Watch me…I continued to cut calories and carbohydrates, and I ran more. I was living off the high energy I got from knowing other people thought I was skinny. Of all people I thought- ME! They starred at me, they complimented me; my head was on cloud nine. I envied getting the skinny compliments, it fed my disordered mind. It made everything worth it. The pain I suffered, the thoughts, the self hatred. Hearing other people’s compliments and worries about my weight left me in control. My cheer coach pointed out my abs to the squad, and my hard working effort in the gym. I HAD to come in first in the squad 2 mile runs, even up against the couple black girls (they’re faster by nature I swear) on the squad, I had to beat them. My weight went from probably close to 160 following my first semester of college down to 114, which I could never get under with Bacardi and the low carbohydrate diet I was following. I lived off cheese blocks, and tuna salad, egg whites and the occasional overconsumption of nuts when drunk. That’s it, I was addicted to coffee and diet soda. I must have drunk a gallon of coffee and a 12 pack of soda a day. The fizz kept food off my mind. The caffeine kept me awake and energized for the million thoughts that ran through my head at lightning speed.

 My roommates finally had enough of my antics and we had quite the falling out one evening involving many tears on their part. I was, as always emotionless and as always had no opinion. Nothing was breaking my spirit. They were wrong about this. I thought I was fine and everyone was simply envious. That is how damned selfish this disease is. However, to break the fight apart, I agreed to change my eating habits. To them, I figured this meant cookies, because normal people ate them, and bread, because normal people ate sandwiches. I knew in my heart I was never going to touch the stuff. I agreed to stop the obsessive diet I was on and eat what everyone told me was “normal food.” This was followed by even more calorie obsession, blood sugar swings, headaches, weakness, the whole nine yards on a starvation diet. Prior to this I had the fat content in my diet to keep me going. Calories weren’t as important as my fear of carbohydrates. Because other people had made such a circus and ordeal out of my eating and wanted it changed, I was going to hold a grudge and make an even bigger deal out of my diet and body. Bye bye menstruation, bye bye muscle. I was now counting my calories down to a bite of a celery stick. I was an angry mess yet refused to show it. I was mad at my roommates who meant the world to me, my parents who are my everything, and the world in general. I had no direction in life, in my major, in anything I was doing besides having the control I had over my eating and body.

If I was going to have salad for dinner, I had to divide in my head the calories proportional to the serving size to know exactly how many calories were in each vegetable in my salad. A couple sliced radishes, shredded carrots, lettuce leaves, everything had a number and every part was calculated.  I had to know every miniscule calorie I was going to eat. And God forbid if someone wanted something I was eating and had planned to eat probably 24 hours prior. I would shit a brick if someone wanted a bite of my food. I had spent since the night before calculating exactly what I was going to eat, and exactly how I was going to work it off. I reexamined it the entire day, and you want to try a bite? If they had a bite, it would throw off my entire control, my entire comfort zone because I had already prepared mentally to “allow it.” Everything would blow up if someone took a taste test. Not that they wanted egg whites and celery, but it did happen on occasion. This is how anal and obsessive anorexia is.

If I remember one thing about childhood, every wish and desire was on being thin, and one of the people who could eat what they wanted and stay thin. That was what everyone wanted. Everyone loved thin people, they had all the friends, and they got all the attention. I have wanted that for as long as I can remember. This is what I did not have growing up. I was not thin. I always felt I was looked down on for not being small. Thin people knew exactly what they wanted out of life. They had pathways and accomplishments. I can’t exactly pinpoint when I indefinitely lost control, and became deeply woven in the web of anorexia. But once I started downward, it went fast. I was hyperactive and unable to concentrate or sit still. Strange because at the same time I was incredibly depressed. There were so many highs and lows and I was able to feed off the energy of starvation.

I definitely mean business when I put my mind to something. I have been like that my whole life. But there is stubbornness about me as well. If I am in ANY kind of physical pain, no one will ever know and I won’t ever complain or say anything. In cheerleading I had the God awful worst back problems. I use to attempt a basketoss and then run out of the room to “use the bathroom” when really I had to cry and wouldn’t do it around anyone. When we stunted, I obviously was too tall to go in the air so I was the one throwing tosses and lifting girls. It killed my back and after a toss and catching the girl, the pull in my back repeatedly for 3 hours was more than I could usually handle. I could not move when I woke up in the morning. I still can’t stand for a long period of time because my lower back will start hurting. I also sprained my wrist throwing tosses one day and no one ever knew but the athletic trainer who told me to wear a brace which I didn’t because I would feel like a baby and people would know I’m in pain. I was tough, and didn’t do things like that. It’s weird for some reason I’ve always been like this. Knock on wood though- I have never broken any appreciable bone! Just fingers and my big toe.

Its strange to think this all started because I wanted to get in shape, and lose some weight. It turned out to be the most life threatening and vicious cycle of my life. When I had control over my food and my exercise I was happy and loveable, but when it all turned for the worst I was still fully convinced I was in control, and I was the one who had the willpower and confidence in my ability to starve. The truth is at your worst, you may think you have total control, but there appears to be two different sides to you. You can pinpoint in your mind those two sides as well. One is hateful and controlling. It’s obsessive and compulsive. The other, tries to inform you your life is at risk, that you should eat with the family, eat what people cook. It is so illogical in the anorexic mind though. It extended to convincing myself everyone was out to get me and wanted to change me because they were jealous. Everything they did acted against what I wanted and needed.

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