Shannon's Story Anorexia and Bulimia

Dear Kathryn,

I sent my story to you to let others know that things do get better. They may get worse first but just stay strong. My son has been the reason I didn't die last year. Though I am still on the road to recovery. I just look at his face and KNOW I have to stick around for him. It makes it a lot easier having him around. IĠd like you to enter my story so others can relate to it as I did to theirs. Thank you,


My story begins in January 1997 while sitting in my room with a friend sharing our New Years resolutions. She had vowed to shed a few pounds from her 105 frame just to get in shape for summer and I was so jealous. I'd have to lose close to 50 pounds just to be where she was now. It just wasn't fair. This was the first time in my life I was serious about losing weight and that's when my anorexia began, that very second. I vowed to lose weight.

I didn't have a screwed up life at all. I wasn't an over achiever who yearned to be the #1 center of attention. My life was great except that I was a little on the thick side. While all of my friends had blossomed into 5'9, 130 pound graceful swans; I was the 5'3 145 pound, DD cup, huge ass girl. I didn't have a problem with my weight until it started to escalate and my dad and a couple of his pals would make small remarks on how much I'd grown (from a size 5 to a size 11 and still growing) in the last year.

It finally hit me in 10th grade. I began non-stop exercising and eating "low to no fat food". The hunger was horrible at first and then I began to love the feeling. I felt proud that I could control my eating habits. When I began to lose weight, all my friends packed on the pounds over the summer, which made me, feel better about myself. I transferred schools my junior year due to jealousy and fighting over my weight loss with close friends. I knew they were just jealous. I was a size 6 when I started my junior year and by the end of that I was a 2. I had also learned the second part of the equation. The "B" part = BULIMIA. I thought it was the most horrible, yet, wonderful thing on the earth! I PERFECTED it! I could go in the bathroom and do what I had to and not a soul would hear me!

And as much as I thought I had control of this, IT had control of ME! I couldn't stop! I felt bad about myself but I also felt pretty and for that I needed someone to help me feel pretty. So I went about it all wrong. I was looking for Mr. Right by doing ALL the wrong things. I began to HATE myself. Then when I thought nothing else could possibly go wrong I got pregnant by a guy I had just started seeing!!! I WAS SO SCARED!!!! How would I cope? What would he say? I didn't even know him! What would my parents say? I was a senior in high school! Worst of all, HOW WOULD I HAVE A HEALTHY BABY IF I WAS AFRAID OF BEING FAT???? I couldn't even keep myself healthy much less a little helpless baby!! I didn't even get regular periods because of my malnutrition. I promised myself as I had done in early 1997 that I would stop my A-B at least until my baby was born. During my entire pregnancy I only had about 20 relapses and anyone who knows how strong this disease is knows I didn't relapse because I thought I was getting too fat, I did it out of habit. Mainly when I ate WAY too much and I was uncomfortably full. 20 times may seem like a lot in a 9 month period but before I got pregnant I was up to 8 to 12 times a day!!!

I took excellent care of myself except for my few downfalls, and I gained 65 pounds, which was really OK. I had an exceptionally healthy 9 pound baby! He is my life and I've started out slow and I try to stay on the right path but it's hard at times! I am still with the father and we are getting married later this year. I have lost all but 5 pounds in the last 6 months but NO MORE after I reach my Healthy goal. I do slip up though. I try and eat right and do some exercising but I have limits. My anorexia is gone but I still struggle with the bulimia and Pray that SOON I will get better. I have good days and bad days, just like any other person trying to recover from a disease.

Thank you for sharing your stories and reading mine!

Best wishes for the future,