While growing up I was always taught I had to be the best at everything. My parents taught me anything less than perfect was not good enough. So naturally I never felt good enough. My journey started in the 8th grade when I unintentionally lost 10 pounds while on a trip to India. I noticed my pants were loose and my stomach was flat. I felt confident, and was determined to stay “fit.” So during the summer I spent hours exercising and hiding food. I lost five more pounds. I felt confident and I was excited for high school. But once high school started the pressure from my parent’s to get perfect grades became worse. They also pressured me into extracurricular activities, and they even chose my classes. I was unhappy because I never felt good enough. I wasn’t smart and I wasn’t pretty or so I thought at the time. I was constantly comparing myself to everyone. Everyone was prettier, and I wanted to be as pretty as them. So I restricted. It started with cutting out fats and then restricting calories. The only food I ate was my mom’s because it was “safe and clean.” The weight came off fast, but I wasn’t happy. All I ever thought about was food. I was constantly checking if my stomach was still flat and if my pants were looser. I was constantly tired and anything made me cry. I remember on my 15th birthday I cried because my mom made me eat a banana before school. I just wanted to be perfect, but my relationship with food was destructive. It didn’t take long for my parent’s to start noticing that I was too thin. It was the summer after freshman year of high school that my parent’s stepped in. From then on it was interchanging between being normal and restricting. It wasn’t until college that I realized that I’d rather be happy, and I would never be happy if I didn’t let go of this eating disorder. With the help of my family (they still call me every day to see if I’ve eaten!) and friends I have slowly let go of my eating disorder. I realized it wasn’t worth it, and life is too short to put off hopes and dreams. I’m now 24 and I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. I’ve run a multitude of 5k’s, 7 half-marathons, and 2 marathons. None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t chosen to get better.
I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. From time to time I still feel sad because I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn’t had an eating disorder. I’m participating in the NEDA Walk because I don’t want anyone to go through what I have been through. This was really hard to post. As most of my friends know, I hate talking about this. If you donate to my fundraising page it will go towards promoting body image, improving quality of treatment, and increase research. You can donate any amount. Even if it’s just a dollar it would help so much! I wouldn’t ask if this did not mean a lot to me.
Thank you so much for your support. I am able to spread the word about NEDA and eating disorders with the confidence that I will feel embraced by my loved ones. Please help me fill my thermometer by forwarding my page to anyone you think might want to join in the cause with us!