A few days ago, I stepped on the scale and realized something: I have been dealing with this eating disorder for ten years. TEN YEARS! I couldn’t believe it.
And that was probably the longest I had ever spent on a scale. I was just staring at my weight, trying to wrap my head around the fact that this all started when I was a junior in high school — and the fact that high school was ten years ago.
After a rough volleyball season, I decided to lose weight. I wasn’t obese or even overweight, but I was on the heavier side of the weight range for my height. With the help of my mom, who was also losing weight, I lost 20 pounds, no problem! But I began to struggle when I hit a plateau. It led to an eating disorder.
For the rest of my junior and senior years I struggled with everything — starving myself, binge eating, and emotional eating. I even tried to throw up meals a few times. The worst part of it was that I linked being skinny with being popular and having a boyfriend. Like hitting a certain weight would solve all my “problems.”
One misconception about eating disorders is that they are solely about eating. It’s also about the struggle to love yourself, take care of yourself, or feel worthy of love. Each cause is unique. Thoughts like that take their toll on a person’s self-esteem, it certainly did mine.
It wasn’t until college that I realized this mental state was wrecking my life. Emotional eating had taken over my nutrition habits and depression ruled every aspect of my day. I couldn’t function so I returned home for my sophomore year of college to work through it.
I started writing to figure out how to express my emotions. By understanding how others expressed love, hate, frustration, etc I was able to figure out how I was supposed to express those emotions. It took months, but I finally stopped eating my feelings and I started loving myself. Problems solved, right?
Why has my weight yo-yoed since then?
Simple. It was never a top priority.
I didn’t realize that I never totally fixed the problem during that year. Overeating and…