Why I Became Public With My Bulimia
I will start with saying that this was “the decision of a lifetime.”
Going public was the scariest most challenging decisions I’ve ever had to make. I kept my past and story a secret for so long that it became normal and “comfortable” for me to live in fear and silence. There were days and moments when I was sick that I would find myself on my knees, making myself sick and thinking (or knowing) that this would be my life, forever.
I knew I was going to be sick my whole life, but I didn’t want it to be that way. After writing my cookbook this summer a lot of memories, feelings and really dark emotions came back to life and I was reminded of every single fucking feeling I went through while I was sick. It was really embarrassing for me because I really love food and all I wanted to do was cook, and do what I loved, but I couldn’t because I was bulimic.
Following my dreams made me feel so incredibly fake. I’m not good at pretending and I started having heart palpitations every time I was sick. However, I realized that if I didn’t get better, I would end up dying. My hair started getting a bit thinner than it had ever been. My teeth were more sensitive and thin, and I was hiding in the bathroom while my mom would clean up dinner just so I could be sick.
One year around this time, Christmas, we were in Golden and my sister used the bathroom after I was sick and noticed that the sink was a bit clogged (from me washing my hands) and was right then that my baby sister realized that her big sister, who she was supposed to look up to, wasn’t as strong as she lead everyone to believe. She found out I was bulimic.
I came out with the fact that I was sick because I noticed that FoodByMaria was growing and the growth was really helping me build my confidence. FoodByMaria was now my voice and I wanted to use my social media presence to help people, around the world, fighting eating disorders too. I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling and I now had a platform to help others. I had that responsibility. I didn’t want to live in silence anymore. I wanted to be authentic, real, honest.
One morning I woke up and I was ready. I didn’t anticipate it and I didn’t expect it, it just happened. I woke up happy. I woke up knowing my calling was to help save people from their own thoughts. I woke up knowing my struggle would be the light in the lives of people who needed help and I would be their inspiration.
So, that day, before I came out with my story, I made sure my friends knew (that I told personally in the past) that I was going to tell the world. I made sure my boyfriends little sisters knew because I wanted them to hear it from me first – they were both quite shocked which made things a bit harder for me, but I knew that I had to tell them. I asked Andrew to come with me to the market so we could take some photos of me with food. To this day, as weird as it sounds, I don’t know if I my parents know. I mean, I think they read my posts but I don’t know if they understand. I still haven’t even grown the balls to talk about it with my brother. It’s very hard to talk about.
Anyway, I ended up “announcing” it and I felt an instant moment of relief, but then the fear set in, the embarrassment, what would people think of me? Why were people who I didn’t tell, telling me that they’re happy i’m okay now? Why did people I didn’t tell know about MY struggle? I didn’t understand and I went to bed with a lot of pain that night.
I turned to Andrew, laying in bed next to me, and asked: “Am I an idiot for telling people I was bulimic?” His response was nothing short of perfect: “Baby, you told people who you are, there is nothing to be ashamed of.”
Since that day I have pursued my life largely. Everything kept falling into place after I came clean about my struggles. I was born for this. This was my calling. This is why I came public with my story, to make an impact and help others, and just be myself, because every part of your life, no matter how dark or “embarrassing” it may seem, is what made you, you.
Do you know anyone who suffers with an eating disorder? If you’ve recovered or are trying to find that light within yourself to get better please feel free to tell me how you did so. I love hearing your stories and I also love reminding you all that we’re human. We make mistakes, we struggle but we learn.
Love you all so much.
Your Greek Food Goddess XOX