Courtney's Story Anorexia and Bulimia

Hi my name is Courtney and I wanted to share with you my experience with anorexia and bulimia. I have always been a perfectionist and I was overweight. In eighth grade I read a book about a girl who would make herself throw up and I decided that maybe I should try that too since I had always had good gag reflexes. I tried it and it was surprisingly easy. But still, I knew it wasn't healthy so I vowed never to do it again.

Ninth grade was really rough. I didn't have many classes or lunch with my friends and I was lonely. To feel better I started to skip lunch. Pretty soon I lost six pounds and a women that I baby sat for noticed and complimented me on how good I looked. I thought, "wow, this is a great way to get attention. Pretty soon I was skipping breakfast and lunch. It was my goal not to eat until dinner time. I had a journal where if I got really hungry I would sit there and write over and over about how I was not hungry. I drank diet Pepsi to fool my empty stomach. Soon I started to exercise too. I would run/ walk on my treadmill and was doing 1000 jumping jacks a day. All of this seemed perfectly normal to me.

By the time I started tenth grade I had lost 35 pounds, going from 163 to 128 on my 5'5 frame. I started running cross-country. I also started eating lunch thinking that I needed the energy to run. But then I started to get scared that I was going to gain weight and get fat again so I started to throw up again about once a day. I also started cutting on my arm to deal with my emotions.

In eleventh grade... the combination of my self-doubt and the stress of my junior year led to a increase in my throwing up. I was throwing up about three times a day, still running and involved in too many activities. My weight dropped to 112 which isn't extremely underweight but wasn't healthy for my frame. I got my period twice in six months. Still I wasn't ready for help.

This continued on through my senior year... with periods of getting better and worse. I gained weight and weighed between 117 and 123 for most of the year.

Fall came and I went away to school scared to death about "having" to puke at the dorm and also about the freshman fifteen. However it's hard to hide the purging for too long and soon my suite mates found out. With their encouragement I finally had the courage to go and get help. I started to see a doctor, a nutritionist, and a psychologist through student health. I continue to do that today because I am not cured yet. But it's a relief to finally have this horrible secret let out and I know that eventually I will recover. Everyday is a struggle but I know now that life's a learning experience and there is a lot I want to learn and I am not willing to throw my life away to bulimia.

Bulimia has already cost me my chance to run in college, a dream that I have had for a long time. I do not want to lose my chance to have children, get married, have a career, and most importantly live my life to its fullest. I hope that any of you who are struggling will get help so you can once again see that life is worth living.