My eating disorder story
Hey you brave human being reading these words.
I received a lot of questions about my eating disorder story lately, so…
Here it is.
The raw and honest truth about the girl behind the GOOD LIFE. It’s an honest talk about eating disorders (Eds), about loss and gain, pain and healing. It wasn’t easy to write this down, and very scary to make it publish. But this is part of my life’s story, it is part of me and the person I have developed into today.
As I have received a lot of questions from girls who find themselves in a similar situation, I want to be more honest and openly share my own struggles throughout the last couple of years. I want to show you that I was not always the girl you see on social media today: happy, healthy, confident. No, this story is far beyond “picture perfect”.
Feel free to read on to see for yourself!
This is my story
This is a story I wanted to read many years ago. It’s a story that cost me a lot of courage to write down. It’s a story about a girl that was always smiling, laughing, seemingly without any self-doubt or worry. Many friends, always kind, one of the best in class. Graduating with a Master in Science (cum laude), starting a PhD in Psychology, still never feeling “good enough”. What no one knew was that deep inside, her heart was broken. Her self-confidence was gone. Her light had been dimmed a long time ago.
For the world surrounding her she had everything needed to be happy. Yet, sadness was slowly dragging her down. She was smiling on the outside, but dying on the inside. However, her inner battle could only hide for so long. Eventually it became visible on the outside. People started to notice her slimming body. She starved herself to near death until her body was light like a feather. Yet, she felt so heavy inside. Her inner destructive thoughts were slowly weighing her down.
People tried to help her. Feed her. Love her. But the only thing she could feel was numbness and pain. Until the day, she could not hold it any longer. The day when her organs started shutting down. Her legs breaking under the weight of her bones.
She knew she did only have 2 options: to die or change her live to stay alive.
The truth that no-one talks about
The truth is, Eating Disorders (EDs) are not a choice, they are a serious mental (and physical) disease. They are a sign that something is out of alignment/misaligned (i.e. out of ease: “dis”-ease). ED’s, just as any other disease, are a coping mechanism. They are a kind of “rule book” that makes life simple, give you the feeling of some kind of control, when the outside world seems uncontrollable. This devastating disease is not just about food and calories, but about something that is deeper inside you.
Strangely, I always loved food (to eat), but I restricted food (to eat), I restricted what I loved, not because I “disliked it” BUT…
because I didn’t love myself, didn’t know myself and what I truly wanted. The thing is that if you don’t know yourself, you don’t know what you want, and…nothing will change. You are captured in your own cage.
I searched for healing and found..myself.
It killed me to see what I was doing to my family, but I couldn’t stop. I didn’t think I deserved to stop, to seek help and get better, I wasn’t honest to myself, to anyone. Eating was the only thing I could control while life was uncontrollable – and that scared me.
It wasn’t easy to quit the rule book, I have lived after for over 10 years. I was scared to go home for Christmas, because I knew my parents would be disappointed in me, still looking the same or sometimes even worse than the last time we saw each other – which wasn’t often. I was afraid to catch up with friends, to attend a family gathering or social occasion.
So I secluded myself.
I hated myself for who I had become.
It got even worse.
They knew I was lying. I could see it in their eyes. So they stopped asking, they stopped caring, they stopped trusting me. To me, it felt like they stopped loving me, stopped seeing their healthy daughter, stopped believing in my recovery. But they did not. They did not stop loving me, never, and they did not stop believing in me, their daughter. I found out later that they were blaming themselves, which made me feel even worse. I did not want to harm anyone. But this is exactly what the pain body did: It harmed them and myself. I couldn’t let my eating disorder define me.
I could not let this define my life any longer, so I decided to change – for real.
So I did.
Hungry for change
“Sometimes you have to lose yourself, before you find (back) to yourself.”
She – the highest self that new better – was hungry for change, because she wanted to live. She wanted to EAT to nourish her body. To MOVE freely like she had never done before. She wanted to MATTER and have a voice in this world, even though she had no idea how, when, where and why.
The truth is, she didn’t want to go, she didn’t want to question herself all over again. She didn’t want to lose her job, her tasks, her responsibilities… her family, friends, her life. But in order to keep her family, friends, and life, she had to go. She needed to get somewhere, out of her rabbit hole that she was hiding in, out of her restrictions – her life.
It was extremely scary and she cried, a lot. She was so weak that she had trouble getting up, walking, standing on her feet, and going to the bathroom. She couldn’t climb the stairs to her apartment or concentrate on any task.
It got worse.
She started having trouble breathing. Her skin was so dry that her whole body was peeling, her eyes hurt and felt like dark holes pressing against the inside of her head. She knew her organs were slowly giving up, running on their last reserves. Her body was close to shutting down. Completely. Forever.
So she took the leap to start her healing journey – on her own.
Far away in a foreign country, with no one knowing her. No one knew where she came from, what she had achieved, or why she was here. She was just being welcomed with open arms of loving kindness. No judgements. No expectations. Just some souls open to listen.
They smiled with their eyes when talking to her and told her she was a child of the Angels.
She would not see that.
Did not feel that.
She detested herself.
Deep inside, she hated the lying person that she had become, but these people did not see that person she was so focused on. They could see the person that she truly was, deep inside of her and she slowly started to see it too. From there on, she was honest.
Suddenly, after years of lying, it was so EASY and it felt so GOOD to just tell the truth.
Her mind started relaxing and her body slowly healed.
No words were needed to heal her. To make her be herself again. She just started to listen, to what was for too long hidden deep inside. Her inner child was screaming for love.
But no one could give it to her.
Only she could give her the love that was needed to bring her back to love, to inner peace, to life.
As time went by, she started to feel inside how she had always appeared on the outside. She started moving her body in accordance with the currents of the season. The healing surrounding of the jungle. Dancing, laughing, crying in gratitude that she was alive.
Eating, moving, breathing like she loved herself.
Like no no one else could give her before. She discovered that all she ever wanted had always been inside of her – all the time. And she realised that she didn’t want to be who she was “supposed to be”. She finally wanted to be who she truly was.
The most important thing I’ve learned
This is a story.
A story with many ups and downs.
It is MY story that is filled with broken pieces, terrible choices and ugly truth. But it is also a story that is filled with a major comeback and a happy ending that continues to spark my life.
But here is the truth: Recovery is not only about wanting it enough. You can have many reasons to recover: your family, friends, future plans, but that is not enough. Trusting yourself, discovering your real thoughts and emotions is so scary. It is so hard to let go of control, and leaving your comfort zone. I found comfort in my suffering, in my daily job, my daily routine.
You need to break the rule book, do the scary work, and most importantly ASK FOR HELP!
Don’t do it like I did.. on my own. I just wish there was someone who could help me with exactly what I needed.
It is impossible to recover and maintain the rules. I had to leave my comfort zone, I had to let go of control and at the same time learn to discipline myself in other areas of my life that nourish – rather than punish me.
There is no rule book for life.
You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. You need to take conscious action, put energy in the process in order to receive recovery.
My final advice
Stop looking on social media for help like I see so many people do!
Don’t compare your story to someone else’s story, as it will only harm – not nourish – you!
Investigate yourself to find the truth – inside, not outside! Do what you can with what you have where you are.
The ugly truth is: YOU have to start – somewhere, anywhere!
Don’t worry about mistakes, about emotions that might come up. Try to accept each and every one of them, the happy and the sad. Acknowledge them and then gently let them pass away. Remember: you are not your thoughts; you are not your emotions. And you have the power to decide whether you want to let them control your life.
You are a creator, not a victim.
There is no past, there is no tomorrow, just the here & now that is important. This moment is all there is and all there will always be. Appreciate the present and listen to your body in silence. The mind may rick you, but the body (always) knows.
The body remembers what the mind forgets. And what the mind forgets the body suppresses. So many answers can be found when we tune out of our minds and into our bodies.
You carry the pain of the past in your body. As you let go of the pain, your body changes. Healing starts when we stop fighting and start feeling. It’s when we can observe our pain, without holding on to it!
This is a story. It is MY story.
And if there is one thing you will leave with today, let it be this one:
Don’t let anyone tell you that healing isn’t possible. Do not allow a diagnosis to be a life sentence. Do not give any more of your power away.
The healing from the pain of my past became the fountain of joy from which I now drink every day. There is a way. You can feel whole again. Inside you, there is a space unaltered by the pain. It is waiting for you to return home and give that sweet child what it needs.
Life is a never ending journey
I am not the same person I was before. I tried to change who I am too many times. And yes, I did lose a lot of “friends” while gaining back my weight, my strength and with it my entire life. I have changed, but I am proud of the woman I have become. A woman that knows how to love herself with all her flaws and weaknesses. Ready to stand in her own truth. To face any obstacle. Ready to say YES to life and help others do the same (Hint: A transformative online course is coming soon 🥰 )!
It took me years to get where I am today. Years of trying to figure it out on my own. Years, to realise that taking about the symptoms (as I was trained in traditional Psychology) does not always lead to sustainable change. I believe there is a need in our society to go beyond the symptoms and start to treat the person as a whole – instead of just the hole in the person!
With my work as a Psychologist, nutritionist and Yoga teacher I want to open a space for people to feel whole and perfect just as they are – and have always been!
If you are fighting with something in your life as well, please remember that I cannot heal you. IN fact, no one can. But I can – and will – commit to support you in the creation of your own healing!
If this is the kind of support you are looking for, click HERE to find out more!
I’ll be honoured to support you on your journey home! Home to yourself!
You own it to yourself to become everything that you are!
Repeat after me: “I am in control of my mind to take action. My past does not define my destiny. I am so much more than my thoughts, emotions, and body. I am the healer I have been waiting for.“
Namasté and thank you for reading my story until the end. Maybe it will inspire some of you to take action yourself and become the hero of your own story! If you are ready to change for real, I am here to guide and support you.
PS: More than 70 million people worldwide have eating disorders. 20% of those people will die without treatment; 10% seek help. If you know someone who might need help, don’t wait for them to ask for it..that time might never come! Don’t be afraid to rain your voice as you may save someone’s life!
A love-letter to my body
Click below to listen to the audio I recorded (this wasn’t easy at all, yet so freeing)
I am sorry.
Im sorry for all of the times I mistreated you.
Im sorry for disrespecting you, abusing you, and not listening to you.
For using you like an object that can live without fuel.
And all the hatred and pain I have forced you to endure.
For the miles of torture I have put you through trying to reconcile my insides with my outsides and making you the enemy.
I am sorry for all the times starving you, causing you physical pain.
Im sorry for all the moments I should have stopped and rested and all the moments I almost gave up on you.
For the manner in which I have tried to fix and control you rather than letting you exist as you are.
Im sorry for all the times I have pushed you to your breaking point, the war I waged against you, not trusting but always judging you.
For silencing you far too often, for invalidating everything you had to say, and for the times I ignored your presence.
I am sorry for not respecting you for everything you give me – the ability to walk, run, laugh, dance, hug, kiss and swim
Im sorry it has gotten me so long to get here.
I am sorry.
thank you for being the source of my strength, the place in which my soul resides.
You were never meant to be my battlefield, but rather my holy temple.
Thank you for always being there for me.
For taking me to places around the world, making me meet new people, and making me feel, me.
You are gifted, beautiful and unique.
You are truly enough just as you are- allowed to take up as much space as you need.
I love you. I need you. And I want to nourish you.
You are beautiful just as you are.
I love your freckles. Your long blonde hair.
Your bright green eyes and your curves and scars.
I love everything about you and I will love you, nourish you, respect you and treat you well.
I promise you to love you for the rest of my life.
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