My Not-So-Lovely Road to Health and Happiness


She was unflinchingly still, her body strewn across the the immaculately made bed where it had dizzily fallen over an hour ago. She stared emptily across the room at the numbers on the clock – glowing numbers that cut through the darkness of the room as they flowed one into the next, ticking off sixty second increments of the dragging evening. Numbers seemed to define her life as of late: the numbers on the scale, the numbers on the tape measure, the numbers on the treadmill, the numbers on the nutritional panels. Each number was loaded with dread and dissatisfaction…no number was small enough.

That morning the scale had read 108, and those extraneous eight pounds had to go. Her intake had been immediately restricted to a mere three hundred calories; breakfast was an apple and a nauseating cocktail of diet pills, lunch was skipped over entirely, and dinner – a miniscule portion of turkey and mashed potatoes – was served with a side of guilt. The next hour and a half had been spent pushing her every physical limit on the old treadmill tucked in the corner of the public gym. She’d hardly been able to stand through her shower – ice cold water, of course, to jolt her metabolism – and as soon as she’d redressed herself, the lightheadedness she’d become so adept at ignoring intensified and knocked her into a haphazard heap on the bed.

Despite being physically drained, her mind was still in overdrive; the entire hour she’d been nestled in the mounds of pillows had been spent in an agonizing internal debate. Acutely aware of the recently purchased provolone cheese tossed into the dairy drawer of the refrigerator, her body was begging her for just one piece, but her brain was so repulsed by the ninety calories and five grams of fat that she couldn’t bring herself to indulge. As she berated her psyche for pleading for a single slice, she began to sob as she listed all the reasons not to touch to food. Fat stomach. Big thighs. You already ate today, you cow. Slowly she swung her sore legs from the bed and shuffled into the kitchen, removed the cheese from the drawer, and flung the package across the kitchen. The tears were uncontrollable now, just as everything else in her life seemed uncontrollable, and she slumped to the tile, her back against the softly humming refrigerator. Reaching across towards the red and white plastic package, she sat sobbing for the next several minutes, the offending provolone sitting cold in her hands. Without thinking, she pulled herself to her feet and removed a gallon of bleach from the cabinet under the sink and poured half of its contents across the cheese, rendering it inedible. She mopped up her mess, dropped the soaked paper towels into a plastic bag from the grocery store, halfheartedly wondering if it was the one that carried home the damned deli slices in the first place, and tucked it into the bottom of the trash can, beneath the day’s coffee grounds and newspaper, where it was unlikely to be found.

With that, she ran back across the apartment to her bedroom, pulled the comforter across her shaking shoulders, and dropped her head back against the pillows, her gaze resting back on the digital alarm threatening to go off in only four short hours. This ordeal was only one of many over a terrorizing span of months for this young woman.

I developed my eating disorder while living at home through my first two years of college. Those two years were miserable, with my weight bouncing around more than the Easter Bunny on crack. I was literally one pound too heavy to be diagnosed with Anorexia, and my Bulimic episodes weren’t frequent enough to be officially classified either.Β  After transferring to a residential university, I alternated cycles of quintessential college student food habits (Ramen and doughnut diet, anyone?) with severe regression into my eating-disordered habits. Unsurprisingly, I put back on all the weight I’d lost the previous years, but although I was physically “in the clear”, my mentality was still extremely disordered.

This past year I have immersed myself completely in nutrition, health, and fitness as a means of focusing on the right aspects of food. I can finally and honestly say that not only am I at peace with my appetite and my body, but I actually am happy with who I see in the mirror! A strong, healthy, vivacious woman has replaced the insecure and deprived girl of the past, and I’m never letting myself go back.

I’m no longer fighting the fact that I love to eat, and I focus on whole, hearty foods. I keep a primarily vegan kitchen, but I’m not one to turn down an invitation to go out for ice cream! I’m learning that I actually have quite the appetite for superfoods! As I remind myself that it’s a good thing to appreciate good food, I feel so much stronger and happier – who’da thunk that not depriving oneself could actually lead to a much cheerier disposition and outlook!? Allowing myself to exercise for strength, stamina, and heart health instead of as a “punishment” for “overindulging” has also contributed a great deal to my current lifestyle – I adore running, skating, swimming, and yoga and am always embracing new ways to get out and get moving!

I see how many other women have struggled with disordered eating and found a balance in immersion in a highly healthful lifestyle, and I admire the strength with which they have risen above their past experiences and past tendencies. I have the utmost respect for what they are doing with their lives. Eating disorders are not creatures that you simply wake up one day and “get over”. The women, though, have have been brave enough to share their stories on their own blogs, have greatly inspired me to do right by my body and take care of myself, and I feel that if my story can do the same for just one other individual, it’s worth it. I’m here, always and anytime, to hear your stories as well.


39 Comments on “My Not-So-Lovely Road to Health and Happiness”

  1. […] Finding the unmistakable glow of a healthful, fanciful, fashionable life. Skip to content HomeMy Not-So-Lovely Road to Health and HappinessShe’s a Runner, Rebel and a Stunner ← I’m not dead […]

  2. I LOOOVEEEE your blog! You’re hilarious, and I’ma definitely be following you. Blogroll’d!
    So many women (myself included) have gone through the exact same thing as you. I can remember pouring Windex on my boxes of cereal and other food my mother would bring to me in college and giving away every other item of food that I possibly could. You are so inspiring, strong, and beautiful. Never forget that<3
    I can't wait to read more!
    -Lauren

  3. Hey girl, I am really glad you found my blog so I could find yours! I really love it. Cannot wait to read more. And yes, there are tons of people out there who can identify with what you have gone through!

  4. Jenn says:

    Wow this is powerful. I admire your honesty and if you would have told me that story in person I would have reached out and hugged you so here is a (((hug))).

    • Faith says:

      Aw, thank you for the compliment and virtual hug πŸ™‚ Glad to have grown from the experience, and more to be able to share it.

  5. Lindsay says:

    You are a great writer, and I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for being brave enough to share this with us! I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future. πŸ™‚

  6. Wow, your writing is fantastic. I was captivated not only by your writing style but by relating a bit (definitely was into food buying/destruction in college). Can’t wait to read more!

  7. Marieke says:

    I like your honesty and your way of writing. Definitely following you from now on!

  8. I LOOOVEEEE your blog! You’re hilarious, and I’ma definitely be following you. Blogroll’d!So many women (myself included) have gone through the exact same thing as you. I can remember pouring Windex on my boxes of cereal and other food my mother would bring to me in college and giving away every other item of food that I possibly could. You are so inspiring, strong, and beautiful. Never forget that<3I can't wait to read more!-Lauren
    +1

  9. this is absolutely gorgeous.

    thank you so much for your bluntness. you bless all those who read this. you are incredible, girl!
    -rebekah

  10. Chelsey says:

    I LOOOVEEEE your blog! You’re hilarious, and I’ma definitely be following you. Blogroll’d
    +2

    Your writing is amazing – You have such a great way with words. I was entranced reading this.

    xoxo Chelsey

  11. Wow. Keep up the road to recovery! Thanks for sharing your story. I think it is a very brave thing to be willing to share something so personal with your readers!

  12. kaitm says:

    Hey, thank you so much for visiting my blog and let me just say WOW. I’m so glad I read this, it is honestly my story in every way possible. I used to restrict to the point of no return, but in the past few months I really feel as if I’ve finally taken control of my life and its an all around awesome and hard feeling…thank you for your story, its been great to hear and I can’t wait to follow along from here.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Wow this was like reading a novel. I really enjoyed how you told your story. You made it sound so dramatic. And as it should be because experiencing an eating disorder is a big deal! I am so proud that you are getting on the right track. Just know that there are many people around this blog community that have experienced things such as you and are willing to help. Even though I have not went through an eating disorder, I am here to be a helping friend as well. πŸ™‚

  14. annecalista says:

    Amazing story! It actually sounds like we have had pretty similar experiences. I will come back to keep reading!

  15. Jen says:

    Faith,

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I hope you enjoy reading it.
    I’m glad I was able to read your story here and will definitely be following your blog.
    Thanks for sharing your story and about your road to healthy living.
    It’s an encouragement to me…and I’m sure to many others!

    Enjoy your weekend!

    ~Jen

  16. Therese says:

    I applaud your honesty! I can empathize with parts of your story. I was also dangerously close to 100 lbs (back in high school) and once I gained the weight back (mostly thanks to binge eating) people assumed my eating disorder was gone. But the self-hate was actually worse than ever! 5 year later, clean eating and healthy-living blogs came into my life and I realize that real food is more satisfying. I’ve begun to focus on food as fuel and enjoyment instead of calories in. Thanks for commenting on my blog, and I look forward to reading more of yours!

  17. lindsay says:

    You are an amazing writer and this is such a powerful story. It really speaks volume and I was eager to reay more about your journey to health. Thanks for sharing!

  18. nysoonergirl says:

    Wow! You are an amazing writer. I could picture and feel everything. So glad you found my blog and that you’re on a healthy path now!

  19. erinsloves says:

    so glad i came across your blog girl! cant wait to check back!

  20. This is one of the most powerful stories I’ve read. You are much farther ahead of many people by acknowledging the emotions and fears behind an E.D.

  21. peacebeme says:

    Just found your blog and look forward to reading more! This is a very powerful story, almost poetic description at the beginning that I have felt too many times.

  22. lpskins says:

    hey faith! what a story–one that I and many others can relate to.

  23. What a great story. Very inspiring. I’ll definitely be checking back πŸ™‚

  24. I admire you soooo much! I’m going through that right now, and reading blogs like this have been a source of encouragement. I love fitess and a healthy diet, but because I’m a perfectionist by nature, I take it to extremes. I’m now trying to find a balance between “healthy food” and the occasional treat.

  25. you are such a strong person and I am so glad you have achieved all that you have! i can’t wait to read more!

  26. Laura says:

    Glad to have found your blog.
    You give me hope!

  27. This was beautifully written, and really inspiring. I look forward to reading more about your journey to health! Lovely blog! πŸ™‚

  28. […] My Not-So-Lovely Road to Health and Happiness […]

  29. Thank you for commenting on my blog so I could discover this! Though I have never had an eating disorder myself, I can appreciate the courage it must have taken to share your story. It was very inspiring.

  30. […] My Not-So-Lovely Road to Health and Happiness Rock it Out → […]

  31. Thank you for checking out my blog and the encouraging and helpful comment! I am so glad you did because I can relate to much of what you wrote about. It has been helpful to hear from others that recovering from disordered eating is a process but one that is achievable.
    I am definitely adding you to my Google Reader and Blog roll!

  32. After reading your comment on my blog, I’m so glad I found yours! With your amazing writing, you inspire me to find the healthy girl within myself, one that does not feel she needs to control her life by restricting her intake. One who does not feel like she needs to drag herself to the gym and burnburnburn those calories. I relate to much to your post and your story and look forward to reading more about everything I have to look forward to as I recover πŸ™‚

  33. Love that you are doing right by your body… this community is SO inspiring!

  34. Gabby says:

    You are honestly so cool. I just found your blog, and I literally cannot stop reading.

    Yes, Reading. Not just looking at the pictures, scanning idly – I’m gobbling up every word. Your voice, your topics, your sense of humor – I’m so glad you’re doing professionally what you do so well hobby…ly?

    In all seriousness, though, I am currently struggling with an eating disorder – and seeing your resolve, enthusiasm and optimism – not only in your approach to food – but in your approach to life, is REMARKABLY motivating.

    Please, keep it up. I am officially a devoted reader.

    Best,

    Gabby

  35. […] My Not-So-Lovely Road to Health and Happiness MINE → […]

  36. Alexandra says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING! I’m so excited you visited my blog so I could discover yours, we DO have a lot in common! I wish I could write as eloquently as you though, man I love it. I’m so happy you’re recovering and stronger than ever, AHH so inspiring! πŸ˜€
    I’m looking SOOOO forward to adding you to my Google Reader, and can’t wait to see where your recovery adventures take you in this lovely life! πŸ™‚

  37. Caitlin C. says:

    I love your honesty here! I can relate to this post so much. Hope we can help each other in our journeys!


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