Miss Ludington Area talks about her challenges with eating disorder.

April 20, 2015
Miss Ludington Area 2015, Marie MacDonnell. Photography by Sue Brown.

Miss Ludington Area 2015, Marie MacDonnell. Photography by Sue Brown.

Miss Ludington Area organizing body-peace/disorder support group. 

Begins: Thursday, April 23 at The Bookmark, Rath Ave. and Loomis St. in Ludington. 

By Marie Macdonnell, Miss Ludington Area.

Freshmen year of college came up on me a lot faster than I had ever anticipated it to. The many schools, applications, comparison charts, tuition deadlines, the reality of change, the unkown….it was all too much for me. I was a hockey girl, built as such, but when I’d stopped playing the year before my senior year, my athleticism wasn’t nearly as apparent as it had always been. So when freshmen year of college rolled around, I made a goal. I would lose the “freshman 15” instead of gain it, and I would accomplish it through a healthy diet and exercise regimen.

For those of you who love math, which I only loved the weight losing kind, there are 3,500 calories in a pound. At a rate of a 500 calorie deficit a day, 7 days a week, I could lose just that! One entire pound! If I was strict and forced myself to adhere to the bigger picture goal, I could essentially lose the weight before Christmas rolled around. It was sick and twisted how much I became a temporary mathematician simply to produce an idealized body image. Five-hundred calorie deficits became 1,000 calorie deficits, and eventually I found myself consuming 425 calories a day and exercising two hours minimum at the gym. Two pounds a week, the “weight-losing high”, the obsession derived from my compulsion. It was no longer smart.

Healthy foods like quinoa, homemade nut butters, and frozen yogurt foods often epitomized became my “fear foods”. I would cry when family wanted to eat, and claim that I wasn’t actually all that hungry. After unsuccessfully trying to coax me into eating, I would settle for my lettuce, and push it around until the family finished their food.

I was hit with a reality check. It came down quick, and it was brutal and it was honest. Every day I make a mental thank you to the person that gave it to me, because it led me to hate them. I can’t say it enough, but eating disorders will drive you to the ends of the earth in the shoes of someone that aren’t yours. They take away your life, your every thoughts, the relationships you have, and they take away who you are. For me, I was led to despise the ones that loved me the most, and those relationships take time to heal.

This Thursday, I invite you who are suffering from some form of a body peace-war within yourselves. We are all warriors in this together, whether we self-mutilate through physical harm such as cutting or depriving ourselves of food, or we psychologically harm ourselves through negative self-talk. I ask you to join me so that we can fight this together. This is a completely confidential meeting, and I want people to feel welcome to come and find wellness and strength in numbers (not in pounds but in people). We are a community! So let’s come together and unite.

If you have any questions, call 231-690-0436 or email macdonc7@ferris.edu