When did you start noticing your relationship with food and your body changing?

I noticed my relationship with food started becoming unhealthy when I was in second grade. I would say I was going on diets- hiding food so my family wouldn’t see what I ate. I was never overweight but I felt shame when I would eat things like cookies or ice cream.

When did you realize you had a problem?

I didn’t truly notice that my eating disorder had become a problem until my freshman year at college when I wouldn’t go to the cafeteria with everyone else and my roommate at the time suggested I tried “keeping down my food”

How did your family and friends handle it?

My family and friends noticed how sick I had come when I was in my sophomore year of college when I would start standing in front of the mirror and count my ribs and spine vertebrae I had massive bruises from being Malnourished all over my body- they suggested I should go to seek help and I started to cut myself and I couldn’t make sense of it . I wasn’t suicidal I just did it when I was feeling disappointed in my body.

What is the scariest thing that has happened?

The scariest thing that has happened because of my eating disorder hasn’t been necessarily physical. It was the fact that I was suffering alone. I was so stuck in my E.D. I have lost many great relationships because I would have misplaced anger and sadness and blame others for my unhappiness. One quote I always live by now is “if you aren’t happy with yourself, you will never be content with anyone else”

What keeps you positive and happy?

What keeps me positive and happy is interesting. Some days I don’t feel positive and happy but when I do it’s usually because I turn my will over to God and have him help me through the day. I know this is not the way he would want me to live and that I can have a beautiful peaceful life if I didn’t focus on things such as weight and calories . My family is also a great way for me to get out of myself because I love laughing and spending time with them.

What advice would you give others?

My advice to anyone that is struggling is to not feel shame in what you are going through- I still am struggling but I can talk about it now because I don’t feel shame in the fact i have an eating disorder and most likely for the rest of my life I will still struggle with not necessarily symptom use but with the thoughts . I think when we take the shame out, there is even the littlest bit of room that allows love and compassion for yourself.