My Experience With an Eating Disorder

Now let me get this straight, this is neither some amazingly hopeful, nor some amazingly horrific anorexia story. However, it could easily be triggering for some people, and reader discretion is advised.

Now, I was always a skinny kid. I was a little ball of energy all the time with a healthy appetite and an awesome metabolism. Everyone would always say “How could such a little thing eat so much?” And I don’t know. After a while, it just got to me. The summer before eighth grade was when I finally snapped.

Maybe it was a cry for attention, since things weren’t so great between me and my dad. Maybe it was the fact that I’d look in the mirror and see the (healthy) little bit of pudge on my stomach and feel ashamed. I honestly don’t know.

Whatever it was, I stopped eating.

Not altogether—my parents are pretty perceptive, and I couldn’t just refuse all food: They’d take me to a doctor and my mom would probably sit me down and have a talk with me. And that was not what I wanted to happen.

I was 5’2″ at the time. I went from 102 pounds to 90 pounds—not that big of a loss, and I never did put my toothbrush down my throat. But who knows how much longer it would’ve gone on if. . .

I hadn’t stopped getting my period.

That was the most difficult time for me. I had been getting my period since seventh grade, I was basically regular by then. The idea that I had done something to make this gift go away horrified me. I was ashamed, I felt pathetic.

So I did what I always do when I don’t understand something. I did my research. I read extensively about the havoc anorexia causes in your body and I was horrified. So I had a heart to heart with my mom, and made a decision right then and there to stop.

I’m not gonna say that I overcame my not-so-crippling anorexia through sheer willpower. That sounds a little too dramatic, don’t ya think? But I will say this—I made a decision to start, and I made a decision to stop. Just as I had lost 12 pounds in a couple weeks, I gained about 8 of them back over the course of the next couple weeks or so. The whole ordeal lasted less than a month. It just happened like that.

In my life, I have never weighed more than 102 pounds. I’ve always been skinny but scrawny, so I started working out, and this year I’ve been taking ballet and contemporary dance classes. I look slimmer, but my weight hasn’t changed in either direction outside of a couple pounds in over a year. I’ve learned to love my body—the small layer of fat on my stomach isn’t gross or shameful to me anymore. Instead, it’s a reminder that my whole life I’ve been fortunate and well-cared for and well-loved.

If you are struggling with anorexia or bulimia, the best advice I can give is talk to someone. It’s not an easy thing to deal with for most people, and it could have huge impacts on the rest of your life. I implore you to please seek help for the good of both your body and mind.

Responses? Questions? Concerns? Leave your answers down in the comments.

National Eating Disorder Association Helpline (800) 931-2237 Call their toll-free, confidential Helpline, Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST)

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