Overcoming My Eating Disorder

Eating disorders. A problem that far too many women struggle with. I struggled with disordered eating patterns for years, though I know that it could have been much worse.

When I was 13 years old, I had a best friend who was going through her own battle. She weighed in at 20 pounds less than I did, and declared daily how fat she was. She once paused a movie to proudly announce, “I am going to go throw up.” At such a young age, I had no idea to how to process that information. I knew her. I looked up to her. She was breathtaking to me. If she was too fat, certainly I was too fat.

At the age of 16, I remember using my debit card to purchase “hardcore” diet pills. The kind that claimed to take the place of liposuction. My mind swarmed with ideas on how I could intercept the mail before my mother could realize what I had purchased. I knew that she would disapprove, but she didn’t understand. She didn’t understand that I was obese. I was unlovable. I needed to lose weight, and I needed to lose it now.

For years I continued on this path, always changing my course of action. I would eat 1,000 calories, and burn 500 at the gym. I was force myself to drink magnesium nitrate from the local Walgreens, hoping my digestion could fix any flaw. I would chew Oreos, savoring every taste, and then spit them out in a grocery bag. I would pray that no one close to me would notice the things that I was doing. I didn’t want to stop, at least not until I was skinny.

When I was 19, I got my heart broken by a guy. It was the beginning of summer, and I knew I wouldn’t have to see him until fall. I made it my determination that summer to lose 30lbs. The next time he saw me, he would think I was beautiful. I stayed well below a healthy range of calories. I forced myself to go to the gym 6 days a week, and I resented that it was recommended to take a day off. Low and behold, when I saw him in the fall he said, “Oh wow, Jubilee. You look great. It looks like you lost half of you.” I can’t begin to tell you how much gratification I felt in that moment. I did it. I was skinny.

The weight of it all became too much. I can’t say the exact moment that things turned around for me. I think I realized that I had a problem when friends and family began to ask me if I was eating enough, and my dad asked me if I had become obsessed with food. As much as I actually liked people noticing how thin I had gotten, it was also a wake up call that it was time to stop. I began to tell those judgmental thoughts to shut up, and I would begin to mentally affirm women and myself whenever I would think something negative.

I will be honest: Those thoughts still come up. I still freak out about my weight after coming home from vacation. I have a horrible habit of weighing myself most mornings. Even when I don’t track my calories, my mind is subconsciously counting them. I still have to actively tell myself that I’m lovable, no matter what I look like. The difference now is that I don’t act on these thoughts. I don’t starve myself. I don’t eat the recommended calories for a 5 year old. I don’t drink magnesium nitrate. I finish my food. I eat whatever I need to to truly nourish my body. Am I healed of the actions associate with the eating disorder? Yes. Am I healed of the thoughts associated with it? No. But here is what I do believe:

Your thoughts are not who you are. It has taken years of reprogramming, but those thoughts come up less and less. In the end, they have become just that: thoughts. My thoughts are not my actions. Too many women feel the need to be the “perfect” size and hurt themselves in their goal to get to their ideal weight. My biggest piece of advice is this, tell those thoughts to “shut up.” They do not define who you are. Tell someone, anyone if you are struggling. Ask for help and give yourself grace in the process. It may take awhile to unlearn all of the unhealthy habits you have formed through the years, but you are not alone. On the other side of this struggle is something we can all attain, freedom.

52 Comments

  1. You are brave and I am glad that you are way past all those struggles, you have a strong heart and you truly inspired me. Awesome!

    Hey, don’t hesitate to visit my blog page, I would love to connect with you. 🙂

  2. Very well written, I’m going to share with a friend who’s daughter might find this useful.
    Well done on managing those thoughts and not letting them destroy you, take care xx

  3. You are absolutely beautiful no matter what 🙂 You are so brave sharing this and spreading awareness. I think this is something that needs to be spoken about more.

  4. This is truly inspiring, Jubilee. You have oveecome so much and telling your story will surely give many struggling women great hope.
    Celebrating beautiful you! ❤️🎉❤️

  5. I love posts like these. You are amazing for sharing this. You could do so much good by speaking up and letting other girls know they aren’t alone. You are beautiful inside and out!

  6. This is such a powerful story, and you are truly brave to tell your story! It is sad how eating disorders are becoming more and more common due in part to the unnecessary standards women are given by media. I’m going to go share this article because more people need to read this!

  7. This is incredible! Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story with everyone! It’s truly inspiring!

  8. This is such a powerful story. Growing up, I had a friend that taught me how to do certain things. It’s a shame how much our peers can influence the thoughts that were below the surface.

    Keep telling your story loud and proudly, you’re helping.

    Xo Logan

  9. YES!!!!! You are amazing and very brave! Keep going girl. I too suffered an ED and still do to some point but I’ve vowed I will NEVER go back. NEVER. You got this 👊🏻😉💕

  10. ❤❤❤ Thank you for sharing. I starved myself at the very young age of 9 years old. It was very intentional – I wanted to become skinny so that my parents would love my and my friends would like me. Did it work? Of course not. I got anorexia for 3 years before I was finally forced to eat enough again. I was now normal weight again but no one had helped me with my insecurities and low self-esteem… so I continued to punish myself and indulge… for 10 more years or so 😂 – always had a beautiful body but felt so insecure on the inside. Then I BEGAN to improve my thinking regarding myself. Now, at the age of 35, I have finally begun to like myself unconditionally – begun. ❤❤❤

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am heartbroken that you had to suffer from this so early on in life:( Fighting to change my thinking as been the biggest key for me as well. So happy you love your beautiful self now <3

  11. Thank you for sharing your story. I know that you are helping tons of people. I’m so happy that you found the strength to tell those inner voices to “shut up” and you trained yourself to stop any unhealthy habits. Wishing you much love and success in your future.

  12. How brave of you to share your story! So many women experience the exact same thing, but they never hear the wake up call, and they never stop. I went through a similar experience and I got tired of putting off my life until I was “perfect”. I learned being perfect never happens. Too many women need to know that they are beautiful as they are right now. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. This is such an important story to share, to make other people aware how common these experiences are for young women. We all need to be told that we are beautiful and loved no matter what! Thank you for sharing!

  14. You are very brave to share your experience. I know in my youth I struggled with a eating disorder and diet pills. I am so glad there is more of a focus on it now and young woman are encouraged to embrace there bodies not to always be trying to improve them to meet the ideals of a perfect image.

  15. Your story reminds me of so many of my friends. I definitely think there is pressure in the media to make women not feel good about the way we look. Stay strong and thanks for sharing your story!

  16. Thank you for being so open about this. So many amazing women in my life have struggled with disordered eating and it’s heartbreaking to watch. I’m so happy you have found the ability to truly love and nourish yourself, and work on banning those toxic thoughts. I don’t think people realize how toxic diet culture can be and just how many people suffer from an eating disorder. So thank you for sharing your story!

  17. Thank you for sharing your story. Eating disorders are something that many women face every single day. We are constantly being told that we have to be skinny and perfect but its all bullshit! It is a take it a day at a time kind of problem and you are doing great. Keep it up girl!

  18. I think a lot of women, even men, who read your post feel for and with you. It always seems like we need to look good for others not for ourselves I felt as if I was almost reading my own life down to the advice you gave, thank you for sharing this and I hope more people read it, keep up with everything and stay positive!

  19. I’m sharing this on Twitter. I have a good relationship with food, knowing that it can so easily change to a bad one, and there are days when I skip meals by choice, which I know is bad and I shouldn’t be doing it at all. It happens to all of us! Thank you for having the courage to share this story. I hope that someone might see signs in themselves and choose to say ‘no’ to that behavior. I didn’t even know these habits were in myself until I really started looking at myself differently…

  20. This is truly amazing, you are amazing. You should be so proud of yourself, I’m so glad you’ve overcome your eating disorder to such a positive stage – keep on ignoring those voices, they’re not true and you are so loveable and beautiful. I wish you all the luck and positivity for your bright future in which you hold 💖✨

  21. I was searching wordpress for eating disorder blogs and your post came up. Thanks for sharing this….. Something I’m trying to realise is that just because I think something doesn’t mean I have to engage or fight with it, to let it be. One day, one day.
    Love and light.

    1. I am so glad that you connect to my process. Sending you lots of love and light. Healing is on the way <3

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Sending you so much love and prayers ❤️

  22. This is amazing! You were able to overcome ED, and that is something I strive to do everyday. I like how you said you are more than your thoughts. Sometimes I forget that and it was nice to have a reminder. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.

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