I thought because I wasn't throwing up, that what I was doing was okay. It didn't start because I hated my body, it took me two years, an abdominal hernia, hemorrhoids and a complete breakdown at a college seminar to know that it was time for me to accept the fact that I had an eating disorder

The Beginning

Katherine Baker

It was my sophomore year, finals week, and my softball team had to take our exams early to leave for Tennessee where we would play in the Conference Championship. As I'm having a meltdown from trying to complete a paper, I get a text from my partner ending our relationship. Perfect timing. When I get stressed out or anxious I literally and figuratively shit myself. I can't eat, if I do eat I'll be in the bathroom minutes later. My stomach is constantly in knots. I played our conference tournament eating oranges and drinking coffee because I needed to stay up but also not pass out. I lost 15 pounds in a week and a half. 

The New Normal

beer, coffee, tea, pizza
Meghan Flynn

After a while it just became the way I ate. Maybe a meal or two a day and substitute a meal with coffee. It felt so good being able to be in control of something for once. I could control my food intake. I would step on the scale every morning and see my progress. But then, the weightless stopped, and I was having trouble maintaining because I wasn't putting enough in my body to go to the restroom. I remembered that one of my teammates used green tea pills once to lose weight. And just like that I had a dietary supplement that not only gave me energy but made me have to go to the bathroom. My roommate noticed the bottle and tried to start the conversation, wanted to take them from me. Which lead me to hiding green tea bottles and laxatives around my dorm room. 

The Collapse

Jenna Rimensnyder

Then the hemorrhoids came, it hurt to go to the bathroom 4-5 times a day. Shortly after my hernia popped up on my stomach that looked like I had swallowed a golf ball and it got stuck three inches from my belly button. It's smaller now, but is a constant reminder that you never really "recover" from an eating disorder, you just learn how to manage it - learn how to love yourself. There was a seminar about eating disorders that all of the sports teams had to go to on campus. It was two years into my eating disorder and I thought that this was going to be just another story about body dysmorphia that I could sit through. But as soon as the guest speaker mentioned laxatives I lost it. Ran out of the auditorium crying, lying to my team telling them there was a family emergency. But they knew. 


beer, coffee
Mun Ling Koh

At one of my best friends on my 21st birthday who I pulled aside and drunkenly confessed that I was using laxatives. I was 20 pounds down from my normal weight. They say that eating disorders are one of the hardest addictions to cope with because you can avoid drugs and alcohol, but you can't avoid food. I knew I had to give up the scale, my daily reminder that I was the one driving the ship. I threw out my supplements, and tried eating two meals a day. Salads. Still help my clean myself out without the need of laxatives. Every day I had to talk myself into eating a little more and convince myself that gaining weight was okay. I went from supplements to unhealthy eating habits, which was a step up but still not the picture of health. It's been five years since my eating disorder began, and I still have to remind myself of healthier ways to cope with stress. 

If you've made it this far, thank you for committing to this unusually long Spoon post. Thank you for letting me share something I've been ashamed of for so long, I wanted share my experience with the Spooniverse to raise awareness and help anyone who feels the way I felt.