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Eating Disorder Recovery and Being Overweight

Loxley Jones was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety in 2016 and has since worked to educate others about mental illnesses.

At the end of April, I went swimsuit shopping for an upcoming trip to Vegas with my partner and his family for his birthday. To say the least, I was embarrassed about how I looked. For the past couple of years, I’ve struggled with my weight and how I feel about myself. In middle school and high school, I had bouts of bulimia and anorexia. Bulimia was much more prominent for me, along with binge eating. So realizing in the Target dressing room that I hated how I looked because of my weight was pretty terrifying. My first instinct was to immediately start limiting calories and if I ate something “bad,” there was a war within myself to decide if I should purge or not.

After about two weeks of that, I realized that I was once again going down a mentally and physically destructive path and that I had to change course before I went too far and hurt myself. I started researching healthy and effective ways to lose weight but was discouraged to find that many of the “health” websites advocated anorexic behaviors like obsessively counting calories, replacing meals with water, or exercising until you drop from exhaustion.

After combing through the BS and consulting with my doctor, I made the decision to eat small meals and snacks six times a day while also reducing the amount of sugar and empty carbs I consumed. I combined this with doing cardio exercises and weight training at home and I was actually surprised at how fast I started seeing results.

The week after our trip to Vegas versus the moment in the Target dressing room.

The week after our trip to Vegas versus the moment in the Target dressing room.

Not only was I visibly seeing the pounds shed off, but I also started feeling happier and more energized. Climbing hills, sprinting, and even carrying in groceries from the car was much easier. Then, despite my early 6 a.m. alarm, my need for caffeine to make it through the morning decreased to the point where now I don’t even have a cup of coffee a week.

Me at the top of a waterfall in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

Me at the top of a waterfall in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

While I am very proud of the progress I’ve made, the hardest part of all of this has been not slipping back into my eating disorder. While I may not be acting upon disordered behaviors, the thoughts can still be very present. A friend of mine recommended the Recovery Record App to me, and it has been such a helpful tool in my journey. It gives me a visual track record of my eating habits, as well as helps me keep my disordered thoughts in check.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, don’t be silent. Seek help and support. There is a whole community for people who are recovering from an eating disorder, where people can find resources, personal stories, and advice. Eating Disorder Hope is a good place to start.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Loxley Jones


Finn from Barstow on July 29, 2018:

Hey....great attitude. Society always puts pressure on people (I'm glad you didn't disregard men) to look a certain way.

Obesity is unhealthy, but Body Dismorphia is a real thing. It's probably easier said than done but maintaining a positive attitude is good. We are also our own worse critics.....

Would be nice if you elaborated on the healthy techniques you discovered - eating habits, diet recommendations as well as some of the exercises you've tried.

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