This is going to be a long, deep post. I don’t feel like being funny today, I don’t feel like cracking jokes, I don’t feel like being sarcastic. What I do feel however, is the desire to perhaps be real and show my true self to anyone who is reading this and suffering from the same things I have and still suffer from. A few of the things I’m going to say, and photos I will be posting of my body and my self harm WILL BE TRIGGERING*** to anyone suffering from an Eating Disorder, so please read this at your own discretion. I am opening myself up to the vast world of the internet, and it is a scary thing, but I want to be able to help other people not go through the same mistakes I did, so please be kind in your comments. Well, send me hatred as well cos I enjoy it most of the time, but just be a little less of a dick on this post.
A Little History:
As contradictory is this sounds being a food blogger and all, I am an individual who has suffered from an Eating Disorder for the past 13 years of my life (probably more, but I am not sure). I don’t need to explain what an eating disorder is, so I’ll save my time and not bore you with the scientific facts. I always had a lackluster approach to food as a child, never wanting to eat anything, but by the time I hit the age of 9 or so, I started ballooning. And no, it wasn’t a growth spurt, it wasn’t puppy fat. I started eating my emotions – I would stuff myself to the point of what seemed like impending explosion and then question myself as to why I had done that. I was always made fun of, I was always the one people called the “Fat Kid”. I got it from my family, I got it from my friends. It didn’t bother me too much because I’ve always been a resilient person, but it didn’t make me feel that great either.
I did not have the best childhood, but I will not harp or elaborate on that. As I hit the age of 12 or so, I reached my highest weight of 160lb. and I remember deciding one day, I need to lose weight. Everything was going great for a while, but then a few traumatic things happened in my life and before I knew it, I had developed a dangerous, dangerous, life threatening eating disorder. I dropped from 160lb. to 70lb. (I do not have photos of me at my highest or lowest weights, so none of them will be in here – only photos of me at various weights in the usual up, down, up, down fashion) in about the span of a year, and I was hooked to my Anorexia the way an addict would be hooked to drugs. It was my only friend, it comforted me, it was always there for me. I was its host, and it my parasite.
“Quod Me Nutrit, Me Destruit – what nourishes me, also destroys me.”
So began the next decade and more of my life, a constant switch and struggle between Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating. My weight would Yo-Yo up and down, similar to the weather in Melbourne, really. I was hooked, addicted, I always needed a fix of my eating disorder, up till today. There were tricks I used at the doctor’s office and at the hospital, there were ways I fooled my friends and family into thinking I had already eaten (I will not mention how, or what techniques as they can be triggering to other sufferers who may be reading this), but the truth of the matter was – my eating disorder made me a liar. I hate liars, I hate deceit, but it turned me into something I absolutely abhorred.
Nothing in this world mattered when I was at the height of my Anorexia. Nothing. I did not care for anyone but myself. I am both an empath and a narcissist – I feel everyone’s pain (hence the veganism of today), but at times I feel nothing but my own pain. Starving myself, making myself vomit, these were all things that made everything else in my life go away, and they still do. Eating Disorders to me are not a disease – they are merely a SYMPTOM of something fundamentally wrong with you. This comes in various forms – self loathing, low self esteem, a desire to be perfect, a desire to be loved, suicidal tendencies and so on.
Everything I felt, everything I feel, they simply manifest as “I’ll feel better once I am skinnier”. Bullshit really. No matter how low or high my weight was, all I ever wanted to do or feel was pain. I wanted to be ugly on the outside, as ugly as I felt on the inside. I lost friends, family, trust, life, and everything else a human being is supposed to live for. I started self harming and hurting myself because I truly believed and still believe I deserve it. In retrospect, all coping mechanisms for the sadness I feel in my heart. Anyway, I won’t go on too much about myself.
How Does Veganism Fit Into This Story?
Firstly – Veganism can fuel your eating disorder and send it into a racing drift towards death at 200 miles per hour.
Before I truly even understood the fundamental concept of Veganism, I remember reading something about how you cannot eat this, you cannot eat that etc if you are Vegan. “Eureka!”, another way of eliminating even more things from my already sparse, 200 calorie a day diet. I embarked on trying to be Vegan for the longest time, for all of the worst reasons imaginable. As expected, I just got more and more sick, unhealthier and unhealthier, but I convinced myself I was doing something good for the animals and the planet. If you find yourself in this train of thought, please stop NOW. That is not healthy and it will eventually lead you to your grave, somewhere I almost ended up when I reached an all time low of 6olb. (28 kilos).
I have seen multiple Instagram accounts of individuals who are CLEARLY sick, and hiding behind a mask of “Veganism” and “Clean Eating” – listen, cut the crap and stop lying to yourself. You know you are sick. Either choose to die from it or choose to recover. Trust me, I know recovery is something that is seemingly impossible (I still have yet to recover), but Jesus, stop lying to yourself and fueling your eating disorder under the pretense of being healthy or caring for animals. Go and get HELP.
Do not get me wrong, I absolutely am not discrediting Veganism – it is one of my biggest passions in life. But if you are going to do it, do it for all the right reasons. Don’t do it as another means to kill yourself like I did in the beginning.
But you know what, Veganism can also AID in the recovery of an Eating Disorder.
Inevitably, when you truly go Vegan for the planet, for your health, or for the animals, you think about something other than YOURSELF. Anorexia, Bulimia, EDNOS, BED etc – these are all serpents in human suits, trying to isolate you from the world and drive you towards thinking about no one but yourself, your pain, your suffering.
Although I know there is an absolute variety of Vegan Junk Food, Veganism, at most times, gives you so much greater understanding of what goes into your body, newly acquired knowledge of Whole Foods and the positive benefits a plant based, non refined diet has on your body. Most Vegans are not Obese, let alone overweight, and I truly believe and accredit this to a level of understanding about how food affects your body – something that many omnivores have yet to learn (sorry Omnis, not judging you at all, just saying it as it is).
When you stop channeling all your effort and time into counting calories, fat grams, carbohydrates etc and actually get your head out of your own a$$ for once, your Eating Disorder has less control over you. And that is how Veganism has helped me in my (ongoing, sometimes failing, sometimes successful recovery) from Anorexia, Bulimia and BED. With all that said however, as I mentioned before, all these “diseases” are merely symptoms of deeply rooted underlying issues that you yourself have to take the initiative to fix or address. Leaving these issues dormant is like opening your home to a Vampire – the vampire being other issues in your life that will manifest itself and creep into your soul like the plague. Fix yourself, people. I’m a hypocrite for saying all of this as I have yet to fix myself, but I don’t want anyone else to have to go through my struggles.
How Am I Doing Now?
I’ll be honest here – not that great. I still have low self esteem. I still desire so so so very much to be loved for who I am and what I have to offer. I still look at myself in disappointment. I still wonder what it is about me that makes me so undesirable, and so much of a second, or rather, last thought in everyone’s heads – my friends, my family etc. It hurts like nothing else in this world. My weight is what one would consider “healthy” – around 100 lb. or so at the moment. Granted this time last year I weighed 130 lb, something that I felt was way too big for me. I still feel fat, I still feel disgusting, but I now try so hard to focus this drive to lose weight into other things in life. I still have Osteopenia (a medical condition in which the protein and mineral content of bone tissue is reduced), I still have what I would call fertility issues from me suffering from 8 years of Amenorrhea (an abnormal disappearance of menstruation due to extremely low body weight). I get a period only every few months now, I’m not sure if I will ever be able to have children.
Many people think that just because someone looks “healthy” or “plump”, that there is no possible way on this planet they are suffering from an Eating Disorder. Trust me, this is such a wrong way of thinking. Anorexia and friends are MENTAL DISEASES – they have nothing to do with the size of your body, your weight, or the circumference of your thighs. I get the occasional “but you look healthy, your bum is round – you couldn’t possibly have an Eating Disorder” comment now and again. Please do not say that to anyone whom you know is suffering from self esteem issues or an eating disorder. Please, just do not – it sends them into a downward spiral all over again.
I have been going through a lot of change, pain and hurt in the past few months of my life. Failed relationships, failed friendships, feeling lost, alone, hopeless, aimless and depressed. I probably do too many silly things to distract myself (this is what I said about deep issues manifesting in other forms). But, I’m working on it. I’m trying to better myself with the support of the very few friends I have, I’m trying to get out of the house and do more with this silly little blog of mine. I have always felt like a failure in life, and I don’t want to feel like that anymore.
As for my Eating Disorder, it’s still here. It’s still sat next to me as I type this. I didn’t really eat anything today. I had nothing but carrot sticks for the whole of yesterday. I go out to dinner with friends occasionally and unknowing to them, once I get home, I make sure I throw up as soon as I can. I have hardly been eating much of anything for the past week because of the emptiness, loneliness, confusion and loss I feel in my life, but I all I want to do is to let anyone else out there who is feeling this way that – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Work on these issues, and your eating disorder will not have as much control over you as you think it does. I know I’m being a hypocrite. I know. I know this because right now, I am aware that mine is creeping back into my life – it usually happens when I hit rock bottom. It happened when my beloved Grandmother died 3 years ago, and it’s happening again. I feel it, I feel the pleasure of seeing a little more of my hipbones in the morning, a little more rib.
But you know what, I know this is wrong, and accepting that is is wrong is the first step to stopping it from happening again. And this is why I am writing this. I have never vocalized too much about my eating issues, but if I can help someone on this planet who is reading this, that is all I ask for really. I don’t want anyone to feel what I feel, I don’t want anyone to punish their bodies they way I did and still do. Some food blogger, huh? But hey, this is me being real, and this all I can get myself to say for now. I hope this helps you, I hope this helps someone you know, I hope writing this helps me. X