I don’t remember how old I was when I first felt fat… I know I have never been able to borrow my friend’s clothes. It’s been about 10 years since I could wear “normal clothes” instead of plus size (UK 16+). That being said, despite the fact that I am (in BMI terms) classed as obese, I was last year diagnosed with and Eating Disorder. I think it will help if I take you back to the beginning with me…
My childhood wasn’t exactly ordinary, but then it wasn’t exactly extraordinary either. My parents split when I was 6/7 years old after my dad was exposed as having an affair with my mum’s best friend… After mum left we moved from the country to the city. By the time I was 11 I had been to four different primary schools, so being the new “fat” kid, I was an easy target for bullies. I was a lot taller than all of the other girls my age and a lot stronger. I guess growing up in the country made me “farm tough” as Cam (Modern Family) would put it. Nevertheless I was bullied, by the boys and the girls, about my weight, about my family, my height.
I spent the weekdays with my mum, and weekends with my Dad. However I am pretty sure my Dad didn’t want me there, he’d go out for hours on end and leave me to cook, clean, set a fire, wash the cars etc… I wasn’t even 11. When we did spend time together he would get me to do sit ups and lift his dumbbells, because “Anna, you need to exercise to lose this puppy fat, now come on let’s do 20 pushups”…
Secondary school wasn’t so bad. I ended up being in a group with two sisters that lived near me, so I had friends and the bullying wasn’t so bad. I got on with my life and my studies. Left with 11 GCSE’s. However, I was still bigger than all of my friends. I grew to be 5ft 8. All of my friends were 5ft – 5ft 6… So I was taller and twice the size of them in clothes, them being a UK 6 and me being a UK 12. Over the years my dress size increased with my age. This increased my unhappiness and my need to cut out certain foods and I swam for miles at the local swimming baths.
As an adult this has continued. Once I hit 18 and started going out, I’d be the first on the dance floor and the last to leave. I would stay out all night and drink in excess. My group of friends changed and for the first time in my life I remembered being happy and accepted by people. I was 18 the first time I started a proper diet. I began going to weightwatchers with my friend. Only I figured how to restrict my diet even more, completed my journal as though I was eating a good healthy diet and I was all smiles as I collected my shiny 7’s and 10% awards. I was saving up calories from throughout the week in order to binge drink. They call it Drunkorexia.
Not long after that I moved out on my own, I lived in a flat by myself and for the first time I could really control my diet. No more deep fat fryer at my mums house, or calorie laden pasta meals served with fresh bread. Now I had control. I talked my GP into prescribing me Reductil, (an appetite suppressant that has since been taken off the market for being linked to Cardiovascular Disease and Strokes), I used this to seriously restrict my diet. I avoided being hungry and therefore avoided eating. Not long after this was stopped (it caused my blood pressure to raise) I moved into a shared house, but I still managed to hide my disordered eating. I lived there for two years. I’d go to work ridiculously early in the morning, eat lunch then pop to my mums after work. I’d tell my mum I was eating at home then tell my housemates I had eaten at mums.
I moved back in with my mum after this. Then, after a year I met my boyfriend. At the time I had a horse, I was around 238lbs, but was very active, always mucking out/riding/lunging burns a lot of calories. I have always looked like I weigh less than I do. We moved in together after about 6 months and have been together ever since. In that time my weight reached an all-time high of 293lbs. At that point I was so depressed, I was refusing to cook for myself and ordering fast food on an evening then hiding the proof. Then at times I would sit there, so full and uncomfortable, crying. It was a vicious cycle. In 2009 I began restricting my diet. Cutting myself to 800 calories a day. I did the ABC, 2468, every diet under the sun. But I settled for 600 calories a day and 2 hours of exercise 7 days a week. I stopped drinking fizzy drinks and only drank hot drinks/cup a soups and water. For example my daily food intake looked like this.
B – Apple
L - Cup a soup and 4 low fat crackers
D – Mini Wrap/Salad/Steamed Veg and Fish.
My weight went from 293 to 228lbs over 6 months. Well on my way to my 110lb goal weight.
Then everything came down around me, my relationship broke down (this has since been resolved). It was during this point I became hooked on diuretics/laxatives and purging. I was in a crisis I guess. But I attempted to overcome this myself and in the aftermath, my employer found out about my eating habits. They forced me to enter treatment before they would let me continue to work, so I entered recovery.
For the last 8 months I have been given all of the tools to overcome my ED. I have learnt about the effects of Eating Disorders and the effects of starvation/binging and purging. I was given a diagnosis of Atypical Anorexia B/P Subtype. I crossed my T’s and dotted my I’s. Now I find myself still gaining weight months after entering a regular eating pattern. The clothes that once fell of me are now tight and uncomfortable, and all I can think is why have I let myself go like this? I can’t stay like this. I need to lose this weight. I need to be thin. I need to be thin… Nothing else matters.
I will reach my UGW of 110lbs...