I contemplated whether this was even going to be a post that I would share. I was shaky just typing this. So much so, that it wasn’t even on my radar, scheduled in my line up or anything. It was half written on my desktop just staring at me (or as much as a lifeless document in a lifeless computer can do so). You see, this is something that I’ve spoken to some people about or some people may have inferred this just from knowing me, but I don’t really speak on it publicly, so I would say 90% of the people who know me don’t know this about me.
I am incredibly good at hiding this part of me (after many many many years of practice now), so if you have no clue what I am about to talk about, don’t feel bad. I don’t speak about it for several reasons and honestly I don’t really know why I am now nor do I really know where/how this post will go. If you’re reading this, then well here we go.
Most of the posts that we see relating to our bodies is all about body positivity and loving ourselves just as we are- in fact I’ll be touching on these subjects this coming month as the spring and summer seasons near. I am 100% ok with the whole body positivity and body empowerment and am all about loving your body exactly as it is, BUT I feel really drawn to sharing a story about myself. I would feel fraudulent speaking in May about body image and such without sharing the whole story and I figured now was as good a time as any.
I have struggled with an Eating Disorder.
I Still do.
For me it started as a desire to control the one thing I felt I could control at a very toxic, dysfunctional, chaotic time of my life. The obsession with my body later came shortly after. At the time, I simply felt so wildly out of control in my regular day to day, that I needed something to have total control over. That became my food. It didn’t even matter what I was eating, as long as I could control when, how much, and have total say over every aspect I felt better. Some days I wouldn’t eat anything at all. Somewhere deep down I knew that it wasn’t right, but it felt so much better and that was all that mattered.
About 4 months or so in I noticed a change in my body. I had been working out here and there and controlling everything that I ate, some days not eating anything at all. The little bit of weight I had put on after stopping a rigorous athletic activity had come off and then some. That was when everything turned for the worse. I have a very light, thin frame and most people are probably reading saying: “C’mon another thin girl, you don’t put on weight, are always so small, etc”, but for me I instantly noticed when my body was slimmer, the hips shrunk down a little, my tummy firmed back up. My mind had put two and two together and that is when the obsession started to go further than simply just needing to control something in my life.
I would go up and down, going back and forth between not eating a lot to pigging out and then promptly working out like crazy. I tended to stay more on the side of either not eating or not eating anywhere near enough. Anorexia. I became a professional hider and would hide everything from everyone and would go to great lengths to appear “normal”. Family trips or vacations I would act and eat like any other person would and then “pay” for it later on after getting home. As long as I looked “normal”. This is one aspect that I still struggle with now when I am having hard days.
I was at my worst for about 2 years. It’s now 11 1/2 years from starting down that unhealthy road. I won’t get into all of the details of what works for me or how I started healing in this post because I feel like this is already a really long post as it is. What works for me may not work for anyone else. That is the nature of eating disorders. Also, what worked for me at my worst is different from what works for me now. I’m at a different point in my life so my recovery has altered with where I am at now.
While I am definitely at my healthiest now (both mentally and physically) and have been overall for a little over 7 years, I still have struggles all the time. Some days are much much worse than others, but I have an amazing support system around me (even if they don’t realize it) and I have the tools to deal with those days-which are more frequent than I truly care to admit. I know that this is going to be an ongoing journey and struggle and I am trying to be more open about it.
So that’s it. Feels weird getting to the end of this post. I’m sure this has just been all over the place. If you’ve read all the way through, thank you for reading.