I have been dealing with an eating disorder for quite some time now, coming up on a few years. It started as something small that I thought I could control, just cutting out a few meals and cutting out foods that weren’t ‘good for me’ here and there, but it quickly morphed into something much bigger that took over my life. It’s affected my relationship with food and the people around me.
In the beginning, I felt like I was in control of what was happening and that it was helping me. Slowly though, it became harder to keep up with this strict lifestyle as my obsession with food became all-consuming. My focus shifted from healthy eating to being more restrictive about what I consumed to an unhealthily low amount of calories each day – never giving myself enough energy or nutrition.
What has been most difficult about this experience is the loneliness I feel around food and meal times - when everyone else around me can indulge without worry, but for me every choice has consequences. This struggle affects how I view myself each day; even if others didn’t know what was inside my head, I still felt disconnected from them when it came to any sort of bonding over food.
What has eased some of this pain is speaking openly about my experiences in hopes of connecting to others who have gone through similar things or simply understand what it feels like to be so singularly fixated on something most people take for granted. Even now while grocery shopping or looking at recipes online can be difficult sometimes, being able to connect with someone who understands the feeling helps give me perspective when all the thoughts become too overwhelming and discouraging.
As tough as this journey has been (and continues to be), there are still moments where I can enjoy food without judgement or making myself feel less than because of it – and those moments are slowly getting easier and happen more often these days.