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But I should have.
May 2013: My family went to brunch for Mother’s day at a restaurant near Pittsburgh. We sat down and I looked at the menu. I debated extensively over what I was going to order; how I was going to mess up my entire day. If I was going to waste calories I wanted to do it right. The anxiety set in, and it was long until my I was standing outside with my dad, crying, explaining to him how this one meal was going to undo my progress.
I should have known. But I denied it.
August 2013: The first football game of my senior year. It was a 12 o’clock game in scorching, end- of- summer heat. I ate breakfast before I left my house…but that was it. God forbid I eat stadium food. I didn’t get home until 5 o’clock , my parents weren’t home, and I was still running on an empty stomach, close to passing out. In tears, I called my grandma and asked if she would make me dinner. I reluctantly ate it, even though it didn’t meet my “healthy” standards.
I should have known. But again I denied it.
November 2013: Thanksgiving to be exact. I decided to give myself permission to eat whatever I wanted today. And boy, did I go all out. My eyes forced my stomach to eat probably three times its capacity, and by the time the day was over, I was doubled over with a food baby, miserable and unable to move. I weighed myself the next day. I hadn’t gained a pound..but I hadn’t lost either. The guilt set in…so I killed myself at the gym anyway.
I should have known. But still, I denied it.
All of the times when I should have known. When I quit volleyball because it would conflict with my getting to the gym. Or when the thought of eating a cookie after dinner actually terrified me. When my relationships began to suffer, and my confidence reached a new low.
It took a year until I finally acknowledged that there was a serious problem. Sometimes I wonder if I would have caught the warning signs early on, if I would have been able to stop it from progressing any further.
Recognize the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder. It’s how we can help those who need it, and prevent others from falling victim to the disease. For more resources, information, events, and support, check out NEDAs website. And remember, a little bit of self love goes a long way ❤