Near the end of my final counselling session, my counsellor Karen very quietly and very gently said to me, “Don’t forget that being thin comes at a price too”. Her words resonate with me whenever I feel frustrated with my weight and my seeming inability to lose weight. Whenever I think about her words, it brings me back to my life before BED.
Although I was happier without having to deal with the physical and emotional turmoil that came with BED, my relationship with food was not perfect then either. I was quite thin before; I was a size 0 at just over 100 lbs. and 5’8” tall. I believe that my low weight had a great deal to do with why I developed BED. When I moved out of my parents’ house and allowed myself to eat more food and different kinds of food (my parents were very restrictive about food due to health concerns), it was as if my body could never get enough. I kept eating and eating and eating far beyond the point of sickness, yet I still always wanted more.
But back when I was thin, I never tried to restrict my calorie intake to some unreasonable figure (although many people wrongfully assumed I did – this is another stereotype that I despise). However, I did have a fear of certain foods. I avoided these foods because I had a fear that once I started eating them, I wouldn’t be able to stop. These foods are now my worst trigger foods. Coincidence? I think not.
When I now think back to being thin, I remember all those times I forced myself to turn down free donuts at work and pizza at meetings. I remember being the odd person out eating a packed meal at events with food provided. I remember the panic and anxiety I would feel at a restaurant I had never been to before. I remember feeling highly self-conscious when eating in front of other people. I remember wanting to punch anyone (there was at least one every day) who told me to “eat more!” I remember all the times I ordered a salad when I was longing for a mountain of fries. At the time though, none of it seemed like a big deal to me. I felt that I could do without and not feel deprived. Now as I try to remain binge-free, I often feel deprived.
It’s hard for me to accept the way my body looks now. I can still remember how I looked before, and I wish I could come even a little bit close to how I looked then. Whenever I think about it (which is why I try not to), I strongly dislike the way my body looks, and then I hate myself for letting BED happen.
This was the ultimate price of thinness. This is where being thin got me.