Overcoming Eating Disorders – Jess’s Story
Overcoming Eating Disorders – Jess’s Story
Heyyyy, I’m Jessie and I’m a coach at bodhi. by anthony monetti. I’ve been with bodhi since October 2016. Here’s my story on how overcoming eating disorders has made me stronger.
I’ve always struggled with BDD for as long as I can remember. The image in the mirror looking back at me never looked right. What my brain saw wasn’t the same as the scale; a 500lb person in my head and 125lbs on the scale. This lead to anorexia at a young age and bulimia later on in my life.
My story began when I was in middle/high school. I was picked on a lot by the girls in my class for not “fitting in” and being somewhat of a tomboy. So I stuck with the boys and partied as they did, with booze and fast food.
As I grew into my awkward body (tall, lanky, and reverse acne), I was underweight and not eating as much as I should have been. I saw these girls in the media and wanted to look just like them. So, for about three years my diet consisted of alcohol, minimal food, and fits of binging. At this point, I was so worried about the image looking back at me in the mirror that I didn’t care how I felt physically, what I knew was that people thought I looked great and healthy.
Fast track to the summer after my first year in college. I began dating someone who was vegetarian, so I decided to change my eating habits as well. I was living a life fueled by late night partying with booze and cigarettes, sleeping half the day away, and if I was lucky, getting a quick bite to eat. I felt amazing, skinny, and happy.
Entering into my second year of college I was at my lowest weight of about 118lbs (I’m 5’8” for the record). At this point, my class schedule got crazy, there was little time to focus on eating correctly. So I ate anything I could; cafeteria food, late night pizza calls, sweets, and more alcohol. The weight started to build up, but I was so absorbed in partying and the attention I was getting that I didn’t care.
My senior year of college I was pushing 170lbs and needed to lose weight for my senior collection fashion show. I got back into the gym, would either eat small minimal meals or starve myself and just drink water, or alcohol, when I was hungry. I lost about 15lbs or so from crash dieting.
Upon graduating, the partying began to increase due to my BDD started to get the best of me. When I was drinking, I was happy, people loved me, and all of my emotions disappeared. I would starve myself all day, workout for hours in the gym, and then go out and binge on fast food and alcohol. I can remember getting so sick to my stomach from the combination that I would make myself sick to make nausea go away.
Welcome to 2012 and 180lbs. I had yoyo dieted out of control with my weight, my drinking, and my disease.
I woke up on October 17, 2013, and decided to get sober and healthy. I got back into the gym, cleaned up my diet, began eating “bro” meals and started prep for my first bikini bodybuilding competition. In October of 2014, I stepped on stage at 125lbs. I felt AMAZING. The only thought in my mind was to find another show immediately and make my way into the bodybuilding world.
After that show, I went through bouts of binge eating but never purging. I would compensate for the extra calories through excessive exercise and starving myself.
I got back on track for a show in June of 2015. I was sitting at about 130lbs and the mirror was playing tricks with me. However, with the help of my coach I was able to lose about three pounds for this show. After that show, I competed again in September, lost another 2-3 pounds and sat at about 13% body fat.
After this show spiraled out of control with the binge eating. I would eat anything and everything I could get my hands on. Sometimes it was a blackout binge, coming to and not knowing what had happened, and other times I was in complete control of everything I ate. Sometimes I’d be in so much pain, that I’d purge it all to relieve the pressure and the nauseous feeling. At this point, I still didn’t think anything of it, or even that I had an eating disorder. I thought this was normal.
Following this show I fell very ill and developed hypoglycemia. I went from around 125lbs and 13% body fat to about 141lbs and 21/22% body fat in just a matter of months. Although I felt horrible about the way my body looked, I decided to compete in April 2015 at the INBF Northeast America Bodybuilding Competition. There I met Karen and Anthony Monetti.
We discussed me becoming one of their sponsored competitors, and a week later, I was part of the family.
At this point, the BDD was really messing with my head. I wanted to starve myself, but I had to trust and believe in the process. In a years time, I was back down to 125lbs and at about 14% body fat for the same show. I hadn’t had any issue with my disorder, I was in love with flexible dieting and having a structure to my life. I actually took first place in my class (bikini tall) and second over all, just missing out on my Pro Card.
I continued to do a few more shows, however, each time post competition the demons in my head came back. I went back to binge eating, but it was different this time. I would binge just knowing that I was going to purge right after. A vicious cycle began to ensue. My BDD was in full swing, and all I could see was this disgusting mess in the mirror. I had no self-love, nor did I want to love myself.
This was the first time I realized I had a problem, the disease had taken over, I had an eating disorder.
I had opened up with a select few people about my disorder and realized I wasn’t alone. It’s been a work in progress, I struggled and continue to struggle. It’s been almost two months since I let the demons take over and for the first time in my life, I have self-love.
Overcoming Eating Disorders
Overcoming eating disorders is something I know I am going to struggle with my entire life, it’s the same with my alcohol addiction. It’s always going to be there, but all I can continue to do is fight and find ways to pull myself out of the darkness. I’ve recently taken up yoga and I’m loving it. Being able to focus my intentions when my BDD acts up is an amazing feeling and puts me back in control of my thoughts and my body, in a healthy way.
So, what was it that made me realize enough was enough? bodhi did, bodhi helped me realize that I could love myself and that I am enough, yes I AM ENOUGH. I look forward to waking up every morning, seeing what the day holds for me, and making progress physically, emotionally, and mentally.