This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.
By Mitchell S. Moyer, a man in recovery from anorexia.
When you have an eating disorder, the thoughts that swim in your head are dark and relentless. You ask yourself: Will I ever be the same? Will I ever stop thinking about food? How did I get here, and how do I beat this monster? You rise in the morning. But as the day progresses, your energy wanes and those thoughts continue to weigh you down. You feel adrift in frustration, confusion, and self-doubt.
My name is Mitchell Scott Moyer. I grew up in a small town in northeast Pennsylvania. I love life and live hard. I have a brother who is 2 years older than me and I was born to two loving, hard-working parents. I was recently married to a loving and strong wife. Currently, I work for a well driller and as a part-time Strength and Conditioning Coach. That is a snapshot of where I am now, but from this point on I will rewind back to my youth. I pray at least one part of my story can help you in your life.
Serving the Lord, being with family, engaging in sports, and being in the outdoors were always and still are precious aspects of my life. My discipline, determination, and drive helped me earn the opportunity to start varsity football as a freshman in high school. At the time, my brother was a senior on the team. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
Things started to take a turn when I found out later my freshman year that I had a torn labrum in my shoulder as a result of wrestling. I underwent surgery in late February and began the rehabilitation process. I did not want this to happen again. The thoughts of becoming the best athlete began to rain in my head. These thoughts developed into an obsession with physical training and diet which grew into the development of anorexia. I would fight this disorder, winning and losing battles, until the end of my junior year of college. Let me share with you how I broke the chains of my eating disorder and learned to be free.
My healing began during my junior year of college when I decided I was tired of being a slave to an eating disorder. I knew there was light on the other side. With the help of a therapist, I began to take action. I disciplined myself to eat one new meal a day. I will tell you this was one of the hardest tasks I ever set upon myself. I would sit and shake during these meals and my eating disorder screamed inside of me. No matter how afraid I was, I remained disciplined and bold and continued on with the war, one meal at a time. Over the course of the next few months, my disordered thoughts grew smaller, and I started to recognize the difference between my own thoughts and the lies of the eating disorder. This was the first time in years I could truly say I had grabbed my eating disorder and thrown it to the ground. I was in control. I was back in the light and being the hard-living person I strive to be.
Being in recovery vastly improved my life. I met my wife the next fall during my senior year. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in exercise science and also obtained my master’s in exercise science with an emphasis in strength and conditioning.
I tell you my story to show you that the road is a challenge. It is up to you, but you don’t need to do it alone. There are people in your life who will support you and be in this with you. Use them, lean on them, pray, and most importantly, dig your own feet into the ground and stand tall and face this demon. With discipline and boldness, you can win and grow into the person you want to be.
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