“I am not my purging”

I’ve struggled with body image for as long as I can remember. As early as elementary school I would skip lunch and compare my body to my friend’s. Back then I didn’t quite understand what it meant or even why I was doing it. But as I got older my hatred for my body grew worse and worse.

Sophomore year of high school I had knee surgery and put on weight because I was completely incapacitated. This is when I started purging with real intent. I hated my body and was dealing with depression and anxiety; purging was my coping mechanism. When I stopped purging my depression and anxiety would get worse because I had lost my emotional outlet. I recognized that it was an unhealthy outlet but I couldn’t stop. It started ruining my relationships, both romantic and otherwise. I lashed out at the people I cared about and isolated myself from them. I finally realized I had get help.

It has been almost four years since I started struggling with bulimia and things have gotten better. I realized the number on a scale doesn’t define me so haven’t weighed myself in two and a half years. However, the fight is never over. I still critique myself every time I look in the mirror, even now I can’t look at my entire reflection at once, just pieces, an arm, my face, my chest.

Relapsing is all too easy and all too real. Every time things get rough or my jeans start to feel too snug I turn to purging. I am currently struggling to get my purging back under control. I have an amazing family and amazing friends who never fail to remind me that they love me for me. One day I hope to love myself the way they do, to love myself regardless of my weight. But in the mean time, I keep reminding myself that I am stronger than my body image and I am stronger than my eating disorder. I will not let them define me.