|My Story||Anorexia Nervosa|
It's very hard for me to say when my eating disorder began. I think its roots were in my toddler years. I was born to a family of petite people. I, however, started out and remained large. Throughout my early years I was the source of humor to my family. Aunts and family members would marvel and laugh at how far I could push out my belly. The image of myself as the plump child remained in my head even though my body changed.
At six all the baby fat was gone. I was the smallest child in my class. It was at this time that my body distortion reared its ugly head. In my mind I saw thick thighs and a protruding belly, even though I was very healthy. By eight I began to be worried about gaining weight and getting measured for dance costumes. I also began to be "picky" as my family called it.
It wasn't just the teasing of a toddler that led to my anorexia. I was violated as a child several times. I had severe discomfort with the body I inhibited and even resented it. At twelve I began restricting more and more foods. My pattern of eating was refusal of certain foods and overeating others. I craved high carb, high fat foods and refused foods like meat. I was still an enormous child in my mind and starting to dislike my new body that was emerging.
My world crumbled at sixteen and I stopped eating. My parents two-year divorce battle was over and within three months my Father had remarried and was raising someone else's child. I felt rejected and abandoned and hated myself. I was small to begin with and losing even five pounds was evident on my frame. Between a Dr. visit I managed to lose seven pounds. I was able to convince my pediatrician that I was forced to run 2 miles, five days a week in gymnastics and that I had given up fast food. He believed it. Soon, I began to refuse to be weighed. I had a goal weight of eighty-eight pounds. I thought if I could hit that, I'd be a decent size. I was getting close and knew the Dr. wouldn't be fooled for long.
My recovery was slow, as slow as the anorexia itself developed. I cannot say today that I am 100% healed. I never got help expressly for anorexia. When I was seventeen I was put in the care of a therapist. It was not for my anorexia but for severe depression. My Mother called my Father one night and screamed that if he didn't step in and help; I was going to commit suicide and it would be on his hands. He found a therapist. I was going but never disclosed the eating disorder. He asked however, realizing that I had all the typical warning signs like insecurity and fear of abandonment. I lied and told him I was always naturally thin and was trying to gain a little weight.
The therapy did help though. I addressed many of the issues that led to the eating disorder but still hid the past abuse. I always teeter from time to time. Negative body image starts running through my mind like a mantra and I think of diet, exercise, and laxatives. I have thought of obtaining speed in order to lose a few pounds. However, I am an adult now and am raising a son. I know a few pounds will turn into a few more and I healthy diet will turn into starvation. I know the body image is false and it just takes a few days to push the urges out of my mind. I feel like anorexia is similar to drug addiction: you live with it and fight it everyday. As time goes on it gets easier and you start to love yourself more but sometimes the negativity can slip back into your mind. If you remain vigilant you can make it. It has been four years since I've dieted, abused laxatives, or exercised compulsively.