An open letter
Dear 24 year old Trish,
For the next 4 years, your life will revolve around food and exercise. You will develop habits that you think are positive but are actually really, really bad for you. You will waste an unnecessary amount of hours in the gym. You will miss out on social events because of self-imposed food restrictions and fear of eating around other people. You will lose friends and end relationships as a result of putting food and exercise first. You will cancel travel plans to avoid being thrown off your meal plans and workout schedules. You will struggle to get through a typical day at work because of distracting thoughts about food and exercise. You will struggle to finish workouts as a result of not eating enough. You will be constantly nursing injuries as a result of overtraining. You will make excuses for your behaviours and insist that you are ok. You will categorise everything you eat as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. You will stop enjoying your favourite foods. You will experience constant bloating and other gastrointestinal issues. Your body will forget how to digest food properly. You will stop being able to gauge whether you are hungry or full.
However, you will also ask for help. You will be diagnosed with bulimia. You will work on unlearning years of bad habits. You will make mistakes and take steps backwards but your amazing support network will push you forward towards recovery. You will get through it.
Love, from 28 year old Trish.