The Mind of My DEMON! – An insight into my battle with Anorexia/Bulimia
- SELFLESS ATTENTION SEEKING
All I wanted was for everyone to be happy even if it meant by hurting myself to do so!
Whether it be making cupcakes for friends, running errands, hosting parties, all I wanted was to be liked by everyone.
- PRE-OCCUPIED MIND
If you spoke to me over lunch or dinner…. I probably wasn’t listening. Sorry!
Not only was I probably jealous of what you were eating, I was counting the amount of calories on my plate, how much exercise I would have needed to do to burn it off or where I would have the opportunity to throw it up.
If you told me I had a problem, I would have been defensive in saying ‘I eat SO much its ridiculous! I eat chocolate everyday and pasta and bread and etc etc etc…’
(And secretly in my head I would have thought ‘you’re just jealous’) and No matter what you would have told me to make me seek help, nothing would have helped. In my eyes, I didn’t have a problem.
Always eating in secret, and hiding food. Making excuses when I went out with friends that I had already eaten just to avoid the restaurant food. Purging was always done in a secret location with no one around and as quiet as possible. Binge eating was even more secret as the animal inside would rage the cupboards and eat everything in sight.
I personally have an obsessive personality that can be both good and bad.
I was and (still slightly am) OBSESSED with food. What is in it, how many calories it was, what nourishment it provides, what speeds your metabolism, what foods were forbidden etc. But even though I knew as much about food as a Uni student studying nutrition, it was as if it all didn’t apply to me because my body had to be ‘Different’. My obsession now is more about how I can feel the best I can and maintain flexible but strong muscles!
I was and (still slightly am) OBSESSED with exercise! Running until every calorie was burnt off just running on my adrenaline. Now I prefer lifting weights and sculpting my shape along side pole dancing! Running is not a priority method of exercise anymore.
- WORDS FOR FAT
To me, the words Healthy and Normal were a stab in the heart meaning ‘you’ve gotten fat’! If someone had told me (more so during my recovery) that I looked healthy I nearly burst into tears every time! All I wanted was to be skinny but I was never skinny enough!
Binge eating was an animalistic / zombie state of having no control over my body and my mind. A scary feeling of not knowing when it’s going to stop as I shoved food into my mouth using my hands. An overwhelming sensation of guilt made me throw it up after.
How did it all start??
Bullying. High School 2005, I was verbally bullied quite a lot being told I was ‘Fat, Ugly, and Pale’. It hurt me so much that I made a choice to change. I began obsessively exercising and limited my food to an apple and maybe also a muesli bar a day. Tennis, dance, netball, basketball, swimming, walking, jogging I did everything. Clothes started falling off me and I was excited by this change. I had convinced my mind that Hunger pains were Full pains.
When I left Hong Kong and moved to Australia, things changed and I became ‘weird’ for being so skinny at school. This helped me recover as I no longer needed to prove to my bully that I wasn’t those things. I call these years my ‘Middle Years from my Demon’ also my ‘Happy Place’. I had applied to uni in England to a course I had always wanted to do (Contour Fashion) and I got accepted! In the 9 months break I had between high school and uni, I began pole dancing and FELL IN LOVE! (Like many of you reading this may know :)) I trained every single day and found my body change dramatically and I loved it. Worked my way to the Highest level at the time and then hit my dilemma…. Uni was about to start. I was so torn leaving this new pole world I had grown to love but I knew the international Uni fees my father had paid to get me there were too much to turn it down so I went.
To begin it was great fun, new friends, new lifestyle, but soon my hype fell and I was so lost without pole dancing. I began my obsession with food again as I knew it was what made me happy before pole dancing. But this time it was much harder! Since I had built up so much muscle, my body craved so much more food. I began binge eating then purging then running and then repeating. This cycle took over my life. I became miserable, freezing cold, and distant.
What made me change??
My hair. Nothing else made me want to change other than my loss of hair. I remember running to my dad crying one day on holiday because clumps of my hair were falling out and I thought I was going bald. I used to get asked constantly if I’d had a hair cut or had my hair thinned and I would be close to tears telling them no it’s just falling out.
My mum booked me to see a dietitian against my will. I was so angry with her but now, I can’t be more happy. Over my disorder, I had met with many counsellors but none of them helped as I lied to all of them and they believed me. This lady was different. She told me her story and straight away I knew she would know all my secrets. There was no hiding from her and she was brutally honest to me.
RECOVERY (In Hong Kong)
I hated EVERY DAY of it. I never felt pretty, happy, comfortable. It was the hardest time of my life but in the process, I became a much stronger person. I used to e-mailed my dietician every day in tears trying to get over my fear of eating and had she not replied to every e-mail, I don’t think I would have recovered. I can’t thank her enough! We established that my happy place was Australia and Pole dancing. Once I had gained enough weight according to my dietitian, I booked my flights (without confiding with my parents) and headed straight back to Australia to begin my Pole Dancing career. By making that decision to quit uni and move back to Australia felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders and has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made!
Major hurdles I overcame – Eliminating food restrictions – understanding that food is ALWAYS going to be available to me and I don’t have to eat it all in one sitting because I am never allowed it again!
Understanding that even if my decision is going to disappoint someone else, If it feels right and makes me happy then take the risk! I can’t please everyone!
MORALS OF MY JOURNEY
You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
The power of your mind is so powerful, you can do and believe anything you put your mind to, only if you want it enough.
Make decisions based on what you want to do, not for others. We all live in a small world, with a billion different views of it. Not everyone is going to see eye to eye.
Make yourself happy. Once you are happy you can make others happy too!
The Demon will forever play a part in my life and forever challenge me when times get tough but through my journey, I have discovered that by making your own decisions based exactly on what you want to do and what makes you happy keeps them demon at bay.
Make specific lifestyle goals – Ones that aren’t ‘skinny/fat’ related as they have no limit to them. Make sure that what you decide to do in your career, lifestyle makes your truly happy!
We live such short lives, with not much purpose other than to survive, so make yours a fun and interesting one!