I Don't Look Like I Have An Eating Disorder?

I Don't Look Like I Have An Eating Disorder?

Before I knew it, I was lying hopeless in a hospital bed.
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Eating disorders do not have looks. Every word you say that refers to food and fat clings to my mind like a child to his mother. With every hour that goes by, I wait until it’s “okay” to eat. I run on the treadmill until I have burned enough to feel calm enough to leave. I dance a little extra to burn more than I can eat. I look at food and don’t think of its flavor, but rather the “numbers” it contains. My mind is like a working calculator, adding up numbers as it makes sure the numbers on the scale subtract.

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder?

I look in the mirror and pull at my skin. I pull up my jeans and wish I was thin. I compare myself to every walking creature surrounding me. Why can’t I be pretty? I wish for the foods I cannot eat, and I savor every last bite of those I can. I constantly touch my body to make sure I have not grown bigger. I lie and pretend I love my workout in an effort to fraudulently convince myself to lose weight. I slowly start tracking the calories in the foods I never even cared about. And, I question, am I skinny yet?

I chew on gum and drink plain tea. Isn’t that what the media told me to do? I count the clock to make sure I eat slow enough to stay full until the next “meal.” You tell me that you ate too much? I say you’re skinnier than me and then cry myself to sleep. I worry about each bite I take, as I watch my thighs grow and my stomach expand. I begin to push you away, for my relationship with calorie counting takes precedent. The gym becomes my number one best friend. I weigh myself every morning and feel motivated when I see the number decreasing. Your comments motivate me to run more and eat less. The only liquid calories I allow myself to drink are the calories in alcohol. Those are the only ones that can shut my brutal thoughts up.

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder?

The calories I do not deserve. I promise you I will eat more but instead make a plan on how to avoid each of my meals the next day. My rib bones peak through my skin, but I still carry too much fat. The smallest of jeans become my biggest pair. I love my body. I hate my body.

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder?

I am thinner than ever by now. I cry at the doctor when I’m told I’m too thin, but I still spit out the gum that I cannot afford to eat – the gum that has too much calories for me to consume. I sit in my favorite class, deciding what to not eat for dinner. I stop running because I lose my eyesight after the first half mile. I stop socializing because I have no energy to fake a smile. The blandest of foods begin to taste like my favorites. I spend sleepless nights wrapped in ten blankets while my gloves barely keep my withering hands warm. Each workout is done with no feeling in my body – a body that is fueled by water and half an apple, which is still too much food. I lie. I say I’m doing better, but all I am doing is weighing less.

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder?

I am weakening. I have no emotions. I am a brick wall. But, that is still not good enough. I am starving, but the alcohol will numb away the pain. The alcohol, however, is too much, so I now must use my calloused fingers to rid my body of it. I am too sick to know that I am sick. I wake up and see bruises on my arm and an IV in my hand. I have very little memory of how I got to where I am but a very vivid memory of what I ate for lunch before hand. I am being fed, and I do not want to be fed. I have to eat, but I don’t want to be fat. Food equals fat to me. It’s all it has ever equaled to for the past three years. I don’t fight; I’m too weak to fight. I eat, and I feel a relief in my body that my mind does not like. Voices scream. They scream so loud, as I watch my body blow up like a balloon. I thought I knew what it felt like to be scared, but I never knew until now. My biggest fear was here.

I want to look like I have an eating disorder.

I am gaining weight, and I am getting healthy. My mind is not healthy. I want to be skinny. I cannot be fat. I am getting fat. I am eating foods that haven’t been on my Fitness Pal for years. I want to rip my IV out. I want to rip my fat out. I want to shove my hand down my sore throat and release my pain. But, I am getting healthy. I know this is what i need. I know this is how I will live. My body is too weak to walk to the bathroom. I can do nothing but sit here, eat, and kill myself over it.

I don’t look like i have an eating disorder?

I have gained weight. I am starting to look healthy again – so I am told. My anxiety is at a peaking point. I scream and hurt those around me. I do whatever I can to avoid any calories I can, but with every bite I take, I feel my body thanking me. I slowly gain control over what I can eat. I still count each calorie like it is a mathematical equation; however, I am now aware that each calorie is just another minute added to the life I almost destroyed. I am enjoying food, but I am seeing the weight piling on. Each minute, hour, and day go by, and I see my clothes getting tighter. I am in a battlefield with my healthy mind and the disorder. I am finally feeling free. But, I am feeling fat as well. I always feel fat. I felt fat ten years ago, three years ago, three weeks ago, and now. I can eat or not eat, but I am still fat.

I do not want an eating disorder.

Each day, I feel healthier. I am happy. I am triggered. Each day comes with different obstacles. I am healthy, and I know that life is too short to be controlled by an eating disorder. Life is food. We live each day to eat. I will never be fully free of my eating disorder, but I will be free enough to know how to control it. I hear girls cry. I hear them wish they were someone who they aren’t. I wish they knew that they will never be satisfied. They will be “fat” no matter how much weight they lose or gain because we seem to never be happy with what we have. But, that can change. Everyone is beautiful, and they will be beautiful at their heaviest and at their lowest because beauty is what is on the inside. Eating disorders are not fun. They are not something to wish for. They are something to take hold of and fight until you gain your life back. I am still triggered. I am surrounded by triggers. I am surrounded by people who think it is okay to restrict calories and to diet all day, every day. But, I am also surrounded by my own thoughts that are reminding me that life is too short to miss out on that one meal you want the most. It is too short to go even a second wishing you were something or someone who you are not.

Cover Image Credit: https://blog.healthalliance.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Eating-Disorders.jpg

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).

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With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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