Written by Michael Langroudi – Student Pages Writer
Chocolates, chips, sugar-laden cereals. Hot dogs, pizza, and the deepest fried chicken from the greasiest KFC. This was me growing up. I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted without a care in the world. Sour jelly beans and an ice cold can of coke after school became an everyday occurrence, followed by two nearly-plastic salt bomb sausages wedged between a soft white roll dripping in tangy mayonnaise in the form of a hotdog. I indulged wherever possible and enjoyed every sweet and savoury moment of it. I ate vegetables when given no option, but god forbid I caught a speck of garnish on my McDonalds Big Mac.
Fast forward to 2016. I was 23 and the golden arches were a mere memory to me. Hell, French fries were becoming something of my past too. The word ‘sweet’ was limited to sweet potato and sweetcorn in my diet vocabulary. Instead of lifting the garnish off my fast food I was lifting weights in a sweaty gym 4 times a week without fail. I ate three meals a day consisting of mainly plants, lots of whole grains, and lean meats only. Never would a pudding pass my lips, not even my mother’s family famous traditional pavlova on Christmas Day. Instead of counting jellybeans I was counting calories and making sure my protein, fats and carbs were all perfectly balanced at every meal.
And do you know what made all of this so easy? The internet. Having all my health and diet answers, right at my fingertips thanks to MyFitnessPal and the never ending, ever growing pool of self-proclaimed health guru’s.
This all sounds like a positive change in the right direction, yes? Becoming more health conscious, caring about what I put into my body, shedding some weight and getting active. Well, that was how it began. What started out as a 180 degree shift from one extreme to the other, slowly manifested into one of the most unhealthy, mentally draining and unknowingly self-abusive challenges of my life.
This is my story as an individual that fell victim to the wellness industry and all its digital health know-it-all’s, fad diets and phony facts. As a guy, this has been an especially tough battle as it is not common, and actually frowned upon, for men to suffer from disordered eating. I hope my story will help lift that stigma and turn judgement into awareness.