Like everyone with an eating disorder, it started with a goal. My goal was to fit into a dress. It was long, gorgeous and slightly too tight. I bought it on sale several years ago as an incentive to lose a few pounds after I struggled to do up the zip in the changing room-it was the smallest size and I wanted to fit. I started by cutting out sugar and walking more. I started snacking less and I took the stairs every singe time, fitting exercise in whenever I could. I reached my goal in no time. I was so happy-I had fulfilled my goal. But it wasn’t enough. Not anymore. ‘Just another few pounds’ I had thought, ‘just a few more’. But being the smallest dress size wasn’t enough for the little voice inside my head that had now consumed my mind. I wanted to be smaller than the smallest. So I kept going. Eating less and less, exercising more and more. It was my little secret. The eating disorder was my little friend, egging me on. It had started with with a goal, but, like many, the goal was enough for me. It had started with a goal and ended in a dangerous obsession.
A few days ago, I saw it hanging in my wardrobe. Just like when I bought it, it was slightly too tight. I felt a pang in my chest and a familiar urge to start again, to keep going-to fit into that dress. The urge was irresistibly tempting-to fall back into the comforting arms of old habits. But I didn’t want go go backwards. I didn’t want to be like I was. I made the difficult decision: I pulled the dress of the hanger, folded it neatly and thew it away. It was gone. I felt a weight lifted off my chest. It was gone. The dress that had started it all.