What Is Life Like with an Eating Disorder? (Trigger Warning)

Author: Alex K.

Eating disorders do not have looks. Every word you say that refers to food and fat clings to my mind like a child to his mother. With every hour that goes by, I wait until it’s “okay” to eat. I run on the treadmill until I have burned enough to feel calm enough to leave. I dance a little extra to burn more than I can eat. I look at food and don’t think of its flavor but the “numbers” it contains. My mind is like a working calculator, adding up numbers as it makes sure the numbers on the scale subtract. 

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder?  

anemija-sportI look in the mirror and pull at my skin. I pull up my jeans and wish I was thin. I compare myself to every walking creature surrounding me. Why can’t I be pretty? I wish for the foods I cannot eat, and I savor every last bite of those I can. I constantly touch my body to make sure I have not grown bigger. I lie and pretend I love my workout in an effort to fraudulently convince myself to lose weight. I slowly start tracking the calories in the foods I never even cared about. And, I question, am I skinny yet?

I chew on gum and drink plain tea. Isn’t that what the media told me to do? I count the clock to make sure I eat slow enough to stay full until the next “meal”.You tell me that you ate too much? I say you’re skinnier than me and then cry myself to sleep. I worry about each bite I take, as I watch my thighs grow and my stomach expand. I begin to push you away, for my relationship with calorie counting takes precedent. The gym becomes my number one best friend. I weigh myself every morning and feel motivated when I see the number decreasing. Your comments motivate me to run more and eat less. The only liquid calories I allow myself to drink are the calories in alcohol. Those are the only ones that can shut my brutal thoughts up.

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder?

I run until my legs are numb and my eyes are blurring. I grow hair on my body and watch as my veins disappear. With every calorie that I “dispose” with my fingers comes the body I’ve been needing. I’m freezing cold, as I shove my fingers down my throat to rid myself of eatingdisorders_707188the calories I do not deserve. I promise you I will eat more but instead make a plan on how to avoid each of my meals the next day. My rib bones peak through my skin, but I still carry too much fat. The smallest of jeans become my biggest pair. I love my body. I hate my body. 

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder?

I am thinner than ever by now. I wipe off my spoon with a napkin before eating my first meal of the day at 5:00 P.M. I cry at the doctor when I’m told I’m too thin, but I still spit out the gum that I cannot afford to eat – the gum that has too much calories for me to consume. I sit in my favorite class, deciding what to not eat for dinner. I avoid seeing you just incase you tell me you want to go eat. I pack my own food for the adventures I would have loved to do when I was actually a human. I walk like a zombie to class as my legs weaken below me. I stop singing because my ears clog every time I go to take a breath. I stop running because I lose my eyesight after the first half mile. I stop socializing because I have no energy to fake a smile. The blandest of foods begin to taste like my favorites. I spend sleepless nights wrapped in ten blankets while my gloves barely keep my withering hands warm. Each workout is done with no feeling in my body – a body that is fueled by water and half an apple, which is still too much food. I lie. I say I’m doing better, but all I am doing is weighing less. I cannot maintain relationships. I cannot even hold my backpack without feeling weak. I cry. I cry out all of the energy I have left. Each day, I am thinner. Each day, I wish I was someone who I am not. I am not healthy. I am too fat. There is a battle in my mind that never ends. 

I don’t look like I have an eating disorder? 

I am weakening. I have no emotions. I am a brick wall. But, that is still not good enough. I am starving, but the alcohol will numb away the pain. The alcohol, however, is too much, so I now must use my calloused fingers to rid my body of it. I am too sick to know that I am sick. I wake up and see bruises on my arm and an IV in my hand. I have very little memory of how I got to where I am but a very vivid memory of what I ate for lunch before 19cb689c-bae3-11e4-_860116chand. I am being fed, and I do not want to be fed. I have to eat, but I don’t want to be fat. Food equals fat to me. It’s all it has ever equaled to for the past three years. I don’t fight, I’m too weak to fight. I eat, and I feel a relief in my body that my mind does not like. Voices scream. They scream so loud, as I watch my body blow up like a balloon. I thought I knew what it felt like to be scared, but I never knew until now. My biggest fear was here. 

I want to look like I have an eating disorder. 

I am gaining weight, and I am getting healthy. My mind is not healthy. I want to be skinny. I cannot be fat. I am getting fat. I am eating foods that haven’t been on my Fitness Pal for years. I want to rip my IV out. I want to rip my fat out. I want to shove my hand down my sore throat and release my pain. But, I am getting healthy. I know this is what i need. I know this is how I will live. My body is too weak to walk to the bathroom. I can do nothing but sit here, eat, and kill myself over it. 

I don’t look like i have an eating disorder? 

I have gained weight. I am starting to look healthy again – so i am told. My anxiety is at a peaking point. I scream and hurt those around me. I do whatever I can to avoid any calories I can, but with every bite I take, I feel my body thanking me. I unnamedslowly gain control over what I can eat. I still count each calorie like it is a mathematical equation; however, I am now aware that each calorie is just another minute added to the life I almost destroyed. I am enjoying food, but I am seeing the weight piling on. Each minute, hour, and day go by, and I see my clothes getting tighter. I am in a battlefield with my healthy mind and the disorder. I am finally feeling free. But, I am feeling fat as well. I always feel fat. I felt fat ten years ago, three years ago, three weeks ago, and now. I can eat or not eat, but I am still fat. 

I do not want an eating disorder.

Each day, I feel healthier. I am happy. I am triggered. Each day comes with different obstacles. I am healthy, and I know that life is too short to be controlled by an eating disorder. Life is food. We live each day to eat. I will never be fully free of my eating disorder, but I will be free enough to know how to control it. I hear girls cry. I hear them wish they were someone who they aren’t. I wish they knew that they will never be satisfied. They will be “fat” no matter how much weight they lose or gain because we seem to never happy with what we have. But, that can change. Everyone is beautiful, and they will be beautiful at their heaviest and at their lowest because beauty is what is on the inside. Eating disorders are not fun. They are not something to wish for. They are something to take hold of and fight until you gain your life back. I am still triggered. I am surrounded by triggers. I am surrounded by people who think it is okay to restrict calories and to diet all day, every day. But, I am also surrounded by my own thoughts that are reminding me that life is too short to miss out on that one meal you want the most. It is too short to go even a second wishing you were something or someone who you are not

-Alex K.

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