I never labeled myself as a person with an eating disorder or ever said the word anorexic. Maybe I do have an eating disorder, maybe I am anorexic, but I will never use those words to describe myself.
I will say that I know I have a misguided, distorted and unrealistic vision of myself. When I look into a mirror, all I see is fat. I see huge thighs, a big butt and a fat stomach. I know they aren't really like that, but I feel like they are and that's what I see. In reality, my stomach is not fat, my thighs are not huge and my butt is not big. I know these things, but my mind see's differently. I can't really explain it and it's probably hard to understand. If my clothes start to feel even the slightest bit tight, I don't eat. Well, I do eat, just smaller portions, until my clothes feel looser. This has always been a struggle for me. Growing up, I took ballet, gymnastics and dance. I enjoyed them all very much, but there was such an emphasis on weight. You had to be thin. I never weighed over one hundred pounds. In my early twenties, I modeled, where again being thin was prioritized. I wasn't tall, but I was thin. So much emphasis is on weight...too much. Actually, the only times in my life I was okay with gaining weight was when I was pregnant. I ate healthy during my pregnancies, despite having morning sickness the first six months. I made sure I ate right, took my vitamins and did everything my doctor told me to do. I really couldn't wrap my head around the term anorexic, because I didn't mind putting on weight while I was pregnant. I enjoyed being pregnant. But, as soon as the baby was born, the weight needed to go away. I was mortified when I looked into the mirror. I was disgusted with how I looked. With my first child, I lost thirty three pounds in less than two weeks. Did I do it in a healthy way? Absolutely not! I didn't eat, I pretty much fasted the entire time. I was seventeen, I saw or thought I saw a huge, enormous, disgusting person with a sagging belly staring back at me from the other side of the mirror. Who the hell was she? All I knew was, she had to go, and she better go fast! The baby weight always came off quickly. After having most of them, I'd leave the hospital wearing my pre-pregnant clothes. With my last three, I wore my regular clothes throughout my entire pregnancies. People didn't even know I was pregnant with my last child until I was in my last month. My lowest weight was eighty three pounds. My doctor threatened to admit me into the hospital with an IV if I didn't gain some weight. I got mono, from being run down. During my three weeks of mono, I came down with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This is a very rare illness. It starts with tingling and weakness in the feet and legs. Then it travels up to your upper body and arms. Only about 10 percent of people get this. With the disorder, symptoms begin in the arms or face. As it progresses, muscle weakness can evolve into paralysis. Most people have to be on oxygen because you can't even breathe on your own. This lasts for months. All people need to be hospitalized and monitored. My arms and legs felt so heavy. I wouldn't go into the hospital, because I had two small kids and no one to watch them. I had to go to the doctors every day to monitor my breathing. It usually peaks four weeks into the illness, then gradually gets better. I fully recovered. Was it caused by my eating habits? I don't know, but it hasn't been ruled out. I struggle. To this day, I sometimes struggle. I normally don't get hungry and sometimes don't even think about food. I have to be conscious and aware of my weight. I try to eat right and stay healthy, but I still sometimes see a fat person looking back at me from the mirror. Our society creates eating disorders. We drill into young, impressionable girls heads that fat is ugly. We are bombarded everyday with images, although photo shopped, of perfect women with perfect bodies. No flaws, no wrinkles and no fat. Other countries embrace women in their natural, healthy and real bodies, not us. We ridicule. The messages we send are destroying our girl's. We are creating low self-esteem, little self-worth, a poor self-image and absolutely no self-love. This usually starts to become a problem for teenagers and young adults, but it does follow you through life. We are all beautiful and unique, just the way we are. We all have different shapes and body types. We need to celebrate ourselves, our bodies and each other. We shouldn't make anyone feel bad about being different. In doing that, we are creating unhappiness, confusion, self-hate and eating disorders. We are all different and we need to be different. I believe we need to educate them, by building their self-esteem and self-worth. Help them to learn self-love, instead of self-hate. Value themselves instead of criticizing. Look into the mirror with loving eyes, instead of looking for and focusing on flaws. Build and design programs to help them understand how to cope and deal with these feelings and thoughts. We need to put realistic pictures and values out there, instead of fantasy, airbrushed pictures. We need to accept each other just the way we are. We need to stop being so critical of ourselves and others, only then can we be truly happy, live united and as one. If our girls/women felt good about themselves, they will make better choices and decisions. If they feel good about themselves, I really feel there will be less domestic violence. If you are confident and know your self-worth, you are not going to allow someone to make you feel bad about yourself. Embrace your imperfect and flawed self. Everyone has flaws and no one is perfect. Our bodies are going to constantly change, we need to accept it. We are not our bodies, that is our outside appearance, our outer shell. What we are inside to to love and appreciate ourselves, before we can truly love others.