I was reading an article in Cosmo a couple of months back and it had an article on the up and rising uni-rexia cases. Uni-rexia is when girls AND guys go to university and instead of gaining freshman/fresher’s 15, they lose 15+ lbs. I’m a part of that statistic.

Firstly, I’m not Asian American, I’m British Chinese and I really admire that you started a website like this over the pond. God knows that we don’t have that here. Back to Uni-rexia, basically the main impetuses for this concept is that most students, when they enter university (despite it being the best time of our lives) feel lonely and insecure. I was exactly that and it didn’t help that I had visited Asia the summer I entered uni, and I was so infatuated with how thin everyone looked in Hong Kong and Korea. I was in one of the boutique stores in Hong Kong and these girls were looking at me in disgust. At this point I was 18, a bit plump, but still healthy. Of course it didn’t help with all the advertisements swimming around Asia flaunting diet pills.

The minute I got back to the UK and started uni, my mum didn’t watch over me to check if I’d eaten a healthy portion, and my weight drastically dropped in the space of two months. I looked gaunt and tired and my poor mum (who thought I was a little plump before) was so worried. Yet to the rest of the world (and my dad) - I looked like the ideal Asian girl and I was so flattered with the comments I got. I guess, my anorexia stemmed from my dad’s constant ‘fat’ comments and I had bombed my A-level results in my first year of sixth form. I’ve never felt so ashamed to be that imperfect Asian daughter. My eating disorder came from my need to impress my dad, and in the end they were not impressed at all (and quite rightly so).

Yet, during second year and my final year (now), I still struggled with my weight, and it was not until my housemates and my closest friends formed an intervention and made me open my eyes to my problem. One of my friends, who was a former anorexic, just couldn’t watch me do it and forced me to do a normal (her) vs. super skinny (me) eating lifestyle for two weeks to see what I was doing to my body. I’m getting there and I’d like to thank my friends for everything. I’m still recovering under the guidance of my former anorexic friend.

On a side note, I’m supposed to be heading to Hong Kong this summer and I’m now a healthy weight. I’m dreadfully scared that I’ll relapse into thinking to get thin again.

Anonymous| United Kingdom

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