Energize Your Life. Authentic Living and Links of Love.

MY STORY — Part One.
I’m not exactly sure when it all started. I do know that many things happened within the same year which contributed to my emotional eating and eventual body distortion issues and bulimia.

I was such a mess but lived with a cheerful, happy face. Good student. Supportive friend. Popular. Apparently adjusted to my family’s dysfunction.

How do our bad habits start? With anger and tension in your home and a strict father with very high standards? After a trusted friend tells you that you can stick your finger down your throat and throw up the food you just ate (you won’t have to count the calories)? After some boys say something derogatory about your figure, while you’re in line for an ice cream cone? (Incidentally, it was about my J-LO butt, which was obviously not the rage back then.)

I know that I started walking behind the bleachers at our high school basketball games after that comment. I feared being laughed at or ridiculed — I figured everyone thought the same thing when they saw me (“She’s cute and fun but she has a bubble butt. Next, please.”)

Pizza was too difficult to throw up.

I started focusing on my perceived flaws. Soon after, and most likely took my first steps into body distortion. I started comparing myself to anyone and everyone around me and always found something better about their bodies. Sneaking food around my father (he could eat three M&Ms and two potato chips and be truly satisfied), became a way of life. Ice cream and candy were my favorites. Pizza was too difficult to throw up. Sorry. All about the truth, here.

Yes, feeling different in a small Midwest town as a teenage girl, being raised by a strict Latin father and an American mom (who realized that the marriage couldn’t be saved, but felt it would be better for her 13-year-old daughter and three-year- old son living with their dad) was probably the starting point. Things got worse. It was bad. Really bad. And, I consider myself and my life to be very blessed, (although that part of the story truly comes to fruition much later).

My mom took me for a walk to tell me that she and dad were getting a divorce. I chuckled when she told me (but I don’t remember why). “You’ll be fine,” she said. “You know that your dad cannot live without you and Nelson in the house with him. So I will move out and you two will stay with your dad,” she explained.

I remember feeling nothing, not even empty.

“Okay, sure,” I said. I remember feeling nothing, not even empty. Not surprised, just sort of blank. I believe now that it was indicative of how I had learned to deal with pain and discomfort. Mask it. Hide it. Avoid it. Pretend it wasn’t there. We all know that emotions can’t be stuffed down with food. But that’s exactly what I eventually started doing.

“Yeah, sure, mom,” I said. “I’ll be fine.” And, with that I put on my happy face, sugar- coated the situation and walked back home together like nothing had happened.

TAKEAWAY: Where you are right now as you read this is part of your journey and part of what makes you unique, special, beautiful and worthy. Your battle can turn into a blessing and your struggles can strengthen and empower you.

I am here to give you encouragement and to reassure you that you are so much more than the sum of your body parts. You have something that we all need in the world to make it better. We need you to believe in yourself and believe that you can live outside of whatever “prison” walls you deal with. I am truly in your sisterhood.

Nothing shocks me. I’ve done it all. I’ve dug through trash to find the cookies I threw away. I’ve jumped in my car at 11 p.m., to find a 7-11. I’ve parked myself in the corner of a couch during a party to avoid getting up and being seen in my “fat” state. I’ve worn baggy clothes to hide my “gross” body. I’ve consumed mega amounts of food and calories during food trances — promising myself that I would start over the next day. I’ve walked into my closet and dropped to the floor in tears over what I can’t wear and how bad I look in everything.

I’ve wanted to jump into a black hole and disappear due to my lack of control over eating, and regaining weight that I fought so hard to get off. Been there. For a long time.

You are not weak. You are not disgusting. You are not a failure. There is another way to live. I am here to love you and lift you for as long as it takes, and pass along what I know can work for you.