Honesty Hour: Battling an Eating Disorder

Honesty Hour is a HC Cal State LA segment where brave students tell personal stories about their college experiences and some difficulties that came with them. This week we spoke to Marina Andalon, a senior Television, Film and Media major who is recovering from an eating disorder. Here is her story, in her own words. 

My encounter with an eating disorder started back in 2012. It was a journey that really put me in a dark spot. I tried to pursue that “happy me,” the one that smiled. The eating disorder was more about distancing myself from my body; not knowing who I was, my calling in life, as well as body image issues. I first started with excessive exercise, and I had no idea that was a clear symptom of an eating disorder. Almost after every time I ate I needed to exercise. Then I was moving on to bulimia, and then to anorexia. It kept getting worse and work and school were becoming unbearable.  

Finally, late in 2014 I was tricked; in other words thought I was going to enjoy a spa day when I ended up in a recovery center to be evaluated. I agreed to the process knowing it was the right thing to do for myself and for my family, who was very concerned and worried. 

Recovery was rough. It felt as if I was there 24/7. I would be working on eating, nutrition, and learning about what causes an eating disorder, although there is no definite answer to that. Everyone who has or had an eating disorder has their own story. I was lucky to meet other girls and guys who are dealing with disorder. That was the positive aspect seeing how other people were dealing with this issue. It broke my heart seeing a close friend in recovery with me drop out of college and go to the hospital. I did not want to be the next one so I turned my mentality around. 

Being in college with an eating disorder is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through. Only time to be out of recovery was for school. At one point I had to take a quarter off. Doing my work was 10 times harder; my brain was not operating at the same level it once was. I was still keeping this a secret, telling everyone who noticed it was just healthy eating and compulsive exercising. 

Majoring in Television, Film and Media was difficult when dealing with on camera activities. I was not a fan and triggered actions and feelings. I almost wanted to change my major. Then I finally got into journalism and knew this was what I wanted to and am happy I stayed within this major. 

I just recently got out and "graduated" from recovery. I feel so much better, almost a new person. I have energy, happiness, and motivation to continue with school and my life. Right now I am eating healthy, enjoying everything I eat and drink, and having the energy to workout for my health rather than weight loss. 

To anyone man or woman who is dealing with an eating disorder, get help. To try and take this disease on your own and beat it is very hard. There is no harm in asking for help. 

Thank you, Marina for telling us your story! If you have a story you’d like to share, please email [email protected].