Leanna overcame her 5 year eating disorder
2010 was the year that was supposed to be full of excitement and new beginnings. It was the year I graduated from high school. But, that is not what I remember 2010 for. Instead, It was the time that what would mark the beginning of what would be a five year eating disorder.
It mysteriously knocked on my door and I selfishly opened the door and unsuspectingly accepted the plague with open arms. It fed into my already low self-esteem and bad body image that was present since my early teenage years. I was striving to be the perfect being in all aspects of life. The perfect daughter, the perfect student, perfect, perfect, perfect. Everything had to be perfect.
It drained me. I became incredibly tired and tried to find the easy way out in becoming "perfect" looking. This is when my eating habits became ridiculous. I would go weeks with eating nothing at all to gorging myself full until I could barely walk. I developed that "all or nothing" attitude. I would go a couple of days eating at a very low caloric intake. Carbohydrates were a big no-no. This even included fruit! Anything artificial and packaged were off the list. My body was in a nutrient deficit. Then, all hell would break loose. The next week would be a food gorging fest. I ate everything and anything in sight. I would rampage the cabinets without the knowledge of any of my family members. This meant I would secretly take all the food into my room and go into hiding; selfishly eat all the food alone.
Food comas took on a whole other meaning. I could barely walk after a binge episode. My body just wanted to sleep because it was being bombarded with more calories than it could process. Even though all I wanted to do was sleep, my body would not let me. Constant night sweats and vivid nightmares became a common thing. What started as one cycle a month became an ongoing cycle of not eating and then binge eating. I felt so embarrassed and guilt stricken. I fully hated myself with all of my being.
This part of my eating disorder referred to as binge eating disorder went on for about one year. I easily gained about 20 pounds during this time. I thought to myself that I needed a way to lose the weight gained. Then, bulimia came upon me. I would take a whole pack of laxative pills fully knowing I could damage my organs and thinking to myself if I would wake up the next morning. I vividly remember crying on the bathroom floor after purging and asking God why this was happening to me.
I lost most of my friends. I lost my deep connection with God. I even lost the will to live. It was the scariest time of my life. I was just a walking zombie trying to ward of the demons inside of me but would regrettably fall victim to the cycle time and time again. I told no one except my dearest friend and my fiance at the time. They desperately tried to help me but I was so deep into the disorder. I was incredibly depressed and felt so alone.
In 2013, bulimia had taken its full affect on me. I actually GAINED another 10 pounds; contrary to what people think would happen to a bulimic person. Then, a light. My brother brought about the subject of weight lifting and asked if I would join him on his own journey. I agreed. I was always a gym goer but never a lifter. Three hours on a treadmill or elliptical was my thing during this time but never a squat rack. It was scary yet exciting all at the same time. In a few months, I could not only see the physical changes but the changes within my soul. When I felt an episode coming on, I would rush to the gym. By no means did my eating disorder disappear during this time. There were countless and countless number of times I gave in to the disorder.
It was not until 2015 where I had renewed my faith with God, spent 2 years of hardcore lifting and married my soulmate where I am confident in saying my eating disorder is gone. Yes, gone. They say you can never fully recover from an eating disorder. I have proved them wrong. It has been 18 months where I have not had an episode. However, it took A LOT of soul searching and patience within myself to recover.
I want to share my story with you all to let you know that recovery is possible. You have to want it so, so bad. Recovering from an eating disorder is not a walk in the park and it takes your whole being, physical, emotional, and mental states to be all in sync with the goal of beating the disorder. You are going to have bad days but you are going to have some great days too. Remember those great days. Carve the taste of freedom and how beautiful life can be in your soul and never forget that feeling. I am here for you to get you through the physical and mental battles. Never give up <3