Originally Posted by sunbaby
anyway, the main reason i am posting is to ask you guys, have you found anything that you can include in your life that seems to keep you out of the ffod issues? things have been going relatively well lately, and i know that it is largely because i am riding again. when i am with the horses, doing barn chores or whatever, i just forget to worry about it all- you know, how fat my pants make me look, how many calories i've had so far, etc. even though i can only afford the horse contact by begging and borrowing from those who actually own them, even that frustration seems to feed me and keep me from the food stuff- like it is the one thing strong enough to overshadow the food obsession (sometimes). anyone else have something like this?
Hello there Sunbaby! Totally KWYM here. I've been anorexic since about 14 and pretty hard core through college. I'd work out for 3 hours at a time, but I would strictly monitor my food intake. I ate probably less that 800 calories/day. I never got way thin until after college though.
When dh joined the National Guard and went away to basic training for 6 months, that's when I went off the deep end. (Dh has since become a Conscientious Objector and is now free from all that BS.) I kicked up my workouts to 2 3-hour workouts a day and just drank water and maybe some dry toast, a very small salad, or a smoothie. But that's if I was "good" and worked out hard enough to compensate for the "fat" I was going to be putting on my body. I'm 5' 8" tall, thickly built (meaning I just naturally have a lot of meat and flesh on my legs) and was down to 118. I thought I would look really good if I could just get down to 110. I looked like a freaking hanger in my clothes, and I was still really jealous of women who could fit into size zero pants.
Long story short, I wanted to get pregnant, and I sort of replaced my obsession with starvation/thinness with all manner of healthy eating. It worked for the most part, but I had backslides and would "forget" to eat. (I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who suddenly and conveniently has amnesia when it comes to eating!)
After dd's birth, I had
to eat or my little girl would suffer. So I put my anorexia on hold. I still have bouts with it (like I when I was glad when I had food poisoning and lost ten pounds), but horses have helped. They've been a life-long love and a source of inspiration in many ways. My horses don't need excuses. They need me to be there for them. If I'm not healthy, I can't take care of them like they deserve.
Plus, as some of you have mentioned, I don't want dd to have to go through what I went through. I was media saturated as a kid, and I think that contributed greatly to my poor self image. Dd doesn't watch any TV and movies are limited to Discovery Channel dvds and horse videos (like National Geographic and "The Little Horse That Could."). We are as little mainstream as possible. People sometimes chastise me by saying, "You can't protect her from everything!" True, but I can protect her from a hell of a lot more by being proactive and putting a huge filter on the mainstream media culture.
P.S. Reading Reviving Ophelia
helped me to see how subtle and pervasive mainstream media are in their quest to make money off the idea that "thin is beautiful."
Also, the feminist in me is screaming that it's the patriarchy trying to keep women down by having us believe we have no value if we don't look like a stick with huge breasts. I think it was this feminist rage that brought me through the worst of my ed. I didn't want men to tell me what to do.
Here are some things that would've horrified me in the past and made me slip into a full blown intense starvation/exercise regime.
1) My boobs sag and instead of being horrified, I wear them proudly (they gave me the beautiful, healthy girl I love to hug and hang with) and nurse unashamedly in public. I look people straight in the eyes and challenge them to say I shouldn't. No one's taken me up on it yet. They're lucky!
2) I am flabby. My butt looks like bread dough. My legs are Jell-o. My belly is pudding. (Hmmm, why am I equating parts of my body with food?)
3) I don't shave. I used to think women with hairy legs and pits were disgusting. Now, I see it as a form of self-loathing and bowing down
to a part of the unhealthy cultural expectation of "beauty" if they do. Why shave off a natural part of my body? It's akin to the circ issue, though circumcision is a million times more heinous than shaving. But being unshaven (for both genders) in our culture is often associated with being unclean or unkempt. I'm a mammal and I'm hairy!
4) I don't wear make-up. Animal testing and cultural expectations I'm not going to meet any more. I like myself better without it. I feel more real.
What's the difference now? The patriarchy can kiss my a**! I'm also a recovering Mormon, and getting over the fact that I had no place in that culture except as a baby maker has been especially difficult but also tremendously healing. I'm learning to really love myself. Not an easy task given what all girls grow up with.
Love to all.