Body negativity and thoughts of the new year

*The first part of this post was written in July of 2016. I was too afraid to publish it because of what people might think of me. Since then, I’ve seen or heard many people saying they want to lose weight and become skinny or skinnier in 2017. I saw this as an opportunity to share my story and experiences I’ve had. If you’d like to skip the sad part and get to the advice part, feel free lol I’m a mess

**And I’d like to say that you’re all beautiful and I hope you never think anything different than that. We all struggle internally with things we wish we could change about ourselves, but it’s possible to be happy anyways. And although the majority of this post may seem negative, I am working on me and I’m working on being happy, and because of that, I am grateful.

July 2016

I would love to say that I’m really proud of myself. That I put in lots and lots of hard work to achieve this weight loss. That I want to give advice on how I lost it and inspire others to achieve a healthier lifestyle. That I’m happy. But that wouldn’t be true, would it?

“the truth will set you free”

The summer before my senior year, I was devastated when I stepped on the scale and discovered that I weighed almost 170 pounds; I had never been that heavy before in my entire life. I had consistently stayed around 155, but depression set in and I was not motivated to take care of myself. I ate fast food every day after school, causing me to gain even more weight (Wendy’s, I forgive you). I didn’t exercise. At all. The flights of stairs at school always left me winded and breathless. It was embarrassing. And I was sick of it.

•••

I had always known I was one of the chubbier girls in my classes growing up, but when you’re young, you don’t care as much. You care about coloring, and who you’re going to play with on the playground, and if your mom packed your pudding for lunch. Things are so simple.

5th grade was tough. I didn’t really know anyone in my class, and I had to make new friends. Growing up with social anxiety (that’s a whole other post in itself), that was super difficult for me. I got teased a lot, but it wasn’t too bad.

Middle school was full of changing friend groups and was very confusing. But 7th grade marked a turning point in my life. A boy in my science class called me “stupid, fat, ugly, and worthless.” I remember every detail about that day. That was the first day my worst fears came true: to me, everyone thought the things about me that I thought about myself. That was the first day I thought “wow, I really hate myself.”

Okay, it wasn’t alllll his fault. But, he awakened something inside of me. Something sad. Something dark. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror anymore. I was “too this” or “not enough that.” My hair wasn’t shiny. My cheeks were chubby. My tummy was too squishy. My thighs rubbed together too much when I walked. My face wasn’t very pretty. I hated smiling. So, I didn’t.

I went through a lot of tough times. I locked myself in my room for days. I hated the sunlight (not just because I’m so so pale and burn every time I step outside lol). I didn’t want to hang out with friends, but I would feel so left out if I wasn’t invited anywhere. I had no one but myself to confide in, and that was my worst mistake. I contemplated harming myself. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be gone.

I gained a small amount of confidence in junior high and throughout my sophomore and junior years of high school. I wasn’t  happy, per say, but I was satisfied enough; I knew I couldn’t change. I couldn’t make myself become the person I wanted to be. I would never be as pretty or skinny as other girls.

•••

Senior year started, and I was struggling with a lot of things. I almost failed two classes junior year (don’t worry; I finished with B’s in both. God is real, y’all). I had no idea where I wanted to go to college. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. *honestly, not much has changed* My “boyfriend” (at that time) wouldn’t talk to me. Needless to say, ya girl wasn’t having it. I didn’t want to be a burden on my friends, so I kept my inner demons to myself. I felt like I had no one to talk to. I thought something was wrong with me. I still didn’t like the way I looked. And so one day, during the first week of my senior year, I made a mistake that I’m going to regret forever: I threw up my dinner.

“I just think you would be happier if you lost a little weight”

I had thought about eating disorders. A lot. It seemed like such a quick fix to all of my problems. But I didn’t realize that I already had one. I had a binge eating disorder: I would eat and eat and eat until I felt like I was going to explode, and then I would be left drowning in feelings of sadness and guilt about what I had done. I ate when I was bored, I ate when I wasn’t hungry, and I ate to feel better; however, I definitely did not feel better. I contemplated anorexia, but ruled that out quickly; I didn’t think I could ever stop eating food. Bulimia never really crossed my mind that often. I had actually tried a couple times, but it never worked. Until one day, it did. And the next day it did, too. And the day after that. And the one after that. I was throwing up my dinner almost every day. I would go out to eat with friends, and return with a runny nose, tears in my eyes, and teeth marks on my hand. I would eat dinner with my family, only to quickly retreat to the bathroom, turn the bath on to drown out any noise, and claim I was just taking a shower. Sometimes I took three showers in one day. No one thought anything of it. I was beginning to be happy with myself. I was okay with what I was doing. I didn’t realize that I would almost kill my body.

The weight didn’t immediately start dropping. I weighed myself every single day. My original goal was to get back to 155. Actually, I wanted to be better than I had been at 155; I wanted to be 150. When writing down our cap and gown sizes at the beginning of the year, I wrote down my goal weight was 145. I graduated weighing less than 125. That 145 turned into 140, which turned into 135, which led to 130, and somehow I am here. I am 121. **this was written in July**

The weight just seemed to fall off all at once, and suddenly it was gone. I was gone. I was a shell of my former self. When I began my “weight loss journey” I had hoped to feel like people would like me more. I had hoped that I would get noticed by somebody. I had hoped to make more friends. I had hoped to get attention. And sadly, that’s exactly what happened. Suddenly people knew my name and were making conversation with me in class. I gained lots of followers on social media that I had never even met in person before. People were calling me pretty. Or beautiful. And even gorgeous. People that I had barely even spoken a word to before. People were jealous of me. People were proud of me. People were asking how I did it, how I lost all of that weight, what did I do. I answered I changed my lifestyle, I stopped drinking soda, started drinking more water, exercised more. And I wasn’t completely lying.

Around February I started going to the gym; I was trying to get in shape for my school’s musical I was in, but I was also secretly hoping to lose even more weight. Because that would be healthy. That would make up for what I had been doing for so many months. But that didn’t fix what I had done. It only made it worse. If I didn’t make it to the gym that day, I would try to starve myself. Like that would even it out. I still go to the gym sometimes today. It’s therapeutic. It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. Like I’m becoming a better me.

I told two people about my problem: one of my best friends, and my mom. My mom made me go to therapy a couple of times, and I do think it worked; however, the focus at the time was more on my social anxiety than my eating disorder (I know, I’m just a bundle of fun!).

My throat was always sore and scratchy. I would miss out on things that my friends were doing because I would be too busy throwing up in the bathroom. I would become hostile when anyone asked about where I was or what I had been doing. But somewhere along the way, the majority of the vomiting stopped. I could hold down a meal. But I would have my moments of weakness, as all people do, and I would try again. But, I couldn’t. My body physically wouldn’t let me. I cried and cried out in fear that my body would return to the way it had been. That I would return to the way I had been. That all of the attention would be gone. That I wouldn’t be pretty anymore.

I created this blog after a really hard couple of days for me. I had recently fallen back into the cycle of binging and purging and I couldn’t make myself stop. I felt hopeless. I just desperately did not want to gain that weight back before I left for college. I needed to be skinny so I could make new friends. I was a mess. My boyfriend was really scared; I was ignoring his text messages and phone calls and he was so afraid something had happened to me. But I didn’t want to answer. I was ashamed of myself and what I had done. Who I was. I didn’t want him to think I was fat or ugly. I didn’t want anyone to think that. So, the cycle had started up again. I didn’t get out of bed the next day. I ate a banana and a handful of cereal for lunch. For dinner, I binged everything in sight. I really regretted that. But, I couldn’t throw it up. I sobbed and wailed and felt like a mess. I fought with my mom. The only thing I thought I needed help with was losing weight. One slip up and I would think I had just gained 5 pounds. I was afraid. I was afraid of myself.

•••

i felt the need to make this post because I have been lying for so long. The truth is, weight loss is hard. And the truth is, you can have insecurities even after it’s all gone.

Things nobody tells you about significant weight loss or being “skinny”:

*your legs can still look weird to you even when you get a thigh gap

*it’s hard to sleep at night because the bones in your legs rub together and they sit on top of each other and you have no cushion and it’s very uncomfortable

*your perception of your double chin won’t magically disappear

*stretch marks are everywhere

*your boobs shrink more than you think they would. and it really. really. sucks.

*NONE OF YOUR OLD CLOTHES FIT RIGHT. might as well throw your favorite dresses and jeans away now

*you still may have dimples in your thighs

*sometimes your hair falls out. a lot.

*your face sometimes looks sunken in and lifeless

*your fear of shopping because clothes will be too small turns into the sadness that clothes will be too big

*you become obsessed with your hip bones

*you’ll be weirded out by how tiny your wrists become

*you’re cold. all the time

*you won’t know whether to be happy or sad when you can count your ribs just by looking at yourself

*you’ll be called “too skinny”

*sometimes when it’s really windy outside you’ll feel like you could literally get blown away

*weight loss won’t make you magically love everything about yourself

•••

i think I’m going to be okay (I’m telling myself that, at least). For the people around me, I need to be okay. I will be okay

im writing this post on July 18, 2016. Who knows when I will actually publish it though. I’m hoping to say that I will be recovered by the time that happens.

*************January 2, 2017**************

Well that was depressing lol laugh through the tears am I right??

I weighed 121 pounds when I wrote this originally. As the summer went on, I tried to stop eating. I thought 500 calories would be a good amount to eat in 1 day. I got down to around 118 pounds. I wanted to be as low as 110 or 115 pounds. I exercised for up to 4 or 5 hours a day. My body was constantly sore. I could count all of my ribs just by looking at myself: can you?

Today, I probably weigh 128. A few days ago, I weighed 125. Sadly, I am not recovered. My binge problem got even worse when I started college, and it hasn’t stopped yet. When I look in the mirror, I see the body I had over a year ago. I may still weigh significantly less than when I started my “weight loss journey”, but it doesn’t feel or look like it to me.

Some thoughts for the new year…

I know weight loss can be a very positive thing. It can leave us feeling confident, happy, and proud of ourselves. And trust me, I love seeing people become better versions of themselves. And trust me, I have gone about weight loss in a variety of healthy ways in the past. However, there is a very dark side to weight loss that you can very easily become trapped in. It can torment you day and night. I am controlled every waking minute of every day by food. I urge you to take care of yourselves. Please, please, please take care of yourselves. Please, please, please don’t become like me. Make sure you want to lose weight in a safe way. Make sure you’re losing weight for you. Not to please anybody else. Make your goal to be HEALTHY. Every person has a different set weight that their body is programmed to work best at. Don’t focus too much on that number on the scale. Don’t let it haunt your nightmares. It is absolutely not worth it. It is absolutely not worth it to skip a meal in fear of gaining a pound. That one time you skipped a meal can turn into a lifetime of torture.

Drink water. Go on long walks. Go on hikes. Eat that piece of cake (anything is okay in moderation!!). Watch the sunset. Enjoy the ride in the car. Go to the gym (especially when you’re sad. and if you have a hard time being motivated, watch netflix while you’re exercising. it’ll do wonders). Sing (loudly). Laugh as much and as hard as you can (tone those abs, girl!). Cut those toxic relationships out of your life. Fall in love. Do things that will make you spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically healthier. I may not be where my goal is to be right now, but I have felt what it’s like to be healthy and happy. Being healthy makes you happy. Being happy makes you healthy.

In conclusion…

I know this has been pretty much all over the place, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that you should focus on you this year. Stop trying to please everybody else so much!! Here I am typing this after binge eating sooo much food and I was sad and I was sinking back into depression and I had to stop and ask myself “what’s the point??” Good question, Lauren. What is the point? What’s the point of doing things you know make you unhappy? What’s the point of constantly comparing yourself to all of these other people on social media? What’s the point of freaking out when you eat a freakin’ burger?? We all may take 2 giant leaps forward and 1 step back sometimes, but hey, we still have that 1 giant leap forward. And if you mess up, tomorrow is a fresh start.

We all praise the new year and our chance at new beginnings, but isn’t every day a new beginning? We have the opportunity to turn our lives around every minute of every day we experience. What’s stopping us? What’s stopping you?

So. If you’ve read all of this (bless you) and you’ve evaluated why you want to lose weight and how you want to do it…do it! I know you can. 2017 can be your year to transform your body into a strong machine that can do whatever you want it to do. It may not happen all at once, but that’s okay. The journey will be worth it. Be proud of every single accomplishment you have. It doesn’t matter how “little” it may seem at the time. You ate a salad for lunch? That’s awesome! Salads are kinda disgusting, so I’m really proud of you, and you should be too!! You squatted 5 pounds more than you usually do? You go girl (or boy. idk who’s reading this)!! You went on a walk today? Invite me next time! Walks are great for you!

Take a moment and be thankful that you’re here and you’re living and you’re breathing and you have the capability to do something with your life. Don’t take the easy way out. Don’t develop an eating disorder just so you can be as “attractive” or “skinny” as someone else. I’ve been fighting for almost a year and a half. Eating disorders are the #1 killer of all mental health disorders. And yes, it is a mental health disorder. And yes, that means more people die of eating disorders every year than of depression and suicidal thoughts (just to put that in perspective).

I don’t really know how to wrap this up lol sorry for the ramblings…

be happy be healthy be you!!

please remember: pretty hurts.

*thank you so much to anyone who took the time to read this post. as terrified as I am of people knowing the truth, I hope that at least someone will now know not to make the mistakes that I have.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Body negativity and thoughts of the new year

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s