Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Journey Towards A Healthy Body Part 2 - The High School Years

Ninth grade came and I went to a new school without the few friends I managed to make in 8th grade and the end of seventh grade  (yes, it took me almost a year to find myself friends at the middle school I transferred to when I started seventh grade). So I was alone again, but this time I had embraced the fact I was not a conventional person. I was realizing that there was some things about me that many people are freaked out by, but was not ready to accept those parts of me. My eating disorder began to form a pattern of starving and binging during this time. This is where binging began to play a part in my life, which I still fight to this day.

I remember my ninth grade year alternating between binging on sweets from the vending machine at school or in secret and starving myself. Some days I would have nothing more than an apple fritter from the check cashing place across the street or a nutrigrain bar and a soda before dinner and other days I ate without abandon. All based on stress levels and the scale in the morning. I had a very stressful life at home and school was not much better. By the end of 9th grade I had a new friend, a few acquaintances, and had reached an all time "high" on the scale of 125. I also began smoking that year as I talked about in a previous post called One Ex Smoker's Tale. I was freaked out by this gain, but waited until fall to do anything about it since I spent more time at home during the summer and didn't want anyone on my trail.

Tenth grade was the year I felt I had it all together, but was also a time I started to get some answers about myself that I was not able to accept at that time. I got my first job at a doctor's office down the street from school, had a few boyfriends including my first serious relationship after being dateless in ninth grade, and I made "progress" on my quest towards looking like a rail thin model. I put most of the binging behind me for the time being and other than events like youth group trips I ate very little before dinner once again. Getting myself "under control again" by eating nutrigrain bars or drinking coffee and having a soda or yogurt for lunch along with the usual small dinner got me to 115 by the middle of my sophomore year.

I saw that number on a doctor's scale when I got a physical at the doctor's office. I remember the doctor explaining to my mother that 95% of girls my height of 5'8" weighed more than I did. While my doctor probably stated that to alert my mother subtly, my mother replied that I had always been thin and that I was just a small boned person. My secret was safe, at least from her. I also weighed in periodically at work and had my first confrontation from a classmate. She was concerned that I was too thin, but I brushed it off. Luckily she did not take her concerns any further. The end of sophomore year, I was put on birth control since I had irregular periods and was getting my period every two weeks at times and other times went a few months without bleeding at all. Over that summer 115 disappeared from the scale forever. This was due to my first serious boyfriend and I got more lax about things. I also was on birth control which made my self control slightly weaker than normal.

Got to 11th grade weighing the most I would weigh until I stopped starving myself at the age of 19. I weighed 135 and felt like a cow. In actuality I was for the first time at the lower end of the healthy weight range for my height. That year a major life changing event happened to me and I finally dealt with some things I learned about myself and accepted them as a part of me. I broke up with the serious boyfriend over him pressuring me for sex (I was still a virgin) and then got back to losing weight. After this break up, I came out of the closet as a bisexual to a few friends and started embrace who I really was. I had a short relationship with my first girlfriend which ended when she cheated on me. I had a long distance relationship later on that year with a guy and got back down to 120 by the end of the school year. Despite being on birth control most of that year, my restricting was still working to a point and remained a secret.

Senior year was all about getting the hell out of high school and being all that I could be. I had 2 AP classes that year and also had a few relationships once again including my first serious relationship with a girl. I had a starving/binging cycle similar to the one I had in 9th grade and hung out with a few other outsiders who were mostly two grades behind me. Around them I ate junk along with them sometimes and other times pretended to have already eaten. I saw my weight creep up to 135 again and then I quickly got it down to 125 in time for my first and only prom. Due to my mom and step dad's Christian Conservative background, I took a guy from church with me to prom instead of my girlfriend. I will talk more about sexuality in another post in the future. After prom I relaxed a bit and graduated high school weighing 135. I had to relax a little since my step dad finally said something to me about not eating enough and needing to eat more. This concludes my "shortened" version of my eating disorder and me in high school.  The final part will be summed up with the next few days. Sorry for the long post and enjoy reading. Please comment and if you have any experience with this, please share.


culturebollocks said...

Thanks for being open and sharing your story - I so believe people are helped by knowing they're not alone and gaining perspective that sometimes only comes from seeing things externalized to their own experience.

Rae said...

I agree, sometimes sharing from a place of caring and honesty can help someone else to feel less alone in the world. Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts with me and the readers.

dys·func·tion said...

Bravo for your honesty.

I binge(d) like a fiend some days. Food really is a huge comfort to me, and some days I'll hate how I look (especially in high school) while other days I'll think I look grand.

Vending machine lunches and little else were also common for me in high school.

I look forward to your post on sexuality. Recently having coffee with a friend from highschool we discussed how difficult sexuality was back then. Near the end of grade 12 I identified as bisexual but could never grow a pair large enough to date a woman. My friend has pretty much the same story, female to female attraction, but with such opposing stigma, and with both of us leaning slightly more to the male attraction side of our bisexual spectrums, neither one of us dated a girl.
Shame really.

Rae said...

Food can be for me also, I still identify as an emotional eater. I just work on it and try to keep the binges to a minimum. That will be discussed more in the last part of this series of posts. It was really hard for me to share about these things, but I know it is good for continuing my recovery from both of these practices and for showing others that we all have our struggles in this world.

As far as the sexuality goes, I actually sit closer to the homosexual end. Bisexuality is a wide range and is different for different individuals who are this way. I just happened to get married to one of the only men that I have ever truly loved that way. Just happened to work out that way.