I wrote this over a year ago, but looking back at it, I think it still makes sense. A lot of the feelings are still there, but at the same time not. I’ve grown up in the year that’s passed, and in a lot of ways I’ve grown stronger. But, seeing this site, I feel compelled to share this old blog post because only by discussing these things can we learn to accept them and move past them. So, here it is:
My weight has become somewhat of a joke amongst me and my friends. Or at least, it is to them. I laugh about it, I joke about it, but I kind of wonder silently to myself how much of it is a joke and how much of it is really just me feeling insecure about it. I was at dinner last week with my friends and somehow the conversation got turned to crazy ex-boyfriends, specifically, my ex-boyfriend of last year who, for the most part, I don’t talk about and don’t reflect on anymore. And one of my friends just mentioned passively, “The one that made you stop eating.” And I could just see the look on people’s faces. The joke was over and shit got real, and I had to explain myself.
I wasn’t a skinny kid. I was always too overweight, too fat, too whatever. My pediatrician said that I needed to lose weight or else I would have health issues. My aunts and uncles called me “pig boy” and my mom would ask me out loud why I was so fat. I was twelve. Even when I started to lose the weight, it wasn’t enough. My doctor still said I wasn’t normal. And finally, I shrunk myself down to a size where nobody cared what I weighed, nobody talked about it, I was just an average 16 year old with an average 16 year old body. I was fine. And I stayed fine for a long time. I was happy with how I looked. Sure, every now and then I would decide to eat healthier or go on these kicks where I want to exercise and be healthy, but it wasn’t like I was pathological about it or about food.
And then shit happened. I dated a guy. He didn’t make me stop eating. I think if he had told me to stop eating, I wouldn’t have done it and I would have just left it alone. It was the little things he would do. Criticize a dinner choice, nitpick at what kind of food I was eating or my friends were eating, or calling people fat - even the girl who plays Julie on “Desperate Housewives.” I was wearing a size medium and he would say, “How can you wear a size medium? You should be wearing a small” and he’d give me an amazing expensive track jacket or a t-shirt that was small or extra small. Fat was bad, fat was lazy, fat was disgusting. And I wasn’t fat, but it was like everything I did, everything I ate was going to make me fat. So I stopped eating those things. Eventually I stopped eating altogether, with the exception of eating a head of lettuce now and then, chewing sticks of gum, and occasionally throwing in a banana or an orange. I wouldn’t say I had an eating disorder, and I didn’t think I had an eating disorder. I’m a psychology major, I learned about these things, I’m not supposed to do these things. And people said I looked great. What was my secret?
I spent days just lying on my sofa because I couldn’t stand up. I didn’t feel hungry, I just couldn’t do anything. I didn’t have the energy to muster standing, so the days that I wouldn’t have to move, I didn’t. And I went crazy. I yelled, I lashed out, I freaked out. All my thoughts, all my feelings, everything was all about this one nagging thing - my body. It didn’t look like anything had changed that drastically, so it must’ve meant that I wasn’t doing it right, it must’ve meant that I had to eat even less and less and less. And nobody knew. I didn’t want them to know. And then he broke up with me and I’d eat everything in my kitchen. Everything in sight. And then I wouldn’t, and then I would, and then I wouldn’t. And it lasted for maybe six or seven months altogether.
And up until last week, I think only a handful of people really knew the extent of it. And when I saw my friends looking at me with these horrified faces, I knew it wasn’t something funny. And I could try to play it cool and try to play it off like it’s not a big deal because I am embarrassed; I am ashamed. But, I have to own up to what happened finally. To some extent, I’m a hypocrite. I tell people to love themselves, but to a certain degree, I hate myself. And I’m not here trying to get sympathy. I’m not here trying to get attention. I’m saying, this shit happens, and you might not see it, and the people around you might not say it, but it’s real.