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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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