There Are Men With Eating Disorders Too – Opening Up

Men With Eating Disorders

In the United States alone, one in three men will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their life. Just how many is that? About 10 million males. With so many men being affected, we are still too scared to admit that we might have an issue. We have this ignorant mentality that there can’t be anything wrong with us and that we need to be the strongest. Even though the number is only growing, men will still not acknowledge this disease. A disease that can secretly destroy them. I am here to tell you that there are men with eating disorders just like females. How do I know this? Because I am living proof.

We all face our own struggles in life. For me, one of my biggest insecurities was how I looked at myself in the mirror. I felt that in order to be accepted by my peers, I had to look a certain way and had to have a certain amount of visible muscle. Once I achieved the physique that I had drawn up in my head, only then would people accept me and like me. Once I achieved the physique that I had drawn up in my head, I would learn to love myself.

men with eating disorders

At around the age of 19, I was holding a good amount of body fat. Motivation sparked and I started to exercise vigorously and diet religiously. The weight melted off and people took notice. I dropped 45 pounds in 6 months, which for the record, is not very healthy to do. No matter how much I dropped, I couldn’t stop, I simply was not satisfied with my appearance. I was addicted to the attention that others were giving me and I was addicted to the numbers.After a short period of dieting,  I had developed an eating disorder that had spiraled out of control. Mixed with depression, I was facing an all time low in my life.

The disorder carried on for about four years. Truth be told, I only recognized it for one year. I always knew that something wasn’t right, but I didn’t categorize it as an eating disorder. I did not want to be judged by my peers for something that is only found in females. Admitting that I have an eating disorder would only cause people to make fun of me even more. At least this is what I thought. The biggest crock of you know what. Here is why.

When you face insecurities, you look for the recognition of others. The issue with this is that depending on the people your surround yourself with, you could only be doing more damage to yourself. The majority of people in our society like to criticize the flaws of others instead of recognizing their strengths. Instead of trying to motivate each other, we continue to knock each other down. Men are especially prone to promoting this behavior. The misconception that we need to look and act a certain way makes it nearly impossible for us to be open about our emotions.

If this is you, listen closely. Take it from me, a 24 year old male that has spent his entire life focusing on the opinion of others. QUIT living your life focusing what others think. Seriously. It has taken me 24 years to finally quit giving a shit about what others think of me. Trying to adapt to the opinions of others has been way too time consuming and exhausting. Over the years, I forgot how to love myself and I forgot how to live my life. The people that are bringing you down, screw them. You do not them in your life. All they do is hinder your focus, your drive, and your purpose in life.

After 24 years, I can say that I am happy. Not satisfied, but happy with the progress I have been making. I was actually talking with my mom about this yesterday. I told her that I had not felt this motivated and this healthy in years. My thoughts are finally clear again and my motivation to live my life is at an all time high. This is largely due to the fact that I quit caring. Quit caring about being perfect, about looking a certain way, and about what others think about me. I am here to live my life and to leave my own legacy, not the legacy of others.

Michael Bonnell

6/8/2018

 

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