Trying to Stay Fit: Johnny's Fight Against Eating Disorders
This article was written exclusively for EatingDisordersOnline.com by Johnny, a member of SupportGroups.com. In this article, Johnny discusses how his eating disorder began, the great pressure he felt to stay fit as a former high school athlete and how he started to recover with the help and support of his family.
The fact that I ended up having an eating disorder proved that it can happen to anybody.
While in high school, I was a year-round athlete who never had to worry about calories, carbs, sugar, or any of those "bad" evils found in the food I loved. I never had to worry about gaining weight because I worked out so much.
Developing an Obsession
Shortly after I graduated high school and found myself in college, retired from athletics, I instantly became paranoid about what I ate. Due to the fact that I was not working off calories everyday, I started to develop an immense fear of gaining weight. This lead me to count calories, which made me even more paranoid about planning out meals. Sometimes I would start planning my meals three or four days in advance.
If I ate what I thought was my daily calorie maintenance level, I always felt like I had eaten way too much. Eating made me feel fat. I would feel lethargic, nauseous and depressed. I did not notice that there was a problem, and when I went home for a break, my family and friends kept asking if I was sick.
I did not realize how much weight I had lost, but apparently I had lost so much weight that I was all "skin and bones." I was a far cry from the athletic build I had maintained in high school. I didn't notice this change in my body, and my family was worried that I couldn't see anything wrong. After a while I began to realize that I needed to gain some weight, but this only happened after I discovered that I had lost 30 pounds. I tried eating more, but now the problem was that if I ate more than what I had become accustomed to I would feel full, lethargic and depressed.
Accepting the Problem
I felt like I was being pressured by everyone around me to be healthier and to gain weight. I felt stressed and depressed when I was not able to eat a full meal because it seemed as if I was letting everyone down. I really started to struggle because no matter how much I ate I never seemed to be able to elude the depression I felt. However, through the love and support of my family and friends, I was finally able to get through all of my problems.
I stopped looking at food as a source of happiness and used it as it's original intended purpose, as nourishment. I had to learn that no matter what I looked like the people around me would love me for who I was, and that's exactly what I need to do as well. I'm not fully recovered yet, but I am finally at a healthy weight. The people around me love me for who I am, and I am finally able to love myself for who I am or for who I will become.