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anorexia

It’s been one of those weeks. You know the ones where you are bone tired but at the same time there is something inside that won’t shut off. It’s like your flight or fight response has kicked in and you have no one to fight and nowhere to run because the cause follows you because it is within you.

The week started with a midnight ding on my laptop; a comment on a blog post about my battle with anorexia. God that seems like a lifetime ago in the miserable state of affairs my body stands in today. The comment was left by a 15-year-old girl in New Zealand who is struggling with eating disorders. She is crying for help but no one believes her. I know how this turns out if no one pays attention; the story ends with her dying. Gone. No more because even her own parents wouldn’t take her seriously. I reply. I give her some number and emails to a hotline. I am triggered. I want to swoop in and save her but I can’t. I am here. I can only offer assistance, listen, believe her and hope she takes the next step. Fight.

Then a couple days later, I hosted a twitter party. I was really excited about it because it meant that I could giveaway  a prize that I thought would make some little girl’s Christmas morning. That meant something to me because I know there are mothers out there who can’t afford to give their children anything for Christmas and I could help a mom give her child the best Christmas ever. It took a lot of work. I’ve been planning and negotiating this since August. Then I even got to give away 2 houses and then after it was all said and done, I was called a liar and a cheat by two participants who didn’t win. I know I shouldn’t take it personally but I do. Fight.

Then I read a post by an asshole man called, Five Reasons to Date a Girl with an Eating Disorder. You know, the disease that kills women, the disease that might be killing a 15-year-old in New Zealand right now and the disease that could have killed me. He makes light of this disease that I suffered from for 8 years; the very same thing that I will be in recovery from for the rest of my life; the disorder that kills women. He obviously has no understanding of it or is the most callous and unkind human walking the face of the earth. Fight.

Then today, November 24th, what would have been the first birthday of the baby I lost. I accidentally watched a 1st birthday video of a friend’s daughter and that’s when it hit me like a MACK truck. I should be celebrating but instead my lap is empty and my heart is heavy today. The air is thick and it’s hard to breathe. I don’t know when this will stop happening. I don’t know if we ever really get over our hurts in life. I think maybe they grow to be a part of us and change us. Flight

I’m here, hammering out deadlines and avoiding my reality. My heart is pretty fragile this week and the slightest push of pressure in the wrong way may break me completely. But in this moment I thank God for what I have; a man who loves me with all my flaws, children who I can hold in my arms a little longer than I need to today, a best friend who reaches out from across the universe to make sure that my heart is still in tact and work. Work that keeps my mind occupied and tears at bay.

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thigh gap, body image

This is where it starts: the coveted thigh gap. What the fuck is the thigh gap and how can I get one is what many teens are asking after seeing a recent segment on ABC that suggests that the thigh gap is the it status symbol this season for teen girls. I am here to tell you that the thigh gap is nothing new. Girls have been in pursuit of the thigh gap since the beginning of time. How do I know? Well, I was one of the chosen who had a thigh gap in my early 20’s. It was hard earned and I was proud of it.

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what its like to have an eating disorder, are eating disorders hereditary, skinny, vanity, weight loss, are eating disorders genetic? , raising girls, tweens, eating disorder, bulimarexia, eating disorders, anorexia, weight

Ever wonder what it’s like to have an eating disorder? It’s sad. If the eating disorders don’t kill you, the loneliness will. As I stood there looking in the mirror, facing the truth of my anorexic reflection I realized that I hated what I saw. As long as I could remember, I had never liked what I saw staring back at me in the mirror. Sure, if I tried really hard I could find one thing that was tolerable. One thing that was passable as average, but mostly I disgusted myself. The eating disorders had taken hold of me and now I was down the rabbit hole and sinking faster and faster into some alternative universe where nothing made sense and everything was upside down.

Logically, I knew that the khaki’s that I wore to work were so big that I had started wearing long johns under my uniform just to appear larger than I was which was ironic because I was severely restricting what I ate in order to lose weight.

I know what its like to have an eating disorder. I knew I was anorexic. It wasn’t a secret to me.

On some level, I knew that I was severely underweight but I wasn’t going to admit it, not even to myself. Admitting that I was at an acceptable weight or below without feeling happy, complete with myself, meant failure; failure at keeping control of my life. I knew that if I lost the tiniest bit of control of the runaway train that was my life, the entire thing would derail.

It’s hard to go full on all the time. I was going to university full time, working full time, living in a large city away from all of my family and friends. I had bit off more than I could chew but I wasn’t ready to admit that I had eating disorders. I’d rather die than admit failure. Funny how I never knew what that statement truly meant before that very moment.

I’d left behind my entire life; my family, my friends, my boyfriend. I did all of this to run away from my life. I thought that if I got far enough away from it all, everything would work itself out but it didn’t. I felt out of control and overwhelmed. Nothing was working out the way I had planned it to be. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it all back on track so I restricted and micromanaged in the only place I still had complete control; my food. I clung to my eating disorders for dear life, ironic since they were killing me.

I had started restricting a couple years prior but I had been caught. I was embarrassed and I promised to stop but I never did. I couldn’t. If I would have let the chaos in for a second, my entire world have unraveled and it was pretty much held together by a stick of bubblegum and a prayer as it was so for 8 years, I hid what I was doing. I felt like a fraud.

It was the one secret that I couldn’t share with anyone because they’d try to save me from myself. I didn’t want to be saved. Or maybe I did but I wasn’t willing to turn my life over to someone else to save. I thought I had it under control. I didn’t.

I spent my days hiding the real me from everyone who cared about me.  This made me bitter and angry. Why couldn’t they just accept me as I was? Why would they try to change me? Why must they try to stop me? Didn’t they realize that this was the only thing that had gotten me through? I wore my thigh gap with hard-earned pride, why were they trying to take this small victory from me?

I needed to restrict to feel normal and the threat that someone would try to make me stop sent me into a personal seclusion. I became prone to crying inexplicably and blowing up for no apparent reason. I straddled between the reality of my disease and the delusion that it would all end up fine. I held on to that delusion like I was drowning and it was my flotation salvation.

To let reality in, to let anyone in, meant to face the fact that I had already lost all control. Then one day, when I was at my bottom, the delusion was sweeping me away and drowning me but reality kept whispering in my ear, “This will be the last time. This is your last chance to save yourself.” That’s when I knew the eating disorders had to end.

I relinquished control. It wasn’t taken from me. I gave it up. I had to give myself over to something bigger than myself to be honest and start fresh. Eating disorders are lonely and isolating. I just wanted to be free of the shackles of the lies. I wanted to live and love and grow old and that was not going to happen if I didn’t give up control of my runaway life. I had to embrace the chaos. None of that was going to happen if I was dead.

If you know someone who has eating disorders or suspect that your child might be headed down that road, I’ve written a checklist of warning signs that you might not have otherwise known to look for. Eating disorders no matter how inconsequential they may seem at first can quickly spiral out of control. Never ignore the signs because if you do, it may be too late to save your child.

This is just one day in the life of a girl with eating disorders, imagine how hard it is to live that life day after day with no end in sight?

This is what its like to have an eating disorder.

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anorexia, bulimarexia, eating disorders, national eating disorders week

Bulimarexia is an eating disorder distinguished by a combination of the symptoms prevalent in both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; develops primarily in teenage and young adult females. It is hard to treat because of having symptoms of both diseases.

Patients with bulimarexia usually have poor self-esteem and a distorted body image. Women are more likely to develop this condition. The patient engages in an aggressive campaign designed to generate weight loss and falls into a cyclical pattern of disordered eating. This can include prolonged fasting accompanied with the use of medications like diuretics to try and lose weight, followed by a binging and purging cycle where the patient eats large amounts of food and vomits.

Health risks with bulimarexia are considerable. Patients can develop organ damage as a result of the extreme stress on the body along with issues like damage to the enamel on the teeth and reduction in bone mass leading to an increased susceptibility to fractures. Comorbidities like depression can be observed and patients may overexercise, putting additional strain on the body. Patients with bulimarexia can lose weight precipitously and will still report dissatisfaction with their appearance.

Bulimarexia, eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, restriting, body image

The photo above is what it feels like to have an eating disorder diagnosis. You feel alone, sad, your life feels hazy and you become a slave to your disease. You are hungry and unsatisfied. Unsatisfied with your body and there is a hunger within that is never fulfilled. Your disease becomes all consuming.

I hear people throw around the term anorexic and bulimic with no weight. These are two very serious diseases. They are more than simply not eating or binging and purging. They are punishment for a crime we didn’t commit. We punish ourselves for eating; the very thing that is needed to sustain us. It’s self-loathing. Can you imagine how that feels? Can you imagine hating the skin you are in so much, wanting to be in control of your body so badly, that you are willing to go to any lengths and risk any consequence to have that feeling of just being normal?

I do. I had what is now referred to as Bulimarexia for 8 years. I started off like most teen girls, hypersensitive to the criticism of others because of the already established need to be perfect set forth by magazines and television. My dad made a comment in passing that I needed to “run more”. He is an avid runner. This went into my ears, entered my brain and got twisted into ” You are fat. You are not good enough. If you were thinner, you would be better. I could love you more. YOU.NEED.TO.RUN!”

I went on my first diet at 12. I think it was about 5 minutes after my dad made his comment.

This went on for about 6 years. Me fighting my body to keep my curves from becoming too pronounced. By the way, I was 5’7″ and a size 8-10 in high school. I think at my absolute heaviest in high school was about 130 pounds. I thought I was huge.

Then before I left for college, everyone I encountered reminded me of the freshman fifteen (I was too young and naive to realize that the fifteen was caused by alcohol intake, not food) and every girl we knew left thin and by Thanksgiving returned, at least fifteen pounds heavier. This scared me to death.

Aside from leaving my family for the first time ever, leaving my boyfriend, 20 poundmy friends, my hometown and going to a new city, living on my own and being completely out of my comfort zone; I felt out of control. There was no way that I was letting my weight get out of control. I had to control it. I had to control something. I restricted my calories to about 600 calories a day (max)  and proceeded to throw up everything I took in (including water) and exercise for at least 2 hours a day. I remember heading down to the dorm gym in the basement at 10 pm, alone, and not returning to my room until midnight. I did a lot of things alone in those days. This started the fall I turned 18.

This is Bulimarexia

This continued for 8 years.

I was caught by a friend of mine once the first year. My parents found out. All the baggy sweatshirts and loose jeans can’t20-poundweight loss on an already average sized body. I had to return home from school mid-semester.

Even after I was caught, I never quit the bulimarexia. By that point, it was my trusted friend. I relied upon it. It was my routine. It was my safety. I didn’t care about the ramifications. I was in too deep to stop.

I got sneakier. I learned to pretend to eat and move my food around on my plate, eat off of smaller plates. I learned how to vomit silently and hide the evidence. I learned what was easier to digest and what tasted better coming up, what got hung in your throat and what did not. I learned a lot of ways to do this that I won’t share here because it would be irresponsible for me to share the intricacies of bulimarexia with you here. I don’t know who could be reading this and I refuse to give detailed instruction on how to kill yourself.

Eventually, I allowed myself to eat more and vomit more. It became the norm for me to vomit 5 times a day; some days as many times as 10 but usually no less than 5.  I never really ever binge ate. Binging, to me, was weak. It lacked self-control. I remember being tired a lot, cold ( bad circulation and no meat on my bones), hungry (always hungry), puffy (my face would look puffy from constantly throwing up) and having scars on my hands from involuntarily biting down in the middle of a purge. Honestly, I’m surprised I have any enamel left on my teeth at all.

I remember people constantly trying to feed me and telling me that I looked sick. Most people had no idea that I had bulimarexia. I knew how to keep a secret. Every single time they said “you look like you are sick”, I felt validation..someone thought I was skinny. A concerned boyfriend once told me that I was getting too thin. I accused him of cheating. I preferred to give up the relationship with him than give up the bulimarexia. This was a serious relationship, not a casual boyfriend. It didn’t matter.

I stopped the behavior when I was 25. I will write about that in another post.

Bulimarexia makes you defensive. Starvation makes you mean. You’ll do anything to protect the disease. You take comfort in the control. I can tell you about this now because I am not that same girl. I am trying to not let my number on the scale rule my life. I’ve not starved or purged in almost 15 years. In fact, it will be 15 years this fall. I still have times when I consider it for a moment, but then I look at my daughters and I know I want to live. I want to be a good example for them and I can’t do that with disordered eating. I’m sharing this so you can understand that eating disorders are more than someone simply choosing to be skinny. They are not terms to be thrown around lightly because the weight and price of eating disorders is death. I was lucky, I survived my bulimarexia others do not.

Bulimarexia the Consequence of Impossible Standards

bulimarexia,anorexia,bulimia, eating disorders
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Judgemental Doctors, Throat Punch Thursday, Doctors

Throat Punch Thursday,Judgmental Doctor,doctors, obesity,weight management

Judgmental Doctor You Suck

Tonight’s Throat Punch is brought to you by a judgmental doctor. Don’t get me wrong some of my favorite people in the world are doctors; my brother in law, one of my best friends to name a few. I realize that they are, in fact, human; just like you and I. But I expect a standard of professionalism when they are practicing medicine. What they say at home, that’s between them and their HIPAA conscience. But when a doctor brings assumption and judgment into the exam room, we have a problem .

I’ve been having persistent coughing fits for the past 2 weeks and decided to go to the local RediMed, as I don’t have a GP here yet. The doctor walked in the exam room ( after I had waited 2 hours to see her) with a less than enthusiastic attitude, as if I had done something to deserve to be sick. It was apparent from the moment she walked into the room looking through her nose at me, that she was a judgmental doctor.  Worse still a cold bitch, as the room dropped 10 degrees when she walked in.

She began by asking me the standard questions. How long have you had the cough? Are you feeling any sinus pressure? Are you feeling any pressure in your ears? I say yes. She asked, “Pressure? or PAIN?” Her tone was as if I had misunderstood her question. I had not. She had a very thick accent. I’ve grown up immersed in thick accent as my fathers mother tongue is not English. I don’t usually have an issue understanding accents but hers was quite thick.

Judgmental Doctor, Throat Punch Thursday, Doctors, Body issues, weight, body dysmorphic disorder

Judgmental Doctor You are No Lady

“Do you have any allergies?” Yes, I have seasonal allergies.

“When you cough are you bringing anything up? Yes (I’m assuming she was referring to phlegm).

This is when it all fell apart.

At this point she is looking at me, as if I have totally done something wrong, “You really have to watch what you are eating late at night!”  I eat at 5:30 every night.

I have no f*cking idea what she is talking about.

“You must cut back on the greasy food! Take some Prilosec and stop eating these kinds of food!!!! ” She’s practically yelling. I feel as if I am on trial.

“Stop drinking all the sugar, sodas and coffee at night. You need to watch what you eat so you don’t destroy your esophagus with your unhealthy eating habits.”

I don’t!I don’t! I don’t!

What the f*ck is she talking about? Since when did a cough warrant a scolding on non-existent eating habits?

Judgmental Doctor Say What

Then it hits me like a ton of rocks hurled by sizists at the fat kid. Somehow, when I was explaining to her that when I lie down at night the coughing fits get worse, she heard “I’m a big fat asshole who has acid reflux because I can’t control my binge eating at night. I drink 2 liters of soda and pots of coffee with reckless abandon because I just don’t give a shit about my health!”

She was being very condescending and rude.

I know I am out of shape. I am heavier than I ever wanted to be.

I DO NOT HAVE ACID REFLUX.

I HAVE NEVER HAD HEARTBURN. I don’t even know what it feels like.

I came in for COUGHING FITS not a judgmental doctor with a side of asshole bedside manner. Who did she think she was?

I seldom drink caffeine, never at night. I’ve never been a binge eater. I’m a restrictor. To add insult to injury, I’m pretty sure that the reason I am as heavy as I am now is partly from all the damage I did to my body when I was in the throes of my 8 year battle with eating disorders. Doesn’t this bitch know I have body dysmorphic disorder?

Of course she doesn’t, she’s just the freaking drive thru of doctors and she doesn’t have my full medical records. That insensitive bitch just used her judgmental doctor powers on someone who has to talk herself into accepting herself on a daily basis. I’ve never felt so ugly in my life.

I was deflated. Enraged. Wanted to throat punch her and cry simultaneously. On top of everything else, it’s shark week and I’m not feeling especially happy with excessive water weight that I’m holding.

Thanks for the pep talk, Dr. Kevorkian.My throat Punch goes to the wicked stupid, judgmental doctor with the sizist attitude and atrocious bedside manor.

Hope you will link up your Throat Punch Thursday posts with me. I wanted to extend a personal invite to all of you to link up any posts in which you air a grievance, call out any asshatery,or just dole out a well deserved throat punch to one of societies shortcomings or political douche canoes. If not this week, I do it EVERY single Thursday and would love for any or all of you to join in! All you have to do is grab the Throat Punch Thursday button ( listed under the “about” tab at the top of the page), put it in your blog post and link up. If you’d like to stay in the Throat Punch know, I’d love it if you would email subscribe ( as GFC will stop working soon). Just say No to a Judgmental doctor.

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