Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Total Disclosure.....

I started this post over two weeks ago, I have fought with it since, trying to find the right way to say all this. It might be the hardest one I have ever posted, because it means sharing some really deep dark secrets, but I am realizing I need to do that, I can't keep living with my secrets... so here it is, it isnt the perfect post, but it's honest.....those that will read it and judge me I can't worry about any more, if people can't accept that have some major flaws they just have to walk away I guess, I am who I am, I am where I am and pretending for the world isn't helping, so here it is, total disclosure.....

"Hold yourself together like a pair of bookends
But I've not tasted all your cooking
Who are you when I'm not looking?" Blake Shelton
 I am a logical, rational, highly intelligent person. I can easily sit across the table from the CEO of a Fortune 500 company and tell him how his firm is falling apart and why, I can stand in front of a room of 10,000 and speak with absolute passion and clarity about middle east peace or philanthropic needs without breaking a sweat. 

Just as easily I can sit and spout the biological needs of the body with the best medical school graduates, I am tell you without a single emotion the down sides and dangers of not eating, I can logically share that I have lost 120+ pounds because I started eating and that the scale goes up when I don't.

But not one bit of that matters as soon as I have to face a plate of food, or even the thought of one. For as far as I have come in the last 15 months in some ways I am moving backwards, and when it comes to eating, body image and coping with all that goes with that, I have moved back 15 years in the span of a few months.
I made a promise when I started this blog, to be honest and straight forward, and as I look back at the last couple months I am not sure I did a great job keeping that promise. I have never lied, my sin tends to be one of omission. This blog has become a tug of war for me, like so many other things. I started it to share and to vent my feelings, but people started reading it, and started coming here for motivation, so I felt less and less safe showing my flaws and my falters, to the point I started a personal blog just where I could be fully honest again. And, it wasn't just about the blog, I hid what was going on from many of the people around me (who I hope will forgive me when they read this). I realized this morning (after swearing my trainer to secrecy on something last night) that isn't fair, it's not what I promised and it does nothing for those of the rest of you also battling in silence - and I know there are many of you. So it is time for some honesty.
Simply put food is not going well, my self image is not going well, I am fixated on losing weight vs being healthy and getting fit and I am doing a lot of damage to myself, both physically and mentally over it. That part is probably no secret to anyone who knows me well. In the last 6 months I have retreated from doing any kind of group physical stuff (sat and watched this weekend, quite frankly in tears, as my friends did an indoor tri), I have pretty much cut out a social life because it usually involves food.

In short my eating disorder is back in full force. I am under eating, over working out and obsessing over my weight, my body and the scale. It is back to controling much of my life and it is taking its toll physically. To the point that getting help became a necessity not an option. Yet I have kept that help a secret

I started down the path to help softly a couple months ago. In January I started seeing a Health Coach, Christy. Looking back I know I needed more even back then, but I wasn't ready, heck I'm still not ready but now don't have a choice. I knew from the get go this wasnt the right fit for how bad things were, but I was hiding how bad they were, so it worked, it kept the concerned people around me happy, I was doing something. And that worked til my body told on me.

I have a horrible time with using or hearing the word malnourished about myself. I weight over 200 lbs I still can not wrap my brain around it even being possible for me to be malnourished, I keep hearing my mother say "you could live off the fat of the land for years". But that is one of the sad truths of an eating disorder, you can look fine and be destroying your body, and that is what I have been doing for months living on nearly nothing or the same couple foods (protein shakes and chicken).

And that denial finally crashed in on me sitting in my doctor's office. My body has had enough of it. I am deficient in some key areas and if I don't do something it is only going to be more problematic going forward. So I had to accept the step I have fought and fought again.

On February 21st I started seeing a therapist at an Eating Disorder Program and will be seeing her at least weekly for an unpredicatable length of time (not going away anytime soon I would guess).

I dont know why admitting that is so hard for me, but it is. It feels like the ultimate admittance of failure and weakness. I have hid it from as many people around me as I could (it is what I swore my trainer to secrecy on). It also scares me who in my life will run away screaming when they hear I am this broken. I keep thinking of all the comments that have been made to me about how I am such a motivation to people, and now I feel like I am just letting everyone down by showing my true colors.

But at the same time I also know there are a lot of people around me who are fighting the same battle and hiding it out of their own shame. I am sharing this as much for them as I am for me.

The one thing I am trying to come to terms with in working with Alecia (the therapist) is that being this screwed up isnt my fault. That it has roots in how I grew up, in how I have faced life and that it has gotten me through some really terrible situations. I can logically say that but still working on it being something I can make friends with. Either way it is who I am, it is where I am, and now its time to stop hiding it and face it.

I think in admitting this I am also taking the blog into a new phase of its life also, it is time to admit the dark side of facing issues with food and eating, maybe a lot more honestly than I have up to now. Time to share some of the dirty little secrets from the minds of those of us who battle ourselves and food, whether we weight 300, 200 or 90 lbs.


  1. Congratulations, Pam! now you are free. As for your comment about failure and weakness, know this...admitting you are flawed and need help is the ultimate show of strength and success. Good Luck -Tara

  2. You don't have to worry about letting people down - it isn't your job to keep them "up". Your job is to keep yourself healthy, and you're doing that by sharing your story and getting the help you need. You can do it, Pam! I'll keep you in my prayers.

  3. Admitting there is an issue is the first step to conquering it. As for friends - those who are there despite all the flaws are the true friends. We all are - good or bad - a product of our upbringing. It's what we choose to do with how we've been molded that makes us a success or failure. Sometimes we need the outside objectiveness of the right counselor to help put it all in perspective and help you to move forward. Best of luck in your latest journey. LED

  4. Good for you Pam. You are taking the necessary steps because you recognize there is a problem. And, I personally believe that is actually motivating also -- not a sign that you are letting anyone down. As one of those who battles herself and food, I congratulate you on this post.

  5. Pam, you are one of the bravest people I know. I'm not sure why you thought admitting that you have an eating disorder would make people run away screaming. Anyone who is a true friend will stick by you no what what. Stay strong; you will make it through this.