Ashley 's Story Disordered Eating





my name is ashley. i donÕt know if i consider myself anorexic or bulimic, because i donÕt fit perfectly into either category. it all began when i started running track in 10th grade. i was already very thin, 5'2 and 97 lbs. i started watching what i ate in order to improve my performance, and when it didnÕt help i began to go overboard. all i would eat all day was an apple, and i would throw away the lunch that my mom packed for me. when it came time to eat dinner, i just moved around the food on my plate, and then said that i had eaten a big lunch. pretty soon, i was losing weight quickly. i got down to about 80 lbs, and my best friend noticed that something was wrong. every friday night i would pig out on pizza, but that didnÕt make up for the other 6 days of eating practically nothing.

it became a control issue. i never got below 80 lbs., thanks to my friends support, but that was one of the worst times in my life. i felt so helpless. every morning when i woke up i thought about what i would eat that day. and every night when i went to bed, i felt guilty for eating anything at all. i slowly got better on my own, but that only lasted about a year.

then i went away to college, a prime spot for my problems to re-emerge. i gained about 8 lbs. my first quarter at school, and i sank right back into everything. over christmas break, i went back to eating only about 400 to 500 calories a day, and i lost 16 lbs. in 3 weeks. everyone told me i looked great when i came back to school, so i started working out. i began with one aerobics class a day, then moved to 2 classes a day, then 2 classes a day followed by running 2 to 3 miles on the treadmill. i ate a little cup of cereal every morning, and a little bowl of rice at dinner if i didnÕt feel that bad about myself. pretty soon, i couldnÕt even stand up long enough to dry my own hair. i could barely make it to class, and i slept 16 hours a day. i went from a 3.8 gpa to a 1.9 gpa. i was falling apart. i would secretly buy syrup of ipecac to make myself vomit. i didnÕt want to associate with anyone, i felt worthless. all i wanted to do was die.

i couldnÕt go back to school the next year. i started going to a community college at home, just so i could have the support of my family. i tried therapy, but i hated it. i went into a deep depression, my stomach was always in knots. finally i went to my family doctor who prescribed zoloft for my depression. slowly but surely l began to feel better. i stopped crying for no reason, and food was not on my mind every second. i have tried to go off of the medicine, but it all started over again when i did, so know i am back on a higher dosage. i still think about it all the time, and watch everything that i eat. i canÕt look in the mirror to long, for fear of hating what i see. these feelings will never leave me. they control a big part of me, and i am not yet strong enough to hold them back. but iÕm working on it. my body is healthier now, but my insides are still broken.