I have an eating disorder. Before today, the closest I have come to actually talking about it is saying that I have a weird relationship with food. Which is true, but it also makes me feel like I’m hiding from something.
You see, since I can remember, I’ve always been the ‘fat girl’ or chubby as people like to put it when you’re 8. And no, this is not body dysmorphia talking, these are cold hard facts.
The last time I was a normal weight I was probably 5 years old. But fat people can’t have eating disorders, they’re fat. Maybe you’re right. Let me tell you how this journey began and you can decide for yourself.
When I was 12 years old I decided to take my weight into my own hands. I could just diet and exercise and the weight would go away, forever. I had tried before, basically every year since I was 8, but I wouldn’t fail this time. I couldn’t listen to one more person call me fatso.
So I did. I started eating low fat, then I was introduced to low carb, then I started eating turkey bacon, I cut out all soda, chips, and candy. I was on a roll.
Every morning I would eat 1 egg (70 cals), 1 slice of turkey bacon (35 cals), 1 slice of low fat wheat toast (40 cals) and drink 4oz of skim milk (45 cals) for a total of 190 calories. On good days, I would have a chance to eat a piece of fruit!
I ate a variation of that same breakfast for basically the whole year.
My plan was working. I was dropping pounds like crazy. It could’ve been the food or it could’ve been my new found workout plan.
I had convinced my mom to buy me Turbo Jam also known as the fun kickboxing dance party. And when I wasn’t doing that I was trying to bench press on my brother’s weight bench or use my jump rope. Every time I missed a jump I would force myself to start over until I got a 100 in a row. I hated myself. I would be so angry that I would slap myself for messing up.
Then I started having thoughts. Maybe if I ate even less and worked out even more I would finally be skinny. All of my friends were skinny. I was even heavier than my older sister and brother.
So I did. I ate less. Lunch at school was a piece a fruit. After school my snack was a workout then a perfectly portioned low calorie sandwich or exactly 1 cup of low calorie soup.
To workout more without anyone noticing, I went outside to play with my friends more often. Every game I suggested was some kind of cardio. Nowadays, I wonder if they ever noticed.
We even found time to occasionally play hide and seek and tag. While everyone else was laughing and having fun, all I could think about was am I burning enough calories and is my stomach and thighs jiggling too much.
But I stayed the course. I fasted and exercised and dieted and exercised and it was all okay because I was a fat pig, right? No one would tell a fat person to stop losing weight. Dieting is normal. It’s not an eating disorder. There’s no way I’m anorexic. The BMI chart told me so. And who could argue with that logic?
Then 1 day during 7th grade (after I had lost about 70lbs) I sat silently eating my apple in the cafeteria when someone made a joke that I was bulimic and they heard me throwing up in the bathroom.
“That’s not true!”I shot back. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t have an eating disorder.”
I told myself I’m too fat to be anorexic and the thought of vomiting makes me cringe because I suffer from migraines that cause nausea. So there’s no way I have an eating disorder.
But I did. At the time, I convinced myself that not being fat was the most important thing …at any means necessary. Everyone thought my progress was soo great! The thought of having control over my body gave me power like nothing else ever had before…
This isn’t bad. This is a gift. I have confidence now. People like me now. Someone complimented on something besides my test scores. It was working.
How could this be wrong?
I was 13 and starving and I felt proud. Well it was wrong and it got worse. I went to 8th grade where my bulimia met depression and insomnia.
I’m sure you can guess how that story goes.