My Eating Disorder Story

I have tried multiple times to write this blog post for a couple years. Every single time, I struggle to put the right words in to really reflect everything I went through. I've abandoned writing this post because I was scared of how people would judge me. Part of my new year goals was to be more authentic on social media. So I am attempting to illustrate my journey through a blog post. I am posting this because I would love for one girl to read this and for it to impact her life. This reaching one girl is worth far more than my embarrassment over my struggles.

The first time I can remember being self-conscious is in fifth grade before going to middle school. I thought my friends were so much prettier and were skinnier than I was. That summer was the first semester I discovered a scale and what a calorie was. I was involved in sports and was active 90% of the time but was so scared of seeing the scale move. I thought I should follow the nutrition label, and only eat "2000 calories a day" like the box said. I tracked every calorie in a notebook. Looking back, I wish I never would've discovered nutrition labels because everything was a downward spiral from then.

Sixth grade happened, I had my first boyfriend and I really started to look at myself. I didn't even come close to the other girls. I thought that everyone was so much prettier and skinnier than me. I thought guys wanted all the "popular" girls and I thought I would never fit in. Sixth grade had more than one struggle, but I remember my "boyfriend" breaking up with me before summer vacation and that was the final step for me. I felt so hurt and so abandoned that I had put all my worth into a guy, even at the ripe age of 12. Girls were increasingly getting meaner, I found a journal from 6th grade that was me pleading to God to make me pretty and skinny so people would like me and stop being mean. I was so scared of a certain group of girls and didn't understand why they were being SO mean to me.

The summer before seventh grade, I remember tumblr just came out. I don't know how I possibly found tumblr at that age, but I did. I followed all these beautiful girls and "thinspo" accounts and read all about what they were saying. This was when the thigh gap was popular and that was all anyone strived for. I started changing my diet. I wouldn't eat anything my parents cooked. Salads were my comfort food. I would eat them for EVERY meal. My parents never noticed because they were gone at work during the day and I was left all summer to play sports, and hang out with my friends, but I began to spend an alarming amount of time on the computer and spent in my room. Most of the days I was counting calories still, and eating around 1,000 a day. I discovered another addiction at this time - working out. I would stream videos off of Youtube and follow the workouts. I would want to burn off every single calorie I took in.

Seventh grade started, and things really began to spiral down. The same group of girls was ridiculously mean, and I turned to tumblr once more. I do remember having a group of friends start to come together, but I just always felt like such an outcast. I thought they were all prettier than me, had better clothes, could do their hair and makeup perfect and I looked like an actual potato. The girls who were bullying me were getting more ruthless, they were attacking my looks and saying that my hair was greasy, I was ugly, and basically any other mean comment that they could find. I should mention that while all of this was going on, I was still over exercising and eating virtually nothing. I remember seventh grade too well because it was the first year I started self harming. Home wasn't safe anymore, thanks to MySpace because girls were messaging me on there and telling me how awful of a person I was. I remember one time after a long conversation of a girl basically attacking me, I went in the bathroom crying my eyes out, looking for a way to make the pain end. That was the first time I self-harmed, and I used it as a punishment everytime a girl said something mean to me. 

By the summer before eighth grade, I was on a path of a restrictive diet and self harming. I hung out with my friends sometimes during that summer, but I remember how much time I spent on tumblr. I got extremely into an online forum that summer too that posted other diets. I would follow the ABC Diet to a T which is basically when you alternative your calories each day but they were drastic. The highest amount in a day I ever ate was around 600. I was still working out during this time too, following pop pilates on Youtube and doing her workouts. I was pretty much a weirdo at this point. The "scene" phase was in and my hair was red and cut awful. I had virtually no self confidence and girls kept getting SO pretty. I felt like I would never compare to them...

(I thought this would be short but clearly I was wrong haha)

By eighth grade, the same patterns continued. I was playing softball, exercising on the side, and had 3 "safe foods": Salads with onion and feta cheese, a whole wheat wrap with a little bit of lettuce, and protein bars. I wouldn't eat anything else besides this and even tried to tell everyone I was going vegetarian so I had an excuse not to eat.

That summer was when things got better, and worse. Most the girls who were mean to me were going to the other high school, and I felt safe. My hair was normal, and I was probably a total of 115 pounds. I started to feel included with my friends and with this came going out to eat or eating at their parents house. This is when Bulimia became my new best friend. I thought I could eat whatever I wanted when I was with people, and then purge it out and restrict my diet when no one could see. It was a seriously vicious cycle. I hated sleeping over at my friends houses because I felt like I had no control on my diet and I couldn't get in my exercise.

This is a picture from freshman year. When I took this, it was supposed to be my motivation to lose more weight. I looked at this and thought I could be so much skinnier. Nothing about this body was healthy. I am looking at this and seeing how tiny I am, but I felt so far from that.

Ninth grade started and I was on the softball team and the weightlifting team. For weightlifting, we had weight classes and had to weigh under a certain weight for each meet to be able to lift. I was in the 119 weight class but I was putting on muscle pretty fast. My weight ended up staying around 120-122 when I wasn't competing during the week and I would follow through with my ridiculous diets and running in trashbags to make sure I weighed under 119 pounds. My day of eating would go like this: coffee for breakfast and maybe half a banana, a protein luna lemon bar for lunch, and then half a piece of chicken with vegetables for dinner. I knew exactly how much to eat to keep myself from passing out at practice and drawing any attention to myself. On the days I actually ate (which was typically chicken wraps from our cafeteria), I would resort to bulimia to feel in control. I was still following this and that summer after was when things got extreme. I was weightlifting all summer but that wasn't all. I was doing p90x in the night, going to practice and then running right after. All while consuming just enough to fuel me and keep me from passing out. I thought I was SO much smarter than everyone and was hiding it well. But my actions did eventually have a reprecussion. I developed appendicitis, and had to get emergency surgery to get my appendix out. I am honestly not sure if bulimia is what caused this, but I had looked it up on the internet and the results scared me enough that I tried to change a little.

After my surgery, the medicine I was on caused me to drop weight. I was weighing 110-111 which was the tiniest I ever got. I remember shortly after that, I finally reached out for help and started the dreaded path to recovery. I was diagnosed with EDNOS which is essentially what happens when you don't meet every single requirement for either anorexia or bulimia. That summer I had begun to attend some support groups and recieve counseling. This recovery was far from easy, but I can say I have been bulimia sympton free since August of 2013. Restricting myself, on the other hand, is still something I have problems with to this day. I do really well for months without restricting, but I still have foods I never want to induldge in and am scared to eat. I have gained more weight since going through recovery than I ever wanted too, but last June I started working out again after 2 years. The scariest part of trying to lose weight after having an eating disorder is that I have an obsessive personality and have to constantly remind myself that it is a long process to healthily lose weight and that you can't magically drop 5-10 pounds in a week. I'm slowly working on it.

happy me ;) 

This was my best attempt to write everything down. I missed some parts, but I hope this helps someone in some type of way. My DM's are ALWAYS open.

I'm also posting some links and helpful information down below:

Find Treatement

AERIE Neda Shirt (100% of proceeds go to NEDA)

National Eating Disorder Awareness Hotline: (800) 931-2237