Food diary by a borderline lightweight rower

Written by a 136.8 lb athlete who describes herself as “Borderline Lightweight”

3/22/01
OK, so today I am starting this journal b/c today is when the lightweight aspect of lightweight rowing really starts. Today we had our weigh-in with one week and one day left until our official weigh-ins @ Kenecht Cup=130. Right. And today I weighed in @ 142. Right. …[the coaches] think I’m 139 which is 9 pounds over what I’m supposed to be in 8 days. But I don’t know how to tell them that it’s not that it’s not that I’ve been lazy, but rather it’s all I think about, food dominates my thoughts. It preoccupies my mind. I try to lose weight. I run all the time, I’m always exhausted, but I can’t control my eating. I’ll be really good for a while, but I can’t hold out and I binge. But no more-[the head coach] said I have to weigh in or we don’t race. So, of course they’re condoning the fact that I have 9 pounds to lose. Hey, it’s my fault, right?

3/26/01
Well, the weekends over, my worst time for eating. But of course I’m 141, and only 4 days to go. I guess it’s starvation mode.

A borderline lightweight rower
A borderline lightweight rower

3/27/01
Today sucked. But I think it’ll be OK. Today I found out that Kenecht Cup is 135, not 130. And I’m 139, only 4 pounds away. But I told [the coach] before I found out that I wouldn’t lose 9 pounds in a week, I didn’t want to set that example.

3/29/01
Well, it’s Thursday night, the night before weigh-ins. I haven’t eaten since dinner yesterday. I went for a 45-minute sweat run, and I’m 137. I need to weigh-in. I need to. After all the controversy I went through to get into the boat for this race. I’m so thirsty that I don’t care anymore about the hunger. I can’t sleep because these feelings seem to me to be tearing apart my insides. Tell me again why I do this?

3/31/01
So it’s Saturday night, can’t talk long…but I made weight (yeah!) after 2 sweat runs (I snuck out this morning for the 1st one-I don’t want to alarm my boat). That’s another thing. I hate the looks I get from people….like they know that I’ve been rowing lightweight for 7 years now and I just don’t know anything else. Like they know what it is like to be completely obsessed with food. Right…

4/1/01
So it’s Sunday night. I love how I always promise that I’ll be good. I won’t binge after weigh-ins, but I invariably always do. I wish I could control my eating. So here goes a week of non-eating…

4/5/01
Not much to say about this week. Haven’t eaten more than 500 calories in one day. I am running on nothing. It’s my first time weighing in at 130, and I hope to God I make it. I promised [my coach] I would, that it’d be no problem, because I’m afraid that if she knew what I really went through I wouldn’t be allowed to row lightweight. And then what? But how can she not know? I’m wearing size 2 clothes I haven’t worn since H.S. And I’m still 132 in the am after running, on a scale that is 2 pounds light. I really hate this.

4/7/01
So I didn’t make weight today. You know, I’ve never done that. I’ve never gotten on that scale come race day and not made it. I guess there’s got to be a first for everything, right? And I know why, too. I had another first-I binged the night before a race. I couldn’t control myself. I’ve never gotten that close to giving it all up. But…all the great food was there, and I couldn’t control it. So I did it and I weighed 138. I did situps, about 300. I tried to go to bed at 12:30, but I was so worked up and nervous that I couldn’t. so @ 1:30am, as drunk people were walking home from the bars, I went for a 6 mile sweat run. I was 134 when I got back. Then, I got up @ 4:00 am and went for an 11 mile sweat run. The more horrible/ grueling experience of my life…wasn’t even @ weight [afterwards]. Went to the race where [the coach] weighed us in. I was 132.2. I had the worst feeling. I became nauseous. Luckily, no one from [the other team] weighed in so nothing came of it. Only [my coach’s] disappointment.

4/8/01
Today, after not eating at all since the race, nor drinking at all, and sweat running, I weighed in @ 131.7 @ the honorary weigh-ins by [the coach] before we raced. Only .4 less than yesterday, after all that pain. What am I going to do for next week?

4/16/01
OK, so it has been a week since I’ve written. I’m sorry. I just can’t deal with it anymore. Last week killed me, it really did. Of course I binged last Sunday night. So all this week, I ate nothing. I biked 52 miles and ran 45. I stopped eating Wednesday night, drank 1 cup of coffee Thursday morning, to weigh in at 127.9 on Friday. People kept telling me how gross I looked. My roommates hated it. After weigh-ins, I ate a good dinner, but ate nothing but s*** Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I couldn’t stop myself. And I kept saying since we didn’t have weigh-ins the next weekend, that I’d deal with it later. But that’s what kills me. How the hell am I going to do this for 2 more months?

4/18/01
Today sucked! Found out that…we have to weigh-in Saturday @ 130 or no seat race and then we have to erg test! So I called [the coach] and told her I wasn’t going to weigh-in, I was forfeiting my right to a seat race. I told her what I’ve been going through in a plea for her to tell me not to row lightweight. But of course she said it’s my decision. How can she expect me to say I won’t do it? I have too many pressures. I’m not that strong.

4/19/01
[The coach] came up, said even though she knows it’s the wrong decision, she needs me to row lightweight. Right.

4/23/01
Monday morning, of course I’m 138. 130 by Saturday. Yeah…..Don’t know what else to say. Same ole s*** every Monday. Binge all weekend, starve all week.

4/25/01
So today is my last journal entry because today ends my time as a lightweight. All done. After 7 years, time to give up.

4/29/01
So I lied. This is my last entry. But now it’s really all over. Done. Last weigh-in, more painful than ever. Really, for the first time, it made me truly, deeply glad that I’m done. I just can’t do it anymore. I just can’t. Now I have to decide for next year-what am I going to do?????

One thought on “Food diary by a borderline lightweight rower

  1. Gabrielle says:

    reading that really shocked me – that your life can become an obsession over one thing that you can do long term damage to your body by becoming so obsessed. You will look back in a few years and wonder why you did it …. please wake up and start living your life happily

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