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I can’t tell you the first time I looked in the mirror and hated myself. I can’t tell you if there was a time when I didn’t do that. A morning ritual of pulling my shirt up around my chest and pulling worn-in boxers down below the hip bones I wish I could see and staring at the rise and fall of my skin over my bones and thinking such perverse self-deprecating thoughts that I would never dream of saying those things to anyone else. Wash, rinse, and repeat again come bedtime. I was drowning in self-hatred and I was okay with it.
I’ll admit I’ve had a complicated relationship with food and suffered many years of poor body image. And I will say that my eating has been disordered in the past, eating to satisfy emotions rather than hunger. So, it seems natural to categorize this behavior as an eating disorder. But the better acquainted I became with my purging, the more I understood it was never about eating.