Even, no especially, at my lowest weight I hated my body.
I know right? Weren’t my body woes supposed to go away once I reached my goal weight?
I always thought that once I reached a certain pant size that I would love my body, love my life, and have an amazing group of friends.
What happened was the opposite.
I did all this work to whittle my body down to this extrodiarily low body weight. I perfected my diet. Cut out ALL sugar. Stayed within a 10 foot pole of gluten. Exercised twice a day. Never drank juice. But this didn’t give me the body confidence that I was searching for.
In fact, it depleted it.
The more weight I lost the more the more self-conscious I felt which led me to feeling trapped in this body I hated… and yet I could not get myself to do anything to change it.
In fact it got so bad at one point that I remember wearing 3 pants at once to try and make it look like I had a different body size. I despised my small body. I felt weak. I felt depleted. I felt fragile.
Despite feeling those things my ed voice SCREAMED at me to keep on going. Continue to skip meals. Continue to exercise intensly.
Eating disorders aren’t merely driven by vanity.
I didn’t continue to perform eating disorder behaviors because I wanted to look a certain way. I HATED how I looked. I HATED how small I was. I HATED it! I am writing this post to tell you that it’s time we look at eating disorders not as a vanity issue but as a serious mental illness that they really are.
Let’s be clear here– I did not CHOOSE to have an eating disorder. This is a misconception that I feel like many people have. They also have the assumption that you can just snap your fingers and stop being weird with food… ya not an assumption based in reality.
Eating disorders have strong neurobiological underpinnings and a genetic disposition compared to any mental illness out there. It is a mental illness and has one of the highest death rates. This is different from someone who diets or has a disordered relationship with food or body. It is not a diet that has gone “too far”.
Now the genetic disposition of an eating disorder can be triggered by going on a diet or starting an intense exercise regime but that is just the thing that can trigger the start of an eating disorder.
Eating disorders can also be triggered by environmental, social, and psychological factors. It can be a way to cope with trauma or difficult emotions/life events.
Many women suffering with an eating disorder dislike their body and yet can’t make any changes. Just like me wearing my 3 pairs of pants to try and hide the body I hated instead of just eating more so that I changed my body size and didn’t feel so weak.
I am writing all of this to highlight that eating disorders are intense and they are way more then someone wanting to fit into a certain pair of pants. Healing will require a comprehensive healing protocol to address the various complex issues that are driving the unhealthy behaviors which are affecting ones physical health.
If you are struggling to come out of an eating disorder and finding it ever so difficult to do so, I understand. There’s a lot going on and it can feel like you have no choice but to continue on the path of these dangerous behaviors. I highly recommend seeking professional and creating a diverse treatment team to support you on your journey towards recovery.
A coach can be ONE person on that treatment team that can be of great support to keep you motivated on your journey and give you tools to move forward and change your habits.
Once again, I can not over-state just how important help is.
Let’s wrap up my story here
Years later here I am, no longer needing to wear 3 pears of pants to make me feel strong. I AM STRONG. What got me here? Lots of mental work and nutritional rehabilitation. I believe it’s important to focus on BOTH.
Getting your body out of a state of malnutrition can do miracles for your mental health and bring you to a more stable place. To be able to nutritionally rehabilitate your body though its super helpful to have many tools you can use to reduce anxiety around food so that you can stay on your course and do what you need to do.
Eating disorders are not a choice but recovery is.
I want you to remember this. I know you did not CHOOSE to go through and eating disorder but you do have the ability to get out of it. Again the right support is such a huge game changer.
Much love to all of you who are suffering with an eating disorder or like me MULTIPLE eating disorders. I hope that you learn lots of things on my podcast, youtube, instagram, and blog to help you take those healthy choices every day towards recovery.