Monday, July 29, 2013

The one that's hard to write.

Wow. I looked at my blog today and realized it's been a full week since I posted anything. How did that happen??
Happy Monday blogging family!
I had such a busy week.

Wednesday I went to the city with two friends and Andrew. We were supposed to go to Ohio Street Beach but then this happened...
It's the middle of July in Chicago.
It ended up being the coldest day of the summer. Literally. 

We decided to go to Dick's Last Resort and just walk around instead.
For those of you that don't live near Chicago, Dick's is one of those restaurants where the waiters are rude to you on purpose. It can be a little inappropriate for younger kids, but it's a lot of fun if you don't take anything too seriously (;

Part of the fun is the hilarious "hats". I don't really have a rash, I promise.
We walked to Water Tower Place and did what all cool teenagers do: Played with Legos.

Like my best friend's tan? Lifeguard probs.

By the river! I was totally freezing.
Ah. That picture. To you it may just be a cute picture of us, but to me it really hurts. Here's where this post takes a bit of an unexpected turn. Let's venture into self esteem body eating disorder land. 

When I was younger, my parents fed me really healthy food. I had all my fruits and vegetables, and rarely ate packaged foods. My mom doesn't "do" Organic, but she always fed us plenty of "real" foods. I only had desserts on "dessert nights" (friday, saturday, and sunday) and my desserts were definitely portion controlled. I was a really lean, healthy kid. Pretty perfect childhood, actually, as far as health goes.

Then middle school came and I had the ability to buy zebra cakes at lunch. This became almost a daily thing. But I was about 100 pounds so it didn't really matter. 

Then, right after my 13th birthday, I was diagnosed with diabetes. In short, my father screamed at me, right after my diagnosis, telling me it was all my fault because I ate so much shit. 

My sister hated me, thinking she would never be able to eat "normal" foods ever again. 

None of that ended up being true. There was nothing I could have done to prevent getting Type 1 diabetes. It was DEFINITELY not caused by my diet. My sister could eat normal foods. So could I for that matter.

I just tried to stay happy. I saw the positive in every way I could. "Well, this is something that is going to make me stronger" "This makes me unique" "My vision cleared up for two weeks!" "At least it's me, not my sister. I used to enjoy getting shots (because of the cool band-aids, duh) and she had panic attacks at the Dr.'s office". 

For the most part, I was okay. There were some comments at school that left me crying in the bathroom instead of in Algebra, but I really was okay. 

What wasn't okay was my relationship with food. I was suddenly forced into eating lots of healthy, low carb foods. I didn't eat pizza or cupcakes (hard to count carbs for). At first, it was fine. 

Then I slowly realized that diabetes didn't mean I couldn't eat like a normal person. 

This was the start of my binge eating disorder. 

I dealt with stress by eating "bad" foods that tasted so good. Cookies. My absolute weakness are those packages of Keebler cookies. Like the fudge stripe ones? 

I would come home from school and eat half, if not more, of a package of these. Or whatever crap was lying around the house. Obviously this wasn't every day, but it was a lot of days. I justified it with anything. I was sad? Food. Stressed? Food. Celebrating something? Food. The first two years of high school were the worst. They sell Zebra cakes in high school too. 

I watched the number on the scale creep up. My size zero jeans got too tight, then my 1/2s, then my 3/4s... I had made a promise with myself that if that scale said anything above 120, I would lose weight. I didn't keep that promise. I waited until it said 130 until I actually made changes to my health.

I didn't wake up one day and decide I needed to stop fueling my body with crap and start treating my body with respect. I did, however, wake up and decide I wanted to run

It started when I asked my dad to join him on his morning health club visits. I completed the Couch to 5k program. I was hooked. Obviously (I mean look at this blog...) I love running! 

Nutrition came second to running. Slowly I made active changes in my diet in order to improve my running. I know that healthy weight loss does and will make me a faster runner. It also makes me a happy, healthier person. 

I had missed so much school this past year because I was constantly, constantly sick. Infection after infection. I have no proof, but I believe it was all caused by the lack of nutrients from a nutritious diet. 

It's been months since I've had a true binge. I am so proud of that, you really have no idea. I am fixing my relationship with food one day at a time

I say a "true" binge, because I have had setbacks! I still eat ice cream, sometimes a little more than I should. I have trouble controlling my portion or what I'm eating when my blood sugar is low- but that's because my brain isn't working properly. At camp this year, I definitely ate terribly, but not to the point where I felt so sick like I used to.

So what did I do? I added fruits and vegetables. I read blogs and follow instagrams and I am inspired. I choose the healthier option, when there is a choice. 

I stopped eating my "trigger foods", such as anything Little Debbie, packages of cookies, and most cereals. When I have them, it never goes well, and I've found that it's easier for me just to cut these foods out. 

I still enjoy treats like ice cream and homemade goodies. I don't eat much LESS, I just eat smarter. 

This is how I was able to conquer my terrible relationship with food. Oh it's far from perfect. But it's so much better. 

And now I'm trying to lose some of the pounds that I put on in the past year. I know it's tricky for a teenager to write these things so publicly. I don't want it to be taken the wrong way. I am doing it the healthy way. I never EVER go under 1,300 calories (what my body needs just to function) and I listen to what my body tells me the best I can. This means I'm not dropping pounds very quickly at all. This means some days I weigh more than others and that's okay. I'm not going to get caught up in a number on the scale! I know muscle weighs more than fat. I'm just hoping to nourish my body better so that I can feel more confident in my skin. So far, I've been doing pretty good. I posted a progress pic on my Instagram @emilysmilesformiles. I've lost ~4/5 pounds so far, with lots of setbacks along the way. We will see what the future holds for me and my health (:

I think this is the longest post I've ever written. Hope I didn't lose you... I am not trying to get any sympathy, or anything like that, I am merely sharing my story. If any of you are looking to clean up your diets, I'd love to hear about it!! (: 

What's YOUR story? I'd love to hear it (or get links to your posts!) in the comments below. (:


  1. Good for you for figuring things out! Nobody is perfect, and healthy living happens one step at a time. I could really relate to this post-hopefully in a few weeks I'll have similarly good news about weight loss!

    1. Thanks Aurora! I hope so too! Good luck.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing that. I know that wasn't easy (probably) but btw, you look really really pretty in that picture :)
    I'm sorry that your dad said that to you. :(

    1. Thank YOU for reading! (: It wasn't easy.

  3. This is a truly inspiring post!
    I am so glad you posted it!
    I am so happy you are doing it the healthy way and girl, you look gorgeous!!!!
    Keep doing your healthy thing!

  4. I think you have your head really firmly planted on your shoulders and are going about all of this in a healthy and positive way! Life sometimes throws setbacks at you, so just keep your head up and keep up what you're doing :)

    1. Thank you Christine! I try to eat better every day (:

  5. My friend was in Chicago during the cold day too. So weird but cool!

    I'm glad you're taking time to figure everything out and get sorted. You are so inspiring. I'm sorry about your struggle with diabetes. Sometimes parents get caught up in the moment and say regrettable things.

    We have opposite food problems. For a while I was unintentionally not eating enough. I had a really busy schedule, too busy, so I would skip meals in order to complete something else. So, of course, I lost weight. (I'm 5'9 and I went from around 130 to 115, yeah, it was bad.) I had to start doing the opposite, looking at my foods and gaining. It's hard, but I've done it the healthy way, and I know am around 135-140 because I gained some muscle along the way! I KNOW you can do it! As long as you lose the healthy way, you will reach your goal! I (and tons of other people) are here to support you along the way if you ever need anything!

    Thanks for opening up in the post! I love long posts that really come from the heart. You are such a beautiful person inside and out. Remember that!

    1. Thank you so much Katherine! I'm SO glad you gained control of your weight. Andrew, one of my best friends, and my mom have all struggled with losing weight and dropping to a dangerously low BMI. It's a lot more common than people think, and more difficult to overcome too. I really hope I can reach my goal- your support means a lot. (:

  6. You are awesome and inspiring Emily! I've gone through my fair share of disordered eating and weight problems (I got to a scary low weight), and so I can relate. You are so gorgeous though and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! :)

    1. Thanks Sunnie! I count on your blog for healthy eating ideas. I'm glad you're finding a healthier balance too. (:

  7. Little my little, you WILL get to where you want to be! I think it's great that you're trying to lose weight in a healthy way and realize it will take time. I currently think I could benefit from a little weight gain so hopefully I will be as successful as you! I love that you say that you don't eat less, just smarter, and that you still enjoy ice cream (life is too short to go without it ;) ). You're going about it the right way and not depriving yourself.
    Remember, we are always here for you and to support you! :)

    1. Oh goodness, I tell myself that every day! I am so terrified of screwing up my metabolism by letting my calories get too low... but I also obviously don't want to eat too much! I hope you are successful too. I'm here if you need anything too! (: Thanks Alex.


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