I don’t starve myself or make myself throw up, but I want to look good in a bathing suit and feel comfortable naked so I count calories, fast, work out too much, and constantly push myself. I have an eating disorder—it’s just not the kind people talk about.
I’m constantly judging my appearance.
There’s rarely a moment when I look in the mirror and smile. I don’t hate myself or my body, I’m just never satisfied with my reflection. I don’t like my perky butt, curvy hips, or weirdly muscular arms. No matter how much I work out or diet, I’m never pleased with myself.
I never feel good when I eat something bad.
If I eat something with sugar or carbs, I mentally feel horrible. I feel like a cheater. And for what? Because I indulged in a plant-based cupcake! The only time I ever feel OK about eating something sugary is if I pretty much fasted the entire day and I know that’s not right.
I don’t want to talk about it.
I’m not concerned about other people’s opinions, only my own. I don’t want to hear “You look so thin” or “I wish I had your body.” It’s annoying because I don’t see what they see, which only makes me think I have an even bigger problem.
I put restrictions on myself.
I don’t just avoid sugar and count my carbs, I cut out major food groups. I’m lactose intolerant but instead of taking pills to relieve my symptoms, I avoid all dairy. I also avoid gluten. Why? Just because it’s another restriction.
I don’t have a realistic goal.
Most people have a goal weight but I don’t. I just know I want to feel confident and beautiful. Losing weight isn’t going to make me happy when there’s something wrong inside—I know that but I can’t seem to believe it enough to stop.
I weigh myself all the time.
The scale is my all-time favorite gadget. I weigh myself at least twice a week at the same time and with the same clothes on. The problem isn’t that I jump on the scale, it’s that I’m never pleased with the number. If I gain weight, I’m pissed. Even if I lose weight, I still feel like I have a long way to go.
I’ve contemplated extremes.
I’ve considered taxing laxatives to lose weight and I’ve contemplated throwing up after dinner. I haven’t and I won’t because I know how harmful both of those things can be. I don’t want to end up in the hospital and I don’t want to look sick and frail, but isn’t it enough that I’ve considered such an extreme?
I avoid restaurants.
I don’t like having to give instructions. Is there anything more annoying than telling a waiter “no dairy, no gluten, no taste, please”? I avoid restaurants because it seems easier than feeling like an obnoxious idiot.
I’m very strict.
Eating late at night is a slippery slope that could lead to overeating so I don’t eat once the clock hits 8 p.m., no matter what. Even if I was too busy the entire day to eat a meal. Even if my friends decide to get froyo after dinner. I make up an excuse on why I’m too full to eat and watch everyone else enjoy themselves.
I work out every single day.
Sometimes twice a day if I eat something filling. I love working out. I love the feeling of pushing myself to my body’s limit. I only miss a day if I’m deathly ill. I guess I’m obsessed—my workout comes before anything.
I think I’m fat.
I know I’m technically not fat. Trust me, I know. Some people would even call me skinny. But I don’t feel that way. Don’t get me wrong, I can look in the mirror and see that I’m fit, but I also see where I could be even fitter. I see the bad parts of my body more than the good.
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