I was working for a Fortune 500 company, struggling to adapt to a new city, and balancing course work from University. Was it stress? Anxiety? Or a combination of the two. That’s when I hit rock bottom. The longest period I went without eating was 21 days. My eating disorder was dismantling my social life and I felt trapped in a body that my mind would not accept as “perfect”. I thought I was alone in this fight.
When I moved back home a few months later, I finally reached out for professional support and it changed my life. Recovery is a long process and it’s through cognitive behavioral therapy that I was able to deal with my feelings of being overwhelmed, terrified, anxious, lost, incensed and the desire to completely give up. The biggest barrier to my road of recovery was that I didn’t match the typical profile of someone struggling from anorexia. I was male.
Research suggests that, of the people who struggle with either anorexia or bulimia, there are 25% of them that are male. That means 1 in 4 individuals with an eating disorder is male. I know it’s not quite equitable with female statistics, but it does represent a large slice of the overall population. With binge eating disorders, the percentage of males who are affected is upwards of 36%.
I know that seeking therapy or nutritional guidance for eating disorders can sound scary and intimidating, but it saved my life. My lowest weight was 105 pounds and my body was on the verge of shutting down. The yo-yo effect of my strict eating habits sent me through a spiral of bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating.
Today, I stand stronger and more confident than I’ve ever been. The road to recovery is long and hard, but totally worth it. Therapists have helped me to overcome my demons and validate my worth. I’m so grateful. My mother once told me that it’s all about the steps you take each day to be better.
It’s all about the steps you take each day to be better. I started with an apple a day, and gradually found myself again.