Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pushing the shine

Muchos gracias Marina, Carolyn, Amy, Sabrina, Alycia, and James. You guys are cool.

I was up until five AM last night because I was sick. I'd go into details about that but it's pretty gross and requires some backstory, so I won't go into that yet. So I woke up at two in the afternoon today, which I hate.

I rolled off of my couch (I always sleep there when I'm not feeling good), and opened my MacBook to find an intimidating amount of Facebook notifications. Most of them had to do with that "25 Facts" meme that's going around. Amy and I got invited to a "Beach Day!" with a bunch of people from JJ's party, and I'd really like to go. I barely know these people, but they were so much fun that night so I'd really like to go. I'll go if Amy goes. Because I'd need a ride anyway.

Well, after sifting through all of my internet junk, I took a shower and made my FTFK video, sans makeup and without even drying my hair. And now I'm writing this blog and on the recliner in my living room while my sister watches the Tinker Bell movie. I'm not really paying attention, but from what I can tell, it looks extremely weird.

Today I need to mail Michelle's letter. I wrote it when I said I would, I've just been so distracted I haven't actually gotten around to mailing it. And now I'm not even sure of it's exact location.

Okay so, since I'm not going to be doing anything fun until later tonight (it's currently 6:18 PM) I guess I'll take this moment to discuss my aforemetioned health issues. I've kind of touched on them before, but I've never really discussed any of it at great length anywhere on the internet.

This is a really touchy subject for me, but it doesn't bother me as much anymore seeing as I've grown out of it, for the most part.

I have always had issues with food and/or my weight/body image. Always. And I don't think that's very strange or unusual for girls my age. From what I've seen, I think it's a lot more common than people think and I don't think there's any one set cause.

Starting when I was eleven, I began this cycle of bingeing and purging. I would basically eat a ton of food as fast as I could, and then throw it all up. The common misconception with bulimia is that it's always done by insecure white girls to lose weight. While that's definitely true in some of the cases, it doesn't apply to all of them, including mine. My issue with throwing up was more of a coping mechanism. When something upset me- issues with my mother mainly, but sometimes even something as small as a bad grade would trigger it- it was my way of releasing that. It made me feel better. I didn't understand why I did it, I just knew that nobody could know about it, and that while I hated that I had this secret, I still loved doing it. Not only did I get emotional satisfaction from throwing up, I also got literally high off of it. It would leave me feeling dizzy and in a dream-like state for up to an hour after I actually vomited.

I kept this up for around four years. I would go through phases where I would try to stop, but that never lasted. The effects it had on my health were impossible to ignore, and my mom nearly always had me in the doctor's office, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. My symptoms included constipation, constant abdominal and chest pain, irregular heartbeat, problems with my skin and hair, swelling in my cheeks and face, gross fingernails, and indigestion. I was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and took medicine for it for a year.

When high school rolled around, I started to make friends. I was still very shy and awkward, but it was right around the time I entered my "scene" phase, so the way I dressed and the odd colors I put in my hair made friends for me. I was able to open up more than I had before. It got hard to hide it from my friends, especially when they started noticing the weirdness. Eventually, I told one girl who I was very close to. She swore up and down she wouldn't say anything. And she kept her promise, for a while. But, as it so often happens in tenth grade, I made her mad and she told. Which led to the information getting to one of my teachers, and then to one of the guidance counselors, and then to my mom...

It was really easy to convince my mom that it was just a stupid rumor, and she was definitely not willing to believe that her little girl would do such a thing, but she still kept a closer eye on my eating habits and remained suspicious, just in case.

And then one day my little sister told my mother that she had seen me throwing up, and all hell broke loose, pretty much. I got in big trouble. She yelled at me and threatened to take the locks off the bathroom doors and kept me under total surveillance for a few days, and I suppose she thought that that'd be enough to sort of scare me out of it, like it was just some stupid phase or something I was doing for attention or to be skinny. And I can't blame her. She didn't know that I had been doing it for four years, she didn't know why I was doing it, and I didn't try and tell her, because I didn't know how. I didn't know what was wrong with me either.

So, it all died down for a while. I returned to my old ways. And I was more careful than ever to hide it. It became a little game I played. I pushed my limits, seeing just how much food I could eat and how quickly, challenging myself. I even taught myself to do it with no hands. I loved the feeling it gave me. Throwing up made me feel clean and happy.

Meanwhile, while this was all going on, I was dealing with other issues at home that were contributing to this problem that I had, and I'm not going to go into that (my family drama can be another blog for another day...) which, ultimately resulted in my moving out of my mom's house and moving in with my dad who I barely knew. Taking control of my life like that empowered me in a way I'd never even thought possible. And it was at that moment, I decided that once I moved in with my father, I would start a completely new life and never make myself throw up again.

I decided I'd have one last ceremonial binge, just for old times sake. I wanted to make it count. I remember that night like it just happened. I had three pieces of cold pizza, a bag of mini powdered donuts, two bags of Doritos, Apple Jacks, strawberry ice cream, bread and peanut butter, and at least a dozen Oreos. I followed it all up with a can and a half of Dr. Pepper, and got rid of it right there in the kitchen sink. All in under thirty minutes. I felt like such a champ.

After moving in with my dad, I had to fight very hard to keep up with my vow. I slipped up pretty frequently the first few months. But I did break the habit. I started writing my feelings out more. It also helped that I was out of the poisonous environment I was in before, and I was finally allowed to live life as a normal teenager.

I still get the urge to purge sometimes. The craving is still there. The only way I can really describe it to you is that, I feel like all the evil inside of me lives in my stomach. And I just want to clean it out. All the bad feelings and hurt, I want it gone. I have this fascination with pumpkin scrapers, I've always wanted to use one on the inside of my stomach. It's disgusting, I know. And I don't understand it either. But I've come to accept it. And I've learned other ways of dealing with those bad emotions, you know?

Anyway. Backtracking some to when I first moved in with my father, when I stopped (for the most part) throwing up and started eating normally, my weight skyrocketed. Now, while I hadn't been exactly happy with my body when I was throwing up, the throwing up was never directly related to my weight. But the sudden weight gain at the beginning of eleventh grade really threw me off. I was at 140 at my highest point, which isn't bad, but it wasn't what I was used to and it had a terrible effect on my confidence. My weight eventually evened itself back out to 130, which is actually a very healthy weight, but I wasn't happy. I stayed at that 130 mark until my senior year, when I started dating Posh Spice.

Now, Posh Spice and I had had some issues prior to us dating that I won't go into, involving some other girls and that sort of thing, and they carried over into our relationship and had a pretty devastating effect on both my self-esteem and our relationship.

Then one day, in January, five months into our relationship, I decided I was going to go on a diet, to fix myself and to be thin and "good enough" for him, because, my mind was that warped and messed up. So, I went on a crash diet. I ate under 800 calories a day, and lost 20+ pounds in less than three months. And even though I am now more happy and confident with my body size and shape than I ever have been, it has really taken it's toll on my health, which was the original point of this post.

The bad side effects started while I was dieting. I constantly had a headache. I always had hunger pains, always. I was always fatigued. I never felt good and never had energy to do any of the things I wanted to. I lost my period. It also affected on me emotionally. I was constantly irritable. It was like PMS-ing all of the time. The smallest things would set me off, I would start crying at the drop of a hat or get really mad at everyone around me for no reason. I pushed a lot of people away, and it caused a lot of friction between me and Posh Spice. The time period where I was dieting, from January to March, is what I consider our "rough patch". We still fought less than most couples, and the fights never lasted very long, but it was always over the smallest, most insignificant things. And I knew I was doing it, but I couldn't help it. I didn't know what was wrong with me, and that freaked me out even more and made things even worse. I know for a fact that this contributed a lot to our breakup, even though this "rough patch" had been over for a month when we split.

Now, while the emotional side effects have long since subsided, the physical ones have gotten worse. I am now back to the severe constipation I used to have when I threw up, only somehow it's worse. I only "go" once a week, at most (sorry if that's too much information, haha). I suffer from telogen effluvium, which is the fancy medical name for what's causing my hair to fall out (I started taking prenatal vitamins about a week ago, by the way, hopefully I will start seeing an improvement soon) and I have to drown my skin in lotion to keep it from drying out. My nails are brittle, my stomach always hurts, and my metabolism is completely messed up.

Back in April, May and early June, I used to have really violent reactions to stress or too much physical activity. Like if I had a really busy day or did something really strenuous (like spending six hours outside in the sun or doing too much on too little sleep or food) I would get really sick and start throwing up. But I pushed through that and I've gotten better, through eating healthier and getting more sleep.

So. That's why I was up until four last night. I had to poop. It's something that should be so simple, yet for me, it causes pain for hours beforehand.

This whole journey I've been on, while it's played a big part in who I am, is not something I'm proud of. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, because it's something I feel personally responsible for. I didn't know how to control my emotions or my life and I paid for it with my health. So if anyone out there is going through something similar, do what you can to get out now. I promise you it's worth it. If you have an eating disorder and you don't know how to find your way out, get some professional help. I wish, more than anything, my mother had thrown me in therapy the minute she found out about my issues. I feel like I would have gotten out a lot quicker and cleaner if I had gotten professional help. And if you're on a crazy crash diet like I was, stop it. It's not worth it.

So yeah. This blog entry was probably the hardest I've ever had to write, but I'm glad I wrote it. It's information that I feel needs to get out there. It's also extremely long, and I doubt most of you will read the whole thing. But I got it out of my system, and that's all I really wanted.

Now I'm off to go do something fun. I love you guys, a lot.

Weight: 112.4
Twitter followers: 952
Why today is awesome: Eloise is on Disney Channel! Yeeeeauhhh.


  1. Wow. I know you don't want us to feel sorry for you but.. you have gone through some hell of a life so far. I almost feel grateful for my own and thats something I would never usually say believe me. You sound like such a strong person. And to get through that by yourself, without profesional help, is amazing. Stay stong Breezer :)

  2. i really don't even know how to start off this comment without just right away saying how i'm so proud of you and inspired by you. all of what you wrote must have brought back those memories of not the greatest times in your life. like how you described it with you and posh, that "rough patch" except it's not just a rough patch of that relationship, but instead of your life. the whole throwing up, eating issues, after effects, just all that seems horrible and just way too much for someone to deal with. especially without any professional help of some sort. but even without that, you managed to get past most of that and end the bad habit. like you said, the whole hair loss, constipation, and things like that still happen, but from what i see, you've managed to turn around your life and make it better. prior to this blog, i've always found you to be someone to idolize for your positive attitude and happiness, but now with knowing more about your background of life, i just idolize you even more. sorry if that's weird or anything. just how you were able to do so much and get though all that mostly by yourself is incredible. like, you've been to such a bad point in life, and changed a good majority of that now and got yourself out of the bad, which i find very admirable. i know you're still having the side effects of what had happened, but just hopefully someday they'll stop or occur less. but until then, i hope you still stay in control of everything and stay positive.

  3. Hi Bree,
    I've been subscribed to you since your fiveyoungergirls days and well into when you started FTFK. I started reading your blog when you started it but I've never commented because I never knew what to say... but this entry made me rather emotional.
    I just wanted to tell you that you are a wonderful person and I'm so glad you're doing much better now. For as long as I can remember I've been extremely interested in eating disorders (like when we get to pick research paper topics in a science class I always go for an eating disorder and like I spent a whole day watching HBO's documentary called "Thin"). Even though some of the things you said made me feel cringe-y, it's really eye-opening that so many girls like you go through this. Once again I am so glad to hear that you're feeling better. I'm really, really proud of you.


  4. Wow. You really have come far!
    I hope it felt good to write that all out, and say what you feel.
    I hope you have fun tonight!

  5. Hi Bree,
    I just wanted to say at first I was a little upset by the fact that you never really got professional help and that your problem had to have been drawn out for so long. But everyone has problems of their own (I used to be addicted to cough syrup and was sort of obsessed with fire and burning myself) so I can definitely relate. But I'm very glad that you've gotten better (:
    I am extremely jealous of you. You're beautiful, you have gorgeous hair, and you have an envy-worthy petite figure that I would kill for. I'm sorry that you didn't go about losing weight the wrong way and you have to deal with the complications now, but everything's a learning experience. Just remember, nobody has everything perfectly under control. It's okay to slip up a few times (:
    lots of love,
    ps- eloise? score!

  6. Dear Bree,
    I read through your whole post, twice. I'm am so sorry and I hate lift and sympathy more then anything but I still feel incredibly bad. In some ways I know how it feels, I could never completely know because I an not you but I can relate. I punish myself by not eating. If I get a bad grade or when my mother calls me fat (I'm sixteen years old and have never been over 100 pounds). I constantly feel like I just need to puke all the bad feeling away. I am a self-dstructive person. I am addicted to medicine, cutting, anything that makes me feel alive and that I am in control of something. I have tried to commit suicide several times and think about it almost everyday. I have insomnia amoungst other things. When I was twelve a guy took away my innocence and then I proceeded in a year long abusive relationship with him. I have raised my brother and sister and my home life isn't the best. I could go on but I don't need sympathy as well. I just want to say you are and inspiration and a beautiful girl. Truth be told, I have always been jealous of you.
    Keep being strong.

  7. I enjoyed reading this, that sounds weird. It's hard to believe that you pulled through all of this by yourself. I'd never be able to do that. You go girl. That sounds lame.

  8. hi bree i enjoyed reading that a lot. I don't know, i just feel that I'm knowing you more, and I think you're a really strong person. These kind of stuff isn't easy to be expressed to the world and you did it, which i'm sure is gonna be very inspirational to girls out there. I'm glad you're having a healthy lifestyle and diet now, keep it up!

    p.s. i love you a hundred times more now i know about your relationship with harry potter

  9. Hi, i have never commented on any of your blogs even though i have read them all. You have been through so much yet you are still a strong person. Your an insperation(i proably spelt that wrong). Peace and Love,

  10. Oh wow Bree. That blog nearly made me cry. I'm so glad you can look back on everything, and realize to yourself that it wasn't healthy, most people can't do that. It just shows what a courageous person you are. and right now my level of respect and looking up to you is beyond high. your just amazing <3

  11. Bree,
    I was also obsessed with my weight; not as severely as you but enough to feel guilty when I was over a few pounds than the day before...I got down to 125 after compulsively weighing myself(I'm 5'5) daily. To be honest, I wanted to weigh 120 pounds.I started out around 140 before going vegetarian and as I was easing myself off meat/going vegetarian officially, I went down to about 135 then dropped 10 pounds between NaNoWriMo and New Years.

    There's a large difference between being healthy and losing weight I've noticed; sure I felt good(I was eating right and exercising) to be 125 but being scale compulsive was horrible. I regained about 6 pounds about a month after being 125 yet shaved off a good twenty seconds off my mile time; doing at least a mile a day and a amazing 66.5 miles while doing around 51k in 19 days(NaNoWriMo) along with 17 workouts helped...the scale might've mentally boosted my mood but not physically. I stopped weighing myself and started judging on how my clothing feels while trying to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. About a month after doing that, I shaved FORTY seconds off my mile time. For the first time ever, I was down to a 9:31 mile time. It didn't matter I wear a size nine pant or probably weigh over 130 again but the fact I was wearing a pair of pants that were once tight on me and could even slip them off without unbuttoning them or unzipping them but the fact that I felt healthy. Sure I might consider myself "fat" but as long as you accept your body for what it is and give it proper nourishment, your body will love you back. I'm continuing to grow up in a naturally healthy household(my mom is a 17 year breast cancer survivor) with no processed food whatsoever, vegetables with dinner always(siblings and I used to fight over last piece of broccoli), and nothing with high fructose corn syrup in it is purchased by my parents. I'm the only vegetarian in the house and my parents will literally freak out if they see me not eating much and my mom will even do the Jewish mother guilt thing. Recently started baking to satisfy these cravings for these foods(made poptarts from scratch this week) as cooking healthy vegetarian food branched off to this.My mom force fed me meat up to two months before me officially refusing to eat it and tried sneaking it into my diet the first three months of me being a vegetarian along with teasing by the rest of my household...that was a year ago. I tried joining a vegetarian/vegan fourm after becoming vegetarian but they were so cruel to you if you disagreed with anything they said, I almost stopped being vegetarian multiple times for the first month or so and actually found my own ways to be a successful vegetarian after quiting those horrid fourms. Teasing has stopped, my vegetarian food is more appealing to my die hard meat eater sister than my mothers food, and I feel better in general. I guess I could give my healthier diet changes/actually exercising almost every day to going vegetarian as I just felt...cleaner. My junk food "binges" may not seem too unhealthy to some people but for me like my recent five day junk binge, it's a lot.I guess that was a bit of unnecessary information to you, but we both come from more similar backgrounds than appealing to the generic person...YOU AREN'T ALONE!

  12. (Continued)
    I've been watching you on FTFK for a little over a year now(bit stalkerish but welcome to the internet) and you've never seemed to be the type to struggle with what you've struggled with. Whatever that doesn't kill you is what makes you stronger and this clearly is the case with you. And been pondering how to respond to this blog post for a while, here's the best solution I came up with to help you...why? Because I might be a lurking Youtube viewer that happens to be four years younger than you or so but like all your other viewers and your Youtube family, I care about your overall wellbeing. Stop weighing yourself. Quit obsessing over your weight. Leave your weight out of your blog post. Remove the scale from your life. People can't tell what you weigh or your pant size like they can tell your personality...your weight is only a number. Numbers don't define people but people define themselves. You have a beautiful personality that doesn't matter if your body is a bit more padded than it was in the past. There's healthy pounds(muscle weight) like there's healthy fats. I promise you Bree, quit weighing yourself and judge on how your clothes fit and you'll feel hell of a lot better.
    Justine(feel free to email me about anything at