Back in April, I was looking to lose some weight. I knew I didn’t want to continue on the same roller coaster that I had been on for more than 10 years. I was on Lil Wayne’s facebook page, and there was a health coach, Karlee Fain, that was selling her book. It was a grocery store guide. I downloaded her book and liked it. I went on to her website called everybodythrive.com. I wanted to get to the root of my eating disorder so I filled out the application for her to be my health coach. I remember that I was nervous after filling out the application. I was honest on the application. I told her about my eating disorder on there. So we set up a call so that we could talk about her program and to see if she would work with me or if it would be her associate that would work with me. I remember being so nervous on that first call because I was asking for help and I wanted to work with Karlee. She had helped my future husband. At that point I didn’t care about how much it was going to cost. I looked at this as an investment in my future. My dreams weren’t going to come true if I continued on the path that I was going. I knew I needed a change. I was going to destroy myself if I kept eating the way I was. I was on the fast track to diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and an early death. The woman I saw in my visions was happy, healthy, she loved herself, and her dreams were coming true. I wanted to be that woman from my visions. It was clear to me that I didn’t love myself. I needed to work on falling back in love with myself. You can’t love yourself if you don’t treat your body or mind kindly. You do that by feeding yourself healthy food and exercising. It isn’t a sign of weakness to ask for help. It’s a sign of strength.
While I was in RN school, we had the summer off. I had gained about 20 pounds during the first 2 semesters. I decided to start the diet phase during the summer. The new problem that I had was that the pre-made salads from the grocery store were making me sick. The smell would make me want to vomit. I guess my body knew that I was going into my diet phase and didn’t like it. I had to start making my own salads. While I was doing the diet phase this time, everyday I would feel like I was going to pass out. My ears would start to ring and I would get dizzy. I would have to take a few deep breaths to keep myself from passing out. I was driving one time when it happened and it scared me. I decided to go to the doctor. I was hoping that they would find something wrong with me so that I could continue to lie to myself. I knew I wasn’t taking in enough calories. I knew in my soul that I was hurting myself but the weight was coming off. I made the doctors appointment and they didn’t find anything. They just took some blood and did a physical exam. Everything came back normal. I told the doctor that I was on a diet but she didn’t ask me what I was eating. If she had asked me then I would have told her exactly how little I was eating. I couldn’t lie to myself anymore but I didn’t know how to stop myself. I was losing weight which was my goal.
It was 2009 and I was in RN nursing school. For psychology class, we had to attend a 12 step program and write a paper about it. In LPN school, I had attended an alcoholics anonymous 12 step program. I didn’t want to do AA again. At this point I had fallen off of the diet wagon. I was in my binging phase. I would only eat twice a day. For lunch, I would eat doughnuts or chocolate chip muffins or a cake. I would eat until I felt full. For dinner, I would eat whatever my mom cooked. I looked up a 12 step program for anorexia and I came across overeaters anonymous. There was a meeting very close to my house so I decided to go to it. When I arrived at the meeting, it was only 5 other people there. I was supposed to tell everybody that I was a nursing student and just sit in the back and not participate. I felt like they wouldn’t be honest if I said that. Everybody introduced themselves as an overeater. So I said, “Hi, my name is Shavawn and I’m an overeater.” Immediately after saying it, I could feel that it was the truth. My soul recognized that I was telling the truth. The class was on the step of making amends to people. I have to say that I had a prejudice against one of the women in the class. She was talking more than the others and she wasn’t overweight. All the other people, including myself were overweight. I had to check myself. When I first starting to overeat, I wasn’t overweight. So after the class was over I went to the grocery store. I bought a small pound cake and ate the whole thing when I got home. I had learned how to eat in public. I never binged in front of anyone. I always binged in private. When I was in public, I would eat healthy. While I was binging, all my problems would go away. It was like I was high. After the binge was over, I would feel guilty and weak. I didn’t love myself.