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My Story

My eating disorder started when I was a junior in high school. I don’t like to blame it on anything, but I think it was the result of my first break up and letting food be something I could control. Before that I never really paid attention to my weight – my mom cooked balanced meals and I danced and played sports so I was always pretty healthy.

Anyway, I started eating very healthy and upping my time on the elliptical. I liked the compliments I began to receive, so my meals got continuously smaller. Anorexia truly is a psychological disease because it quickly took over, and despite the fact that I knew I was harming my body, I couldn’t bring myself to make changes. I convinced myself that my body didn’t need that much fuel, that there was no reason to eat more than every seven hours, and that I could survive off of diet coke. I remember a day when I had half of a green pepper for lunch and a night that I broke down in tears when my mom made tortellini with cream sauce for dinner.

With busy summer work schedules (and lots of “I’m eating out” excuses) my family kind of ignored my weight loss. Finally at my yearly physical, I weighed in at 100 pounds (I’m 5’6 1/2″). My mom put her foot down and I started seeing a nutritionist. We made meal plans and I put on weight, but I was still anxious and regimented about eating. I briefly relapsed the spring of my senior year during a hiatus with the nutritionist, but was still stable enough to go away to college in the Fall.

Freshman year sucked. I rarely let myself have fun and my eating disorder prevented me from making true friends. I was a pain to be around and completely unhappy. I actually hated the way I looked and tried to eat pretty big meals, but it takes a lot to gain weight when you’re down that low. I had been seeing a therapist at school and finally in the early spring she suggested I start medication for depression and anxiety. I had secretly been wanting this but was too afraid to ask. The meds made me more relaxed and I started eating more normally.  Around this same time I started hanging out with my best friend LB.  I attribute a lot of my recovery to her. She introduced me to a group of girls that I clicked with, she understood my issues, and she kept me in check if I started to slip up. I love her:)

Now this may seem like a happy ending, but it’s not over yet. I gained all my weight back sophomore year (large in part due to tailgates!) but I never stopped. I was so used to telling myself “just eat it” that I did just that. A lot. Another break up followed by a semester abroad in Dublin exacerbated the problem, and an unhappy summer internship in Chicago sealed the deal. I was thirty pounds heavier than I wanted to be.

The beginning of my senior year was very difficult. I had six classes and two jobs, was embarrassed about my appearance, and tried to fix it through eating terrible diet foods (dannon lite n fit anyone??) I wasn’t fueling properly and would end up binging at night, and my half-hearted elliptical work outs were not doing much.

Finally around Christmas break, something clicked. I was reading more blogs and realized that you can eat good food and still lose weight! I started eating REAL FOOD – big oatmeal breakfasts, almond butter (fats!), baked sweet potatoes (carbs!) and more. I also went pescatarian, started Bikram Yoga, and decided to train for a half marathon. Weight FELL off of me – to the point that people were worried I wasn’t eating again. But really I had just fallen in love with creating healthy meals and challenging my body with new forms of exercise. I was finally HEALTHY.

Now I am at a healthy weight, but still fight eating disorder thought regularly. I am no longer on anti-depressants. I get excited about food, and I know that living a healthy life style makes me feel my best. And it works!

Here are some pictures – during my eating disorder, at my heaviest, and now!

 

2006

 

Fall 2009

Fall 2010
48 Comments leave one →
  1. Theresa permalink
    October 5, 2010 7:38 pm

    Hi!

    Just stumbled on your blog and wanted to say that I shared a very similar experience to you! I lost weight due to just eating less and less because everyone kept saying “you look great!”. Then I maintained a weight of about 114 at the same height as you, and then gained so so much back because I started eating, and then became addicted to the eating as much as I was addicted to the not eating! I started and it just felt GOOD to not have any rules again. What a roller coaster! Anyways, just wanted to say good for you for really getting on a healthy track, I know how hard it is!!

    • October 5, 2010 7:43 pm

      Wow! I’ve never actually met someone with such a similar story with the losing and gaining. Thanks for commenting! Hopefully we can help each other out:)

  2. irene permalink
    October 18, 2010 3:58 pm

    Snuggs thank you for sharing that, I imagine it was hard and I think you’re very brave for putting it out there. I didn’t realize all of that was going on during high school and college, especially to the extent that it was. It broke my heart to read it and I’m sorry I wasn’t a better friend through all of it. Once again you amaze me and I am so proud of you! We all love you 🙂 ❤

    • October 18, 2010 4:04 pm

      Thanks beany. Yeah its stuff I don’t talk about much, but it’s over now!!

  3. October 25, 2010 11:46 am

    I loved reading your story – you are absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Anon permalink
    November 8, 2010 6:29 pm

    Your story sounds similar to mine. Only I’m still in limbo. Even at your “heaviest” you do not at all look heavy! How did your half-marathon go?
    I’m too the point where my body is broken and it will not let me do anything anymore. I can’t even run anymore. I’ve been like this over 2 years. My digestive system is all messed up too , so eating isn’t easy anymore.
    Ugh. A really long story.

  5. November 15, 2010 1:37 pm

    I suffered from an eating disorder too. From my junior year of high school until about 2 years ago. i still have “moments” but I think reading healhty blogs, and having a relationship with god has helped me “recover” I truly admire you and KNOW where you are coming from! I am always here if you need to vent! 🙂 good luck with your blog!!!

  6. November 18, 2010 12:32 pm

    Clare Bear!

    I’m so excited I discovered your blog. And you look amazing – kudos on the super-healthy lifestyle! (I’m sure I’ll have something to learn from you, considering I just had a lunch of veal cutlet and reese’s peanut butter cups.)

    I’m really glad to get to read your story; I think about you a lot and seeing your “happy ending” (putting that in quotes makes it sound dirty… oh well) is no surprise to me – you were always super fierce and strong. And I’m glad you’re getting your bubble butt back – I can’t tell you how jealous I was in junior high that you had a butt and I didn’t! Don’t worry, mine eventually grew in a bit. 😉

    Hope all else is well in STL! Do you ever get to see Jill?

    xoxo
    Hannah

  7. November 25, 2010 3:16 pm

    Sadly, eating disorders are and were common at Viz… I am glad you were able to get to a place that makes you happy. That is different for everyone and its important to find YOUR happy place. I love reading your posts! I am such a foodie! Look forward to following you!
    Mrs. D/Colleen

  8. November 30, 2010 12:35 am

    It takes a lot to share your story. Be proud, you’ve come a long way! I am happy you rediscovered food in such a positive way 🙂 You’re an inspiration to many girls with eating disorders and body image problems.

  9. December 2, 2010 5:16 pm

    Just found your blog. I’ve suffered with disordered eating and anxiety before. Blogs is what has helped me too. It’s great that you were able to find a happy place for yourself!

  10. Jenna's Journey permalink
    December 9, 2010 3:54 pm

    girl! i loveee your blog 🙂 hope you enjoy mine as well!

    jenna

  11. December 14, 2010 8:42 am

    You are so beautiful, strong and inspirational! I admire your willingness to share your story — Rest assured that it will help others. (:

  12. December 20, 2010 11:38 am

    I just wanted to say that your blog provides much inspiration for me – I have basically the same story with an ED and still battle it every day! Thanks for having the courage to put your story out there! 🙂
    – G

  13. December 29, 2010 8:52 pm

    Wow!!! We sound so similar! I read your whole story.
    I am just getting over that point where I tell myslef its okay to eat everything and eat big portions. Now I am at a healthier mindset and get excited about food but I really am unhappy with my weight, I need to lose 12 pounds. I’ll still be healthy too!
    You should help me! LOL.
    But you look absolutly awesome girl!

  14. January 25, 2011 2:48 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog and I absolutely love it! It’s so brave of you to write about your eating disorder and admitting that you still struggle with it. I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I was a disordered eater for way too long. I just started a blog, and it’s really help keep myself in check and want to be the healthiest person I can be. I love it! Thanks for sharing your story – and I’m adding you to my blog roll now! 🙂

  15. February 2, 2011 11:36 am

    Hi!
    I just came across your blog as a link on someone else’s and curious, I began reading you story. As I read, I couldn’t believe how much we have in common. I literally thought, “This could be me.” I also struggled with an eating disorder in high school, and think that it may have been caused by my first break up-I was dumped and couldn’t understand why. What was wrong with me? Like you, I grew up in a family that ate very healthfully and by playing sports I ate whatever I wanted and was still at a healthy weight. I started trying to be “healthier” and stopped eating dessert while increasing my exercise. Eventually, my parents caught on and even I realized I was too thin. I thought all I had to do was just gain the weight back and I’d be fine. I went to see a therapist however, and discovered that there was a lot more feelings pushed away that I needed to deal with to really recover. Today, I am continuing my process of recovery. I’m at a healthy weight and look forward to and enjoy food, but like you, I still struggle sometimes with unhealthy thoughts. Just thought you might like to hear a similar story. It always helps me to know there are others who have gone through the same thing I have!
    Wishing you peace and happiness!

  16. February 14, 2011 10:03 pm

    So I’m a little late, but thanks for this post. I actually am going through a funk where I’ve gained weight recently and I want to lose it the healthy way.

  17. February 18, 2011 3:27 pm

    wow!! i’m so moved by your story. you’re strong and extremely brave for putting this out there.
    my story is similar to yours… the eating disorder/weight gain/finding health blogs and realizing that i can actually eat and stay at a healthy weight/still having disordered thinking and binges at time. knowing that someone else has struggled like me makes things so much better.
    i’m glad i found your site! you’re gorgeous! thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  18. February 19, 2011 7:52 am

    I just found your blog and I really love it! Your story is really inspiring and I’m happy for you that you had an “aha” moment. I look forward to reading more of your journey.

  19. March 4, 2011 4:23 pm

    I just stumbled across your blog and read your whole story. I too, have gone through disordered eating and still stumble across those thoughts. I love that you are so open with your story! Healthy living blogs and friends truly make a huge different.

    Cheers to being healthy and happy!
    xo

  20. March 5, 2011 11:30 pm

    such a good story! good for you 🙂 & i love your blog!!

  21. March 10, 2011 12:31 pm

    Thank you for commenting on my blog! ‘Cause now I got a chance to read your inspiring story and I look forward to reading up on you as well! 🙂

  22. shesays514 permalink
    March 12, 2011 1:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! Recovery is HARD FREAKIN WORK and it sounds like you have found what truly works for you and your body to thrive. That is something to be SO proud of and is such an inspriation. I’m really glad I found your blog!

  23. March 12, 2011 1:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! Recovery is HARD FREAKIN WORK and it sounds like you have found what truly works for you and your body to thrive. That is something to be SO proud of and is such an inspriation. I’m really glad I found your blog!

  24. Abby permalink
    March 12, 2011 9:57 pm

    I’m so glad to have found your blog. I have such a similar story to you and many of the others who have commented already. I look forward to reading more! 🙂

  25. March 18, 2011 10:54 pm

    Thank you for being so vulnerable and honest in sharing your story. You are beautiful!

  26. March 24, 2011 10:42 am

    I can relate to your story so much! Thank you for sharing. Im adding your blog to my reader list on google. Check out my blog, maybe you can do the same if you like my content 🙂

  27. March 25, 2011 8:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! You are gorgeous!
    Blogging has been my biggest help in recovery. You are an inspiration! 🙂

  28. March 26, 2011 12:45 am

    Great blog. Got it bookmarked;)

  29. March 26, 2011 11:16 am

    “despite the fact that I knew I was harming my body, I couldn’t bring myself to make changes. I convinced myself that my body didn’t need that much fuel”

    It’s as if I could’ve written these two sentences.. I hate that I consciously KNOW that I need more, but I just can’t bring myself to eat that extra slice of bread.. ya know?

    I am also dealing with the bingeing thing right now, and it SUCKS. I’m trying to work on losing my restriction during the day so that I don’t feel the urge to binge at night. I’m doing better, but it’s still hard.
    Anyway, it’s great to see someone that has come out of all of this with such a healthy attitude about life, her body, and food 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
    ❤ Haley

  30. April 1, 2011 8:26 am

    Such an inspiring story. I’m so glad that you are healthy and happy now! 🙂

  31. Peanut Butter Bandit permalink
    April 1, 2011 10:07 am

    Hi there,

    I found your blog through your guest post at SnackFace, and I’m in awe at the fact that somebody went through what I went through: the extreme loss (at 5’5″ I was last weighed at 80lbs before hospitalization), the over gain, and the journey toward health through whole foods.

    Thanks for sharing this in your blog. It really truly has made my day.

    Blair

  32. April 1, 2011 1:27 pm

    Hi Clare! I found your blog from your guest post at SnackFace. I absolutely love your story, and especially the courage you have to tell it. I have a very similiar story, combined with autoimmune thyroid disease. It causes me to have the roller-coaster weight gain and loss and leaves me feeling helpless. I have learned that eating whole foods and living a healthy, active life gives me balance. I am becoming a health coach to help others do the same! I will definitely be following your blog. It is definitely an inspiration!

  33. April 2, 2011 7:56 am

    WOW! I’m so, so , so happy you did a guest post on Snack-Face’s blog because know I found yours 🙂

  34. April 14, 2011 1:54 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Eating disorders and disordered eating is something that you have to be really brave to be so open about, and while mine was on the other side of the spectrum (binge eating, for the most part) and I like to think that I’ve mostly healed from that, it’s still so reassuring to read other success stories like yours!!

    You better believe you’re getting added to the reader! 😀

  35. May 5, 2011 1:27 am

    Howdy! I simply want to give a huge thumbs up for the great information you may have here on this post. I shall be coming again to your blog for extra soon.

  36. czechvegan permalink
    May 8, 2011 1:04 am

    Thanks for sharing your story! Great you turned to healthier lifestyle and enjoy it, I myself feel so much better since I started eating and living healthy (and went vegan, but it is another chpater:)

  37. May 27, 2011 7:53 pm

    Your blog is very inspirational. I’m struggling with an eating disorder as well and it hasn’t been easy lately with summer practically here and the feeling of needing to lose weight. I enjoy reading your blogs and appreciate your positive attitude – truly refreshing 🙂

    I hope we can make good use of the things we learn at IIN (I know we will). Our experiences will definitely help mold us into excellent health coaches 😉 Good luck!

  38. June 4, 2011 6:02 pm

    Just found your site. Your story is very inspiring!

  39. June 20, 2011 3:29 pm

    Stumbled upon your blog via Twitter and I will definitely keep reading! I love that you are so honest about everything and your story is really inspiring! I know it’s not easy coming back from an eating disorder like that but the fact that you turned that extreme into healthy foods and exercise is amazing. Keep it up!

Trackbacks

  1. On Living At Home « Fitting It All In
  2. On Peanut Flour and Recovery « Fitting It All In
  3. Yogurt Made My Heart Sink « Fitting It All In
  4. Let’s Talk Antidepressants « Fitting It All In
  5. Marathon Weight: When ED Thought Slips Back In… « Fitting It All In
  6. Bull by the Horns | Snack Girl Goes Healthy

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