Life Lately

It’s been about 8 months since I last posted here.  It hasn’t been that I didn’t think about it or want to.  Fear has been holding me back.  I’ve been afraid of what others might think of me, or if it will change others opinions of me.  Afraid of being judged.  Afraid of being thought of as a lesser person.  Afraid of losing professional respect.  Afraid of negative responses.

If you read this post and find yourself feeling angry at me, disappointed in me or any negative emotions that do not support me, I ask that you refrain from commenting.  If you don’t understand, but still support me, that’s okay.  I’m still learning, too!  If you find yourself relating to my experience, that’s okay, too.

You might be wondering “why now?  Why is she going to open herself up to the big world and expose herself?  Lay it all out on the table, risking the negative backlash?”  In one word…. RECOVERY.  I want to fully recover, and to do so, I need to be open and honest, and share my story, my experience.

I have an eating disorder.

Secret IllnessThose close to me may have seen red flags or signs, but were likely afraid to say anything.  I don’t know how one would even approach this subject with someone.  Luckily for me, I was able to identify that I had/have a problem.  I reached out for help.  Life was miserable, but I didn’t show it.  There may have been scattered days here and there that my family and friends recognized my changed moods and temperament, but mostly, I contained all of this in myself.    When you thought I had willpower, I was restricting.  When you thought I was “eating clean”, I was struggling with binges of restricted foods in private.  A history of being overweight and dieting set up the perfect storm for an eating disorder.  Add in my nutrition knowledge and my desire to improve athletically – it was a tsunami.

Imagine yourself in the middle of that tsunami.  It’s one really scary place to be.  I no longer recognized myself, my behaviors or my moods.  I lost complete touch with my true authentic self.  When I initially sought out help, the resources I needed seemed hard to find.  When I did find them, I was not happy.  I knew that if I couldn’t connect with my support system, that I would not be able to recover from this.  So I kept looking.  I feel very fortunate that today, I have built a support system of professionals to help me that I really connect with and feel 100% comfortable with.  I don’t always like them for what they say or ask me to do, but I know they have my recovery first and foremost in their actions.  My support team consists of my therapist, psychiatrist, registered dietician with a sports specialty, integrative nurse practitioner and group therapy.  They all work together and communicate to help me.

Treatment has brought a lot of changes in my life.  You may see me eating foods that once were considered “bad” or “off-limits”.  You might see my weight fluctuate up or down.  You might find I have days that I don’t want to participate in adulting.  You might see me giving up control and the drive to be “perfect”.  All of these changes make me very uncomfortable.  Some days are really hard.  Sometimes the days string together for a few weeks.  I refuse to give up though.  My family has been a tremendous support to me and they are a big reason why I am working to get better.  Eating disorders can be life threatening, and unfortunately, there is not enough awareness and education about them.

I will be posting a series of follow up posts to provide information on eating disorders and mental health – what they are, what they aren’t, how to help someone with an eating disorder, dealing with body image and our toxic society, and resources.

Thank you to all of you who have supported me and continue to support me as I battle my eating disorder.  I have faith that I will fully recover – it’s not a matter of if, only when.

6 thoughts on “Life Lately

  1. Good for you for getting the help you need. My eating disorder started when I was about 10 years old. I’m nearly 44 now, and I still struggle from time to time. It’s an uphill battle, but it does get easier. Good luck!!

    • Cathy thank you so much! I’m hanging on waiting for that uphill to ease up a bit. Right now it feels like a steep climb. I appreciate your support.

  2. Tracy–Thank you for sharing! I always worried about you when you posted your plates of food because a lot of time it seemed like you weren’t eating enough to support all the miles of running you were doing. I too have an eating disorder and have found a solution for me. I have been following this eating plan for 16 years and it has helped me to put food back in its proper place and arrest the craziness. I am praying for you that you find what works for you.

    • Barb thank you so much for your support and prayers. It’s such an easy trap to fall in to. I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found something that works for you and have been able to be in a better place. This just reinforces to me that I can get there, too!

  3. I’ve been there too, Tracy. In college I had big time control issues with food–I didn’t want to do things socially unless I knew what kind of food would be served so that I could balance the rest of my day with it. I tracked calories to see how high I could get the numbers out vs. numbers in. I didn’t do normal like go out and drink. I only ate at restaurants that had online menus. I constantly bugged people about what food would be served if they were hosting me for dinner.

    What helped me the most was Pinnacle. Here I made friends who loved me for me, not for what I looked like. I had friends who wanted to be around me and I wanted to be around them too. The more social I was able to become, the easier it was to ease up on my obsessive need to control what I put into my body. I’ve gained about 25 pounds in the five years I’ve been here, but I’m far stronger, have a better mood, am healthier without a doubt, and know I have the best people around me.

    We’re here for you. Hugs.

    • Erin thank you for sharing this with me! I do agree the people at Pinnacle are wonderful and super supportive – including YOU! I’ve been working on the social aspect as you know, trying to attend more gatherings and not concerning myself with the food being served or the calories involved. It’s a ton of hard work. Seeing you in such a good place gives me hope. Thanks!!!

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