Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Into the Darkeness

Counting calories became my life.  Food became my obsession.  I was always an A student, so keeping up my grades was surprisingly easy.  I also didn't notice an effect on myself physically...until I started playing basketball that is.

I really don't have much recollection of my spiral downwards.  I just remember the electric thrill of weighing less each time i stepped on the scale.  The first time I remember I was 162 pounds.  I had lost about 20 pounds.  I didnt remember ever weighing that and to be honest it scared me a little bit.  The power that i had over my body was exhilarating.  Now 162 pounds is gigantic to me.  Too bad I weigh so much more than that now.  Anyways, no need to focus on the present.

I continued to keep a very strict calorie intake, and other things started to change.  I didnt have to worry about exercise, as I was training 6 days a week and often had activities overlapping.  I cant believe how active I was then.  It was easy when I had minimal homework to do, and no job.  I was also going to a gym with a friend - we did the early morning spin classes before school.  I can only hope to get back into the physical shape I was then.  It was so easy.  It couldnt have been much after getting used to my calorie restriction that I started to be more picky about what foods I ate.  Any sort of fat disgusted me.  I made my mother stop putting butter int he rice when she cooked it.  I had to have been pretty demanding about food, but at the same time my restriction was easy to hide.  I ate breakfast alone in the morning, I packed my own lunch, and I usually ate dinner alone.  If anything I would be alone for at least a portion of the evening so I could say I had already eaten.  I really cant get over how easy this was for me.  But then my body started to fight back.

I wasnt hungry, ever.  I just knew that I needed to eat because I would feel faint and irratable, and well - this weird sensation that was in my head, not my tummy, which would tell me when I needed to eat.  I was strict about times as well.  School gave me a perfect schedule to eat.  One piece of fruit at break.  lunch at lunch and a small snack of some sort when I got home from school.  (If i did get to go home before practice).  Usually I would be home at 8pm or so.  Have a "snack" to my mother and dinner to me. and that was that.  I started chewing gum contstantly to trick my body into thinking it was getting food.

During the last half of my basketball season by body started to deteriorate.  I think I lost 40 pounds in 3-4 months.  No one said anything.  And i felt a rush of power when someone did.  I did not see myself as too thin.  I started having a contsant headache - which actually took me a long time to realize (it clicked in one day because even the lowest volume setting in my car made the music too loud).  I started feeling "unwell" and my period had stopped a long time ago.  I was concerned about my period going away.  I didnt know what that meant.  I went to see a doctor and he wasnt concerned - it was just because I was training so hard. Not unusual he said to me. Phew.  I didnt menstrate for over 3 years.

Practices started getting harder, my stamina decreased.  I remember one practice where I felt like i was going to pass out on the court.  i felt terrible.  And yet somehow I didnt relate it directly to not eating. How naive I had to be... People started questioning my food intake.  Not openly really.  I had a coach sit me down at a game and ask me what I ate.  I told her.  It sounded fine to me.  Looking back what gave me away was probably my quickness to answer and my detailed account of what i eat everyday.  

Foods had started to become "good" and "bad."  I wouldnt touch certain things.  No desserts, chocolate, dougnuts or anything high in calories. I  only ate the lowerest calorie foods.

One day my best friend tried to force me to eat a mini dougnut.  I wouldnt do it.  She confronted me later about it.  i denied it.  Agreed that i needed to eat more.  The same lies over and over.

What this is making me realize is how I didnt realize what I was doing to myself.  I did get serveral rounds of blood tests to figure out what was wrong.  i was hypoglycemic.  Because the doctor told me to I started eating every hour.  I felt instantly better.  I'm not sure why I stopped doing that.  I fell back into the anorexia.  It was also so easy then.  

The most surprising thing is this part of the disorder, it didnt effect me emotionally at that time.  And as i write this i realize that the events after are the ones i really need to heal from.  The ones that are stopping me from healing now.  The ghosts that I have to face and walk away from.

I left highschool, graduating and happy to be a part of a bigger picture.  Two days after graduation I hopped on a plane to Quebec for a french exchange program.  The disorder worsens, but still i am ignorant to it.

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