What is “normal eating”? Normal eating is eating until you are satisfied. Normal eating is allowing yourself to eat even if you haven’t gone to the gym that day. Normal eating is giving yourself permission to eat whenever and wherever.
I’ve struggled with my mental health for a few years now. Only my GP knows about my eating disorder, however not telling anybody is dangerous. At 13, my mental health began to deteriorate. I’ve always been a perfectionist since I was young, constantly caring about what other people think. I worried about if strangers in the corridors held an opinion on me. As a result, when I experienced bullying my own self-worth declined. The way I saw myself changed. No longer did I see someone of a perfectly normal weight, I saw someone who was ugly and disgusting and to counteract this I began to stop eating. Little by little I cut down on the amount of food I ate. Still, I saw no change and, despite the number on the scale dropping, I felt worse than ever. Other people began to pick up on my actions; my best friend was worried sick as she hadn’t seen me eat in days.
My mum found out what I was doing but, due to how sick I had become, I lied and continued to deny anything my loved ones said about an eating disorder. I had no hope whatsoever; I had started recovery and by noon relapsed again. Inside I knew it was wrong and I felt guilty that I was putting my friends and family through the distress I put them through before. Relapsing is very dangerous and as nobody knew that I was struggling I had no support.
Relapsing from an eating disorder is very easy, especially in the beginning stages of recovery. Recovering is going against everything you preached for the time you listened to your eating disorder. Reaching out to get help is so important because it is extremely hard to recover alone.
Then I found veganism which saved my life because it allowed me to build a new relationship with food. Looking back, I wonder how I ever let myself fall into the trap of an eating disorder.
They lie, they make you believe you aren’t good enough and that you aren’t worth it. You are always good enough, no matter what shape or size you are. No matter how much you weigh you will always be enough. It doesn’t matter what size you are, because you are amazing as you are.
If you believe you or somebody else you know, stranger or not, are struggling with an eating disorder or any other mental health problem you must tell somebody. Reaching out and getting help is the first step. It is very important to have people that can support you and check up on you. You may also be referred to a mental health hospital or therapy, where you can recover and build a healthy relationship with food.
Despite the stigma around mental health hospitals, they are there to help you get better, and there is no shame in getting help.
“Even the models we see in magazines wish they could look like their own images” - Cheri Erdman.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.