Food controlled about five years of my life. For those who don’t know, I suffered from a life-shattering eating disorder.
It all started in high school. I wanted to change my body to fit society’s fucked up standards of beauty. So, I started dieting. Obsessively. I was constantly following something and I tried just about everything. Juice cleanses. Low carb. Low fat. Paleo. Vegan. The military diet. Weight Watchers. Keto. Calorie restricting. There was even a week when I only ate baby food (😣).
I’d follow these diets for a week or two at a time, and when I “messed up” or deprivation sank in—I ate anything I could get my hands on. If there wasn’t enough food at home, I’d go to the grocery store to buy more.
Let me clarify: Binging is NOT Thanksgiving. It is NOT overeating. It’s eating a meal, and then scavenging through your cabinets to see what else you can eat; cookies, ice cream, bread, peanut butter, rice cakes—all in one sitting. You might start munching on food you don’t like. And after an episode of binging, you can’t move. You’ve stuffed yourself to the point of overwhelming discomfort.
For the longest time, I didn’t even realize it was an eating disorder. I assumed I couldn’t “get my shit together.” That I just needed to learn to control myself. But that wasn’t actually the case.
You see, an eating disorder is much deeper than having willpower around food. It’s a mask that disguises your insecurities, your pain, and your suffering. For some, it’s a coping mechanism to numb. For others, like myself, it‘s caused by body dysmorphia.
An eating disorder is not fixed by “fixing” your body or following a diet you can finally adhere to.
Recovery involves the unpacking of why and how it developed. It’s addressing the underlying issue and dismantling through all the narratives that are robbing you from feeling normal around food and in your body.
Healing isn’t linear, either. This journey is full of disarray; ups and downs. But healing is possible. I’m walking example and if you’re struggling, you will be one day, too. I believe in you. There is freedom. I promise.
Keep going. Keep trying. Keep believing.