Before I started the show I certainly had disordered eating and major food issues, that is how I got up to 355 pounds. However, when I started the show I truly did desire to be healthy and balanced and it started that way. When I transitioned from regular healthy weight loss mode into eating disorder mode I didn’t really realize it at the time. It happened about 8 months into the show. I just figured weight was my biggest battle in life and I had to take drastic measures to keep the weight loss going and make sure the weight stayed off. It is just so easy to justify anything in your mind if you want to. I also would read research to support my new way of life. You can also find research to support almost anything you want to do as well. I read about the benefits of fasting, severe calorie restriction, and hours of exercise. Between the extreme pressure of the show, me rationalizing my decisions with my online research I truly convinced myself that this was just my new way of life and the “Jacqui Plan” path I had to take to get healthy.
So many people ask me what eating disorder I had. Mine didn’t fit into a nice little box. I didn’t have anorexia, or bulimia, orthorexia, or binge eating disorder. I had a mix of many different symptoms that placed me in the category that so many undiagnosed or undiscovered eating disorders fall into: Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). I had no idea this category even existed at the time. So because I was losing weight, not under weight, and didn’t fit nicely into one of the well known eating disorder categories I truly didn’t know the new “weight loss system” I developed was a problem.
After a few months of my new regime I started to feel unwell, lose hair, lost my period, my normally oily skin became dry, and I was depressed. It made no sense to me. I was losing weight. I was the smallest I had ever been in my life., why didn’t I feel my best? My final weigh in was almost here and I would be exactly where I thought I wanted to be. Why was I struggling so much?
To be continued…