I had always been insecure about my weight. I started developing a lot faster than the people around me and by 11 years old I was heavier and taller than every single person in my grade. I was constantly thinking about what I weighed and how I looked but it wasn’t my only insecurity at the time so it wasn’t the end of the world. Then, I went to public school for the first time when I was 12. Immediately I started noticing that people were wearing different clothing and eating different food and that the way you looked really did matter a lot. When I was 13, a boy started calling me fat as a joke. He would give me advice on how to lose weight and how I used to be a lot skinnier the year before. Although he was partly joking, it really got to me. I stopped bringing lunches to school. I stopped eating breakfast at home. I would only eat a little bit of dinner before saying I was full. I would go on insane diets including vegan, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, etc. with no plans on what to replace my protein, dairy, and gluten with. All I knew is that I wanted to look skinnier. I would exercise everyday and I would eat almost nothing. I would photoshop all of my photos on Instagram to the point where I looked like I had no bones in my body just because I thought I looked better. The celebrities I wanted to look like all had eating disorders. I would constantly read about new ways to lose weight and I would read the symptoms for eating disorders just to find out how they lose so much weight. I would constantly cry about why I wasn’t losing weight as fast as people with anorexia or bulimia. This continued until my freshman year at highschool. I was slowly starting to get better because I had no friends. That wouldn’t make sense normally, but having no friends made me realize that no matter how skinny I got, no one would like me more. I started eating lunch again but I would eat only in the bathroom. I would play games with myself where I wouldn’t open my mouth unless it was to eat for the entire day because I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I wasn’t being bullied, I just didn’t have friends and felt like I didn’t need them. Then I slowly started gaining friends and suddenly my thoughts were back. This time I had heard about a new idea called “chewing and spitting” where you would eat your food, chew it until the taste was gone, and spit it out. I tried this for an entire day and I wasn’t hungry, but I felt so nauseous. I stopped the next day thankfully because it felt horrible. I tried purging my food but my gag reflex isn’t really great so it wouldn’t work most of the time. This caused me to start gaining more weight each time I would binge and not purge. I’m not sure what happened but I don’t believe I have disordered eating habits anymore. I eat normally although I am vegetarian but I’ve replaced meat with other proteins and I’m healthy. I still think about my weight a lot and have days where I starve myself to look the way I want, but I don’t do it as often. I’m honestly not sure what caused me to suddenly be okay but I’m sure that the way I was could suddenly come back in an instant. I have a lot of friends now and they’re always there for me when I’m going through anything eating related and I even have some friends that went through the same things as I did. That’s my eating disorder story.