Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Visible (Holiday) Progress

3 Christmases ago I started dieting.
2 Christmases ago I was recovering from anorexia, but still severely restricting.
Last Christmas I binged until I wanted to puke.
Today I did not restrict, and I did not eat past the point of being full. I never thought this would have been possible when I was struggling with either of my eating disorders. It seemed like I would never get better. I especially would not have believed my food choices. I would have been repulsed to learn that I ate green bean casserole, mac and cheese, turkey, peas, pies, and fudge. But today I am so joyful, and proud.

My brother recently asked me if I would take back the time I spent in my eating disorder if I could.. Of course it was a horrible time in my life, but I don't think I would because it made me who I am today.
I am a happier person; I am a better person.
I love who I am.

Mary Oliver, The Journey

Merry Christmas, loves


  1. So proud of you and happy for you, Haley!

  2. I'm glad you're coming so far in your recovery, Haley. Sounds like you've had a great holiday season. Merry Christmas!

  3. So proud of you <3 I feel the same way this year!! Love you.

  4. You are amazing lady and I am happy for you. Great to know people have made it to this point after so much pain and struggling. Hope 2013 is a great year for you.

  5. Haley,

    I wasn't joking when I commented on that Facebook picture. You look GREAT! keep up the good and hard work, I know its a long road, but I have seen you overcome the most difficult of things. I am so proud of you for everything in your life. Remember, you are not identified by what you have done or what has been done to you.

    <3 Renee

  6. i am sooooooooooo proud of you!! you are such an example of hope and courage and i can't wait to see where the next step in your journey is going to take you!

  7. Hayley,
    You give me hope, girl! I am SO proud of you!! Gah, I remember reading your blog when you first began and the ups and downs and worrying for you and now, to hear about your holiday and recent successes, I am SO SO proud! You have grown. You have come so incredibly far by taking responsibility for yourself and fighting through the discomfort. You deserve this freedom and self acceptance that you have found. GOOD FOR YOU!!! You give me hope that it's possible for me too. HUGS! <3

  8. You are an amazing woman. Coming back from any set back is hard work. Overcoming those you create yourself makes you even more powerful!

  9. Beautiful, congrats!!! I can totally relate :)

  10. Dear Haley,

    I have read your blog since the beginning, and I can't even begin to describe how helpful it has been to me.

    However, for the past few weeks, I have been desperate for an outlet to my current feelings and I have been unable to find someone that I can confide in. I don't expect you to reply as this is about to get very wordy, but I just feel like I need to get this all off my chest :(

    I am a Div 1 collegiate athlete and I am really suffering with my eating. Having heavily restricted and lost a lot of weight two years ago, I am not struggling with Binge Eating. Even when I was at my lowest weight, I still had binges, but slowly, these have affected my weight and I now weight at least 10 pounds above my lowest weight.
    I just feel so out of control with everything. Every time that I make a decision that my previous, "anorexic" side wouldn't have made, I feel like a failure. This usually sparks the desire to overeat. For example, I decided to have a chocolate chip bagel and peanut butter with lunch + a quinoa and ham salad.. this is something I never ever would have done two years ago :(

    It never really happens at any other time apart from after dinner, because I have obviously restricted during the day. Last night, I ate 3/4 a box of cereal, 3 cereal bars.. a week ago, I ate a jar of almond butter in two days.

    I constantly compare myself to the leaner girls on the team, I am obsessed with what they eat and how they fuel themselves. What runners looks like overrides my performance in races. I directly correlate my weight to how I run in a race, and I can't escape the fact that I have run slower in the past two races because I have been at a heavier weight.

    I despise morning practice the night after I binged. I am scared my teammates know that I look heavier. I am terrified of disappointing myself, my team mates and my coach with my performance because I can't control my eating.

    I don't know what I really expect from writing this. I hope it would make me feel better that I got it off my chest, that I know I can write this knowing that you will probably understand so I don't feel like a complete freak. :( I was also hoping whether it would be possible if you could give an outline as to what you ate to maintain your weight during periods of high training. I have never ran this many miles before, and my hunger scares me. I obviously need to eat more than I have done in the past, but if I increase, I just feel greedy..

    So sorry for this very random comment, I just needed to get this all out :(

  11. great post and wonderful blog.

    The person who commented anonymously I totally relate to. I spent high school and college alternately anorexic, bulimic, binge eating/over-exercising. I really short-changed myself because I could never get the eating under control.

    I remember, too, binging at night and worrying in the morning that people would see me as "fat."

    Now that I am 31 and with a potential career-ending injury, I've finally found some balance and gotten out of the "cycle." My weight stays fairly stable, and it is amazing the perspective I have.

    The sad thing as college athletes is that we can become obsessed and perfectionistic, wanting to succeed so desperately that we keep ourselves from doing so. You see those athletes winning the races and looking very thin. so, you think 'I'll be fast if I can just get thin." And, at some point, 'looking like a runner' becomes more important than running well. (How screwed up is that?)

    What I realize now is that the anorexic runners did well for a season or two at most; even if they recovered after that they were usually hampered by stress-fractures and other injuries (usually career-ending). I recently read some great articles on Kate Landau and Amber Trotter, 2 incredible athletes, who had to stop running.

    In college I always thought I was under-performing because I wasn't 'in control" and thin enough. Now, I realize that I didn't live up to my potential because my nutrition was terrible, leading to fatigue and injury. When I did run my fastest time it was during a rare phase where I was eating 'balanced' and feeling like I was 10 lbs overweight (which I was not).

    Balance is an ungoing struggle for some of us. I wish you well in your recovery. And Kudos to Haley for having such a wise perspective at such a young age.