The Eating Disorder I Never Knew I Had


For the longest time, I didn’t know where this issue was coming from.  I thought there was just a little hiccup in my diet and maybe things will return to normal.  Every time I would eat something, it made me question it. It made me hate myself for eating it. I remember hearing a voice inside of my head telling me how disgusting it was to eat it and how disgusting I looked for eating it. 

It all began when there was a family get together at my great aunt’s house. I piled my plate up high with food.  All of a sudden, I looked at this food in disgust and thought, “How could I eat this?” I didn’t know what was going on but I knew that if I forced myself to eat this, I would get sick. I thought if I just chug it down with a Sprite soda (since it’s white/clear), I would be fine but it only masked the issue for a few minutes. 

The feeling I tried to describe to my family who was concerned was impossible.  Bulimia ran across my mind but I knew I couldn’t have that because I want this food. I’m not trying to vomit. This food is good but both my body and my mind rejected it.

I kept thinking, what could it be that’s making me feel this way?  What foods are my body rejecting?  I wanted to know so I could stop eating them immediately.  I prayed about it and asked God, “If I need to stop eating this food, let me know.”  I found out I was having issues eating red meat so I cut it out of my diet...actually I cut all meat out of my diet and decided to go plant-based. 

I’m still plant-based but what I love about it is that I can still eat meat if I want to, just not a lot of it.  So that’s what I do. I decided to bring back eggs, chicken, and fish.  I also found out that I don’t have an issue eating these items either.  The voice went away and I felt better than ever.  What I needed to do was change my diet and only eat things that were best for my body.  My body was changing and I didn’t know it.  I was trying to force it to continue on a path it didn’t want to go down anymore.  That’s why it’s so important to listen to your body.

Last Wednesday, I was watching The Today Show and they had a segment on eating disorders.  I thought I’d just watch it even though my issue was already solved.  Turns out, though me changing my eating habits was great, I never had a name for it. After listening to the young woman on the screen share her story, I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh! This was me.”

So of course after the segment, I did my own research to make sure this aligned with the issues I was having and it did. By reading the 6 Symptoms of Eating Disorders, I fell into more of:

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder 

Excessive focus on healthy eating

Making own meals rather than eating what the family eats

Expressing depression, disgust, shame or guilt about eating habits

Skipping meals or making excuses for not eating

Adopting an overly restrictive vegetarian diet

This is how I felt during the early stages of the eating disorder but now I feel much better.  I now know what works best for me and my body. I’ve given my body more leniency on the foods I eat but in all, I just listen to my body.

Click here to learn more about eating disorders. If you or someone you know may have this issue or think you/they have it, definitely read about it and they have a number you can call listed below on their site. 

If you want someone to talk to about it, you can talk to someone from BetterHelp or you can talk to me and we can get through this together. 

I hope by telling my story, you’ll feel better about telling yours. Whatever you do, don’t keep it in. Let it out and talk about it.  That’s the best medicine. 

xo,

Janelle


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