Recovery from an Eating Disorder
Kick your heels up— for healthy transformations!
The Dark Road
Over 10 years ago — wow already a decade!– I struggled with an eating disorder. It was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I vividly remember some of the lowest lows of my experience: the foggy brain that was starving for fuel; the fights with my family members when they would buy the wrong food or express their concerns for me; the obsession with weight checking and finding ways to manipulate my food. What started with just a few bouts of dieting and restrictive eating—-eventually lead to a full-blown eating disorder. Nothing traumatic happened in my life that led me to an eating disorder– unless perhaps you consider the environment we live in a tragedy for all young girls? My Type A, perfectionist personality, which helps me excel in many areas of my life- wasn’t exactly helpful for the young, slightly overweight me. See, I was an overweight child. When I started to hit my adolescent years, I felt like I was different than the rest of my peers. Magazines constantly talking about dieting to lose weight, thin models covering the front of every piece of literature I could find. I was growing up in the 1990’s when yo-yo dieting was normal, and thin was in.
I grew up learning to hate my body because it didn’t look pretty like the images I saw on TV, in movies, or plastered all over magazines. Years and years of telling myself I wasn’t ENOUGH, I wasn’t pretty enough, thin enough, therefore I wasn’t valuable enough… eventually led to one of the darkest lows of my life. I felt like I was trapped in a huge dark hole in the earth. I hated it. I was miserable, but I was stuck. I was stuck telling myself lies and seeing the earth from a false perspective. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I saw myself 3-5 times larger than I actually was! Looking back at pictures of myself during that time is so heartbreaking for me. I look at that girl and know that she was miserable. Absolutely miserable. She hated herself. She called herself fat all the time. She lived life constantly beating herself up— never telling herself the truth. She spent years feeling miserable about her body and falsely accusing it, abusing it, and beating myself up over it—when it was just weak and starving for life and for the truth.
I eventually woke-up from this crazy nightmare. I will never forget the day I finally cried to my mom telling her I needed help. It was a long road towards the top of that dark hole, but I’ve had some many amazing people and experiences along the way that have shaped me, encouraged me, and gave me the strength to preserve and keep on fighting. I am forever grateful for the people that stood by my side—- I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
Over the years, I have been a huge advocate for eating disorder awareness and conducted research studies surrounding the topic of “eating disorders not otherwise specified” or EDNOS. Sometimes when people don’t meet ALL criteria for Anorexia or Bulimia or show mixed symptoms of both, they are put into a category called EDNOS. For the longest time, people with EDNOS were not recognized by insurance companies to get help. Health professionals didn’t always take these people seriously because they weren’t “small enough” to have Anorexia or they weren’t binging and purging at a frequency required to be Bulimic… etc.
I wrote this post over 2 years ago about my struggle with an eating disorder. The video in the post was made 6 years ago! Wow, time flies. This was my first public video— and I was so nervous making it! I took a risk to share my story in hopes that it would encourage others to get help if they are struggling and to give hope to family and friends of people struggling.
Admittedly, there are some days that are hard for me. My body image can still be somewhat skewed, but it’s nothing like it used to be. I can look in the mirror now— and be like YES!! This is my body and it does amazing things for me! I’ve learned to take care of my body, feed it well, and treat it with the respect it deserves. When negative throughout creep in my mind, I am able to overcome them with skills I’ve developed to cope healthfully.
Today I’m stronger mentally and physically more than any other time in my life! Choosing to take care of my mind, body, and spirit has helped me to feel whole, connected, and alive!!!! Taking care of MYSELF has allowed me to be a better helper in this world and to serve others more selflessly.
Eating disorders are REAL. There are so many layers to the disorder– well beyond the food itself. I share my story in hopes others will find inspiration to seek help and know that they are worth it! Their lives matter! They can overcome the hell and the suffering! There is freedom from the disorder! I hope that this section of my blog will help all people learn to appreciate their bodies— serve them well and live life to their optimal potential!
Cheers to healthy minds and bodies!!