Lost Down The Rabbit Hole

There seems to be a new fad going around in full force: clean eating
The root cause of this lifestyles is admirable and important. I love that more people are becoming aware of what they're consuming and really beginning to examining their food... 

That being said, I desperately want to caution those who have adopted this lifestyle change. So here is my cautionary tale:


I wanted to be a lean, mean, clean eating machine. I did everything right. I did my research. I balanced my meals. I was informed, and level-headed. I workef put everyday and had six pack abs. Despite all of that, my obsession turned lethal. The scary truth is that being "healthy" nearly killed me. Now anytime I see someone being/striving to be uber-healthy I feel an urge to warn them, to show them the otherside of the looking glass. 
 *Let me clearify, by "healthy" I mean: Cutting out processed foods, trans fats, unnatural sugars, added sodium and chemicals, preservatives, refined flours, dairy, and meat. I ate a very balanced vegetarian diet (I did eat fish and egg whites). 

At about the same time that I had mastered clean eating, I also began experiencing terrible GI issues (including extreme nausua, severe cramps, and stabbing pains). I don't believe my new lifestyle had much to do with it. I felt physically better whilst adhering to it,and  drastically worse when I veered off-course. I had bouts of milder symptoms before (off and on for several years, actually) so I believe the severe physical illnesses I was experiencing were most likely the same thing. I do belive that my compromised health exasperated my underlying medical issues (I just recently got my answer as to what this mystery ailment that has plagued me for over 10 years is - Dysautonomia). Coincidentaly, the deepest part of my struggle with ED occured just when my Dysautonomia really started to get revved up. As that gained strength, the physical pain of my body was in became too much. The pain from just ingesting food was great enough to cause a fear so intense that I would develop a full-fledged phobia. 

I should also mention that I experience (and sometimes still do) a strange compulsion to move after ingesting something. This started several years before my epic battle with ED began. It was as if being idle turned the food into lead, which would painfully weigh down on my stomach. That "full" feeling was physically painful. Excruciating. 

Soon after the clean eating and fitness obsession hit its pinnacle, the delusions began. If I worked out, the calories I ingested would turn to muscle and it would fuel my body more efficiently. If I didn't, then said calories would turn to fat and would be wasted. The health and fitness fanatic in me just screamed "Muscle is good, fat is bad!"

I will always remember one particular day in the fall of 2002. It was then that I realized I was completely at the mercy of my eating disorder. This was the day that I knew I was sick. I knew I was too thin. I knew I was dying. Even more startling - and important to convey- is the fact that I didn't want to be that thin. Not in a million years. I wanted to gain weight. I wanted to be like I was before: Athletic, strong, fit, lean but not skinny. What happened that day and the revelation I had, shook me to my very core. I was terrified. That moment went something like this:

It was morning and I was sitting on the couch, watching TV while I ate breakfast which consisted of a regular sized bowl of cereal (some sort of Kashi), soy milk, and 1/2 a banana. Sensible and satisfying. 

Immediately after ingesting it, I panicked. That was the day I knew I was a prisoner on death row. The only reason I didn't reach out and seek help right then and there was because of the social stigma attached to eating disorders. I was too scared of what everyone else would think. The fear of being labeled a weak, entitled little white girl was too strong. This vivid memory is locked in my mind, forever etched into the walls of my psyche. I dig it up anytime I hear that voice - that dreaded siren call of ED- whenever I'm on the brink of relapse. This memory reminds me of the journey back home and how long, scary, and dangerous it was. Because of that, I don't dare jump back down that rabbit hole.

“In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.” 

* Side note: I think it is important to be honest in order to truly grow awareness. However, to keep things as safe as possible I will NOT divulge information such as: weight, height, BMI, or clothing size.

The depth of my rabbit hole

*Upon Hospital Addmittance*
    Average body temperature: 95 degrees
    Average heart rate: 40bpm
    Hospitalized in critical condition
    Beginning stages of multipule organ failure
    NG (nasogastric) Feeding Tube (24hr/day feeds) 
    PICC line with 24 hr IV infusion nutrition (TPN - Total Parenteral Nutrition)
    Refeeding Syndrome after starting IV and NG tube nutrition.
    Severe GERD
    Water intoxication 

How long did it take  me to make my way out of just that part of it?
    I was rid of the PICC line and NG tube after 6 months, but was still unable to attend school for another year. 

Ok, how about after that? 
    It's 11 years later and I still have issues with gastroparesis. 
    I have weak joints, osteoarthritis, gastritis (which causes my stomach lining to bleed periodically), neurological damage (though some of that is due to a medication reaction a year later), memory problems... That's all I can think of at the moment. 

Please, please, please be careful! Being healthy and fit is wonderful. No longer being able to enjoy (or even eat) something "unhealthy", or just a day to be "lazy" is not. 


  1. wow what an interesting post, I also to suffered from the eating disorder. You can read my post on my blog. http://thefitfoot.blogspot.com

  2. wonderful post.
    Angel @ sewcraftyangel.

  3. Thank you, Nikki! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'm sorry that you had to battle an eating disorder. I will definitely be checking out your blog! It's always wonderful connecting with others who've shared this struggle. I hope you stop by again!

  4. Thank you, Angel! Please stop by again :)