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

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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.

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.

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Originally published: April 12, 2016
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