The name of my blog is inspiration by introspection, and I feel like I haven’t done enough introspecting since I had my babies. I’ve done a good job of focusing on them and their needs, as well as my basic needs (improved diet, exercise, fulfilling job, etc) but I had a little breakthrough this last week and it felt good to have some self awareness.
I was listening to this podcast about binge eating and it hit home for me. The girl had become an amazing athlete and lost a bunch of weight, and had this binging episode four years later that seemed to come on by nothing.
Except that she had insight. She knew it was coming on and saw the indicators that triggered it.
I had this weird epiphany. Remember how I was talking about my story recently and how I hadn’t had some big event that led to weight gain? Well. I was wrong.
I attempted suicide when I was sixteen (about two weeks before turning seventeen). I was depressed and had been thinking about it for months, maybe even a whole year. In that time I was prom queen, well-known athlete, and all-around likable girl. But I didn’t have that much security. Because I was a chameleon, I wasn’t popular, but the popular people liked me. I was a jock, but that wasn’t a separate thing at our school. I had close friends who were emo, but I wasn’t, so even they kept me at somewhat of a distance.
I felt isolated even though I was surrounded. I attempted suicide and thankfully survived. About a month after getting out of the hospital, I had my first remembered binging experience. I don’t know if that’s fair to say because I had snuck a box of cheese it’s here or there, when I was up late at night and had the munchies, so maybe this had been a long time coming, but the thing that I remember so clearly is getting several bags of a variety of Hershey’s kisses (dark chocolate, caramel, almond, etc) to give my mom for her birthday… but I ate alllllll of them before her birthday arrived. I sat at my computer on AIM (haha I’m old) and ate them ALL. I don’t even like dark chocolate. I hate almonds. I ate them all.
Then I hid it.
Then I bought her more for her actual birthday since I’d devoured the original gift… and I ate half of those too. That’s the first time I remember binging, hiding it, and feeling shameful about it.
Not long after that, I got my first car, which gave me an opportunity to binge alone with no witnesses, which began my fast food addiction.
Although I only gained 10-20 lbs my senior year and 20 more my freshman year in college, I was bingeing. And it was a fucking problem.
I haven’t talked about that stuff with anyone. But the suicide attempt leading up to the binging really hit me recently. I think I managed the depression with food after that, which was totally not successful, and led to further depression, horrible self image, and a lack of confidence.
I’m building my confidence now, which is helped by the half marathons and consistent running… but it’s a struggle. I feel fat in my new workplace as I’m surrounded by super fit, well dressed corporate women; making me feel like a fat chump in Walmart clothes. I’m working on that though — I want to feel confident and attractive in what I wear, even if I’m stuck at 210 lbs for the rest of my life. If this is my body and it can do great things, I want to feel pretty in it.
So I’m working at that.
I hit the gym again today and did arms. I benched 60lbs when last week I only did 45. Seeing improvements is inspiriting and I’m hoping to feel like my upper body is improving as I continue.
For now, I’m enjoying the relief that comes from what seems to be a breakthrough about being honest with myself in my mental health history.
Recovery is a process.
Today I can appreciate my ability to comfortably cross my legs and enjoy how I feel my legs look!