Fear. I can still feel the gut wrenching, heart pounding fear that I felt about getting fat. What was I going to do? How could I sustain myself in practice but not gain weight? I came to this realization in July, the Canada Games were in August - so the season was on the tail end. That way I thought I could manage it. It was at the Canada Games when I started to restrict myself. The cafeteria food was good, I think. I dont really remember food like I do now. The obesession hadnt quite taken hold.
I dont remember gaining weight at the tournament. I was still very active of course. But now i was zoned in on the food on my plate - super focused to the point of paralyzing tunnel vision.
But then there was something worse, I was done playing basketball. For a couple weeks anyway.... then on to my senior year of highschool.
I was always very active, as a kid and into my teens and now adulthood. I joined the cross country team and made the senior volleyball team. I wasnt necessarily the best at either, but I had heart and my height helped me a lot. I'm getting shivers just thinking about this right now. I have never written about this, let alone told myself. That's right, told myself. its a scary thing to admit it. I am just now admitting it to myself. Here it goes ...
I think that there was one comment that tipped me. I remember the moment so vividly I can still see every detail of the person who said it, the floor we were sitting on, the hallway, even the weather outside the windows. She was eating an apple, after having consumed a peach and a plum maybe - the question came up of going for food or something like that.
"I don't need to eat, I've already eaten enough calories for the day."
Calories! So that was the secret! For whatever reason that made total sense to me. Why not just eat a certain number of calories and that's that. It was so simple. So simple.
I immediately put this plan into action. It amazes me know, just like when i got braces, that I could just switch my eating habits with no problem whatsoever. I wasnt super hungry, I didnt 'cheat,' ever. I just ate a set number of calories per day that that was that. I wish things were that simple today. Now my body is so set against me. I wish i hadnt started to feel hunger again. Anyways, that's beside the point.
In the next few days after his revelation, my vollyball team went to a tournament for the weekend. I have no idea where we went. Vollyball was so different than basketball. You sat around the gym a large part of the time, played quite a few games, and that was that. We barely left the gym, except to sleep. I remember getting chocolate milk after the games - go milk for their amazing promoting power. I was so intensely aware of the calories.
Come to think of it now, my counting calories and restricting had to have started before this - i did start during Canada Games. At the point of this tourny I knew the calories in most foods, and i read lables like a hawk.
Oh that chocolate milk. It was so good. but so many calories. There was a pizza party during that weekend. I think i ate one piece and that was it. I didnt even want more. That's one thing that I cant get over, I really had amazing control. I just didnt eat more and that was that.
The next day we spend the full day in the gym. I barely remember the games or how we placed. But I remember the food. That evening I sat down with a friend of mine on the team, she was an outsider, not popular by any means, but she was part of my group of good friends. We ordered food from the small kitchen in the school. There were perogies. I ordered 5. That was my dinner, and that was enough calories for the day. I remember there being butter on them and shuttering at that. And I remember my friend commenting about me not eating much. I said i was full and we headed back into the gym.
Somewhere I got the idea of 1500 calories per day. I dont know for the life of me how I came up with that. But that was my limit. I was allowed 4 servings of grains, 5 of fruits and veggies, 1 of dairy (i think?) and 2 protein. Everything I ate was no fat. I out of the blue stopped eating ice cream. The amount of cream cheese I spread on a bagel was see through. I packed a salad i a sandwhich sized tupperware container, mostly lettuce, some carrots, low fat, low calorie dressing (no more than a tsp) maybe a few shreds of cheese. I low fat yougurt container. 2 melba toasts. And an apple. That was my lunch for a long time.
When I counted calories i went over the amount I had eaten again and again in my mind. Constantly recalculated to make sure i was on track, to make sure that i would have enough left for the evening. 600-750 calories during the day was where i had to be. When i got home from school I'd have a snack, then have 4 or 500 calories left for dinner. I made sure to always overestimate the amount of calories. I would always round up, even if something was 130 caloires in my mind it was 200. I have no idea how low my calorie intake actually got. And while aiming for 1500 calories per day (which could have been anywhere from 900-1400) may seem pretty high, especially for an anorexic, you have to remember the amount of exercise I was doing.
I would often go to cross country practice and then vollyball. I would have community basketball 2 times a week. I would run on the weekend. I was extremely active - and just wait until basketball season. That meant training 6 days a week, with a game thrown in their. And our workouts were hard. We were the best team in the province. We had 3 provincial players, including myself. I have no idea the amount of calories i would burn in a day.
I never remember feeling hunger. That feeling was lost immediately. I had full control over my body. I never once in those first few months cheated. Not once.
The weight began to come off. It was this scary but exhilarating feeling every time i checked my weight and it was lower than i had ever seen before.