How did I get here?

This post is in regards of my disordered eating issues. I’m going to be blunt about it. It’s something I struggle with a lot and it’s something which I’m fighting like heck to get away from forever.

This surgery has taken a lot of things and turned them completely upside down. Not only has my physical condition changed, but I am mentally and emotionally drained as well. I’m not going to lie when I say every night since November 9, I’ve eaten oatmeal for dinner. I can remember three nights I didn’t eat oatmeal. Did I eat other things throughout the day? Yes, I snack lots but I just would not eat anything else for dinner. Is this normal? No. Is it fucking weird? Yes. Do I know it’s wrong? Yes, but I still do it.

My mom has brought up the fact she believes my health may be the main problem in my recovery and what is going on with my body. I don’t believe it can cause inflammation in my knee but I know what she is getting at with the concern. It breaks my heart to think my body is having issues because I’m too stubborn to just start eating and feeding it. If I know I’m doing things wrong and I want to heal, why can’t I just… start eating more…?

My thought process is completely screwed up. Whenever I eat anything, my initial thought is, “Why did I just fuel a body I don’t want to live in anymore?” Harsh, right? I have way too many suicidal thoughts in one day and it’s hard to control but I try to just breathe it out. But this is what I think after every single meal. At the end of the night, I think, “Great, now I’ll just be heavier with two bad knees. What a great life I live. At least my mom will be happy to have a plumper daughter”.

Uhmm… How did I get here?

Do you know how much frozen yogurt I ate today? Zero. I never went because 1.) I am socially awkward 2.) I was trying to plan out how I would fit frozen yogurt into my meal plan. Planning. Always planning. Everything revolves around a clock and how many calories I should consume in a day. It’s ridiculous and annoying. I am surprised I ate half of my free Rita’s. I’m saving the other half for tomorrow because the stuff is ridiculously sweet but still… I should have just eaten the whole damn thing.

I don’t understand either why my mother says I’m so skinny. I mean, I know I’m thin but I take pictures of myself all the time and I no longer look sickly like I did about a year ago. I mean, maybe it’s the disordered mind but I’m pretty sure I look a lot different. Hrm.

Also, I follow 17 year old girls on Instagram who post pictures of their food and I “like” their pictures. I mean, the shit looks good but still… These girls are 17 years old. First, I want to hug them and tell them to stop before it’s too late in the game to turn back. Second, there are many girls in high school who go through eating phases just because of lack of maturity. And if you’re 17 and reading this, I assure you there are more important things (like your health) than fitting into a prom dress. Third, my current weight was some girl’s lowest weight and she is the same height as me. *throws red flag* And finally, I am 23 years old. It’s time to grow the fuck up. How did I get here?

I’ve really been thinking about how much my weight/health could be affecting my body. Your body uses muscles to get through workouts or every day activities like walking or going up and down the stairs. Well, when you deprive your body of nutrients or supply it with a very small amount of calories it begins to lose fat. When you don’t have anymore fat to lose, it begins to feed on muscle. If you have no muscle to support your joints; well, say goodbye to your joints because they have no support.

Sound familiar, Lauren? How did I get here?

I have been having a rough time with this surgery especially since my other knee is bothering me. I see the red flags. I see them and I know what I’m doing but I don’t turn the other page. I don’t change a damn thing. Any why? Most likely fear. Fear of gaining weight but my body remaining the same… Crippled.

How did I get here?

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45 thoughts on “How did I get here?

  1. Habits are hard to break, you will find your way through it all. The fact that you are able to point out where you might need to change things is key. Most people can’t admit that!

    The road to happiness and health is never easy or quick and it’s lifelong (woah I sound like a philosopher), give yourself a chance to grow into that lifestyle that you want

  2. Oh Lauren, I admire you for posting this, as I’m sure it was not easy. Your honesty and willingness to admit your struggles is why I love reading your blog so much.

    Reading this made me so sad, though. I hate knowing that you feel so badly and hopeless. I wish you could see the stong and courageous woman that I (and all of your other blog readers, and everyone around you) sees. Yes, you have struggles, but who doesn’t? Try not to beat yourself up for struggling. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself well. It’s a long and hard process, but I believe that you will heal and be happy and healthy someday. Someday soon, your struggles will all be behind you and you will finally blossom and live the life you were meant to live. Hang in there and don’t ever give up ❀

    • I think that’s where I get stuck. I know I’m struggling so I kind of… Get mad at myself for struggling so I just keep doing it? It’s such a weird thought process and it’s SO hard to break. I’m trying to hang in there, thanks for the kind words ❀

  3. Every so often I look back on how far I’ve come and at times I get frustrated with myself for various reasons but it’s important to realize that you’re in a better place now. You deserve to be healthy and happy and live a life free of meal planning. If you want a frozen yogurt, then get one. It’s hard at first but if you throw away the rules you’ll be much less anxious and be able to enjoy your life more. Stay strong, girl!

    • I do realize the healthier closer I get to being “normal” again is such a good thing. It is a much better place but it’s almost like I’m setting myself back on purpose because of everything that’s going on. It’s hard to just face the facts and be less anxious when I feel like I’m walking on ice.

  4. I love that you posted this….to be honest I am going through something quite similar to this. My relationship with food is not good. And I am pretty sure it is effecting my health negatively. I have sleep problems because of if. My whole life is surrounded by the numbers and calories in eat food. Instead of eating when I am hungry I will eat according to the clock. Like you I have to make sure things can fit into my daily meal plan. I really hope to break this cycle but it seems almost never ending. Stay strong hun. Thanks for this and your blog. =]

    • Sleep is DEFINITELY a huge indicator for me. I know my body is not feeling good if I wake up in the middle of the night or I can’t fall asleep. Honestly, the biggest thing which has helped me with the planned eating is snacking constantly. And it doesn’t have to be a huge portion but just a handful of cereal or a piece of a cliff bar or SOMETHING. Just eating little bits here and there. It puts your mind at ease because you don’t get anxious about feeling full. Then, you still have an appetite for meals!

  5. I know this was hard for you to write. all I can say is you don’t deserve to feel crippled both mentally and physically. However, nothing and I mean nothing will get better unless you address the real issues. The issues behind your eating and fueling. I am going to put it out there and say this sounds like a perfect time to consider upping the game aka think about some sort of treatment or therapy etc. Just think about it. You deserve way more in life. Way freaking more.

    • I’ve tried therapy before but I am so, so stubborn. I feel way too uncomfortable talking to anyone. I know it would be good because they have a way of finding the real issues, I guess, but I don’t know… It’s just really not for me. I think a nutritionist would be a good place for me to start. Maybe nutritional counseling? I don’t know. I’m SO stubborn.

      • I’m telling you right now…I still have a HUGE way to go in terms of recovery, but there is absolutely NO way I would be where I am right now if it weren’t for my therapist and my nutritionist.

      • I’m just more or less the person who would go in and say, “can you fix my knee”? Of course they would say, “No”. And then I would completely just tune everything out. I have a one track mind.

      • But you could make an appointment with a nutritionist and say “I’m sedentary all day, I’m scared I’m going to gain weight so I’m not eating enough. What should I be eating to fuel my body but maintain my weight?”

        I know that the goal might be weight gain, but knowing that someone is monitoring how food is affecting your weight and health might put your mind at some ease.

        I just wouldn’t rule it out because of what you THINK you might do. Because that’s not necessarily what you WILL do, unless you are determined to not be there. It’s all about mindset and trying to have an open mind, no matter how difficult that may seem.

  6. I am really glad that you posted this. I can’t even imagine how hard it is and you will make it through. I know it’s really cliche but if you were want to talk to me, I’m always here. I wish we lived closer seriously.

    • I wish you lived closer, too. I think I need to find people with the same issues/interests as me but it’s not easy to just go out there and be like, “Hey, I’m kind of a foodie and I used to run a lot… I’m not clinically diagnosed with an eating disorder but I have disordered eating tendencies…Can we be friends?” Most likely, they would run. Ha

      • Two out of three isn’t bad… I live near you and I’m a foodie! πŸ™‚ We should definitely hang out sometime Lauren! Like a Trader Joe’s trip or something! I’ve been dying to go lately but just haven’t found the time… so, I need to MAKE the time! πŸ™‚

      • You’re so nice and we definitely do! I have to get myself to a point I can walk around a store first and we can go ASAP. I will let you know as soon as I know because I just need to GET OUT! UGH. I’m driving myself nuts by sitting inside. I think that’s contributing to the problem.

  7. You are so amazing for opening up here and being 100% honest about your thought process. At least you truly realize what is going on. Many people in situations like yours are in pure denial, you know? If you have made a realization, the next step is action.

    That’s probably the scariest part. I know that whenever i have to make changes in my life, it helps to take things SLOW (if possible). Even the smallest increment (<– sounds like a math word!!!) of change each day is a step in the right direction. Each day that you make a small change and fight through the emotions that go with it, you are stronger the next day to make another small change.

    Sure, it takes time. But sometimes you have to do things on your terms, you know? Another thing that has helped me deal with ROUGH emotions is counseling/therapy (whatever you want to call it!) with a psychologist. After I was in a car accident, I had so many anxieties and fears, to the point that I couldn't lead a normal life. I was afraid to get in a car. That's not normal. So, I have been going to a psychologist for a few years now, and it's been SO helpful. I can't recommend it enough!

    Again, thanks for posting this.. for real. That's so awesome. I LOVE your honesty! Give Elmo a hug for me, okay?!

    • I’ve definitely admitted to everyone I know I have disordered eating habits. It used to be obvious but now I will tell people the way I eat is off. I agree with SLOW changes. Although I’ve been struggling, I do realize little changes every day help a lot. It puts your mind at ease that change is okay so you can change something else later. I’m so sorry to hear about your car accident but I’m so glad therapy helped you! I can only imagine how terrifying that was for you! I’ll give Elmo a hug for you πŸ™‚

  8. Start by reminding yourself how capable you are to make it through any challenge life throws at you. You’ve already made it through so much with your knee and your recovery! Keep your chin up and utilize the resources (blog friends and family) that you have!

    • This helps sometimes but it’s the days my knees feel different (or worse) which scare me the most. It’s like two steps forward, one step back and I just have to learn to breathe and refocus.

  9. I must say I can sorta kinda feel your pain with wanting to eat a lot when you’re not moving much. I have found myself eating less the past month and for dinner the past few weeks I have had popcorn and an orange..oops. At the same time though, that’s what I wanted!!! I know it’s different for everyone.

    I love the raw honesty you have in this post, and at the same time I just want to hug you and tell you everything is going to be OK. Are you cleared to go on walks? These help me when I feel blah and when I want to justify eating something.

    • It’s true… Sitting around is not good for your mind. I think it’s a girl thing, too. Girls just seem to worry about their physical condition so when you’re sidelined from an injury after being super active… It’s probably 1000 times worse. I tried walking the past couple of days on my treadmill but I’m SO worried I’m making it worse. I wouldn’t even know if I was and it scares me to think I’m prolonging my recovery.

  10. Lauren! I read through this post a few times, and honestly, I can see every aspect of how you are looking at the situation. You know what is going on but it’s just so hard to fix. I can (kinda sorta) relate in the fact that I know my shins hurts and need to be rested but I’m trying to train through them instead of taking a break…but I have a race in a month! It’s so hard to break routine. When I break routine, hell breaks loose. I eat the same thing for lunch every day, and when I don’t, I end up losing control and then I feel depressed about it.

    I want to go back to the first person who abused food (which I do often) and used it for either consolation, happiness, etc., and change their decision. Why we allow food to be controlled by our moods is beyond me. I am so guilty of it, and I can only imagine how hard it would be when you feel completely helpless in the other aspects of your life (your knees, etc.)

    And holy crap, sorry about the rambles. I don’t know if anything makes sense anymore. (My brain after a day at school).

    • I get REALLY bad anxiety when things aren’t going according to the plan I set for myself. I know exactly what you mean by routine with everything. My mom and I went to Waynesboro to get Zoe’s Chocolate as a road trip. I missed the exit and I had my first panic attack. It was scary because I was feeling like I was going to have a heart attack and had to pull over on the side of the road. It was because I thought we were lost and I guess all the anxiety from my knee and my mom and just everything hit me.

      And don’t apologize for the rambles! Sometimes rambles are the best comments because it’s just 100% you speaking… Honestly, I can say I hope the person who abused food paid for it BIG time because it does suck how much it controls everyone’s lives.

  11. Oh Lauren, I wish I could hug you now. Thank you for your openness on these issues. I know there are so many people struggling as well, and as hard as it is admitting it is a very big step!
    Have you ever considered any therapy of any kind? I currently go to therapy once per week (I just went down to one, after going twice per week for about 3 years) and it has helped a tremendous amount. I know it can seem like nothing is going right, but that’s not true. You just need to put focus on all the positive things life has offerred for you and start putting energy into positive things. I know it’s easier said then done. Have you ever read the secret or the power of now. Those are great books about positive thoughts and how they can change everything in life. You will make it through this! And I bet it will be one of those things that is a blessing in disguise, at least that’s how I feel about my ED. I mean, I still struggle some of the time, and it’s a long road but you will get past this!
    You can e-mail me whenever if you just want to get some feelings out there. Thinking of you!xo

    • Honestly, I know if I get through all of this… I’ll be SO much stronger than I ever was before this whole ordeal. I’ve learned so much and if I put all of my thoughts into actions along with having my knees feel better, I will be in a very good place with a very strong mindset. Thank you for so much support ❀ Hugs for you!

  12. You know how you wanna hug those 17 year old girls? I just wanna hug YOU right now. I’m not going to beat around the bush – what you’re doing is wrong, but having been there before myself and knowing how difficult it is to get out, I can’t really blame you for being stuck. There are different stages of change, and it sounds like you’re in one where you WANT your life to be different, but you don’t want to do anything about it because you’re afraid that your effort will be pointless and that you’ll only end up feeling worse. I get it, I’ve been there too. But really, stop and think about what you have to lose. Are you happy now? Doesn’t seem like it. Are you healthy now? Not optimally. Is this the life you want to lead? My guess is no. But nothing is going to change unless you do something about it. One of my favorite quotes is: “What would you do if I told you that 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you’d be happy, so why are you so afraid of change?” Be strong ❀

    • You’re extremely right. That is exactly where I am right now. I know exactly what I’m doing and how to fix it but it’s the ACTIONS of doing it. And I love this quote; in fact, that’s the thought process which keeps me eating SOMETHING all the time. I think about how I felt in high school and how silly it was for me to worry about certain things and I realize it’s the SAME thing I’m doing now. In 10 years, I will look back and think… “I spent way too much time trying to recover from an illness I never should have gotten in the first place”. Thanks, girl ❀

  13. omg.. this is like exactly my thoughts. If I have a rest day I’m like I don’t need any fuel or else it will become fat. I wonder what the point of life is. I was planning every single thing I ate three days in advance. Literally last night I broke down and just cried with my mom. Today was better than most days have been. I hope I’m getting better. I hope you get better. If you ever want to talk, send me an email or comment or something. I would love to talk. ❀

  14. *hugs*. I read this at work but now came back to comment. I understand where you’re coming from, and although I’ve never been hospitalized for an ED or been to treatment, I have seen a counselor a few times and sometimes food issues get to me too (I’m not sure if it’s a clinical level or not). I too feel like if I’m not running, working out, or being productive, that I really shouldn’t eat three meals a day… and like you, I way overthink things with food. I overthink food purchases (like I’ll look up restaurant menus to see what I want and sort of “analyze” it before I go), etc. If I ever get a treat like an ice cream or milkshake, it’s such a treat that i think about it for a day or two before to pick out the flavor. No lie.

    I’m glad you ate half the Rita’s at least. I definitely think you should go get the froyo sometime and get the other one and give it away, maybe just that act of helping someone else have a frozen yogurt or a treat would somehow help your heart to feel a bit better about eating it too?

    • This is exactly where I am at right now. I’ve never been clinically diagnosed by a doctor, hospitalized, or sent to a treatment center but I know I have disordered eating thoughts. I ALWAYS look at menus before I go to places out of obsession and excitement. It’s ridiculous to think you get so excited over a flavor of ice cream when normal people would just get one with the thought, “I’ll get another one some other time”.

      And I need to go get frozen yogurt very soon. I wish the coupon I had was forever but it was for the first day of Spring 😦

  15. There are SO many ways that I can relate. A bit different- as I don’t have the knee issues, but that doesn’t mean that my mind isn’t constantly on a one track mind regarding food. It’s terrible. I WISH I could change things. Like, for example, RIGHT this minute I would LOVE a glass of wine, but I also know that I went & got Jeremiah’s Italian Ice to have after dinner, so I’m going to ‘save’ my calories & just have the Italian Ice (& only half of it) and NOT the wine so I don’t have two ‘indulgences.’ RIDICULOUS. I wish we were closer for sure. I feel like we have so much in common…and could relate on many levels.

    • That’s exactly how I am! I’ll allow myself indulgences but only one and I’m definitely one to save and plan for treats. I’ll look up things online and decide what to have for dinner regarding what I want later. It’s a terrible mind game and it really does leave you completely worn out by the end of the night. I wish you lived closer, too, because I really don’t know anyone in my area who can relate to me on the eating level of things which is tough. I do have a few bloggers in my area though and I hope my knee gets better soon so I can try to challenge myself. I hope you enjoyed your Italian Ice!

  16. Oh lawdy can I relate to basically every piece of this.. well not the injury and surgery of course, but the mindset around it. Knowing that you likely hindered yourself even further by improper nutrition, and continue to, yet seemingly unable to do a thing about it. I get it Lauren. With me it’s my damn leg fatigue and whatever the hell the mystery is behind that situation. I no longer can run anywhere near like I used to and it kills me. I do strength train and such, but it’s not the same and I feel as though my body does not need “extra” food (or even normal amounts) because I am not exercising like I used to.. not burning those calories, not getting energy out, etc.

    And YET, although there might be something else contributing to the leg fatigue, I am fairly sure NOT eating enough and providing my body with the means to get better, is really slowly down the process of healing. But then of course comes that sinister other side of you, making a convincing argument that you need to stay thin and the only way to do so is to eat less because HELLO not exercising as much! We continue to put ourselves through this cycle, thinking everything will one day get better even if we do anything different to allow that to happen. But you and I both know that is so not true, no matter how much we hold onto such a belief.

    What I am writing here is advice to both you and ME because I feel so similar Lauren and goodness, does it suck. Let’s just both try and remember that in order to heal, well we are going to have to be REALLY mentally uncomfortable but in the end it will be worth it.

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