I truly thought I would die feeling the way I always felt: addicted to food, hating my body, and truly thinking it was all my fault. It made perfect sense in my struggling. self-hating mind. I was the one binge eating. I was the one unable to maintain a “good weight.” I was failing to meet any of my expectations.
My instinct when asked about my eating disorder is to mystify my “heroic journey” to recovery. Through snarky and impactful commentary, I often simplify the root of my mental disorder to avoid difficult questions. However, a key yet disregarded, element to my story is that for a very long time, I didn’t want to be a woman.
I’ve received treatment more times than I care to count, for a larger array of issues than I care to admit, namely for anorexia nervosa in a variety of settings, inpatient, residential, outpatient, psychiatry wards and medical wards.
TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals - please read with caution.
I’m no expert on body image. Nor have I suffered from an eating disorder. I’m just a man antagonized by body image issues all my life.
Along the way, I learned some life lessons. I hope those suffering as I do will find them useful.
As children we learned about “good” food and “bad” food. We still use language that includes words like “healthy” and “junk” and “crap” and “bad.” We were told what to eat and what not to eat. Moreover, the multibillion dollar diet industry has given us a vocabulary around food and eating that focuses on shame, blame, and deprivation.
"None of my actions were a choice - they were an illness, a coping mechanism that allowed me to disguise my insecurities, pain, trauma, self-hate, and complete belief that I was not enough, that I would never be enough."