Sunday, 23 September 2012

Weight Loss or ED?

Many people have asked me about how ED took over. They wonder how I let myself slip down to such a low weight without realizing it. Did I realize it? Did I not see that I was dying and losing weight so quickly? When did I realize that it was ED and not just losing weight for a healthy reason?

And they are all great questions...I hope I can answer them to the best of my ability.

Did I realize that I was losing weight? OF COURSE! I started off trying to lose weight because people teased me for being larger than they were. So, I came up with a great solution: decrease food intake = lose weight. And that is what I did. Eat less, lose weight, see number on scale go down, feel good, repeat.

But then days came where I would just stop losing weight - the body does this because it adjusts itself to the amount of food it is getting. Eventually, my metabolism slowed down to keep my body where it was because it didn't want me to lose anymore. So, I had to come up with a solution. Yes, you guessed right - decrease intake even more. And so the cycle continued - each time that I stopped losing weight, I realized that my body was being stubborn, so I simply ate less.

All the while, I knew that I was losing weight. Well, this was the point. But it felt so 'good' to be thin - just like all the people that teased me were. HA! I thought. Now they can't make fun of me because I am small, just like them.

But I was wrong. My 'thinness' spiraled into an illness that nearly took my life. I did not see it at the time, how sick I was. I saw the tiny number on the scale, but this only meant one thing to me - that I was skinny. The fact that I was being unhealthy or dying was clouded by ED's voice in my head.

You are thin! You are losing weight! But you must keep going. You need to eat less to lose more weight. Rememeber when people made fun of you? You do not want that to happen again. So, you need to keep losing. Do not eat. Keep losing weight.

It might sound silly to others, but ED is very smart. He played on my emotions - he knew how hurt I had been when others teased me because of my weight, so he threatened me with 'fatness' and the bullying that would come along with it. He made me believe that I would do ANYTHING  - even starve myself to death - to avoid this.

But the truth is, you can never make people happy. I was big, and people made fun of me. I became thin, and I nearly lost my life.

The weight loss happened really quickly for me. And I did not feel any symptoms of organ failure (ex. that my kidneys had shrunk, that my diaphragm was so weak that it was becoming nonfuctional, that my lungs had nearly collapsed, that my heart was failing...). So, it was easy to say that I was okay - this weight loss was 'clearly doing more good than bad'. Well, at least that is what ED made me want to believe.

What's my point? I guess I'm trying to show how easily ED sneaks into his victims' lives. And I want to send a message to all people who are trying to lose weight: please, only do it if your doctor (and it has to be a smart doctor who really knows what she or he is saying) tells you to. Unless you are at risk for heart attack or some other illness, you really do not need to lose weight. I know that this is hard to absorb in a society where all the rage is focussed on weight loss. But it is the truth. And if you NEED to lose weight because of a medical reason, it should be done in a healthy way with the care of a competent healthcare team. And once you lose the weight that you need to, you should not continue to lose more. I'm not saying that all diets end up turning into an eating disorder, but it puts people at greater risks. And besides, the truth is that diets simply DO NOT WORK. Live a healthy lifestyle, enjoying all things in moderation.

And that includes food, work, play, obstacles, and joys. Life is too short to waste on 'the small stuff'.

20 comments:

  1. Great post. I cannot believe people ever teased you about your weight you seem like the type of person with a naturally slight frame. I hope you are weight restored soon at a health BMI of at least 18.5 – you will look so beautiful at a healthy weight

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  2. This blog solved my puzzle.I was reading your blog and learning tips on life and challneges but I was not understanding how people with ED have numb feeling and not aware of their frail body and just keep sliding in the deep mud.
    This blog makes me aware and I will do my best to protect my family and friends.
    Thank you.

    Jasmeet

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  3. As I wrote here before my daughter ,a teenager was about to slip into Ed unless Marina woke me up in this blog.I did and still doing all I can and I read this blog and I can say I have good understanding on how the ED can sneak into the life of teenager especailly when they are under some stress.
    I once again and will continue to thank Marina for saving my daughter.

    A Thankful mother

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  4. How on earth there are people who are so tough and harsh to tease an angel like you.
    I feel so sorry for all what happened to you my love.
    I feel good now as you are recovering well and now feeling and sensing your body(In nursing we call it having insight to your illness and you are able to make good judgement and you are not in denial)
    Thank God you are healthy and better and you are trying to save others from going into even a little of what you you innocently went through.

    I love you so much from the bottom of my heart.
    I have a feeling one day ,I will meet you

    Henry

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  5. My dear Marina
    I feel owefully sorry for all the pains of ED and its consequences and also for the teasing from immiature unhuman people who teased you.
    With God's blessing and you are recovering to continue one of your missions in life is to protect others from ging into similar pain.

    My Humble respect.

    Mohammed

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  6. Thank you for clarification of how ED sneak on people .I never grasped this till you made it clear here.
    I will try my best to alert my colleagues and friends who are trying lose weights.You are right the best way is live healthy and in moderation in everything

    Thanks again
    Jen

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  7. Wow ,How articulate you are .See another benifit of recovery is showing your talent and skills in different aspects of life,nursing,therapist ,counseelor ,writer etc.
    You said clearly how when you are deep in ED you deny all the illness and not feeling you are sick(numb)
    After recovery you can see and feel the difference
    God bless you

    Mary

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  8. Makes lot of sense

    jack

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  9. Now I can understand why Ed victim look at food(the best we enjoy in life and healthy to our body) as poison.

    Keep going
    Shady

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  10. Despite I am recovered Ed victim who relasped and was in program several times but none for 5 years but I never able to think of as clear as You said in this blog.
    I agree you are very artciculate and explain things easy for every body to understand and that is why people at attracted to your blog

    Keep going girl

    Recovered ED victim

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  11. You know marina ,my alcohol problem was hitting me hard and my wife asked me to choose between her and alcohol and even I loved her but because I was ill ,I made the wrong choice ,off course not willingly I continued to drink and I lost her .After recovery ,I was lucky ,she was still single and saw me as new person and now I am happy to remarry her again and we are living very happy life .

    Yes Marina ,people can say why do not eat and why you continue not eating enough when you know body needs nutrition.
    Now after recovery we are able to feel and know exactly what our bodies need and what is good for us

    I learn a lot from your bklog about my self even I do not have any ED

    Thank you and keep up

    Carlos

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  12. I like the way you simlify complicated medical issues to us.
    You are really a therapist and a nurse.
    I am completely recoverd from my depression and got my life back and I consider your blog as my therapist and supporter and my dear friend that I may meet one day

    Thank you


    Mays

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  13. I like this one as it made me understand what is ED and how some body starve themselves when not on hunger strike.
    Please continue your sucess.
    You have my respect

    Hesham

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  14. It is very interesting to know the difference between some one obese wants lose extra and unhealthy weight from some body with ED keep losing there own essential organs.

    Keep up your good work in complete rrecovery and continue help others
    Your commitment to your recoevery and altruism towards others attract the attention,respect and love of many many

    Meriett

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  15. I can not believe how serious this disease that rob victims from basic needs of life.
    I am very proud of your commitment to self and others.

    My prayers and good wishes
    Sunday priest

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  16. My respect and appreciation to your commitment.
    You are the best when talking ,writibg and counselling.
    Keep going

    L Y

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  17. I love you when you educate us about things hard for general epoeple to understand but you make in simple way.
    You are a great teacher.
    Happy to read your blog
    Love
    Jorge

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  18. That is very good blog

    S K

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  19. Well written>

    I think your commitment,knowledge and believing in the importance of victims rights to live healthy life free from slavery of this disease is helping you to play role of a pioneer in this matter.
    You are superwoman

    K W
    Social worker Toronto,On

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  20. I like this one .
    I wish you good
    S C

    ReplyDelete

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