eating disorder recovery

‘Oooh tough week? What happened, honey?’ I was 15. Women I’d never met were commenting on my weight.’: Woman discovers intuitive eating, self-love after struggling with weight for years, ‘My children will see a vibrant, smart, STRONG woman’

“’Really? That’s what you’re going to eat for breakfast?’ I vividly remember holding my two pieces of cinnamon toast in my trembling hands. Every single one of my siblings had already toasted their bread, buttered it, and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar. Yet, I was the only one singled out by my grandpa. Age 15, I began attending meetings every week with my mother. Strange adult women would applaud and beam at me. I was given jewelry to celebrate my ‘hard work.’ Women twice my age would ask what my ‘secret’ was.”

‘Your legs are covered in FAT.’ I bought diet pills from China. They made my heart race. ‘The risks are worth it,’ I thought.’: Woman battles anorexia, describes it like an ‘abuser who is hurting you, yet you want to protect him’

“I had no idea what the ingredients were! They made me feel weak, extremely thirsty… The pills even made the news as a girl ended up with a colostomy bag because of side effects. This didn’t scare me. ‘The risks are worth it,’ I thought. ‘I am not THAT sick!’ I had huge arguments with family. I was never afraid of dying.”

‘My mom would say I was ‘ballooning.’ I was in 4th grade. She’d implement some new weird food rule for my ‘health.’: Woman is ‘blown away’ by body positive community, ‘I learned to love myself, heal my relationship with my body and soul’

“Maybe my mom thought I wasn’t smart enough to hear what she was really saying: ‘My daughter is broken, how do I fix her?’ I was working out. I was doing everything right, wasn’t I? ‘Why am I still fat?,’ I asked myself. I was 10. Eating 500 calories a day, no cheating. But it was there, in that despair, that my life started to change. I came across a plus-size woman’s account and was… blown away.”

‘Look, she’s eating something!’ I hear the whisper. I feel the cold gnawing at the bottom of my stomach. I hate it and I love it.’: After 12 years battling anorexia, ED survivor learns to accept new plus-size body

“My brother makes me a sandwich when he sees I didn’t eat lunch. My bones poke up under my skin. ‘Please eat it,’ he begs. ‘You need to eat.’ It is so sweet of him, so I eat a few bites. But when he leaves, I give the rest to the dogs. They leave no evidence. Nothing in the trash for my dad to find when he empties it, nothing to clog the toilet. I have become clever in the ways of secret self-destruction.”

‘I wouldn’t use Chapstick. I was afraid I might lick my lips and accidentally swallow some of it, convinced it would make me fat.’: Woman suffering eating disorder is admitted to recovery center, ‘We aren’t treated like people. We were treated like patients’

“All doors were alarmed, and I was surrounded by strangers. My identical twin made me a blanket to take to treatment. She wanted me to feel at home. The staff wouldn’t allow me to have it. Since I was still on Red level, I wasn’t allowed into my bedroom. I sat on the floor in the hallway by my room and cried to my mom on the phone, begging her to bring me home. As I cried on the floor, a patient walked up to me and handed me a little slip of paper. He had written ‘You can do this’ on a scrap of paper. I sobbed. I still have his note.”

‘We’re right here, Lauren. You’re okay.’ I didn’t want to die. My sisters clasped my hands tightly as tears rolled down my cheeks.’: Woman finds inner peace after lifelong battle with anorexia, alcoholism

“‘You’re not leaving this table until you finish what is on your plate! Do you hear me?’ My parents begged, pleaded, and demanded me to eat. But my disease was much bigger than them. At 5’11” and 86 pounds, I was admitted to a hospital away from my school, my family, my friends – everything I knew. I’ll never forget the absolute horror of having to be pried off of my parents, not knowing when I would see them again.”

‘She’s a size 5 now.’ Those words were spoken with delicacy, and met with silence. They’d call me ‘the big one’ of our friend group.’: Woman beats anorexia after almost ‘wasting away, dying,’ now inspires others to recover, ‘I’m not alone’

“Thanksgiving break in my sophomore year of college, something specific happened. To this day I can remember the horrible pain I felt that night. I was using diet pills, purging, self-harming. I was a mess. I told myself, ‘This is what you deserve.’ I was given an ultimatum. ‘Move home and go to treatment, or you’re on your own.’ Frightened, I listened.”

‘Two months before college graduation, my symptoms returned. The bloat, the blood, stomach pain, and fatigue.’: Young woman diagnosed with severe Ulcerative Colitis, ‘I felt I would never get my life back, now I embrace it all’

“‘Natalie. He died.’ I can still remember it like yesterday. Being woken up in my freshman year dorm from a call. All I remember next is screaming, ‘No, no, no, no, no!’ Dead. Died. Gone. As time went on, I started feeling sick. Very sick.”

‘If I’d arrived 15 minutes later, I’d have been dead. I woke in hospital after almost drinking myself to death on an empty stomach, in reaction to my relationship ending.’: Woman thrives after no longer allowing eating disorder to ‘take away my voice’

“The look on my parents’ faces when I asked them what had happened and why I was there, broke my heart. I never thought I’d be one of those anorexics or bulimics who ‘took it too far.’ I started seeing glimpses of what it was like to feel happy without feeling hollow.”

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