I could have sworn I wasn’t human anymore. I had just finished a high-intensity interval training workout with an empty stomach, but with all this energy running through me, I still felt stronger and more powerful than ever. Perhaps I was developing some kind of superpower.
Little did I know this manic state was simply caused by adrenaline. I was not a superhero and I was most definitely not becoming an angel or any sort of beautiful, ethereal creature. My body was in starvation mode, trying to save me while I was slowly killing myself.
Whenever I was having a bad day — or a “fat day”, which was the term I used — I only had to close my eyes and slide my hands up and down my torso. I smiled almost every time, because I could feel every single one of my ribs. Mirrors were the enemy, though; my eyes kept telling me that my waist wasn’t small enough and that my thighs were still too big.
Needless to say, I kept going. However, I was scared to death. It might not make much sense — then again, none of these issues really do — but I wanted to go as far as I could, for as long as I could, without dying.
I used to live by this Kate Moss quote, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Well, skinny hurts. A lot. Skinny made my skin pale and dry, it caused my hair to fall incessantly and my cheeks too become hollow. Skinny gave me the body of a 10 year-old, my butt was barely there and my boobs were nowhere to be found — but hey, at least I had a thigh gap, right?
Anorexia — or any sort of eating disorder for that matter — is not glamorous. It is not something anyone should want and it is not a diet we choose to follow, for the desire to be thin is not the disease, but only a symptom of it. An eating disorder is a severe mental illness that should in no way be diminished or taken lightly.
In other words, no, we can’t “just get over it”. Nevertheless, recovery is possible. It’s probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, because the only thing more terrifying than getting rid of my anorexia was the thought of having to live with it for the rest of my life.
I used to think I was so tough, with an outstanding self-discipline that allowed me to starve myself. I was wrong. I had never known real strength until I chose to recover. That same willpower that was killing me was the one that saved me. This might be a life-long battle, and I still struggle with these demons, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, for I am tired of merely existing. I want to live.
And by the way, a lot of things taste better than skinny feels.