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The following was written by Darcy Doxey for LDS Living. To read the full article, click here

Along with my many happy memories of childhood are those not-so-happy memories that have never completely left me; being bullied in elementary school because I looked pregnant, being reminded to “suck in my gut,” or shopping with friends and being embarrassed that I needed larger sizes. These memories and the constant stimuli I received about dieting and body image were just the beginning of a quick downward spiral to an eating disorder.

Losing Weight and Control

Things really started when I began college. At this time in my life, I started to get into running and more vigorous exercising. I started to lose weight, get more attention from the boys, and actually get asked out on dates!

At one point, I wanted to eat a little healthier. But over the course of a few years and after picking up random diet “fads” here and there, I got into the mindset that counting calories, eliminating as much fat as possible, and not eating any carbs was what would make me healthy and help me continue to lose weight. I actually enjoyed it when I would add up the calories I burned in a morning workout and try to eat less than that amount in calories for breakfast and lunch. I began to not only count my calories and limit myself from things I loved, but I also began to compare what I ate to what others ate. In my mind, to stay skinnier than others, I needed to eat less than them.

When I got married, I also moved to a different state, away from all of my family, and started a new job that was less than ideal. I was constantly being torn down at work and I had the “be ye therefore perfect” syndrome, where I felt that to be a good wife, I literally had to be perfect. I had to have the house spotless, extravagant dinners every night, go above and beyond in my hosting, and always have cookie dough on hand for fresh–baked, homemade cookies.

With the chaos of my job and pressures to be flawless, food became the one thing in my life that I felt I could control. I continued to increase my exercising while decreasing what I ate. When I would be so hungry at night, I sometimes would binge on those things that I wouldn’t let myself have during the day. I would make myself so sick that I would feel the need to punish myself the next day for what I had done. It became a vicious cycle of starving, binging, and then starving myself all over again.

To read the full article, click here