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The journey of my healing from an eating disorder... (Part 2 of 5)

I remember that the day I decided to start depriving myself of food I ate a small breakfast and didn’t eat the rest of the day. When evening came I went up to my room and did a 2 hour workout. The next day the scale said I was down 4 pounds! Because I hadn’t weighed myself in so long and then had weighed myself after having indulged all day while we were out shopping, I had no idea what my actually starting weight was. The problem was that I didn’t think about that at the time. All I knew was that what I had done the day before to lose weight had worked! Thus began the pattern. I had these weird rules. When I wasn't in school and on the weekends I would allow myself to eat until noon only and then exercise for hours in the evening. During the weekdays when I had school I just didn’t eat much. It’s hard to fully remember but I probably had some kind of cereal for breakfast. I believe I had a salad at school for lunch and then something small before my 2-3 hour gymnastics practice. I would not consider my case to be extreme. I always wanted enough energy for gymnastics but certainly over time my body got used to running on less and less food. It doesn’t sound like much but I think I ended up losing about 10 pounds. My lowest weight was about 95 pounds. On my 5’3” muscular frame it was enough for people (mostly just adults) to be concerned that I was too thin. I loved the attention I got, though, from my peers and fellow gymnasts. They loved picking me up and wrapping their arms around me. And honestly at the time I almost loved the feeling of “emptiness” when I hadn't eaten much. We all know that eating disorders, and probably most disorders, have a deeper “cause” than what is on the surface. I was a bit insecure then with low self-esteem and self-worth and certainly wasn’t the most beautiful 14 year old there. So, the attention I got being small was something I really loved and craved. I don’t want to spend too much time on the back story right now as I want to get to the part where I started healing in order to help you on your journey so I will fast forward a bit here. I was lucky that only a year later my mom came to me and told me that if I didn’t gain some weight she was going to take me out of gymnastics. Gymnastics was everything to me at that time. It was literally my second home. So, I did what she asked and started to put on weight. That decision didn’t make everything better of course. I did put on weight but I continued to have an obsession with food. It was nearly all I thought about when I wasn’t thinking about gymnastics. What I was going to eat, when I was going to eat, how much I was going to eat, and of course I was still obsessed with whatever the scale said. I have always told people that it took my body 10 years to recover from that one year of anorexic tendencies and 20 years to recover mentally, emotionally and spiritually. ​ So how did I do it? The journey starts a few years later...

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