Unexpected Agony

Unfortunately, the love-fest with my body didn’t last.

My boyfriend at the time (now-husband) was overseas so he missed my entire transformation and saw me at 150, which was a shock, and then three months later at goal at 140, and he couldn’t believe what he saw. I was a new “me.” The ten-pound difference between the two weights was startling. For my build, I wasn’t just thin…I was downright skinny compared to my former self.

And with this new “me” came some things I didn’t anticipate, and didn’t read about or even understand till I was experiencing it and in too deep. (Cue: scary “disordered eating” music, if such music exists).

Yes, I was at goal, but 140 didn’t feel “good enough” to me. I wanted 135. I wanted to be trimmer, leaner, fitter. I wasn’t starving myself and I wasn’t going crazy at the gym, but then something in my brain snapped.

Suddenly food and exercise became my everything. I would qualify food as good or bad, and eat something “bad” and then hit the gym to “make up for it” or punish myself, ravaged by feelings of guilt, like this body was on loan and if I didn’t exercise one day or didn’t eat well, I’d get fat overnight.

I’d feel victorious for skipping dessert or a shared appetizer, and empowered when I could fit in an extra workout. I’d watch others eat, knowing that their one meal would have been all my points for the day. And on vacation, I’d get up and run before everyone else was up, feeling virtuous.

Sometimes, I’d skip social functions if there would be too many temptations, or if I had a Spinning class or Body Pump session lined up. In my head, it all made perfect sense. But in reality, looking back, I see these behaviors were really the start of disordered eating, a vicious cycle that I now know can lead to clinical eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

My world was about to turn upside down…

My Blog

My story doesn’t end here of course, but rather is a living, breathing journey. However, this background is critical to understanding how I got to where I am.

I decided to create a blog to help guide me through my own struggles with disordered eating. In the first few posts, I will pick up where I left off in this section, sharing my confusing descent into the underworld that is disordered eating: a shameful world many know and few discuss.

My story will continue here on my blog, and I hope to make positive strides and help other women struggling with similar demons to do the same.

Stay tuned!


21 thoughts on “Unexpected Agony

  1. EVACTLY!!


    *Pacing the room clapping and pointing to the monitor..*



    “I would qualify food as good or bad, and eat something ‘bad’ and then hit the gym to’“make up for it’ or punish myself, ravaged by feelings of guilt, like this body was on loan and if I didn’t exercise one day or didn’t eat well, I’d get fat overnight.”

    Especially true for me ATM..

  2. LOL, thanks!! It is both comforting and disconcerting to see/hear so many women relating to this topic…thank you!

  3. Wow, when I read this passage:

    “Suddenly food and exercise became my everything. I would qualify food as good or bad, and eat something “bad” and then hit the gym to “make up for it” or punish myself, ravaged by feelings of guilt, like this body was on loan and if I didn’t exercise one day or didn’t eat well, I’d get fat overnight.”

    My jaw dropped open. It was as if you were writing from my own head. I have kept off 40 lbs (WW too) for 3 years and despite this, I still feel like all that weight loss could be dissapear though a bad meal. bad week or a missed run.

    I admire you for putting this all out there, I don’t know if I would have the courage. Bravo!

  4. Hi Grasshopper, thank you… and congrats to you, too!!! It really is a sickness, and one I wish the medical community addressed more readily.

  5. I think I teeter on the edge of this … maybe some days I am really truly there — in a disordered relationship — I think I get obsessed too easily and once obsessed it is hard to back off. I am losing baby weight right now … and have reached my healthy pre baby goal weight but now am playing head games about losing more … which you’ve just pointed out is a trap.

  6. Oh it most certainly is a trap, Tara. I felt so POWERFUL, so COCKY…it just wasn’t meant to last. And in a way, I’m glad it didn’t. I wasn’t myself then. And while I weigh a little more now, and still want to lose, I don’t ever want that cocky feeling back–it was too fragile.

    Congrats on losing your baby weight! I

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I know exactly where you’ve been. I used calorie-counting rather than WW, but the feelings and thoughts were all the same. Congratulations on turning things around!

  8. Thank you so much for sharing this. I had never read these sections of your blog before. Your story clearly resonates with so many people and you put it all into words perfectly. I really feel like you, and others like you, can understand how I think and feel. It is nice to know I am not alone and at the same time nice to have people out there who want to improve and just be healthy and happy in a “normal” way — without any disordered behaviors.

  9. Thanks, Dori … I am glad you found them. I’m kind of wondering who else is a loyal reader and has missed the beginning story!! You are DEF not alone, and we will get there …

  10. Lisa,

    I’m a young girl (think: minor), and it really really reeeeally makes a difference that you’ve decided to post your story and create such a wonderful blog. I have the EXACT same history as you do (well.. okay, maybe some modifications here and there), and I felt a little alone. Everyone else seemed to have a completely off-the-wall story compared to mine, and I felt.. well… uncomfortably different, I guess? It’s so reassuring that I’m not the only one.

    I feel I can relate to your story so much, and I’m so so so glad that I found your blog when you did, because I’m just starting my recovery from the perfectionist dieter and overexercising impulse. -happy dance-

    So.. Thanks. You’ve really made my day, and I look forward to seeing your blog on my hefty RSS feed list, lol! 🙂

  11. Hi Lissa,

    Yep, I’m jumping on the bandwagon-this is exactly what happened to me. Then, I went overseas for one month, ate whatever I wanted, didn’t gain an ounce, came back home, and felt like I had to go ‘back on the plan’ (i.e. 1200 calories most days, workout every single day).

    Not surprisingly, since I came back (in April), I have suffered from binge overeating, three days per week at its worst. I am by no means a classic bulimic – while I try to purge some binges, I don’t starve myself on non-binge days, although some may argue that I restrict too much.

    I’m on my eighth day with no binge (longest since June), and I’m hoping your blog will help me out as I get over the hump. I’m also curious to see if the rest of your story mirrors mine even more.

    Good on you for sharing-brave chick!

    🙂 Ally

  12. Your story resonates with me as well. I saw your title in a blog roll and was looking for something like this.

    I’ve been “doing WW for 2.5 years”. I’m at goal but I’ve developed sooo many unhealthy habits, mindsets, etc.

    I woke up a little less than a week ago. I’ve known that my binge/restriction behavior was an issue and I’ve been working on fighting it for over a year, but I suddenly realized this mindset is not worth being thin! I’m tired of thinking of certain foods as foods I “can’t eat”. And any social functions involving food (including family visits) would cause anxiety which would lead to bingeing.

    I’m so over it. I am going to finally relax my attitudes and really work on eating healthy, still considering my former favorite healthy foods, recipes and portion sizes. But I’m also going to begin true moderation and allow myself whatever is being eaten. I’ve taken a courageous first step of officially “not dieting” (and I realize that WW is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle or whatever tagline they claim – but in my mind it was a diet). I still find myself counting calories in my head and know it will be a long road. I’m 35 years old and am ready to live the rest of my life. I want my kids to see healthy eating and healthy attitudes. They usually do see healthy eating but it is the attitudes I need to work on as their role model.

    Thanks for you blog!!!

  13. I can so identify. I thought I left behind bulimia 20 years ago. And I left behind the binges and purges. But what happened when I got thinner in mid life is, the thoughts were still there. Not an eating disorder anymore, but disordered eating–good, bad, feeling out of control if I don’t know how many calories are in x…feeling like I “shouldn’t” be eating on the days I don’t exercise. This is so me.

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