Sara Prostran is a YouTuber who has overcome Binge Eating Disorder. On her channel, she has almost 3,000 subscribers and over 266,000 views. Her videos document her experience with Binge Eating Disorder (BED): her story, tips on how to deal with it, the effects of BED, and more. She also has an Instagram account with many followers. On it, she shares her lifestyle following her success in conquering the condition. In the interview, she describes her encounter with BED. By eating with moderation, deciding not to follow “fad diets,” and getting help, she was able to beat the disorder. She tells people to take their lives from day to day, and talks extensively on her experience with the condition. Read more to learn about her story!
What made you want to document your progress?
I’ve always loved YouTube and secretly wished that I was a YouTuber. I was also very shy, quiet and I never knew what my ‘thing’ would be. Everyone has a ‘thing’ on Youtube, if that’s makeup, vlogging, fashion or whatever it may be, I didn’t have a category to fall under. It wasn’t until early 2016 that I decided that I don’t care anymore about what others think. I battled with an eating disorder for years and finally found a break through and I wanted the world to know, If I was able to overcome some issues then anyone can. I’ve had many set backs, times that I’ve deleted videos because someone I knew made a bad comment or doubted that I was able to do it. I finally realized that 1 bad comment does not compare to the many positive comments I receive on my videos, the emails and the Instagram messages.
When did you realize you needed help?
I think it was 2012 that I finally realized something wasn’t right. Even though I binged throughout most of 2011, I never knew that consuming so much food in one sitting and obsessively thinking about food/exercise/laxatives/starvation was considered an eating disorder. At first I thought I suffered from Bulimia because all I knew about was bulimia and anorexia. While I was reading about it, ‘Binge Eating” stood out to me and I soon realized it was this exact thing that I was suffering from. To exactly answer this question, November 2015 is the exact moment that I realized I must find help or do something to help myself. I was sick, tired and I hated myself and it was through Youtube that I found this help.
In the past when you were at the peak of your eating disorder, what did you eat in a typical day?
I actually have a diary that I hid in my room where I wrote down a few of my binges. There’s maybe only 7 pages worth of notes, but I can tell you exactly what I ate.
27th September 2015: I went out for a meal and had Gnocchi, followed by a tall glass of ice coffee (with ice-cream in it), a doughnut, ice-cream from the petrol station, chocolate bar, packet of chips and another ice-cream. This totals to approximately 3500 calories. That blows my mind. I don’t count calories but I know that someone my age/height/weight should be eating around 2000-2500 A DAY not 3500 in one sitting.
This other binge wasn’t as bad but it was still a binge for me because while I was eating this, I wasn’t actually “eating” I was stuffing myself without being able to control what I was doing. I think I find it quite frustrating when people say “that isn’t a binge, I can eat that.” Binge eating isn’t just a physical act, there is so much more to it. This binge on the 1st of October 2015 involved: Chicken Parmigiana, 3 doughnuts, ice-cream and a chocolate bar. It was this exact binge that made me very sick, stomach pains and chest pains. I wrote at the top of the page “I am going to die” I think that explains how bad it was.
What’s the number one thing you would tell people going through an eating disorder?
If I can get through it, anyone can. I honestly thought I was going to die this way. I thought I’d be 30 years old hiding from my kids while eating everything in site. Somehow, I got through it.
My best piece of advice is take it day by day, that’s all you can do. Don’t’ compare yourself to others, don’t think that you need to look like some Instagram model or go on fad diets. We have one body to live in which we need to nourish and fuel. Your eating disorder should not stop you from doing what you love or make you isolate yourself and if you have one bad day, so what? If you drop your phone it may leave a small mark, but is it broken? No. The same thing applies to us. Every day is a fresh start.
What daily habits help you overcome your eating disorder?
Every morning that I wake up I tell myself that it’s a new day and the choices that I make today will benefit me and make me happier/healthier. I’ll normally spend my mornings watching YouTube videos, mostly people that have similar videos to me. I try to avoid spending hours on Instagram looking at fitness models as I’ve realized that this doesn’t always had a positive effect on me but more so, I tend to feel bad about myself and it may trigger me at times. One of my biggest daily tips is WATER! Drinking loads of water in the morning always makes me feel great.
Did your family and friends notice your eating disorder?
No one really knew. I did try to tell people, but it was always ignored or I’d get the “just control yourself” response. It was very frustrating to hear this from close friends and family. Saying that is like telling someone who is battling anorexia to “just eat.” Eating disorders are so much more than physical acts, it is a mental battle every.single.day. No one ever believed me or helped me, as sad as that sounds. That’s why in 2015 I knew that I had to help myself, it was the only way. Still to this day, I feel judged by people that I know or people think I’ve made it up for attention or sympathy. It’s sad how people don’t see how dangerous and unhealthy eating disorders are.
What is something Doctors don’t tell you about having an eating disorder?
Hmm, I think this is more of a personal opinion. When I answer questions like this I sometimes receive a negative response but its just my opinion. I always felt like I didn’t need to see a doctor for my binge eating disorder. For this specific disorder, doctors/psychologists mainly tell their patients that this stems from some traumatic experience that happened in their life when they were a child. This may be true for a majority of the population, I don’t know. For me though, this happened from months of eating extremely “clean” and strict that I finally went crazy and ate everything in sight. I considered my binge eating as a habit that can be broken once I established a healthy mental relationship with food.
Do you think people know that binge eating is also an eating disorder, or do you think most people only consider anorexia and bulimia as the only eating disorders?
I don’t think that Binge eating is considered as an eating disorder by many people. At first I didn’t either. I thought anorexia and bulimia was it and binge eating was just something made up. It is an eating disorder for sure, like I’ve said previously there’s a lot more to it than just eating a lot of food. The obsession, the self hate, the thoughts, every one of those things can damage you from the inside out.
What is your next goal?
My next goal in terms of YouTube is to raise as much awareness as I possibly can. My goal for myself though, I still have this image in mind that I would love to look like but I don’t obsess over it. I want to be fit, healthy and best version of myself that I can be.