A little note – this is a little long but necessary.
Believe it or not, I dreamnt last night right before I woke up, a woman pulled me aside just as I was about to leave some class (trust me, I have weird dreams) and tried to ask me why it is that people want to be just like barbie. I’m not trying to crtiticize the toy in any way, I spent my childhood dressing the barbies my friends had. I didn’t have the chance to own my own. My answer to her was that well, pretty obvious, she’s flawless, she’s perfect. But then I said that if she was a real human being, that actually she wouldn’t even exist because she’s not humanly proportional. The woman nodded (she was my teacher or something I think) and then told me she was fighting something, she just gave me this look of desperation and stared intensely right into my eyes and I told her to just tell me how I could help her and she said eating disorder and then I woke up. I didn’t get the chance to help her. Hate it when I wake up at the wrong time. Because to be honest, despite my avid interest in food, I’ve been there done that and have survived to tell you my own ugly truth about eating disorders.
I hate digging up the past. It’s not something I do unless it is really beneficial. We all know what its like to feel insecure about our bodies. I still do if anything, it’s not fun. “Why is she so skinny? I hate her because she’s so skinny. I wish I was so skinny. I want your legs. I want your arms. I can’t eat for the whole day now.” We all probably have said that before. Even guys get insecure about their weight. But some people don’t joke about it. Eating disorders doesn’t mean you’re always thinking about losing weight, you are always losing weight through excessive means. Anorexia means you don’t eat. Bulimia means you throw up everything you eat. The main message is – it’s good to be healthy via healthy means.
When I was 14 years old, I was always pretty chubby. My friends were skinny, but my mama’s homecookin’ was a little too good. I wasn’t thin and it kind of bothered me because my relatives would make fun of me and even sometimes my immediate family. They would joke about it. You know if I ever have kids, I would never do that. Ok maybe it might lead to self-improvement, but rather if you have kids, don’t joke about their weight, do something about it. Encourage runs, say it’s for health, have them eat healther food – don’t make fun of their weight verbally, do something about it. You know how traumatizing it is for a kid to hear that, even somebody to hear that, it hurts.
Anyway, it was recess time and one day my friend that time, brings up the issue of diets and weight loss. I obviously didn’t know too much about them and she’s like, “I need to go on a diet. I was like”, “a diet, hmmm. I could lose some weight, what do you do?”, “apparently, you don’t eat so much and like cut all your rice, let’s go on one together, it’ll be better, like teamwork” “Ok, let’s do it, we’ll see how much weight we’ll lose”. Turning point. From that day on, losing weight was competition to me. I lost a friend, and I lost more than a few pounds.
I don’t want to teach you how to have an eating disorder so at my worst, on days I didn’t have P.E (physical education), I would cut up an asian pear into cubes. I would eat half of it for breakfast and half of it for lunch. For dinner, I would take what my mom gave me and wash it under hot water, skip the rice, and call it dinner. On days I did have P.E, I took a slice of the lowest calorie bread I found at the store, toast it, cut it into cubes and eat half of it for breakfast and half of it for lunch. And then for dinner I’d do the same again. I did that for close to a year. What happened to me. I remember writing a short story about eating disorders before I actually had one and for some reason I could fortell the symptoms. I became yellow, like a simpson, symptom of jaundice, I had perpetual hair loss and had nearly a bald patch. I was so thin. And the worst thing was, I did that to myself.
But what was going on mentally was more interesting. What they say is true. Whenever I looked in the mirror, I found all the spots I hated about myself and all the spots I wanted to “delete” not really what was in front of me. I found comfort in feeling up my hip bones before I slept, in feeling the pain of my bones against themselves when I curl up in a ball. You see, to people who have eating disorders, they feel out of control of their lives when they eat normally. I remember crying about how much I ate when I ate normally. Normally. They feel like they would lose the whole world if they gained a pound. The key word is control, you feel like your car of life would swerve and hit a cliff and fall if you ate. I remember going into the bathroom during class and that time my best friend was cutting herself. We both were in deep trouble in the self harm department and I remember her saying, “see I told you, it’s harder to quit than you think. I just feel like I’m not in control when I’m not feeding it.” It was so hard to quit.
Thankfully, when I went to London over the summer, having not seen my sister for so long, she told me eat. To eat something. I listen to my sister more than my Mom. I realized that if I kept on doing what I did, I probably wouldn’t be here. That my whole future that lay ahead of me that I didn’t know of wouldn’t even exist. In fact, this blog wouldn’t have existed, nothing. I would have gone right before I started to do great things. You see that every time you overcome a low point in life, you breakthrough to a greater era of yourself. That every time you push a low point aside and say I am stronger than you, you become a better version of yourself.
I read article upon article on quitting. But I think the major point I read somewhere was that it’s actually pretty cool to have more of you on this earth. That’s true. Well it was a very slow process, but that was 5 years ago. I can safely say I eat whatever I want now and I lived to tell the tale. So if you are going through one or “want to say you are”, it’s not glamorous, it’s not fun, it’s not cool. It’s dangerous, you could die from it. You need to get out of it. To be honest, this goes for any addiction – whether it be smoking, drugs, etc.
And if you are going through one, your life ahead of you and you being healthy is so much more beautiful than what this “thing” is doing to you. Trust me because I have been there. I’m not some medical health article you found on the internet. You see that when you overcome your lowest point in life, you breakthrough to a greater era of yourself. That every time you push a low point aside and say I am stronger than you, you become a better version of yourself. I am testimony to that.
I know this was really long, but I hope you got something from it. Love yourself first.