"What I wish I'd known..."
A personal thought on eating disorders and anorexia. TW: Eating disorder content.
There's certain things I never thought I'd share online, such as the secret that I was conceived via sperm donor, the fact that I poop with my feet up on the toilet seat, squat-style, and the admittance that, all throughout college, I had an eating disorder.
(If you can’t tell already, this post is bound to be a bit heavy)
Starting in the summer before my freshman year, I fell into anorexia quickly and deeply, starting with advice from Crossfit friends to become Keto.
After that, I drastically cut my calories, all based - not on research, evidence, or intuitive needs - on Instagram fitness girls pedalling 1200-calorie diets and extensive exercise.
I continued like this for about two years, even while studying abroad in Ireland and seeing such amazing food like the one in the photo! (I remember this meal - it stressed me out beyond belief thinking about how much fat was in the meal, and I restricted the rest of the day to "make up for it", instead of enjoying it).
Nothing changed until the 2020 summer of COVID-19 when my best friend finally pulled me aside and told me she was worried for me. Recovery is different for everyone, but this was the first moment I felt truly seen and supported, and it gave me the impetus to start working toward recovery.
Now, over four years in, I can happily say I’m on the upswing of recovery - disordered eating is now the exception, not the norm, and I’m finally comfortable to talk about it (or write about it, as I am here and on my Instagram).
I want to help other people see the warning signs, bypass the false information, and actually understand this illness is doing to their bodies and minds.
Obviously, I’m not a doctor. I’m not a registered dietitian, and so, I’m not going to tell you what to do. BUT what I will provide below is my personal beliefs on how shi***y this illness is, some anecdotes of my time with it, and plenty of links to articles and resources for those in recovery.
There’s so much I wish I knew before listening to the Crossfit Ketos, but, thankfully, I know those things now. With therapy, friends, family, love, medication, and a much needed change in scenery, I overcame this illness, and I know you can, too!
What I wish I'd known: Before anorexia:
What I wish I'd known: During anorexia:
What I wish I'd known: In recovery:
There it is, that’s the list, as unfiltered as I can muster.
I got the idea for this list after a lovely coffee date with a hometown friend, someone who’s also in ED recovery and who was so open and vulnerable with sharing her experiences.
Our EDs had so many threads in common, and, after seeing my Instagram post discussing my experience with an ED and eventual recovery, she reached out, feeling more comfortable to share hers.
It’s moments like that, where I see how beneficial it is to speak up and SHARE the shi***y things we go through, that make me want to write: whether it's writing blog posts or writing television. And, I hope this helps you, too - whether you’re in the midst of a disorder or reading this post for a friend. I believe in you! <3
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About the Thoughts Blog:
Before Payton wrote pilots, before articles and poems, Payton wrote in her journals and on Google Docs, always titling the entry: Thoughts. For this reason, this blog was easy to name.
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