Updated: Jan 16
Wohw! This is a little bit scary! I'm about to tell you something that I never shared with anyone for 20 years. It's been my secret since I was around 11. Not even my parents knew about this. I did tell them 1,5 year ago, but it still feels recent to me. After I told my parents, I also told my friends and very recently I feel ok to share it with anyone. The reason why I decided to write it down, to be honest about it and to share it with the world, is because I feel like helping other people who are struggling with the same thing.
IT'S OUT! Ok, there we go. I guess I'll just say it and then I will go from there. For 20 years of my life (which is 2/3 of my life) I've struggled with an eating disorder. I hate to call it like this, because it sounds so real when I do. There is no other word for it though and it is what it is. The eating disorder I struggled with is bulimia. It started when I was around 11 and it lasted until the beginning/mid 2020. I now dare to say that I'm fully recovered and you have no idea how happy that makes me. For 20 years I've kept this secret and to be able to say it out loud and to talk about it, feels very freeing. And quite scary, that too. Because the reason that I kept it a secret, is because I was ashamed. The fact that I couldn't control myself around food, whilst I'm so organised and precise in most other aspects of my life, was not something I was happy to share. I was even too ashamed to ask for help, even though I had multiple opportunities to do so. Apart from that, for most of the time I didn't even know I was dealing with bulimia. I didn't know it actually was something known. For myself I always called it 'my food addiction', because that is how it felt. I felt addicted to food and I actually think that in a way it is exactly like an addiction. The problem is that you can't just cut off the addiction and stop eating. You will need to eat to survive. This is what made it so hard to recover.
WHAT IS BULIMIA? This is what the dictionary has to say about it: Bulimia - an emotional disorder characterised by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by fasting or self-induced vomiting or purging. With this I agree and disagree. I agree with the way they explain the practical side of it. It is indeed extreme overeating and purging. I just do not fully agree with the distorted body image. I didn't really have a distorted body image. I also didn't hate my body, I never really did actually. I wasn’t always super happy with my body, because I always tried to lose a couple of kg’s, but I never felt hate.
WHAT DID BULIMIA LOOK LIKE FOR ME? The first memory I have and what I believe was the start of it all, was when I was in school. I was sitting on my chair and looked down at my legs. I was wearing shorts and I remember thinking that my legs looked rather big. I wouldn't say that I told myself I was fat, but it was more an observation.
Not Fussy I was never a fussy eater. When I was a child I basically liked all food and I had zero trouble finishing what was on my plate. In fact, most of the time I was always up for seconds. I was never fat though. I was quite tall for my age and I wasn't skinny, but just a normal, healthy Dutch girl. However, I suddenly made that observation that my legs looked big. I suddenly became aware of my body. It was around the start of puberty. I also had my first period when I was 11 (I can't remember if the observation I made was just before or just after this, but I think before) and I was always a bit ahead of everyone else. Even emotionally I would say. I've always been very aware and very serious about things. Where everyone else was being a child, I felt like the adult. Maybe, this is why I suddenly made this observation as well and took it so serious.
Losing Weight I do not know e