Ed Note: If you have or have suffered from an eating disorder there are potential triggers in this post.

I think I realized I had a problem when I was eating 2500 calories of Chinese food in a car, after I’d been stood up for a date.  My stomach was uncomfortable over the notch of my jeans, a healthy size 6.

So, I decided to make a change. I went from gorging myself constantly to eating less than 1000 calories a day of vegan food, and running for an hour every morning.  I was thrilled by the feedback, and quickly reached my goal weight of 110 lbs.

But maintaining was the tricky part, as I knew from the hours of research I was doing a day on diets.  I upped it to 1500 calories a day – but I worked out more.  I started taking “days off,” from food, sunbathing and swimming at the YMCA near my home.  I became harder on myself, because no matter what size I was, I hated my fat, fat stomach. It made me cry.  So, I shrunk. I swore I was eating a lot, to everyone at work that began to warn me about how low my weight was dropping.  I wore a size 00, and was 93 lbs, at a height of 5’4.

The funny part is, I became obsessed with food and weight management.  I used to take pictures of cupcakes, go online for “food porn,” read cookbooks, and fantasize about what I would eat, before I worried about the calories and nutritional content.  I would never eat anything that hadn’t been logged into a calorie counting app.  I needed to be sitting down to eat, relaxed.  I would go 6-7 hours between meals, and then gorge myself on the same vegan, low calorie foods, every day. There were other rules, too numerous to mention. It all made no sense, a kind of rule-bound ritual that lunatics would conduct.  I felt disgusting.

That’s when I sought out my nutritionist, available at a very low fee from my university.  The road to recovery was long.  It took me 7 months to gain 10 lbs… and another 3 months to gain 12+.  I met my boyfriend.  He made me feel better.  I ate.  I cried into a plate of lo mein instead of eating it, when he worried that I was never going to recover from this.  I went from being a vegan to eating chicken and turkey.  I proved to him, and everyone else, that I was “all better.”  The reality is, I hate myself – even though I topped out at 121 lbs, before I began my most recent diet.

I am a Type A, no question about it.  I work 37 hours a week at a very stressful retail management position, while going to school full time, and maintain a 3.75 GPA.  This is not bragging- I mention it because I feel I would not be worthwhile as a human being if I didn’t try and maintain at least this standard.  Obviously, physical recovery has not done anything to heal the lack of self confidence, and the astounding self hatred, that I feel.   It’s my darkest secret.  Everyone at work thinks I’m fine, because I have maintained a healthy BMI for months now.  They don’t see me chewing and spitting out a cookie. Partly I’m afraid of the fat and calories, but I also see it as a safe outlet for the stress, and often rage, I feel at my job.

I think that’s why I’m on a diet again.  This time, it’s high protein, low carb, less than 1500 calories a day.  I have to burn off breakfast at the gym.  My boyfriend accuses me of dieting.  But honestly, when I look at my stomach and want to tear it off, I know I will keep going.  Also, since I’ve been on a diet, my food obsessive thoughts have diminished.  I’m not thinking about ice cream during sex.  My nutritionist and I are close friends now, even though I just graduated and no longer see her professionally.  I worry that she will freak out if I drop to a low weight, but I can’t stop myself.  Honestly, I have no idea how, and if, my battle with food will ever end.

Ed note: This story came to us from a reader. If you’d like to share your experiences with weight in 600-800 words for Hunger Games week, we’d love to hear from you. Jennifer [at] thegloss.com or Ashley [at] thegloss.com