Eating disorders, mental illness, anorexic.. all words I usto hate hearing. My eating disorder was never intended to happen. I grew up a normal, healthy young girl and most of my childhood was spent doing the things that I truly love. The thing about my eating disorder that’s so interesting is that I thought I was doing everything right and at my “healthiest”. Looking back, I avoided so many social occasions simply because I knew they involved food. In my mid teenage years, the fitness industry was beginning to boom. From new workout studios to crazy diets, everyone seemed to be chasing this lifestyle. My junior year of high school is when I began to chase after the “health” life. I remember eating the same exact meal everyday for lunch because I knew the exact amount of calories, fat, carbs, and protein in it . My go to, a Trader Joes chicken salad. Looking back at it, I didn’t know much about nutrition and figured “Hey, protein and greens sounds like what I need”.
Fast forward to senior year, I was faced with a whole other heartbreak. I didn’t get into the college of my dreams. Within six months, I rapidly gained 20 pounds as I binged away my sadness. I indulged in food as a source of relief from this pain. At that point, I needed comfort and new that food was a reliable source. After graduating from high school, I sought to clean up my diet and incorporate a healthier lifestyle. That summer, I spent nearly every morning at the gym. My body slowly started to lean out and I began to notice the progress that I craved. I was finally returning to my healthy weight and learning the tricks to weight loss. However, my normal weight soon wasn’t “normal” anymore. I stepped on the scale every single morning to see the number consistently drop. This was the first time in my life that I felt good at something. In fact, I didn’t even realize I was dieting. I held high regard for myself for being able to shed weight the way I did. Each .1 pound was a source of satisfaction for me and I was determined to lose as much weight as possible.
A couple months later, I began to have extreme pain in my abdomen, followed by extreme bloating. The pain had gotten to a point where I was eating nearly one meal a day, dropping weight like no other. At some point, I even began to enjoy the pain as it meant that I would continue losing weight. After months of suffering, my gastroenterologist had diagnosed me with SIBO(Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth). I took the required medications for SIBO which involved a 10 day antibiotic course and felt absolutely no relief. At this point, I stopped believing in doctors altogether. I continued dealing with the pain and decided that I have to tough it out and continue to live.
After 11 months of constant stomach pain, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder. These were eleven of the hardest months I have ever lived through. I constantly missed class because I was unable to get up in the mornings. My hands and feet were slowly beginning to discolor and turn blue due to a lack of blood flow. I lost my period. I had grown pale. I had the driest hair. I was soon weighing the same as my 12 year old self. XS was too big on me. Most bras didn’t fit. I had the lowest blood pressure possible. I avoided going to dinners or socializing. I had to prepare every meal myself or else I wouldn’t eat. I lost a lot of friends. I thought ED and being the leanest would make me more. This idea of “more” left me to find myself locked in one place, my bedroom.
My blessing came to me during the summer of 2019. I met a boy. And trust me, I thought too at that moment in early June that it would be nothing more than a summer fling. Summer of 2019 was the height of my eating disorder. I had truly been sucked into disordered eating and would argue with anyone who told me different. As we began to date, the hardest part of going out was having to interact around food. Our first two months of dating was the hardest push that I had to give. I knew that he had noticed patterns of my disordered behavior, but was reluctant to mention it. It took me three months to open up about my eating disorder and he was the first person to know. I truly believe that if God had not crossed our paths today, I may not have been alive and able to experience this beautiful world. Each and every day, this man has been by my side to reinforce that my weight restoration has been the most amazing journey for me. From making my meals to holding me as we’ve ate fear foods, we truly have done it all. I can’t even begin to say how tough recovery was for me. From bloating to the constant mental anguish around food, it was the toughest battle I’ve ever faced. While my eating disorder voice tries creeps up on me every now and then, I know that I’m better and stronger than a demon. Each and every day I chase happiness and this rocky road is my journey to a joyous and free life.
My Instagram page and blog Onehealthyavocado is basically a road to my journey. The IG page originally started as a way of being accountable for the things that I made. If I made it, then I would have to eat it before posting it to the public. I started to love posting recipes on my page and interacting with so many other people from around the world. As I battled my eating disorder, I found my love for recipe creating. I hope to continue sharing my eats and treats with you guys for as long as I can. In addition, I will continue posting more mental health and lifestyle content as well.
*Eating disorders are a serious condition that require medical attention or guidance from a professional. I sought out to therapy and slowly introduced foods into my life. If you or a loved one is suffering through an eating disorder, talk to a medical professional or look for resources from NEDA(National Eating Disorder Association).