Wednesday, February 27, 2013

National Eating Disorder Week

It is National Eating Disorder week and as much as it makes me happy that we have a national eating disorder week it also saddens me that so many people have to go through having this horrible disease.

I remember being younger and thinking to myself “why do people have eating disorders, it is easy to eat” until I developed an eating disorder than I realized how hard eating could be.

I remember the first time I really started to hate my body it was the year that the Britney Spears video for “Hit Me Baby One More Time” came out and there was this tall, skinny blonde girl who all the guys loved and all the girls wanted to be and there I was short, tanned skin and dark hair but most of all I had muscle from being a swimmer. 

All of a sudden out of nowhere I was having thoughts of inadequacy I wasn't good enough, pretty enough, smart enough to be considered pretty. The guys would make fun of me and say stuff like “You look like the Terminator” a few of them even nicknamed me The Tiaraator because I had what they called crazy muscles. I wanted nothing more but for these to be gone. 

This is when my life started to spiral out of control.

Anorexia later turned into binge eating and soon my small frame of 120 pounds turned into a large frame of 250 pounds. Once again an eating disorder caught me but this time it was bulimia. I would become so depressed for being overweight that I would eat everything in the house and purge it out. This was a cycle for me for years.

One day I found the gym and in the beginning the gym was an enemy. I would eat and eat and eat than feel bad about what I eat so I would go to the gym for hours on end and spin and run and stair climb and swim until I felt better about myself and than do it again the next day. I remember my roommate asked me once if I was ok. To me I was no longer starving myself or binging and purging so I didn’t have a disorder. I was not skinny so there was no way this was an eating disorder, so I kind of fell through the cracks. I could fake that everything was fine around my parents.

These days I am healthy. I still exhibit signs of the Eating Disorder lurking in the corners and that will always be there but more often than not I can force those feeling out.

 I have found a better way to cope. I found a true friend in running. The road is always there and willing to listen to my problems. I have gone out on a run to have a good cry and flush out the feelings of not being enough. 

Running has embraced me and I have embraced running. When I finish a run I feel like I am more than enough I feel good enough.

I believe that my feelings of inadequacy are the reasons I have been able to gain so much speed in a short period of time. I take the negative feelings that the eating disorder brings me and I take them out in my run. This inspires me to be a better run.

Sometimes  I wish I could go back and talk to my 14 year old self I would say:

Dear Tiara,
You are beautiful exactly the way you are. Though the boys may make fun of you now it is only because they are jealous of you and maybe a little envious of your amazing muscles. Don't let people and the media get you down because it isn't real and one day you are going to be happy with being fit, you will work hard for it. Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow but there will come a day when you are happy to have muscles. Love your body for what it can do because it can do amazing things, don't hate on yourself. You are strong and beautiful and talented and you will make it through this.

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