Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What I Want You To Know About My Eating Disorder


I can't count the times I have started and deleted this post over the last year. I'm just going to go for it, and not delete anything. Hopefully it doesn't get too jumbled, but if it does then just stick with me. This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week. I mentioned it in a post last year, and as much as I really wanted to dive into the topic, I just couldn't. Not then. Honestly not even now. But I'm going to try. So why is this topic so important to me? Because I have an eating disorder.

Putting this out there is really hard for me, and something that I have gone back and forth with so many times. It labels me. It sticks me in a category. It makes me a statistic. It stereotypes me. It opens my life up for societies interpretation. I don't think I will every be 100% ready to share, but I think now is as good a time as any. If just one person can relate to this, and this helps them to get through one day, one hour, or even just one meal, then this post is already worth it. So I'm doing this for you guys. And a little for me.

Now before anyone freaks out, starts giving me numbers for various programs, or offers advice, please know that I'm okay. I've been okay for a while, and I've taken the steps necessary to be and stay healthy. I'm not sure yet if I'm going to open up about that, but just know that it's true. 



Your next question might be "why do you say you have an eating disorder if you're okay?" Well, it's kind of hard to answer that. An eating disorder isn't something you just get over, like the flu. It's something that sticks with you, that you have to work at it every day. There are good days, and bad days; Good months, and bad months. I honestly don't know if I will every truly be "okay" but right now, I am. That is all you need to know.

I think it's really important for me to finally address this and talk about it, because there are so many stereotypes and messages from the media that go along with eating disorders that drive me nuts. Here are some things I really want everyone to know:

1. Just because a person is extremely thin, does not mean they have an eating disorder. 

2. Just because someone is chunky, does not mean they don't have an eating disorder. There is no shape an eating disorder takes on.

3. While many people blame the media and society's view of thin being beautiful as the cause for many eating disorders, that is not always true. I know for me, it has more to do with control than it does with my weight. So please stop assuming you know why it happens.



4. Do not ever tell a person with an eating disorder how great and thin they look. While I'm sure it comes from your heart, you are just telling us that we look better when we are unhealthy.

5. Don't feel like you need to understand. I honestly don't always understand it, and I don't need other people to. Just be supportive.

6. Skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming. Curves are beautiful. But so are all body types. Some people are naturally thin and bony. Some people naturally have a very straight shape. Let's not say one shape is better than the others.

7. Do. Not. Preach. About. Diet. And. Exercise. There is nothing that drives me batty more than someone saying "well if you just eat this and exercise this amount, you'll be thin and stop the eating disorder!" That's a bit more dramatic than needed, but you get my point. That is just flat out annoying, and there is no way to just "stop" an eating disorder. Plus for those of us who are not trying to attain a certain weight, it really isn't relative to even talk about. We probably know all the things you are saying.



8. No matter how much we want to stop, and hate what is happening, it is very difficult. We get frustrated with ourselves, so please cut us some slack. I know it's frustrating when you want to help someone and can't, but pressuring that person isn't going to help anything.

9. Don't police a person with an eating disorder. By monitoring what we eat or our bathroom breaks, you're really just going to make us mad. Sometimes those steps are necessary during treatment programs, in which case right on my friend, but if we are at a good stage, then please don't.

10. Don't look at us differently.

It feels really good to just get those things out. I'm actually surprised I just wrote this entire post without pressing the backspace (except for when I misspelled a word). I'm not sure how long I'll keep this post up, or even if I will post it, but at least I've written it. I've wanted to for a while, but I didn't want any of my close friends to find out this way. Now that the majority of them know, I feel that this is my next step. So here goes nothing.


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18 comments:

  1. I, too, have an eating disorder. It is an addiction, that is why you always have it. I shared my story in grave detail a few years ago. Even now that I have lost weight the proper way, people don't understand why I am triggered by pro-eating disorder terms that are hashtagged all over the place. You know, because I lost weight I should understand. And I do. And I know the pain and damage that comes with it.

    Thank you for opening up.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing that with me! I agree with everything you just said. There are so many triggers, I could do an entire post on it. Stay strong girl! Xoxo

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  2. Kimberly, thanks so much for sharing this. I too suffer from an ED; I too am "okay," but I know that my disorder will always be with me. It does not just go away. Thank you for your honesty :)

    www.keepingpaceblog.com

    Your blogger friend and new follower,
    Kate

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    1. Thank's for sharing Kate! And thank you for the support!! It's nice to find others who are in my place :)

      XOXO

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  3. Great post, Kimberly! You are so brave for being open about this and it will surely help lots of people. I have always been naturally thin and I have been the target of ridicule many times. Even recently, I was at an event and someone offered me a cupcake. I don't like sweets, so I declined. Another blogger's response was, "oh, well that's why you're so skinny!" I was in shock. I find it so incredibly rude to comment on someone else's weight and eating habits, especially if you don't know them AT ALL. And in fact, she was skinnier than me. So weird. You make so many great points here and although I've never experienced an eating disorder personally, I wholeheartedly agree.

    xo Megan, Lush to Blush

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    1. Thank you Megan! I think people don't realize that weight is a sensitive subject for people of ALL shapes and sizes. The ridicule goes in both ways unfortunately. Thanks for sharing that!

      XOXO

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  4. Wow, Kimberly. I had no idea. You are so brave for being able to come out and share your story, because I'm sure there are lots of other people out there who need to hear these things, even people who have never suffered from it themselves. It's rare that you read or hear stories about people who have suffered from the disease from their perspective, and I applaud you for your willingness to share. Stay brave and thanks so much for being so honest in this.

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    1. Thanks Tiffany! I really appreciate the support. I haven't found many others who have share their journey, so I hope this will help people to be more open.

      XOXO

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  5. I just love that you're not afraid to speak about real and important topics on your blog. It's real and it's not always pretty but people need to know and be aware and I love that you're willing to put yourself out there! Very brave of you for sure. You may not know it, but your words and the heart that you pour into your posts really do resonate and help many people. I'm so glad that you're okay and I applaud your strength to share!

    xo Savannah

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    1. Thank you so much Savannah! It really means so much to hear that. <3

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  6. AMEN! I struggled with being accused of an eating disorder all throughout middle and high school because I was so thin. It was difficult to deal with. I had to constantly explain that I DID eat and NO I didn't throw up my meals... I feel like it caused a lot of my self image issues. thank you for sharing such a powerful post. There is so much right about this post that I can't get enough of it. I hate skinny shaming just as much as I hate fat shaming. You're so brave for putting this out there. Thank you!

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    1. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I think skinny shaming is just as bad as fat shaming but it is almost never talked about in the media. Thanks for sharing! Xoxo

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  7. I've struggled with writing about this topic before, but my parents read my blog and so do some of their friends (my mom tells everyone she meets that I have a blog!) and they don't actually know I ever struggled with an ED. In fact, in some ways they encouraged me to loose weight, so it added fuel to the fire. When I was at my lowest weight they told me that I looked good. So I decided against posting about it, but reading your post really made me sigh in relief, I can really relate to all of this! Thank you!

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    1. Oh girl I can relate to all of that! One thing holding me back from writing a post about it was knowing who was going to be reading it. It still scares me! After telling all of my close friends and loved ones, I definitely felt better about sharing my story, because I know no one would be hurt that I didn't tell them/they had to find out this way. As for people commenting on your weight, unfortunately that is part of society, and I really wish there was more awareness about how wrong those comments are! Even when they come from the heart. Keep strong girl! I'm happy this gave you some peace of mind :)

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  8. I also did a blog post about my eating disorder. You can read it here: http://jericas-world.blogspot.com/2015/01/my-anorexia-story.html

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I'll check it out :)

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  9. I'm going to be honest here... I haven't read any blogs yet where disorders of any kind have been addressed. I wouldn't say I've had an eating disorder but as a young girl... I definitely struggled with my appearance and my weight, to the point I was obsessive with the bathroom scales... my mum decided to remove them and it was only this year that they reappeared in our new house.

    I think you're incredibly brave, and I find myself looking up to you as someone who writes and experiences. I completed your survey so I hope it helps you out :) x

    www.sheintheknow.co.uk

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    1. Thank you SO much for sharing, and again for completing the survey!! It helps a lot! I had to do away with the scale for a while too. Honestly I still look at it, but I limit myself to once every other week (I'm trying to get to a point where I can throw it out without going nuts). Baby steps girlie. Xoxo

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