WARNING: If you are triggered by topics on weight, diets, and body image, please do not read this post.
I've always had a sweet tooth. No matter how hard I try to incorporate healthy food choices into my diet, I always end up with a bowl of instant ramen, and a satisfying dessert after each meal. Not only did I eat terribly every single day, I felt as though I was losing the healthy body image I had as a younger kid. Going into middle school, I began to worry about my weight. I wasn't fat, but I wasn't happy with my body. Slowly, I began to eat less, and the only times I ate well were when my family and I went out to eat, but most times it was the same salty foods and ice cream every day.
Now, I do believe that it's more important to be happy with what you eat, but that feeling of satisfaction after eating desserts after a meal turns to guilt. For me, I feel bloated, disgusting, and unable to look myself in the mirror until I wake up the next day—only to do the same thing again. As a teenager, my body needs nutrients to grow, but days, weeks, and months of unhealthy eating lowered my self-esteem until it got to a breaking point.
A point where it was so bad, I didn't think it could ever get worse.
I know a lot of people who starve themselves until all they could do was sleep to rid the pain, but of course, I couldn't go that way. I already had the stress of school on my shoulders, and I couldn't afford to lose focus. However, once online school began, I had piles of plates on my desk and wrappers lying on the floor from the things I ate in the morning. I felt gross throughout the day, but I continued to eat. I continued to feel worse, and it was no use for me to weigh myself anymore, even though I consistently exercised for the months before.
There was no progress, there was no self-love. It was just me eating too much that my body could handle.
Every week, I couldn't use the bathroom to empty myself of the junk I ate the past days, and it always ended with a sickening trip to the restroom where I didn't leave the toilet for a long time. I felt weak, and every time I tried my hardest to start again with a healthy diet, I could never pull it off. It wasn't weight that I was worried about, it was the nasty feeling of my frail body that was slowly withering to the ground.
As of February, I feel as though progress has been made, and I that I am well enough to share that point in my life. I do have so much to learn, and of course, I'm not perfect. I wish that there was a way that I could eat salad and balanced meals every day, and it may be a while before that habit will really settle in. Dieting as a teenager is wrong in every way, but compared to my eating habits, understanding what it is that I'm eating will stop this urge inside of me to binge eat.
To everyone who may understand this struggle—don't hate yourself for wanting to eat what you crave. Don't blame yourself for gaining weight and wishing that you could lose it. Don't starve yourself and workout to a point where you feel like passing out.
I wish I could have been a little older to deal with this problem because it's incredibly difficult for a teenager to struggle with an eating disorder. However, it was pulling out of a self-hate period that I learned to not only love my body but understand that what I was doing needed to stop. I needed to change. It took time, and it took effort—but it got better.
And now, I'm able to live happily.