Warning: This post contains discussion of Mental and Physical health disorders- especially in relation to weight loss. If you are uncomfortable with or do not with to see this sort of content, please do not click the “Read More”.
I have a very complicated history with health, body image, fitness, and related subjects. It’s nearly impossible to quantify all of it, but it’s been a running theme in my life for as long as I can remember.
For most of my life I was severely underweight. To put just how underweight I was into perspective, it suffices to say that my family enthusiastically celebrated when I finally exceeded 100 pounds… My Sophomore / Junior year of High School. As a result, growing up I never felt as if my body was “good enough”. Not because I was considered unattractive, per say. But because it was never “Right” according to the adults around me.
Then around my Senior year, I hit puberty and my body exploded what seemed like overnight. And not in a minor way, either; I went from having a tube, to having a large hourglass- complete with a 42 inch bottom and a 38 inch top, and an extra 50 pounds of body weight all in the span of less than 6 months (thanks puberty!). And, of course, my female peers didn’t appreciate this. They made that known through insistent name calling- including all those totally original insults you call girls because sexuality is terrifying. Especially if it’s theirs.
I wish I could say that none of this had an impact on me, but it did; I’ve struggled with self mutilation, suicidal idealization, and chronic depression for as long as I remember. And why you combine body image issues with these conditions, and you wind up with a number of eating disorders.
It started when I was younger with Binge and Comfort Eating. Unfortunately this was never something that was recognized as a bad thing. In fact, it was encouraged by my parents in order to increase my weight. Later, due largely to a Gym teacher who was obsessed with Physical Exercise, I eventually developed Exercise Bulimia- a condition which ran from the 6th to 8th grade. In comes an incredibly close but skinny obsessed friend of mine who developed Binge-Purge type Bulimia… And I, of course, followed suit. Eventually it all culminated in all out restrictive Anorexia, until I finally kicked my Eating Disorders altogether.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen before I developed several Chronic Illnesses and topped out at near 200 pounds.
I managed to loose a good portion of that weight through dangerous crash diets before I finally decided to do it the right way. And after almost a year of trial and error on my own, I joined Tumblr and discovered the Fitblr community at 145 pounds. I proceeded to spend the next 3 years (from 2010 to 2013) losing weight healthy and steadily- something I hadn’t managed to accomplish on my own until that point.
Altogether, I managed to lose 70+ pounds during my journey, with my lowest weight being 110 pounds, But it was not over yet. I still had to battle my own self loathing and hatred.
While I tend to hate admitting it because I do still love Feminism… A lot of this self loathing was largely in part to my immersion in militant forms of Radical Feminist ideology; Radical Feminist Ideology is drastically opposed to key components of my interests and personality, and my goals in life. As a result of being immersed in it from an incredibly young age, it created a heavily ingrained hatred of myself that I didn’t recognize until much later in life.
A severely abusive boyfriend at the time and a toxic online community did nothing to help this; mentally I was spiraling out of control, which eventually led to a 6 month long Manic episode spanning most of 2013- and both Self Mutilation and Eating Disorder relapse. In late 2013, however, I finally left my boyfriend (and the abusive relationship) of 3 years behind and moved back in with my parents. I reconnected with an old crush and proceeded to build a new life for myself.
Unfortunately due to continued stress, manipulation and abuse by my ex, an unhealthy home environment thanks to my Parents, mental health issues I hadn’t fully dealt with, and more… I ended up regaining 40 of the 70 pounds total that I had lost. I attempted to restart my routine over the last year, but due to poor living circumstances it was impossible at the time. Finally I topped out at 160 pounds. Despite all the problems, though, from January to about March of 2015 I did manage to lose about 5 of those pounds (and 5 inches off of my waist) simply by correcting my diet and eating healthier- combined with simple outdoor activities such as hiking.
After my Husband and I’s wedding in March we were given a house as a Wedding gift and spent March through the early parts of May (2015) remodeling it. We finally moved in and have spent the last 2 months getting settled. Now my goal is to reset my eating habits and get back into a working routine.
It’s not easy, though; between Acid Reflux, various undiagnosed Digestive Issues, Chronic Depression, Organizational type Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Chronic Fatigue, Sensory Processing Disorder (including Hyposensitive Oral Dysfunction), Orthostatic Hypotension, and (very likely) Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome… There’s simply a lot that I just can’t do anymore. Still, I’m determined; eventually I’ll get back there.
The Banner Image for this post was provided by StockSnap; the Banner Image for the main site is my own work.