Orthorexia: How She Changed My Life

I'm Xanthe Freed and I'm another teenager with a secret. Mine is bigger than most. It's not relevant to boys, it's not relevant to bitches. I'm just a girl with a problem- and that problem is Orthorexia Nervosa.
I'm Xanthe Freed and this is my story.


1. This is Orthorexia

Ugh, it's time to see the school councillor. Again. I hate going- it just reminds me of everything I've gone through, everything that I want to forget. Of course, I could be a completely different person without Julia, but my life seems so dull now. There are so many restrictions as to where I can and can't go, who I can and can't go out with. And the journals. It's relentless note-keeping: what I've done in a day, who've I've seen, how I've been feeling, and, most importantly, what I've been eating. Yep, you guessed it! That's the reason why I'm here: I am recovering from an eating disorder- an eating disorder that easily could've been stopped. But those malicious little things called rumours changed my life forever. 

I barely have any friends now; just a few in every class. Most of mine ditched me when they found out that I had Orthorexia Nervosa with binge purge tendencies. They all ran for the hills. None of them even tried to understand why I had Orthorexia, or what it was, or how they could help. They just... made everything worse. They bullied me, spread rumours, excluded me. The only person who stuck by me was Deryn, who is now one of the only people that I trust.

Deryn was the one who found out about my eating disorder. She and I were never extremely close in the beginning, but she supported me, and played a massive part of my recovery. We used to hang around together, mainly because she was close with Nicola, who was my BFF at the time, and that's how she noticed my poor eating habits. 

So, here's a rundown of what exactly Orthorexia with binge purge tendencies is: you obsess about what types of food you're eating, where it comes from, how good it is for you. I was never a fussy eater as a child, I ate what I was given, but when I hit 15, all hell broke loose with my eating. Mum and Dad started leaving me and my sister to our own devices. They let us cook our own meals, and we had to start with the dreaded chores. But, this allowed me to take over the food. I started by refusing to eat processed food; I rationed the sweets I was eating and stopped going to fast food places. Then I turned pescatarian, so it was fresh fish and vegetables all the time. But from time to time, I felt so hungry, I would go to the corner shop, buy £5-£10 worth of junk food, and I'd eat it all. The feeling afterwards was horrendous, and I made myself sick until it was just bile coming up. It took up to an hour, if not more to get it all up, but I never did things half-heartedly. Then it took a good 30 minutes to eradicate the smell of vomit from the small en suite that I have off of my room. My parents had no idea. Nor did my sister. I managed to get away with it for over 18 months, but then Deryn caught me in the act. In a way, she was an absolute God-send. If Deryn hadn't found out, I would still have Orthorexia, and I may even have had bulimia. I'm so grateful that I have her. She saved me.



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