To Eat or Not to Eat
The purpose of my blog wasn't a "how to" on life. It's been (and will continue to be) a way of letting people see a glimpse of who I am, what I've experienced, and where I hope to be in the years to come. If anybody is able to take lessons away from reading what I have to say - WONDERFUL. If not, then I let you behind a wall I keep pretty guarded. You're welcome.
This post is so hard to write only because what I'm going to talk about very few people know the struggle behind it. You know the saying "You may think you know but you have no idea"? Yeah this is seriously that.
Since my Freshman year of high school I have suffered off and on from an eating disorder.
Anorexia and Bulimia to just go ahead and put it out there. A true addiction. A love/hate relationship with food and the desire to be thinner than the day before.
I think it's safe to say that society paints this picture that every woman should be no bigger than a size 2, and that if we are anything bigger than that, then we are fat and should kill ourselves trying to GET to that size 2.
I'll be the first to say at some point I believed every bit of that. At my smallest I was 100lbs. I'm 5 foot tall. So picture that for a second. I was wearing children's clothes. Not juniors. CHILDREN'S. I could fit comfortably in my 8 year old son's t-shirts.
So now here's where all the judgy eyed people start asking 'Well why don't you just work out?'. Trust me when I say that - for me - it's not that. What some people may or may not know is that having an eating disorder is based around control.
When all of the other chaotic shit is spinning around me, what I put in my body is something I CAN control. I would go days without eating anything. If and when I did the guilt would cause me severe anxiety and I wouldn't feel better until I vomited.
The smaller I got the fatter I felt. The less I ate the better I felt. The number on the scale couldn't get low enough for me to be happy. My coworkers would comment "Lesli you better eat something... you're wasting away." I couldn't see it.
My Papa died the day after Thanksgiving 2012. I sat at his bedside for the day and as I sat there watching him I realized how it had been going on my 3rd day not eating. After I left him that night, I stopped by Alphonso's to pick up Zo and he had a plate waiting that his parents had cooked. I devoured it. I didn't even heat it up all the way because I was so hungry.
I cried while eating not just because of the hell I had been through watching my Papa but the fact that I felt helpless. Food comforted me for a good 2 minutes that I was devouring it. The feeling didn't last. Anxiety and guilt overwhelmed me pretty quickly and I couldn't get home fast enough to throw it up.
The last bout of anorexia I dealt with was after my last bad breakup in 2016. I felt like I was on a constant emotional roller coaster with a man I was so blindly in love with. If he wasn't going to love me the way I wanted him to love me... I'd find something I could control. Food and lack thereof.
One of the hard parts that I struggle to accept about having an eating disorder is that I will always struggle with it. I mean... yeah I eat now, but I still have guilty moments where I want to run to the nearest bathroom.
When can I just be at the point where I don't need to worry about what a scale says? Or not have the lump in my throat everytime I see old pictures of how thin I was.
Currently I'm a size 4 and 134lbs. I still don't look at the scale when I go to the doctor's office and some days I'm low key mad at myself for BEING mad at myself about being a size 4. The struggle is fucking real.
I've gotten better about my mindset with food. I try not to over eat because I know it will only send me in a downward spiral of binging and purging. It's easier for me now as I've gotten older (and clearly wiser - obvi) to realize I have to focus on portion control.
Again - that control thing. I have to constantly remind myself that I won't be able to control every little thing that happens in my life. What I can control though is how I respond to it.
I remind myself daily that things could always be worse. I can't force a man to love me, or pull money off a money tree when I need it. I can't let these minor stresses of life be the cause for a major setback when it comes to my mental and physical health.
This disorder at several points in my life has consumed me. When I say I've had dark days - please believe that there was no light at the end of the tunnel on those days.
I have a lot of work to do to get to where I need to be mentally. It will always be a battle but I'm okay saying that I'm finally headed uphill. I'll have good days and bad but I'm trying my best to have the good outweigh the bad. Be patient with me.