Ode To Claire Huxtable: The Remarkable Story of a Bulimic Teenager's Return To Reality

April 4, 2008
I have always been known as the fat girl in class. I became the fattest girl in school in the fourth grade when my parents got divorced. I didn't want to cry- I just wanted to eat. I filled the void that my father left after my mother kicked him out of the house. She felt that he paid too much attention towards the movie Baby Geniuses and not enough towards her. I faintly remember this; my father would sit inches away from the television watching Baby Geniuses day in and day out, but I never thought it would lead to my parents' divorce. I hated the thought of my parents getting divorced, so I mended my broken heart with food. I know that doesn't really make sense when you take into consideration that if I had continued to eat greasy fast food that, I would have been dead from a heart attack within a matter of years. When the kids at school called me fat or made fun of how "a fat girl can't wear a thin girl dress" on homecoming, it didn't bother me. None of the dirty things they said to me bothered me until I fell in love with a boy named Rusty Savage. Because of my low self-esteem and because of my love for Rusty, I, within a matter of weeks, had an uncontrollable eating disorder. I can still remember the first time I made myself vomit, I cried fat girl tears the entire time; fat girl tears are much like normal tears, only fatter. I am determined to, by the end of this year, drop this disgusting habit and become me again. Sure, I'm thin now, but at what cost? I'm not happy with myself and before I expect anyone else to be happy with me, I have to be happy with myself.

From an outside look, my goal looks simple; stop sticking my finger down my throat to lose weight, but as Atticus Finch once said (and I'm paraphrasing), "You mustn't judge someone until you've walked a mile in their fat girl shoes". I've got to be more determined to reach my goal than I've ever been to reach any other goal I've ever set in my life. When I feel uninspired, I watch online PBS videos about Lance Armstrong's cancer. Even though Armstrong had testicular cancer, he continued to win bicycle races, which proves that his people are not only good for circuses, but these people with testicular cancer are truly some of our society's greatest men and women. After I finish watching the video, I feel as though I can accomplish anything, so to break my habit, I'll start with watching Armstrong's video, then I'll look into my bathroom mirror and tell myself for an hour, "Robbie Q. Chachere, you are the most beautiful, funny, smart, and creative girl in the world and this is going to be a fantastic day". I will do this for six months or so and then I'll hopefully have enough courage to ask Rusty whether or not he would love me if I went back to being an obese girl who drives around in her motorized scooter to get from class to class because if Rusty's being superficial and is only in this relationship for my Gandhi-esque good looks, I want nothing to do with him. I've learned that looking beautiful isn't worth all the trouble being bulimic causes. I refuse to remain just a piece of eye candy; I want Rusty to love me for who I am because underneath this seductive 70-pound exterior lies the old me- the chubby girl who laughs at inside jokes that she doesn't understand because she wasn't there and likes to be called "Grandmother Willow Tree" when she's role playing. If Rusty says he wouldn't love me for whom I am, then I'll move on. I know it'll be hard, but I'll move on. I believe that someday a man will love me, Robbie Q. Chachere, for whom I am. I've also got a "Plan B". If my mother continues to not pay our bills and the man takes away our power, I won't be able to use the computer and that means no Lance Armstrong videos, so what I'll do is cover all of my fingers in poison that's meant to kill rats. This way, if I try to make myself vomit, I'll kill myself. I don't want to kill myself. Well, at least not now- I've never been to Legoland. I'm sure it won't come down to that because I believe in myself now. Everything's going to happen for me; I can feel it.

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