Telling your story is healing. My battle with disordered eating has been something I have fought to overcome for so long. And in a way, I am still healing. But in a day and age of being constantly ‘connected’ in a place where social media is bombarding you with photoshopped false illusions of ideal, it can aggravate and bring to the surface insecurities. Even the fitness and health pages of ‘normal’ people are constantly showing you their highlight reel, perfect angle, best lighting and posed images giving women the idea that their normal isn’t correct. I feel it is so important for anyone with social media influence to keep it real. In a space that’s so often filled with false illusions, unrealistic images leading to unrealistic expectations, and a 20 billion dollar diet industry preying on the vulnerable, we need more voices of what real and healthy is. Healthy is not being perfect- but loving yourself anyway. Healthy is working on you, for you. Not to fill someone else’s ideal. Healthy is knowing that your worth isn’t dependent on the size of your ass, the curve of your backs, the space between your thighs, the number on a scale. Healthy is measured in how much you value your body for what it can do, not what it looks to everyone else and not by how many likes you get on instagram.
My ED story
The first time I heard my infamous title, I was 14 years old. It was the first day of high school. I walked the already scary, overwhelming halls, and heard it.
“Oh look! S has a little sister. They look so much alike. Except she’s the fat one.”
Were they talking to me? Why are they looking at me like that? I ran into the bathroom and hid in the bathroom stall until I heard the warning bell-crying.
My sister and I had always been compared. In dance, in school, in life- but never in looks. And now I knew and had confirmation for all the things I already felt. I was the ‘fat’ one.
I couldn’t think of anything else the entire day except how fat I was. I was starving from not eating dinner or breakfast from first day jitters. But I wasn’t going to let them see me eat. So I skipped lunch.
This became my thing. Skipping breakfast and lunch and starving all day. And coming home and eating everything I could touch.
And then one day, the purging started.
It took over my life. My life was based on when I could binge and finding ways to cover my purging. My life was based on whether there was a bathroom close enough to where we ate out to purge immediately after. If there wasn’t, I wasn’t going.
No one noticed until it was out of control. It’s not their faults, really. My mom was working 60 hours a week, raising 4 girls all while carting us to and from dance and activities.
I was hospitalized and in and out of treatment centers my entire junior year of high school. I wish I could say it helped, or that I got better. I didn’t, just smarter.
I spent years going in and out of states of half ass recovery and relapse. I’m talking all the way up until I got married and had my first child. That little bitch in my head kept calling myself ‘The Fat Goodrich Sister’. That’s all I was sometimes. Still am on bad days.
I’ll spare every detail. It took a big scary life changing event to wake my ass up. In 2011 I almost lost him. My only saving grace. My son.
My son was diagnosed with a scary, life threatening disease. All of a sudden, my world just changed. Nothing mattered except that little boy. Over the course of a year I spent 67 nights in the hospital bed with him. SIXTY SEVEN days on the hem/onc floor of that children’s hospital. For once, I realized how unimportant all my selfish bullshit self destructive behavior was.
Wake the fuck up, Shelby. This child? Loves you. needs you. Sees your beauty. And he needs a strong, healthy mother. Mentally, physically and spiritually.
I know the point is to rewrite a happy ending. Well, my life is a happy ending. I’m blessed. My son is in remission. I have a beautiful family. I have faith. I have friends. I have a healthy strong body.
And I have an eating disorder. It doesn’t go away. It stays with you, whether it’s rearing its ugly head or not. ” the fat sister” lives in my head. But she has a new sister in there, telling her to ‘ Shut the fuck up, get over your own bullshit, and see all your amazing blessings.’
Originally posted 2016-02-22 08:36:05.