“You were so tiny before! You should go back to that kind of body.”
About four years ago, I managed to reach the weight of 125 pounds, probably the lowest that I’ve ever had. A lot of people had complimented me and told me that I looked good. I was able to wear a lot of cute clothes and dresses that I wouldn’t have dared use just few months before. But the journey to that weight wasn’t a flower path, more like vomit-filled path.
I didn’t have bulimia, but something close to it. To be diagnosed with an eating disorder, you have to experience it for like three months straight. I did the binge and throw up for a over a month. It felt disgusting while doing it but it felt good when I saw my weight going down after throwing up. I remember eating a lot of junk foods, then felt guilty about it and proceeded to throw up into the toilet. I remember looking at the mess and crying over it but still proceeded to the weighing scale to weigh myself. Weighing myself was how I consoled myself. It made me feel better even after the pain of throwing up.
I was aware of what I was doing and how it started affecting my life. I barely had any energy at work and was constantly hungry. I barely fed myself and even eating half of a protein bar can send me into a heaving fit or worse, purging. I would read the nutrition label of the product and focus on the calories. I was eating barely 1000 calories at that time and mostly drank water. It was the only one that I can take and not have the urge to throw up. I would wake up every morning and weigh myself, hoping that I would lose more weight. I also took up pilates and did some light work out and after that, I would weigh myself again and just drink water.
It felt horrible. It was a cycle of eating and throwing up. But people kept on complimenting me on how tiny I looked and how small my face was. On how good I looked in that dress and how pretty I looked in the photos. I reveled those compliments and every time I eat, it would take me back to the time when people would tell me to lose weight. Then I go back to the toilet and throw up.
At that time, eating less calories was the easy way to lose weight. I had an app to track my calories and I kept on using that to input how much calories I ate in a day. I started becoming more aware on how much calories were in a different food products and actively avoided those that were high in calories. I didn’t realize how obsessed I was with calories until I found myself looking for the nutrition label on a shampoo bottles. Yes, a shampoo bottle. It was Head and Shoulders and had almond on its bottle. I saw the almond, I saw food. When I see food, my mind always goes back into thinking how much calorie is in there. So I looked for the nutrition label on the shampoo bottle and took me a few minutes to remember that it was a shampoo bottle. I felt foolish but that made me realize how bad my situation was becoming.
A few days after that, I started researching more and more about bulimia. I had a vague understanding of it before but the more research I did, the more I willed myself to not get worse. I saw the negative results and it’s effect on the body. I started looking ways to slowly get farther away from an eating disorder. I started eating more food that I did from the past few weeks. Every time I felt like puking, I would distract myself and hope that my stomach would calm down. I slowly trained myself into eating more and more food and calming myself enough to not throw up. It took me weeks to recover from that and I started gaining weight. I was happy that I enjoyed food again.
For years after that, I gained more weight and never looked back. I was again called fat and had to lose weight. I’m at 185 pounds, my heaviest weight so far. Now, they want me to go back to when I was 125 pounds. “Just do what you were doing before!”, is what they always say. They didn’t know how badly that experience has ruined me. I still have urge from time to time to throw up. I have weeks when I barely want to eat anything because I’d rather not eat than throw up again. But in those weeks, I get praised as someone who lost weight and looked good. Then when I start eating again and gain the weight back, I get called fat and told to lose weight again. It’s a never ending cycle.
I’m not happy being 185 pounds but I do feel happy in how I view my body. But people around me show me that I should be ashamed of it and lose the weight. Like I didn’t know. I’ve been eating healthier food and work an active job. I’m going back to pilates (Blogilates y’all) and build some muscles. I try to keep a very positive outlook in losing weight but the thought of purging still go inside my mind. I’ve done it before and the urge to do it has never left me.