The theme of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018 was “Let’s Get Real.” I am about to share with you my reality living with ED.
2 am: I wake up on my bedroom floor in sweaty gym clothes. I’ve fallen asleep between sets of crunches again. I guess I should call it quits for the night.
6 am: Wake up. Pour my 100 calorie packet of oatmeal with water. Complete calf raises until my oatmeal finishes. Stand at the counter during breakfast. Standing burns more calories so I cannot allow myself to sit. Oatmeal is finished, I’m still hungry. Oh well, more calf raises.
10 am: My stomach audibly growls. I will allow myself a 40 calorie packet of dried apples. My stomach continues to growl.
Gym class: My tailbone is bruised, in excruciating pain from doing crunches on the hardwood floor. Oh well. I’m starving but I like it; I feel powerful when I’m hungry… More crunches.
Lunchtime: Finally a decent meal. 4 thin slices of turkey on a 100 calorie sandwich thin and 85 grams of carrots. I cut my small sandwich into pieces. It will last longer that way. I’ve finished eating 10 minutes into lunch period. Have to track these calories. Cannot go above 800 calories for the day or I might gain weight.
Dinnertime: Tomato soup, prepared with water. Have to eat light so I don’t get sick during my workout.
Finished my homework, time to run. 2 hours of running, 30 minutes of step-ups, 20 minutes of crunches. I’m hungry and tired and my hair is falling out in clumps, but I want to be skinny. I have to be skinny. Keep going until you disappear. Keep going…
2 am: Wake up on my bedroom floor…
This went on for quite some time. Anorexia nervosa is nothing to take lightly. The disorder is glamorized by the media, but it is nothing to be celebrated. You will lose weight, sure; but you will also lose your health, your emotions, your relationships, and yourself.
This post was not easy to write, and is certainly not easy to share. However, I want others to know they are not alone. I am an advocate for ED recovery and it has become my mission to speak out against eating, exercise, and body image disorders.
If you believe you are suffering from an eating disorder, I encourage you to seek help. You are beautiful, you are enough, and you are worth so much more than a number on a scale.