It was 2006, when I decided I needed to lose some weight. I was 155 pounds and I just didn’t feel good. Up until the second year of college, in 2002, I had been skinny and able to eat whatever I wanted. I never really developed any healthy eating habits. I was clueless about how to start to lose weight. I knew I needed some help. I went for a consultation at Jenny Craig but it was way too expensive for me at the time. I also didn’t like the fact that I had to buy their food and then add the vegetables and fruits. At the time, I just had a part time job so I wasn’t making a lot of money. I looked up Weight Watchers but I didn’t like that I would have to go to group meetings. That didn’t appeal to me. I also looked up Quick Weight Loss. I ended up signing up for the program but I cancelled the program 2 days later. They had a paper of all the foods you were allowed to eat and I only liked maybe 4 things on the paper. They said if I added any food not on the list they couldn’t guarantee my quick weight loss. I came across L.A. Weight Loss. I liked the fact that they taught you how to cook your own food and about portion control. The only food they recommended was their L.A. Bars. The L.A. Bars were just protein bars. Which were good for me cause I have a big sweet tooth and the bars satisfied my sweet tooth. I could also afford the program. One of the reasons I wanted to lose weight is because my best friends and I were going to California in a few months. I couldn’t wear a bikini at the weight that I was. The program was good for me because it let you talk to someone one on one instead of a group. They gave you a food diary to write down everything that you ate so they could see what area needed improvement. I was very honest in the diary. If I had a piece of cake, I wrote it in the diary. I also loved the fact that you could call them at any time and get an answer to your questions. They also taught you how to eat out and stay on the plan. It was especially helpful when I was going out to eat to discuss what was healthy. It only took 3 and a half months to lose 31 pounds. By the time I went to California, I was 124 and able to wear my bikini. The next time, I started to gain weight I wouldn’t use any help. I would use the L.A. Weight Loss plan as a blueprint for my “diet phase”.
The beginning of the disordered thinking started in the 9th grade. I was 110 pounds but I was a size 7. The size 7 bothered me. I looked skinny but I didn’t feel skinny. Most of my friends were sizes 3 or 5. I was always wondering why I wasn’t a size 1 or 3. To me those sizes seemed better to me. I didn’t like to exercise or sweat. I was in the marching band so that helped to keep me at a size 7. I was able to eat what I wanted and not gain weight. I’ve always have a very big sweet tooth. At that point in my life I wasn’t going to give up sweets. When I was little, I didn’t like to stay over at my grandparent’s house until I figured out that they would let me have 2 pieces of cake, Then I loved to stay over at their house. When I was sad, I loved to eat. When I was happy, I loved to eat. When I was mad, I loved to eat. I was a very emotional eater. At that time I didn’t know what an emotional eater was. On most Saturdays growing up my mom would spend about 4 hours in the kitchen cooking food for the next week. My dad would tell me to go in the kitchen and help my mom so I could learn how to cook. Cooking never appealed to me. I hated it. The kitchen was always so hot and I hated when I would burn myself. The fried chicken would pop and the grease would get on my arm and it would hurt. Using the oven mitts always scared me because I could still feel the heat from the pan through the mitts. I wouldn’t understand the real reason I didn’t like to cook until I was 31. Like most kids, I was never big on eating fruits and vegetables. The taste was bitter and the texture was wrong to me. My mom had to make me eat my vegetables. I was grateful that she never forced me to eat green beans or lima beans. I would have to sit at the table until I at least ate a little bit of the vegetables. She made me eat eggs too. To this day I don’t eat eggs, green beans, or lima beans. I haven’t eaten watermelon since the tenth grade. My parents were having a cookout at their house. After eating the meal, I ate two chocolate chip cookies and a slice of watermelon. I felt like I was going to throw up. It was probably because I ate too much. At the time I thought it was the watermelon that made me sick. I vowed to myself never to eat watermelon again. There was no way on God’s green earth that I was ever going to give up chocolate chip cookies. To this day I haven’t eaten watermelon. When I got my first job near the end of the 11th grade, I was happy, I did get teased, the boys would say that I had the no ass at all disease. Before that I had never thought about my butt being flat. I became self conscious about my butt. I was able to maintain my size 7 until the second year of college. That was the beginning of the yo-yo dieting that would take place for the next 11 to 12 years.
I found the south beach diet online. I thought I’d give it a try.
The first phase is a 2 week phase where you take out fruits and carbs from your diet. It said that you would start seeing results quickly. Someone had posted on the site that you were going to be constipated the first 2 weeks and to take a laxative. I don’t like taking medicine so I decided not to take any laxatives.
By this time I had become a master at dieting especially since I had an eating disorder. I decided to do phase 1 for as long as I could. I got this weird “high” feeling when I said no to the foods I loved. I was so proud of myself for being strong enough to say no and to be in control of what I ate. That control was all in my head. I was so out of control but at the time I couldn’t see it.
So I started the first phase and I did it for 5 weeks instead of the recommended 2 weeks. I’m a nurse so I’m comfortable talking about poop, pee, blood, and vomit all day. Before I was a nurse I didn’t like to talk about any of that stuff. By the end of the 5th week, I hadn’t pooped at all. I went from going every day to nothing at all. I didn’t want to become dependent on using a laxative. I started to throw up every night by the end of the 5th week. I was stunned because I ate dinner around 5pm and I would wake up at 2am and vomit. The vomit was always chunks of my dinner. I was surprised that it hadn’t digested in that long period of time.
I HATE to vomit. You can’t breathe until you’re finished vomiting no matter how bad you feel you need to breathe. I didn’t want to stop the diet because I was seeing a lot of results.
On the beginning of 6th week, I was vomiting about 6 or 7 times a night. Sometimes I would stick my toothbrush down my throat just to vomit so I wouldn’t feel nauseous anymore. That wasn’t working anymore. I finally told my dad to take me to the hospital. I felt like I was dying. He took me to Kaiser instead of the hospital. The doctor ordered some IV fluids and I did feel better. The doctor didn’t transfer me to the hospital which I was ok with. I didn’t want to tell anybody exactly what I had did to myself. I continued with the first phase of the diet. The very next day after vomiting 7 times I woke my parents up and told them I needed to go to the hospital. I couldn’t even sit up straight. I had to lay down in the car. That was the worst car ride of my life. I felt every turn the car made. I was still so nauseous. I vomited again when we got to the hospital. It felt like my insides were trying to come out of me.
The nurse started an IV on me and the doctor ordered Phenergan. The most wonderful drug for nausea there is. Within 2 minutes, I wasn’t nauseous anymore. They took some blood samples and everything came back normal. The only thing abnormal was my heart rate. It was elevated because of the vomiting and I was dehydrated. The doctor gave me some IV fluids. I told them I was on a diet. I was embarrassed to tell them how far I had took the dieting.
I was thinking I should have known better, I’m a nurse. The doctor or nurse never asked me when was the last time I had a bowel movement or exactly what diet I was doing. I would have told them had they asked me but I was embarrassed to divulge the information on my own. I knew the reason why I was vomiting. I hadn’t pooped in over 5 weeks. Your poop has to come out of you some how. I’m just glad I wasn’t vomiting up poop. Even in nursing school they weren’t big on teaching how much your diet affects you. This wasn’t the first time I had sent myself to the ER because of my diet. I should have been honest with the doctors and the nurses because they can’t help you if they don’t know the truth. At the time I was unwilling to face the fact that I had an eating disorder.
The next day after I got back home, I decided to allow myself to eat whatever I wanted. I was planning on starting the diet again the next day. I was able to have a bowel movement as soon as I started to put fruit and carbs back into my diet. That was the beginning of my overeating phase.