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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dara

The pretty mask of my Eating Disorder

This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Eating disorders are serious and sometimes fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors and life. Eating Disorders are silently killing.

My eating disorder wasn’t obvious. No one knew. I appeared healthy. I always seemed okay on the outside, while inside I was in hell, and dying. This picture got your attention! I competed in bodybuilding figure competitions that literally put me over the edge and needing medical attention from my desperate attempts to manipulate my relationship with food and my body. This picture is the UN-BEAUTIFICATION of the depths of the secret magnitudes of my eating disorder. It doesn’t depict the truth of the binging, the purging, the laxative abuse, the diet pill misuse, the starving, the torturous exercise sessions, the SHAME, the GUILT, the sadness, and the embarrassment.

Meanwhile, other pictures over the decades of my struggle looked average and typical. I wasn’t underweight, I wasn’t overweight, I was just in pain. Like most eating disorders, it became my facade and I was the master of disguise.

Eating disorders do not discriminate. They are not about willpower or ignorance. It was not who I was and it isn’t my identity. It was a mis-read from my brain thinking I needed to do things different or be different. It was a misread from my brain thinking I had to be more or I was not good enough. It was never really about the food. It was always about the emotions and feeling connected with comfort from food. The food I ate created a chemical reaction making me obsessively want more and warped my perception of a healthy body and eating.

Freedom from an eating disorder shiFts when we heal from the root of the beliefs. I am grateful today to live a balanced lifestyle full of clarity, peace, and power. There is relief and you can heal from an eating disorder.

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