Mental Health

My slow recovery from bulimia

Let me start this post by saying that I’m fucking proud of myself. I’m proud because the last two days, I resisted the urge to binge and purge – something that I’ve not yet managed in the past.

Normally, I would allow myself one sick ‘cheat day’ and then start over again, trying to let more and more days pass between each episode. And even though I have come a long way from pretty much not keeping any meal down to just purging every one to two weeks, I haven’t yet been able not to binge. Until this week.

Imagine me being pretty emotional while I’m writing this down. I reached a milestone, despite everything else I have going on right now. It’s weird because I really don’t have the feeling that my depression is getting any better.

Just this morning, I thought of the sleeping pills I was taking for a while back in Paris and how I could have easily overdosed. But I’m a coward, and I wouldn’t want to end up as a vegetable, or leave earth leaving a disfigured body. And so I find comfort in looking at very dark-humored memes on r/depression_memes like this one here 👉

But maybe the good thing about depression is that I give significantly fewer fucks about anything, including my weight.

Actually this week, I hit the 60 kg (130 lbs) mark. A couple of years or even months ago, I would have been devastated. Since I was a teenager, I knew that I definitely wanted to keep my weight below 60 kg. At first, I was happy with 59,5 kg. But then of course, I started thinking less was better. And in just a year, I reached around 46 kg (102 lbs). For reference, I’m 1,79 m (5’11”) tall. I remember back then, at the age of 16, I kept thinking that it was impossible to keep this going until I’d be 60. I thought that only once I got old, I could allow myself to gain weight, or “get fat” how I’d call it. As it soon turned out, I didn’t have to maintain this low weight for long after all, since of course, my doctor and family got more and more alarmed. My supportive family compared me several times to the victims of the Holocaust.

And even though I never received proper treatment, I managed to gain weight. It was a relief that I was given the permission to, since I didn’t give it to myself, and I also thought that I could lose any extra weight just as fast. The only problem was that, as soon as I had stopped only eating 800 kcal a day, I couldn’t go back to it. It was too hard. (Btw, even back then, I never understood how some people could restrict themselves to only 400 kcal a day. 800 was already super difficult for me. But I was also scared of eating cotton balls.)

However, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. At age 17 until 19, I had my highest weight so far, which was 63 kg (139 lbs). I felt horrible. Even worse was when people still told me I was skinny when I felt the exact opposite. And then I moved to Paris.

The first couple of months were really hard. I didn’t have my friends around me and, of course, didn’t know the city. It was the first time I lived alone. And without anyone watching me, I started purging every time I thought I’d eaten too much. Quickly, my weight was down to 48 kg (105 lbs) again. During that time, I also started smoking. Mostly because I (still) love the aesthetic of Old Hollywood actors with their quellazaires, but also because I’d read somewhere that smoking can burn up to 300 kcal. So I smoked a pack per day.

In addition to throwing up multiple times a day, it’s not surprising that it took a big toll on my teeth. They’re now paper-thin and so, the only part of my body I’m truly worried about. I never cared about what binging and purging would do to my organs, honestly, I still don’t care that much. But as I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t want to be an ugly corpse. Nor would I like to lose my teeth while still being alive.

Besides, buying tons of foods to binge on is fucking expensive. All the money I could have saved literally went down the drain. As a “solution”, I started stealing my food, which was super easy. And so, even after a while where my episodes were spaced a little, I quickly was back on purging three times a day.

Eventually, I was caught stealing, fortunately. Who knows how long I would have continued with that lifestyle. But still without proper treatment, I still struggled. The only thing I managed was to reduce the number of episodes. And depending on the circumstances, I was more or less successful with that. During that time, my average weight was around 53 kg (116 lbs), the weight I also have in the two first photos left in the image above. The two photos on the right show how I look now. Funnily, not as drastic of a difference as I would have thought in my teens or early twenties.

Unfortunately, I can’t even tell you exactly what I did to be able to accept myself more. Sure, I’ve seen a few therapists, but I found that talking about my past didn’t do shit to change any toxic behaviors of the present. Besides, none of them were specialized in treating eating disorders. One thing that was very helpful though was that I deleted all the calorie-tracking apps I had on my phone. And yes, at one point, I used more than one. I guess by deleting them, I also unlearned to count them, even though I’ve pretty much known the number of calories of every single food since my teens.

Another thing that helps a lot is that fashion manufacturers have started using stretchy materials. I remember the stiff skinny jeans that would cut off your circulation I used to wear as a teen. You don’t see those around anymore, and it makes being comfortable in my body much easier for me, even though I’m still not thrilled to see my flabby ass in the harsh neon light of a fitting room. But I learned that I have to build muscle to achieve the look I want. And since I’m just not very athletic, I’m already proud when I’m somewhat consistent with my workouts. That probably shifted my perspective from feeling guilty to valuing my achievements more.

Nevertheless, I’m obviously still far away from a full recovery, if that’s even possible. (In my opinion, you carry an eating disorder for life, you just learn to manage it.) I’m still scared of weighing myself or taking my measurements. I’m still not happy about how my body looks. But now, I’m rather focused on getting toned than on being thin, which I still want to be, but not at any cost.

Now, every day I look in the mirror, I see what the drastic weight loss and weight gain have done to my connective tissue and muscles. I feel like I have barely any muscle strength left, I can’t even do one push-up, and my breasts are probably the body part I’m most self-conscious about. They’re very, very relaxed. Yet, I’m aware that recovery takes lots of time, and I’m happy about the smallest step I can take to better health. For now, I’ll celebrate reaching a massive milestone.

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Dating

Dating sober

It’s been a while since I wanted to write this article, actually since I listened to an episode of This Is Why You’re Single where they discussed the exact same topic.

So for everyone who doesn’t know my background: I’m from East Germany, where people drink a lot. Then I lived in France, where people drink a lot. During that time, I worked in a bar, where we used to drink a lot. And then I moved back to Germany, worked at a bar and got re-engaged with a student’s initiative where we do an exchange program with France – and of course, drink a lot. So as you can maybe tell, I’m not the perfect candidate for dating without booze. In fact, I’ve always dreaded it. I mean, no matter where you live, if you’re really not lucky with the weather and if you’ve already brought your date to all the places where you can play darts/bowling/table tennis/ minigolf, there are not that many options left. Well, there’s the movies, but going to the movies on a date is like already telling your date that you rather won’t hear them talking and are only willing to meet them in the dark. Not so great. Then there’s the museum. Oh sorry, I was kidding. I guess I don’t even have to talk about going to the theater/ a poetry slam/ anything in a shabby basement where you’ll either get murdered or endure a horrible date.

The only cultural activity on my list of possible places for a date would be a comedy show. Just to make sure that my date had the same twisted humour as I do.

However, all of these activities are so much better when drunk. Especially the (pseudo-)cultural stuff. I remember when I went on a date watching the latest Hangover movie. I brought tiny bottles of wine which we snuck in, and I just got trashed. It was awesome. (L’abus d’acool est dangereux pour la santé.)

However, as much as I love the mind enhancing liquid, I’ve had a few sober dates, lately, which was nice, just to change things up a little.

No seriously, it was really nice to feel more in control. Not that I don’t usually feel this way, but there’s still a difference between the sober me and the me who’s had a few glasses. For the record, without the booze, I’m also probably more of a critic. So the fact that the dates went well is actually pretty surprising to me.

However, having to plan a sober date is suuuuper tough. I mean where would you go? The shitty theater or poetry slam only gets funny with booze – as does the weird art exhibit. You can’t check out the latest, most hyped cocktail bar, because it’s a cocktail bar. And going to café just seems like badly spent money.

To me, the only options you can do with anyone anytime are dinner and brunch. If only I didn’t have a ton of food allergies. Besides, who does brunch without having mimosas?

So, even though I acknowledge the advantages of sober dating – wait, did I say advantages? No, it’s just one advantage. Your ability of correctly assessing a situation will maybe be more accurate. (Depending on your general ability to connecting with people.) But yeah, that’s pretty much it. Also, seeing people drunk reveals an awful lot about their personalities. I’d say get your date shitfaced.

Verdict: There’s no point of dating sober. (Unless if you’re a former alcoholic of course.) Let your freak out! You only live once.

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Dating

Why period sex is fucking ok

Today, I I had this long conversation about comedy with a friend. It started by him sendning me a video of some dude making jokes about having sex with women who are on their period. I wasn’t having it.

And it wasn’t about the topic, really, everyone has the right to be grossed out by whatever they want. What I found problematic was the delivery. It’s some pathetic dude claiming to be a man because he hasn’t washed his sheets in 7 months, but a drop of menstrual blood is too much for him to handle. Seriously, why does that even make a comedy routine?

If you think about it, sex in itself is pretty disgusting. All these bodily fluids getting mixed up – and I’m not even thinking of anal here. OMG. It’s just a very wet and sometimes smelly business. From a purely reasonable point of view, people would probably not have sex. Because if you take out the “I’m hormy” part, it’s just not appealing. (Those who continue to watch porn after they cum might know what I’m talking about.)
But we have hormones and shit that keep us interested in icky stuff. And in my experience, that doesn’t change for when a woman is on her period.

I know lots of men who don’t mind at all if it’s that time of the month or not. Now that I think of it, I haven’t dated a single man who had a problem with having sex while me having my period. I took it more or less for granted and sometimes, I even wished they were more like “I’ll give you a massage” instead of like “I don’t mind, we can do it anyway”. And that’s not because I didn’t like their approach, but because there was so much going on inside of me already that I didn’t need the extra action down there.

However, I always saluted their mindset. I mean a good pirate also sails the Red Sea. So I’ll take an overzealous lover over a scared one every day of the week, just because I prefer their mindset. Besides, there are so many benefits that come from it, so why not? Just because you don’t want to ruin the sheets? Lol.

Of course, everyone has the right to be grossed out by certain things. I guess period blood is not for everyone, as is having semen on your face or having anal sex (just to give some examples). But labelling period sex as gross (as that stupid comedian did) is just wrong imo. And I just hope that most people just stay open-minded in general, and won’t put degrading labels on stuff or actions or even people. Everyone should just do what and whoever whenever they want.

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Mental Health

A weight gain journey

I’ve talked about my past on the blog, including the complicated relationship I’ve had with my body since an early age (9 years, if I recall it correctly). Today’s post will not be focussed on the past, but on the goals I set for myself for this year.

Tbh, it’s not even a goal I was aware of until recently. But maybe I give you the entire picture.

So by the end of last year, I thought it was a good idea to track my habits – drinking, eating, exercising, you name it. I kept a log of everything. And before I knew it, I also lost some weight, and I was down to 54 kg (119 lbs). I remember how surprised I was about how easy that was, it felt like just a second and BOOM! six ponds less. But I also noticed that it was kinda sad. I mean I was counting my fruit intake. The last time I did that was a few yers ago when I was in completely different, unhealthy phase of my life, where I restricted myself of fruit because it contained too much sugar. But then earlier this year, there I was, counting how much fructose I was consuming per day.

The feeling of success by losing the weight I didn’t need to loose was not bad at all, I actually was kinda proud. But then I remembered how I spent my teens and how boring that was. (I seriously was the most boring teenager you can ever imagine. I didn’t drink, I didn’t date, I just went to school.) I also remembered the appointments at the doctor’s, the blood draws, the charts, the doctor’s threats – if you don’t stick to the weight gain schedule, we’ll admit you to a hospital (and everyone knows that includes intravenous treatment, which is scary AF if you’re fucked up).

So I was happy that I was still able to control my body, but at the same time, I kept asking myself “Why are you doing this?”. And so a few days after reaching the 54kg mark, I was like “Why am I doing this?”
Then I went out to get not just one but three bars of chocolate and I ate all of them. (And did not throw up.) That day, I finally got to the conclusion that life is just not as fun if you’re depriving yourself of the small pleasures all the time, and I made the commitment to myself that I would focus more on working out than on how much I eat.

So far, it’s been a good experience. My belly is a little rounder that usual, but I kinda like it. It makes me feel more sensual and womanly, which is not a bad thing at all! In addition to that, I just got more curves in general. For the first time in my life, I’ve got something like a booty, and I think it’s amazing.
Also, for the first time ever, my face looks normal. See, I have a very small frame when it comes to my bone structure. My face used to look super narrow. So having a little extra texture on my cheeks isn’t bad at all.

I don’t even know how much I weigh atm. I also couldn’t care less. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m having healthy habits when it comes to nutrition and working out. (And even if I’m working out every day – which could be looked at as some sort of pathology as well – I think it’s helping me a lot with where I’m at mentally.)

Right now, I’m enjoying the pattern of working out more in order to eat more. And I think it’s made me more easygoing and attentive to my needs.

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Mental Health

Feeling fat and thin privilege

Did I ever mention that I love instagram? 😀 Well today, I came across a post of a fat girl eating chocolate (I think I can say that here, since she refers to herself as fat. Otherwhise I wouldn’t.) In her post, it said that “Fat is not a feeling, but an oppressed body type” and in the caption she went on describing how hurt she felt when some girl at Starbucks said she felt fat and that someone thin of course doesn’t know the “discrimination that comes from living in a fat body.” 

Of course, I had to check the comment section ( I LOOOVE comment sections) and found a comment which read “Thin privilege is real and those who have it need to be made aware.”

Sorry, but wtf?????  

First of all, thin privilege? I guess this statement adresses people who are not overweight, which probably is a majority of people. What does thin privilege even mean, seriously? That people won’t make assumptions about your health because of your weight? That maybe it’ll be easier for you to get matches on Tinder? Or that a company won’t have to make calculations on how many days you’ll be out of office because of problems that are linked to your weight? Tbh, I’ve never heard of “thin privilege” before. Tbh, I didn’t do any research on this either, this blogpost is just me reacting on a post I saw on insta, so I’m just writing down my initial thoughts. But it pretty much sounds like an overweight person complaining about not being thin. And in my opinion, there’s no point in doing so, it’s not like you can’t change your appearance.

Anyone can gain our loose weight, it just comes down to nutrition and exercise – and maybe some willpwer. (Except maybe if you have some serious diseases, like a thyroid malfunction.) 

Btw, the account I’m talking about shows nothing but an overweight girl eating food and bitching about discrimination. And I get it, it’s a pretty shitty move of people to think they have a say on what you should and shouldn’t look like. As I’ve mentioned in former blogposts, I’ve had the experience.
My family, people at school, boyfriends, photographers, strangers on the street, pretty much everyone has felt the need to share their opinion about my weight with me, as if it was any of their business. Or as if my job on earth only consisted in pleasing them.  I guess what I’m saying is that as long as you’re happy with yourself and the way you lok like, then there are no fucks to be given on other people’S opinions. However, if you’re using social media to passive-aggressively release your anger, then you might wanna change a thing or two about your lifestyle. 

No one is slave to their body. So saying stuff like “living in a fat body” as if you were trapped in it and couldn’t do anything about it is not a thing, or should I say excuse? It’s also not a reason to skinny-shame average-weight people. And of course. there are differend shapes and bodytypes. But morbidly obese is not a body type. 

Your body is there to support you and help you through  life. It allows you to move and do stuff. It’s the only ally that will sure stick with you your entire life. Therefore, treat it with respect and take good care of it. That’s all it’s gonna ask in return. And it has its way of showing you when you fucked up, if it’s your skin, your weight, or your health. So you might as well take it seriously.

And instead of finding excuses for being fat, maybe start working on reasons that hold you back from getting fit. 

PS: Feeling fat is a thing. Just to clarify, and I don’t care if anyone gets offended or not, it’s the feeling that you get when you were eating for three and you’re well aware of it/ can feel your jeans getting tighter already.



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Just blogging

This Will Never End Cause I Want More…

Today is one of the days where I wish I was any other person. Or at least not in my head. My day was actually pretty good, I had a good night’s sleep, had a great workout and a nice walk, ran some errands. I also made plans for the weekend (which I usually never do) – I#m going to see some Shakespeare-related performances and am actually really excited about it, even though or maybe especially because I’m usually quite lowbrow. I also received an H&M delivery today, a really cool bomber jacket I can’t wait to wear for the next shooting. So all in all, I would say it was a pretty good day. However, at some time after my workout, I suddenly felt this darkness creeping in. I think it was when I looked at some magazines and one headline I saw claimed that millenials have no money. I quickly read the article (yes, I’m that person who reads articles on magazines without buying them . That’s why I never remember my sources.) The article was depressing. It pretty much said that millenials are doomed because living expenses are constantly rising but wages stay the same. And if that wasn’t enough, one of my favorite bloggers just published a blog post about the change from analog to digital, which made me think of Fahrenheit 451 and that stuff is scary af.
My – let’s call it anxious state of mind – became even stronger on my way back home. On the train, there were two girls next to me talking about some guy they knew who was going to be incredibly successful with some app or whatever. At the age of 17. And my mind immediately jumped to the question of what I hve accomplished so far. Well, nothing, really. And I don’t even know what I wanna do in life. It sounds whiney and annoying, but I wish things weren’t as hard. I wish I just knew what I wanted to do in life instead of looking for something I’m “passionate about”. Or maybe I should rephrase that. I know a few things I’m passionate about, but I don’t know how to turn them into something that’ll make a living. Besides, I get the impression that if you wanna do something creative, you need to have a great set of skills – which I don’t have. It’s a litte discouraging, especially because I’m not really excelling at anything. And no one cares for mediocre. I don’t know if it makes sense to you, but I often feel like life can’t really provide a sense or something that I would want. It just seems too small and insignificant, which makes me feel small and insignfiicant. Because even if you have wealth and anything you wnat, where does it lead you? Basically no where. Because even the most successful people don’t have everything. And so that brings me back to the theory of anti-natalism and is also the reason why I’m listening to Fever Ray and drinking looooots of wine tonight.

 

 

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Mental Health

Ana and Mia

This is probably the hardest post to write. Not only because it’s super personal and kinda heavy, but also because it’s much easier to write about stuff that’s in the past and that doesn’t still affect me. And yet, I wanted to write about this for such a long time, now. Partly because I think that it’ll create a new incentive for me to get better, partly because I think there’s still a stigma around eating disorders and mental health which prevents people to talk about it. In case you didn’t guess it from the title, this post is about my struggle with anorexia and bulimia.

I don’t really know where to begin and this will probably be the most unstructured post you’ve ever seen. I also don’t have any special advice, since I’m still trying to figure things out for myself. (And also, have you ever met someone who actually follows their own advice?)

So why am I posting this now?
To be completely honest, I’m writing this today because I just had an episode. And after 14 years of having eating disorders, it’s just annoying to be some tragic figure who doesn’t find a way out of her dilemma. It’s pathetic. And I feel weak and disgustung.

(If you’re reading this because you’re affected, please don’t take this or anything I’m going to say as a judgement on your condition. I’m just talking about my personal feelings, I’m not judging anyone.)

A psychologist once told me I should consider my eating disorder a disease. Well, I have difficulties doing that, since I feel like it’s in my control to give in or not and that I should be better than that. Except that I’m not. So I have no idea what to do with that information. Besides, it’s been such a long time that I’m dealing with that issue, it’s been more than 14 years.

I remember that when I was 7yo, I already wasn’t happy the way I looked. When I compared myself to my classmates, I found them much prettier. They weren’t as freakishly tall as I was. They also seemed to be more athletic and have nicer features in general. (Btw, this all was way before social media.) I never was the athletic type and since I scrutinized my body in the mirror every night, I noticed that I had ceelulite at a very early age. Sounds unreal, right? However, the dimples I discovered in my butt cheeks back then are still there. After that, my New Year’s Resolution would be to loose weight. However, I never succeeded. I mean, I was a kid and didn’t know shit about nutrition or dieting. And even though I’ve always been physically active, I never got ripped. Instead, I got some very unpleasant memories from when I tried out athletic sports and failed tremendously.

But then, right before my 15th birthday, my family and I made a trip to Italy. I remember flipping through a magazine and reading about this new trend called ‘Homeless Chic’. And apparently Mary-Kate Olsen incorporated it the best way possible. On the drive to Italy, I was reading a fashion magazine and still remember the exact picture, it was Gemma Ward wearing a ripped pullover from Dior. Next to her, Mariacarla Boscono in a similar outift. That day, I decided (!) that after the trip to Italy and all the pasta and pizza, I’d be anorexic.

Now people who say it was the magazine fault, stfu. In fact, do you remember that scene in SATC where Charlotte says that she can’t look at a magazine cover without thinking about her thighs? I absolutely hated it. Of course, the way how we see beauty is influenced by fashion mags and now, social media, but if a photo has that much power over you, there are probably some deeper issues.

In my case, it was the fact that I never felt beautiful or even appreciated. My father told me that he disliked the way I looked and also never took any interest in me, at least not as his child. He also let me know that he thought of me as lazy when I didn’t wanna do my homework or when I came home with a grade that was not brilliant. As for my mom, I could feel her disappointment when it became clear that I’d never be an athlete, nor good at science, especially maths. (She used to excel in both.) And her trying make me become better actually felt more like harrassment than encouragement. In addition to that, my family never had a normal way around eating and I can’t think of a single meal that wasn’t stressful in a way or another. According to what my mom has told me, I had a phase where I refused to eat when I was 3yo and since then, everyone in my family made sure that I ate enough, to the point that I was forced to empty my plate. And if all that wasn’t enough, let’s throw in the snide remarks my parents would make about my friend’s looks, some bullying at school, and a predisposition for depression that seems to run in my family.

I kept the promise I’d made to myself. When I turned 15, I weighed around 53kg (117lbs) for 1,79m (5’11”). A few months later, I went down to 46kg (101lbs), then 43kg (95lbs). One day, at a doctor’s appointment, my doctor pointed out that my state of health was pretty critical. That was when I was 16. The word she used was pathological. Yet, I never went to see a professional. I only had to go to a clinic where they did a couple of blood tests and then told me that my liver values were shit. But that was pretty much it. I never had anyone help me with a recovery plan or anything.

However, after this, I put on weight pretty quickly. I kinda happened automatically after I heard that my father was worried. This detail really annoys me up to this day. Daddy issues defining my life. Classic. And again, pathetic.

When I turned 17, my weight was up to 63kg (139lbs). Side note, the highest my weight had been before was 59kg (130lbs). And that was at a time when my mom let me know that my ass was getting huge and that a classmate said about me that he’d only consider dating me if I’d loose like 20kg (44lbs). In other words, I hated how I looked in that year. My face was puffy, everything felt huge, I didn’t feel like myself at all. So I slowly started loosing weight again, but still wasn’t happy with how I looked. Besides, shopping for jeans was a nightmare that time, my waist size being 30.

And then, I moved to Paris.

Didn’t know anyone there and later went through two rather difficult relationships. It didn’t take long until I was down to 46kg again. My mom came to see me and started to cry, which I found pretty annoying. I don’t know what made me gain weight after that, but slowly, I did and have maintained a weight of 57kg (125lbs), even though not always in a healthy way.

I still haven’t established a normal attitude towards eating yet, and probably never will, at least not completely. I’ve been in therapy a couple of times, not sure if it really helped. However, the number of bulimic episodes has decreased from 5 times a day to around twice a month. That’s at least something. My major motivation right now are my teeth. I know, it sounds sad, but I kinda stopped caring about other people’s feelings and opinions on what I should and shouldn’t do. (Probably because my parents did a great job at ignoring what was going on and especially after I had a friend tell me that the way I looked made her feel uncomfortable.) So yes, it’s about my teeth. Because even though they’re already paperthin, I would like to keep them until after I turn 50.

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