By Maxim, Russia
My name is Maxim. I’m from Russia. I’m gay and I have anorexia nervosa.
I am in my 20s now and I want other guys to like me. I think that if you are fat, nobody will love you and nobody will want to build a family with you. I don’t like overweight people. When I was a child, I was overweight and I was often bullied. I felt terrible about my body, but I didn’t know what to do. Nobody accepted me for who I was.
About six months ago, I started to cut down on food I ate and began working out every morning and evening. Eventually, I became obsessed with exercise. Then, I started replacing my food with fat-burning diet pills and protein powders. Following this low-carb diet, for the first time, I felt the need to eat uncontrollably. Especially at night, when I was bored, I would open my fridge and binge on whatever food was inside. Afterwards, I would feel heaviness and sometimes pain in my stomach. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t think. So, I would purge through vomiting. This made me feel relieved.
I lived like this for four months. I lost more weight and began to twerk, a lot. During the fifth month, I ate only sweets. I craved only sugar. I could binge on chocolate bars as a treat, and would not purge afterwards. I tried to convince myself that all the fat would go to my butt, which would help me twerk better. Strangely, I lost even more weight.
It is now the sixth month. I binge less often, but when I do, I purge completely. Many people do not realize the consequences of an eating disorder, but I do. I try to compensate for the loss of nutrients by taking vitamins and different food supplements. I understand I will have some health consequences in the future. Previously, I had a stomach ulcer, which does not bother me now. I also have heart disease and high blood pressure. Often, I feel weak and drink energy drinks. I understand that these problems will only get worse. I know that soon I will be unable to work as a stylist because my joints are starting to hurt. But I accept this as necessary, as a fee for beauty.
I am very afraid of getting older, not death. I do not want to live for many years. I am afraid of wrinkles and so get Botox injections and other cosmetic procedures. I think I will make it to 35, but we will see. I do want to have a child and raise them so that they do not repeat my mistakes.
My parents still do not know about my eating disorder.
Right now, I feel a little scared about my poor health condition, but I do not eat to recover or fix this. At most, I can fry some eggs at night and try to go to sleep as fast as possible, so I do not purge. But I know, that in the morning, I will just exercise more. I also want to undergo a diagnostic test and find out my body fat percentage and its location, so that I can eliminate it fully. People tell me that there is no fat, and I understand this logically, but at the same time I know it is there; I can feel it. I want my skin to become thin and cover just my bones. (At some level) I know such thinking is a symptom of the eating disorder and I am ill.
I am studying to be a psychologist. In the future, if possible, I want to help people like me. I want to teach people to accept themselves and their bodies the way they are. I want to provide them with support, so they know they are not alone.
I like the idea behind World Eating Disorders Action Day. I believe that people should move towards self-care, self-acceptance, proper nutrition, and health. Personally I am yet to recover my true self from my illness, but I feel more hopeful now, knowing I have the support all around the world!
Join Maxim in supporting World Eating Disorders Action Day. Be sure to follow along on Twitter @WorldEDDay and hashtag #WeDoAct, #WorldEDActionDay, @WorldEatingDisordersAction on Instagram and World Eating Disorders Action Day on Facebook.