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Down but not out

September 14, 2009

I don’t remember the first time I turned down a dinner date with Matt because I couldn’t find nutritional information for the restaurant online and I can’t remember when I began measuring portion sizes for my “breakfast” and “lunch” (which consists of 1 cup of Cheerios ). I don’t remember the last time I ate a thick slice of deep dish pizza from Pizza Hut or licked my neon orange fingers clean after munching on my favorite snack food – Cheetos puffs. I don’t remember when my hair began to fall out in clumps or when my skin became so dry that no amount of Bath & Body Works Body Butter would soothe my cracked hands.

But I DO remember the last time I had my menstrual cycle (almost 2 years ago – January 7th, 2008) and I can still recall the first time I wandered in to Gap Kids to purchase a new pair of jeans (kids size 10) because the smallest pants in the adult store dropped straight to the floor once I zipped them up. I know the exact day I stepped on the scale and saw the lowest weight of my adult life (94lbs. on my 5’3” frame) and I remember sitting on the oversized couch in my counselors office, surrounded by self-help books and a poster that read in bright bubbly type – “You are worth it!” – as she told me that I was suffering from Anorexia Nervosa and ordered me to immediately see a doctor.

I never woke up one morning, decided I was fat and said to myself – “Hey, maybe I should become anorexic”. I wasn’t abused mentally or physically as a child. I was never overweight or bullied. I came from a loving family who always supported and encouraged me. I was in a wonderfully fulfilling relationship with a man who held me close when I cried, laughed at my jokes even when they weren’t funny, and loved me unconditionally and without question.

I did not fit a single stereotype associated with Anorexia Nervosa and yet I was its victim.

Only recently have I been willing and able to recognize the abusive relationship I am in with ED.

And although I am not yet emotionally prepared to increase the number of calories I consume a day, or drive to work rather than forcing myself to ride my bike to burn off a few more extra calories … I am ready to acknowledge the behaviors.

I don’t know if I will win. I imagine that I will be knocked down and out, stand up and then drop again. But I’m a fighter. And I want to be an example. This is my story of my struggles and successes.

Welcome to the good life.

Welcome to the good fight.

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