Anorexia

Anorexia

10th Grade

I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that something was wrong with me. My body was changing – for the worse, yet the only thing that mattered to me was the number on the scale. I paid no mind to the fact that I was starting to feel less and less energetic as the days passed along, everything seemed tiring and dull, even talking seemed like such a weary activity that I would just be silent and never actually participate in a conversation. I was in the worst stage of my eating disorder at the age of fifteen. I would walk down the hallway in school and get stares from everyone because I was so sickeningly skinny. People were coming to my friends and asking them if I was okay.

I wasn’t.

Many times I would think about how I could actually improve – start eating like a normal person and not worry about the way I looked. These thoughts would come and go and, sometimes, I would act upon those thoughts and take an action. I would go out and eat an actual meal…but then the guilt would consume me and I’d start to feel terrible. I would think of myself as a failure “how could I have done that to myself?” and for the next few days I would be even more strict with myself. I was trapped and I didn’t know how I could get out of the damaging cycle.

Lying seemed so easy then and I was getting better at it day by day. I was lying to my best friends, lying to my parents, lying to my teachers; they were all so concerned about me but I just couldn’t stop myself from going down the wrong path. I was frustrated and tired and I even though I wanted to change the voice inside my head would always win and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of helplessness.

Overtime things only seemed to get worse and I was unaware of how badly I was harming myself. As my weight continued to go down, I began to lose all of my strength. My skin was pale and dry, my hair was falling out, my nails were brittle and I didn’t look anything like a 15 year old. I was starting to become more and more irritable and bitter as the days went by and I was no longer the bubbly, happy person that everyone knew me as.

As the time of my GCSEs came around, I decided to make a change and I began to eat more food simply because I wanted to do well on my exams. I was still eating very little for a girl of my age, but it was certainly a huge improvement for me. I was beginning to get some colour back on my skin and my energy levels started to increase. I was on the right path.

I knew I had to make this change for myself because I didn’t want my scores to be affected as a result of my eating disorder since it had already harmed every other area of my life: I didn’t have any energy or strength and so I performed worse than ever in my golf tournaments, I was bitter and mean to all my friends and family since the topic of each of our conversations always revolved around how sick I had become, and I was no longer interested in any of my hobbies as the only thing that was of importance to me was food. I knew that if I didn’t perform well in my exams, my future would be harmed and I wasn’t willing to take that risk. Something switched during that period of time and I was no longer concerned about food as much as I was about writing the biggest exams of my life yet.

And that is how my journey through recovery began.

A Healthy Relationship With Food

A Healthy Relationship With Food

I have never known what it’s like to eat like a ‘normal’ person. I have days where I go out to eat with my friends and family and I wonder how they’re so relaxed and unbothered when it comes to ordering an item off the menu. I have spent hours thinking about what I will eat for my next meal(s) and have spent an exceedingly large amount of energy thinking about which diet I should follow next so that I can be skinny and finally be ‘happy’.

My journey to lose weight was in the ninth grade where I created a weight loss plan for myself. I followed a strict diet and exercise schedule religiously and surely enough the weight came off. However, it was only a few months before I started to become obsessed with weight loss and exercise. I denied myself the pleasure of eating my favourite foods, I’d skip dessert outings with my best friends, and I tried my best to avoid dinner parties because I wanted to skip a meal. From the outside, I was getting thinner and thinner by the day, but mentally I was falling apart.

Anorexia is a serious disease that affects so many girls around my age. We starve ourselves, weigh ourselves 5 times a day, spend ridiculous amounts of hours in the gym, and barely eat anything. It’s a serious mental disorder that causes so much pain to not only ourselves but also to our family and friends. I know that I missed out on three years of my life that I could have spent making memories and doing the things that I loved, but instead I wasted it by counting how many calories I’d eaten that day and hating myself because I should’ve spent more time exercising.

BED is something that I still struggle with and I have just recently started recovery from this disorder. I say ‘recently’ because all my previous attempts at recovery were unhelpful since I believed that recovery meant starting a new diet and losing weight. There has been a lot that I have learnt in the previous year about forming a healthy relationship with food and I believe that I am finally understanding the reason why diets don’t work.

In the end, it’s not about the way I look in the mirror and it’s not about whether I fit into a size 0 dress. My appearance and weight will continue to change and that is something I need to accept. What matters is that I am healthy and strong, what matters is that I listen to my body and it’s cues, what matters is that I take care of myself and learnt to love and accept myself for who I am. Any kind of change that I want to make for my body should come from a place of love and care, instead of a place of hate and shame.