Monday, October 20, 2008

Have You Ever Seen a Fat Anorexic?

Here is the post that I've been dreading to write for a while. Why have I been dreading to write it? Because it's about a subject that a lot of people don't want to face much less proclaim to the world. I'll make a very long story short. I'm fat. There you go.

What's strange to me is not the fact that I'm fat. What's odd is that I used to be anorexic/bulimic years ago. Have you ever heard of a fat anorexic? Well, now you have because here I am.

Let's go back in time a bit. My mother grew up in a household where weight was discussed like the weather. Her adopted mother who we called "Aunt Jessie" always had sweet stuff laying around the house and would have the audacity to tell Momma that she was fat when she was a little girl. Don't get me wrong...Aunt Jessie was a very good woman and really took care of Momma and me, for that matter. She just had a hang-up about weight and would tell the world what she weighed when no one could care less. I remember one time going to an ice cream shop with her and her telling the morbidly obese guy behind the counter that he "must eat a lot of ice cream around here to look like that". She said that right to his face. I could have died it was so embarrassing and I felt so bad for the guy. She could be vicious about weight, that's for sure.

Momma told me a story about when she was little Aunt Jessie used to make clothes for her and one day made striped pants. The stripes were vertical except for the stripes across the butt in the back. They were horizontal and really made my Mom embarrassed because she felt it made her behind look larger that it actually was. I remember one time Aunt Jessie telling me that my butt was a shelf because it was so big you could set a pie on it.

Did I tell you that Aunt Jessie weighed 113 pounds? She would spin in her grave if I didn't mention that. Also note that she was about 5 foot 4 inches tall. So, she was pretty petite anyway whereas Momma is about 5 foot 10 inches and even if she starved herself could never be called "petite".

When I was a little girl I remember all of the diets Momma went on. The cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, Fiber Trim, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to emulate her and so I would go on all of the diets with her. I remember when she was very active physically and would work out all of the time and took so many diet pills and supplements her hand could hardly hold all of the pills she swallowed in the morning. I remember being seven years old and crunching ice cubes all day for days because I didn't want to gain weight. I ate ice cubes and nothing else until I got so hungry I ate the house down.

As a teenager eating the house down wasn't very good because I really noticed my weight then. Eating the house down also made me feel guilty that I had eaten so much and so I started purging the food I ate. I don't remember doing it for the first time. I don't remember how I even had the idea to do it. I just know that it was something that I did for years. I would go through periods of starvation only to follow it up with binging and purging. I was never happy while doing it because I thought I looked like an obese monster when looking into the mirror. I was always on the quest to lose that "last five pounds". It was never ending.

While eating dinner with my parents, I would take some of my food and hide it in my napkin and throw it away when they weren't looking. They never had a clue until that fated day Momma walked in the bathroom while I was about to step into the bathtub. She said that she saw my back and was horrified when seeing all of the bones sticking out. She said she knew then that I had a problem.

The next day after eating dinner, I excused myself to the bathroom as I always did to purge and Momma stopped me asking where I was going. I told her that I needed to use the bathroom and she went off asking what I planned to do in there. Of course I lied saying that I just needed to go to the bathroom and she asked if I was going to throw up. I told her of course not while starting to cry and then the drama really started that night. There was a lot of screaming and crying and the last words to me was that she was taking me to a counselor. I told her that there was no way that I would go and stomped out of the room. I was 16 at the time.

A few Saturdays later Momma asked if I wanted to go shopping and I said, "Sure". Before I knew it we were downtown in front of a brick office building. It was a psychologist's office and I was completely pissed off. I told her that I wouldn't talk at all and we walked inside. At the end of the hour I was talking.

I went for a year.

Thinking back to that time in my life, I still can't believe that the sexual abuse Momma had just found out about when I was 16 was never mentioned to the counselor. She always told the psychologist that I had issues with my biological father not having anything to do with me and that I was angry because of it. She never talked about her issues with weight either.

Starvation, binging and purging was a great way for me to feel in control of my life because believe me, I felt I had no control over anything and never did. Sexual abuse started when I was two years old and continued throughout the years and by different people. Sure, I was very upset about my biological father not wanting anything to do with me. I still have issues with rejection as an adult. I just wish that the psychologist would have talked with me about everything. I wish Momma had told him everything. Maybe I would be better off now.

Here are a few pictures of when I was in high school in the tenth grade. Please note the terrible short haircut. That is an entire story to itself. Well, I'll go ahead and tell it. When I was little (under five years old), I would always go to bed with bubble gum in my mouth. A lot of mornings my hair would be in knots with sticky gum that my Mom went nuts over. She would use butter, oil, etc to try and get the gum out. At night she would check my mouth for gum and I would hide it in my mouth saying I didn't have any. The next morning more gum was in my hair. Momma got really angry and said that if I go to bed with gum in my mouth one more time she was going to cut my hair and I would never be allowed to have long hair as long as I lived in her house. The next morning I woke up with gum in my hair and she chopped it off. Momma always had very short hair (above her ears) and she made me have short hair until I moved out. I was never allowed to grow it again while living with her.

At least she was consistent, I guess, but it really burns me up still just thinking about it. Needless to say my hair is longer as an adult.

Anyway, here are some pics.

Bad pictures to say the least. I am the one with the dark, short hair. Can you believe the outfits we wore back in the 80's? OMG...

This was taken on "Career Day". My friends and I decided that we would have a construction company and dressed the part. I am the short-haired with a sharp as hell chin jutting out (always hated my chin) sitting on the end.

This picture was taken after high school and after I had "graduated" from the psychologist. My hair was finally starting to grow out (I had moved out from my parents) but I still had braces. My friend Elaine had done my hair and makeup that night. We were so makes me giggle to see that picture. I had dinner with her the other night. It was wonderful to see her again after so long.

I'm sure that you all have seen the following pictures.They are my favorite ones:

The following pictures you can see that I'm gaining weight. My face gets SOOOO fat. It really shows the weight.

OK, this is what I looked like more recently. It is so embarrassing to show all of these photos:

This is me and my husband.


I look like a tub of lard sitting on that couch in my husband's studio. I am sitting beside my very sweet mother-in-law and friends of my husband who visited from Amsterdam.

Since these pictures I've gained about ten more pounds. I am now at a whopping 230 pounds (standing at 5 foot 8 inches). Last year I had gotten all the way to 250 which is the most I've ever weighed in my life. I lost 40 pounds while stopping smoking, but over time I've gained a little back.

So, how does an anorexic/bulimic become fat? It happens over time and it happens when you don't look at yourself. What I mean about not looking at yourself is that I literally don't look at myself. When needing to wear makeup, I focus only on what makeup I'm putting on. If it's eye makeup, I look at my eye, not my entire face and so on.

I learned to stop starving/binging/purging with my psychologist years ago, but I never learned how to effectively lose weight without obsessing about it. I've always been afraid that if I really start trying to lose weight I'll become obsessed and start purging again. I don't want to start that cycle ever.

Last year when losing 40 pounds I completely changed the way I ate and it worked. What I need to do now is start exercising. That is one thing I don't do and have a job where I sit the entire day (and sometimes evening) behind a computer not moving. I've done that for years and it really doesn't help.

If you haven't noticed, I've made two goals for myself and posted it on my blog. One goal is easy...lose 10 pounds. The other goal is the overall goal of losing 70 pounds. Hopefully it will help. We shall see.

If you've actually read all of this, thank you for listening. I'm glad I didn't create another blog for weight loss because really....this problem is part of who I am and is something that bothers me A LOT.

I feel so very ugly and seeing myself in the pictures today really makes me feel out of control. I was shocked by the last pictures because guess what? I have never really looked at them.

I feel really bad right now even talking about it. I'm going to take a break from all this writing.

Take care, everyone.


Jay said...

I think you're a pretty courageous person.

And I think you'll reach your goals and more.

Anonymous said...

You may have some extra pounds but so do I. You're very brave for writing this post. Susan

C said...

I've been one who never really had to worry about what I eat. Not to say that I was skinny, I've always weighed 125(5'3"). However, with my last child the weight never fell off. Now I am 168. In my mind I'm still 125 and when I catch myself in the mirror it is a shock and it makes me sick.

I wish you all the luck in reaching your goals!

Lucky Lady said...

you can do it but don't worry about it I always was skinny and to be over weight really bothers me but remember i do have a shadow i would like to help if i can with your friend e-mail me at WEEZIE163@AOL.COM HOW OLD IS SHE I WAS 40 THE FIRST TIME- LOUISE

la said...

I know you didn't post these pictures looking for compliments but I wanted to tell you you're a *very* attractive woman. I don't know why but I thought you were much older so I was surprised by how young and pretty you look! (Maybe 'cause you're a mom, 'cause all moms are old and dowdy, right? *rolls eyes*)

Immi said...

You're not alone. I wasn't diagnosed as anorexic as a teen, but at 95-100 lbs at 5'6" because I didn't eat for days on end, my guess is that I was. I got past the not eating, yes. And now I'm fat. Even when I'm not on fat-making meds, I haven't been thin in 20 years or so. I've always felt like an obese monster, and at this point I figure I just might always. Sooner or later I might try to deal with the actual weight thing, and I hope the feeling obese will go away in therapy. But for now I just stay where I am, too many other things to deal with to work with weight just now. Just wanted you to know you're not alone. Good luck with your losing weight at the rate you want.

Chunks of Reality said...

Jay - Thank you a bunch. I think you believe in me more than I do. LOL :) Good luck in your weight loss goals as well.

Chunks of Reality said...

Ozzieblackcat - You have an awesome blog with your brother! I really love it!

Thank you for your kind words.

Chunks of Reality said...

C - Thanks a bunch. I know what you mean about the shock. I get shocked when seeing a pic or even reflection of myself that I didn't expect to see. Good luck to you as well.

Chunks of Reality said...

Lucky Lady - Thanks so much for your e-mail address. My friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer is 45 years old. I will be happy to forward your e-mail addy to her. I'm not sure if she will write because I think she is still in denial about it all. Thanks a bunch!!

Chunks of Reality said...

La - LOL I never *NEVER* expected to receive compliments over the posted pics today! LOLOL It just makes me giggle thinking about it.

You are so sweet and I thank you. I feel like the *most unattractive* person ever.

I'll be 37 in a few days...October 29th, to be exact. I am an old fart! :)

Chunks of Reality said...

Immi - Thank's so good to know that I'm not alone on this. I have never known anyone who had an eating disorder and was overweight later in life.

Medications for depression and even birth control have not helped at all. In fact I recently noticed gaining more weight when starting the birth control. I started taking it due to being diagnosed with PMDD. It has helped a lot with the PMDD but not the weight.

You are not an obese monster at all. I think you are wonderful and am so thankful for your comment.

linda said...

Anti-depressants make you chubbier - no matter what any doc says.

I have to watch what I eat. I used a diet diary. Even though I eat super healthy food (no junk, vegan, low fat, no drinking etc) I can still eat too much.

Food is not only delicious, it ties in heavily with our emotions so that can be troublesome.

Don't look at the overall amount of weight you have to lose. Work out how many calories you need each day, write down just how much you really eat and then cut it back by 500 calories (or whatever). Just aim for small losses each week. 2 pounds. Apply all your practical mathmatical skills to the process - take the emotion out of it all.

Anyway, trust me, you are gorgeous. My husband would think you positively delicious looking.

Your hair is divine.

Chunks of Reality said...

Linda - You are sooo right. I remember gaining weight while in the hospital taking the meds! At the time I wasn't too bothered because I just wanted to get better; however, over time gaining the weight got old.

I wish to be like you and write down calories. If I go into that level of detail while trying to lose weight I will become obsessive about it again. I used to count calories like crazy and I don't want to go there. So, instead I just try to eat healthy. Luckily I love fruits and veggies and don't eat much meat at all. Never was a meat-eater, really.

Thank you for your sweet words. I think that *YOU* are gorgeous, my dear!!!! :) *hugs*

Bikran said...

Few extra pounds does not matter .what matters is how u carry yourself
you look gorgeous and attractive even with that extra pounds.I aint flattering though.:D

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted about this stuff here too.

Ah the curse for those of us who gain weight instead of losing it when under stress/trauma.

I've never been happy with the way I look either. Not at the time. I can look back at old photos and realise I didn't look anywhere near as bad as I thought I did. But never at the time, as I always think I look bad. Its a hangover from the years and years of mental abuse at the hands of my brother.

I think one of the hardest things to do is to just accept how you look right now. And it seems that as much as you're lamenting your current condition, you always did the same thing?

That is how it is for me. And for the past few years I've also been carrying extra weight thanks to depression and surgery and stuff... So I get where you're coming from.

What I've been trying to do is catch that negative self-opinion as its happening which can be very tricky. And turn it around.

Its tough but I know you can do it.

Losing weight is good, but it has to be for reasons of health rather than being worried about how you look in the mirror.

Like others commenting here, I think you look fine. You are definitely not ugly.

Sure, you're carrying extra weight but that happens over time and with changes in lifestyle. And it sounds like you're on the right path now.

Mr B The Tech Teacher said...

You left a comment for me to update my bloglist with your new blog, but I don't know what your old blog was *blushes* sorry, I've been kinda out of touch with blogs recently thanks to some stuff going on. Let me know and I'll get the list updated.

In the meantime: strength, wisdom, and love to you.


Ann said...

I think you are a very beautiful woman. You WILL reach your goals young lady! I'm about the same size, give or take an inch, so can totally understand.

Bear Bear said...

Don't be sad about this. Last time, my Mom was about the same size as you now. But she was determined to lose weight and she did it. So I wish you success in losing weight too.

Fred Furd said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck with your goal! I am overweight and can certainly identify with your plight...

Clueless said...

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I really appreciate you openness about being a fat anorexic. But, I really understand that. In the past two years since I've been unable to work and with my medications, I have gain so much weight. I am the largest that I have ever been. It bothers me, but some days I don't care. I think one of the problems is that I am now 43. Although my weight is okay, I still have the diagnosis of eating disorder NOS because the the thinking patterns are still there and the behavioral ones start when I am under stress. My husband still hides the scale, at my request. Like any addiction, I will be in recovery because it is too easy to slip back.

Clueless said...

By the way, I'm glad that you shared your pictures. You are a beautiful woman. Honestly, that was the first thing I thought when I saw your pictures.

GirlBlue said...

Oh sweetie you are beautiful, I know the weight makes you feel unattractive but you're anything but, you just have to look in the mirror and really see yourself.

You're more ambitious than I am, I'm giving myself baby goals, 5 lbs at a time, if I go any higher than that I'll get frustrated if it doesn't come off soon enough.

Baby steps, you could do it


Chunks of Reality said...

Bikran - Thanks so much! Because of my low self-confidence I probably don't carry myself very well, though I try. I will try to do better though. Thank you again.

Chunks of Reality said...

Svasti - You are SOOOO right. Back when I was a teen I thought I was morbidly obese. I would actually see the mounds of "fat" rolling around my body. When I look at those pictures now I can't believe how sharp and knobby my features were from being underweight. Sheesh, if only I could have that problem now!

I like when you said, "I think one of the hardest things to do is to just accept how you look right now. And it seems that as much as you're lamenting your current condition, you always did the same thing?"

You so right about that. I've never been happy with the way I looked...even when I look back and see that I wasn't as bad as I thought back then.

Thanks so much for assisting in my way of thinking. It helps more than you realize.


Chunks of Reality said...

Shiv - Thank you a bunch! I'll visit your blog very soon!

Ann - Thank you for your encouragement. Oh, to be in Italy like you!

Bear Bear - Thank you as well. It's a long journey, but I will make it! I did stop smoking after 19 years, so if I can do that, I should be able to lose some poundage. By the way, I love what you did in your organization project. You are SO organized...loved those boxes!

Fred - Thanks for visiting as well and also for your kind thoughts.

Chunks of Reality said...

Clueless - I love your blog, by the way. Thanks for visiting as well.

Medications really heave the weight on. It's just an undeniable fact. I wish they would make an anti-depressant that also helped you lose weight. :)

Thanks so much for your kind words. I felt really bad after writing this post. So much so I just laid in bed for awhile quite down.

Because of your encouragement and others I feel much better and I thank you so much.

Chunks of Reality said...

Girlblue - I thought about starting with 5 pounds versus 10. I may change that goal. I want to see how this week goes. (Afterward, I thought about changing it to 1 pound! LOL)

It sounds like we're in this journey together. It's nice to know that. :)

Unknown said...

Thank you for this post - eating disorders can make you feel so alone. At the moment I feel like there's no way out of bulimia. It's incidious. I'm glad you managed to stop the starving/purging cycle. Weight issues and mental health issues - yeah, great combo. Not.

Good luck with the 10 lbs goal. *hugs*

Nishanth said...

Jus dont lose hope and be brave as you are now.Really appreciate your courage posting this in your blog.I also share the same sentimence as i was a very very lean person in my hi school and it was really a hard time which i dont even wanna remember.Instead of givin up ,..i jus laughed it off ,..worked hard towards gaining some weight and fortunately my physique has improved greatly.
Just keep smiling everyday (BTW you have a very good smile :) )and be with ppl that make you feel good.
take care..

Anonymous said...

You're beautiful. You really are. Can totally relate with the eating disordered life style. It's still with me now, just fluctuates in severity.

I was once told that while you would recover from an episode, you'd always have the mindset and would have to be careful of triggers etc. I guess that's the trick to learn, how to control the controller.

Take care xx

TooBIG said...

Hey I guve you a lot of credit for putting it all out there, thanks so much for visiting my site and leaving a comment, I hope that you come back.

I also want to let you know that being beautiful is not just how you feel or how others see you. Mirrors are not really a true reflection of who we are, they never get to see the inside of us and out heart. That's what means the most.

I'll be checking on ya


Chunks of Reality said...

Zathyn - Thank you my dear. I know that you can most definitely relate. Bulimia is terrible and I hope to never go back there in behavior, though it is still in mind. There are days when I think about visiting the toilet after I eat. I don't think those thoughts will ever go away.

I wish you the best in your journey as well. You definitely aren't alone.


Chunks of Reality said...


Sometimes it is easy to lose hope, especially when I see the pictures. I don't know how many times I've looked at this post just looking at the pictures. That is how much I don't look at myself at all. Looking at the pictures are just shocking to me.

I realize there are people out there who have the same problem as me, just on the other side of the spectrum. I had a friend who tried her best to gain weight all of the time and just couldn't. It bothered her as much as it bothered me that I was overweight. Both can be heart-wrenching.

You are a wise person. Surrounding yourself with people who make you feel good is very important.

Thanks so much for the visit and kind words!

Chunks of Reality said...

Jess - I enjoyed visiting your site. :) You are very wise as well. Mirrors lie when reflecting who we truly are. Thank you for reminding me of that.

Please stop by any time! :)

Brianna said...

I'm with OzzieBlackCat - you are an amazingly brave woman. That strength is going to help you set goals and work toward them.

Making a list of all of the things you like about yourself is also helpful (or as my mom had me do every time I hit a negativity rut as I was growing up - a list of 10 good things that happened that day). It reminds you of why you are setting and working toward your goals. Even if you start with a list of one or two things, you can add to that list. Positive thinking can go a LONG way as you work on the physical changes.

Best wishes all around.

Daisy said...

I guess it's denial. we put off looking at stuff that makes us uncomfortable.

just wanted to say I love you even with all the weight. *hug*

but since losing it makes you feel better and healthier, I'm rooting you on! you can do it bit by bit. maybe reading stuff on dieting and exercise the right way would help. :)

it's good that you've been able to see yourself in your more recent photos though. it's a start. :D

Anonymous said...

I'm having problem with aorexia too. I love food but I just can't maintain my weight and keep losing them. I really love your courageous post. thanks for sharing. and thanks for visiting my blog

Tracy said...

I think you are beautiful!
And it's good to set realistic goals... for me, exercise classes at the gym work. They keep me motivated; there is fun music; and they are an hour! But each person has to figure out what works for them. Here's hoping you find yours!

Brian Dixon said...

Whatever happens to your body, you can take comfort in the fact that your spirit attracts plenty of moral support from readers of your blog. Logically, there has to be something beautiful inside you to attract that energy, no matter what you weigh. Try to focus your attention on that.

Chunks of Reality said...

Brianna - Thank you so much for visiting and also for taking the time to read that long post! Your kind words touched my heart and I thank you for that as well.

It's a good idea to make a list of things I like about myself. I think it will take quite a while to come up with 10, but I'll take your challenge and try it out soon in the blog.

Thanks again!!

Chunks of Reality said...

Jerine - I wish you all the best as well. I'm so happy to have posted this because it really shows me that I'm not alone in the battle.

Chunks of Reality said...

Tracy - I've recently started thinking about trying exercise classes. I think it would be good because you work with other people toward a common goal which is to get through the class! LOLOLOL

I don't like gyms that much if you just work out on the machines. I'm a more social person and think I would enjoy the classes. I'll let you know if I do!

Thanks a bunch!

Chunks of Reality said...

Daisy - You are such a dear as always! Yes, it's been definite denial because I have been so scared to get back in the cycle again of eating disorder land.

I'll let you know how it goes and thanks so much for all of your awesome support!

Chunks of Reality said...

Brian - You are so right and I never thought about that. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

I can't believe how much feedback I've received with this post. It was actually a terrible post for me to write because I was quite down afterward. I actually had to lie down for a bit and regroup.

The support has been overwhelming and my gawd it is helping A LOT!

Thanks so much again.

PS/ I love your bunny pic. Is it your bunny rabbit? If so, what is its' name? It's a cutie.

Brian Dixon said...

I stole my avatar image from the House Rabbit Society website. I'm not a rabbit owner or fancier, but I've donated a little money to them out of gratitude.

It's fun for me to think of the rabbit as a kind of totem animal because of the Playboy thing. I chose that particular photo because the bunny profile faces left, like a properly made institutional logo.

Agnes Mildew said...

I'm sorry I missed this when you first posted it: I had been on the look-out. I iterate what many of your commenters have stated - you are a very attractive woman and you are glowing with health.

Take things easy and stop beating yourself up over the weight. Slowly, slowly - what about joining a Weight Watchers group which advocates healthy eating and camaraderie; everyone helping each other and encouraging each other? It'll help your self-esteem, get you out socialising, give you a giggle and a focus which is healthy.

And many happy returns for your birthday. 37 isn't too could be nearly 39, like me - hahaha!

Anonymous said...

You're pretty.
Don't be sad. :o(

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