This post is somewhat of a reflection on my past eating disorder and hatred towards myself. I actually forgot how bad it truly was until I found one of my old journals and read some entries from a few years ago. Here’s a small sample…
It’s 1:30 in the morning and I’m WIDE awake and my mind is racing and I’m super anxious and feeling so panicked. I don’t know what’s going on but all I want to do is cry. I feel all fucked up about my body (I hate it, and none of my clothes fit and I feel like a fat disgusting COW) and I hate that I have no one to talk about it with. I can’t remember the last time I actually felt good in my body. My self esteem feels like it’s at complete rock bottom. I wish I had someone to just grab my face, look me in the eye and tell me I’m beautiful and wonderful. I’m crying just thinking about it. Will that ever happen?
I’m feeling super down lately, I just don’t feel happy because I can’t get my nutrition in line. (Read: nice way of saying I can’t stick to the diet of the week). Obviously my binge eating is a bigger problem than just diet, it just keeps getting worse and worse. I don’t know if I should be more strict with myself? Or the complete opposite? I feel so lost. I feel like I have an inkling of what I want my life to look like but no idea how to make it happen anymore. I really just want to feel happiness again and not have binging and purging control my life. I threw up over 20x today – I feel completely out of control around food and in life. I just binged today because I could. It’s habit. No other reason. (Read: I didn’t see the reasons because I was binging to push the emotions and feelings away). How can I stop? Will I ever stop? What if this is my life forever? I just keep thinking one thing will come along and cure me, but I’m realizing its a combination of things. It’s just so much WORK it is exhausting. I want to snap my fingers and be recovered.
Basically my journal was a mixture of one day of depression as above and then another day full of hope and excitement because I found a new “diet” or “meal plan” or “cure” and I’m going to be great! I will be skinny and happy and confident again! I look back and it fills me with such sadness. They are filled with measurements, the food I ate that day, what I weighed, what I will do when I’m skinny.. etc. They are not filled with memories, vacations, fun times, friendships, or memorable moments. It’s food, diet, body and constantly trying to change myself.
I am not writing this post to garner sympathy from people. I am writing this post because I want people to see that they are NOT ALONE. I know so many people experience hating their bodies and maybe they think I don’t understand because I’m generally pretty happy and confident these days. Trust me, I know what it feels like to grab your stomach and literally want to cut it off. To cry when you look in the mirror. To be filled with such hopelessness and feel so lost in what “to do” that you can’t even face it and it just turns you right back towards the food again. To avoid friends, family and social situations because you don’t want to face the food. To secretly binge and purge at parties and dinners, to eat until you feel so sick you cannot even move. To be filled with such disgust for yourself you don’t know how you could ever be deserving of the life you want to live.
But here is what I also know: I know what it feels like on the other side. I know what it feels like you never weigh yourself again, to go days without even thinking about dieting, exercise, or how you look. To check yourself out in the mirror and think “damn! I am look fucking great!” (ps.. I weigh the same now as I did when I hated myself.. ironic much?) I know how it feels to eat without guilt, to not constantly second guess yourself, to forget how many calories are in things, to not even worry about the nutrition label. I know how it feels to just straight up love yourself and skin you’re in, UNCONDITIONALLY.
I remember I had a therapy session one day and she asked me what I thought life looked like without my eating disorder. I still have the image in my mind. I described to her that I woke up and wore whatever I wanted, without fussing about how I looked, and spending hours to find the perfect outfit to make me look “thinner”. I would be out for lunch with all my best friends and having a glass of wine, eating a burger and fries and laughing so loud and with so much joy that people turned around to look at who this radiant, happy confident person is. I glowed.
I’m here to tell you that this life can come true. You can lead your life without an eating disorder. You can be radiant, and happy and not worry about food or your body. You can just be. You can be free from the restrictions of dieting, and can find your own self worth through so many other things than shaping your body. You can have your dream career, you can leave chocolate in the house without being worried about eating it all, and you can live the life you’ve always thought was out of reach.
So how do you get there? Well, there are many things… and I hate to tell you that the biggest thing you are going to have to do is learn for yourself. We are all different and different things may speak to you vs. what spoke to me. I know I spent years searching for the “answer” to stop binging. I’ve learned it’s a cumulative effect that takes time. You probably don’t want to hear that, but I believe its true. It takes hard work, self-reflection, self-improvement, mindfulness and a lotta tears. I can tell you it’s so fucking worth it though. Everything that I had to go through led me to this wonderful life; and now I want to help anyone and everyone that ever felt as hopeless as I did.
On that note, I am going to start a blog series of all the things I did that helped me find my happiness, stop my self-loathing, and end binge eating for good.
Follow along and maybe these tips can help you find your dream life too!