Fat and Sassy

my views on being larger than life.

Elle admits to exersize bulimia January 20, 2010


If I havent mentioned it yet, I LOVE stumble upon, an add-on for web browsers (get it www.stumpleupon.com).   It lets you pick your genres you like to look at (for me its humor, anthropology, video games, music, crafts, linguistics, history ect ect)  and then plugs you into a cloud using a thumbs up/thumbs down system like Pandora or digg.   Anyway it always gives me interesting fa articles from outside the fatosphere and this is no exception.  This time i stumbled into an article about exercise bulimia from Elle Magazine. 

As usual, these may be triggering, please read with care (and take in mind it IS coming from the Evil-Coprorations-Pushing-diets-On-us magazines aka one of THEM)

http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Health-Fitness/Exercise-Bulimia-How-Much-is-Too-Much

  I think its great that the author (a reality tv  winner from a show called stylista…the prize was an internship at elle)  was open about the whole thing, and how she realized she needed help.  The first article is her journey toward admitting she has a problem.  Her addiction started through a sport, having to cut 2-3 lbs to make the rowing team.   The old calorie in = caolrie out became the rule for her, the obession…she realized she had a problem when She was taping the show.   Her inability to exercise (their gym membership fell through, they didn’t get the contestants a treadmill, they couldn’t run because of the cameras..ect,ect.)  leads to a quiet breakdown, and she knew she needed help.  

  I think everyone has a triggerpoint….I remember being in middle school drinking slimfast and hiding in the library because I was embarassed…..runnning till I fell over to REM.   And, like the author of the Elle article, I hid my exercise, doing it late at night when no one would know.   Taking the bus to the pool to swim for 7 hours a day, swimming 50 laps or more without stopping.   Now, my exercise bulimia fell to pieces when I started purging, (it was oh so much less time consuming for one), but i can certainly understand where the author is coming from…and to a certain extent it’s what the media at large feeds us.  I find it problematic that in the same magazine as this article there is also THIS article http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Health-Fitness/ELLE-Make-Better-DVD-With-Brooklyn-Decker, but i suppose it IS a step in the right direction.

http://www.elle.com/Beauty/Health-Fitness/21-Day-Make-Better-Exercise-Diary

the second is the beginning of her recovery journey.  I sort of disagree with the slightly oversimplified idea that she could get “better” from an eating disorder in 21 days, but hey, it’s a start.  It’s about time that folks start seeing the compulsive exercise as pushed by the biggest loser and other weight loss shows.    It’s NOT ok to run 8 miles a day because you ate a muffin.   You are NOT supposed to exercise through injuries.    Holidays.   Birthdays.  The road to recovery is a long process full of pit falls.   The author speaks about gaining 3-4 lbs over the course of 21 days…but what if your body equilibrium is naturally 50 lbs heavier than that?   What happens when you STOP going 2-3 daily 6 days a week?   And where is the line?  Whats the difference between fasting because you know you are going to a buffet….or starving yourself so you can binge?  I think the line is, like all  addictions, does it affect your life?  are you ashamed of it?  do you obsess  about it?  do you do it in secret?

Anyway some food for thought.

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Biggest Fear January 19, 2010


So I am driving my kids in the car to go out to eat for a birthday dinner with their grandparents.   And the youngest daughter, the one most like me, pops up with “I think I eat too much…I’m going to try to be less hungry”  and my heart just broke….my biggest fear is I will somehow “give” my eating disorder to my daughters.   Even though i am step mom (their mother passed   over 3 years ago now.)  I love them like my own.  (for those that belive in the supernatural, i have dreampt about them since i was 12, but i digress again as usual)  I try VERY hard to cook balanced meals, not talk about good food bad food and try to help them look at food as fuel for your body…we need various food groups like your car need fluids or it wont run right.  At the same time i teach them to cook, to bake, to love food and life.

We tried hard to explain that she needs to eat and drink so her body can grow big and strong….. but now I worry….I’ve know her since she was 3…..she has always LOVED seafood and veggies…in fact at buffets she often just eats sliced tomatoes, seeds, cheese, and strawberries, happy as a clam.   But with that comment i find myself worried more and more….is she restricting?  or just enjoying the foods she loves?  do i force her to eat the meat and such that is the “main course” with dinner?  (our usual rule is as many bites as your age of veggies, fruit and protein)  She also has a bad gag reflex and will start to choke and puke a little when she’s upset (smells and tastes will also set her off).     At what point is that bulimia?  She has the other “triggers” for and ED too….a need to be perfect….childhood trama…..a crushing need to feel accepted.  Already when she messes up, she will run away and call herself stupid.   I try to tell her we have to make mistakes to learn but i don’t know if she hears me.  

Kids being the curious buggers that they are have caught me in a few ED freakout moments, so I sat down and explained as best  as I could how some people are fat and some people are thin, and how the people that sell diet stuff try to make you feel bad to sell the diet stuff.   They are starting to read, so we look at the tiny print on the diet commercials.  “mommy it says average weight loss 5 lbs total, thats not as much as the girl in the ad.”  But how do you explain bulimia and EVERYTHING that comes with it to a 6 and a 7 yr old without making them question their body, their self-worth?  How do you armor a child that , due to her genetics (her mom was 200+ her dad is over 300 lb) has a pretty good chance of being overweight?  (and do it without damaging her self-worth)

I honestly stay up at night worrying about stuff like this, and cry for a world where i have to worry about getting a 6-year-old ready for a life of being fat, of loving yourself in the face of pressure to diet because you are never, ever good enough.

 

WOW so this stuff really IS working January 18, 2010


Warning:   may be triggering as it deals with my own experience of Eating Disorders (namely bulimia) and journey towards recovery.

So for those that don’t know I “discovered” FA about a year ago when searching, at my wits end, for affordable eating disorder treatment for myself in my area.  And I don’t want to do OE anonymous or any of those 12 steps because I disagree with them on a fundamental point….I realize that it takes help to get over stuff, but I really don’t think god takes such a big interest in individual people’s wants/wishes.   I had a hard time finding anything that really helps with bulimia (yea sticking me in a “group” session with tiny skinny mini aneorexics…wow that helped…now imma go binge more tyvm)  and found the fatosphere through an ED (eating disorder) website.  I found the science that disproved all the weight loss companies…and then I discovered Health at Every Size.   YES!   Thats IT!    HAES was such an odd liberating thought….so i tried it. 

Being bulimic, every time I try to diet…it turns into restricting….which turns into failure…and bingeing, and then purgeing…and repeat cycle for 20 years(that is sort of the definition of untreated bulimia.)  I yo-yoed between 285-330 for 10 years.    About 6 months ago  I tried a HAES baby step (for me) , I just added more fruits and veggies…..dont make yourself NOT eat, just make myself eat green things…and orange…and red….and yellow.   Turns out I like veggies (when i dont make myself eat them in a salad with no dressing) , especially if I make them.  Roasted stuff is amazing!.   And I found I like to cook, especially if it’s for other people (im not so good at taking care of myself) I find myself CRAVING green stuff now.   

A few months after I started cooking and eating veggies (still eating cookies, and cakes when I felt like I needed them…and CHOCOLATE OMG!)   I started swimming again….I have to be careful, because if it at ALL feels like “exercise” in my head I will start working out 2-3 hours daily until i puke and/or drop.   I thought exercise was supposed to hurt….that you were supposed to be so sore you couldn’t walk or you were doing it wrong, because I was a FATTY and wasnt supposed to be in shape. (even though I was an olympic hopeful swimmer who was in the pool 3-5 hours daily for 2 summers)  A not fat friend of mine came swimming with me and then laughed at me when i was swimming a mile in 45 min for fun……he told me I was treating this like a punishment and I should stop and love myself.   So I looked for something else.    I tried yoga and fell in LOVE…I can pretend im just “stretching”  in my head and 45 min later BAM I’ve done a whole workout.   I now do 20-40 min 3 times a week  and it feels awesome.   I’m slightly sore now, but I can walk and still enjoy life.  I feel like my constant back aches from these big old titties and my knee issues are getting better as well.  

About 3 months ago I bought a “boxed” dinner (it was Swanson’s pasta I think) that I used to eat…it was bland, salty and gross, with limp veggies and overcooked pasta….and now I think I see why this is working….my pasta that I make at home lovingly for my family has fresh carrots….and onions….and celery…and tomatoes…..so much more appealing!   I don’t feel at ALL deprived the way I eat…if anything its MUCH better.   and I still eat ice cream and dump cake and “crap”, but I crave stuff like yogurt and hummus now.  

And the real money…..my blood pressure is down ( and when I had it checked I was in the hospital for pneumonia and it was STILL down from a year ago)  And the scale shows it all too, but that is a happy accident i honestly dont care about.  and i lost a bit   without even trying!  without even throwing up!   I don’t want to, im not trying to do it…..rofl in fact, this whole time (because im 30 and gravity is starting to work on me ) my fat belly has started touching my legs and I have SOOOO bad about it, so disheartened……I KNOW in my heart and head that diets don’t work long term, (and neither does bulimia)  but then you watch tv (or even talk to certain family members)  and OMG DIET FATTY  your GONNA DIEEEEEEEE.   I was so paranoid…..I started feeling out of control, and relapsing.   But I doggedly kept up with everything, kept making myself eat the veggies and fruits, keep taking care of myself, eating what I was craving even as I freaked out and thought about puking.  I read more about intuitive eating, and not beating myself up for not losing weight.   I started dressing better, loving my curves.  

But listening to your body does work…I feel better, my body is happy and not heart-burny all the time (from both puking and simply being too full).  I am learning to remind myself that you know what, you are full, you don’t have to finish that, if you want more , you can have more later, you MADE it stupid.   (being “too full”  is a GIGANTIC trigger for me.)  I’m learing to love my self for the sexy amazon goddess (i am a tall 6 foot german with a wide body frame, bones don’t shrink no matter how anorexic you get) I am.   Some people have a big frame and I am learning more and more that is OK.   I have a man that looks at me with desire in his eyes…..i feel sexy for the first time since high school.   I feel like, for the first time ever, i found a way to be ok with my body, love myself, nuture myself instead of being mother hen to everybody else.  And its really paying off.  

I don’t want this to come off as a weight-loss success story because its not….but I was so worried over the course of this I was gonna get fatter, blow up like a balloon and start the downward cycle that is ED again.  I thought I was just holding steady, I havent even weight myself in over 6 months, since I was in the hospital for pneumonia over the summer last year.   I knew in my head that diets don’t work, that this was revolutionary, that i may not lose weight but i would get healthy….but its one thing to know it and its another to really feel it, in your body, in your bones.   IN my head, the ED was whispering “it will never work fatty…..eating wht you want ROFL gimme a break…now puke up that pizza!”   But rational thought have (mostly) prevailed for the better part of 6 months are all signs point to success….even through the dreaded holiday season.