It never crossed my mind to reach out to you until recently

Dear Lucy,

It never crossed my mind to reach out to you until recently. I've been a consistent reader of everyone writing into you but I never thought to do it myself. See, half the problem was, and is, I've been blind to my own problems. Long story short, I've struggled with an eating disorder for about 8 years now. I gained weight my freshman year of college. The Freshmen 15 is no joke.  I felt disgusting and could not accept how I felt. I was thin my whole life, never worried about my weight or what I ate. This was something so new and something so disturbing to me. I spent the entire summer of my freshman year trying to lose weight. I did and moved on. I started eating less and working out more. My sophomore year it became a bit of an obsession, but with the distraction of school and friends and so much going on during college, I managed. I gained weight again senior year and swore to myself after I graduated I'd never let myself get that "fat" again. 

Two years later I was stick thin, malnourished, unhappy, and beating myself up about every bite of food I took in. The term "eating disorder" never occurred to me. I was allotted so many calories a week and required to run so many miles a day. If I didn't meet that goal, I laid in bed and cried. I got in the worst moods of my life. I treated my best friends and family like shit. I wouldn't go out unless my calories and exercise permitted. If I went out and I had exceeded my caloric intake, I was miserable. I found myself constantly comparing my body to every single person I came across. No exaggeration- Every minute of every day, I was thinking about food, what I looked like, and how much I weighed. Nothing in the world mattered to me but my weight, the size of my jeans, and the amount of time I spent working out. It's taken me a long time and a lot of work (not to mention a few additional pounds) but I'm realizing how much more to life there is than a number on a scale.

Every day is a struggle but I need to and I WANT to love myself. I know I am a work in progress and I'm realizing -15 pounds later- that I'm healthy and I was sick before. I am happier, I treat my loved ones better, and I have learned to appreciate things I couldn't before. I know that was no way to live, and although I still have my days-  I'm so much happier. I don't love myself yet, but I'm getting there.