adriel (startherup) wrote in ed_ucate,

my history

Someone suggested I post this here. With all the ignorance and misperception about eating disorders in the world today, it's very difficult to help those without EDs understand how one can develop. I think a lot of people (most of the world) get the impression that someone just wakes up one day and says "I'm fat. I'm going to stop eating food." and we all know, that's not the way it works. There are endless ways people end up with EDs, and this is just one story. I was in a very down mood the other night and this whole essay, per se, came cascading out of me. Here it is, in all it's glory-- maybe it will clear some things up for someone, or maybe some of you can relate.

Disease - 1, Me - 0

I'd give ANYTHING to not care about food so much. I wish I could for once look at any type of food without my mind automatically wondering how many cals are in it, how fat it will make me, or how long it would take to work off the cals in it. I wish I could enjoy the food I eat. I wish I could go out for pizza with my friends and go to new restaurants. I wish I could have one scoop of ice cream and not feel like I've ruined the entire day. I wish I could take an empty stomach for pain instead of accomplishment. I wish food were a part of life- something I need for nourishment-- instead of life itself, and something that has become the enemy.

I don't understand how I allowed myself to get this way. well, yes, I do. You start off wanting to lose a few pounds, so you begin 'watching what you eat', you start exercising and try to be healthy with the decisions you make concerning your body. I gave up alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, fast food, junk food. I would treat myself every now and then, eating like a 'healthy normal person' should. I make sure my meals are balanced and include good choices. Then it wasn't enough. I start reading everything I can on the internet for nutrition, health and weight loss info. Soon after that, I'm avidly reading food labels. My meals get smaller and smaller by the week. "I'm just trying to be healthy" I keep telling myself. and I really did-- want to be healthy and fit and not be a prisoner to the junk I used to put in myself. "Fast Food Nation" and "SuperSize Me" were saviors. I've never set foot in a McDonald's since.

Eventually down the road I'm counting calories. I've lost a few pounds. "yes this is working! it's true, with effort you can do it!". but it's not good enough. No, you're never satisfied. Look in the mirror. look on the scale. now I'm weighing myself nearly every day instead of once a week. Now I'm choosing to work out every night instead of go out with my friends. everything has a schedule-- I don't have time for a social life. I don't have time for school work.

"Adriel, have you lost weight?"
"yes, I have."
"What have you been doing?"
"I gave up junk and started exercising!"

and it's true. but what they don't know is the struggle every day, every minute. Because in between those two facts are binges, trying to induce vomit, obsessing over portions, thinking about food 24/7, hours agonizing over my body, day in day out revolving everything I do about what I'll eat, when I'll eat and making sure I'll have enough time to work out. Any distraction would be nice. Just anything to get my mind off of food. pretty soon, I've taken out ALL possibilities of 'treating myself now and then.' I stop bingeing and have amazing self control. I've lost 10 more lbs. still not good enough. See that jiggle in your thighs? LOSE IT. Look at your fat stomach? GET RID OF IT. Back on track. Now I've started a food diary. Everything that goes in my body, goes down on paper along with the calories. Still reading information on the internet. Yeah, they say it's not healthy to eat less than 1200. I'm clocking 900 a day. But it's working! and I still feel fine! I'm not too tired and I'm doing everything else right. I'm getting all my food groups and I take vitamins, whatever, this is working.

Back on the scale. 20 lbs down. 600 cals a day. I look okay in a swimsuit! still not good enough. People are starting to say I look really thin. this is awesome. I buy new clothes, smaller ones, I can fit into them now. My BMI says I'm at the lowest point for a healthy weight at my height. fuck you. the BMI scale can't see this fat roll on my stomach, can't see how my arms are flabby and my thighs jiggle. 8 more pounds and i'll be all right.

I am completely consumed. "Hey, what's that youre eating? Oh, peanut butter and jelly sandwhich and some potato chips? looks good" but you think to yourself... disgusting. look at all that shit they are putting in their body. dont they KNOW? I am SO glad I can resist that. Then I bake some cookies, "Hey mom and dad, I baked some sweets, you want some?" yes, eat them all. eat them up. you have to eat them. I am too good for them. Dont they look delicious? Hah, I resist them. Seeing other people stuff their faces makes you feel empowered. 'I'm too good for that. Look at those fatasses having those hotdogs. gross'

I haven't had a whole meal in 5 months. A meal for me is something the size of a bowl of cereal at the most. anything larger than that and I feel like I've binged. that's insane. I know it is. everything about my attitude toward food is insane and abnormal. One apple isn't an adequate lunch. a whole sandwich doesn't mean I've overeaten. but it feels like it. Soon you get used to the ache in your tummy. it becomes a comfort. anytime there is weight there from food is disgusting. You see fat people-- "i'll never be like that. how can they? idiots".

It's not about if other people think you look good. Maybe it was at the very beginning. No, I don't care if a guy would rather me have a bit of a butt. I'm not doing this for you. When I wrap my arms around my body I feel nothing but imperfection. the feeling of extra skin in places. it's enough to make me want to put a gun to my head. I don't care what the magazines say. I'm looking at those skinny runway models and some of them actually don't look that attractive to me, but I'd give anything to be that thin. it's not about being attractive. I can't stand this body I'm in. The media can tell me I'm not fat. My scale can tell me I'm not fat. A random person or a friend or family member can even say I'm looking really thin. NONE OF IT MATTERS.

"Don't even think about eating that piece of pizza. It will kill you. You don't want to be a fat cow do you? look at the grease! it's revolting!" Still 8 more lbs and it'll be all right. But It will never be enough. This will never end.

If you think someone chooses to be like this, you are severly mistaken. If you think only vapid immature wannabe 13 year old girls have eating disorders, you know nothing. It starts off with good intentions. you don't realize what's happening until it's too late, and by then, you're too far in to care. once you're there, there's no erasing, no changing, no going back. it's hell. your own hell. you have control of it. but it really has control of you. maybe youre not diagnosed. maybe you never really will be. but you know. you know there is something askew with the way you view yourself, food, health, the world, and everyone else. but you can't change it. you will never escape. you can't enjoy life. you can't maintain friendships or relationships. nothing is important anymore but losing that next pound. you don't want to get better because it means you'll be out of control and you'll get fat. and you'd rather die than see that happen.

love, adriel

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