This post has been a long time coming. I wasn’t sure if this was something my brand could handle. A personal battle many of us deal with: “what will people think when I post this” ; “will my follower count drop” ; “will people look at me differently once they know this about me” ; “what if I don’t get a single like”…
But I was reminded by a friend as to why I started East Coast Sass – it wasn’t to get people to like me or to appeal to the masses. I started this in hopes that I maybe I could help at least one other person. Now when I started this blog back in 2018, it was in no way shape or form meant to showcase the journey I’ve had with my eating disorder.
However, as time went on I began to notice one thing with social media: this “idea” of the “ideal” body, look, person. This idea, I quickly realized, is false and the cause of many individuals hatred toward their bodies.
So I’m here to share my story and over time share the things that have worked for me. I hope my story shows that in the end everything will be okay and there are people out there in YOUR corner (especially when it doesn’t feel like it).
I spent years (12 to be exact) hating and destroying my body in a multitude of ways. Starving it of the proper nutrients to grow, the love and care it needed to survive. Looking back on what I used to do gives me goosebumps, and makes me wonder how on earth I even got to this point. I want to talk about what I would do (so this may trigger some people and I encourage you to scroll down to the next picture because you won’t see it). The point of doing this is to show you that I’ve done many of the same things you’ve done if you’re also battling an ED.
I would binge eat to make it seem like I was “eating a lot” so my parents and friends wouldn’t question me. I was also doing this to lie to myself – it would make me think “okay you put food in your system so you’re good for the day.”
I would go to the gym *at least* 3x a day in college to make sure I never got the freshman 15. I would tell everyone I had to work out for a golf tournament coming up. I would tell myself if I didn’t work out then I wasn’t going to get that 6-pack everyone envied on girls. *FYI You still look damn freaking good in a bikini withOUT a 6-pack*
The pride I had with myself when I would miss or skip a meal is insane. I would tell myself that I have more room for a “great dinner”. Mind you I would throw up that dinner. Doing this made me feel like I was checking the box on my “perfect body” check list.
If I saw a picture where I looked “chunky” in the waist or if I felt I had a “roll” above my underwear or pants line, I would quietly take myself to the bathroom, where I would run the water for 15/20/30 minutes until I was able to throw up any food that was in my body. When questioned why the water was running for so long “oh you know I just needed to brush my teeth”.
I had acrylic nails for the longest time because it was the only thing that stopped my nail polish from chipping. My pointer and middle finger were a perfect sign for anyone close enough to me to know if I was purging.
My moods were all over the place. I struggled with trust. I struggled with letting people get close to me (I didn’t want them to figure out my secret).
But the joke was on me. No one truly trusted me when I would say I’m going to get better or I’m going to stop. Everyone knew I would start the process all over again. Those who I thought had NO CLUE… Well they had every clue.
My “A-ha” Moment
My battle with anorexia nervosa caused me to ruin relationships, trust, friendships, and so much more. But what it really ruined wasn’t those mentioned above with other people: it was the relationship I had with myself, the trust I once had with myself and the friendship we should all have with our bodies that was destroyed.
I stole from myself. I starved myself. I played with my emotions. I hurt myself physically, emotionally, and mentally. I did all of this to a point where I didn’t actually get what “love” meant. People would tell me “love yourself first before you try to love someone else.” Ok? Cool? Thanks?
Covid-19, have you heard of it? It’s the thing that has made 2020 to many people “horrible”; “a joke”; “the end of the world”. But I found my silver lining – my “a-ha! moment”. I was given time alone (literally) for two months. I was living in a city where, at the time, I really only knew one person. So yeah, I had a lot of time to reflect, focus, and use the skills I’ve developed through therapy on becoming healthier and loving my body the way it is.
I easily could have gone on a downward spiral. Especially when we were midway through month two – still working from home, gyms were still closed, etc etc. But I was finally mentally strong enough to not allow myself to go down the rabbit hole. Now let me be clear – I still struggled. I think my therapist is regretting taking me on as a patient LOL But I found a lot of way to occupy my mind. I also found a lot of ways to help my mind when it would start down the rabbit hole.
Something that a lot of people don’t tell you – every single day is different. But that also is applicable to different parts of the day. Maybe you had a really great morning and your afternoon was trash or vice versa. My Covid-19 taught me how to handle those moments, those days. It gave me the chance to stop for a hot second and realize just how far I had come in this journey. This feeling was unexplainable. It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in a wicked long time. I knew I wanted to keep this feeling alive.
Nothing happens overnight. Life is one hell of a wild journey. While it can be a scary ride, it can also prove to be really freaking awesome. Your mind, your body can really overcome some shit – shit, and trust me when I say this, that you probably never thought was possible. I honestly thought I would just grow with this disease and continue to just mask the problems and mask what it was doing to my body.
Have I grown with the disease? No. The disease has grown with me. It’s never going away. But I’ve taught this disease to shut up and sit in the side seat. Why the side seat? So that every time I find myself in a hard space, I can look over and see that I’ve beat it – not once, not twice, but MANY times. And I will continue to do that. Just like you will. Or maybe it’s not you who is struggling, but someone you love.
So let me tell say this. I don’t care what or who you believe in. But whatever or whoever it is, has created you in and given you with the power to over control this. You, or the person you love, will overcome this. You, or them, will find the help and see the light. I promise.
There will be moments that test the hell out you. But remember these things:
- YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL exactly how you are. Right now in this very moment. It’s a crazy concept, I know. But I say this without seeing you and without knowing you.
- YOU ARE STRONG enough to overcome this.
- ITS OKAY to ask for help, to say you aren’t okay.
- THERE IS A LIGHT at the end of this tunnel.
If you’ve read this far, I want you to know that if you or someone you know is struggling, you or them. are not alone and this is fixable. It may seem dark and lonely at times, I’ve been there and sometimes I have moments where I’m back there. But I know I have a support system and I know that this is temporary. You should know that too.