AJ's Story ?Anorexia & Bulimia

I began to make the unhealthy connection between my weight and my self-worth when I was only 4 or 5 years old. My weight was fairly normal as a kid, but my sister was constantly battling with my parents, especially my father, over her weight. As kids we were always being given the message that we somehow "wore" our self-worth on our bodies. My dad was obsessed with his own body image and how others saw him, and he would tell my sister that she "better be careful or she would end up being the fat lady in the circus".

At 14 I was slightly chubby and a freshmen in high school. I began to diet, eating no breakfast, no lunch, and a tiny portion for dinner. My family began to compliment me on my weight loss, and I was on top of the world. I thought that I had found the secret to happiness and best of all it was under my control.

I would weigh myself constantly, and when my weight loss slowed I began taking laxatives to speed it up. I continued with this until college, where things were better for awhile, until senior year, when I began to make myself throw up. I could no longer control my eating. I wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted and still keep my weight down. This went on for years until I ended up in several eating disorder units.

Right now I am in remission, but I know that my eating disorder is still a part of my life and always will be. With therapy, medication, and a lot of self-introspection I have come to a kind of peace with myself with varies according to the day and to what is going on in my life. Four years ago I delivered a healthy baby boy after having a bulimia free pregnancy. This has taught me what life and the value of my life is all about. Self-worth and love are not really dependent on how much one weighs or what size one wears. I try to remember this as I raise my son. I play with him on the playground and know that if I was still engaged in my eating disorder, I would not have the time or the energy to enjoy this precious time with him. I want my son to learn that life isn't about appearances, but about what you carry inside of you. I want him to have a deep heart.

thank you for listening,