Tag:

Bulimia

mental health awareness month, mental illness, bipolar, depression, OCD, PPD, Eating Disorders

You’re crazy! Oh My God, she is acting so bipolar! I can’t go shopping this afternoon, I am so depressed! Get over it. Take a chill pill! Don’t have a panic attack.

We hear these statements made almost daily. For some, they may seem harmless but to those of us who suffer from these diagnoses, it’s far from funny.  It’s serious.

My chemical imbalance is not your bad mood. My battle with eating disorders is not you trying to lose 5 vanity pounds. Someone’s deep depression is not the same as you having a bad day or being sad because things didn’t go your way at the game tonight. My inability to see myself as I am in the mirror is definitely not the same as being slightly concerned with the way your ass looks in your jeans.  Someone’s PPD is not the same as you being overwhelmed because you took on too many things. Somebody’s OCD is not the same as you wanting to wash your hands before meals. Being afraid to take a risk is not the same as being so terrified to be in a room with people that your heart races so fast that you are sure you are having a heart attack.

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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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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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Not quite sure what the issue is but lately its been like a balmy 100 degrees of hell outside, and in addition to the Monica Barbados hair that I am sporting

I feel like I am definitely melting. Well, I am surely sweating perspiring  glistening a lot! It’s pretty disgusting! But I’m not actually sweating my ass off ( if only that were possible because after the past two weeks I’d be giving Kate Moss a run for her money). No, in fact, I am pretty sure I am completely bloated. Is that even possible? Is that a THING..can humidity make you retain water? I’m serious, my money is on yes. I actually discussed  this with a girlfriend, who just happens to be a doctor, and we are pretty sure that there is a “THING” where women retain water during times of humidity.Well, anyways, that’s my story and I’d love to be able to stick to it.Of course, the inordinate amount of ice cream that I have been eating as a cure for the human melting heat, could also possibly be the culprit. Nah, it has to be the humidity!Right?

Regardless, I am starting to feel like maybe I am resembling Ruby minus the red hair add the Monica!

Damn ice cream! Damn heat! I know, I’m not actually anywhere near 617 lbs. or even her 300 lbs, that she has most recently been at, but this is what I feel like. This is my perspective. I don’t want to feel like this.

So, what do you do when you feel frumpy? Lumpy? Gross? I’m pretty much sick to death of excuses..you know…. the ones I tell myself. Believe me, there are a thousand and 1 ‘reasons’ why I am a chunk but the real answer is…I’m not making myself a priority. I put everyone else’s needs above mine. I’ve tried once, last year, to take the bull by the horns..and it really made a difference. I made myself a priority in my own life and I actually felt ‘human’, like  I deserved to have time alone to mentally recoup and workout, to take the time needed to be a better me which made me a better Wife and Mommy. I spent time with my friends. I enjoyed life and felt like I was being a positive role model for my girls. I always conjure the image of turning into Gilbert Grape’s Mom, and how that effected her kids. Yes, I know..I am extreme!

Of course, these things snow ball. I was on track, lost 25 lbs…the right way by exercise and portion control. I was over the moon and feeling like for once, I was in control. Sure, I’d lost weight before but I cheated. I’d either completely starve myself or I would eat a little and barf it all up. It worked, though I’m pretty lucky I have any teeth left in my head, that I didn’t have a heart attack, and that my esophagus survived the 8 year ordeal( Disclaimer: I stopped this behavior when I got engaged for fear my beloved would have dropped me like a hot potato if he had learned about that particular puke flavor of crazy. I did tell him about it….after I’d stopped. We’ve been married for 11 years, you do the math. Just didn’t want you all to be worried I was running off to the lieu barfing between key strokes). But last fall, my birthday present to myself was “ME”. Then over the holidays life happened, we had to move ( again), I lost my workout buddy ( my biggest cheerleader, my friend), my whole life was up-heaved and then I was stressed about money and our livelihood in general. Add to that my husband being away, the stress of being here all week with the girls while my husband is often out of town, and the uncertainty of it all. It completely threw me off of my “me” game. Now, I feel like such a loser and not like the BIGGEST LOSER in a good way but like an idiot who had the keys to the kingdom and lost them. You know, sorta like poor Kirstie Alley!

I guess, I have to start prioritizing “me” again. If I don’t, who will? It’s my journey and no one else can take it for me. But my girls are eyewitnesses to my journey, their legacy….and I want it to be one worthy of them; deserving of me! I have to make an effort, make a schedule, make a list, sacrifice some sleep..whatever it takes! Because I know, I can not be happy feeling like this. I know that nobody’s perfect but right now I am not even close to being the best me that I can be. And I really feel like I need to be the best “ME” for me so that I can be a better “ME” for my girls. I want to show them to make themselves a priority! I want to show them what a happy,healthy, fulfilled person looks like! I want to teach them by example what it is like to feel comfortable in your own skin and to love your body and yourself. I want to show them to demand the same of everyone they know, because they are worth it. I want to show them..not tell them! So, please human melting heat go away; I can no longer take the cure! I need exercise, will power, a walking buddy, maybe a program and possibly a therapist..STAT!

 
Decide carefully, exactly what you want in life, then work like mad to make sure you get it!
Hector Crawford

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