Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Journey Towards A Healthy Body Part 1 - How It All Began

I am going to do something today I have never done before. I am going to write about my journey to a healthier me. Since this story starts with me as a child, I will be discussing this topic for at least two posts. Please note that I only blame myself for the destructive actions I did to my body and not anyone else. I believe in taking full responsibility for my actions at all times.

I remember as early as nine years old feeling insecure about my looks. Really wanting to be thin and beautiful to myself and to others. I always felt I never looked good enough for anyone including me. Looking back I was a tall child who was thin, but healthy. I wasn't a huge eater, but I did eat a plate of food at each meal and occasionally splurged on treats with the family when it seemed acceptable to do so. I wish I had stuck to this model for life, my childhood self knew portion size very well and I would have skipped certain issues if I had never let disordered eating enter into my life.

At the age of 13 my entire life as I knew it changed. We moved across the city from living next door to my best friend, to living around children that seemed snobby and were mean to me. This also meant a new school filled with people I did not know. People mostly ignored me and the few that did notice me teased me for wearing "no name" clothes. I hated this school and for the first two months read under a tree everyday during lunch. This was also the year that my depression issues started, I had my first boyfriend, got my first period, and started writing thanks to an awesome English teacher I had (she was one of the only good things about that school). I thank her for starting me out on writing and for caring about her students in a way others didn't seem to at that school.

One thing I failed to mention was that with all these changes, another thing happened. I started engaging in disordered eating. It started small with me throwing out parts of my lunch and only eating a yogurt instead of a sandwich and the yogurt along with another snack and eating smaller breakfasts like a nutrigrain or granola bar instead of the usual cereal and milk that we ate. I felt pressure to look pretty and to stay thin, I had often been reminded to not let myself get fat since it runs in the family. I also got comments about my thighs from an early age on occasion. Having my body change and losing my first boyfriend whom I loved triggered me to do everything I could to stay thin.

For years I basically only ate enough to keep others off my trail. I would eat exactly one plate for dinner and would take mostly veggies, a small amount of starch, and a small amount of meat. I almost never let myself have seconds and ate very little when I was not around my parents. I did not want them to find out, they were already smothering me in other aspects of my life. Eating was the one thing I could take charge of. I also weighed myself everyday in the upstairs bathroom first thing in the morning after using the bathroom. The number had so much control over me. My mood in the morning and often the whole day was based on the scale's results.

Middle school came and went, no one discovered anything different about me at this point except for that first boyfriend who commented on how thin I was. I even had a girl in the 8th grade call me fat because we were all having a conversation about weight and I stated that I weighed 120. Keep in mind that I was 5'7" by then and probably should have weighed slightly more at least. That comment just fueled me even more.

In my next post I will discuss my high school years and how this all progressed. Thank you all for reading my long post. I hope I didn't ramble on too much or bore you to death. Please comment, especially if you have something to share.


Leah (The Kind Weight Watcher) said...

Thanks for sharing! I know it's not an easy thing to talk about. As you know, I have a very simular history, though my undereating didn't start until I was almost 19.
Eating disorders suck, and sometimes it's embarassing to admit to have had one, but it's so important to let people know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! You are doing so great. :-)

Rae said...

Thanks Leah, this is one of the hardest posts I have ever written so far. Deep down I know I have to let it out somewhere at some point. Been thinking about writing on this for a really long time and now seemed like a good time.

Some of these things I have talked about very little up until now. The next post will probably be even harder to write though since high school was when this was at its worse on the starvation end. Glad we are both better now and that there was a happy ending. Not everyone is as lucky as we are.