Written by Laryn
To be honest, I don’t know where I’m even going to start with this… in fact, it’s taken me months to finally get to writing this because
a) I didn’t know where to begin, and
b) I was too afraid and self-conscious to talk about this-
but now, I figure if it does not benefit me in this writing, then hopefully it may benefit one of you. Especially to those who need to understand a bit more of a perspective of a family or friend or you need someone to relate to – on the topic of, what I like to call, a devil- or ED (short for Eating Disorders, but we can call him Ed- warning: he sucks, and if this a trigger to you in any way- PLEASE do not read further- this is not intended to trigger, but to inform).
I’m here to tell y’all that it’s okay; it’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to feel pain, it’s okay to make mistakes and fail at times, it’s okay to try new things, and in the end, it’s okay to love yourself.
And believe me, I learned this the hard way.
And I guess if we’re going to start this, we might as well start from the beginning- the lovely, awkward, pre-teen years we call junior high.
I wasn’t exactly bullied in the sense of cyberbullying, or the kind you see on TV- in class, spit wads, or hallways and lockers- moreover, on the self-mentality of bullying. I bullied myself, I gave up on myself at a time, and I fell into a trap.
I made some friends and I lost some friends; I faked myself and I lost myself. I found myself constantly looking in the mirror, worrying on every little bite I ate, and becoming addicted to the gym.
Now don’t get me wrong there’s a healthy way to work on yourself and go to the gym, but there is also an unhealthy way- and unfortunately, that was what I chose. It came to a point where I was almost grounded from the gym- Hello, Orthorexia and Anorexia…
And shortly after that, within the year, I came to a point where I still focused on my body and hated myself. However, I became even more subconscious than I realized and I started to eat more and more. Which, psychologically, the more you are concerned with your body and what you eat, the more you tend to eat, unknowingly/subconsciously- so needless to say, worrying about my body (or yours) does me no good- not yesterday, tomorrow, or ever. And Hello Binging…
p.s. if you are ever wondering, yes, binging is a type of eating disorder. However, many do not recognize this and turn away the thought that America is being overpowered by this addiction of binge-eating.
Shortly after starting the binge… I became self-conscious of this as well- go figure. And it came to a point where I became mentally sick of myself; I could no longer put up with myself and claim my actions, so I grabbed my nifty-difty, stupid tools and began to throw up- Hello Bulimia…
I started to fall into a bottomless trap and could no longer control myself, until-
I grabbed ahold of myself, talked with the people I love openly, and gave myself a second chance.
After four years of being sucked in and feeling hopeless, hateful, and envious of others, I found a redemption and opportunity to pick up my pieces and give myself another chance.
Previously, I didn’t know what else there was to life; I thought that it was normal to have an eating disorder, and that all girls hated themselves this bad- I was dead wrong. Granted, I didn’t know any better; my growing years and years of learning had been side-by-side with Ed. And then I realized that there is so much more to life than I could ever have imagined with Ed.
It is okay to change, it is okay to love yourself, and, most of all, that it is okay to admit you need help. Through this, I also came closer to my Savior (part of my belief as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). I had never been as close to my Savior and finding myself than when I was in the Inpatient Unit of a Treatment Center for Eating Disorders.
I learned that it was okay to make mistakes and still love myself because I also learned that I could take as many second-chances as I needed, until I got it right- a.k.a. don’t hate yourself and give up after every relapse, pick it up and get your crap together. The world is such a beautiful place- I don’t have to cry over growing and learning more things- even if that means being a woman and loving it!
So go ahead!! You can finally eat that slice of cake – you don't need to slave four hours of anxiety or three hours at the gym for it. You can eat those carbs (that’s a naughty word to some- instead, we’ll call it carbohydrates and energy). WHAT YOU EAT IS ENERGY, NOT CALORIES. That word is so negative in todays’ world, but truly, it’s energy- don’t judge the fats, sugars, fiber, or even laxatives (I’m looking at you, past me!). You can wear a swimsuit and love yourself in it- because in the end PEOPLE WILL NOT JUDGE YOU ON WHAT YOU WEAR OR HOW YOU LOOK, BUT HOW YOU ACT AND HOW YOU TREAT THEM.
You are not defined by how you look, you are defined by your heart, and you determine your destiny and actions.