14. August 2014 by swissfitchick
Good morning and happy Thursday!
Thank you everyone for your hilarious comments on yesterday’s post. You guys crack me up and I am thankful I am not the only ‘lady’ who experiences some nasty behaviour once in a while. Happy sneezing. (with food)
Today I am starting the first part of my series ‘my story’ – after asking you guys on what you like to read, I got a LOT of requests to tell my story more detailed and especially how I managed to recover and overcome all the shit (I am sorry, my language is part of this all…..). To be able to explain how I did this, I have to start from the very beginning – and that is what you will have to read for the next 2-3 Thursdays/Fridays. I am sorry if that bores the hell out of you – there will always be some cheerful/silly food/fitness posts in between, so don’t worry.
Before I start, I want to say, that I will try to speak as much as possible only about me. Things which happened happened because of different reasons, but NO person in my life is to blame. Not my first boyfriend (there are 1-2 ex who can be a little blamed though), not my family, not my friends. The decision to stop eating or to start bingeing was all mine. I was loved and supported deeply and unconditionally by my parents, my brother and my friends throughout all times and still today.
I had the most wonderful childhood you can imagine. My parents stayed together for as long as they could (my Dad died in 2001 – I was born 1978 – yup, I am a 70’s chick!! That’s pretty cool, believe me) – and me and my brother were raised in a big house together with another family who were also with 2 kids. So basically, I have another brother and an older sister too. Yeah, I was the baby of the family. Hippie-Community-Style. There we all lived in that house with a huge garden for everyone, rabitts, birds, cats and other pets (chinchilla’s, anyone?), a basemet with Pinball, Kicker, Ping-Pong and all that jazz. We had parties on every occasion – our house was the place to go for the entire neighbourhood. And no, it wasn’t perfect – we were a normal family who fought, who bitched and who had all the ups and downs like other families have too. But it was perfect for me and it was the time of my life.
We had the most normal eating habits one can think of. 5 meals a day, carbs, fats, proteins, veggies, fruit, dessert, everything. Healthy and some not so healthy. Balanced and normal. And Momma is a fantastic cook, so we were blessed with delicious meals daily (except when Dad cooked. Seriously, his sausage-cheese-salad was h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e!!!! 🙂 )
Turning 12 years old, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. I remember, being terrified as a kid of all things diseases, death, war and natural catastrophes. So when he told me that he is seriously sick, this was the downfall for me. There was no way I knew how to handle the thought of losing the most important person in my life beside my bro and my Mom. So I chose a strategy: I ignored it. I asked him, if he would die (‘Maybe’), I wanted to know what the plan was (he showed me all of the meds he had to take and explained the therapy plan to me) – and then I didn’t talk about it anymore at all. With no one. I walked away when he started to talk about it and I focused on ‘normal’ things in life, like my saxophone, friends, school, sports. I thought, if I wouldn’t put this ‘happening’ into words, it would just disappear. I wanted to close my eyes and go through it, and when I open them again, everything would be over and just the same as before.I wanted his disease to be over as quick as possible, SO bad. I couldn’t cope with the fact that my dream childhood was over and my precious, safe nest of security and love jeopardized.
Nothing was like it was before. Watching my Dad going through a chemotherapy was very tough for 12-years-old me. I mean – how are you supposed to handle something like this? Not only me, as a child, but also everyone around and my Dad himself – NOBODY prepares you for things like this. You just have to accept it and be strong and positive. I guess, that’s life. Dad recovered (for the first part). But I didn’t. There were other things going on in the family which I won’t talk about here, but let’s say, it wasn’t too easy for all of us. We had the usual teenager madness going on. I was the worst bitch-teenager, I smoked weed like there’s no tomorrow, got drunk every weekend (I am well aware that I still do that sometimes today, thanks 🙂 ) Partying and being a cool Punk-Grunge-Girl were the priorities in my life. Fuck school and teachers and all uncool grown-ups. Yeah , like that . I still feel terribly sorry for Momma and Dad.
We still had a beautiful, priviledged life and happy times, with fun anf love. But there were deep wounds. When in therapy years later, I figured, that – as this 12-14 years old girl – I felt like I take up too much space. There was too much to handle for my Mom and Dad with the cancer and everything else, so I felt like I am a burden for them. Don’t get me wrong – NO ONE EVER made me feel like I was a burden. But it was just that I found it easy at school, I had friends and all, and basically had no ‘serious’ problems in life – or so I thought. I felt like I shouldn’t make any ‘trouble’ at home.
Still, I was traumatized and I completely refused to show that or talk about it. It is a strategy I chose back then and still choose today – handling things on my own. That never changed. I felt and still feel the safest when I am on my own, when something bad/sad happens. You will never find me calling someone when I am in trouble – and I didn’t do that as a child/teenager either. I do take support today and reach out for help when I really need it – but in the first place and whenever possible, I completely rely on myself only.
The urge to not take up so much space resulted in a quite logical but scary action – disappearing. And I did that by making myself smaller – smaller as in skinnier. I wasn’t aware of this of course. It started so harmless – at the age of 15, I was deep in love with my first real boyfriend (oh, do you remember the first love? Soooo cute and romantic) – a medicine student. In his first years of studies, he learned things about nutrition and started to talk to me about it. At that time I never gave a second thought on what I ate. I just ate. I was a curvy teenager, but I was never ever overweight or chubby. Anyway, both of us then just started to eat a little healthier. That was it. Harmless.
Until the pounds started to drop. I had no intention whatsoever to lose weight, but it just happened. I got compliments. My pants fit better. I liked it. I started to control my intake a little more. And some more. It wasn’t that I totally changed my eating habits from one day to the other, it was a very, very slow and sneaky process. Everyday I changed something in my diet, just little things, and in a timeframe of a few months, I hardly ate anything anymore on a given day.
I loved the control I had over everything. I felt extremely fierce, confident and strong because I was SO in control. It was like a drug, being able to say no to all the seductions. I couldn’t stop. I never ate, but the only thing that mattered in my life was food. My people got worried, of course, my boyfriend tried to talk to me countless times, my friends let me know that they thought I was too skinny. That pushed me even more. It was like a compliment – HA! – they notice. Must go on. Must do more. My hair was crazy thin, I was pale like a wall, my skin was kind of tranpsarent, my bones stuck out. I could hardly cycle, I was so exhausted after cycling to school. Still, I was driven. I forced myself to workout, daily, every day. Move, move, move. Weigh. Move. Weigh. Control Food. Go to the Supermarket and stare at food. Buy Chewing Gum. Collect Recipes. Eat half a light yogurt and take 30 minutes for that. Drink tons of bubble water. Bake sweets for others and test your discipline not taste testing. Be thrilled about every lost gram. Bodychecking, bodychecking. EVERY time I crossed a mirror – bodycheck. Still too fat.
I was scary underweight for about 9 months. I still thought I need to lose weight – my body awareness was completely distorted. No period of course, no loud Lucie. I was too tired to be loud and full of life, as I naturally am under normal circumstances. I hardly went out, I had to sleep early, cause I was so exhausted. I never had sex with my poor boyfriend. My hormones were half dead, so were my eyes – no gloss in my glance. I still had my friends and I still had fun with them. You know me – humour is one of the biggest parts of my life and I will never EVER stop being silly and laugh. We went on skiing camps with school, we had parties – I was part of it, and I loved it. No Anorexia was ever able to take away my social side. It is how I was raised, it is what I feel most safe and confident at.
One day, my boyfriend took me to the doctor. He was sick and tired watching me starving myself to death. He said:’We go there. Or I go.’ So I went. I loved him way too much to give up on him. Thank GOD. The doctor was straight and honest:’ You have to put on a lot of weight. Otherwise you will be in hospital very, very soon and we will feed you. What you do, is a slow suicide.’
I woke up. And started eating.
My story Part 2 – gaining weight and getting to know signs of Bulimia – coming up next week.