This blog post is going to be very personal.
About a year and a half ago I decided I wanted to get healthy and lose weight. I changed my diet and I started to workout. Starting out I lost weight in a healthy way. I didn’t stress over meals, and I didn’t panic if I missed a workout. After a couple of months this changed. I started to eat less, and workout more. Seeing the weight drop on the scale made me feel so accomplished. I would workout every single day with no rest days. I put working out as my top priority. I would make excuses to not hang out with family or friends just so I could go to the gym. By this point I was skipping multiple meals, and telling others that “I already ate” or “I am not hungry”. This went on for a year until my parents confronted me about it. I told them that I could recover on my own I did not need help. However, they did want me to see a therapist so that is what I did. I started seeing a therapist, but I was also very good a lying about my eating disorder. I would tell her I have increased my food intake, or I have been having rest days from the gym. That was not the case. I was still very ill. (if you are very sensitive about eating disorders you may want to stop reading this is a trigger warning) After a couple of months of seeing my therapist I figured out how to trick my family and my therapist. I tried to act like nothing was wrong, and that I did not have an eating disorder anymore. This all changed very quickly. One day after restricting for so long I was starving. I didn’t want to eat or I would gain weight, but I was starting to get shaky and I already fainted a couple of days before. I thought to myself I will have a small meal and I would go back to restricting. So, I made something to eat, but I felt so guilty and gross that I just had to purge. This is something I have never done or wanted to do, but I did it. I then stepped on the scale, and realized I dropped a few pounds. My eating disorder brain got so happy, I realized that I could eat and lose weight. It was a miracle. I would eat meals, but right after I had to get rid of them. This went on for a couple of months. During those couple of months I started to isolate like never before, I was still so hungry, I had an attitude with everyone, and I would only go to the gym and stay at my house, and I started to skip school a lot. My grades suffered very badly, and I got in trouble a lot at school. My parents soon put a stop to it. They did not know I was purging and over exercising, they did not know what I was doing, but they were really suspicious. One night my best friend came over after weeks of not seeing her because I was always isolating. I broke down in front of her, and I told her I needed help. That night I went and told my parents that I want to go to a treatment center. They were really proud of me for telling them because it was not easy. They set up an assessment for an eating disorder treatment and I was put in to php (partial hospitalization program). My mom and I traveled to Texas to go to the treatment because unfortunately there are no programs in Alabama. I was so nervous about going. I was scared because I thought that I would miss my eating disorder it was there for me or so I thought. My eating disorder was not there for me it took things from me. I was in treatment for about three months. I went through many phases. I was full recovery mode for the first few weeks thinking it was easy, and that I could do it without any problems. Then treatment started to get rough. I was put on a big meal plan because I needed to gain weight. This is when I wanted to quit. I wanted to give up and go right back to my disordered ways, but I knew I shouldn’t so I didn’t. I continued with all the challenges, the body image issues I was having, and the different exposures my team threw my way. I really fought back to my eating disorder. I finally was weight restored and I was having hope of an eating disorder free life. Finally, I was discharged from treatment. Fast forward to now, I am not eating disorder free I still have challenges and eating disorder thoughts. Some days are more challenging than others, but I have decided to recover and I will continue to recover. I am starting to feel happy again, and starting to understand that you need to nourish your body to be healthy. I know that committing to recovery was the best decision I have ever made for myself. So if you are struggling with an eating disorder. I want you to know that you are not alone. You are worthy of recovery. You are sick enough for recovery, and that any small changes towards recovery is a big success. Never give up. There is a light of hope in starting your recovery journey!