Wednesday, May 24, 2006

My Eating Journey

Okay, I'm about to share a little bit of my testimony with you, oh blog friends of mine!! We're going to call it, "My Eating Journey" because it's STILL a journey for me. It's not over, I still struggle with this and I know it's not going away any time soon.

So, let's start at the beginning of this journey...

Growing up, I was always the cute chubby girl with blond ringlets. Seriously guys, I was chub-eeee!!! (I'll spare you the pictures because the late 80's/early 90's + the chubs were not nice to me!) Through elementary and middle school, I could eat!! I really didn't care what others thought of me. Food tasted good so I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

In the 6th grade, I realized that I had a natural ability in gymnastics. One day in gym glass I did a backhandspring out of no where.. never was taught, just saw someone else do one so I tried.. and I could do it instantly. I competed in gymnastics in middle school and at a club.. I remember being so embarrassed to take off my warm up to reveal my big build in a leo.

My freshman year in high school, I weighed 160lbs. Late in the season we were watching film. I was on the screen and an upper classman walked into the room. She asked if we were watching old film because the person on the screen reminded her of a past (rather large) gymnast. At that instant, I knew I needed to loose weight. Not only to be a better gymnast, but to never have someone mistake me with a "big" girl again. So, I strictly reduced my diet and lost 20-25 lbs. Even at this weight, I was in no way petite or small.. I had a very muscular build helped me to be successful in gymnastics throughout my HS years.

Fall of 1998.. it's time to go to Purdue!!! I remember everyone telling me that it's SO hard not to gain the freshman 15. So from day one, I decided to not gain the freshman 15, but loose it. I didn't need my muscular build anymore.. maybe I should try to slim down? My dorm so conveneintly had every fat gram and calorie posted.. on every piece of food they served. A typical day my freshman year would consist of an hour and a half of cardio and of course I walked a couple of miles to class a few times a day. My diet consisted of oatmeal for breakfast and a salad for lunch and dinner. I would limit the # of pieces of gum I would have each day because I knew my sugar free gum had 5 calories in it... calories I worked WAY to hard to burn. On Sunday's our dorm had a ice cream sunday bar. I would only "treat" myself on that one day... even though the ice cream was fat free and sugar free. One day my obsessiveness led me to journal my exercise and diet for that particular day. I only consumed 500 calories and burned 700. In a few months, I got down to 105 pounds. Despite my hair falling out, fatigue, loosing my period for an entire year and uncontrollable tears, I thought I looked pretty good... but could afford to loose a few pounds. From the outside everyone thought I looked perfect.. I was getting tons of attention from guys and girls envied me. On the inside I was very depressed and unintentionally pushing God so far away from my life so that my looks and obsessiveness could be the center of it.

Some of the reasons that my family and friends thought I struggled with this eating disorder was because I tended to be obsessive compulsive. When I put my heart into ANYTHING, I do it 100%. I also loved to be in control and "show people" that I to could be tiny and gorgeous. I also didn't have sports to consume my life now that I was in college... I had to consume my life with something, right? As I look back at the situation now, I realize that I was making my body an idol and worshiping it. I was "wearing" my sin and trying to achieve perfection in the world's eyes. I know now that this was totally a lie from Satan.. he knew where I was weak, tempted me and I completely believed him.

During the worst part of my eating disorder we learned of my mom's cancer... Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the bone, cancer in stage-4. At this point, I didn't accept that I did, in fact, have an eating disorder. Eating disorders where the girls that ran to the bathroom after they ate or were completely anorexic.. I was eating, right? God used the diagnosis of mom's illness by making me examine my OWN illness. I was harming my body INTENTIONALLY and mom couldn't help what was happening to hers. God's timing was so perfect... I needed to be healthier to divert the attention OFF MYSELF and to mom's health. I knew she could not worry about me when she was literally fighting for her life.

I will not lie to you and tell you that right now I'm 100% "cured" of my eating disorder. I'm human.. sadly I fall back into my sin quite often. I'm positive that I will struggle with my obsessive thoughts my entire life.

-I *still* know how many calories every food I eat has in it.
-If my dinner at a restaurant comes with fries, I count the number of fries I allow myself to have.
-I still eat oatmeal everyday for breakfast.
-I now exercise to be healthy, not to watch the calorie counter on my cardio machine increase in number.
-I do not judge my happiness by the size of clothing I wear.
-I *still* look in the mirror and think of things I would like to change about my body.. but every day God is teaching me how to look at the me through HIS eyes. I am His gorgeous daughter.. inside and out.

Many times in my life I have put a human, my self-image, and "things" on a pedestal that I have placed above God. When I do this, I am disappointed every time. Only God deserves to be on that pedestal because He is the only One that is worthy of holding my future, worries, hopes, desires, trust.. big things and small things.. in the palm of His hand.

I am at a point in my life that I am thankful for the lessons that God taught me through all of my horrible decisions... my eating journey is something I've had the priveldge of sharing with young teens, peers with similar struggles and now with you. All of these experiences have sharpened my character, given me this little part of my testimony, and made me who I am in Christ today.

1 Peter 5:10 (New Living Translation)
“In His kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”


amber said...

Thank you, Darcy for sharing your testimony. And for being so real & honest. It's just like God to turn what Satan meant to harm & destroy you with, into a positive that you can use to help others that may go through the same thing. You are beautiful girl--inside & out!!!

Emily said...

wow, Darcy, thank you so much for sharing this with us...being so open about your journey and battles and faith. :) You should definitely scrap this!

Jill said...

you are amazing, Darcy :)

Felicia said...

I'm glad you are here today with us to share that story. Eating disorders are a scary thing. Thanks for sharing.

thanks for posting that scripture, I really need to read that today. =)

Half Pint said...

Darcy, you are really brave to write this. Of course, the time I was physically around you was during the last half of college and I was completely in awe and amazed at your dedication to being healthy, especially going to the gym every day. I remember even going to the Co-Rec with you and Niki once or twice because I was so enamoured with how tiny you guys were and, of course, that is what we're taught by society to look like. I hoped maybe some of your drive would rub off on me! I also remember when you found out about your mom and how you seemed to shrink even more. That's when I started thinking that your focus on weight might be unhealthy, but I never knew how I could help because you were experiencing so many things I couldn't even imagine. I must tell you how thrilled I was when I started reading your blog last fall and noticed that you were at a healthy weight!

gabbyfek said...

you know your story breaks my heart.... but also fills it.
so proud of you, sweetheart.
you are so strong.
you know i'm cheering you on for so many reasons.
lots of love, sweet girl.

Wendy said...

Darcy I'm so happy that you have learned so much from this and continue to learn. I'm also glad that you are in a position where you can educate other young girls.
You are very courageous!

Kat said...

wow darcy. thank you so much for sharing this! you sound like such a smart and strong woman. thats awesome that you're sharing your story with others, it really does help. thank you : )

Anonymous said...

wow, Darcy. What a story you have, and an inspiring one too. thank you for sharing this. You are such a strong woman! I am sure you have been an inspiration to many young girls who have the same experiences.

Mara said...

darcy, thank you SO much for sharing this story - you have touched more people than you realize with this blog entry - me included. thank you. xo.

Dina said...

Hey Dace! Ever since I read your blog and saw that you were going to share your eating journey I have been praying for you. What a healing step you took. I am very proud of you and how you have turned to God to get you through this and many other trials in your life - it is inspiring! I love you, all of you, and am blessed to call you my friend! Love you bunches,

Beth said...

If you can help just one person with what you posted here You are inspiring!

island girl said...

darcy, your faith and commitment are beyond words! you are making such a difference in the world when you share your story!

Darin said...

I'm so proud of you Baby! You get more and more beautiful every day. I lov you!

erika said...

aw darcy...
God has given you the chance to help so many girls with your story. So many are dealing w/ the same thing...
Makes me happy to know that you are winning this battle...
you know you have a special place in my heart...xe

Jessica F said...

Darcy, how brave and beautiful of you to share this with us. I've had friends with some serious eating disorders and I hope that all women afflicted with them can come out of it as healthy and positive as you. I'm sure it means so much to your girls to have you share this with them too so they are pressured like you were. xo

Renae said...

Hey Darce! So I totally miss you a TON!! Open gyms this summer are going to be a blast.. yes thats right I WILL be there!! You and Lindsay are going to be helping with that right?! I sure hope so..OH yeahh... We should get together soon so I can show you my Prom pictures and all that good stuff. El Camino sounds good at the moment! lol Well I best be getting back to the English report Im supposed to be writing!! Oops got distracted well talk to ya later!
P.S. Tell Darin I said hey!

Nichole said...

ok, so you are one amazing girl.. I have such a hard time baring my soul. I also use the 1 peter 5:10 gives me such peace. Thanks for sharing you journey. It is so much a journey and God shows himself in such new ways one struggle at a time.

You are such an inspirations to me in your constant faith in the Lord to show you through.

thanks darce, for sharing

RACHEL =) said...

Darcy, you know I think your testimony is just amazing!!! I am SO glad you posted this - your words, your Faith, your journey, is going to help so many people!!! God is truly using you!!!
Love ya tons!!!!!!! =)