I Thought I Was 'Too Fat' to Have an Eating Disorder

This past week has been hard for me.

I had a major panic attack and had to be taken to the hospital because I could not speak; I could not formulate a sentence in my head, much less verbalize it. It was probably one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever had — not because I’d never had an attack before, because I had, but because I have never felt so out of control of my body and my mind.

That same day I finally realized I have an eating disorder. And that is what I really want to talk about.

Every since I was a little girl, I was the chubby kid. I suffered from bullying at school, whenever I lost some weight for one reason or another, I would hear comments about it from everyone.

I was so sick and tired of hearing I “had a pretty face but was too overweight.”

I was 11 years old the first time I split a cookie in half just so I wouldn’t gain as much weight. That small act was the start of all this.

I had periods where I ate like it was my last day on earth, and then I’d restrict. I never purged nor had extended periods of not eating, but the thought was (and still is today) always on my mind.

I am almost 27 years old now, and I have been living with this obsession for probably about 19 years. I’ve tried every single diet I’ve come across: military diet, cleanses, macro counting, clean eating, intuitive eating, veganism — you name it and I have probably tried it.

Last Tuesday it hit me that I actually live my life on hold because I feel like I cannot experience everything I want to at this weight. I am always setting deadlines for weight loss: birthdays, anniversaries, vacation, holidays, the summer, etc. Life goes by, and I have the same issues, and I feel like I have been wasting so much time on this.

I always thought I was too fat to have an eating disorder.

But that is in fact what is happening to me. So I decided enough was enough — that I deserve much more, that as far as I know, this is the only life I will live and I need to do it to the fullest.

If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.

I have a consult with a therapist the day before my birthday, and I am so ready to get healthy and start living my life as I want to. I never thought this would be me. But it is me, it is real, and accepting it is the first step into recovery. 

Not all people who have eating disorders are underweight. And I truly believe that if we, as a society, didn’t have physical standards and stereotypes for eating disorders, maybe just maybe, I would have looked for help sooner.

 The Mighty is asking the following: Describe your experience of not quite fitting under one specific diagnosis or a label your community identifies with. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to [email protected] Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Eating Disorders

When Your Eating Disorder Has Taken Control

My eating disorder is twisting and turning himself into my being. He is a sickness. I try to eradicate him, but he is like a leech, sucking out my life-blood. If I don’t fight him, who will? An eating disorder is not just anorexia or bulimia. He’s hatred, loathing and harm. I am not safe when I [...]

Petition Launches Against Oral Roberts University's Fitbit Policy

Oral Roberts University (ORU) made headlines early this year when it started requiring all incoming freshmen to wear Fitbits — this way, fitness data can be tracked by the school and contribute to students’ grades. Now, advocates are spreading a petition saying the requirement is problematic for those with eating disorders, and promotes compulsive exercise and a “one-size-fits-all [...]

My Eating Disorder Wasn’t About Body Image

Growing up, I was always the kid who sat around in her underwear. In the ballet dressing room, I was always the girl who was comfortable changing in front of everyone. I was openly comfortable with my body. Because of this, a lot of people were confused when they found out I had bulimia. People would say things [...]

When You Feel Pressured to Be 'Recovered' as a Mental Health Advocate

In my experience with the mental health system, lived experience is only really listened to when you talk about your struggles in past tense. When you admit you’re not well right now, your opinion is dismissed as thoughts, suggestions and critics of an unwell person. Like unwell people can’t have sane thoughts (spoiler alert: they [...]