Earlier today, I posted an article “Gym Training With a Broken Body“. Many have messaged me in regards to the nutrition section in the article.
I had written that I have been suffering from a Binge Eating Disorder, and until very recently, it was behind locked doors for 10 years.
The first dose of when something went wrong was when I hit the age of 13. You know when the body starts to change: your breasts get larger, hips get wider, body starts dramatically changing? Mine, started when I was 9-10 years old…however, the secondary symptoms had not appeared until I entered middle school (grade 7 and 8).
When I was 13, I was overweight. Not fat, but I had some fat to lose. My body was built wide which later on would be good for giving birth. But people were not seeing that. Instead I was being put down by family, friends, trainers and teachers saying I should shed a few pounds due to future health reasons and to look “school-appropriate.”
Cue: Over Exercising and making myself tired.
When I was 14 years old (grade 8) I had a slightly more generalized freedom.
During the week;
In the mornings I hardly ate. If I did, it would be a fruit or a yogurt drink.
Lunch time, I would have either crust of a half-sandwich that I made myself that morning…or I would not eat.
Supper time, I would eat whatever my mom put on the table. If it was just a salad, I mostly ate just a salad that day. If it was a full blown meal, then that’s what I would eat.
*** If I felt my sugar was low, I normally ate a chocolate bar. If I was randomly hungry, especially around the time of getting my period, I would snack on dry spinach leaves.(Yum)
During the weekend;
I would eat all three meals. Lots of snacks and basically adding the calories I missed during the week into one weekend. Nothing was severe at the time, however this was the start of the ruthless binging disorder.
Add this to the exercise I have been doing…I was starting to lose weight, except that I was getting exceedingly exhausted at the same time.
About two months into living with this bad habit of barely eating/over eating…I finally ended up having a wake up call. I was getting severe stomach pains. The first week it happened, my parents left it as is, labelling the aches as”period cramps”, and that they were completely normal. After three weeks of going through the constant agony, my dad ultimately urged my mom to take me to the hospital.
I went to the emergency room at a children’s hospital. Almost instantly, I saw a doctor and explained my symptoms. They sent me in for X-rays on my stomach. About 45 minutes later, the X-rays, the images showed my intestines were blocked. I was simply given pills and was sent home.
I started to eat a healthier amount of food in a week instead of starving myself, except 3 months later the same thing happened once again. However; I did not go through any tests for a confirmed diagnosis and I was given the same pills, then shooed away. This time, I knew that it was something else and not due to the eating.
Over the next few years, I was living a same sort of eating style. Close to nothing during the week and over eating the weekend. Nevertheless, I thought my reasoning was justified; I was over scheduled doing so many activities that I never thought of eating.
However with the amount I was on the ice and working out…a major sign I had a problem was the weight was not coming off, instead I was gaining.
Once out of high school I had started skating with new coaches. One coach kept commenting on my weight and form and said it would be easier if I lost the weight. This is when my condition started its full force. I had a gym membership and anything I ate during the day I had to burn off either on the ice or in the gym. I ate full carbs and no protein and basically lived off of several XL coffees a day.
Early 2014 was the year everything changed. My second coach realized that I was suffering from B.E.D.- just by what I ate at the rink and what I was posting online. My weekends, I was eating over 7000 calories in 2.5 days. Not all was junk food, but the carbs and calories still add up.
A few months later, after doing research on the eating disorder, I knew I had to take action…especially living with it for as long as I had.
I went to see a nutritionist. My first appointment, seeing as I was with my grandma, I hid the disorder. So instead of being able to get help, I was put on a basic meal plan for the week.
That week I lost 5 pounds. So when I saw the nutritionist the week after, I didn’t bring up the disorder. I thought I was able to cure myself.
August 2014 came along. My coaches at the time dropped me as a student (right before a new season) and I was forced to look for a new coach. This caused enough stress that caused me to binge and then I got questioned about the weight gain. That was when I fully opened up and accepted the eating disorder.
Over the next few months, I went through other health issues, putting the eating disorder on the side and dealt with the other issues.
A week before I went to Florida, I told my mom I had a binging disorder. She said she knew I had something, but did not know what exactly I had and that when I got home, she would try to help me overcome it.
All turned for the worse when I went to Florida. I was with my grandparents and during the several days I stayed there, everything I picked up to eat I got the “do you need that” “that’s not healthy” “I’m paying for the nutritionist and don’t see progressions” “lose 10% of fat”. From others who soon found out I got the, “this is why you are sick with all these problems”.
I became confident to exceptionally self-conscious in so little time. I got emotionally drained and had a break down. (It was also the first time I told someone outside my mom and the nutritionist about having a binge disorder).
When I got home I was shaken up and restarted all my bad habits. It took several months to break them again and become healthier. But I knew things had to change.
-I cut out most restaurants
-started skating several times a week
-monitoring every food/drink/symptoms of the day and the time
-started cutting out negative people even if they used to be close.
Just doing this, I was feeling a lot better.
November 2015, I started competing, and through every competition, I started binging more and more because of the stress and adrenaline.
By the time provincials came in February, I past the point of eating 10000+ calories per/weekend. It got to a degree where I was checking out eating disorder clinics in Quebec.
Randomly, I met a hockey player and he introduced me to a new medical professional who showed me a new technique to learn how to re-wire my brain. When the brain is in over-drive, it poisons the body.
That’s when I cut more things out of my life, started paying out of my own pocket for the nutritionist and basically decided to enjoy life to its fullest extent.
I am working on eating 5 meals a day.
I am working out 6 days a week (moving to 7).
Healthy schedule (maintaining)
Cutting negative people out of my life.
Focusing on school and work.
I am nowhere near cured. My lifestyle is still not perfect, but I have to break it down in steps in order to get healthy.
Next seasons figure skating competitions, my goal is to not binge before, during or after the competition.
It’s been a long journey and it’ll be even longer with the upcoming journey to get healthy.
To learn more about eating disorders, you can visit the eating disorder section on this website.