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the first step

when i first met with the head of the eating and weight disorders program at mount sinai i knew immediately he was the doctor for me. he got it. he understood.

after two years of asking for help in overcoming an eating disorder only to be told i didn't have one, i had finally met someone with the information that would give me my life back. he talked science to me. and for a girl who'd never before liked science, it was suddenly the language of love--the salve for my soul.

obviously i had some pretty big issues at play and not everyone needs such a specialized doctor. but the things tom has imparted to me are basic and universal. they are bits of information not often talked about--things that everyone can benefit from.

from that very first day tom made it clear that, in terms of eating, we were gonna work very hard to eliminate any form of dieting or restrictions. that would in time eliminate binges. and eventually i would have the body of giselle bunchen. (oh wait, scratch that last one {figured i'd attempt to bring a little humor to the table, even if it's poorly-constructed}).

and so that is exactly what we did. i stopped counting points. i stopped guesstimating calories. i re-introduced all foods into my diet.

and there have been days, weeks where i think, oh if i limit just for this little bit of time--if i only consume this many calories--it'll be a jump-start for me. no harm done. 

those times of limit have never, ever led to any good.

i used to say that i'd know i was better when i got to the body i would've had had i never developed an eating disorder. and tom would chuckle and nod and say, there's no way for you to know what that body would be. that's an impossibility. and he was right, of course he was right, as always.

but i do feel i'm finally living in a body that is my own. a body sans all the extra pounds that binge upon binge piled on. and without dieting, without counting calories, without any of that it has taken me just about two-and-a-half years to get here.

yeah, i know, that's quite a bit of time. a lot of time, actually. well...but not really. not if you're thinking in terms of a whole life. better two-and-a-half-years than twenty of yo-yo dieting and unhappiness.

it takes time. there is no quick fix. health is an investment of time and money and hard work.

be patient. in the end, that extra time pays off in dividends.


Carrie Rosalind said...

This comes at a perfect time for me. I've been evaluating what I eat lately and have been eating healthier than in the past. I don't want to go on a "diet" persay, but know I need to have a healthier lifestyle. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

Cas said...

"i used to say that i'd know i was better when i got to the body i would've had had i never developed an eating disorder"

I used to say this too.
And then one day, I laughed.
A real, honest to goodness laugh.
Something so foreign to me at the time.
And while I laughed.
So did my wobbily bits.
And the thing was.
For the first time.
I was completely fine with that.
And that's when I knew.
I was better.
Wobbily, and all.


Taylor Yves said...

i'm thrilled for you. to feel healthy and at home in your own body ... on top of realizing that things just take time. fabulous.

city girl said...

I'm e-mailing you, Meg!

Irene said...

I know that you have no idea who I am, but I just wanted to say thank you for your honesty and your courage. It's beautiful to see (read).

...love Maegan said...

I'm glad you're healing ;)

Shelby Lou said...

I love you.

Seriously, you don't know me personally, but I love you. I wish everyone thought this way, or came to think this way, about dieting. I hate to diet. I couldn't count my calories if my life depeneded on it.

I'm not fat, or overweight, but I have gained a considerable amount of weight from my norm. All I know is that if I try, I will get better, I will loose weight and it won't be because I went on some crazy diet that limited me.

Plus, I love food.

Anyways, I love you for your thoughts, and your bravery. Thank you.

courtney said...

you are so inspiring. i'm really looking forward to reading these posts for your new tab. i really admire your attitude toward food (personally, as a social & political issue, etc.) it's something i need to work on & i really appreciate the information and perspective. so thank you!

communikate. said...


I wish that we could talk in person about this one. Your words about your NED in the past few years have spoken to me so often. I often feel myself nodding along in agreement to the words that sound so familiar.

How? How do you loose the weight without dieting? I obviously don't get it.

Please keep sharing.

Heavens knows I NEED it.
I'm so damn tired of that yo yo.

karajean said...

Do you not count being a vegetarian as restricting your food?

Anonymous said...

I found your blog over this past year (I'm also a Juilliard student!) and this post completely helped me understand what I went through, on a mini version, a few years ago. I always told myself it wasn't an eating disorder because I didn't lose very much weight, although I definitely tried to. I counted calories, restricted what foods I was "allowed" to eat, and then would have a day where I couldn't take it anymore (combined with the pressure of school) and binge like mad. Of course following that I would do worse, fewer calories allowed and such. I've stayed away from blogs since then because several pro-ana blogs fueled my eating restriction ideas, but I have to say that reading your blog and knowing we have walked the same hallways (different division's hallways, but close) is reassuring. Reading about you working through this is inspiring.

Carrie said...

great post! thanks for the inspiration and i hope you'll post more about your weight loss journey.

Jay said...

Some things are just worth waiting for!! I wish you nothing but love and happiness :)

chels.e. said...

congratulations on feeling well and healthy. eating, dieting, binging, etc. are all too common practices for most of us. i appreciate you taking the time to talk about it. more people should do so.
best of luck and happiness to you!

chloe said...

First, I so enjoy your blog on the whole. Second, thanks for posting this. I don't think people who haven't struggled with an eating disorder really get how hard it is to overcome. 2.5 years...I would call that fast.

Suzy said...

I'm glad you're sharing this, Meg. I definitely know what you mean, as mentioned in a previous post, re: providing fuel for ex-boyfriends, not being sure if the topic fits the overall theme, what to share/what not to share, etc. I think it's brave that you're sharing on this topic, and that your thoughts will help a lot of readers, me included!

-Maria- said...

Did you know stretch marks are often times caused by a zinc deficiency? Mental issues aren't always just in our heads, most of the time there's a nutritional problem contributing to the crazy making in our heads. Mainstream medicine isn't going to recognize this, holistic routes will be more apt to be aware of the whole body concept.