Freedom Story from Hannah

Before starting the Beat the Binge program I had 25 years of trying to hide my secret of Bulimia.

During those 25 years the biggest thing Bulimia stole from me was quality time that could have been better spent focusing on my family and friends.

I grew up in a pretty normal house, with loving parents who gave me a great childhood. I remember once in 5th grade, one of my mom’s friends, who was also a teacher at my school, mentioned that I was getting the “5th grade pudge.” This was the first time I remember thinking that other people saw me as being chubby or fat. Looking back at childhood pictures, I was nothing more than an average size, and for the life of me I still have no idea why the lady made that statement.

However, it was forever burned into my memory. I decided that same year that I wanted to be a cheerleader and do gymnastics, so I started classes. This lead me down the next pivotal road in my life. I became a cheerleader and in high school made the competition squad. It was important to be small so you could be a flyer...and look good in the uniform.

The spring of my sophomore year, I decided I really needed to lose weight. I think I was about 5’3” and weighted 115. I went to the store and bought my first diet pills. They made me shaky and feel weird so I decided that wouldn’t work. Then one night after dinner it happened....I became a bulimic.

Over that summer I dropped to 95lbs and Everywhere I went people noticed. Thinking back now, there is no way I looked healthy, but people told me how great I looked and I excelled in cheer. So much I ended up with a college scholarship to cheer at a 4 year anniversary.

But before that, my senior year, my parents found out about my eating disorder. Someone at the school called them and reported me being sick in the bathroom. My mom took me to a pediatrician who told me to eat a healthy diet, and then I was on my way to continuing my disordered eating.

To this day, my mom and I have only spoken about this once since my teenage years. I sometimes wonder if it’s because she too may have an eating disorder. But we have never discussed it.

So back to college, I continued my disordered eating through college and into marriage. My husband knew about the Bulimia when we got married and would encourage me to get help.

However, no counseling or doctor could help with the issue.

They wanted to dredge up other issues about my life, even though many of the things we discussed were just normal life issues. There was one therapist that even decided this whole disordered eating was about sex....I still don’t have a clue what she was talking about.

So, I would research and read, work myself into a panic, end up at a therapists office and drop out within a month because it all felt useless.

Then one day, I found Lydia's facebook page, which led me to some videos, and changed my life forever.

Not only have the principles you taught me changed my eating, they have helped me recover some (not all) of my self esteem that has been lost over 25 years of letting my chatter tell me what “I’m not.” I am forever grateful!

Now, I can eat a normal meal without feeling guilty. My food rules are gone, and I can keep whatever foods in the house I want without fear of a binge.

This has freed up so much time for me to just be present in life with my family and friends.

I am still working on the body image, but it’s one step at a time.

I also recognize chatter across multiple areas of my life, and can call it out for what it is. The biggest surprise is that I can eat normally and my weight did not drastically change!