Teri's Story Anorexia & Bulimia New Jersey

My name is Teri. By the time I was 13 I weighed over 200 lbs. I had no idea I was so overweight until one day I had to go to the doctors and got weighed and my family doctor said in disgust, "She needs to go on a diet." I glimpsed at the height and weight chart hanging on the wall and suddenly realized that I was 100lbs overweight .As we drove home I remember feeling as if I had been at a funeral or something incredibly horrible had happened to me.

When I got home my dad had a deal I couldn't refuse, $5.00 for every pound I lost. My best friend (who was only 10-15 lbs. overweight) vowed to get slim. Armed with a store bought diet plan and a simple exercise plan we started the next day. I felt incredibly motivated, though my friend did not, I harassed her about whatever went into her mouth and pushed her to do strenuous exercises with me. After several days she grew very tired of the regimen, we had a big fight and ended up not speaking. I continued my quest to lose the ugly self-esteem robbing fat that kept me from having a good life. I started losing weight fast. I began eating quite healthy but one day I ate very little and to my surprise the next day I lost 4 lbs. I learned that the less I ate the faster I lost weight. Each day that went by I ate less and less. As my weight loss slowed down I panicked and ate even less, until one day I began eating nothing at all. Just an occasional glass of milk to calm the fiery hunger pangs. Four months later I went back to the doctors and found him very pleased with my progress, I had lost over 100lbs. He ran some blood tests and said I looked a little peeked and prescribed some pharmaceutical grade vitamins. I did not take them for fear that they had calories.

My whole life changed. All boys and men were attracted to me and girls wanted to be like me. I was surrounded by new friends and always got lots of attention. I was fourteen and I looked 18 or 19 with my long hair and lean body.

I continued to starve, only a few more pounds I'd always tell myself. Knowing that the moment I ate a solid bite of food it would all be over. I would return to being the fat kid that adults looked at with pity and other kids teased mercilessly.

It was like I was living a dream and I was deathly afraid someone would find out who I really was. As I got thinner and thinner people started to worry. Once again my dad came up with an offer this time to eat and get paid for it, I declined. As the months progressed strange things began to happen besides not getting my period for months, my hair began falling out. I started to grow hair in strange places and was constantly freezing, my lips would turn blue on a hot August day. I kept this to myself for fear someone would spoil my plan. I starting getting dizzy all the time, everytime I would brace myself and hold on to something and it would pass. One day it didn't pass and I blacked out, when I came to I was in the hospital with an I.V. being told my blood pressure was 76 over 48. I have to admit this didn't scare me, what scared me was that I would gain weight from the I.V.

I was then introduced to a Clinical Social Worker who questioned me for an hour. I thought I had her fooled with all the right answers. An hour later I was involuntarily admitted to the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center for anorexia nervousa. I was kicking and screaming and had to be restrained. Little did I know I was beginning a long battle of recovery that to this day I've not won.

I spent 62 days at P.C.G.C. After many battles of will and forced feedings, I was released 22 pounds heavier. My mother's medical insurance ran out a lucky break for me. I changed my routine a little by starving , bingeing, and using laxatives, water pills and excessive exercise to undo any damage. After a while I could no longer have a bowel movement without the use of chemical laxatives and my bingeing continued to get worse. My skin always looked pasty and pale, my once thick hair now frail, thin and lifeless. My dizzy spells were just a fact of life.

Then I got pregnant. I prayed to God that I would eat and do whatever it took to have a healthy baby and that's just what I did. I ate and ate and ate some more. Eight months later after delivering a healthy baby at age 16, I weighed in at 240 lbs. Followed four months later by another pregnancy, twins this time, I continued to eat.

After delivering a set of healthy twin girls I began my weight loss ritual. I lost weight so fast that my in-laws accused me of taking drugs. I reached 125 lbs. and continued bingeing and starving only to find out it was getting much harder to lose the weight. I yo-yoed between 130 and 180 for 4 years wondering what I'll eat today and wishing I looked as good as yesterday.

Then a good friend of mine introduced a herbal nutrition/ weight loss program to me. I lost weight and found a new concept. Actually feeling good and looking good without starving.

I am currently 150lbs., 5"8",and size 8. Everyday is still a struggle in my own mind. I look in the mirror and no matter how good people tell me I look I still see the fat kid. Maybe one day I'll overcome this beast and live a normal life not one of self-loathing and disgust for myself.

Teri, age 26