Rachael's Story Disordered Eating

Grade 3 was the first time I remember hating my body. I was suddenly not good enough the way I was. I've always been 10-20 pounds over my "ideal" weight, because I have always loved food and would eat junk food whenever I could get my hands on it, like I was afraid it would suddenly disappear.

When I was in grade 9 my self-esteem dropped lower and I became even more unsure of myself, which moved on to an intense self-hatred in grade 10. I began to cut back on food, not eating any breakfast or lunch but then eating a huge supper; resulting in a minimal weight loss.

At this point I was quite depressed and in school I would sit in a dark corner all alone during lunch and my spares. After Christmas I decided I'd lose weight no matter what, no one could stop me! I began exercising, which I'd never really done throughout my life, 15 min and worked my way up to at least 45 min daily. Along with exercising I only ate a small supper every day (with slipups) consisting of half a piece of bread and 1/2 to 1 cup of whatever was for supper. I wasn't all that concerned about calories and fat grams at the time but instead I was more obsessed about the portions. The size of what I ate had to be really small otherwise I was terrified that my stomach would expand to the size of a watermelon.

I remember feeling so weak and tired all of the time, it was such an effort to climb stairs and even walk, all I wanted to do was curl up and die. After two months of starving myself I just was too hungry and for one month I ate normally/binged. Then I just went downhill again. I ate even less then those two months earlier on, I'd chew a pack or more of gum a day and allowed myself a maximum of half a cup of water per day. By June in grade 10, I was 83 pounds at 5'3". In total I had lost 50 pounds in about 7 months.

During that time there was an emptiness in me that I never want to endure again. I couldn't even laugh and I rarely smiled because there was no reason to, I was dead inside. Thankfully (I think) my parents noticed what I was doing to myself, along with all my friends and many supportive people, and my parents took me to the doctor and I began to see this incredible therapist who has helped me a lot. I think one of the main reasons for my starting to eat again was to please my parents. They were just begging me to eat, so I started to eat a little more, and by giving up some of that control I'd had one day I just started bingeing like crazy right up until this day (which is almost a year and a half later). Since grade 10 I've gained 45 pounds and lost and gained another 20 pounds, I've abused laxatives off and on and I've tried throwing up countless times but it doesn't really work for me. Many times I think that if I could make myself throw up everything would be all right because then I could eat as much as I want and not gain weight.

At this moment I'm in grade 12 and my weight is almost back to where it was originally was and I am absolutely horrified with myself. Since I no longer have control over food, I sometimes cut myself with razors and knives, but only enough so that it'll bleed enough and hurt so it's not that serious. For three months now I've worn only black; I dyed my hair black, I wear tons of black eye shadow around my eyes, and sometimes I wear black nail polish. But just recently I cut back on the eye makeup since I apparently was scaring some of my teachers. To this day I am not really close to anyone at all, I still sit in a corner. There are people around me, but I don't really know them and they don't really know me.

I know that I've been "recovered" physically from anorexia for over a year, but a lot of the time it still dwells in my heart and consumes me with a desire for thinness and a hatred for how fat I have become. I don't even understand why I feel the need to hate myself so much. Why can't I just let go and actually love and accept myself? I so long to be able to accept and be at peace with myself, but my heart slams shut when ever opportunity comes knocking. I have such incredible people trying to help me but I'm just not allowing myself to feel and work through things that I need to face. I'm so tired of this.