Alexa’s Inspirational Story of Hope

Image of Alexa after her eating disorder due to runningIt all started with an innocent run. It was a light jog through the neighborhood one spring evening. The sky was a dusty peach hue, and the streets were decorated with cherry blossom trees.

Little did I know that this run would lead to a downward spiral of self-destruction and pain. I loved running, I still do. It gave me an escape from reality and the problems that I was going through at the time.

My then boyfriend and I were having relationship issues, and my strict Chinese mom and I consistently argued. I felt out of control.

I needed control, and running was one way to secure that control.

I loved the feeling of being in control of my own body. I began to run further distances, more extended periods of time, and more frequently (every day). However, this wasn’t enough.

I began obsessing over what I ate to make myself faster and more agile. I also began to notice how thin I was becoming, and this reinforced the positive feeling of being in control.

I would not eat carbohydrates or sugars, and I would start limiting my calorie intake severely. I also began throwing up when I ate, and this had a drastic effect on my health as my skin color.

It turned to orange, and I became intolerant to the cold. I even grew hair on my body to protect me from the cold (lanugo).

My mood was irritable, and I was always angry because I was so hungry. I would sit at the toilet bowl or the sink for hours, just throwing up.

I pushed all of my loved ones away, my family, my friends, and I ended my relationship with my then boyfriend. I even drove away my closest friend, my sister.

People were starting to notice and wanted me to get help. I would become defensive when they said that I never ate anything, and I pushed them away further.

I remember my mom telling me I would need a feeding tube if I kept this up. That was a wake-up call for me.

I started to realize that my entire life was being taken up by an eating disorder. I could not play my beloved sport, tennis, because I was so weak.

I could not focus on my grades because I was too wrapped up and obsessed with checking the scale. I hated lying to my family and friends, and most of all, to myself.

I was done with the secrecy and the lies because I realized that I was all alone in the process. I missed my family, my friends, and my sister. My ambitions in life were put on hold, and that is not how I wanted to live.

I also began to grasp how much harm I was doing to my body. The beautiful body that God created and that I had taken for granted.

I felt ashamed for not loving the body that I was given, and I felt ashamed for hurting myself in such a drastic and violent way. This really bothered me especially when there are people begging for food, and here I am more concerned about my pride, my power.

I wasn’t powerful at all. In fact, I was powerless and helpless, trapped in an eating disorder. I couldn’t do the things that I used to do and the things that I loved because anorexia and bulimia pulled me down and withered my body and my identity away.

Working, volunteering, spending time with friends and family was so difficult, and I could not enjoy them when I was constantly worrying about what I ate that day or what I would be eating in the future.

Life is too short for revolving around a number on a scale. I was created to do so much more and accomplish my dreams of going to college and studying medicine. I am worth recovery.

What helped me recover was reminding myself of all the things that I loved, the hobbies, and the passions that drove me to live my best life. I would be reminded that God loves me and what mattered was on the inside, that I love myself enough to nurture and care for my body – not hurt it.

If I did not recover, I wouldn’t have been able to succeed in college or have continued to pursue my interests, like playing tennis or going hiking.

I became stronger, not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. Reminding myself that I am worth recovery and that I can use my story to inspire others.

I am completely free from the bondage of having an eating disorder, and wow, does it feel good! I can live life without fear, and I can truly be happy and completely content with myself as a person.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed & Approved on June 3, 2019, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC
Published June 3, 2019, on

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