Your Fake Best Friend Anorexia

IMG_2819

Your Fake Best Friend Anorexia: How I Broke the Vicious Cycle of Body Hatred

So I know it might be April Fool’s Day and I know it is a rather heavy topic to touch on but it is something that has been on my mind a lot recently. I worked a professional singer for a long time, I started out doing child modeling and acting, musical theater, and that led to going solo as an artist, moving to Los Angeles and dealing with the crazy world that is the entertainment industry.

In the last few years my weight has been all over the place. I have always had issues with food, restricting to feel a sense of control in my life when things just felt too difficult. When my mom was falsely diagnosed with MS, when my sister had her her first major seizure, or when anything major came into my life that felt like it was just too much to bare, I turned to my fake best friend, anorexia.

I worked out like crazy and lived on coffee and microwave popcorn. I don’t want to say that being in the entertainment industry caused my eating disorder because I feel like with my all or nothing personality it would have manifested itself eventually anyway. Recently after finishing the amazing book “Safety in Numbers” by Brittany Burgunder I was inspired to share my story and journey with an Eating Disorder as well because I feel like by taking away the stigma or the “dirty little secret” that seems to surround those who suffer from an eating disorder or mental health issue we can take back the power and realize that anorexia is not something we suffer from, it is something we rise out of, learn, and grow from mentally.

I started my Instagram account to keep my head in the game when it came to losing weight and I still have it as a method to keep myself accountable and hopefully inspire others, but before I was heavier I was extremely anorexic. Never to the point of death or anything like that, but to the point where I lost my period, engaged in strange ritualistic eating behaviors and wore my self control like a suit of armor. People who knew me in high school expressed concern but those I knew in LA and the entertainment industry praised me and told me to keep going. It was a sick obsession, how much weight I could lose in a short period of time. I was a prisoner in my own mind. I was pursuing my dreams as a musician in Los Angeles, barely eating, barely sleeping and living on sugar free Redbull and caffeine. I was in a shitty relationship because I didn’t value myself highly enough to think I deserved any better.However I thought I was thriving, I truly believed I was being my best self and I was so proud to see my ribs popping out and being able to touch my collarbone. For goodness sake I got hit on by Kenny Loggins at a gala event and he said how “hot” I looked when I was at my lowest weight(creepy in hindsight clearly).

IMG_3515

Looking back now I was absolutely miserable, I was depressed and I hid it with eating rituals, I never binged but I definitely abused laxatives, I could never throw up because I was a singer and didn’t want to damage my vocal chords. It was extremely dumb and I still worry that the damage I did to my body during that time is irreparable, however I keep moving forward.

I hit another road block when a few years after this at the age of 21 I started taking anti anxiety medication and gained a great deal of weight in a short period of time getting to the point where I was even considered overweight. I had not changed my eating habits at all, I felt so out of control I would have killed to go back to my old body. I felt like a stranger had invaded my body and the person I looked at in the mirror, their stretch marks, their flabby stomach and thighs weren’t my own.

What had I done to deserve this? It was my low point, I was depressed I hated my body more than ever and I felt like it had betrayed me. When the love of my life proposed to me I felt so disgusting that I could barely enjoy the moment. He was the sweetest and hired a photographer to hide and take photos of him proposing and I still have a hard time looking at those photos.

My face was round and chubby, I felt like I had three chins and refused to take my jacket off because I was embarasssed of my huge fat arms. It should have been the happiest day of my life but I felt disgusting and unsure as to why somebody that looked like him would want to marry somebody that looked like me.

IMG_2306

However I made the decision to come off of the medication and I became much more active again, I slowly started to feel more and more life my old self, not the anorexic me, or anything like that but I began to feel human again, pretty even maybe just a little.

I am still not where I want to be and it is so hard to keep in mind what a healthy weight is when I still have my double zero jeans in my closet that I just can’t part with because somewhere deep down inside me, in a dark corner that I don’t like to visit too often

I think that maybe someday I might need them again, but I know I will get past that feeling and it dissipates every time I change my mindset from somebody who is trying to be as skinny as possible towards somebody who wants to feel their best and look their best in a healthy manner.

I truly do believe that Nothing Looks as Good as Healthy Feels and I fight for that every day internally. Now I am at a weight and size where I am still not comfortable with myself yet but I am close and I don’t see the point in hating myself until I get to a point where I do feel comfortable.

Anorexia is thief, and it takes your self esteem and tries to make you feel like you aren’t worthy, you don’t deserve love. Anorexia whispers that she has your back and with her you will be the best possible version of yourself, but in reality, anorexia is a lying bitch. A fake best friend.

FullSizeRender

My current body right now, not satisfied but not hating myself

Nowadays I shy away from crash diets, juice cleanses, crazy detox programs or diet pills because I have educated myself enough to know that those don’t work for me. Anything that takes an extreme amount of self control I know that I will take it too far so I don’t take risks by “cleansing” or restricting myself by saying certain foods are “clean” or “dirty”, I simply try to make the best decisions for myself and my body. My health is the most important thing to me and I still struggle with anxiety and I realize that what I put in my body has a huge effect on how I feel and how my anxiety feels as well.

Some people I have noticed only want to share the wins, the good parts, the highlight real of their lives on social media and that is totally fine. However I want to be real, and authentic, and if I can provide any light or hope for people out there who might be suffering I want to do just that. I want people to know that it DOES GET BETTER. I want to show people that you are capable and deserving and worthy of love and happiness and it begins with loving yourself as cheesy as that sounds. When something goes wrong in your life try your hardest to simply say “Plot Twist!” and keep going. Never give up on yourself, I definitely will never again give up on myself or underestimate the great things that I am capable of. Thank you for listening to my story and if you have struggled at all with eating disorders, lack of self love and want to share at all I would love to hear your story.

The world needs more kindness and love, let’s start with being kind and loving to ourselves and from there we can start a revolution!

XOXO Harriet

 

 

Follow:

10 Comments

  1. April 4, 2016 / 11:06 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve struggled with weight issues most of my life and you are absolutely right Nothing Looks as Good as Healthy Feels!

  2. April 6, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    Big high-five on your victory!!! Healthy is the best feeling ever!

    • Harriet B.
      April 6, 2016 / 10:28 pm

      Thanks so much girl! I was so nervous about sharing this but I felt I wanted to be transparent and maybe help people realize they aren’t alone in their struggle

  3. April 8, 2016 / 11:14 pm

    I love reading stories where people transform their struggle into inspiring lessons. You’re so courageous for sharing this with us. And you look great in your current weight. Rock on!

    • Harriet B.
      April 8, 2016 / 11:15 pm

      You are so sweet, thank you so much for reading I can’t tell you how much it means to me!! Xoxo

  4. April 9, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    I can’t even begin to emphasize enough how incredibly proud I am of you for courageously sharing your story! It brought tears to my eyes to read -but such tears of love, strength and joy. NEVER forget how capable you are and never DOUBT your voice and the positive influence you have in this world. It is such an honor to be on this journey with you Harriet and I’m sending you my love always <3

    • Harriet B.
      April 10, 2016 / 12:04 am

      Thank you so much for reading this Brittany it means the world to me that you took the time to do so, you’re book inspired me so much I read it all in one night and I just wanted to be brave like you in the hopes of helping one person. You are amazing and such a positive and inspiring role model

  5. Patsy
    December 2, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    Hi Harriet you look beautiful at any size. I hope One day I can see in me what I can see in you. Patsy

    • Harriet B.
      December 2, 2016 / 8:39 pm

      You’re so sweet thank you so much for taking the time to read this

  6. Cc
    May 24, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    This is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Most people cannot imagine just how much any eating disorder robs you of your life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *