My Eating Disorder Story – New realizations. Updated thoughts December 2019

This is not an easy post for me to put out there but I will try my best. I even wondered if I SHOULD post it – but if it can help someone out there than all the better.

I believe my binge/compulsive eating started slowly in childhood with hiding junk food and eating it all at once in secret when nobody was around or after being told NO you can’t eat this – provoked me to eat it and then some. This progressed heavily into my teen years and came to an impasse . I would now consider this time in my life to be very deep into the cycle of binging, restricting and starving.

I think it stemmed from feeling not good enough in my body, feeling like I was too chubby, unpretty and not good enough in all aspects of my life. I didn’t really have many people to look up to (women) whom loved their body and treated their body right. I didn’t really know what that looked like. The women around me were unfortuantely stuck in their own cycle of poor body image, lack of self confidence and eating issues. I did not know nor understand that food could be a joyful or nourishing aspect of life. Food was my enemy and tool of choice for self harming.

I continually had all of these crazy emotions, stress, worries and thoughts going through my head that I could not control any other way than to eat them on bite at a time or to starve and lose weight. I would later come to find out what the term EMPATH was and this is me to a T.

Being in competitive dance was fun but it also had it’s negative aspects! I was often weighed weekly with my weight being subject of critical conversation, put on crazy diets (sugar free, fat free, low calorie, low carb, atkins etc etc) in order to achieve a desired outcome (to fit into slinky costumes) and at such a young impressionable age too. The stress of dieting on such a young body also lead to all sorts of issues mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Thinking back to this time it wasn’t only me that dealt with these issues. I remember most girls unhappy with their bodies. It was a topic we discussed many times.

I’m dipping kind of all over the place here, so forgive me but I believe the disordered eating and stress on my body caused my period to come at an unnatural age … i was very young maybe 8 or 9 I can’t remember. I also developed hormonal issues and PCOS like symptoms very young and was put on birth control at age 13 to control the horrible cramps and cystic acne. At that time I could not really advocate for myself and didn’t know how messed up my body would become with all of the unnatural hormones floating around in there from taking the B.C pill for so long during my teen years.

There came a time where the dance took over and we rarely ate together at the table as a family, I would always eat in the car on the way to dance classes. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed dance and appreciate being put in lessons but I feel like it negatively affected my body and would negatively affect my future until I came to the realization that I had to let that go and start a new healthy cycle, a new way of eating and living and relating to food and my body. I had to become my own champion and teach myself how to do so.

Ages 13-16 I was dancing at a higher more competitive level and at a dance studio that was very into classical ballet. Everyone was thin and in great shape. That was the start of starving myself and my body. I would easily skip breakfast and lunch with my parents working and didn’t matter what I ate for dinner as I would dance 4-5 hours per night burning it and much more off. My hair fell out, I had zero energy or focus and I got down to an alarming weight for my body type – lower than I had ever been before. I fell asleep frequently during school classes and my grades suffered.

I liked the way I looked though, it felt good to me (just part of the disorder) That summer I came back from national dance competition in Virginia Beach and I had an audition – I didn’t have a successful audition and that’s when things spiraled out of control and back into the binge eating. I didn’t see it then but I can clearly see the cycle now. I was so unhappy about failing that audition. I had put all of my eggs into one basket and could not handle the undesirable outcome of that situation. I remember how depressed I felt that night and I ate two large McFlurries before bed.

Age 16 to around 27 I was stuck in that cycle of self sabatoge and out of control. I would binge and binge and binge – gain an alarming amount of weight(nearly 90 pounds), try to get healthy, lose a few pounds and then something would happen that I would negatively react too and the cycle would start all over. Typically it would stem from poor relationships and negative self talk and mind set.

The scariest and worst it got was when I moved away to University. I had nobody watching my every move and made very poor food choices; binging in bed while watching tv shows and movies, binge drinking with friends etc. I bet in my worst moments I would take in over 10 000 + calories easily. I don’t just mean binging on one bag of doritos – oh no – I would eat dinner with roomates, on the way home stop at Mcdonalds and eat another dinner…get home and order a large pizza and eat all of that to myself. I would pass out feeling dizzy, painful, sore…and wake up feeling hungover. I would do this to myself over and over and over and over again and it negatively affected all of my friendships and relationships simply because I was trying to hide it from them and if they realized they had no idea how to understand my situation or how to help me which I can’t fault them for.

Now, we all have different idea of what binge eating is – but what I describe above is definitely my experience of binge eating. This is binge eating disorder. I ended up moving back home because I knew I needed help. Although the help I was given was not really to find the cause of my binge eating problem but help was given in terms of losing weight. I did end up losing weight but again got caught in the binge cycle. Just `losing weight`helps nothing. You have to do the mental work. You have to figure out away to get your mind, body and soul healthy. and balanced. You have to be able to evaluate the situation, observe what happened, accept it and let it go. It’s OK to go to therapy or whatever you need to do to get the help that you need.

It wasn’t until I met Brent, my husband that the binge eating seemed to slow down. With Brent, I feel my most beautiful, whole, self. I see myself through HIS eyes and my confidence and positive sense of body image has grown.

We do our grocery shopping together, we plan our meals together and for the most part, we cook together and eat our meals together at the table. He knows all my secrets and knew all about my struggle with binge eating and my eating disorders growing up. It was around the time of my wedding that I also embarked on a pretty significant spiritual journey that taught me all about manifesting, shadow work, inner child work, meditation and more. I have several spiritual mentors who have been helping me wade through my past and make sense of things. This spiritual journey weaves throughout my path and has also played a significant role in my recovery from living with eating disorders and being able to finally release the weight physically and emotionally without much struggle.

I got the Binge Eating under control but I stayed at my highest weight (260 ish for transparency) and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes along with PCOS (also having struggled with hormonal issues while growing up) the pcos was nothing new to me but the diabetes diagnosis shook me to my core – I was in utter denial up until that day. I mean…I knew I was still obese – but I had stopped binging and was eating what I thought was your typical “healthy” low carb diet but the problem was…that it was not agreeing with my body. We are all unique and will respond to these things differently. What works for one won’t work for all.

I was so happy not to go up in weight anymore that it didn’t bother me that I was not losing. I was just dealing with a bunch of other unpleasant things that continued to break down within my body (skin rashes, poor digestion, chronic diarreah, stomach pains etc) I also had maintained this weight for almost 3 years and was happy to no longer have the desire to binge or restrict. I wasn’t even motivated to lose weight for our wedding. My mind was right, I had not binged in so long and that’s all that mattered to me. And to an extent, that was still true however I was really not living a healthy, enjoyable life. I didn’t get much enjoyment from food or life in general.

I was just comfortable. I was comfortable with the aches and pains. Comfortable with the disease which was evident throughout my body. Comfortable with the hormonal imbalances. Comfortable in my relationship. Comfortable with not exercising. Comfortable with self sabotage which you will read about further after this page. Comfortable with staying inside and hiding away. Even though I was stuck in this large physical body – some parts of my life had improved and I was comfortable with it all. I also still had that disordered eating “good food/bad food” mentality.

After a great deal of reflection, self analysis, shadow work and inner child work I have come to realize that my path has been rife with self sabotage up until just recently. I had EVERY excuse under the sun to not exercise, to not spend time outside, to not choose healthy, nutritious foods that actually agreed with my body and to simply take proper self care. I didn’t care to heal myself or my life. Even if someone handed me all of that on a silver platter, I bet you I could still come up with the reasons why that I could not do that today. I did not feel worthy of what might come along with making these integral changes in my life.

I had everything I needed all along, the knowledge, the power, the tools within myself but deep deep down I was afraid. Afraid to take a chance, afraid to stand up against the status quo, afraid to say no to the typical way of life (standard north american diet, diet culture and fast paced lifestyle) I had a deep routed fear of being seen by those around me and such a low level of self confidence from trauma that I have been through throughout my life that I could not get beyond. I was afraid to really LIVE and start my life. I was holding onto the past and the patterns and unable to break free.

This pattern of self sabotage became my own personal hell. It buried my intuition. It squashed my bodies innate ability to heal itself. It was the never ending hamster wheel that I could not get off. Being caught up in this mentality and constant patterns of disordered eating and yo-yo dieting really put an undue amount of stress on my body and caused all of these problems I am dealing with today.

Until one day I said no more. I will no longer accommodate the pattern of self sabotage that had become apart of me and I no longer will identify with that. I will no longer kill myself with binge eating and restriction or diet culture, negativity and nasty self talk. I love life, I love myself and I want to live! Like…really live. Disease free. I will no longer accept that I have to live with the disease that I created in my body by the choices of self sabotage that I once made. I have the power to say no and to change. We all do.

The thing is…i was never ready before now. Everyone will have to come to this point in their own time of acceptance and letting go and making the choice. And I’m just glad that my time is now.

My path has been messy and I am still learning the lessons. I am human and I will make mistakes but I am liberated from my past by sharing my story with you all. I have set out to create a new path for myself and my future family. I refuse to go around the hamster wheel again and again.

In May/June of 2019 I decided to hop off the comfort train and actually do something kind for my body for a change. I took a chance and something finally clicked!

Not only have I have been able to eat as much as I want without limitations and my body has responded beyond my wildest expectations, but in the process I have also been healing my relationship with food. Which is so important if you have struggled with disordered eating. As of right now (December 2019) I no longer view foods as “good or bad” as I had done for most of my life and if I choose to have children that toxic way of thinking will never trickle down to their sweet souls because of the healing I have been able to do surrounding that.

This doesn’t mean I am not interested or passionate in health and nutrition, quite the opposite actually. I am so passionate that I enrolled myself in a holistic nutrition program! I have learned so much about the joy of food and nutrition and the difference is I am no longer viewing it as a restriction or limitation. I have learned what foods I enjoy and what foods make me feel good and I no longer categorize food as good or bad.

I no longer feel guilty for indulging at the holidays or on the other hand for saying no to something that truly won’t make me feel my best. I nourish my body well 95 percent of the time and have found my sweet spot for food freedom. I enjoy trying out different recipes and trying new fruits and veggies I may have never tried before! Eating this way is no longer a punishment but a huge expression of self care and love for myself.

After years of torment and struggle the pieces have started to fit together! This lifestyle has poured over into every facet of my life – way beyond just what I eat. It has affected everything in a positive way. In this way, I am able to continue my weight loss journey in a healthful, sustainable and responsible manner that is kind to the planet, my brain, body and heart.

So without further ado – this is path number 2 for me. Join me as I continue to connect to my intuition and follow it in all aspects of my life. I will slow down and enjoy the simplicity of this life and honour my body and health while doing so.

This is my transformation through intuitive living and healing.

This is anything but conventional and I’m OK with that. I am looking forward to what 2020 has in store for me!

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.” – Andy Warhol

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Body Image and Reaching Self Acceptance – What it looked like for me.

Most of this was written in 2017. I have made some changes and updated the end of it 🙂 Enjoy!

Today, On world kindness day, I’d like to talk a little bit about body image and self acceptance. Yes, it’s very important to be kind to one another but most importantly we be kind to ourselves. It was only when I reached this point and viewing myself in the highest light possible that I could start releasing the physical weight.

What does it mean to really accept oneself? How do we get to this place of true self acceptance and happiness – no matter what our outer shell looks like. Did you know that your negative self talk can actually affect other people and bring them down? Coming from someone who has struggled with disordered eating and disordered thought processes for many, many years….I hope you know that you can trust what I’m about to tell you!

This has been a true lifelong struggle of mine. Despite reaching my highest weight of 265 in 2017 I still felt OK (albeit a little too comfortable in that position).

I accepted myself despite the facts. I had hated myself for so many years before that and I was weary and tired. It always felt like a sense of dread and self loathing in my own skin. For many years – I couldn’t even look at myself in a mirror.  I used to be so down on myself and negative…it really affected my life and relationships. I wasted SO MANY YEARS!!! I wouldn’t buy myself new outfits – I’d wear the same thing day after day. I found joy in nothing. I was stuck in shitty friendships where I let people take advantage of me and just put up with the SHIT. I would stay in bed ALOT and not leave the house. I had developed a pretty nasty binge eating disorder.

  I am writing this so that you don’t do the same. It’s imperative that we change our thoughts – it will change our life. And nothing can change…I repeat NOTHING – if you do not change the way you think. It takes time. For me it took years. For me over 25 years. And sometimes the thoughts revert back…but I don’t let them float around in my head for very long. I observe them, see what they might mean and then let them go.

Something has slowly shifted in my thought process over the past two years. It actually really bothers me now when I hear in person or read online negative self talk (i.e girls/guys talking about “fat” they are or other people fat shaming people”) It makes me sad and brings me back to all those years I wasted being caught up in the negative self talk and chaotic thought process that goes along with that. All that time I wasted in suffering mode rather than making conscious change to do something positive about it.

Lets get real…Ok – I have FAT still (a lot of it) I have cellulite, I have stretch marks – these are all just facts for the moment. They are fluid facts…they will change and have started to change since last year (sometimes completely) and improve over time. These current facts do not describe me fully as a human being. I have learned to not let it affect me. I find joy in shopping now even if it’s at plus sized stores (who cares?) I find clothing that fits my body how it is now. I thought my plus size wedding dress fit me perfectly and I wore the hell out of it! I did not starve myself just because my wedding day was down the road. Just because I accept myself now fully for what I am, does not mean I want to stay here nor does it mean that I am a stagnant rock, not wanting to improve my outer shell. No…I do want to  continually make improvements – but for my own sanity and for the sanity of those around me I had to switch my thought process – I had to shed the negativity which filled me with chaos and depression for many years. I don’t allow these things to stress me out anymore and dictate how my days will be. I could not function that way. I had to let it go.

And it was a struggle…and I got it wrong…and I had to work HARD at it. And it’s still a struggle and it’s something I’m going to have to continue to work on. But it was possible. Little by little I started feeling better. I got happier, I felt better in the morning, I found joy in that plus size outfit I was rocking…I found joy in putting on some makeup, made positive life changes, dropped negative relationships and surrounded myself with positive people. Along with that I tried my best to drop the negative self talk. Things moved fast for me. I met the most amazing man who supported and uplifted me, some negative relationships had to fall away, I left a job where I was forced to continually work with a negative co-worker, got engaged, moved in with my man, got married.  I found new passions and talents. And I attribute all of these amazing positive life changes to deciding to accept myself fully no matter what that looked like for me from day to day. I know you can do this too and if you are struggling, feel free to drop me a line – I can lend an ear and see if I can shed some light and perhaps some hope. 

It is now November of 2019. Since writing this (above) in 2017 I have lost over 40 pounds, I am able to walk long distances with my dog every day, my BMI has dropped by over 8 points, I have changed the way I eat and my relationship with food has improved. I have enrolled in a holistic nutrition program in the hopes of helping others some day.

You can rewire yourself and shift your reality! You don’t need to be in the same place this time, next year.

Be kind to yourself today and every day <3

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Rewild Your Life Week Challenge Day 7/7

I am a little late posting this but I wanted to let ya know that I did finish the challenge! I came down with a nasty cold/cough on Tuesday so I have been laying low this week. There might not be much to post in the food department come Monday but we will see how I’m feeling on that front!

Rewild Your Life Week Challenge Day 7

Final Day!

” For today’s activity find a piece of cloth to use as a blindfold. Go to a quiet natural space and make yourself comfortable. Blindfold yourself and begin to let go of your need for vision- which is probably your strongest sense. Open your ears and tune in. Listen to what the natural world has to say. “

Ok – So…I must admit…I didn’t blindfold myself as I didn’t want to scare my neighbours lol but I did just sit outside and close my eyes. It was peaceful. To be honest…I usually find ways to fit something like this in my days.I feel so much better for it.

I love getting outside with my Lola gal.

If you are trying to find ways to disconnect from social media and lower your stress levels or just looking to change up your routine a little bit I definitely recommend checking out the 7 day free challenge from We Are Wildness. Get outside and have fun!

Rewild Your Life Week Challenge Day 6/7

” Today’s challenge is simple. Find a place that allows for a view of the whole sky… the more the better. Lay a blanket down. Put on some sunglasses if it’s really bright and sunny. Lie on your back and look up at the sky. Watch the clouds or the clear blue sky. Try to spot any flying creatures. Look at the tree tops if there are any around you and imagine what it would be like to be up there. Do this for at least 30 minutes today. “

I felt like a kid again 🙂 My buddy Lola was with me. It was nice to get outside for 30 minutes and just lay down and let the stress leave my body. I definitely have to continue to incorporate sky watching into my days!

I’m a little sad that the last day of the challenge is tomorrow but definitely thinking of trying the paid for 30 day challenge.

Rewild Your Life Week Challenge Day 5/7

” Go to the closest natural body of water today for at least 30 minutes. “

Rewild Your Life Week Challenge Day 5/7

Beautiful Lake Huron. Isn’t she something? We have been close since I was just a baby. I am never away from her for too long and so glad I have family that live so close! To be by the water is so soothing it always brings my nerves right down to ground zero. I always leave feeling better than I felt before.