I wanted to write a little something.
I hope it might help someone. No weight is mentioned. Because I know that I would have been triggered by it.
I've always been a natural eater, eating what I wanted, when I wanted it, and the amount I needed. That was mainly pasta, breakfast cereals, peanut butter banana sandwiches, fruits. I never went on a diet. I was slim, really muscular, swimming a lot, doing gymnastic, riding my bike, hiking. I had chronic constipation. That ruined a big part of my childhood. I had a belly pain 24 7, I was often put on laxative. Other then that, I didn't showed any symptoms of sickness.
At 14, overnight, I was not able to eat a thing except 2 bananas a day. I was hospitalize pretty soon. I relapsed after going out of there, but shortly, I jumped back on my feet.
I went vegetarian. I never liked meat, and it made me feel bad, but I ate some shrimps on occasion. and then I went vegan. It made more sense to me.
I began to have allergies. In my family, eczema and allergies are "normal". my brother suffered from severe eczema (from all the dairy he consumed) and my mom dramatic allergies. I took medications for it during the spring and summer.
At 18, I moved in the big city, and went to university. I didn't know what I wanted in life. I started partying and drinking a lot. I was drunk every night, and I was doing coke a couple nights a week.
From the alcohol, I gained a bit of weight, and to me, that was just not possible that I could move up a size. I was depressed. one day, I had an indigestion. I woke up feeling not well, I thought I was hungry, I ate a fruit salad, it came right back up.
That's when I restricted again. 2 clementines a day. I ate them so slowly that they dried before I finished them.
I didn't want to go back to the hospital, so I began to eat, only cereals with soy milk, and I threw up. The idea of having something, anything, inside was unbearable.
I discovered thelivefoodist along the way, and 811. I was so desperate to get better.
I was trapped. When you starve yourself, you began to fear food, to think about it 99% of the day. I was weak. For many years (probably over 4) I allowed myself to eat only from 3 or 4 oclock, nothing else. and I was throwing up as much as I could. veggies, lots of water, pasta , cereals, at some points muffins, but that's it. FOR 4 YEARS. I ate the same exact thing, horrified to do something else. For the biggest part of it, I was throwing up 5 times a day. Up to 10, down to 3. I became a skeleton at one point, but I maintained a really unhealthy weight all the time.
I came to a point when I thought that people were weird from keeping food in. And cried when I tried to put a baby carrot in my mouth with the idea of keeping it. the thing I wanted the most was to live. AND mangoes and tomatoes. celery. I don't know why. I would have given anything for it. But I didn't eat a mango or a tomato in years. Because I don't know... I thought that I couldn't give myself the right to eat something that good.
I was told by the mental hospital here in Montreal that I needed to be hospitalized, and that they (and I quote the psychiatrist) "don't tolerate vegetarianism" what kind of world is this ? Most dietitian recommend that you keep meat to the bare minimum (that's another story for dairy, the dairy industry and the governments have an affair !)
I saw a nutritionist, I ate yogurt and cottage cheese, shrimp and even chicken (probably 5 times). Wow. I wanted to prove to the world that I don't want to be sick. And to them, anything other then the hamburger pizza diet is abnormal and that veganism is part of my "sickness"! I gave in for a quick time. I don't want to eat chicken. Or cows milk !
I listened to everything high carb related. to brainwash me, in a good way. Harley and freelee, they are my #1 reason I was able to eat again, and I was so appealed by the lifestyle. Doug Graham. I love that man. What he says makes too much sense !
I won't say I'm recovered. I'm not there yet. it's a long process. It took time from the moment when I got the information to the action.
I never thought it would be possible. Never. I'm serious.
It's been 2 weeks now since the last time I threw up. That's a huge thing for me. I was doing it 4 nights a week on average.
I moved with my boyfriend, started to EAT, SAVOR !
When I was 14, the bananas I ate were green ! anything yellow (and even worse, ripe !!!) was disgusting to me. Now, the spottier the better !!!
I eat a ton of celery, bananas, mangoes, berries (they're in season and grown here in Quebec !) cantaloupe, tomatoes, etc etc.
I'm not eating the recommended 2500 YET, but I'm getting there. around 1800-2000 most day. And I'm feeling I'm born. I'm starting to live.
Because trapped in my twisted, disordered mind and thoughts and fears all the time, I was not living. It was a gradual thing. I told everyone I wanted to recover on my own.
I have a psychologist. The first thing she told me was "you're not sick". That shocked me because I thought I was an "anorexic". like it was my mission in life, my way of being.
I prefer to be a 23 years old girl who enjoy life, and who love all the things I love, and take life in the right way for me.
I've gained some muscle. I know it's been only 2 weeks, but I'm not going back there ! Fruits are too sweet and good to eliminate them !!!!
So that's the beginning of my road to complete freedom. FRUIT WON'T MAKE ME FAT :) It makes me happy. I'm starting to live again. That's beyond words, I can't tell you how great I feel now. I have a life ahead of me now. and a lot of fruits to eat :)
Thanks to all of you. (and particularly to Harley, who finally convinced me !!!)
That's because of this that I'm so happy now !
I'm so happy to hear you're doing great Emmy! Even if you're not where you want to be you have done a huge progress! Personally, I suffered and I say it in past because I consider myself healed from severe anorexia and I'm now in a point where I see myself with love, I feel comfortable again with my body and with who I am; but i know how hard it can be. I believe that following a vegan lifestyle of course helped me a lot, but I became a complete different personal, more spiritual and started to have a "real relationship" with God, who I believe keeps reminding me day by the how valuable my life is and that I need to love and accept myself everyday.
You can read about my ED story on my blog www.gastrawnomica.com or look for Gastrawnomica on facebook, Since I became more open about my past with ED's it has become easier for me to see it as something in the past, so congratulations for openly talk about it! Big step!
HI !!! I believe you're from Montreal too !
I'm already a big fan of yours ! :) I saw that you suffered from an ED and that encouraged me, to see that so much people with a past of ED got a great life with the help of this way of living !
You look amazing ! :)
I see myself more and more interrested in more spiritual related stuffs... Well... getting more in touch with my self, beliefs...
The way I think dramatically changed. It was a slow process, but my beliefs changed.
When I told myself "The least I eat the better" I turned that around to "eat more to live more", and it was the same thing with a lot of things. My self esteem.
I express myself a lot more. And I discover that's not because you say what you feel, you say what you want to say that people don't like you. I've always been so afraid to not be loved by someone.
I am me, and that's enough. I know that I'm a great person, and I need fuel to let me be me.
The starved version of myself was just trapped in a cage. It felt safe. It was really really small, limiting.
I believe too that this lifestyle, because I feel in touch and align with me, well, congruent... that makes me feel good !!! And I feel so energized !!! Not slowed down by hard to digest food !!!!
Thanks a lot for commenting !!! :)
You're right, Alex. I think that most of the misconception about eating disorders (anorexia in particular) stems from the stereotipical image of a young girl refusing to eat anything and driving herself to be skinny so that she can "look like a model" and whatnot--when eating disorders are usually much more than that. More important than outward self-image, there is underlying emotional trauma. And you don't have to severely restrict calories, even. I was eating 1500 at the lowest. Or you could eat fine but over-exercise. And it's rarely the same from one person to the next. Eating disorders widely vary; I've seen more than a few cases (mainly in-treatment). Many involve mental disorders, but they're certainly not always severe. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD (this includes perfectionism!), etc. (or a combination). That's part of the reason why it can be so different for different people.
Oye, I'm a bit of an obnoxious blabber mouth, lol. But that's okay. ;) That's what this kind of chat is for, right? :)
I'm glad that your estrogen levels have/will normalize. I just had a brief, unaccomplishing check-up at my pediatrician, but perhaps it would be good to see the gynecologist (if it's on our insurance...?)
Also, make sure that you send the letter to 1122 Beekman Circle! I forgot to remind you.
And, ohmigosh! Yay! Rainbow River and ice-skating sounds AMAZING! :D I CAN'T WAIT EITHER!!! :)
She's right about the way you look. (I've already told you, though, but outside sources tend to be less biased; I know.) You look great, of course! :)
I'm not sending your letter, since its in the package I wasn't allowed to send.
But you're not an obnoxious blabber mouth at all! :) Silly wickets. ;)
Hey all of you lovely ladies :)
Emmie, I am so so sooo happy for you. Like many of you, I too have a long history with an eating disorder, and like all of you, this lifestyle has been one of the two biggest and most life-saving factors in my recovery (along with a spiritual practice derived from my yoga practice). I have enjoyed reading all of your stories on this discussion. I have been 811 for two years now (!--but have yet to celebrate the two year mark!) and they have been by FAR the most transformative years of my recovery. It wasn't until this past fall that I really made a HUGE breakthrough and finally feel like I am in a place with my self-love and ed healing to truly thrive on this diet and way of living. But even though I haven't been fully following the beliefs of this way of living (i've been raw and vegan, but not fully hydrated, carbed, or slept), I has been my interaction with this lifestyle and community that has lead me to that possibility for success. Before i got on this path, and even a bit afterwards, i had always approached recovery as something i was doing so that others wouldn't be worried about me, would stop making comments, etc. I put on weight as fast as possible to be a good patient, daughter etc--basically my perfectionism persisted into my identity as an ED Patient! becoming fruitarian came when i was ready to begin being my own person, declaring what spoke to me, what i stood for, and when i was ready to finally disagree with my loved ones, or anyone for that matter. The first year of 811 I experienced huge personal growth, but had still not untangled the knot in my heart, head and soul that had grown into my anorexia ego. So i relapsed. BUT, this time, when i saw where i had gotten, i wanted to get out of it not because it was the right thing to do, but because i knew i had a purpose on this planet, i finally saw my own self worth, and wasn't going to let beautiful ME go to waste. So i started working. really, really hard..and largely by myself because all available forms of help that i had even been exposed to were essentially useless (measuring one's progress only by numbers, numbers, numbers--so ironic isn't it? we are obsessed with numbers in the first place, don't try and fix us with more numbers!!!) And i've been working hard since--spiritually, emotionally, physically, creatively...Recovery is so layered, but every layer essential to peel away, to examine, to experience, and then, after peeling them all away, you have Gorgeous, Perfect YOU! I agree with all of you, our eating disorder is NOT our identity. In fact, i guess you could say my latest "layer" has been building my ID around other parts of my life, and NOT focusing my ED directly-- it took me a while to get to this layer, and you have to get there on your own time, but even before hand, always take time to just put the ED on the back burner and enjoy the present :)
WOW, sorry for writing so much :)
I actually had a specific question for y'all as well: I just got a DEXA scan (for bone mineral density) and had less than awesome results. Have any of you ever gotten one of these done? What were your results like? and did you then get another one later on after a period of not restricting and get better feed-back?
Thanks for all of your stories, energy and beauty, I am so happy that we have all come to this place along our journeys <3
Wow !!! That's incredible what you describe. I can say I'm going threw something like that, finally being able to be in touch with me, seeing what I can waste if I go back to a) my "disordered" behaviors and b) what everybody does, or a in between of something... that would mean for example being a vegetarian, so I can please everyone, be a little more "normal", eat at restaurants more easily, etc etc.
oh my ! I'm tended to quote you a million time !
I began to weight myself and be OBSESSED with it (I weighted myself around 12 times a day probably at one point) when my doctor told me that my absolute minimum weight should be 50 kilos.
Boom ! weight obsession begins.
The number of time I threw up, the time of the day...
I'm lucky because calories has never been something I calculated.
Working hard on every aspects of life, that's so important. When I was really sick, all I did was obsessing, starving, grocery shopping, walking, eating, vomiting, and 20 minutes before bed, a watch an episode of the simpsons. That was my days. No more piano, singing, swimming (I stopped training seriously when I was 14, just when I stopped eating, and never really went back in a pool)
How something that important for me could not be there, with me still there.... I was a mermaid as a kid, a mermaid, a girl who would go in the forest, sing all the time, run (A LOT !)
Nothing I did during that long time.
How can you expect to recover if you deprive yourself from everything you lived for. Love, friendship, conversations.... I even had social phobia at one point. ME ?? that's insane ! not me !!!
That was not me me. I agree with everything you wrote.
I started to feel more like I was living a little when I started to take power yoga (I love to move !) and then pilates classes. Eating tomatoes was a huge step for me. It sounds crazy, but I wanted tomatoes SO MUCH that I was afraid of eating them. That and mangoes.
I eventually ate everything I craved. I craved my mom's fruit tart... I ate custard topped with fruit for my birthday (it was a tradition, my birthday cake !)
Not so cooked poached eggs with bread... for some reason, that's a big craving. But I'm happy that each one of those wants, I satisfied them.
I crave fruits all the time now !!!!! and I'm eating enough ! Not enough if I was really active like the real me is... I did walk and did some power yoga today...
I have a scale that measures everything. It's probably not that precise, but mine always says 12% or so, it was at 11% at one point... how was your results ? I'm at a risk group, so I worry about it too....
Those are definitely warning signs. Competitiveness has connections with perfectionism, which is a huge cause of eating disorders (although, obviously, an eating disorder by no means makes you "perfect," quite the opposite, but that's a twisted idea of perfect that the media drills into their head, and that is caused by emotional distress, etc.). Someone as young as that should NOT be concerned with "how fat her legs are." That scares me. Society is so messed up that the numbers for eating disorders are increasing, and the ages are getting lower and lower. I wonder if your daughter has gotten these ideas from school?
DO NOT PUSH HER TO EAT. It has the opposite effect. She'll just dig her heels in. You have to gently nudge her in the right direction. Talk about how healthy foods will feed her body and allow her to grow and be beautiful. Encourage good self-esteem, by complimenting her AND by setting a good example. She looks up to you, like all small children look up to their parents. If you have low self-esteem, she'll adopt the same mindset.
Don't lie to her or talk about weight-loss or gain, ever. Try not to focus too much on food or weight, while still making sure that she gets enough and she knows enough about how food fuels the body.
If it starts to get worse, it's probably best to see a child therapist? I don't know. It's a last resort, though, and don't wait until the eating disorder has fully developed. That makes it so much harder.
I really, really hope this helps. If you steer her in the right direction, this will hopefully pass. '
It's a tough question, and I must admit that I don't know the best answer, even with my personal experiences.
In treatment, they took away "privileges," like outside time, but that didn't seem to help me, and obviously you can't treat your child as if she is in a treatment center. I don't recommend that.
It's a bit of a lose-lose situation. Thinking back to when I was in my eating disorder, I would've just dug my heels in if someone had told me that I HAD to eat the food. But I probably wouldn't have eaten any more by myself. However, I think that the former is the worst way to go. It'll just make her angry and defiant, probably. If you say "no big deal," that would probably work better. Make sure that food is within her sight and reach (like, some fruit on the kitchen counter) if she does decide to eat later.
Also, I think that the "you must clean your plate rule" has done this society more harm than good. It installs the wrong kind of feel about meals--as if it is a chore--and doesn't allow children to listen to their hunger cues. Of course, you have to do this from the beginning, and you still have to ensure that your child is getting the proper nutrition.
Anyway, if she refuses to eat much, maybe tell her that it's okay, but she still has to remain sitting at the dinner table (or counter, or whatever) while everyone else finishes their meals? Maybe that would help. Try to be somewhat nonchalant, probably. How do mealtimes work in your family? Do you all sit down and eat together? Just wondering, since it's relevant.
And I'm glad that I could help. I know that I've researched a lot about nutrition, and that I sometimes comment on my sisters' food (they eat meat and everything). I need to learn not to do that, to let them learn on their own. After all, when I was ten, I was just eating whatever my parents fed me.
And yes, when a parent is constantly concerned with weight loss and/or nutrition, it definitely increases chances of eating disorders in children (I'm sorry to say!). Luckily, she's still young. :)
Definitely! I agree with Shannon 100%.
But what are you feeding her? If it's not vegan, definitely try to talk to her about veganism. It might make her more comfortable with her food choices, in a subconscious way. It certainly helped me; developing a vegan diet seemed to be the step where I stressed a little less about restricting when I restricted soooooooooooo much.
I agree 100% with you two !
Forcing things never helps for sure, talking to her about how food gives you fuel to do everything you want to do could help.
I worked with kids, from age 3 to 11 (I was teaching gymnastic and circus arts to children from elementary school who were coming for 2 hours, 4 times) and I saw that girls and boys made comments about weight and body shapes, and they made fun of those who were skinnier then average and those who were bigger.
That being said, I was always really slim, people never said anything. Sometimes, I think that when they see other people around them preoccupied about their weight or engaging in disordered behaviours (my dad binge ate)...
I needed to find my place, what I'm comfortable with... Everyone said that I physically looked like my mom but was like my dad in many other aspects... I didn't want to be like him (or like her either, I'm me !)
I think that love, showing affection, being there to listen, seeing when help is needed... that's what parents can do I think.
And tell her that life is about doing things, exploring things, living ! That fuel is needed for that. (No fuel, no movement, no life.)
Those are hard years in someone's life, you don't really know where you want to go, what you want to do... The plate is often a reflection of what is going on in life...
A person who takes care of everyone, who run around like crazy might need a lot of food, unhealthy processed food, to just forget everything.
Someone who stops eating might do it because it seems that's the only thing she can choose in her life. And when the drug effect of not being fed kicks in... it's a vicious cycle. The less you eat the more you think about food, the more you're afraid of it.
My point I think is, if the environment is good for her to make her feel like she can decide something... maybe something new in her life is all she needs, like a new hobby. My brother always said (and still says) "a little boy needs a passion". For a long time, my "passion" was what I felt was "my' anorexia.
At the end of the day, I think that there's very little we can do... I think that eating disorders are crisis, the only thing that can be done outside of the person who experiences it is to help her find the tools so she can find the answers.
It took me a long time to feel that I was loved and lovable. I think that's a big part of it. I felt like I didn't deserve to live, I didn't deserve all the attention I got. And it was a vicious cycle. The more guilt, the more self destructive behaviours I engaged in.
I don't know if that makes sense !
I had the same experience, not feeling like i was lovable, even though i was surrounded by love! and feeling like i didn't deserve the love i got, etc. This is sadly what makes those around us feel so helpless/ makes their role in recovery such a mystery. I agree, the best you can do is surround her with love and support and make tools available to her.
Incredible. You are so strong and inspirational. Thank you for sharing this. I know it was something I, among many others, really needed to read. You are truely an amazing woman. Keep on this journey. If anyone can make it, it's you :)