Today’s post is from Anastasio Hinaris, Taso for short. He is a recent graduate from the Honor’s College at University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He want to become a mental health counselor and eventually become a licensed therapist who specializes in treating eating disorders.
I know what its like to be afraid of food. I know what its like to want more out of the person you see in the mirror…or less. I know what its like to not be understood by others or knowing your being looked at for your appearance. I know what its like to be a guy with what’s seen as a “girl’s” illness- there’s a 9:1 ratio of female to male rate of eating disorders. So I guess I’m that one out of ten. I know that men are supposed to drink beers and eat steaks, but I also know what its like to feed your dog a banana so you don’t have to eat it.
During my third year of college I lost my relationship with food and exercise. My girlfriend and I of 3 years broke up and I found a mode of control to avoid the heartbreak through exercising for hours at a time. I’d avoid eating before and after exercising. I Began eating meals once every two days. Looking back I don’t know why I didn’t stop myself. But I know no one else is to blame but myself. I went from being an athletic student to a skinny exercising machine who lost all abilities to focus or even read. I couldn’t meditate or focus on anything except for food as my restricting continued to get worse and worse. By the time summer was over I had been hospitalized twice and put in two different eating wards for extended periods of time. I stubbornly resisted all treatment.
I know what its like to not want to give up that control.I do know what its like to love food though, and I do love food. Today, I love to eat. I exercise for fun and don’t go to exhaustion. I know what its like to have battled ED and come on top while even in my darkest hours I thought I’d never get out. I thought I’d be obsessed with non stop exercising and no eating for my whole life. I know what its like to buy into that lie but don’t make the same mistake I did. I know if I can do it you can do it.I found my motivation to get healthy through opening my eyes to the truth of my situation. I remember watching my fraternity brothers eat a whole pack of Oreo’s with ease and enjoyment. I remember thinking why isn’t that easy for me? Why aren’t I as happy as they are eating cookies like its no big deal? And I came up with nothing but the truth. That it can be that easy for me but I have to make the changes for myself.I started to believe in myself. I began to eat more and work out less.
I know what its like to be force fed to only gain weight in intensive care. I know what its like to gain more lbs in 2 months all on my own diet and weightlifting. I love feeling on top of the world as I bite into a juicy cheeseburger and be happy while doing so. I know what its like to compete in all you can eat sushi or asking my friends if they’re going to finish those last few chicken wings. I know that to some it may seem simple and not that big of a deal while ; for others it can be like climbing a mountain. I do know it just takes the slightest bit of motivation. One Oreo of hope to believe in yourself that you can do this. You can overcome any obstacle and watch the miracles fall into place. I know if I can do it you can do it.