I honestly do not remember when my eating disorder started. Sometimes I try to think back to the time where I would actually eat a proper meal but my mind can’t bring up any memory of it. I tried to remember the time where I would not care about how much fats or calories are in a single bite of the meal that I was having. If only I could go back to the time when calories and fat content in a single meal did not matter to me because now I can’t sit down to a meal and mentally calculate in fear and panic about how much calories I am putting into my body.
Throughout the past year (meaning 2015), I kept my eating disorder very tightly under wraps. I’m pretty sure my eating disorder started in 2014 but began to manifest itself more in 2015. I refused to acknowledge the fact that I have a problem nor did I talk to anyone about it. Even my bestfriend did not know about it, and believe me, I tell her everything. Everyone thought I was just exercising more than usual due to my rapid weight loss because I had acted pretty normal and gave no indication that I had an eating disorder. I would go on Instagram and post pictures of the meals I had cooked for myself, or the meals that I was having outside with my friends. Whenever my friends asked me out for dinner, I would gladly accept with much enthusiasm but in my head, I would be mentally stressing out about how much food I would have to eat so nobody would notice that something was wrong. And the worst part was, after every single meal that I had, I would force myself to vomit it back out due to the guilt that I felt for consuming so much food.
But as 2016 approached, everyone around me suddenly took notice to my weird eating habits. Everyone began noticing how I would always say that I’m not hungry when we went out for group meals, or how I would always say that I’ve eaten at home (when in reality, I have not), or how I would only take tiny nibbles of the food I had ordered and then said that I was full (when prior to that I could eat a whole meal and more) or how I would go to the bathroom after every single meal I had even though prior to the meal I was complaining about how hungry I was. That was when everyone began questioning me about what was really wrong with me.
“Why are you losing weight so fast?”
“I just saw you last week and I swear you’re much more skinnier right now.”
“Why aren’t you eating?”
Besides the amount of stress I went through mentally by myself, I wonder if the stress felt by my family and friends were worser. They saw me rapidly losing weight by the kilos everyday and are probably in a constant state of worry for me. What was weird was that, as my eating disorder progressed, I knew that I was already skinnier than I originally was but I kept telling myself that I could do better than that. In a way, I started challenging myself to how much more weight I could lose and began eating lesser and lesser to the extent where I would not eat anything for a whole day. I started feeling insanely happy when I could fit into a size Small when just last year I was a size Large. I felt like that was a huge accomplishment for me.
It was obviously toxic.
But what finally made me admit to myself that I had a problem was when I blacked out in front of my bestfriend’s office while waiting for her to end work. Lucky for me, she came down from her office just as my vision blacked out and I dropped to the floor. She asked me what had happened but I just gave her the “I don’t know what happened” look. But at that moment, I knew that my eating disorder was getting way out of hand and I still refused to look my bestfriend in the eye and admit it. Surprisingly enough, after that rather traumatizing episode, I began opening up to some people regarding my eating disorder. And it made me feel like little by little, the weight is being lifted off my shoulders. What I was so terrified to admit to in the first place is actually saving me from spiralling further out of control with my eating disorder.
Now, I still have days where I refuse to eat anything with the snarky voice in my mind telling me that I am fat, but I am slowly beginning to heal. I have begun to worry less about calories and am more about enjoying the food that is being given to me. I still worry about not being able to fit into clothes that are sized Small or Medium but I have been trying to let go of that as much as I could. I’m so thankful for the support that everyone around me has given to me and could never be more than grateful for them.
What made me decide to come clean with my eating disorder was the fact that for the past few days, I have been struggling with constant stomach pains only to go to the doctor to find out that I have gastritis as well as a stomach ulcer. Thankfully, it is nothing serious but for now, I do have to watch what I eat as well as to not be constantly skipping my meals. As for what actually triggered my eating disorder, that is a story that I would like to keep to within my private circle.
To girls out there who are currently struggling with your body image, please remember that there would always be someone who loves you for how you look, never go down the road of harming your own body because the repercussions are real and you’ll never know the emotional pain that your loved ones are going through just to see you struggle with accepting yourself.