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Ana and I

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I was the kind of girl that boys wanted, girls hated, and parents compared their kids to. I was perfect, perfect skin, perfect hair, perfect body, and perfect boyfriend. When my freshman year of high school started I was on top of life. I made the cheer squad, I was signed up for every club you can imagine, and I was determined to leave my mark on Conway High.
We had our first game to cheer for coming up, and I was ready to be center of attention. My cheer uniform was fitting a little tight, but I sucked in everything. Two weeks later I realized I grew an inch, and by then my cheer uniform was leaving marks on me from being to tiny. I had started growing over the summer but in a span of four months I didn’t think I would grow this much.

I went on the scale one afternoon after running. I was 105 pounds. An uncomfortable feeling swept my body. How could I be 105 pounds? I was 95 pounds four months ago. I looked at myself in the mirror and starting noticing how much weight I had put on. I started doing workouts for two hours every day. I was going to lose five pounds.

Two weeks later my cheer uniform was suffocating me, I was 107 pounds, and I finally knew what it was like to be fat. I started dieting, exercising, and researching how to lose weight. Nothing worked until I got the stomach flu. During my time of the stomach flu I threw up everything I put into my system, and when I got better I was 103 pounds. Something had worked.

I heard of this thing girls did where they’d throw up their food, or not eat, and excises like a maniac. They called these things words like anorexia, bulimia, or an eating disorder. I was interested. It worked for millions of girls, so why wouldn’t it work for me?

Three weeks later I’d eat one meal a day, exercise every day for three hours, and at midnight I’d throw up when everyone was asleep. I was my goal weight of 100 pounds, and my cheer uniform was perfectly fitting. But I couldn’t stop. The feeling of reaching a goal felt so good. I decided to make a goal of my previous weight of 95 pounds. I reached it two weeks later. It was too easy. It was too fulfilling. People would ask me what was my secret I simply would tell them you had to want it.

I became too busy with my eating disorder to care about anything but it. My friends left me, my boyfriend and I were having problems, and I quit every club I was in except cheerleading. My eating disorder was all I had.

One day when the cheerleaders we’re changing in the locker room they pointed out that my ribs we’re showing, and they talked about how jealous they were that I was that skinny. They were jealous of me. It was back to the way it had been, and I wanted more attention, more compliments, and more success.

School started September 1 and at that time I was 105 pounds. It was now December 1 and I was 89 pounds. Some people questioned my diet, and I didn’t like being questioned at all. I started wearing baggy clothes to hide my shape. Sweats, sweatshirts, and jackets were my wardrobe. My boyfriend left me, and the last thing he asked me was if I even had any friends. I thought about how much anorexia helped me, so I decided to call it Ana. Ana was my friend.

My parents started worrying about me. I assured them I just had a fast metabolism. I cut my meals to just eating whatever fruits and vegetables there were. I became weak, tired, and moody. I couldn’t carry my textbooks to my classes, so I had a bag I carried around. I became dizzy a lot. My mouth was always dry, but I hid that by chewing gum.

I became so skinny that it literally looked just like skin and bones. My cheer skirt would fall because I didn’t have anything to really hold it up. I was five feet and three inches tall and I weighed 85 pounds. My teeth looked yellow from throwing up so much. My hands had teeth marks on them. I wasn’t healthy, but my mind kept telling me that I was beautiful.

I was in class one day, and everything was really blurry. My head hurt, I couldn’t even pick up my pencil, and my stomach hurt. The bell rang, and I stood up and fell right to the ground, and I couldn’t move.

They sent me to the emergency room. I was starved and dehydrated. The tried to feed me there, but I refused. How could I do that to Ana who helped me all this time? They had to force-feed me for days. When I was a little better they wouldn’t let me go home. They sent me to rehab. They said I was sick. I wasn’t sick, I was skinny. I was beautiful. I was envied. I was Ana.

I spent the rest of the school year in rehab. They released me in May. Making myself eat every meal everyday was hard. Watching my weight get past 100 was hard. The hardest part was looking at old pictures and seeing myself now, and realizing how sick I was.

I went back to school in the fall. Nobody knew why I didn’t finish the last semester of school. I told them I was changing my aspect of life, and that I got homeschooled, but I hated it so I came back to public. My old boyfriend asked me back out. I said yes. He asked if he could meet Ana because I told him last year that she was my best friend. I told him “Ana died.”



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