.  I kept this going until I reached 150 lbs where I remained at that weight for most of my early 20's.  I stopped going to this clinic because I could not longer afford it, but I was able to maintain that weight.  I went on to eating a 1200 calorie diet and light exercise with the occasional binge.  The binging always happened whenever I was stressed, depressed, or just had a bad day.
Stress...
  My weight control methods lead to very stressful situations.  I earned a promotion at my job as a Staff Accountant and I no longer needed to work 3 jobs, which allowed me more time to work on college. Life was a bit stressful, and at times I would literally forget to eat.  Consequently, I lost more weight.  I also met an amazing man, the love of my life who is my husband now.  I will say, his love for me and my child helped me and my eating situation so much.   
Loving myself, Feeling loved, feeling happy ...
Awww.... My hubby Joseph, is in the military and has always been into fitness and encouraged me to workout.  As we started working out and researching which workout series to do next, I started researching healthy eating and slowly changing the way I ate.  I found that by not counting calories and just eating real food helped decrease my binge eating by a lot.   The more I learned about health and fitness and the less I deprived myself, the less I binged.

Dealing with it...
I started seeing a therapist and learning about triggers which can be harmful to health and lead to emotional eating.  With my increase knowledge, I slowly moved on from dieting and binging due to emotional situations.  At times, I was eating every time I was sad or stressed.  Now I found different ways to deal with my emotions.  I also started my blog as a sort of personal journal, as I found sharing recipes and workouts with friends and family to be supportive.  It turns out that some of them were even impressed with my weight loss journey and wanted to adapt a healthy lifestyle.  They have been very supportive and have helped me to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Sharing with them has been a big help to my recovery.  
Well, this is my story.  If you are going through a similar situation and if I can offer you an advice;  "love your body the way it is now, you will appreciate the changes and will want make permanent change!"

Cater to your cravings and honor your hunger.  Be patient. Choose healthier foods and make small changes.

Take it day by day.  You got this!  You can beat this!

20 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. It is really brave of you to put this out there. You are going to help so many people who are afflicted by this disorder, too. I had this problem too starting very, very young when I packed on weight. I would like to say I'm in complete control of it now, but I'm not. I'm much better at it than I was though. One day at a time.
    xx
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

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    1. Thank you! I have to admit that this blog post had been sitting in my drafts for months, I was just not ready to share my story yet. I am so happy that you came across it! It is a terrible place to be in and it takes time, and I deal with it as it comes. Jenny I am so glad to hear that you are doing better, soon it will be a thing of the past. You got this! Thanks for stopping by, I love your blog BTW! You are so beautiful ;o)

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  2. You are so very brave for sharing this with us. I have my own issues with weight and yo yo dieting, and with three daughters it scares me to pass on my issues to them.

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    1. Agreed! My body issues started from the age of 6.. and it is a terrible way to live your life.. I am glad you found this helpful

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  3. Thank you for sharing this with us, much taken all the courage to talk about it. I have never been in your situation so I can only sympathise as I can not even begin to comprehend what you went through. I come from a country where skinny is not sexy and I had always wanted to be 'chubby' so that one day i would actually get married but now I am happy with my size and not caring too much what people think

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    1. I am from Puerto Rico and curvy is definitely the appealing size... I think is more of a personal mental disorder... The important thing is to be happy with your self at any size... Thanks for sharing Miranda

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  4. I am currently 20 pounds overweight which is a lot for a 5 foot body (as you mentioned). All the things I used to do to lose weight aren't working so I am going to really buckle down and start exercising which I have never done before.

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    1. Best of luck with your health and fitness journey Andi

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  5. Wow. Thank you so much for your transparency. It's never an easy thing opening yourself up like that. Very inspirational. And you're so right, just eating real, whole food, and getting good exercise is the healthy way to go!

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    1. It is really the way to go.. small changes, big possibilities

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  6. Your so brave for being honest with your story. I'm glad you are in a healthy relationship now.

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  7. Oh wow, this was such an insightful post. I've been hearing a lot about BED lately and didn't know much about it, thank you so much for sharing!

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  8. Aw, I'm so sorry for all of your struggles, but it's amazing that you're sharing your story here. I'm sure you will inspire a lot of women who have found themselves in similar situations! :)

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    1. Thanks Jenn.. I am good now, it is part of my past ;o)

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  9. Thanks for writing this. It's eerily similar to my story, but I don't yet have the courage to write all the words.

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    1. Thank you! I am always surprised when someone says that they have a similar story to mine because for so long I thought I was the only one going through it, and that this was just the way I was...I have mentioned this before but this was the hardest post for me to write and it sat on my draft box for nearly 6 months...I am glad that sharing my story has allowed others to share theirs and to know that they are not a lone on this... I would love to hear your story when you are ready to share it Sabrina! Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I went through the same situation when I was younger. Binge eating was my "hobby" and my stress reliever. Until I saw myself on the mirror. :(

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  11. I also do binge eating whenever I'm stressed! Another guilty lady here! :(

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Thanks for stopping by!