Olivia's Story: a reply to Natalie's Story Anorexia and Bulimia

hi natalie,

i just read your story, and i agree with you so much about people expecting you to just get over things like anorexia or bulimia or depression or anything like that. with me, its like something snapped, and it started in 8th grade. i am now a freshman in college, and i still have wierd feelings.

here's what happened. i remember, you know, those old pictures of you in bathing suits when you're 7, and i remember feeling fat when those were taken. i don't know why. i always wanted attention when i was little, and i would alot of times try to get it by looking sick but also, i felt like i wasn't the correct image i should be. while other girls had tons of confidence, i developed quickly and had breasts and hips really early, which added to the insecurity.

anyway, back to 8th grade. i went on a diet to lose about 10 pounds. i wasn't fat, but i thought i could lose a few, and so i did, and i looked really good. there was this kid that i loved, and things were starting to happen with him, and i felt really special and everything, like i finally was getting some attention and everything. i felt pretty. then he randomly moved away, and i was depressed, and suddenly i had to lose 5 more. i obsessed over food. i would sit in school all day debating over what to eat when i got home. whatever i ate had to fit into a 4 ounce measuring thing. after a while i would eat baby carrots and a cracker everyday this lasted for about 4 months and i lost 10 more pounds. by the time i was done i had lost 28 pounds. i didn't get my period for 7 months. so i went to the doctor, who said i was "just watching my weight" and the nutritionist, who said i "looked great" and was at my "ideal weight for my height".

i'm telling you, don't buy into the "correct weight for height" thing. i was having nightmares of biting into cookies and breaking things in fits of anger when i ate a bite of bread. they almost put me on birth control so my estrogen level would come back up. the most annoying part was that i didn't know what to do to stop, and the doctors didn't seem to notice. i don't know what made me stop, but the uncertainty about body image hasn't gone away.

now i'm a freshman in college and i have been starving myself and throwing up what i do eat. but i know much of it is emotional. i need to deal with certain things. i just don't know how. but I've been eating almost nothing and throwing up for a month and i haven't lost much at all.

natalie, i know what you mean about people not having to exercise and being skinny anyways. a disturbing thing about all of this is that i can't tell others not to do it, because i keep repeating the behavior. inside i am trying so hard, and i can't lose weight, but i keep wondering if i really need to. i don't trust my own self image. i think that's what scares me the most.

i hope everyone who reads this knows that they are not alone. i wish i had more to say.

thanks for having this website to speakout.