On Saturday, I had the greatest privilege of celebrating 28 years of freedom from an eating disorder. A best friend, one whom I met on Instagram, permitted me into her sweet life of joy, hard work, and love. And my heart dances in pirouettes because of it. She announced, on her big day, “Let’s honour our body today…! Let’s love it to the moon and back!”
God. I love HER to the MOON and back. Two years of anorexia with a few hospitalizations between ages 12 and 14, followed by three years of bulimia, between ages 15 to 18, she is now healthy and free. So amazing. Powerful. Inspirational. Because our friendship is NOT founded on the eating disorder, she knew NOT of my unique experience and asked. Herein I offer my story.
14 February 1999: Began THE DIET. Took me from 135 pounds to 89 pounds. “Anorexic.”
21 August 1999: Became bulimic. Age 17. Sitting in the back, dark corner of the local Chinese restaurant, I inhaled two enormous plates of shrimp lo mein, leaving with my size- zero American Eagle jeans unbuttoned, waist covered with a green hoodie, not fully understanding the WHY of the WHAT had just happened, other than it had classified as bulimia, and I would then STOP the behavior, write a book, appear on Oprah, help so many others, and make loads of money in the process. [the ever PURE capitalist, pure meaning with good heart]. The moment that I became bulimic, I wanted to turn it into something good. On the way home, however, I stopped at the convenience store for Hostess red and white zingers (OH the white stuffing!!) and extra salty pretzels, followed by raiding of my parents’ medicine cabinet for laxatives.
And another 11 years later, I finally stopped. On 4 July 2010.
But the chaos continued, into other undefined eating disordered terms until what I declare as my formal sobriety date: 21 August 2016.
So I am newly sobered. The chaos is done. And the loneliness. The disgust. The shame. All over. Now, as my FRIEND has done successfully for 28 years, I exist on a mission, to inspire, to help, to set example, to sophisticatedly announce from everything in my soul the following:
WITH REGARD TO EATING DISORDERS, THERE IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL. We’re all unique. Our stories. Our scenarios. Our solutions. But, at the end of the day, we all share one factor: the heart-breaking reality that we treated our royal bodies like garbage. Like less than a temple. And, for that reason, we must resolve to stand together and to honour our bodies. In the words of my friend, “Let’s love it to the moon and back.”
And here is my story, for you, in a few summary pictures. This is the same girl, crossing a period of 17 years of disordered eating. For the full account, please see: Existing in a Vessel of Happiness. Namaste. :)
What is your ED story?