Things only worsened in the fall of 2016, when, at age 16, I joined the local swim team. I had been “dieting” for almost a month, eating as little as possible for as long as possible. I may have reveled in the loose-fitting swim trunks for a time, yes, but I soon quit the team after my family could no longer afford to pay the membership fee. Then my dad switched jobs and my brother, the most courageous and inspiring person I know, came out to our Catholic family.
Stress levels were at an all-time high in my household. The last thing I could worry about was food.
Soon after I quit the swim team, my disordered eating peaked. I vividly remember the day I trudged up another daunting flight of stairs at my high school in Great Falls, Montana, feeling only one emotion: pride. For three days and counting, I had somehow managed to subsist on barely eating anything. As a result, my head was clear, I felt thin, and it was all just difficult enough to keep me distracted from my family troubles...”