My name is Kamila Tan and I was a
patient at the UCSD Eating Disorder Center. Before treatment, I was in a graduate program at UCLA. I was playing beach volleyball and exercising over
aggressively. I was really struggling day to day just to make it through the day.
My mind was consumed with food, calories, energy output and energy intake
and I couldn’t focus on relationships or anything important in my life. The
physical symptoms that I was feeling when I stepped on the court were scary.
Every time I stepped on the court I was afraid that I was putting my body in
danger. I didn’t know if I was gonna make it through workouts. This was pretty
close to the time before I was hospitalized. Going into treatment was
the best decision that I could have ever made for myself. It was the hardest thing
that I ever decided to do but also one of the best environments that I found
myself in because I finally found a group of people and an environment that
was willing to support me in what I was going through. Treatment at UCSD with the athlete track was specifically helpful because I was given the opportunity to
have a track that catered to my mindset of being an athlete and using those
strengths in order to also assist in my eating disorder recovery. Working with a
team of people that has knowledge in athletics is incredibly beneficial and
super helpful to somebody who comes from an athletic background. I won’t sugarcoat
it life is a lot easier after being on
treatment; however, I’m so much more well-equipped to handle all the stressors of
life all the up-and-down emotions after having been through treatment, learning
all the skills and not focusing on just my eating disorder to cope. Sometimes I
still struggle with finding the balance between how much I can move how much I
should rest and how much I should fuel. However, after being at UCSD I think that
I have a much more balanced idea of it and I can
actually in a good relationship with my sport now. All the skills that I’ve
learned here have enabled me to value myself and fuel myself properly both in
sport and in life. I have a much more balanced lifestyle and most importantly
I can feel joy and happiness again to their fullest extent. It also means that
I feel sadness and anger, but the whole spectrum is there and I feel like I’m
glad again. I was able to play for Platform 1440 which was Kerry Walsh’s
developmental program and semi-professional beach volleyball tour.
That was a dream of mine that I had last summer that I was I able to do because
of my eating disorder. And now that my eating disorder is out of the picture I
was able to finally do it and achieve a goal. The advice that I would give to
athletes coming into the UCSD Eating Disorder Center I would encourage you –
just like you would go in a hundred percent with your training – go in under
the percent with their treatment and you will reap the benefits.

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