Cheri's Story Anorexia & Bulimia

I'm not completely sure of when my eating disorder started. I think the idea came into my head when I was in grade eight. A friend of mine told this guy that I had a crush on, that I liked him. His response was "Gross, she's fat and ugly". Those words ring in my head every time I look at myself in the mirror.

I became rather chubby in grade ten and in grade eleven I decided to do something about it. I started walking and cutting down on junk food and other foods. I felt great by the time I went into grade twelve. It was March 1995 when I asked this guy out, little did I know that this guy would change my life forever. After dating for a couple of months, he started making comments about how big my arms and legs were compared to his. I lost 30 pounds while dating him, by eating very little and exercising.

Thankfully, in the fall of '95 I went off to Bible school in another province and decided to dump him. During Bible school I compared myself to all the other girls and wondered why none of the guys liked me. I began to exercise more and eat less, but nothing was happening, I stayed at the same weight. I thought that if I got to a certain weight then I'd be happy.

During the Christmas break I gained five pounds and thought that I couldn't go back to school looking as fat as I did. So after supper one night I decided to try throwing up what I ate. I was horrified when something came out, yet it also excited me because for once in my life I would be able to eat and control what stayed down. Three months later I asked one of my Bible school roommates for help, I was scared of how weak and tired I was feeling. At this time I was hardly able to keep a piece of bread down without feeling guilty for eating. When I got home I went to a support group, but found myself comparing myself to the group members, so I quit.

Two years later, I was up to the same tricks, not eating much and throwing up the meals that I felt full after. Then I fell in love. Michael and I met in the summer of 1998 and became good friends. When I told him of my eating disorder he tried to understand but couldn't. He saw me as beautiful and I saw me as fat. We dated and then married this last summer. Being married and having an eating disorder is difficult because I have to be that much trickier and I can't lie to him.

I'm still trying to get those words out of my head that I heard in grade eight. I tell myself that I can control this, that I can stop at any time...but somewhere in my head a voice is saying that I can't. I don't know if I can or cannot, I haven't really tried. I haven't really wanted to quit, it's a comfort. When I know that I can't control something else in my life, I turn to this because I feel that I can control it. Part of me wants to continue on like this, but the other part knows that it's not healthy and some day I want to have children. I guess I have to make a decision soon.