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My relationship with food, Anonymous (16)

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.

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1 Comment


DEAR TEENAGERS,
DEAR TEENAGERS,
May 22, 2020

The honesty and vulnerability you showed in telling this story takes a lot of strength. Not only did you manage to mostly recover from a negative relationship with food, but you managed to find new love for yourself. Learning to love yourself despite any flaws that you think you have is really tough. Even though you may still not be in a fully healthy relationship with food, you have come a long way. I hope that you are proud of yourself for the progress you made, you deserve it! I am also glad to hear that you found friends who are able to be there for you when you need someone to lean on. I think your story is inspirational…

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