WARNING: This contains some strong and sensitive topics (its very watered down) . This was heavily edited for the privacy of external parties.
Born a skinny child suffering anorexia and bulimia, gaining weight was not an option. My mother told me that I hated eating, and when I did, I would usually make myself throw up. Till this day, I do not know why.
This affected my health a lot that I was put on drips a couple of times because I would randomly faint. My siblings told me that it was scary but luckily my mother was home most of the time. I still have vague memories of going to the hospital repeatedly and being put on a drip to ensure that I have enough nutrients in my system. My parents tried to push me into swimming, which I ended up loving, so I would build up an appetite. But that did not help because I would still ask for a whole pizza then make my family sit at the table for 3 hours while I struggle to finish a piece – and yes, I would throw it up afterwards.
After we moved overseas, miraculously one day, an aunt found a food additive that assisted me with my appetite, and I started eating ‘fairly’ normally. Although I stayed on the thin frame, I still ate while diversifying into other sports like basketball, volleyball, badminton and more – I was a competitive teen! Seeing my other friends going through puberty and getting muscles, made me try to bulk
up, but I gave up because I figured that I am just naturally skinny.
Then my relationship with food became worse when I moved to Australia.
Imagine. 18 years old, 184cm, 55-58 kgs and looking completely different from anyone in the ‘scene’. Not only was my skin different, but my style was. I wore baggy, ’50 cent’ inspired outfits. And everyone was wearing fitted outfits, with beautifully tanned and amazing physiques. I was brought up in a system where skin tone wasn’t really an issue, but I could feel the difference here. And this made me feel more apart from everybody else and I started to hate myself more, which lead to why my eating habits became worse.
It came to the point that I was flaunting how little I was eating. I would boast and say things like, ‘omg I just had a carrot today’ to ‘omg you ate that? I had one bite of a burger all day’. And behind all this, I started to throw up in the beginning because I thought a bite during the whole day was excessive and I will get fat. And yes indeed, I thought I would get fat when I was probably 55kgs and in my 20s.
This spiral with alcohol abuse, affected my mentality that started to enhance my depression and anxiety symptoms that came to the extremity of suicidal thoughts then attempts. Then due to an external factor, I flipped. Instead of not eating, I would devour my feelings that I ended up at my heaviest of nearly 100kgs in a span of 8 months.
My family came to the rescue because they saw an unhealthy pattern in my life (with other shit happening behind the scenes) so I went back home for 3 months. I started to do HIIT and cardio 4-5 times a week and found my love for being active and sports again. I opened up to them about my struggles, which made us become closer and their advice gave me clarity. Because I was somewhat brought up in an environment where it’s all about the image (another story), that made me forget about taking care of myself and reaching out. I always had to look ‘perfect’ and not show any flaws, including sadness.
My sister was a huge factor of self-love. She taught me to love myself more, embrace my skin tone and differences. It is hard at first, but then once I started to do that, my whole world flipped and instead of being the negative one. I ended up being a source of happiness to people. Then that’s when my mentality found a healthy relationship with food, that now instead of looking at things for vanity, I’m focusing more on my sanity. With being lucky to find a supportive trainer, I found foods that make me feel good, to ones that don’t. And with an inclusive gym (I still have social anxiety – again another story), I have found myself loving to push my limits whether it is doing HIIT on the cross trainer to lifting weights.
So that’s my story. It took me years to get to where I am, and I know many people are struggling with their relationship with food. But I just wanted to share mine to tell y’all not to give up, and if you need help (I’m not a nutritionist) but I’ll be here as a friend to do my best!
It is so inspiring to read your story- I am a nutritional counselor with vitamins herbs etc and also have had my own struggles with food. You are blessed with a great family and support system and to see you come out the other side a bright shining reflection of your beautiful authentic self is a blessing to yourself. Thank you for sharing -they say a picture says a thousand words and your pictures say resilience and success.