Eating Disorder Confessions: A Call To Speak Up, Reach Out, + Transform

Lessons From An Eating Disorder Survivor

By Teirra Kamolvattanavith

A great deal of my life was consumed by criticism and opinions. Negativity was my fuel. I brushed compliments off as easily as the thought that unicorns exist but I clung on to disapproval like it held the key to my destiny.

I got so fixated on the narrow-minded goals to fix my flaws that I lost sight of the big picture. My habits rapidly morphed into disruptive addictions that I lost control of and, before I even realized, turned into an eating disorder.

For years I went to bed with the pungent taste of vomit and self-loath lingering in my mouth. I had a set routine to spend three hours everyday unproductively slaving at the gym before consuming far more than necessary, causing me to feel guilty and spend every post-meal hovering over a toilet. It got to the point where I could feel my entire body begging for me stop but I powered through it because I thought this was the price of “beauty.” I thought it was the price of acceptance. I was physically, mentally and spiritually suffering the aftermath of my daily cycle of binging and purging.

It wasn’t hard to hide a secret that no one knew existed. Even the people closest to me couldn’t see the things they didn’t know to look for.

Though I was miserable, my denial and stubbornness kept me from seeking help. It wasn’t until I woke up on my bathroom floor covered in sweat and spew that I finally realized I couldn’t go on living like this. I had completely lost my voice and was afraid I would never be able to sing again. I thought my performing career was over.

After receiving proper support that got me on the road to recovery, I started speaking out about my eating disorder in hopes of preventing others to commit such self-damage. I was shocked by how many people were also fighting this secret battle. About 3/5 times someone would respond with “Oh my god! I do it too!”

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 30 million people of all ages and genders are suffering from an eating disorder in America. It has a higher mortality rate than any other mental illness. 95% of strugglers are between the ages of 12-25. Long-term side effects include vocal damage, heart complications, reproductive failure, and many more.

I want to tell the people who identify or have similar habits to know both that you are not alone… and this is not okay.

I beg you to turn to the people you trust and let them help you. Speak up, reach out, and transform your life. Don’t be ashamed of what you’re going through; we all have monsters.

How you handle your issues is what defines who you are, not the issues themselves. {CLICK TO TWEET}

I am proud to say that since the day I decided to quit destroying myself, I haven’t relapsed. Though I still have ways to go, I am blown away by the difference it has already made in every aspect of my life.

For starters: I’m less fragile and emotional, my stomach doesn’t constantly bother me, I don’t get tired as easily, my throat stopped persistently hurting, which made my voice return clearer than before, and I feel more at peace.

Ironically, my body only started changing when I started treating it with love and respect.

Instead of overworking myself at the gym angrily for long hours, I put on my favorite jams (an excuse to rock out to guilty pleasures) and have fun for a reasonable amount of time, using my positive energy as fuel. I still have discipline, but I’ve also learned to let go.

Your body is your home. Take care of it or else you’ll have nowhere to live. {CLICK TO TWEET}

Do it because you love yourself and want to take care of your body, not because you don’t think you’re good enough. Trust me, it feels much better. After all, love always wins, right?