For my entire life, I thought my body was the problem. I thought that if I lost weight, I would eventually hit a size where everything in my life would come together, and I would be free: free to wear or eat whatever I wanted, free from inferiority complexes, and free from the body-hate baggage that a fatphobic society makes you carry.
I never found that size. As I began starving myself, I only got physically and mentally sicker. I couldn’t stand up in the shower. My hair was falling out. My digestive system was a wreck. Every second of every day, every part of my brain was filled with obsessive thoughts about food and numbers, which left me feeling trapped. This wasn’t freedom. I was killing myself, but I never got thin enough for anyone to notice.
At the height of my disorder and throughout my recovery, I spent months searching the Internet for different variations of “Can I be fat and anorexic?” in a desperate attempt to find any shared experience. What I found wasn’t exactly encouraging.
In media, we usually only see restrictive eating disorders as affecting wealthy, emaciated white women. This dangerous disorder can hurt anyone, regardless of weight, class, race or gender. It doesn’t discriminate.
I’m not an expert, but I do know that seeing yourself reflected in media makes you feel less alone.
I’m here, you’re valid, you deserve help, and you’re worth it.