You Are What You Eat

Olivia - Cave Creek, Arizona
Entered on November 25, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

When I say, “you are what you eat”, I do not mean that if you eat a hamburger you are a cow that eats grass and produces milk. I also am not saying that if you eat a piece of blueberry gum you will end up like Violet in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. For me, food is a whole other story and not one with such a happy- ending.

I have been battling Anorexia for the past two years. I believe that this is true: I am what I eat or do not eat, as the case may be. I do not exactly know how this abysmal behavior started, or why I let myself get as sick as I did. I realized that the less food I ate the more and more I began to disappear. Eventually, I did not eat anything, and I became invisible. I became so enthralled with this that I let myself fall and helplessly watched ED (eating disorder) take over my life. I could not think for myself, function in life, or really make any of my own decisions without ED getting in my way.

Things had gotten so out of hand that there came a point in time where my parents threatened to send me to Ramuda Ranch. This is a 90-day facility where you go to get professional help. I knew I needed professional help. I was not going to allow myself to be removed from school and sent away from my friends or family for three months. I went to an Eating Therapist and Nutritionist. They told me that I had to make a strong effort to become healthy. That is when my arduous road to recovery began.

During the beginning of my recovery, all I chose to eat was junk food and sugar. These foods were loaded with calories but not the right choice. These calories got me nowhere and made things worse. With all this sugar, I felt even sicker than I had before.

My nutritionist got me on an eating plan and told me that I needed to eat a certain amount of food from each food group every day. The healthier the food I consumed was, the healthier I became. Eating protein, fruits, and vegetables provided my body with the nutrients that I needed. The more nutrients I ate, the stronger my body became. I regained my muscle mass, strength, and I slowly became more and more visible.

I lost my invisibility when everywhere I went someone was watching me to make sure I was eating all of my meals. Even at school, I had log in all of the food that I ate. I had no freedom at all. My weight, food intake, exercise, and muscle mass were constantly being monitored.

I am what I eat. I eat healthier, and I am healthy and strong. Okay not that strong, but healthy. I accept that I will always be battling ED. Whatever I do, he will remain a part of my life. I will never be able to go back to a totally normal eating pattern. ED never really goes away and it will always haunt me. However, the stronger and healthier I become, the less power ED has over me.