“It’s only one meal, I’ll be okay,” I tell myself everyday as I continuously skip breakfast, lunch and dinner; I don’t need the extra weight.
The pressure to always be the stereotypical, slim teenage girl eats me up. I constantly feel not enough which leads to me not eating enough. Morning skinny, the best feeling in the world, skipping breakfast just to grasp at that feeling of looking in the mirror and feeling skinny enough for a few more minutes.
It’s not a good feeling nor a good thing for a teenage girl to have an obsession with losing weight. Being in constant denial of being sick is exhausting. Asking for help and being turned away is so despairing. Hearing “it’s just a phase, it’ll pass” is invalidating and heartbreaking. Why is it so normalized for teenage girls to be so worried about their bodies at the ripe age of 15?
Being told that I’m gaining weight by proud family members that know of my struggles hurts so much, I know they mean well, but it’s still hurtful. Checking my weight for the first time in a year and seeing a seven instead of a zero broadens my internalized self hatred. It has never been hard for me to talk about my experiences, or try to help others that struggle through the same things. Although to other people it may make me portray as strong or brave, I believe it’s my way of a call for help.
No one ever truly seems to understand what I go through, not even my own mother. She sees it as an,¨I don’t want to,¨ when in reality it’s an I can’t. I never intended for any of this to happen, I just wanted to be accepted in this close minded society we live in and I never knew that the steps needed to be taken would forever affect me.
I turn one way and it’s ´your stomach isn’t flat enough, your thigh gap isn’t big enough´ while I turn the other way and it’s ´your thighs aren’t big enough, your breasts aren’t big enough.´ It seems to me like I’ll never be enough. None of my efforts are ever enough.
Eating my favorite foods started feeling like a punishment. I started falling down a rabbit hole of acquiring the “perfect body”, causing collateral damage to my body. As I tried to get thinner, my hair got thinner.
I learned how to stop caring about what other people thought about me and my body. I stopped caring about how I didn’t fit into today’s standards. Of course, every now and then I look into the mirror and cringe at what I see but I don’t go out of my way to become thinner anymore, I just silently judge myself.
I struggle with eating now. My stomach physically says no. After years of refusing to eat, my body is used to eating close to nothing. Being so excited to eat a hamburger only being able to eat two bites is so discouraging, I just want to get better.
But in the end, no one deserves to go through what I did and seeking help truly changed my life. If you need to speak to anyone don’t feel afraid to reach out to someone for help, trust me, it’s the best thing you can do.
National Eating Disorders Association Helpline: 1-800-931-2237
Or visit https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/ for more resources.