“I’ve always had a deep yearning to want to tell people about my eating disorder, and I can’t decide whether that’s because I kept it secret for such a long time, or because I’m a serial over-sharer.
I used to make myself sick everyday, numerous times a day, for just over four years. Now, that’s a very simplistic way of describing the situation, but that’s exactly what I did. The more frankly I talk about it, the more I realise the importance of being totally honest about the state of yours and my mental health.
I dedicated my late teens to dieting, weighing myself, bingeing, purging and exercising in my room. I find it quite difficult to think about that huge chunk of my life, because I just can’t get my head around what an awful waste of time, talent and it was. But it upsets me more now to think that there are others going through the same shit I did, especially a couple of years into my recovery.
I set up NOT PLANT BASED – a health, food, fitness and motivation website for troubled eaters – with my friend Eve. Eve was hospitalised with anorexia (you might’ve heard her talking about this on BBC documentary Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets). Meeting Eve and having someone I can talk to about my eating disorder has helped me more than she can even imagine, and I am so very grateful to her for that.
This friendship has cemented the importance of helping people to talk about their problems with food and their health. Since launching NOT PLANT BASED, we’ve received the kindest messages of support. We’ve even had people tell us that we are the first people they have been able to tell about their eating disorder. That means so much.
The advice that I would give anyone going through an eating disorder would be to tell someone you trust, and if it turns out that they don’t seem to give much of a shit, tell someone else.
Your mental wellbeing is so much more vital than you may give it credit for, and your inability to love yourself right now is a total disservice to the world. You owe it yourself today to be the best that you can be, and to stop beating yourself up over that cookie. You fucking deserve that cookie.”
Written by Laura Dennison