Trigger warning: this post contains eating disorder related material. While I never include things like numbers, measurements, or specific behaviours, it is up to the reader’s discretion whether or not to continue. These stories are written by guests and edited by Devon.
Hi! My name is Taylor, I am an eating disorder survivor. My eating disorder started in 2003 and I successfully recovered in 2010.
I remember the first comment I’d received about my weight before the anorexia had settled in. Someone had taken my wrist and told me I was “so thick”, as an 11-year-old, I didn’t really know what to make of the comment. Up until then I really hadn’t had a care in the world about my body shape or how I looked.
Fast forward a few months, I had decided to start watching what I ate with almost little to no education about what I was doing. Starvation was the name of the game, being hungry meant progress to me. As the pounds came off I would get constant compliments about how great I looked, the comments only positively reinforced the unhealthy measures I had taken on my body. I became obsessed with staring at myself in the mirror, pulling at every inch of my skin to confirm fat would not be visible. I had developed severe body dysmorphia, I continued to shed the weight as though it would never be enough – looking like the “ideal” person I had imagined stayed in sight but I could never quite get to where I wanted to be.
Another few months had passed, it became a regular event for me to sit at the dinner table with my family, eat half a meal, then lose my mind about everything I had consumed. [behaviour mention removed]. Food had become a source of shame. In my mind, I could feel anything I ate filling my skin with fat. Internally I fought every day with myself, with my body. If I couldn’t control what I ate, I had no control at all. It consistently felt like it was never enough, or that I was never enough. the feelings of inadequacy only grew stronger. I never looked at my eating disorder as if it were a problem. The weight loss had visibly made me sickly looking, not that I cared at the time – but to others it was noticeable.
I had been admitted to an eating disorder clinic at the age of 12. Doctors reported that if I did not start to gain weight that it would be dangerous for me to continue doing sports, if I didn’t [removed for clarity] stop my eating disorder would become life-threatening. Almost two decades later, with hundreds of counselling sessions, support from friends and family, I’m here. I’m. Still. Here… – and I am proud. While I can positively say my relationship with food has significantly improved from what it once was, it’s not perfect, and I’m accepting of the idea that it may never be.
What is important is that the relationship I have now with myself is one filled with compassion and care. It has taken years to understand that my body is not the enemy, and I am doing the best that I can…. and that my friends, repeat after me, THAT IS ENOUGH. I AM ENOUGH. YOU ARE ENOUGH. My eating disorder has taken too many years of enjoyment from me and I refuse to let it impact the love I’ve found for life.
If you’re reading this, and you’re struggling, I hear you. I see you. I understand. You are important. You are beautiful. Please seek help from a professional, or open the discussion to a close friend. Eating disorders are isolating disorders, and you are not alone. Recovery is possible, I promise.
Much love <3
Big thanks to Taylor for sharing your story! You can find Taylor on Instagram @tjwong13
If you are struggling with disordered eating and need support, please reach out to myself or another qualified health professional.