I am reposting this because it’s an important story - and it all really happened.
In May of 2018 my primary care doctor told me she was fearful of me experiencing organ failure. She looked at me, with her eyes full of expression, and told me I was atypically anorexic. Atypical because I didn't think I was fat - I knew my exact weight and knew how my thoughts and actions were contributing to my continued weight loss. I wasn't ignorant - but I also didn't know how to stop – and didn’t want to.
In May of 2017 my primary care doctor told me I needed to diet and exercise because I was obese. My weight had moved 1 pound into the range of obesity, and she was concerned. Due to my weight, I had high blood pressure and didn't feel my best much of the time. I asked her to repeat the word - and she did - "obese". Devastation has an expression - and it was all over my face. Her words were devastating, and I immediately became more focused on a goal – that goal (to lose weight) - than at any other time in my life.
May 2017 - May 2018 was a whirlwind of a year. I, initially, reduced my daily caloric intake to 1,000 calories a day (from over 3,000). Then to 700...then to 500 and, when that wasn't working fast enough, I reduced my diet to 300 calories a day. And, unfortunately, that worked. That was the magical number I was looking for. Without exercise, my weight began to drop off me - and I never cheated on my diet - not once. Those who have gone down this road may understand the intensity (and honesty) of this claim and may understand my blind adherence to it. You don’t cheat – you just don’t.
In one year, I traded my Men's sized large and x-tra large t-shirts for large t-shirts in the Boys department. I traded my big-boy pants for sized 29" (waist) jeans. I began to shop online because I thought an adult male shopping for clothing in the children's department was creepy. Because it is.
I'll tell you something about this time of my life you probably won't hear from any story or documentary that deals with the topic of anorexia. I was happy. I was insanely and constantly happy that I was able to defeat obesity when everyone expected me to fail (because almost everyone fails at dieting). My roommate at the time, with his own personal demons and bad habits, encouraged the weight loss. I lost 56 pounds - and counting - and celebrated every day.
We – as a society – need to stop glorifying skinny.
In July of 2018 I, a few pounds lighter than I had been two months before, visited a friend who I hadn't seen in months. We were to have lunch - but I knew, in advance, I would move my food around on my plate, but eat nothing. By this time, I had become an expert at deception. When I walked into her home, she took one look at me and said words that changed my entire world. I won't repeat them because the words, at the time, devastated me. They devastated me much more than the words from my doctor in May of that year (anorexic) or the words spoken the year before (obese). Her words made me pause and re-evaluate. Two days later I ate half of a cheese sandwich and called my doctor for an appointment.
It's now mid-December of 2021. I'm certainly not anorexic and am just heavy enough to be on high blood pressure medication. And I'm totally okay with it. My face is fuller, I'm less wrinkly, and I can find my size (shirts and pants) everywhere I shop - in the Men's department.
Originally, I had planned to post a photo of me after losing the weight (I've kept these photos on my computer as a reminder of a place I never want to revisit) - but have decided to, instead, post a photo of me healthy (in 2021). Focusing on the positive and on the victories - rather than concentrating on my faults and failures.
If you are going through something similar or know of someone who is, please feel free to reach out to me. Any time. I’m not an expert or a doctor (of any kind) - but I get it. I totally get it. Together, we’ll find the best resources to make you (or your loved one) better.
And I’ll walk alongside you during the entire journey. You aren’t alone.