The Darkness Of An Eating Disorder

The Darkness Of An Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are not just about food, but about control.
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The darkness of an eating disorder; it will never be enough.

I found this weird sense of comfort in being miserably cold.

I was completely alone, in my head all day every day. Every day became just watching the seconds go by on the clock trying to do something else other than think about food. The days became just one more day to get through. But the thing is, when your life revolved around something, especially something that is essential for living, it's a really difficult thing to do.

Hungry -- so unbelievably hungry. My stomach had been growling for three days now, but I felt a very sick satisfaction out of being so hungry and being able to control myself from not eating. Every day dragged on and on until I decided it was OK for me to eat. At this point, my thoughts were being taken over by an evil I didn't even realize could affect me. I was too weak to get out of bed in the morning and so cold, I was wearing three layers of sweaters and three pairs of socks.

The even sad part of it is, even how miserable I was, I loved every second of knowing I was skin and bones. I looked into the mirror and saw a fat pig which is my body dysmorphia messing with my head.

I was 90 pounds. That wasn't enough for me to believe I was actually too skinny. For my anorexic brain, which was now controlling my every thought, I could never be skinny enough.

My thoughts were consumed by numbers and measurements, and I was so malnourished that I would black out. I cannot even remember five months of my life.

I had never been depressed before, but in that time of my life, I was self-destructing and in my lowest depression. I isolated myself because hanging out with people involved food most of the time and I would do anything to avoid being in a situation like that.

Now, you are reading this from a girl who used to get excited when food came on the table, loved cooking and lived to eat not just survive. I have an Italian family and we all love to eat.

So I never understood how I got stuck in a disorder like this, but it is like an addiction, and addiction affects a wide variety of people. I could not get out of misery and I found such an unbelievable comfort in being miserable it baffled me. This was not just about food when I was in a time where control of myself and my life was out of reach, I could control what I put into my mouth.

I was battling myself and my mind which had so much power over me. I was not me anymore, I was dead on the inside, numb and "zombified" by my enemy, anorexia. Ana became my best friend and the only one I needed to please, which was destroying my heart, mind and health. I was a hypocrite, I gave advice when people asked because I knew exactly what to do to be healthy and not destroy myself, but did the complete opposite.

To this day, I have learned that overcoming an enemy so strong is possible and have gained so much confidence and self-esteem in my own body.

Recovery is possible for anyone struggling with an eating disorder and it becomes a spiritual awakening for you.

Cover Image Credit: techprone

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I Tried To Lose Weight All My Life But Couldn't Shed The Pounds Until I Turned To God

Now it's easier than ever and I'm never looking back.

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It's amazing how good it feels to get rid of something that has felt like such a tall barrier in your life for so long. For years, and years, honestly, as many years as I can remember, I have felt held back by my weight. It's something that never truly left my mind, whether it was how I looked in my school uniform skort compared to other girls, how I looked in pictures, the thoughts that raced through my head lying in bed that night, or if what I ordered off the menu would make me look fat. It was always something.

Now I have tried, or so I thought I had. I had tried giving up carbs for two weeks, doing workout videos, or eating healthy, occasionally running, or honestly, anything I thought might help a bit. But there I was after a full year of college, heavier than ever.

It was then that I found my secret ingredient, it was then that I found the ultimate weight-loss secret: Prayer.

I found myself amidst a challenge that I didn't know if I was mentally strong enough to handle, faced against temptations of my wildest food dreams. Canes, pizza, chocolate, ice cream, oh my!

I had never thought once about offering up my prayers to God when it came to my weight. I'm not sure why, honestly. It was something that I had struggled with for so long, that it almost felt normal.

Now, when I feel tempted I ask myself a lot if this is the "abundantly more" that God promises us. If it isn't, then I don't pick it. Strength is a process, just like endurance or habits.

I have learned that by offering up the comparisons I feel at the gym, listening to podcasts while running, or Jesus music while practically swimming in my sweat, I am motivated to keep going, not dragged down by the progress I haven't made. I have learned to thank God for the journey He has taken me on so far, and for giving me the capability to overcome these hurdles.

Jesus Didn't die on the cross and tell us to get our butts out there and make disciples of all the nations just for us to sit and be upset with ourselves and compare ourselves to those tiny pictures on our screens. Let's go, we don't have time for that. We have work to do.

No, I'm not saying that if you pray for Jesus to make you lose 15 pounds, the weight will fall off, but I am saying that through Christ, all things are possible, and with Him by my side, the running doesn't feel as difficult.

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My Body Is My Body, And I'm Done Hating Its Size

I am done wishing to take up less space.

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I am—presently—a size twelve. That puts me two sizes below officially plus-sized and my clothes at the bottom of every pile in every store. I gained twenty pounds in the past year, but I've never been thin. Thin-adjacent, maybe, and definitely not subject to as much societal pressure as people bigger than me.

No one has ever made a negative comment about my weight to my face.

But that didn't mean I ever passed mirrors without noticing my size. Or that I didn't constantly compare myself to other girls—real and Photoshopped alike—who had smaller waists or narrower thighs than me. I daydreamed about being one of them someday, in a mythical future when I was also somehow athletic and cured of stress eating. My real-life diets and exercise regimes were short-lived and always devolved into disappointment. Pursuing the body I wanted only heightened my already-critical view of the body I currently had.

All along, I enthusiastically championed body positivity. Of course, "fat" shouldn't be a bad word. And of course, fat people should be treated with respect. I supported fat people, and bigger-than-thin people, and people with rolls and cellulite and stretch marks.

But I didn't want to be one of them. I wanted to be an ally, someone who could shout encouragements from the safety of a society-approved body.

And then one day, I looked in the mirror and thought the usual: This dress makes me look wider than I am. Except this time, I thought something much less typical: Actually, this dress just reveals the fact that I am not thin. The dress wasn't warping the truth at all. It just wasn't hiding the truth.

And then I thought: How much would my fashion choices change if they didn't revolve around making me look as thin as possible?

I wasn't thin. I had never been thin. I probably wasn't fooling anyone, and I certainly wasn't fooling myself.

I had always encouraged other people to embrace the word fat as an adjective instead of an insult. Some bodies are bigger than others. And the fact that we have decided the bigger ones are the worse ones is purely arbitrary.

But I had never extended that logic to my own body. And now I did.

And that shift in thinking has been monumental.

It's been a month or so, and while I still struggle with instinctive jealousy seeing another girl's flat stomach in her bikini, I also love my own body—and its resident stomach pouch—much more than I ever have.

I ventured away from the high-waisted bikini bottoms this summer and put that stomach on display, a swimsuit first for me. I bought short shorts and liked the way they looked on my thighs. And I wore the dress, the one that first triggered this revelation, to an event and accepted compliments instead of contradicting them.

I am done wasting time waiting to be thin.

I am done wishing to take up less space.

And I am finally at peace with my body.

This is what I look like. It's what I've looked like for a long time. It's who I am. And I'm done buying into the narrative that who I am is a tragedy or an obstacle to overcome. It's just who I am.

I know girls who have elaborate weight-loss plans charted for themselves, who eagerly anticipate shedding twenty percent of their body weight. I know girls who are much smaller than me but still lament their size. I know girls who post before and after pictures of themselves in gym clothes with captions about how proud they are of their progress.

And none of that is wrong. It's okay to be self-conscious, and it's certainly okay to eat right and commit to fitness. It's okay to lose weight, and it's okay to want to, and it's okay to celebrate doing so. Making healthy choices isn't always a desperate bid to escape fatness.

But I know plenty of people for whom it is. I used to be one of them.

And I wish we didn't live in a world where that mindset is the price for being larger-than-thin. If you aren't a single-digit size, you must hate yourself to compensate for it. You must be working to change the situation, or else you deserve to be scorned and shamed.

It's not acceptable to be fat and content.

And that mentality is so insidious that you don't notice it. Until you do.

And I want more people to notice it. I want more people to question it. I want more people to fight it.

I want more people to be unapologetically fat—and unapologetically free because of it.

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