In an effort not to trigger or encourage any comparison this story will contain no numbers or pictures. Just an account of my struggles. How they began and where I am today.
This might be long so grab a seat and a cup of coffee and lets talk.
It all began when I was about 10 years old . My father would often compare me to my sister. She was tall with long legs and ….well…. me .. not so much. I can remember my father saying to me “you have big thighs like your mother” . The fat Sullivan thighs my mom called them , her maiden name being Sullivan and her sister and mother sharing those same shaped thighs. I had now joined that club. Instead of being taught to be proud of my inherited figure I learned to hate it just as she did.
I grew to hate my thighs so much I spent my entire life trying to change them.
Am I not good enough?
At the age of 14 1/2 i found myself 20 pounds overweight and was consumed with self hatred.
So I did what most teenage girls do I went on a diet in hopes of losing weight and gaining happiness and of course “thinner thighs”
I began to diet and exercise and noticed a change. But during that time I also felt deprived from the sweets and treats and unhealthy food I once loved…. and thats when it began.
One day after school with no one home I found a box of cookies and ate as many that would fill me up and then some. Such pleasure and guilt wrapped up in one. I did not” purge “those cookies in the way a bulimic would. My purging came in the form of self deprivation and over exercise the day following my binge.
In four months and right before my 15th birthday I lost those 20 pounds and the compliments began pouring in. A teenagers dream , to finally hear that I looked good enough. I was losing the weight but what I was gaining through the process was far worse.
Am I good enough yet??
As I went through my teen’s and 20’s I began dieting and exercising harder and also “cheating” harder. At the time I did not know it was called binging and that it was actually becoming an addiction that would one day become a very serious stronghold in my life.
I started my binging while I was babysitting when no one could see me. I would get the kids to bed and eat until I would find myself in an almost comatose state.
The following day was always followed by restricting my food and exercising for hours to undo the damage that I had done.
And no one knew about it , absolutely no one.
At one point in my 20’s I had gotten so thin I actually believed that I had found control over myself. My food my exercise and my weight. Deprivation led to binging led to guilt and then self hatred.
Thats how I stayed in shape and remained thin for most of my life. It was because I hated myself. And mainly I hated my thighs. Thats where it all began, these darn fat thighs!!!!! And nothing I did got them thinner. Even at my lowest weight and best physical shape my thighs always stayed the same shape. UGH!!!!!
When will I be good enough??
So let me fast forward you to the last 5 years. this is when it all started to come to a head. The damage I had caused my self mentally, physically and most importantly spiritually.
In 2011, at the age of 40 I ran my first half marathon. Best shape of my life while still maintaining my binge/deprivation lifestyle and keeping it all a secret. No one knows……
Not my husband and kids. Not my few close friends and not the people at church. They see me walking in and maybe they think boy she is beautiful or look at her body she is so disciplined. But I have a secret. I have an addiction to bingeing. I am a food addict. It is all I think about. It consumes me from the minute I wake up and my eyes first open till I go to bed again at night.
And deep down inside I think “ I have become my mother” addicted to different things but still the same struggle. Is this how she felt everyday of my childhood.
In 2012 I had a knee injury that would forever change the course of my life. With out all the details in between I found myself having a major knee surgery on September 27, 2013 that left me on crutches for 8 weeks followed by 2 years of rehab. And it was during this time that I really realized that I had a problem with food and that bingeing is actually not a good thing. (no I actually didn’t realize it until now).
While I was recovering I could still binge but I couldn’t do the hours of exercise that came the next day and I started gaining weight…… HORROR STRUCK!!!!! Now everyone will know that I actually am not in control. The only thing I think people see in me is slowly going to disappear. And it did start to disappearance the truth was slowly coming out to ME. Me , I realizedI had a problem. A problem with body image and food that consumed my life more than God. It took a place in my that should have been for my husband my children my friends and all those other women who needed me to be what I portrayed on the outside.
But I am not that women………
I do not think I am good enough…….