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I dont have any mental health issues, but i don't like it here (ED TW)

i don’t have any mental health issues, i think. i dont find it difficult to carry on with my day, save for the heavy feeling that stays in my chest for the longest time. i feel normal for the most part. healthy.
last year from february to november i went on an extreme diet where i ate about 600 calories a day. i would say i had an eating disorder mindset, but i wouldnt say i had an eating disorder. anorexia cases are much worse and long-lasting, aren’t they? and i never got skinny, anyway.
here i am, perfectly normal, no longer dieting. eating food still makes me feel guilty, though, and even though i am skinnier than i was with my extreme diet and ED mindset i still hate myself.
i dont like looking in the mirror. i know my waist is considered small at 24", so i cant complain to other people. but when i see a mirror my first instinct is to check how my stomach looks. it makes me feel uneasy if i dont. i look at my body and i look at the bodies of others randomly on the street and i wonder, why cant i be like them? i’ve gone on a diet, i try to exercise daily, i don’t even eat an unhealthy amount! i eat less than what im supposed to. but still, why dont i have a flat stomach? why is it that everyone is skinny except for me?
i dont know what to do anymore. i dont want to starve myself, like i did last year. i’m a teenager, 14, and i know im supposed to eat more than 1200 a day but i just am not able to.
i look at my body, and i want to die. what’s the point of living, anyway, if you’re not pretty? and i know i can never be pretty until i’m skinny. i dont have my face going for me, so i need to rely on my body. and my body, well, isn’t on my side either. i know that as puberty hits me i’m going to gain moe weight, and im not prepared.
im not depressed, i dont particularly want to commit suicide, or anything. i assume in a few days ill look at my body and be fine with it again. but the heavy feeling in my chest never really seems to leave.
at least, when i die, i won’t have to worry about my looks anymore.

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Hey @briejch,

I want you to know you are beautiful. The strength that it took to post this is huge and your strength is beautiful. Our society really sucks at reminding us we are more than our bodies, but I want to remind you of that. YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR BODY.
You are strong. You are willing. You are beautiful.
We all have parts of us we’d like to change when it comes to our body, personally, I’d love to lose some weight. I actually went to a nutritionist last year and she taught me about this thing called “Health At Every Size”. If you want, I recommend you look into it. It’s basically saying you don’t have to be a certain weight to be healthy.
That is what is so much more important than weight- health. You being healthy and living life to the fullest is so much more than your weight or looks.

Hold Fast, you are beautiful,

SJ

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Hey @briejch,

As someone that has struggled with body image myself I can tell you it does get better. What you are feeling is totally normal, but as it was said before me by Sarah. You are more than your body. I know in mainstream media its easy to feel like you are some how less than you are because of the images we see in advertising, and on tv and such. But the part that they don’t show you is the other side of the camera. There are millions of very successful people that don’t “fit the model” of the body images in tv and advertising. But guess what, those people that don’t fit the mold, are usually the ones in control of making the others look good. There are hair and makeup artists, wardrobe designers, photographers, marketing people, managers and so much more that are SUPER successful and happy. And there is nothing stopping you from being in front of a camera as well if thats what you want.

The point I’m trying to make there, maybe not as clearly as I want, is that your body doesn’t define your success or happiness.

Hey @briejch,

Thank you so much for sharing and being here. Eating disorders can be very isolating, yet you break this wall everytime you reach out just like you’re doing here. Thank you for doing so - it’s very brave of you. :hrtlegolove:

First, I really want to emphasize the progress you made by yourself for a year now. It’s amazing. You’re able to put words on you experience, to create meaning out of it and you’ve been taking practical steps to heal. Congratulations for these efforts you are dedicating to your well-being. But to use your words, indeed, an “eating disorder mindset” can take some time to be changed.

For what it’s worth, I’ve been struggling with eating disorders for a long time and I recognize through your post a lot of concerns and thoughts that I had years ago. Healing raises many questions, as you can be both commited to improve your relationship wih food and your body, but also to keep feeling bad about it at the same time. Right now, it’s already really awesome to hear that you’re not dieting anymore. Diets can be quite destructive, especially at your age. But at the same time, not reaching at least 1200cal/day is restrictive in itself. Maybe not intentionally - I hear you, it’s really hard to reach those steps. But your body still needs more to function properly. Food is not your enemy. It’s a fuel that you need.

Eating healthy and exercising are awesome ways to take care of yourself. But when it starts to be an obsession, when it leads you to unhealthy habits, when you associate your physical appearance to your worth as a human being, it doesn’t bring anything good. People live happy and successful lives whether they are fit, healthy, thin or not. People can also be incredibly sad and dealing with a lot of pain even if they’d be labelized as being objectively beautiful. When you compare others to yourself, you only see the surface. You don’t know their life, you don’t know how they’re feeling, you don’t know about their own story. It’s only about appearances. And appearances doesn’t make a human, or a life.

I’m so sorry you feel so much vulnerability when you look at your body. I understand that pain from a personal standpoint. Yet, the way you feel when you look at yourself right now is not meant to be like this forever. It can be changed, progressively. This is about the relationship that you have with yourself. It’s about acknowledging your own worth, your own beauty beyond your physicality. It’s about learning to see the amazing things you can offer to this world. It’s about shifting your focus, progressively, from your food and body concerns to… life. The things you do, the things you love, your dreams, your activities… everything. But that kind of process takes time, the right amount of support, and letting go of unecessary controlling habits - such as exercising daily or counting the calories you eat. Losing your grip can be super scary, but you don’t have to do this alone. This is not a matter of whether living in control or living a sad life. There’s another way, a healing one, that doesn’t require you to be skinny to claim your right to exist. Only to be.

You didn’t mention anyone helping you in your surroundings. So, I don’t know if you actively reached out to your family for example, but I’d like to encourage you to do so if you feel comfortable enough. When we struggle with eating disorders, we can be tempted to give in this very strong thought of doing anything to get thin (and maybe happy?), but it’s totally okay to reach out and ask for help. You know there is something that is not functioning right now and it’s not fulfilling. It’s okay to allow others to inject some truths to help you fight against the lies we are telling to ourselves. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

How you feel is absolutely valid. But the point of living is not to be skinny. Your body shape is never, and will never be, a pre-condition for happiness, love, acceptant and all the good things that this life has to offer to you. Your body doesn’t define you as a human being. Your weight doesn’t say if you are lovable or not. You are so much more than a shape, a BMI or a number on a scale. Don’t waste yourself in this illusion, friend. You are worth so much more beauty than struggling with eating disorders. Learning to be at peace with your own body is possible. And reaching out to the people around you is also a right that you own. You are not alone. :hrtlegolove:

thank you all for your replies, made me feel better, i really appreciate it!

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