I always had a lot of issues with food, I will discuss everything in details in another post. But the fact is that I was was bulimic since I was 14, up until I turned 21, except for one single year where I was actually anorexic. My weight fluctuated all the time, so one day you would see me somewhat healthy looking (I was never skinny though, just normal), and later you would see me and find me
overweight. That lasted for many many years. While fighting bulimia I came upon this magical surgery, the only surgery I ever had in my entire life, the stomach band. It seemed perfect, just what I needed. I was desperate, depressed, and in deep need to find my way out. I had the stomach band when I was 21, and kept it on until I finally had it removed last November, something I was waiting for desperately for the last 2-3 years during which I had my stomach band opened to the max due to stress and my inability to drink water or even swallow my own saliva. I gained a lot of weight, a total of 50 kilos! 20 kgs over the heaviest weight I had ever been.
In 2013 was just out of a relationship, and emotionally and psychologically I was a real mess, and had been for years, so I decided that for the next year I will not diet, I will not worry about what I should eat and what I should not eat, I will just live, be normal, happy, and in peace with who I am. I gained 10 kilos (1/2 of the twenty mentioned earlier), but I didn't care, I just needed the time. I focused on myself, and on reacquainting myself with the idea of having meals, as apposed to what the stomach band teaches you (to eat constantly since you can barely eat and need energy to survive). The inability to swallow with the stomach bands causes the person to binge on chocolates, sugary drinks, and general things that are easy to swallow, and since you don't gain weight with the stomach band, you don't really feel the sin of it all. My decision was to start taking care of what I eat after the summer, but my world was upside down for quite some time, and every time i start trying to focus on what I should eat something dramatic happened that would keep me away from home, be it an accident of a very close family member, a death of a dear relative, or many other things. There was never a chance to be at home and set my world straight, focus on what I need to do, manage my meals, and find a way to lose weight healthily. I was determined to lose weight healthily since all through my teenage years and adult life I was always losing weight unhealthily, and I was done with that, I needed to do whats right. While struggling with my own eating habits at home, trying to bring in a healthy system for myself, I saw a friend's post on Facebook who seemed to be doing exactly what I am trying to do. I texted her and she told me about this retreat, but it wasn't available for a couple of months so I had to wait. It was expensive I must admit so I had to have the permission of my parents, but I was super excited to go. While waiting for this fasting retreat to happen I came across a yoga retreat that was days away and lasted only for a couple of days, which was very convenient. I also stumbled upon my best friend traveling to Morroco to climb the highest mountain there asking me to join her, and that was really exciting too, but then I had to weigh my options, I know it would be unrealistic and greedy to ask to go to everything, not only were they expensive, but I had also never ever in my life traveled on my own.
I decided to go to the yoga retreat since I really needed the change and hadn't done any yoga since 2008 maximum, it seemed like a great opportunity, and it really was. I enjoyed every moment of it, stayed for hours staring at the nile, inhaling the beauty of nature, thinking about absolutely nothing, letting go of all the stress stored deep inside me trying to burst out. I cried for no reason, twice, during yoga, which only proved further how much I needed this. I came back feeling reborn, inspired, in love with life, and loving the whole world and everyone in it. I wrote a long Facebook status for new year expressing my new found self and summing up my life. This is the status I wrote: (below it is the rest of my story)
" I've had huge chunks of sadness and disappointments. I've been depressed, insecure, unhappy, and broken. I fought years of severe depression, trying to stand up on my own feet and falling back down into a deep dark hole, and lost friends along the way who never even realized I was ever even depressed. I've had countless battles with food disorders, trying to be perfectly perfect even if i risk my own health, and was complimented for it. I've been painfully shy to an extent where I became my own obstacle. I've had my heart broken, my soul wounded, and my mind overwhelmed. I lived my life trying to make everyone pleased, trying my very best to not disappoint anyone, even if by doing so I'd be disappointing myself. I apologized, made up, and forgave without receiving any apologies, even when I was the one who was torn to pieces. I've had my heart broken, abused, stepped on, stabbed, shattered, torn, and bombed. I tried letting go of everything, caring about nothing so that nothing can break me, and spent so much time starring emptily at a TV or computer screen just to pass time and let go of life, as though I was trying to let my life pass me by intentionally. I've waisted years of my life on nothing but pain, loneliness, and sadness. 2013 might have not been a great year on many aspects, but it is the year I chose to realize the truth. It is the year I had for myself, the year I decided to be selfish, to put myself ahead of others and do what I need to do to be able to survive, breath, and live. During this year I have cried so many times, perhaps more times than I cried during my entire life, I felt miserably lonely, and hopeless. But during this very year I learned about myself, realized my weaknesses as well as my strengths, overcame my fears, forgave myself, loved myself, cared for myself, and found peace within myself. I didn't wait to lose weight to start exercising, I just decided to go. I stayed single despite my great inability to be single for long. I went on a yoga retreat, even though I'm far from fit, hadn't done any yoga for 5 years, had to travel alone, didn't know anyone in the group, I sang out loud even though I never sing in front of people (i even always pretend to be singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY with no sound coming out), and I even cried infront of my yoga group (TWICE) even though I've never ever cried in front of my best friends before despite all what they've seen me go through. 2013 was my way back from hell, it paved my pathway to inner freedom, love, and peace. While 2013 witnessed my most tears, it also witnessed my strength, independence, self actualization, the year that witnessed me finding myself lovable, valuable, worthy, useful, and most of all witnessed me gaining faith in myself. In 2013 I met so many wonderful people that helped me one way or another, and they might not even know that they helped me. 2013 started with me hating myself, hating life, and even hating people, and is ending with me actually and literally finding myself. I am hopeful, filled with love, faith, and renewed energy. I didn't meet my goal weight before the year ended, I'm far from doing a yoga headstand, I'm partially unemployed, I'm indeed financially broke, and I didn't even fall in love, but I am happy and grateful to have had the chance to work on myself, and was blessed with the opportunity to do so. I am grateful to God, my parents, family, best friends, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who in one way or another helped me. Thank you all for everything you have done, or did not do, consciously or unconsciously, that in one way or another helped me through and helped me be. HAPPY NEW YEAR! :) "
When I came back front the retreat I was not only reborn, but I was ready to make real changes to my life, to my diet, ready to be a new and better person. And so I did, I changed my habits, starting eating mostly fruits and vegetables, day in day out eating fish or salmon, and used a home made salad dressing. I avoided bread, rice, and pasta. I still had my morning cappuccino, but everything else was changed. I would spoil my diet every Friday when I visited my grandma and aunt, eat whatever I wanted including dessert, I thought its a good idea since I will be dieting for a very long time to be back to my norm. I lost weight slowly but surely, and in a month or less I had lost 4 kilos, a dot in an ocean, but still progress, progress that I was proud of. I did not get bored of what I was eating which was a great sign. I was even having fruit smoothies, and healthy home made icecream made of bananas. I was happy and content with my diet.
As the days passed I became more unsure if I was going to the retreat or not, and I started losing hope. First it was waiting for my dad's acceptance, and when I finally accepted two weeks away from the retreat, I called to book and was told they were fully booked, infact overbooked, and if anything changes they will let me know. I heard nothing from them for many days and started losing all hope, until Monday morning, 24th of Feb, I got a message saying "pack your bags!" I jumped with joy, ran to my parents and informed them and started planning for my trip. There was so much to do, book my flight, wash and iron my clothes, transfer the retreat's money, and so on. I was meant to travel on the 28th! Which meant I was super tight on time. I did my best and finally made it to the retreat :) a retreat that I need to push me further towards changing my life.