Happy and Healthy

Tip number 1. Love your body how it is and don’t change it. Especially while growing.

Tip number 2. Don’t be hard headed when it comes to health.

Tip number 3. Don’t ever develop an eating disorder.

All of my life I have struggled with weight. I’m naturally bigger, so I have to be more cautious about what I eat and drink. I have always been jealous of the girls that could go to class and eat a bag of Doritos or a pop tart with frappuccino’s while I just have my coffee, water, and a little side of fruit and a pack of nuts here and there.

When I was in my teens, I was overweight and just decided one day that it was time to lose weight. That’s when I turned anorexic without realizing it.

I went from 150 pounds to 79 pounds in about 2 months. 

The first thing I would do every morning was wake up and look at my stomach in the mirror and weighed on the scales I had in my room. I would eat around 300 calories a day and would ride a stationary bike that I put in my room from 8pm to midnight. After riding the bike, I would look in the mirror again and weigh to see if I could tell a difference by the end of the day yet. If needed, I would keep on riding the bike and rarely slept. If I ate a single chip or one bite of pizza, I felt like I had gained 10 pounds immediately. I would constantly feel my stomach and look in the mirror.

When I went to shop for new jeans one day, I was so excited because even a size 00 was too big for me and I would have to buy jeans from the little girls section. My family obviously realized that I had dark circles around my eyes and was underweight, but they couldn’t really do anything because I was so stubborn and I hadn’t realized yet that there was actually a problem.

I went for a yearly physical at my doctor’s excited to actually step on the scale for once in my life. But instead, the doctor sat down with my mom and me to have a serious conversation about how much weight I had lost. I remember the doctor giving me a chart of how much I should weigh and threatening to send me to an eating disorder treatment clinic. I told her my stomach would hurt if I ate normally and she said “it was all in my head.” I immediately got so mad and defensive because I felt like I was finally starting to be near my goal weight and here I was being told I needed to gain a lot of weight back.

I was mad at my mom for taking me to the doctor for my check-up and I was even more mad at the doctor because I still didn’t see a problem and was planning on losing more weight. I went to dance class and my dance teacher told my mom that she was concerned because she could see a difference in my weight every time she saw me and I was too weak to actually dance. At my volleyball games, I barely had enough energy to spike the ball.

When I started getting in my older teenage years and started to have personal health problems because of only being about 90 pounds, I switched doctors because I was still holding a grudge against the other one and went for a visit. When she explained the risks of what would happen if I didn’t gain weight, that’s when it eventually set in that I really needed to gain weight.

I remember being so mad at the situation when I finally gained 10 pounds and weighed 101.5 pounds. With everything else the doctor suggested, she also recommended for me to drink 8 ounces of milk a day. All I kept thinking about was the calories I was consuming from that one cup. I kept having to remind myself of the conversation I had with the doctor to keep me motivated to gain weight.

Then came another issue.

Because I was then use to having to gain weight, I just kept gaining weight and before I knew it, I was back to the weight I never wanted to be at again. I was taller, so I didn’t look as fat as I did before, but I just never wanted to come close to the number on the scale again that I was at. I wore a size 8 in jeans instead of 00  and developed digestion problems because my stomach wasn’t use to actual food. I had to test what foods I could and couldn’t eat pretty much just through trial and error.

Having an eating disorder never goes away no matter how long it has been.

It’s been a constant battle of feeling bloated when eating a “normal” meal, feeling my stomach, looking in the mirror, always thinking about the number on the scale, and never being able to have cheat meals like other people. It’s either splurging all day or not splurging at all. Through college, I kept up with working out, but didn’t have the healthiest diet just because of my schedule. I would be on a role losing weight again, but then I would stress eat and it would all come back.

Since I’m done with college, don’t have a full-time job yet (in the applying stage), and have been stuck at home, I don’t have an excuse to not get back to a healthy lifestyle. I know people say that this is a pandemic and not meant to be a time for accomplishing things, but honestly, I focus better in a time like this if I challenge myself with something. So I challenged myself to lose 10 pounds (without going to a gym since they are closed) and just being healthy by the time the quarantine ended.

I have been eating normal meals, been doing at least 30 minutes of exercising a day, and being okay with skipping workouts here and there and having cheat meals (like graduation donuts). Even though I still have constant battles in my head, I’m listening to my body more when eating and working out, and not worrying about a number on the scale.

I’ve lost a little over 10 pounds, gained a little muscle, did workouts I never thought I could do, and am actually liking how my body is starting to look for the first time. Even when I was 79 pounds, I was never happy. I always felt like I needed to lose more weight, so now just being happy with my body is huge.

Eating disorders never fully go away, but I feel like this is the closest I have ever been to being okay with what I look like and how I feel. I swear I’m not gaining weight back this time. I put in too much hard work this time to just let myself go again.

Phase one of the quarantine has ended, and I’m where I have always wanted to be.

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May have gone ahead and bought another pair of these jeans in a size smaller because I knew I would lose weight and I love them so much. Hehe.

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Until next time,

Caitlin xxx