*Trigger Warning*: Out of respect for all readers, I wish to disclose that this post features content relating to eating disorders—specifically binge eating disorder (BED). Although I do not plan to go into any real detail about it at this time, if you have had, currently have, or suspect that you may have an eating disorder, and you feel that viewing such content may be triggering for you, please do not continue. Likewise, if you are someone who simply feels uncomfortable reading such content, please do not continue. It is not my wish to trigger or upset anyone in any way. I simply wish to share my life experiences… for better or for worse.
I seriously thought I was past all of this nonsense.
In case you’re a new reader or simply haven’t read the posts in which I’ve previously discussed this topic, I have had a very unhealthy relationship with body image, food, and weight for… forever, I want to say. Just typing that brings to me to tears because there simply are no words for how frustrating my life has become due to something so seemingly simple. No words.
Early last week, I once again fell victim to the trappings of binge eating disorder.
I keep writing and deleting explanations for why I binged the way I did, but the truth is, I don’t know. The days leading up to the initial incident are a complete blur now, but I do remember having a disagreement with someone a day or two prior. It wasn’t a big deal, but something this particular person said really hurt my feelings. We’ve since apologized to one another, but in the time following the disagreement, I became withdrawn and kind of… numb to how I was really feeling.
Needless to say, I kind of mentally checked out for a few days. By the time I “snapped out of it” I realized that I had bought all of this junk food and eaten it. I wasn’t hungry, but the ability to stop eating was lost on me. As a consequence, I gained at least five pounds and made myself physically ill. I felt hopelessly sick and sluggish for days afterwards. My body was not used to the types of things I ate or the amounts in which I had eaten them, so I felt like death on legs for quite awhile.
The craziest part of this story is the fact that this was a “baby binge” compared to what I used to do. So at first, I was totally rationalizing everything. I kept thinking, “This is nothing. You’re just getting your cravings out of your system before the new diet. You can work this off and it will be like it never happened. You’ve done far worse before.” I had somehow convinced myself (however poorly) that what I had done wasn’t a big deal because it wasn’t like “before”.
The mere fact that I attempted to conceal the severity of what I had done proves that this was exactly like before.
Discussing this topic is emotionally draining for me, so I’m not able to write about it as clearly as I would like to at the moment. There are so many things about this issue that I would like to say, but everything is swirling around in my head without any discernible rhyme or reason. Not only am I terribly embarrassed to share this part of my life, but unspeakably ashamed as well.
In short, binge eating has completely ruined my life.
This issue first developed when I was in 7th grade; I’ve been wrestling with (and losing to) it ever since. Aside from wrecking my metabolism and causing significant weight gain over the years, it has sabotaged all of my attempts to reclaim my former life and body. My confidence, once glowing and infectious, has been whittled down to nothing. I’ve felt forced to give up on dreams, pass up opportunities, and alter my true personality and desires in order to avoid being unfairly judged or rejected.
I’ve spent many years trying to convince myself that it’s okay if I miss out on certain experiences in life. It’s okay if I instantly look down in the presence of a mirror or camera. It’s okay to preach self-love and body positivity, but only mean it for everyone but myself. It’s okay that I despise every piece of clothing I own because my favorite designers have never and probably will never make anything in my current size. It’s okay to assume men aren’t attracted to me since I wouldn’t be either. It’s okay to keep succumbing to binges because I’m never going to be able to keep the weight off anyway. What a miserable pack of lies.
The worst lie of all is the one I’ve told myself the most: You can’t let anyone know the real reason you can’t lose weight.
The hallmark of most eating disorders is secrecy.
Some people keep it a secret because it makes them feel abnormal. Others keep it a secret for fear of what others may think or say. In other cases, people keep it a well guarded secret in order to sort of “protect” their illness and allow it to run its course uninterrupted. As for me, I’ve kept this issue hidden for all of these reasons at one point of time or another.
But… I refuse to keep this a secret any longer.
Within the next couple posts or so, I will be sharing my personal binge eating story. I will try to talk about how it all got started and what parents/family/friends can look out for. It’s definitely not going to be easy for me to talk about all of this, so I’m not exactly sure when I’ll feel up to it. However, it’s really important for me to share what I’ve gone through concerning this topic because I do not want other people to go through the same things I have.
Hopefully, I can help encourage someone to go get help or assist someone in seeing the signs in their loved one. So if this is a topic you would like to hear more about, please stay tuned.
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