Just Ask Yourself

6 Aug

You know what is one thing I would never wish on any one? An eating disorder.

No matter what a person’s eating disorder entails, I would not want any young female (or male) to experience one. Even after you recovered, you still struggle on some days. In the back of your mind is that nagging voice telling you not to eat this food or that food because you will wake up ten pounds heavier. The voice wants you on that scale three times a day. Why would anyone want to be so skinny just to go through hell?

I guess it does make sense in some way if you compared an eating disorder to perhaps smoking. Why do people start smoking when they know all the awful effects smoking has on your body as well as the people around you? Someone could ask me the same thing about wanting to be so thin. Why would I want to be so thin and not eat just to think that it will lead to happiness?

Newsflash: being thin, like 100 pounds thin, does not lead to happiness.

As much as I started eating healthy to achieve perfectionism in sports, I started eating less and less to look thin because I believed thin was beautiful. I thought if I dropped another five pounds when I was at 115, I would be even prettier and happier. Then I thought another five pounds would make me ecstatic. It didn’t.  I stepped on that scale and stared at the number of 107. Why am I not pleased? Duh! Except that didn’t cross my mind. I believed another five pounds would be better and then I would feel content.

When the scale became lower than 105, I thought I could do better. I thought perfectionism was still around the corner. No, I was depressed like I was when I was heavy (like 150 heavy). You know what was on my mind once more when I was so gaunt? Suicide. I know it’s a touchy matter. Believe me. I don’t even want to get in to it, but it was on my mind. I battled with depression, etc., when I was heavy and again when I was too thin. Too heavy = not happy. Too skinny = not happy. Balance needed to occur.

What didn’t help at the time was Tumblr. I think a lot of you know about Tumblr. It’s basically just a type of blog. Anyway, on Tumblr I began to follow anorexia promoting blogs and blogs where girls just posted pictures of thin, thin women. I thought I wanted that. I wanted my hip bones to always show. I followed blogs where girls posted their weight of 105, but they had a goal weight of 94. All I wanted to be was beautiful. I wanted someone to be proud of me and I thought the only way to achieve that goal was to be stick thin (as well as excel in cross-country).

Just as black lungs are a side effect of smoking, depression is a side of effect of an eating disorder. You will never be pleased with yourself when you have an eating disorder. No matter how thin you are, how healthy you eat, you will always strive for a flawless self. Food will be on your mind from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep. Sitting will hurt. The mirror will be an enemy. The scale will be a friend.

I encourage anyone who even thinks they suffer from an eating disorder, even if they believe they are just eating healthy; to seriously analyze what they are doing. I’m not saying go get help immediately, I’m just saying take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself if you really want to be dejected, miserable, suicidal, count every calorie, never enjoy life, never laugh again, and obsessive.

Trust me, you don’t. If you stop yourself in your tracks now, it will be easier. It’s not peaches and ice cream, but if you realize what you’re doing to yourself, it may be easier to find a solution. Stop it yourself too. Do it for yourself or don’t do it at all.

Never strive to be the best. Others will see you at your best work, but you will only see yourself as a failure. Perfectionism doesn’t exist. Happiness does. Yes, that is corny, but true.

To this day, I struggle with thinking that I need to reach perfectionism. I become very strict then. I have to remind myself that I bet Dean Karnazes does not even think about what he eats after runs. He probably just eats and doesn’t worry about how many calories he takes in one day. Why should I have to worry about it? That’s all I have to ask myself. 

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16 Responses to “Just Ask Yourself”

  1. Alexandra August 6, 2011 at 2:57 PM #

    Oh man, this is one heck of a powerful post. I can relate to your story so much, I would never wish an ED on any human being either. It’s kinda like cancer, always there even if your technically “cured”. When you said the bit about Dean Karnazes, I wanted to shout out OH MY WORD YES!! It frustrates the hell outta me when I just hear people say they’re gonna up their cals like it’s nothing and I have to mentally prepare myself for a mental world war three. I’m here for ya if you ever wanna talk, we gotta stick together and keep on fighting my friend 🙂 Lotsa hugs comin your way from Texas!

    By the way, if you didn’t get my reply to your comment, here’s the peanut flour link–http://www.southerngracefarms.net/peanutflour.html You’re gonna die of bliss when you get your paws on some heehee 😀

    • lifttorun August 6, 2011 at 3:06 PM #

      I’m the same way when it comes to upping my calories. It’s such a battle.

  2. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) August 6, 2011 at 2:59 PM #

    Wow I do agree 100%. When you have an eating disorder you are looking at “perfection” that you never quite see in your eyes at least. Less is always better no matter what anyone tries to help and say. Great post!

  3. thesmartcookiecook August 6, 2011 at 3:30 PM #

    I came upon your blog rather accidentally; you were in the freshly pressed posts on wordpress. Your words are powerful and I can relate because I’ve seen firsthand what these diseases do. Not only do they consume the lives of those who have a disorder, but of everyone around them as well. Eating disorders need to be taken seriously. They are ruthless and malignant.

  4. hippierunner August 6, 2011 at 3:38 PM #

    Well written post! Perfectionism does’t occur but happiness does. I’m so going to make this my motto all day so I can memorize it; it makes so much sense. Thank you!

  5. Tara August 6, 2011 at 5:48 PM #

    I feel like I can’t react to this in the way I would like to since I’m on my itouch in a hotel lobby – but I’ll try because this post was so frickin well done. I agree with every single bit. Although technically you can be recovered, any day can bring unexpected challenges and stress related to food. Its something that’s so omnipresent and necessary in our lives, so escaping an eating disorder is so difficult. I hear people say they wish they were anorexic so they could just lose weight fast and it makes me want to cry – so many people can’t understand how it is a long long battle. I’m glad you (and I) are at least back on the right track, and I am now using that dean karnazes question because that totally resonated with me.

  6. Christie August 6, 2011 at 5:56 PM #

    I think the hardest part about ‘recovering’ are the comments people start to make. ‘OH you look so much better now’ translates to ‘you look fat now’ in someone with and ED’s head. People think because you put on a little weight you are miraculously cured. Sometimes you want to scream I AM STILL STRUGGLING! great post girl. 🙂

  7. Amanda @ Running with Spoons August 6, 2011 at 6:59 PM #

    I would never wish an eating disorder on anyone, either. I used to think that I would be happier if I was thinner, but with every pound I lost, happiness seemed to slip that much farther away. I remember considering suicide when I was at my lowest weight, which is something that never crossed my mind before. It was terrifying and I never, ever want to go back to that kind of darkness again. I still have to deal with a nagging voice every once in a while, but it’s pretty easy to shut up when I remember the hell that my ED put me in. I’m so much happier now, and I wouldn’t go back for anything.

  8. katshealthcorner August 6, 2011 at 9:40 PM #

    Eating Disorders are never fun. And there are so many different types, more than just the typical three that we hear about. Like my orthrexia. Being so obsessed with eating only “healthy” foods, setting strict standards for what those “healthy” foods are, refusing to eat anything that’s not on the “list.”I have had that “perfectionism” desire since I was a little girl, and being “perfect” in how I ate became the center of my life.

    My strength became my weakness. I thought that the closer I reached “perfection,” the more I would be happy. But actually, the closer I got, the less happy I became.

    Nevertheless, through all of this, I have found that I am a better person now. This may sound weird, and yes orthrexia is something I would NEVER wish onto anyone, and it was a huge struggle for me in my life to overcome, but I actually don’t know if I would want to change what I have gone through. I have learned so much from it. I have learned so much about myself that I never would have known if not for it. I found the strength inside of me. I have found a balance with myself, that peace, learned from my mistakes and have moved forward. I wouldn’t know so much as I do now. I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I wouldn’t be ME.

    We can both strive to find that balance and enjoy life together. Thank you for always being there for me.

  9. Isabelle@cheesymiteapples August 7, 2011 at 2:54 AM #

    Thanks for this post and being so brutally honest. I also had a tumblr which was all thinspo related. I used to find comfort in communicating with other girls who had the same goal weights 100 and under. It took me a while to realize trolling these sites made me more and more unhappy and only made me relapse when I tried to recover.
    You think you’ll be happy when the number on the scale drops….false sense of happiness.
    Happiness can only come from within!

  10. trailroadcrosscountrytrackrunner August 7, 2011 at 4:58 AM #

    This is very well-written. I couldn’t agree more. After what I’ve been through, I would NEVER wish an ED on someone else- whether it be anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, orthrexia, or EDNOS. Eating disorders are no joke, and I feel like the only people that TRULY understand them are the people that have had
    them. It is a daily struggle, and even if you are technically “recovered” the voices never go away.

  11. allieksmith August 7, 2011 at 5:18 AM #

    Um this post is awesome and amazing as well as you and your attitude. You rock 🙂 GREAT post!

  12. Haley Q August 7, 2011 at 7:23 AM #

    Oh my gosh these words are so beautiful. I’m so thankful you took a leap of faith and posted this because it’s exactly what I needed to hear. Depression has been a constant struggle over the past two years, and it started around the same time I developed an eating disorder. I never connected the two things until recently, but I didn’t know if that was possible, if they even had anything to do with each other. Not that I want you to be depressed or have those awful thoughts, but it is so comforting to hear other girls dealing with the same things and that we are not alone.
    Being thin doesn’t mean happiness at all. I hate hearing friends and younger girls talk like that-that if they become thinner, then they’ll have a better life. It makes me cringe because it is so false. At my thinnest point, I was the least happy because being thin consumed me.
    THANK YOU for posting this, and stay strong girl!

  13. runningperspective August 7, 2011 at 8:14 AM #

    GIRL dude like I AM SO WITH YOU HERE. especially when people are like em your face looks so much fuller like yu look great. or even my boyfriend is like oh i love how you look now. thats all i think about it i gained weight i gained weight.. and its SO TOUGH
    because i know i am healthier and stronger…but that voice that always present voice is like what are you doing your letting yourself go em!
    and it sucks
    and id never wish this upon anyone
    and about dean karnazes…dude i think the SAME THING like he just runs…food is fuel…the end.
    i want that so badly

  14. pbbrittany August 7, 2011 at 12:32 PM #

    This is such a powerful post! I’ve never been anorexic or bullemic, but my way of thinking of food was (and still is sometimes) disordered. I hate worrying about what if this will make me ‘gain weight’. And to Alexandra, I agree with upping the calories- it IS like World War III! It’s hard because there are all the ‘what ifs’ even though I know that I need to to be healthy. Great post!

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