Thoughts and Dreams
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2005-02-25 14:10:16 (UTC)



This woman's story hits really close to home for me. She
was 5'3" and weighed 200 pounds at her heaviest. She lost
about 45 pounds, and people began to grant her attention
as she lost the weight. She tried desperately to keep it
off at one point living off of iced tea and being bulimic,
until one day she collapsed because of a potassium
imbalance. The collapse left her brain dead and living
off feeding tubes while her family fights to the bitter
end and last seconds (literally) over whether the feeding
tubes should be removed. I, myself, was 5'5" and weighed
200 pounds at my heaviest. I lost about 60 pounds, and
people began to show more attention as I lost the weight.
I tried desperately to keep my weight off and lost even
lost 20 to 30 more pounds very unhealthily. I would drink
nothing but iced tea all day, and developed an eating
disorder. It started with anorexic
tendencies......exercising WAY too much, eating nothing
(until I would collapse in my bedroom or get dizzy at
school), and became addicted to Metabolife, a popular diet
pill. In January of 2002 (a month before my interviews
for Thailand), I had a seizure in the middle of the night
while walking to the bathroom. My doctors tested for
epilepsy and did EEGs and all kinds of craziness, but
eventually the doctor (when she found out) discovered that
the ephedra from the diet pills had caused the seizure.
It really scared me, and I wanted to change the problem.
But while in Thailand that summer, I was obsessed with my
weight and everything I ate, especially after being around
the itty-bitty Thai women who were gorgeous. When I
returned from SE Asia, E.B. and Sylvia had been home from
China for a month. Upon our first greeting since
returning, E.B. said, "It looks like the Asian diet worked
for us both." EB, I sure hope you weren't on the same
diet I was! Anyway, I was trying to get better on my own
that fall (2002), but by Christmas had developed bulimia.
I would end up binging out on food and immediately after
the binge would abuse laxatives (at one point, a whole box
of 60 at once) and starve myself. The starvation would
last usually for about 3 days because my body couldn't
handle not having food and I'd get dizzy. As soon as I'd
eat after the 3 days, I'd binge and start the entire cycle
of binging, laxative, starvation all over again. I felt
odd because I knew I had an eating problem, but knew very
little about bulimia, except the common misconception that
ALL bulimics throw up after eating. If I was going to
have an ED, then I wanted to be "normal" so I tried
throwing up my food. I remember one Wednesday night
inFebruary (2003) that we ate at Trinity. I only ate a
few bites, but couldn't stand the fact that I'd eaten
anything at all, so I rushed to the bathroom on the first
floor and desperately tried to throw up. I couldn't, so I
got frustrated and angry with myself, and refused to eat
anything for a week. There was always this guilt after I
ate, even if it was just a bite of the "unsafe" foods.
My "safe" foods were salad (with no dressing), some
vegetables, fruit (no bananas), maybe regular flavor
oatmeal, and sugar-free jello (only 40 calories for a huge
bowl full). Anything other than that was not allowed. I
knew it was wrong, but didn't know any other ways of
dealing with my emotional issues. My psychiatrist once
told me that I had all the emotions swirling around in
different directions in my head, and that I had taken them
all and put them in one little box called "food." I was
controlling my emotions, much like the many other things I
tend to have a need to have control over. My journey with
all of this has done more to draw me nearer to God than
anything else in my life. Once I realized that I couldn't
have control over anything and that I needed Him to help
me give up my false sense of control, the battle was
over. He was then fighting it for me. They say it takes
an average of 2 years to recover (with treatment)
completely from an ED, and I've been in recovery for 17
months with God as my treatment (since Oct 2003). I've
never discussed it with my family, and no longer go to a
psychiatrist. It's just God and me. All the physical
actions of the ED are gone, but the emotional triggers and
reactions are still there. It's a daily walk with Him.
Every now and then, I'll have a time of relapse for a day
or two, but God draws me tighter into His hug to let me
know that it's okay, and an overwhelming peace comes into
my life. Some days, it's still a meal by meal struggle,
but each day it gets better. God has blessed my life so
much, and to Him I am so grateful. Such a wonderful
blessing is that I can't even bear to be near a laxative
because the sight of them makes me gag and get sick.
Praise God!

All of this to tell you.......please keep an eye on any
young women, pre-teen to twenties, that you know and
love. Eating disorders are VERY dangerous and deadly.
Just because you think you're daughter, grand daughter,
niece, etc..... is too level-headed, intelligent, or
whatever, doesn't mean she's not succeptable to an ED. It
even includes the sites they look at on the internet. If
you don't believe me, check out the following sites that I
constantly searched.....

There were a lot more, but those who run the sites either
get caught by their parents or they go into recovery or
whatever. ProAna means Pro Anorexic and ProMia means Pro

Someone very close to you could very well end up like the
woman in the article linked above......brain-damaged and
fighting for their lives. Or they could end up like life-long recovery with God. Either way, ED are
a battle that no young woman should have to fight. Please
keep an eye on the young women in your life. National Eating
Disorders Association Anorexia Nervosa and Related
Eating Disorders, Inc. Harvard Eating Disorders Center

Blessings, Heather

"Nothing that happens today can separate me from God's
love or his purpose for my life." (Joyce Meyer)