Disclaimer: This is not an article that has the answer to how to deal with hardship. Rather, it sheds light on how an ordinary person dealt with and overcame hardship.
The person I am talking about is myself. Everyone is not the same, but I would like to think that when others read this, people will take comfort in the single fact: they are not alone. It allows people to believe that it does not matter the amount of pain and loss you feel because for every downfall, there is always a bright spot.
My journey started in the summer of grade ten. I began to work out and started eating healthy because I just didn’t like who I was becoming or how I looked. On the first month, I lost five pounds. I continued to lose weight and people noticed. I was getting complimented left and right on how much weight I was losing.
What people didn’t know was that I had stopped eating junk food. I started measuring everything I ate, and I even ensured my calorie intake was within 900 – 1000 calories. I started to exercise excessively which showed because I started losing fat. But then I started losing stability. I got cold more quickly, got sicker and more exhausted faster, and lost energy more quickly.
I thought it was all OK because I was losing weight. Entering grade 11, I went from 160 to 130 pounds and everyone was amazed. But I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. I was too afraid that I would go back to my original weight. I started to lie to my friends and family that I wasn’t skipping meals when I was. I didn’t realize how “sick” I looked even though everyone was telling me that I looked like a twig.
My parents were concerned about my weight and wanted to know if I was OK. Then one day, during an appointment with my doctor, I found out that I had an eating disorder. With a weight of 99 pounds, I found out that I had anorexia.
Anorexia in our society goes shunned because many make comments such as:
“It was their fault”
“Did their parents not notice”
“Are they not educated enough”
These comments are what made me not accept that I had anorexia. I did not want to be pitied by anyone or shunned by society. Even after the doctor informed me of my issue, I did not accept it. It never hit me until I saw my father cry for the first time. I knew then that I had to change something.
It has now been about two years since I was 99 pounds. I have gained the right amount of weight back and still have an active lifestyle. Having an eating disorder does not mean that it’s the end for you. It just means that it’s the beginning. Many don’t accept that they have a problem because then it becomes too real. They just tell themselves that “everything is okay” over and over again. Yet deep down, they know it’s not – I know because I’ve been there and done that.
A famous quote I live by now is:
“If you want to kill yourself, kill what you don’t like. I had an old self that I killed. You can kill yourself too, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop living.”
The one thing I realize now is being beautiful isn’t about being skinny or size zero. It’s loving every inch and curve of your body and embracing everything about you. If you don’t love yourself, the number means nothing. Telling the world my story was the final stage. I have beaten my disorder, and I know there are others like me out there. I just want them to know that they aren’t alone. If I can do it so can they.
Now I am 19 and 141 pounds. I can finally say that I love who I am. This is me and this is my story.
After reading this, I hope those going through the same problem as I once did will be able to talk to someone and find support like I did. If anything, I am only a click away if you just want to be heard and feel important.