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It all started with an app. A stupid fitness app. I expressed an interest to my mother that I wanted to lose some weight, it was a harmless statement that turned in to a terrible disorder.
I was sitting on the couch watching television when my mother came to me about a fitness app. Because the name of the app isn’t important to the story, I won’t disclose it. Either way, I created a profile and began my weight loss journey.
The first few weeks went fine. I tracked what I ate and how much I exercised. I never ate unhealthy, even before I started the whole thing. I just wanted to be skinnier. Prettier. As the weeks went by, I was exercising more and eating less, however I was starting to get the body I wanted. I tracked everything I consumed, even gum! I remember looking at myself in the mirror and being able to see my abs. I thought it was the greatest thing ever. But did I stop there? Of course not.
I let myself go overboard and I became a slave to the calories and exercise. I remember my parents making my lunch for the next day of school and thinking to myself "that’s all going in the garbage tomorrow," and that’s where it would end up. On a good day I’d let myself eat a frozen meal that consisted of beef tips and broccoli, on a bad day, water and an apple, and when I say apple I mean the ENTIRE thing (core and all). And no, I’m not making this up.
It was bad. I was letting myself turn to a skeleton. I began growing hair on my back, I lost my period, I was achy and cold all the time and I was very drawn in the face, with dark circles under my eyes. It was hell, but I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. Lunches kept getting thrown out, I’d work out way too much. One day in gym class, I had to do the fitness gram testing and weighing in was part of it. I wasn’t nervous though, I was more excited to see what I was down to. The scale read 91 pounds. In my mind, this was a good weight, room for improvement, but still good. However, this was not the case for many, including my gym teacher. I was whisked away to the guidance office and my parents were notified. They already knew of course, but I don’t think they knew the severity of it. I was taken to the doctors office and this is when I was officially labeled with "Anorexia Nervosa." My parents were scared of course but I wasn’t, I knew that I had a problem. But do you think it ended there? Nope. Not at all.
This progression continued for several months and by this point, everything I ate and drank were super limited and always counted on my app. I remember weighing myself at this point and I was only 86 pounds. I would go to school and have people whisper behind my back about the way I looked or my attitude. I only wanted to sleep, I had no energy and a lot of the things I once loved to do had gone by the way side. I remember measuring cereal one morning before school, my mother was out with me eating her breakfast, getting herself ready for work. I was tired and cranky. I accidentally overfilled the cereal and lashed out, throwing the measuring cup and the bowl full of cereal across the kitchen floor. Screaming, my mother rose from her chair and shouted "THAT'S IT! No more of this! You need help!" I couldn't argue, I knew I was headed for disaster if I continued on.
My parents made an appointment for me to see a doctor who specialized in eating disorders. We went up to see them and they immediately sat me down and told me that if I were to lose any more weight I’d have to be admitted and get put on a feeding tube. The thought of that scared me to the point of wanting to break free from this horrible disease.
Luckily I was saved in time, I began to eat again and boy was it amazing! All the foods I once hadn’t allowed myself to consume, I ate again. I am forever grateful to those doctors and for my family and friends who stuck by and aided me through this horrible time in my life. It makes me sad to think how mean I was to some of my closest friends and family all because I was a slave to my eating disorder. However, today, I’m doing a lot better. I’ve realized that I can still eat what I want and be healthy, everything in moderation. My family and friends are still extremely supportive and help me achieve my best self every day.
So my message to you all reading this is, don’t ever feel like you aren’t good enough because you are! Your worth isn’t defined though your pant size. What truly matters is how you feel. If you are happy than that’s all that should matter to you. I urge you not to make the same mistakes I did. If you do plan to lose weight, do it safely and don’t expect results right away! And if you are going through this, you are not alone! Anorexia is a powerful disease that can take over a person quickly, with more than 200,000 documented cases in the United States alone! The sad thing is, there are women and men who aren't able to gain control back and succumb from this illness, it's no joke! Please reach out for help, just know that someone is on your side!