For those of you who don’t know me my name is Haley and i suffered from Anorexia for roughly 5 years. Many people mistake anorexia as only a physical illness when in reality it is a mental illness as well. For those of you who don’t know what anorexia is, it is when a person will deny themselves food when hungry in order to meet or maintain a goal weight that is unrealistic and unhealthy for their height and age.
Anorexia is extremely dangerous especially for young adults who are still developing, it can stunt their growth, stop their menstrual cycle, and make them lose themselves entirely. You can have it and have absolutely no idea that you suffer from it, many people will also refer to anorexia as “Ana” online. Many times when someone has an eating disorder they will not recognize who they see in the mirror, all they will see is the weight or what they are most self-conscious about.
Anorexia still affects my mental health to this day and I have been in recovery for 3 full years now. When you suffer from anorexia you can have anxiety, depression, and even bipolar disorder. Generally when someone suffers from an eating disorder they choose baggy over tight fitting clothes, they will be more inclined to hide food rather than eat, and they will choose to avoid eating in front of people at all costs. The main reason I am so open about my struggles with anorexia nervosa is because I want to end the stigma associated with it. Anorexia isn’t taboo, it is a real struggle that every day people face and have lost their life too. Life after an eating disorder is very possible even though it may not seem it at the time. When talking to someone who you think has an eating disorder don’t push them, let them talk to you about what bothers them.
When i became pregnant I was already in recovery however I was very scared about gaining all the baby weight. I managed to make it through the pregnancy with absolutely no relapses thanks to some amazing friends and family members. Anorexia still affects me to this day. Sometimes i will see an older picture of me and how tiny I was and think “I need to be that size again.” Then i have to remind myself that Healthy is always the best route and that I wasn’t healthy at that point in my life.
I have attached a photo of me at my one year recovery mark from anorexia!