I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since the age of 10 and spent my teens and early 20’s in and out of treatment. I started my fashion blog when I was around 24 or 25 as a fun, creative outlet while I was looking for jobs after graduate school. A few years in, it had grown a lot bigger than I anticipated and the fashion piece wasn’t enough for me anymore.
I started to become more vocal about the things I was passionate about professionally and personally. These topics included body acceptance, health at every size, the problems with dieting, and the dangers of weight stigma. I felt that I had the privilege of having this platform and I wanted to use it for more than just fashion. If I could help just one person on their intuitive eating journey or show them there were alternatives to living in diet culture, it would all be worth it.
I started getting daily messages from women thanking me for helping them on the path to intuitive eating and for showing them they didn’t have to spend the rest of their lives dieting and fighting their bodies. It was the biggest fucking honor and privilege. But behind the scenes, I was struggling with my own eating disorder.
Of course no one knew. I don’t even remember all the reasons I created for why I was in California so often. I had kept my eating disorder a secret for the 6 years I’d been blogging because I was afraid that being open that I was struggling with a mental illness while also being a therapist would ruin my career and have people think I was a hypocrite. I also didn’t want my entire identity to be this person with an eating disorder because it had already taken so much from me. And by so much, I mean entire decades of my life.
But I was so damn tired. I was tired of keeping this secret that took up so much of my life. I was tired of pretending to be okay when I was dying inside every day. I was tired of not using my voice to share the realities of what eating disorders looked like and I wanted to start talking about the sad state of eating disorder treatment.
So after 6 years of keeping this eating disorder a secret (more…)