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The Binge Begins

Soon after my junior year library chat with Katie, I started experimenting with what I now understand was a binge/ restrict cycle. (signs and symptoms). i had no idea I was toying with an eating disorder.

My brilliant plan looked like this. All the foods I usually felt guilty about eating I could now eat all in one day, often all in an hour. I looked forward to Friday and Saturday nights consuming slices of large doughy pizza , family size bags of M and M’s, half a dozen blueberry

muffins, and boxes Chips Ahoy cookies. I would go to an all you can eat Chinese buffet with

my friends only to sneak away later for a Big Mac and a hot fudge sundae. This with the promise to myself that Sunday I would, “be good.” I would start five days of food restriction coupled with early morning workouts at the local gym. Vomiting was not my thing. I physically could not get my body to do it. In retrospect, I think I believed that if I didn’t force myself throw up, then I didn’t really have a problem. So, I restricted food intake, meticulously counting calories in every tomato slice, and sprinkle of cheese. Even mustard would get a calorie count assigned to it. As it was 1990, the internet was not an easily referenced resource yet so I relied on a book called “Every Calorie Counts”. It was my Bible. ( I’m confident if I put half the effort into my school work as I did in counting calories I would have graduated top of my class). My weight ebbed and flowed but remained, in what is considered by the medical field, as a “healthy weight” for my height. What wasn’t healthy was the fact I was learning to ignore my body’s signals. I shoved my hunger cues aside like an annoying little sister, pretending they didn’t exist. What I ate and when I ate had nothing at all to do with physical hunger. When I binged, I felt happy. Euphoric. I didn’t stress about my C minus in Poly Sci, whether or not I should break up with the new boyfriend, or the fact I was twenty one years old and had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Food became my drug.

My best friend Polly on the night I turned 21. She was beside me then and she is still by my side to this day.

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