Mel's story: HOPE Bulimia Nervosa

My battle with bulimia started the summer before my 9th grade year. My classmates in junior high were awful, always teasing me about how I looked and how fat I was. I weighed 160 pounds at 5'3". My self-esteem had been completely destroyed by my only friends dumping me because of "how I looked". I would sit alone at lunch-time, sometimes go into the bathroom and cry. I decided that I had to lose the weight and change the way I looked - no matter what.

I saw a movie on TV about eating disorders one night. I thought, "Hey, I could make myself throw up....!!!" It seemed like a brilliant idea, at the time.

The summer before my 9th grade year went by like a blur, with me lying and sneaking around, exercising all the time, and bingeing and purging...I went back to school weighing about 120 pounds. Everyone was amazed and congratulated me on how good I looked. But it wasn't good enough. By Christmastime that year my weight had plummeted below 100 pounds. I threatened suicide and got put in the hospital. I started counseling for my eating disorder. I was an anorexic/bulimic but nowadays I am just bulimic. You see, that was over three years ago.

I recently graduated from high school. I am still battling with bulimia to this day. I decided late last fall to stop before it's too late. That life is about so much more than the numbers on the scale. That God still loves me, no matter what. That I have to love myself...and believe in myself.

So I threw out my scale, my diet pills, and I gained up to 160 pounds and totally freaked out. I currently weigh around 145. I've grown a little to about 5'4, or 5'5, but I still consider myself "fat". Isn't it ironic that in the United States, the ideal woman is super thin, the average woman wears a size 12, we all hate our bodies because we don't look like so-and-so, and there are thousands of fast food restaurants we all eat at everyday??? It's not meant to be like this. Food is supposed to nourish our bodies. And of all addictions, eating disorders are the hardest to stop. Druggies can walk away from drugs, alcoholics can walk away from alcohol, BUT WE HAVE TO EAT! And it's not that we're putting something toxic in our bodies that doesn't belong there -- food DOES belong there, but not too much and not too little of it.

My prayer for each and every person who reads this is that you will find the strength that is not within yourself in God, believe in yourself that you can fight this, and pull through -- you CAN do it. It's a matter of how bad you WANT to.