When I was younger, I suffered from anorexia and bulimia for a long time. I would starve myself at times, but when I finally ate, I would binge on large portions and junk food. Afterward, I would feel so guilty I would take diet pills and laxatives, followed by purging. It was a vicious cycle that began when I was 14 years old and went on until I was 20. At times, it got so bad I started hiding a daily collection of vomit jars under my bed, so I could see how much I’d thrown up that day. It was morbid, but I would feel a sense of accomplishment or defeat if I met or didn’t meet my goal for the day. I was not well and started to lose my hair, and my teeth were decaying.
Finally, when I turned 20, I stopped binging and purging. What I didn’t expect was to begin a toxic relationship in place of my eating disorder. This relationship went on until I was 23, and then my world came crashing down. The one regret I would have from that experience was losing myself throughout those years. However, I gained a new best friend (my son Jude) from it all, so in the end, I regret nothing!
Today, at 26, I have dedicated my life to rebuilding myself and relearning what it means to have a sense of body positivity. For me, it is exercising and eating foods that are useful for my body, eating in moderation, and not feeling guilty about having a cheat day. I don’t like to count calories and macros – I do what feels right! Some days I love to lift weights at the gym, listen to heavy metal, and rock out. Other days, I play lo-fi music as I stretch and meditate. I’m still learning and working on finding balance.
I do still struggle with guilt from food and, sadly, body shame myself. But on those days, I tell myself that those thoughts are no longer welcome in my head, then I do something my mind and body would enjoy. It has been a long road, but I am finally in a place where I can say I choose myself, and it’s a beautiful place to be!