It’s funny looking at this question and really coming to terms with how I’ve never actually fully answered this question to myself let alone the entire public.
A breakdown of my illness is a combination of:
- insatiable overeating as a medical condition, in particular.
- an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting.
noun: bulimia; noun: bulimia nervosa; plural noun: bulimia nervosas
- an eating disorder in which a large quantity of food is consumed in a short period of time, often followed by feelings of guilt or shame.
- an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy.
- a medical condition in which the sufferer systematically avoids specific foods in the belief that they are harmful.
noun: orthorexia nervosa; plural noun: orthorexia nervosa
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD)
is a distinct mental disorder in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see.
It began when I was around ten years old;
I was your average pre-teen, skimming through teen magazine, hanging posters of Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys on my wall. I was innocent, and unopened to the real world.
I never thought I was ugly, or fat, or skinny, or anything. It was only until I was introduced to these titles that my mind and body was consumed.
I distinctly remember playing truth or dare in the park with six of my school friends, three of them boys and the other three of us were girls. It was one of the boy’s turns and he picked truth. My friend asked “who is the hottest girl here?” he looked at all three of us and said “well Karly got fat over the summer, so everyone but her”
How blunt and straight arrow this answer was. I had never been called fat. But I knew it was associated with ugliness. My heart sunk and I abruptly left with tears welled in my eyes while the boys laughed. This small insignificant comment set off something in my brain, and haunted me for a large portion of my life.
Now in saying this there have been many factors throughout my earlier years that had caused much of my obsession with my image, weight, and control.
I had experienced an unwanted sexual advance when I was younger, this in turn made a lot of my self worth crumble. My confidence and well being was ripped from me before I even knew I had it.
I to this day hate to revisit the blurry darkness of what had happened, suppressed deep in the corners of my mind it took me 26 years to speak to someone about this experience and it takes every ounce of my soul to type this out. But I know someone out there has experienced what I have and I hope they can read this with some sense of relief of knowing they are not alone. My sense of self-worth was taken from me before I could even understand what self-worth was.
My illness is a large portion of separation from my inner self and an immense sense to have control over something since those many moments made me feel so out of control of the situation.
I remember refusing to eat and pretending to eat and throwing my meal in the garbage.
I remember the moment I found out that I could eat what I wanted, then throw it up to control me not in taking the calories but still at least somewhat tasting what I had.
I remember skimming those same magazines again and seeing celebrities in their glory, and how different their bodies were from mine.
I remember staring into the mirror, front view to side view and repeating this until I cried.
I remember being so ashamed of my body and my lack of confidence I wore on my sleeve.
I remember where it started, and how long It controlled me and my life.
I was a prisoner inside my own body and mind.
My illness was 24.5 years of the snowball effect. There were many factors to keep the ball rolling, to keep me stuck in this vicious cycle. Constantly filled with anxiety, stress, lack of proper nutrition and lack of hopes for a future free from bulimia, orthorexia and body dysmorphia.
Every day is still a challenge, but my trials and tribulations through my experiences has taught me strength, dedication and persistence to fighting my illness.
The question isn’t when did my eating disorder start, It’s more a question of what caused my eating disorder to begin. I never actually confronted this until I seeked professional guidance. With a lot of love, compassion, and support I came out publicly with my illness.
My simple goal; to reach out to those struggling like I was. To give hope for a life free from the darkness of eating disorders and corresponding mental illness stemming from eating disorders.
Posts to come:
– The first step into the world of fitness
– Steps to ED Recovery