Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Something You May Not Know...


...is that I have struggled with an eating disorder.  

A little over four years ago, when my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer I felt like my world was crashing down around me.  I was in a relationship with someone who wasn't very supportive, who ignored me and made me feel like I wasn't good enough.

Desperate to control something in my life, I turned to bulimia with all its "perfection" of numbers on a scale, calorie intake, measurements...the list of things which I could control were endless.  Like most eating disorders, mine started with a diet.  A need for order and perfection in a world which I seemed to be losing control of.  

Most eating disorders actually have very little to do with food or weight.  It's just a way of dealing and coping with things, like alcohol addiction, gambling, drug abuse...except with bulimia the drug of choice is food.

I want to reach out to those that are suffering and promise you that eating disorder recovery IS possible because I am a living breathing example of that.  I was very lucky to have only suffered for about one year of my life, but many are not like that.  Some people suffer with eating disorders for years and years, whether out in the open or in secret.  Bulimia is a disorder than can so easily go unnoticed at times because you can trick people into thinking that you're perfectly healthy when actually, you're not.  For months my family had no idea that I had a problem...until I finally came out and told my best friend and parents...recovery came fairly quickly after I had admitted I had a problem.

Now, having almost four years of full recovery under my belt, I can safely say that you CAN be free from your eating disorder.  If you are reading this and struggling with an eating disorder or indeed any other addiction, please know that there IS a way out.  You will not be controlled by your eating disorder forever and you can live a normal life without it. 

 I don't even think about food in that way anymore, I have no emotional attachment to it.  I do enjoy food, but I eat to live...I don't live to eat!  I don't count calories, I don't obsess over my weight, I don't struggle with negative body image like I used to...it's almost as if I just realised that there is no such thing as perfection in life...nothing is perfect and you can't control everything.  Once you come to terms with this, your grasp on perfection will loosen and hopefully you too will recover from your disorder with food.

So, whether you suffer from bulimia, anorexia, EDNOS, binge-eating or negative body image, or whether you just think you'd like to lose a few pounds, PLEASE don't go down the route of diets because so often an eating disorder starts with just that.  Especially for us perfectionists out there (you know you who you are!  I am you too!  Haha :)  You do not need to starve yourself or stick your head down a toilet to be happy...trust me, I know!  If you want to lose weight, don't restrict yourself...don't obsess over your food, practice "everything in moderation" and you can really eat anything you want so long as you don't eat too much of it.  I promise!  I used to think to myself "oh, I will never be able to eat that or I'll get fat" or "I shouldn't eat dessert, I will feel guilty afterwards".  That is NOT true...a little bit of everything is perfectly healthy.  

I hope you all enjoy this holiday season the way it is meant to be enjoyed, without unhappiness, despair, fear or worry and remember that you can do whatever you put your mind to.

Lots of love and cupcakes,


(Watch my video on eating disorder recovery here.)



25 comments:

  1. It's such a good post for all the girls with those problem. That' so nice of you to share the problems that you went through. Thank you. :)
    My world is crashing on me now because my dad is very sick but I have to be strong for supporting my mom...oh, I don't wanna become emotional.

    Happy Holidays to you and your family! :)

    P.S. You should wear red lipstick more often because it looks amazing on you! :)

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  2. thanks for sharing this, very touching. I remember when I considered turning to bulimia when I felt that no-one cared and felt like I needed to take charge of something for myself- but my fear of toilets turned me off it :P I'm glad you managed to come through it xx

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  3. I believe that s a great gift for Christmas!Thank u!

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  4. i think it's very brave of you to tell us something this personal! i think this post is great before christmas because like you have written, christmas should be enjoyed! merry christmas,anna!

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  5. I really admire you for sharing this with us, takes a lot of courage to even admit such an issue, kudos to you! It's becoming a trend now to see young girls turn vegiterian to loose weight as well, or even vegan. I myself have participated in such beleifs turing vegiterean for four years. I lost the perfect amount of weight. However finding things to eat in a house full of meat eaters, turned against me. I gained all the weight back if not even more. But needless to say I am pretty happy with how I am now. I just eat healthy. Just last year I was unhappy with the way I was eating so I quit!

    Merry Christmas!

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  6. Anna You are an amazing women! Love Your blog!

    Merry Christmas!

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  7. I've never been on a diet but I went to an all-girls school and saw a lot of this, and it was really saddening. Just like those girls you are beautiful outside AND INSIDE and I'm glad you're feeling better so that we can have you around good and healthy for a long time :)

    oh and "damn!" on that photo haha.

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  8. Grt one anna..... An awareness shud be spread regarding this- i know a lot of gals whod do anything to lose weight- i was also going on that road but thnk god I didnt-
    sometimes when even excessive working out dsnt help we think that a crash diet might help. little do we know the damage it causes.

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  9. I love that you did this entry! I wish you the best in recovery! I wouldn't even want my worst enemy to get an eating disorder.. And I really like that you switched the 'stereotype' about eating disorders. Many people don't realize that it's NOT about the food. You're not ungrateful for what you have or don't care about children starving in Africa. It has NOTHING to do with that. One of my best friends through many years had Anorexia. It was heart-breaking how she got so skinny and looked so unhappy. People kept coming up to her, when her and I had gone outside at a family gathering to talk about old times, and they kept hugging her like 'Oh, you look SO good now!' - her expression just got more and more upset. Telling an anorexic that she looks 'good' is the same as saying either 'Wow, losing weight made you look much better!' or if in recovery 'Omg, you're fat again!'. People are trying the best they can.. But saying stuff like 'What the fuck! You're so skinny ! EW! Why can't you just EAT? It's not that hard!' is not helping at all..

    *sigh* This entry was longer than expected.. But yeah. You have my full support :') I know what you're going through.. kinda..

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  10. thank you so much for sharing that. I've struggled over the years with the same thing. It comes in waves, times when everything is under control, and other times when it becomes an issue. I've always appreciated your view of food, and how moderate you are with excercise. Its a really refreshing quality. :)
    Sari

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  11. This is a courageous thing to share and I commend you on that. I think it deserves more attention then some people give this issue. It is a chronic life illness, that although goes into remission never does go away for some people. I have struggled with this as well for many years, and its hard for me, and my family. I am happy you took the time to spotlight this, I think more attention needs to be brought upon this issue.

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  12. It's very brave of you to post this! I am sure it will help many girls who have this problem.
    xo
    tara

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  13. Thank you for sharing this. I am so happy to hear that you have been living a healthy life for 3 years! Keep up the fight!

    xo L

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  14. Greetings Anna,
    Thank you so much for sharing this.
    I really needed to hear it today, I also just watched your video. Thank you for your encouragement and support. *hugs*
    I had no idea you went through this too.
    Merry Christmas!

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  15. Such an inspiring post Anna (: I can relate to you a lot, I'm a girl who struggled with food since I was 13 years old and now with 21 I can say that I don't anymore... But I was 18 years old when all the madness passed, so I'm really glad you were strong enough to handle it <3

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  16. thank you, I am currently strugggling with bulimia and am really wanting to recover...youre an inspiration <3

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  17. Great post Anna. I can't imagine losing your Dad so young and it doesn't surprise me at all that it would affect you like this. I think your post is wonderful and the reasons behind your book too. xx

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  18. I am glad to hear that you have recovered Anna and that you are happier with yourself now. You look more beautiful than ever. I think it was brave of you to share that as it sounds like it was a rather painful experience for you. I hope this posts helps/inspires other young women.

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  19. wow... I turned to your blog today for something lighthearted to get my mind off a difficult day that was just begging to be 'solved' with disordered eating - what a surprise to read your post above. As someone who has struggled with similar problems most of my life, your post was a nice reminder out of nowhere that things can get better. Thanks for taking the time to share.

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  20. hello anna,
    i cannot tell you how thankful i am for you talking about your experience with bulimia. i was just about to go to a doctors appointment because i for myself suffer from bulimia and am right before going into therapy. when i watched your video i couldnt believe that you were bulimic and i truly gives me hope to see you having recovered and knowing that you understand. thank you thank you thank you for that

    oh and excuse my english, i am from germany (:

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  21. Anna thank you for this post,
    I think that most girls have
    that problem including me!
    Its nice to know that someone
    is have the same problem like you..
    KISSES!!

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  22. This was such a lovely, heartfelt, honest and brave post, Anna, and I just wanted you to know how wonderful I think it is that you were able to admit you suffered from an eating disorder, were able to beat it and are now able to share your story and offer support to others...that is wonderful! So glad you are doing well these days and shining as the lovely person! I'm also sorry to hear about your father, I knew bits from your videos prior, and can only imagine what you went through! You are a strong lady on so many levels and I'm so glad you found Jonathan who supports and loves you for the wonderful and beautiful person you are...you deserve it!

    Liesl :)

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  23. thanks for sharing, I will keep this in mind (love your blog!)

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  24. Thank you for writing this, I am 20 years old and struggled for 4 years, I recently had to leave college and go to treatment for 3 months. Your right, its not about the food and it never was. Thank you for being so open and encouraging with the light that you have recovered. I am much better than I was but it is still a struggle. I know through God I can heal but the road is very long. I am an actress and seeing that you are in a similar industry and were able to recover really gives me hope. I just wanted to write this to thank you because secrets keep us sick and I think the more people open up about their struggles the more girls who haven't gotten help yet will be given strength in knowing it is nothing to be ashamed of. God bless xoxo -Francesca

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  25. Thanks for this blogpost ! I love your youtube channel and your blog because you are not like all the guru , in my opinion you are a Normal girl ( it's a compliment for me! ) always natural,not "too much" ... ans Irish! ( My boyfriend is Irish i'm in love with the country and the Irish people lol ).Sorry if my English is not correct but I'm French.All the best! x

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Please be nice...the world could use some positivity! :)