My struggles with eating disorders

Hi guys!

Today I want to write about a very serious subject. It’s something that I almost never talk about to anybody. But I know a lot of people are struggling with eating disorders nowadays and if I can help you by sharing my story, then I’d be more than happy to break my silence. I always try to spread positivity and I always want people to have a good relationship with food but the truth is, I am struggling as well. This might be a hard post to write and it is probably the most personal one I’ve ever written so far but here we go.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a complicated relationship with food and with my body. I’ve always been self conscious and I’ve never been one of those naturally skinny girls. I wasn’t fat but I wasn’t skinny and some people in school called me fat when I was younger (probably around 10 or 12 years old) and I just felt that I had to be skinny to fit in. I remember that when I was in middle school, I would skip breakfast, sometimes skip lunch at school or just have a piece of fruit or a slice of bread and then just eat dinner at home. Then, one year I went on holidays to California for 2 weeks with my family and I ate whatever I wanted and gained  about 3 kilos and I remember that when I weighed myself, I felt horrible. I thought I was huge and disgusting and I had absolutely no self esteem and decided to go on a strict diet to lose the extra weight as fast as possible. When I think about it, it was stupid because 3 kilos is nothing but it made me feel so bad about myself. And the worst part is that I felt great while I was in California enjoying my holidays, I didn’t think I look fat at all but when I saw that the number on the scale went up, I started to see myself completely differently in just a few seconds. I tried everything to lose weight but it didn’t really work. Then, I came to a point where I was obsessing over everything I was eating and obsessed with getting as skinny as I could. I’ve actually talked about that period a little bit on Instagram but basically, I would barely eat or drink anything (I was dehydrated all the time, I would go to sleep thirsty, I would wake up thirsty, starving etc) but I saw the number on the scale go down and that’s all that mattered back then. I would work out for about an hour after every meal I had, doing lots of cardio as a way to make sure that I wouldn’t get fat after eating a piece of chicken. I didn’t even care about what my body looked like, just seeing the number go down every morning was like a victory for me. My goal was to get down to 50 kilos (I’m about 168cm).

The lowest I’ve been was 51.5 kilos and that’s when I started to realize that my body wasn’t okay with this “lifestyle”. I started to get headaches more often and when I would get up I would get dizzy a lot. One day, I was spending a weekend at the beach with my family and we were hanging at the pool and I just felt terrible. I had the worst headache and I just felt like my body was trying to tell me to do something and just giving it what it needed. I skipped dinner that night and went to sleep, then woke up in the middle of the night feeling worse than ever and that’s when I decided that it was enough and that my health was way more important than a few kilos. So I stopped weighing myself for about 6 months and I started to have a better relationship with food. But then I moved to the United States. I was 18 and all of it was too much at once for me. Living by myself in another country (another continent actually) while my family was in France, learning to take care of myself and deal with school and the language barrier, it was a lot and I was spreading myself too thin. I didn’t really know anybody in Florida when I first moved there so food became a source of comfort for me. I put on some weight, not sure how much because I didn’t want to weigh myself because of my past issues with the scale. I wasn’t bingeing but I was just eating a lot. I also started to work out at that time but it was mostly just cardio classes at the gym.

Then, in december 2013 I found out about Kayla Itsines on Instagram and saw the amazing transformations on her account. I started stalking some girls and when I saw all the food they were eating I realized that I could do this and that I had so much to learn about nutrition and working out. So I started following her guides and got amazing results. But after a few months of following her meal plan, I realized that I was feeling bloated every day and I still had a lot of fat around my thighs considering how healthy I was eating and I didn’t understand why. I wasn’t making any more progress and I got frustrated because I was eating really really healthy. I just got a bit tired of trying to figure it out after a while and since last summer, I’ve started binge eating. For those of you who don’t know what it is, this is when you start eating something “unhealthy” and you can’t stop eating. You eat a loooooot of food in a short amount of time, you don’t enjoy the food, you just eat and you can’t stop. Even if you feel full, you continue eating sometimes until you feel physically sick. For me it always happens at night after dinner and it started out of frustration because I wasn’t allowing myself to have any treats because I wanted to lose fat. I realized that I’m an emotional eater and I binge to deal with my emotions whenever I feel stressed or lonely or just confused or angry or whatever. Food is still a source of comfort for me today.

So where am I right now? Well I still binge sometimes but not as often as I did before. I did a lot of research and I have a carb sensitivity, so I started eating a little bit less carbs and replacing them with healthy fats and I’m never bloated anymore. That was my main issue so I’m really happy with that. I don’t count calories nor macros because I just don’t think it’s healthy for me and I could go back to my old habits if I did. I stopped eating a specific number of meals per day, if I’m not hungry I just don’t eat and vice versa. I started following a diet that my mom recommended and tried before, it’s not really a diet actually, it’s considered as a lifestyle. You eat whatever you want but not whenever you want. I’ll give you an update in a couple of weeks to see how effective it is. Oh and yes, I’ve gained weight over the past 6-8 months but I’m not obsessing over it anymore. If I’m going to lose weight, I want to do it in a healthy way and not lose it all as fast as I can. It doesn’t matter if it takes 2 months, 6 months or a year, what matters is that I’m happy, I’m healthy and I’m loving my body no matter what my body fat percentage is. I’ve been focusing on my weight and my body way too much over the last few years and I actually want to shift my focus. I want to focus on my life in general, I want to build a strong career and I want to have different goals than to just look a certain way. I feel like I’ve put everything on hold in my life because I was so focused on losing weight for such a long time.

I hope this post will inspire you to get better if you are struggling with eating disorders. It might be surprising to read that for some of my friends because I never talked about it to anybody and I was pretty good at hiding it but don’t make the same mistake I did. Talk about it and get some help because living like that is really hard and you just stop enjoying life. Being scared of going out to the restaurant, on vacation, to enjoy a treat or anything, it’s not living. It’s hell both mentally and physically. It took me a while to actually accept that I had a bad relationship with food, my family saw it way before I did. I kept telling myself that it was normal and healthy and that it was just part of losing weight but it wasn’t and it takes time to recover from it.

Writing this was harder than I thought, I don’t usually like to talk about my struggles and I’d rather empower people and spread positivity but I just want to be honest with you guys. Feel free to send me a message if you’re struggling with eating disorders 🙂

Love, Charlie