It's The Most Terrifying Time Of The Year
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Health and Wellness

It's The Most Terrifying Time Of The Year

Eating disorders make the most effective diets.

It's The Most Terrifying Time Of The Year

The holiday season is full of family, friends, fun, and food. It's a time to be joyous. The time to treat yo'self. Truly, the most wonderful time of the year. It's Thanksgiving, and what is Thanksgiving without a plate full of food? It's Christmas, so go ahead and have that cookie. It's Hanukkah, just feel free to grab another slice of pizza. It's New Year's Eve, why not end the year with a bang and a burger? Everyone else is splurging, so why can't I?

We're all used to putting on some holiday weight. Maybe five, ten, or even fifteen pounds. That's normal. We fill out a little more in November and December, then we make a New Year's Resolution to shed the weight by February or March when we need to pull out the swimwear. It happens almost every year. We go through periods of "Thinspiration." Periods of desperately wanting to be thin because our jeans are too tight and there's no way we can fit into our little black dress. So what do we do? Find a crash diet to lose all the weight. FAST.

A pure water diet. An all salad diet. A no-carbs diet. A Weight Watchers diet. Take a pill and boost your metabolism. Don't lift a finger in the gym. Lose weight, look great. The new year is full of new ads and new ways to lose old weight. Ways to get trim your tummy, flex the fat away, and make your derriere dynamite.

We all buy into it. How could we not? The ads are so tempting. The people who follow the diet always look fantastic. And of course, we have all been meaning to lose weight, anyhow. The new year is simply an excuse to diet as a country.

I'm someone who has struggled with my weight for my entire life. I have never had a freaky high metabolism, and I'm also not into pumping iron or toning my abs. I'm just a pudge. I always have been, and probably always will be.

My first diet was probably when I was eight or nine. I remember making a list about all the different ways I could lose weight. The goal was always 20 pounds. Eat only fruits and vegetables. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every single day. No desserts.

But even if I followed these guidelines very strictly, I found myself not losing any weight and usually just gaining more. I thought, "Maybe I'm trying to do too much at once. Let's go down to 10 pounds. Yeah, that's a good start..."

It was a good start. But the good start was never paired with a good finish. For years, I tried dieting time and time again. Cut out sodas. No more desserts. Well, okay... Maybe just like once or twice a week. Exercise every day. Or, maybe... Every other day is still really good! Eat more fruits and vegetables. Strawberry poptarts count, right?

No matter what I did, I couldn't lose the weight. Year after year, I tried to shed the pounds, but instead, I kept packing them on.

At my heaviest, I was at least 230 pounds. I was 16 and 5'3".

When I was 17, my world collapsed. I lost what I held the closest to my heart: my friends. They handed me their list of reasons why they didn't like me and they walked away from me. I was alone. Just like Chandler Bing from the beloved show "Friends," I was "hopeless and awkward and desperate for love." I was five months away from being 18, and I had never been kissed. Never had sex. Never even had a romantic partner. Nobody took any interest in me, and I was tired of it.

That was when I discovered the most effective diets I have ever used... Anorexia and bulimia.

In 2015, I didn't eat for most of the month of March. In April, I discovered that I could eat and simply use laxatives to cleanse my system of the food. Then in May, I was back to starving myself.

In one month, I lost about 40 pounds. It had finally worked. I had finally lost weight. I could even fit into my sister's clothes. Even though I wasn't proud of how I lost the weight, I was proud that I finally had.

But we all know that some habits are hard to break.

For months after I lost the weight, the disordered eating patterns continued. I would go two weeks without food, remember how good food is, binge eat for a few hours, feel guilty over everything that was put into my body, and then use laxatives to get rid of it all... The cycle was vicious, and I still haven't quite escaped.

Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I see my old self. I see the version of me that was 230 pounds and full of acne. A weak bra and mom jeans. Frumpy granny panties and stretch marks. This image terrifies me. Every time I look at myself in the mirror, I automatically criticize my weight. Every last inch of me is terrified to gain weight.

With every Christmas cookie and slice of turkey came immediate regret. Instant terror. A wave of fear. I kept thinking about the 2XL shirts in my closet that were just waiting for me to gain all of that weight back.

We all dread the holidays for some reason. (Even me, the Christmas addict.) We have to see the family again. We have to escape talking about what we'll do after college at the dinner table. We have to get through holiday parties without people noticing we're alone. We have to pull out the heavy coats and the knitted scarves to survive the freezing tundra we live in. But for me, it's the food. The food I love so much. The food I can inhale in half of a second. The food that taunts me because it knows exactly what it will do to me.

The worst part, is that I'm not alone. People all over feel this way and go through the same thing I do. We know we're not "fat." We know this isn't healthy. We know we need help. But we're scared. We're scared thin.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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