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Thursday, May 9, 2013

My name is Victoria and I use to have an eating disorder

According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, 8 million Americans suffer from eating disorders. 7 million of those people are women. I was one of them. It took me a few years not only to admit I was obsessed with food but to take action and do something about it. I have been recovered for a year and am ready to share my story. Not only do I feel that this helps with my personal healing process, but perhaps it may help others.

People don't just stop eating just for the hell of it. There's a trigger; a reason why they don't want to eat. For me, it began in 2009 when I was going through a divorce. I didn't realize that I had stopped eating. After moving in with my family, my days consisted of crying and sleeping. The stress had taken it's toll and I was eating only one meal per day. I remember getting dressed one day and my jean skirt fell off of my hips. My shirts were baggy and I went down a bra size. At 5 foot 4 inches tall, I originally weighed 115 pounds. I had dropped to 99 pounds. My clothing size had gone from medium to extra small.



I married when I was young. I went from living with my parents to getting married and moving in with my then-husband. I had never lived alone and after my divorce, I got a full time job in early childhood education and moved into my own place. It was the first time I had to support myself. And it was hard. Although I was working 40 hours a week, I was barely making enough for rent, bills and food. Food was the one thing I felt I could live without since I got use to the hunger pains. I also liked how tiny my waist had become. Although I suffered from fatigue and headaches, I learned to live with it. I liked it. I liked feeling the pain in my stomach and looking down to see how flat it was. And women were constantly complimenting me on how skinny I was. It made me feel beautiful. I began modeling professionally and knew I had to maintain a thin frame so I continued to eat only once, maybe twice a day.




The sadness from my divorce still lingered. I found myself in a string of bad relationships, which furthered my depression. Some days I went to bed early without eating at all. I was sick alot and was constantly at the doctor. My eyebrows had begun to fall out. This meant nothing to me however. I ignored the concerns coming from my family. I felt I looked better this way.



My wake up call was when I was working at a photo shoot and nearly passed out. I knew I didn't preform the best that I could and it was because I was so light headed. My ex husband, who was present on the set (and whom we were working things out in our relationship) was encouraging me to get healthy again. After roughly 2-3 years of being sick, I was ready to make a change thanks to his support and the advice of a friend who was a personal trainer. With my income tax return money I bought a full grocery order and began to eat regularly. I was tired of feeling well, tired. I felt weak and suffered from dizzy spells. I immediately began feeling better once I ate three meals a day and wasn't sick as often. I stopped getting every minor cold that was circulating throughout my preschool and the dizzy spells were gone. The fatigue vanished. But when my extra small clothes no longer fit, I started to panic. I remember seeing my first modeling photo after I began to eat normally. I literally had to have a pep talk with myself and told myself that it was all right. I wasn't fat. My cheeks just filled out. I was healthy and still beautiful.



I haven't had the desire to starve myself. I've been healthy for a year now. Currently my focus is making better choices in food and staying active. My stomach isn't as tiny and flat as it use to be but that's okay. It just means I need to get my butt moving and actually work on my body. The bigger bra size is definitely a plus, going from a B cup to a C cup. I'm back to a size medium and weigh 120 pounds. What began as a broken heart progressed to an obsession with food and body image. Today I've gotten use to my curves and realize that starvation is not the path to beauty.

Suffering from an eating disorder? Need help? Check out these organizations to help you get your life back.






Mercy Ministries


Eating Disorders Hope
http://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/recovery/self-help-tools-skills-tips


Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eating_disorder_treatment.htm

5 comments:

  1. thank you so much for sharing your personal story with us

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  2. Congratulations on being healthy for the past year, you look great. Thank you for sharing your story and i hope others will read it and find the strength to make the healthy changes needed.

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  3. Well done! I suffered for years and got into cosplay AFTER recovery... and during a relapse... it was HARD to go from playing Radical Edward (Ridiculously tall, but SUPER skinny and bendy... a friend said, "When I first met you, you were 'scary' skinny."

    It's a fine line to tread. At 5'8" I'm very very into Lolita fashion and "you know" how we are...

    A GREAT resource that pretty much saved my sanity, soul, and life is Something Fishy.

    http://www.something-fishy.org/

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  4. Thank you for sharing! I know so many women who have struggled with this and you are so strong and brave

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  5. Thank you very much for your support :)

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