Song choice: Grave clothes by Tribl ft Maverick City
I don’t really enjoy eating. The mere thought of eating makes me very anxious, so I don’t eat well. At the age of 15, I was diagnosed with an ulcer. It seemed to have festered because it was giving me serious pains in my stomach and my chest. It affected my breathing and my sleep. I can’t sleep with my chest facing the pillow many times because it hurts.
Does the thought of this thing eventually killing me scare me? Hell, yes. Does it make me want to eat more food? Yes. Do I end up eating more food? No. Not really.
I did not always have this problem, but I wish I could tell you an “It all started when I was born” story, but I can’t because I honestly can’t remember when my eating pattern became problematic. I guess, when you’re a bigger girl, there is a tendency for you to develop bad eating habits. You may begin to feel a certain type of way when people make jokes about your looks constantly. I think that’s what happened to me. I’m not sure.
The relationship I have with food is kind of hot and cold. Sometimes, I eat like a normal person. No guilt. No shame. On some days, I actually have cravings. I make what I crave, but by the time I finish cooking, I’m not hungry anymore or I feel too tired to eat. On others, I don’t crave anything and even though I’m hungry, I don’t eat anything. Sometimes, I sleep in because I’m so tired and weak from not eating plus if I wake up too early, I will get hungry too quickly.
“Why do you starve yourself like this?”
Many times, I actually do want to eat but I’m scared that if I eat I’ll gain weight and if I gain weight I’ll be fat. And when I’m fat, everyone will notice, and after that, I might get obese, and after that, no one will want me, and after that, I might not want me. And after that, I will be by myself. Truly alone, and after that, and after that, and after that. It is an endless cycle with no end in sight but instead of telling people that, I usually reply to that question with “The thought of eating just stresses me out.”
The thought of eating does stress me out. I don’t starve myself all the time though. We need to eat to function. Sometimes, when I eat well for a couple of days, I feel guilty. Like I am doing my body some type of harm. Like I’ll die if I eat. Many times when I lose some weight, I smile and when they ask if I’m on a diet, I smile and act as if my whole lifestyle is not a diet.
I don’t use the scale
Because I don’t check my weight.
I don’t check my weight
Because I don’t use the scale.
I don’t lose a lot of weight easily. I was born chubby. If I lose too much weight, people will think I’m sick- a theory I have tested over and over again.
When I first got into a university, I would go days on end without eating. Whenever my roommates asked me why I didn’t eat, I would say I wasn’t hungry. Liar! I get hungry. I get very hungry. I have had to visit the doctor a few times because I refuse to feed myself.
There are occasions when I have to eat because it would be rude not to. So, on these occasions, I eat. But honestly, I always regret it. One time, I forced myself to puke out all I ate when I got back from a party because I felt it made my stomach bulge out. Once I found out how to force my food back out, I kept doing it for weeks. I did it until people started asking me weird questions like: “Wow! Moyo, you’ve lost so much weight. What happened?” or “Why do you look so pale?”
I had to learn the hard way that forcing your food out causes serious pain in your throat. At some point, blood came out anytime I sneezed or coughed. Vomiting all the time really drains your energy. I was very weak and tired. It was bad.
Many people believe black girls don’t suffer from eating disorders and I honestly don’t know why. We are all human beings and being black is not a superpower. Many people also think eating disorders are limited to the female gender. Wrong! Any gender can have eating issues. Man or woman. About 10 million men are diagnosed with eating disorders every year. Not all men going through eating disorders get diagnosed though. Probably because they are too embarrassed. Eating disorders are often associated with females.
“So fat girls have eating issues?”
The number of times people ask me this question is ridiculous. Many big girls are actually suffering from eating disorders silently because anytime they open their mouths to talk about it, they are laughed at and it’s understandable. I mean how can someone struggle with eating food not be all skin and bones? I am a big girl and I have problems with food. Serious ones. It’s hard to get help with something when no one believes you.
If this is your first time reading about eating disorders, I hope this article educates you on the subject. And if you are going through the same things I am going through and you are reading this article, I pray, you find a way to see how authentic and beautiful you truly are. For true beauty comes first from the inside.
byoo. tuh. fl | \ˈbjuːtɪfʊ\
Definition of beautiful:
1 : of a very high standard, excellent.