‘All everybody saw was how much weight I lost, and I thrived off that validation. My biggest fear was to backtrack.’: Woman shares journey from eating disorders to healthy relationship with body

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“I want to address anybody new into fitness/weight loss, and I want to talk about eating disorders and the absolute dire importance of progress pictures during your journey.

A woman wearing a bathing suit stands at the beach
Courtesy of Alex Crow

Something I honestly thought I would never discuss on a public platform.

Posting this honestly has me filled with anxiety, but nevertheless, I shall for the greater good.

Over the last year (roughly), I have lost about 130 lbs.

100% from diet and exercise, no crazy pills, no crazy surgery.

Literally just from major lifestyle changes.

At my heaviest, I was 265/270: this beach picture is about that weight, I believe.

For almost my entire life I struggled very badly with binge eating, and eventually, it caught up with me, on top of being put on horrible anxiety medication.

Even at my heaviest, I had no idea how big I actually was.

It took me a long time to actively work towards recovering from binging.

It’s honestly something that isn’t talked about enough in my opinion, but that’s not what I’m here to directly address at the moment.

Whenever I began seeing visible changes in my body and whenever I started getting comments on the visible changes on my body from other people, it basically flipped me completely onto the other side of eating disorders to the point where I would go up to 3 days sometimes without eating because I grew absolutely terrified to gain my weight back.

A woman recovering from binge eating disorder
Courtesy of Alex Crow

I had worked so incredibly hard, and my biggest fear in the world was to backtrack.

I didn’t even realize I had fallen into another eating disorder until I casually mentioned obtaining most of my calories from liquids to a friend and they just stared back at me with the most concerned face.

She was the one to bring awareness to it for me.

I then noticed how obsessively I was getting on the scale, after almost every meal.

I then noticed the immense guilt I had if it even slightly moved upwards.

I then noticed how I would punish myself for overeating by not eating for 3 days in a row and so much more.

But hey.

All everybody else saw was how much weight I lost, and I literally thrived off that validation.

Even though I actually had grown very insecure with how small I had gotten, I thrived off the praise.

I slowly gained a much healthier relationship with food and found a very healthy food freedom balance.

I have been plateaued at 140 lbs for about 7-ish months now.

I had been happy with my weight and the way I looked, and I had accepted it.

Recently I have taken a much deeper and more serious dive into weight lifting.

Today I weighed myself and for the first time in 7-8 months, I had gained 10lbs.

The absolute dread, guilt, and disappointment I felt were really unexpected and awful.

So, I decided to go back and look at the pictures.

These pictures are 7 months apart.

The more recent ones on the right were taken yesterday, 03/08/22.

A woman at her lowest weight flexing her bicep
Courtesy of Alex Crow
A woman on her eating disorder recovery journey after regaining some weight
Courtesy of Alex Crow

Seeing these comparisons immediately flipped my switch, and I was filled with so much pride.

Not only do I feel healthier and stronger, but I actually look it too.

I would’ve never EVER realized or seen the progress made if it wasn’t for my obsessive picture taking.

For the first time in my entire life, I actually don’t feel dread over a little bit of weight gain.

So to any newbies out there, don’t stress over the scale: take the picture, post the picture, and don’t care about what others think because I PROMISE you that you’ll be glad you did.”

A woman after regaining weight on her recovery from an eating disorder
Courtesy of Alex Crow

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alex Crow from Franklinton, NC. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Twitter. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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