I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment that it started. I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment when I became repulsed by food and my own body. The truth is though, I was not repulsed by food. I craved it something terrible but fought every desire to eat (well, almost every desire).
One thing I do remember is back in sixth form around the time that it started. My best friend was really skinny and had her own issues with food – maybe they rubbed off on me, as I was always the fat friend. I was tired of being the fat friend and wanted to take control of my life. A few pounds I told myself, and I would be done.
It started with purging and living off plain crackers. I would eat the crackers and then purge in order to feel elated from the vomiting. It was not too bad at first as I still had what I would call ‘slip ups’ where I would eat like a regular person.
I spent a good few years restricting my diet and fading away one pound at a time. I starved, I binged, I purged.
I’m a tall girl, so once the scale hit a low number it was a wake up call for me. Once my liver began to fail, it was a wake up call for me. But I could not stop. I was depressed and in way over my head with starvation and skin and bones.
I started therapy when I was at my lowest weight were I was weighed weekly. I tried my hardest to like my dietician but to me, she was Satan in disguise. Always nagging on about potato and cheese as if I would even consider looking at such things. My diet of choice consisted of one meal of a fish fillet and some vegetables each day. I did not feel hunger at my lowest weight as my body had been pushed passed that point.
My eating disorder lasted right through sixth form until the end of University. I walked through the university campus with my backpack, feeling weighed down by such a tiny weight. I climbed one set of stairs, unable to catch my breath, shaking, feeling like I was going to pass out. My skin was breaking out in spots, my hair was thin, and my body always felt cold.
It was only thanks to one of the two friends I had made in University that the spell of my eating disorder was broken. He invited me to the gym after University to do some weightlifting. At the time I was only partially considering it as my anxiety attacks were frequent during this time, but in the end I agreed.
Now I know this seems like my eating disorder did not go away, and the truth is, it did not, and even now I still have some body image and self esteem issues. At the time though, I was smashing the gym and feeling high off endorphins and very hungry, for the first time in over a year, due to actually getting some exercise. So I caved and I ate. I ate and I lifted heavy weights and my eating disorder had seemingly disappeared.
My eating disorder has not disappeared, it had transformed. I was counting calories and macros like there was no tomorrow. Everything had to be ‘clean eating’ and everything I ate could not exceed my calories and macros.
It was not until I met my ex that I was truly free of my eating disorder. I am not advocating smoking weed here, but I am going to say that it almost completely solved my problems with food. My ex encouraged me to smoke weed as I am quite a hyperactive person, so he wanted to calm me down. With smoking weed I found that I had the munchies all the time, and eventually, over time, I began to stop caring about counting calories, macros, and stopped worrying about if I were the skinniest or most muscular version of myself.