A foodie recovering from an Eating Disorder
Let me explain…
I used to read so many blogs and articles, such as “EXERCISES TO TONE UP YOUR THIGHS” or “HOW TO BUILD THAT BOOTY IN 6 STEPS” or “FOODS TO GET YOU THAT SIX-PACK!”
Maybe eat a six pack of bread rolls and carry on with your life. These kind of articles are what fuelled my obsession with health and fitness, ultimately leading to an Eating Disorder.
I am currently recovering from a little bitch of an eating disorder. It’s called “Orthorexia”
This is the basic summary:
Orthorexia: an obsession with eating foods that one considers “healthy” and a compulsive need to exercise. Basically when enthusiasm becomes a pathological bat-shit crazy obsession.
MY STORY: The beginning of Skeletor…
In the last 26 years I have always eaten anything and everything without even THINKING about it. I never even owned any weighing scales. I once had Nandos THREE times in one day. My partner used to call me the cookie monster. I have always loved exercise, competitive sport and keeping fit for muddy races. I was always a happy person enjoying the simple things, like cheese on toast.
I have always had a good relationship with food (and the staff at Nandos)
Normal happy/sarcastic Cookie monster:
And then one day in May 2017, I decided that I wanted to eat healthier foods. Mainly because I thought it would help my skin and I wanted that “lean” perfect body. I entered a half marathon and started training with new fitness goals. Over a period of 6 months, I became more and more strict with my “eating clean”, I was running three times a week and spending HOURS in the gym everyday. Every run HAD to be faster than the one before, I was a perfectionist in her element.
I ran my first half marathon in 1:34 and it still wasn’t fast enough.
I started to become obsessed with my fitness and eating. I was checking restaurant menus to make sure I could eat something healthy. I was so committed to finding the best workouts and meal plans, fitness became my number one priorty over my social life. It made me feel like I was in control, and it felt good.
In November 2017, my Mum and partner started to become concerned about my appearance, saying I looked too thin. But I still had people coming up to me at the Gym saying “you look amazing, how do you get so lean? What’s your secret?” So I kept going, I didn’t listen to anyone, even when I weighed 45kg. I couldn’t stop myself obsessing, it was like I was chasing a high, a wave of adrenalin after every run and workout that felt AMAZING. Exercise became my drug and I needed my dose every day.
I started to feel down and didn’t enjoy socialising and my god, was I intolerant. Eventually my mum made me go to the Doctor, I only agreed because she actually cried. She never cries, I always thought she was a robot. They didn’t know what was wrong with me, the GP thought I was just depressed. My BMI wasn’t low enough, even though my body fat was a dangerous 7%.
The makeup weighed me down, so I didn’t blow away:
They never thought I had anorexia because I was still eating three meals a day, I never threw up my food and I didn’t think I was fat! How could I possibly have an eating disorder?!
Skeletor by day, MAC makeup counter face by night:
I finally knew something was really wrong when I stopped loving my cat. That furry angel could do no wrong in my eyes, but I could happily have punched him in the face.
I went to see a private GP who diagnosed me with Orthorexia (similar to Anorexia), the waiting time for treatment on the NHS is 20 weeks. 20 FUCKING WEEKS. Luckily my amazing Mum has helped me receive private treatment.
What does an Eating Disorder feel like?
Its a voice in your head that tells you “you’re not good enough” I call it the Voldemort voice (be prepared for further Harry Potter references)
It’s always feeling freezing cold
It’s waking up and 3am dripping in sweat
It’s being Intolerant and defensive to everyone and isolating yourself
My therapist says it’s like a separate part of you, like a demon inside you. And I defend it when people challenge or threaten it.
It’s having fucked up hormones and damaging your bones
If you want to know more about the symptoms of Orthorexia- I will be posting about it soon
Where am I now?
I am no longer skeletor. I am in recovery, slowly gaining weight. I run about once a week for 3 miles, I go to Pilates once a week and play Badminton with my friends. I don’t follow any diets or plans, I just want to be a sort of normal, functioning human again.
Luckily, I allowed my cat to live and I love that little face again
I MEAN LOOK AT HIM
What have I learnt?
- Eating Disorders come in all shapes and sizes, you don’t have to be obsessed with your weight or being “thin”. It doesn’t matter if you eat three or four meals a day. You could still have an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise.
- My rules of life were: I must always be fit and active, I must always be busy and healthy. And if I don’t abide by these rules? Then I am fat lazy bitch that isn’t good enough. These rules aren’t achievable! I am not going to die if I spend the evening eating cake sitting on my bony arse. It’s about finding that balance.
- People are shit scared of talking about Eating Disorders, so I like to make light of it. When they ask what I am having for dinner, I just say “dust with a side of leaf” and hope they laugh.
- You will lose some friends and family, the Voldemort ED makes you push people away because it feels easier to isolate yourself in your protein/kale infested cave. The good ones will stick around and support you even if they don’t understand.
What I want to achieve
- I don’t expect people to understand, but I want them to know that I havent “chosen” to be like this. Deep down I am still Meg and I am trying my best to fight this.
- I want to raise awareness to others to stop them from becoming obsessed with health and exercise, it’s scary how quickly it can take a grip.
- I want to help others who are struggling and know that you’re not alone. It is ok not to be OK.
Anyway, I hope you like my blog, but to be honest if you don’t like it then I am just going to keep doing it anyway because it’s fun 🙂
So, to sum up…
Waiting on the NHS list without the love and support of Carmine and my Mum: