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Eating Disorder Awareness (Part 1)

I'm not sure when it started. I was gonna say "I feel like it usually starts in high school" but eating eating orders aren't something usual and shouldn't be considered as usual. They're common, not usual or typical or something "everyone has to go through in their life". I feel like eating disorders can be comparable to mental health issues like depression and anxiety, but I also feel like so many things said about anxiety and depression are uplifting and strong or encouraging but eating disorders are different. It's kind of like those who are having such a hard time that they hurt themselves, some people deal with the hurt by not eating, eating too much, forcing themselves to throw up their food, or all of the above. Eating disorders are something that can be a result of having something like anxiety or depression, but also can just be it's own issue without a distinct cause to really start it.

There are many different types of eating disorders. There is also no tell tale signs that someone has an eating disorder just by looking that them. People will have certain body types based on their ability to digest their foods or even their genetics. Just because you see someone who may be very skinny doesn't mean it has to be from an eating disorder.

Majority of people who suffer from eating disorders are women. I'm sure this isn't very surprising since women are typically the ones who are harder on themselves about their image, but there are a significant amount of men who suffer as well.

In America, statistics on the current prevalence of eating disorders in teens, adolescents and children include:

  • Approximately 95 percent of eating disorder cases occur in people ages 12 through 25

  • One study of 14- and 15-year-old teens revealed that dieting was the leading predictor of the development of eating disorders

  • Among adolescent girls, eating disorders are the third most common chronic health condition

  • Approximately 25 percent of children who have anorexia are male

  • Up to 2 percent of adolescents and young adults struggle with bulimia

  • Fewer than 1 in 5 adolescents who have eating disorders receive treatment (The Recovery Village).

My experience with eating disorders has been up, down, new, old, and also felt strangely normal. It started with "Hm, maybe I'll skip dessert tonight", to " I should probably order a salad instead of a sandwich", cutting out all of the foods I liked that weren't good for me, then purchasing detox teas or all of the weight loss pills I could afford like Hydroxicut, weight loss gummies, and whatever I saw advertised on social media. Then I went on to doing all of those things plus barely eating outside of the bit I had to when I was around others, and wearing a waist trainer from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. When I would go to the gym I would change into a waist trainer/sweat belt that was more for the gym, then go back to the constricting corset sometimes even when I slept. I started using the waist trainer when I got to college, and probably wore it on and off from my freshmen to junior year. Oh, my junior year I also bought one of those devices you stick on your abs and it vibrates and is supposed to give you abs. I never even took it out of the box but the fact that I actually spent money on something like that makes me LOL.

If you ever wore one of the corset waist trainers you know how uncomfortable they can be and how horrible it is to try and fit into it after you don't wear it for a few days... it's basically a torture device (just my opinion). Totally wasn't worth the pain and discomfort, the inability to take a deep breath or even breathe normally sometimes, and btw, it never showed an ounce of a difference. The only difference I noticed was pain in my back, my stomach was always hurting, and well, obviously I was starving.

Y'all should know by now that I'm pretty raw and honest when it comes to sharing my experiences about what I have gone through or are going through. I unfortunately have to tell you that as of right now while I'm writing this I am having a hard time with my eating disorders. I've battled anorexia and bulimia for the past 3 or 4 years consistently, both between and after all of those other methods of weight loss I was trying didn't work. I still remember the first time I forced myself to throw up my food, and wondering how people do this so often because it really does not feel good and it hurts like hell. I'm sure you all know what it feels like to throw up and if you don't then lucky for you, but it feels 10x worse when you are actually doing it for these reasons and force yourself to do it despite how horrible it feels. It's like a sick, twisted example hoping the risk is worth the reward. Sounds kind of crazy but bulimia is one hell of an eating disorder compared to anorexia in my opinion.

Not a lot of people knew about my eating disorders until I started being more vocal about it recently through this page and my social media. I have been open about my body dysmorphia, anxiety, and depression, but I just never felt that I could open up the way with my eating disorders because of the feedback. I would say this is something that I am ashamed of where my anxiety and depression I'm not, but I feel that it's because the talk around eating disorders is no where near as commonly heard or accepted. 29 million Americans will experience a clinically significant eating disorder in their lives, but yet here we are barely hearing enough about it to realize how common it really is?

I was frustrated that nothing was working, frustrated that I was constantly in the gym and running until I wanted to throw up while always on an empty stomach but wasn't getting results. Every time something bad happened it threw me off so badly that I would gain all the weight back and be back to where I started again, and just frustrated that I was always frustrated about fucking hating myself. I'm still frustrated. This still happens, it's never not happening honestly.

I have the most beautiful friends and family. They're all pretty and mostly tall and skinny and have completely different body types than me. I have short big legs, a short torso where I hold all my weight, no ass, big chest, and just always look so un-proportional. I can never wear something like my friends when we go out and I pack basically half my clothes when I'm staying over a friends with plans to look cute because I know I'll hate half of the looks I brought and not be able to share anything of theirs. It's so defeating to be into fashion and not like the way I look in most of the looks I wear. If I do share my looks its really because I like the CLOTHES, not the way the clothes look on me. It's exhausting, defeating, and it sucks so much out of me. I hate feeling like I'm not being authentic with you guys when I share pictures because deep down I try to share them to make it like I do like myself when in reality I am just liking what's covering me up.

Right now I'm struggling with my anorexia from more of the mental toll it takes combined with the physical. I can't not eat at all because I still live home with my family or get together with people for meal related things, but I basically try to only eat when I know people are watching. I will not eat for a whole day without even thinking about it because I know the next day I have plans to go out. I don't feel hungry most of the time anymore; I'm pretty sure my body is so used to eating maybe one decent sized meal a day that it barely registers I'm hungry anymore. I can't do the throwing up anymore because I sometimes can't stop and it scares me. I'm not doing all this to die or make myself sick, I just can't help that I'm so afraid of gaining weight again that I basically convince myself I don't have to eat anything. My body has never felt more weak than it has over the past year or so. I'm been on a vicious cycle of having such severe mental ups and downs that I can even go 2 or 3 days without eating more than a handful of almonds, and my body is always so tired that even not wanting to get up to get anything to eat has become an excuse. I know that this cycle is worsened by not eating because it's making me more tired and weak, making me unable to go to the gym, etc. , but I can't help it. I just can't get myself to stop.

When I'm having a bad day or something upsets me, I can go all day without eating, easily. I was and probably still am the person that after learning all about healthy ways to lose weight would say, "Come on you have to eat! You not eating doesn't mean you're going to lose weight your body will just hold on to your water weight or other things!" Meanwhile, I was talking other people out of doing the same exact things I can't talk myself out of in order to hide the fact that I was doing it.

A while back I had lost a significant amount of weight. It was 2018, I was in college and the waist trainer wearing, throwing up my food and getting praised for how good I looked was in full swing. Isn't it so crazy we praise people for how SKINNY they look over how HEALTHY they look?!

I look good don't I? I could understand why people would comment "body goals" or why cousins who I haven't seen in years or other family would make comments about, "omg did you see the Grimes girl who lost so much weight? She looks great". That's what I wanted people to think and I wanted to look like this for so long. However, I fell off the rails a little while after this, and even though I have never been able to get back on like I want to, I am trying every day to look like her again but in the right ways. This time without my ribs popping out.

I know the path I'm on isn't the right one. I know I can be doing better and I know I have to be stronger but I am better than I was before. In those pictures I was harming myself in more ways beyond just when it came to eating, and all for people who didn't deserve me anyway. I would make myself bleed just to feel like I was still here, I would sit on my bathroom floor crying because my throat was burning from throwing up so many times but I had to get rid of the dinner I just ate. I was killing myself all to look like her who even when I got there I was still so unhappy.

This is just one week in a month that most people won't even pay attention to. 29 million people in this world were made part of a statistic that many people outside of them have no idea about. Just because someone is so skinny doesn't mean they need to have an eating disorder and just because someone is over weight doesn't mean they don't have one. I don't know how long it's going to take for people to realize so much happens to people where we can't see and no one looks like the demons they're facing.

The next time you criticize someone for looking a certain way, tell them to eat a cheeseburger or maybe start going to the gym, think about how that may make them feel. I know besides what I used to look like I don't look like someone who is anorexic and struggled with bulimia. I know I don't look like someone who can get nauseous at the smell of food sometimes because I feel so bad about myself that day I can't eat. But I am. So many people around you who get comments about their bodies can be struggling and you have no idea.

Please do your research and learn to be more considerate before you comment on someone's body. Everyone looks different and will always look different than you. Social media will always be a source for people to compare themselves and develop disorders like these, but please, do your part and do what you can to help eliminate the stigmas surrounding Eating Disorders and be kinder with your words.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, my messages are always open. Again, I'm not a doctor or therapist, and quiet honestly I'm not even someone who has it as bad as so many other stories I have heard, but I am always here. Due to how little I eat I have become super irritated and sick from a lot of different types of foods so I am learning about a diet that is better for me and going to be getting help to get back on track. I love the gym for way more than just how it makes me look when I stick to it, and I want to get back to being healthy enough that I can go and get stronger again.

For this years’ event, The Alliance For Eating Disorders Awareness is saying “NOT ONE MORE.” The Alliance works tirelessly every day to ensure that NOT ONE MORE life is lost, NOT ONE MORE child is taken and NOT ONE MORE precious moment is destroyed by this insidious disease" (The Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness).

There is a part two to this post where I will be sharing some submitted entries of people's stories and experiences with their eating disorder or how it was helping someone they care for with theirs.



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