This is the third and final post of a series of my history with food… if you missed out, check it:
So – here I am again. I find myself embarking on an amazing opportunity – COLLEGE! I decided to stay in Connecticut for college – my campus was about 50 minutes away from my parents’ house. My reasons for staying in CT – not so good.. BUT, I would not take a single one of them back because my life would be totally different! (I would have never met the love of my life .. although we didn’t meet at college.. but that is a story for another day! J ).
I had already began to lose some of my obsessive exercising and eating habits prior to going to college. While, I had many opportunities to play collegiate soccer, I ultimately decided against it. Why? I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. Somewhere among the endless hours of practice, I lost for my love of the game. I just couldn’t fathom making the commitment to something that was just no longer ME!
Well, I no longer had anything that forced me to train every day. Nothing to burn off those calories. I was still exhibiting binging/purging cycles – but it wasn’t as much of a focal part in my life. I moved into my college dorm – and wasn’t a fan of the floor bathroom situation – so the binge/purge episodes were few and far between. I wasn’t weighing myself because I did not have a scale at school. Then I came home for Thanksgiving and met up with a group of friends.
Took lots of pictures (I did NOT do a good job of documenting life through pictures freshman year of college). Didn’t like what I saw.
Back at school, I stepped on the scale again. Really didn’t like what I saw. I tried really hard to control what I was eating.. but it was tough. Re-enter excessive workouts. I would spend more than 90 minutes doing cardio daily. Lifting. Taking the long way to class. I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see.
This was my solution.
For the next three years – I continued on this cycle. I would either be restricting to the point where I would be light headed and queasy all of the time – or indulging in alcohol, fried foods, fast foods, and sweets – and then getting rid of those calories.
Let me tell you – this take a toll on a person – mentally, physically, emotionally. I was NEVER happy with the way I looked. I went through a bout of excessive drinking my sophomore year. It was bad at one point. I no longer felt like going out with my friends – but I still drank. In my room. Alone. Until I was violently ill. I was so unhappy, so depressed. To be honest with you – I just got used to it, figured it was just the way I was supposed to feel. That was life.
I am sure you are wondering how I was able to exit these vicious cycles of restricting and binge/purge. I didn’t have a breaking point. I do not have some cathartic moment where suddenly I realized I was doing major harm to my body. I can’t pinpoint a specific moment in time. What I was doing to my body was exhausting. I think I just got tired of it. And I wanted it to end.
Looking at these pictures today, I do not feel like I was overweight. I may have been heavier then I would have liked to be, but there was so much more to it then that. It was the vision that I had of myself. The inability to accept myself for who I was and respect myself all together. I had fogged vision. And nothing was going to be good enough
Since graduating and moving on into the “real world” (why do they call it that? .. it is not like I lived in a fake word before…) , I have had so many wonderful things happen to me. I have the most caring and loving boyfriend in the world… who I know what do anything to me. I have a job that I adore.. and I get to see the smiling innocent faces daily of so many children every day. I am living in a lovely condo. I have the best family a girl could ask for. I chose all of those things over my illness. I want to be happy. I want to be healthy. For them.. and for me!
It is a lot easier said then done – recovery.. getting over all of your issues. I struggle with it.. on a daily basis. I try to stay away from “fat talk” and negative thoughts. But it isn’t easy. I have completed changed my diet – to eating mostly whole and raw foods. And I when I am hungry (which is like .. always). I know I am putting healthy foods into my body.. and I let them STAY there. Yes I work out.. almost daily. But for the right reasons. Because exercise makes me feel good. It makes me feel strong and it makes me feel beautiful. I get energy and passion from exercise.
My history with food.. well, that is exactly what it is, history. It was not fun.. it was not easy. But I do not regret having to go through it. It made me the strong woman I am today. I am thankful for my health and my body.. and I am thankful for all of the wonderful people I have in my life that have guided me to make the most healthy decisions.
Sorry for the wordy post – but I also want to let you all know how much I truly appreciate your kind words. It was difficult for me to share my story – but I feel so liberated now that I have! 🙂