I've struggled with negative body image my entire life. Born missing my left arm and then at 18 months of age suffering third degree burns to 14% of my body after knocking boiling water on myself while struggling to get used to a prosthetic arm. I grew up looking and feeling different - in a society where so much emphasis is placed on physical appearance and the desire for perfection - I felt isolated and alone.
The term 'Drunkorexia' is relatively new, but the condition is not. Drunkorexia is a combination of alcoholism and anorexia or bulimia. Usually, a person suffering from drunkorexia will deprive himself or herself of food during the day, in an attempt to keep calories under control when he or she goes drinking later.
Recovery is such a tricky thing for someone who has an eating disorder. You never think you will reach a day when you don't feel fat and will not count calories. There are no fancy drugs to take to cure it, no definite answer about the cure, and no way of telling how you are going to feel from one day to the next.
The other day, I showed my middle school students in my Girls' Lifestyle Camp a few clips from the show So You Think You Can Dance. I thought it was important for the girls to see these dancers who followed their passions and dreams through hard work and dedication despite the obstacles and difficulties.
Social media fuels the epidemical nature of the quest for the "perfect" body for summer that sweeps across the country. With Instagram's salad obsessed, Twitter accounts devoted to fitness and 'I wish I could look like this' captions, and the disturbing "thinspo" hashtag, the "summer body" infiltrates our lives.
It wasn't just a case of wanting to be thinner; eating disorders, pretty quickly, cause chemical imbalances that bring on depression, and eventually I felt like I was not worth feeding. Lying awake at night with heart palpitations, I knew what I was doing was hurting me, but gradually, my worth became linked, in my eyes, solely to my weight.
For the past five years I've been campaigning and raising awareness of men with eating disorders with an aim to debunk the myth that eating disorders is a 'female problem.' Significant advances in awareness have been made in this short space of time to highlight the inequalities male sufferers face, but there's still a long way to go