Behind My Smile: How I Recovered from Bulimia
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Then one morning the manager at the gym told me she had terminated my membership for health reasons. I remember this day like it was yesterday — I cried for hours upon hours. I refused to let a morsel of food pass through my lips without a punishing and exhausting workout. My body was an enemy that needed to be controlled and punished.
My mom would often come down to the basement and just watch me run with tears in her eyes. Somehow I managed to get into grad school for the department of Physical Therapy. My black and white thinking would not allow me to accept anything lower than an A. I would spend all my spare time studying in the library, trying to use up every ounce of concentration I had towards my studies.
I remember chewing a stick of Trident gum and reading the calories. Then one morning the Dean of the Physical Therapy program called me into his office and told me I could no longer complete my Masters at that time. He was expelling me. Candido, the faculty are very concerned with you. At this moment, my world fell apart. All my marbles were placed into being the best Physiotherapist Vancouver had seen, but now what.
Was I going to work at a Starbucks for the rest of my life? I cried for days. This, was my rock bottom. After all these years of internal arguing, mental clutter and resistance, I was able to admit that I had a problem. I was falling apart. This was when, I surrendered. One thing I had to remember was that this eating disorder required so much of my will power and discipline to get into, I KNEW I had that same power and strength to get out.
With the support from my mom I found therapy, structure, and hospitalization at the St. Paul Hospital Eating Disorder program. I more or less lived there for 2 years. During that time I went through intense cognitive, behavioural, and group therapy. My eyes seemed giant because of my gaunt face. I had no feelings — just a constant numb, stale mood. The plan was to have me make small, manageable changes in my behavior. Well, these changes were neither small or manageable. They asked me to do things that horrified me, like eating regularly whether I was hungry or not.
To me, however, eating more often sounded like a quick recipe for weight gain. No matter what they said and how much sense it made, I told myself I could never do any of it. Being thin and perfect was more important. Asking me to just change my eating-disordered thinking would be about as successful as asking someone with a tumour to change their cancer cells back into healthy ones. Whenever I went to eat something, the eating disorder always had something to say, dictating what I was allowed to eat.
My dietitian said that I was fainting because I was weak and needed to eat something. But my eating disorder said that I was just being lazy and that everyone was trying to make me fat. My therapist would guide me and challenge some of my thoughts. It took years of working with the treatment team at St. At first, recovery felt like making a path through untamed woods. I had to keep going over and over the same original path to forge a trail and shift my thinking.
One thing I had to remember throughout this journey was that this eating disorder required so much of my will power and discipline to get into, I knew I had that same power and strength to get myself out. And I can confidently say, for the past 3 years, that I did just that, and recovered. During recovery, there are days where your determination and willpower are put to the test.
Especially during hard or difficult times in your life such as exam time, moving, changing schools, parents divorce, etc.
And for me, as you already know, it was with an eating disorder. We were extremely dedicated and it was a lot of work, we had personal trainers, practiced every day, sometimes twice a day and whether it was discussed or not image was everything. I mean like I said we had personal trainers for crying out loud. I was generally a base or a back spot, which is the girl at the bottom of the pyramid. I thought my life was great, whether the girls were mean or not and I lived in this little world of perfection.
I look back now and realize..
Bulimia And Your Teeth
And does popularity really matter? I remember we were all messing around and I wanted so badly to be a flyer for fun, I asked and asked and these girls ignored me for a while and they all took turns, then finally I was heard! I was so excited! I had flown before and knew exactly what to do! The first time we did just a basic stunt and I was feeling pretty good, I nailed it. Well the entire point of the bases and the back spot is to catch the flyer, right? Well my bases tried to catch me, but my entire left side fell right through their arms.
What Bulimia Does To Your Teeth Ain't Pretty
My name is Jessica and I was bullied. I still think back to that day and constantly replay it in my head even though it was years ago. At the time I was a healthy weight, and I was called heavy. It was instilled in my head that I was fat, that one little comment put me over the edge. Now let me flashback a little further for a second. While I was growing up I did gymnastics for a long time, from about age three until age 14, it was extremely competitive and I loved every second of it.
Now as many of you may know you have to be small in order to be a gymnast. I remember having weigh ins once a week, this constant feeling that I needed to be perfect, which meant small in my eyes, and constant physical training and practices even worse and more often than my cheerleading days. It was already this idea in my head that you had be a certain weight, a certain size from the age of three. In fact I begged my Mom and Dad to do gymnastics and cheerleading, there were no pressures of my parents at all, just love and support.
Now getting back on topic, since I already had this mindset that thin and small was better this comment pushed those thoughts too far. When I was seventeen years old I began my first eating disorder, anorexia. There were days that I could barely get out of bed, let alone go to cheer practice.
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This was my security blanket though, my safe haven, and my biggest secret. I finally decided to let go of cheerleading and quit before my senior year. And well, things just went downhill from here. My entire summer and first semester of my senior year I struggled with anorexia off and on. I compared myself to everyone and everything.
But no one knew about my secret and I liked that, I felt like I had this control and could do anything I wanted, it gave me confidence. The way I looked at it everyone had a better life than me and I was miserable and wallowing in self-pity. I decided to graduate a semester early, I wanted out. I hated high school at this point and had no reason to stay.
I was accepted into Brigham Young University Idaho and would work at a local fast food place in Boise until the fall when I headed off to college. I did my own thing, I was distant from pretty much everyone and especially my parents and I only confided in one person, my best friend, who is still to this day my best friend.
She helped me with a lot; she eventually helped me break this habit of anorexia and pushed me forward each day. I remember her threatening to tell my parents, which at the time scared me to death. Finally it was January; I was done with high school and ready for the next step of my life.
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Things were starting to turn around, I had new friends, GOOD old ones, and had decided to walk with my graduating class in June and put aside my hurt feelings, plus my best friend was going to be there so there was nothing to worry about! My name is Jessica and my life was getting back on track.
Finally June was here, it was graduation day, I got ready with a couple of my friends and was on my way to the Taco Bell Arena in Boise to officially walk and graduate high school, nothing could stand in my way, not even those girls who had made my life, for a lack of better words, hell. I spent the next few months before going off to college with my closest friends and was actually pretty happy, minus the typical teenage drama here and there.
I was close with my parents and even better honest, I had nothing that I was hiding.
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I worked out every day in order to keep physically fit the smart way and worked to save money before college started. After what seemed like such an amazing summer the next thing I knew August was here. My best friend was headed her own way for college and it was time for me to start the drive to Rexburg, Idaho. I pulled up to my new apartment with my parents and started carrying all of my stuff upstairs.
My parents helped me unpack and try to make my new place as home-y as possible and before I knew it my mom was crying and they were back in the car on their way to Boise. I knew this was going to be hard, being in a new place all alone, but I thought it would be better than this. My roommates were nice and they really put forth an effort to include me, but I was still sad and lonely. I continued to push forward and it continued to get worse every day.
I decided to find a distraction, I turned to working out, I worked out every single day, twice a day, sometimes three times a day. Lost teeth can be replaced with bridges or implants. As I write this piece, I can feel my stomach tighten and my teeth become more sensitive, almost curling in my mouth. But as J K Rowling once famously said: Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Next stop after the dentist…the ear doctor.