My ED Story
My blog started about 3 years ago, and this post is something I always wanted to do but never felt ready enough to share my full story. On my “about” page I shared a little bit of my background with eating disorders but it’s now that I finally feel ready to share my full story, my struggles and my growth throughout these years. I feel that for the first time I’m a completely different person and God has been working on myself for the last couple of years, and still works everyday on my life to become the best version of myself that I can be.
It is very scary to put yourself out there, a vulnerable sensation of sharing your deepest thoughts and battles to others who you personally don’t know, but I’ve had the need of writing this down for the last couple of months and I believe that if this helps just one person going through the same, then it will be worth it!
I grew up on a Christian family filled with so much love and affection, my dad passed away when I was still a baby so I grew up with my mom and my sister. Even though this wasn’t a “traditional” family scenario, my childhood was always filled with love, laughter and I can only think of happy memories. A very girly home filled with baking, barbies, Disneyland trips, cookie decoration every holiday and so many blessings all the time.
Even though my childhood was good, my struggles started when I was a teenager. Even though I wouldn’t show it, I had a lot of insecurities about my body. I would look at my friends, who were so beautiful and popular and even though I was part of the group I felt like an outsider most of the times, I never felt pretty enough, fat and lacked on confidence. When I started high school everything got worst.
Every time I look back to my photos, I realize I never let my teen self go through the normal struggles most teenagers go through, and wanted to fix my external insecurities by “fixing myself”, which is what lead me to an unhealthy obsession.
Eating a SAD diet (2007)
I felt unattractive to guys and I started believing that it was because I was “fat”. I was never overweight, not even close, my weight had always been on a healthy range, thin and healthy looking. I put all my attention into losing weight believing that would be the answer.
I have to say that my family’s eating habits where pretty decent for a standard diet. I grew up eating a heavy load of veggies and fruit on a daily basis, rarely meat or chicken (never liked it), eggs where not part of our diet but heavy on dairy products and baked goodies. Oh yes, we were the queens when it came to desserts! I also grew up being very active and played tennis pretty much all my life until I became vegan and started trying new things and running.
Since I was already relatively thin, the change was very fast and noticeable, and it became my 24/7 obsession. I was in high school at the time, struggling with keeping up with good grades but trying to control my eating all the time. I became very anti-social and stopped going out with my “friends” who many of them gave me their back or simply became distant. I don’t judge them, I’m sure is hard to be around someone who you know is struggling with an eating disorder and my personality had changed so much I wouldn’t even want to be friends with myself!
A few months before, I was starting to feel “fat”. 15 years old (2007)
It was one of the worst years of my life, I can’t even begin to describe what a miserable situation it is. My relationship with my mom and my family was terrible, always fighting since she was constantly pushing me into eating more and there I was throwing food away as much as I could.
Long story short, I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nerviosa, and had severe struggles for 3 years, my weight dropped from 54kg (my “heaviest”) to 41kg. I’m 1.60cm so you can picture it.
I was interned at an eating disorder clinic for 6 months, where I met many other girls going through the same or different eating disorders but sadly, this was not the answer and I did not see any improvement. I might have gained a couple of kilos but I was mentally the same or even worst.
While on rehab clinic. Not on my lowest weight point.
I left the clinic and went back home (this was on the second year, I was 16). The little weight I had gained was lost again and that’s where I finally hit bottom. I fainted one Saturday morning at home, I still remember very clearly I was making my lunch (which consisted in pretty much just a minuscule amount of steamed vegetables) and I ended up at the hospital.
That was the first time I felt energetically and mentally depleted, I was exhausted of the 24/7 thoughts I had for the last 2 1/2 years and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was tired, hopeless and I honestly felt like death was just around the corner. That was the aha! moment. I believe I had to go through all that to finally find myself in a position where I could only rely on God and his mercy. All the things I learned or heard about when growing up I finally experienced them.
I know it’s hard to talk about God for many, but my story wouldn’t be complete without it and simply wouldn’t be real. I had my first encounter with God, the only way I could leave that hospital was with a miracle, the doctors didn’t have any good news about my current state and my mom was completely exhausted of seeing me suffer, she was also giving up. She said “I love you so much, I cannot let you kill yourself slowly.” She said that she would send me back to rehab clinic but full time now, which is when I finally began to pray in my loneliness, hopeless on a hospital bed. I prayed for a miracle, that something, I didn’t what, but I just prayed for God to give me a second chance to live, and I promised I would do things different, I would change my life and make it useful.
Summer 2015, 6 years vegan
Well long story short, my miracle happened. And my life was transformed that night. It was not an overnight change, and I still had some ups and downs on my way where I am now, but I believe God gave me and keeps giving the strength and wisdom to move away from those paths and I’ve seen my transformation little by little, sometimes not even realizing how much has changed until I look back to who I was and where I stand now.
In my search for becoming healthier, I stumbled upon veganism. It still was very unknown and it was hard to find information online. But somehow it worked! I tried it for a month, I still remember it was beginning of November 2009 and I was ready for it! I liked it so much and felt so right that I decided to keep doing it, and long-story short it’s been quite a ride! 6 years now and loving it! I’m not attached to the idea of being forever vegan, I feel that is so important for me, to have a mental balance and healthy relationship with food, because as soon as you fall back into the restriction patterns then it loses sense and becomes dogma.
I do believe that eating healthy and a plant-based diet is the answer to many things and diseases that our society struggles with, but I also think everyone has their own timing, and even if people don’t feel ready to take that big step and fully adopt a vegan lifestyle, incorporating more plant-based foods is beneficial for them, the animals and our beautiful planet.
Left: ED Middle: Unhappy with my life Right: December 2015, happy & confident
That’s how Gastrawnomica began. I just wanted to share my passion for healthy living, veganism and all the fun, easy recipes I got to eat on a daily basis. This had also a huge influence in the path I chose as a career. I went to Concordia University in Montreal where I was studying international business, and after 3 years of feeling miserable not following my true passion and what I believe is my real call in life, I decided to leave and start from zero.
I’m now a holistic nutrition student at Pacific Rim College in Victoria, BC. I’m also a certified health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University as well as a certification in Raw Cusine from Matthew Kenney Academy.
For anyone who’s reading this, I hope my story fills your heart with hope and gives you a chance of knowing me a little bit better. If you know someone who is struggling with an ED, don’t lose hope! Hope is what keeps us alive! Give them all your love and trust that God is working in them, and He has a great purpose for their life. Because our story is not over yet, and there are no mistakes in life, only lessons learned.
I hope you all have a very blessed day today!