Updated: Apr 24, 2018
I was THE cutest, chubbiest little kid and was everyone's favorite. My dad always talks about how when I started crawling my head was so big that my neck could not hold it up. I dragged my head on the floor until my neck was eventually strong enough to lift it up. I would get carpet burns on my forehead.
Then I grew older. Soon I realized that being "chubby" was a bad thing. I do not know when I became self-conscious of my body size but I cannot remember a time when I was not. Look at this picture here and notice how my embarrassment caused me to slouch over and push my stomach in.
I always viewed myself as being fatter than all my friends. In sixth grade I started doing triathlons, which led to half marathons, in an attempt to stay thin. Throughout high school I tried tracking calories, rigid and restrictive meal plans, cutting out certain foods, cleanses, a weight-loss clinic, intense work outs, and more all in attempt to lose weight. No matter my weight, "If I was just ten pounds lighter, THEN boys would like me. THEN I would be good enough."
I could not look at food or my body in a healthy way. My brain turned into a calculator which was constantly calculating calories, carbohydrates and sugar. I was constantly examining and judging my body. I began applying strict food rules for myself and I would beat myself up every time I broke one of them.
At one point I was tracking my food intake on three different food apps to make sure I got the right amount of calories, hardly any carbs, and the right nutrients Anytime I would eat out with my friends I would bring my own food blaming it on my extremely mild, basically nonexistent food allergies. Social gatherings stressed me out. I would plan beforehand how to not eat the food served or come after the food had been consumed. If I ate food that was on my "black list," (anything which was not straight protein or vegetables), I would not eat anything else. This caused me to feel nauseous, have headaches, and be exhausted. I convinced myself, and everyone else, this was because my "black list" food item did not work well with my body.
Throughout my experience I realized I had a problem. Still perceiving myself as "fat" I did not want to do anything about it. I felt pathetic as my problem seemed to be a conceded, first world problem. I told myself that if I really loved God I would only care what He thought. My weight would not matter. Everyday I poured my heart out to God, asking to see myself the way he sees me. It did not seem to work. My problem was not in my relationship with God, but in my relationship with myself. I felt it would be pathetic to seek out help since I was not as bad as "other girls." (I actually envied girls with good enough self control to develop anorexia. How did they do that? I was always "weak" and "needed a lot of food." I had convinced myself I was "addicted to food.") "Other girls" were hospitalized, extremely thin, and had all sorts of mental and emotional problems because of their eating disorder. My eating disorder convinced me I did not deserve help and I should figure it out on my own.
Well, "figuring it out on my own" did not work as planned. My perception of myself grew worse. Not needing food does not work so well, and when I got into college I could not keep up my strict dieting. I was stressed out and felt my life would fall out of control with every "black list" food I would eat. I would have mental breakdowns after I ate. After I received my mission call Satan worked really hard on me. He knew he could get to me through my body image and eventually convinced me to start purging.
I still remember the first time. My roommate and I had just made cookies and I ate "too much." I started feeling my eaters remorse and wanted to get rid of it. There had been many times previously I had tried making myself vomit but it did not work. I found out it was because I was not trying hard enough. I went into the bathroom with my toothbrush and stuck it all the way down my throat until the vomit came. Afterwards, I had this sense of exhilaration and control. It made me hate myself how much I enjoyed making myself throw up, but I did. I do.
From that point on, which was about two years ago, I have made myself throw up a couple times a month. This was not to the point of full-blown bulimia nervosa, so I felt I did not need or deserve any professional help and could figure it out on my own. I was nervous if I told anyone I would get sent home from my mission, something I loved so dearly, and felt could fix me if I was a faithful enough missionary. I went through the course of my entire mission, making myself vomit, without a single person knowing. I trained my body to stop feeling hunger as I restricted calorie intake to the point I could not perform the normal day to day actions without being exhausted.
I carried this heavy burden all by myself until, one day, I finally told someone and sought help. This was the best decision I have made so far.