Beating Anorexia MAG

By Jackie Whitcomb BRONZE, North Hampton, New Hampshire
Jackie Whitcomb BRONZE, North Hampton, New Hampshire
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

“You can sit there. The ­doctor will be right with you.” The nurse gestured me to the waiting room. Come on, do I really need to be here? I'm not sick enough to be here.

“Jane! The doctor will see you now.”

Great … The office door closed behind me.

Let me explain how I got here. I'm a dancer. I've always had problems with my weight. I was never fat, just chunky. I always felt self-conscious in my leotard. I think that's what triggered it. One day, at the end of freshman year, I told myself I was going to stop eating and get skinny. So that night I skipped dinner. And that's how it started. I would skip meals or throw them away. I drank a lot of water and ran on the track at school during lunch.

It felt so good to see the pounds melt away from my body. I was invincible. But in reality, I was ignoring the symptoms I was feeling. I was light-headed, dizzy, cold, and tired. By now it was May, and I was always absolutely freezing in school. I wore two sweatshirts and was still chilled. But I was losing weight and that was all that mattered to me. People were noticing too. All of my friends told me how great I looked. It was such positive ­reinforcement. Only they didn't know that I wasn't just exercising – I was starving myself.

My parents started noticing when I was at the point of no return – the point where I couldn't go back to regular eating. They said I was getting too skinny and needed to stop. They took away my gym membership, like that would make me stop. In fact, I started eating even less because I couldn't work it off. I was so preoccupied with my weight and calories that I avoided my friends. I would never go out to dinner with anyone. The friends I still talked to were annoyed with me ­because all I would talk about was dieting.

School ended, and I went to summer camp. It was perfect. I didn't have my mother monitoring how much I ate, so I did what I wanted. I didn't eat much, and when I did eat, I had salads. No dressing. When the two weeks were up and my mom came to get me, she was shocked at my appearance. I was skin and bones. You could see my back bones through my skin. I was so proud of myself, but this was the last straw for my mom. She made an appointment with a doctor.

At that first appointment, I weighed 104. My mom was shocked and angry with me. I had lost 21 pounds in a month and a half. My doctor went on and on about how my weight was too low for my height – like I cared. I loved to hear that. By this time I was sick. I had anorexia.

I spent the next few weeks doing exactly what I had been doing – not eating and lying about food. Then it was my first day of summer dance classes. I hadn't danced for about two months. The first thing my teacher said was, “Jane, you're looking very thin. Are you eating enough?” It was a serious question, but I smiled and nodded yes. I was so proud of myself. A week into dance class, my teachers asked to talk to my mom and me. They told me I looked very unhealthy and that they didn't want anything to happen to me. This meeting made my mom cry. I hated that. My mom made another doctor's appointment for me.

At the appointment, I weighed 99 pounds. I had lost another five pounds. I tried to hide the smile on my face. But this time, they took my vitals. My temperature and blood pressure were both low. My heart rate was low. My body was starting to shut down. I knew this too. Now I had to have weekly doctor's appointments to make sure I wasn't dying.

I lost more weight. I was 94 pounds, and I had never been happier with myself. My mom set up weekly counseling sessions with the school social worker. The counseling did help. We found out why I was doing this. It ­really had nothing to do with food; I needed control.

What really hit me, though, was when one of my friends said she didn't want to be my friend anymore. That way, she explained, when I die, it won't hurt her as much because it wouldn't be her best friend who had died. That got to me. Then another friend said, “You will die if you keep going.”

Hearing my friends say this changed me. Slowly but surely I started to gain some weight back. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy. I hated stepping onto the scale and seeing 100 again, and then 105. All that hard work was being ruined. My favorite feeling used to be my stomach growling. But I had to let it go. I didn't want to lose everything I had.

I started gaining weight and people starting telling me how beautiful I looked. So I became healthy again, and my vital signs improved. This made everyone happy. My mom was happier, my friends, my doctors. I'm still recovering, but now I know I need to stay healthy for everyone who loves me. But most importantly, I need to stay healthy for myself.

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This article has 204 comments.

on Oct. 10 2010 at 12:15 pm
addisonmc521 GOLD, Oak Harbor, Ohio
12 articles 16 photos 27 comments

on Sep. 18 2010 at 3:36 pm
queenofspades PLATINUM, Bennington, Vermont
20 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
you know when your in love when you can't fall asleep at night because reality is finally better then your dreams~ Dr. Seuss

WOW!!! that was very good! chilling and gripping, especially for nonfiction :)

on Sep. 18 2010 at 3:22 pm
deus-ex-machina14 BRONZE, Stewartsville, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 439 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There are two main tragedies in life. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." -Oscar Wilde

I've had problems, too. It's not easy and it doesn't change over night, but you have to hang on. Keep holding on, girl, you can make it!!

on Sep. 10 2010 at 7:24 pm
singergurl12 GOLD, Jacksonville, Florida
15 articles 0 photos 191 comments

Favorite Quote:
Fairy tales are true, not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.

my body is a temple- sometimes the temple demands cheesecake- doont deny the temple its cheesecake

on Aug. 27 2010 at 10:34 pm
JennieSmile11 GOLD, Bridgman, Michigan
12 articles 2 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dream until your dreams come truth.

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven

Love your body, love yourself :) Go for a walk-Thank God for your legs. Eat icecream, be thankful for you stomach. You are beautiful as you are, exactly.

on Aug. 27 2010 at 10:32 pm
JennieSmile11 GOLD, Bridgman, Michigan
12 articles 2 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dream until your dreams come truth.

Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven

I'm also recovering from anorexia. Stay strong girl! It's a hard road, but it's worth it to be healthy

on Aug. 27 2010 at 4:16 pm
DifferentTeen PLATINUM, Seaford, Delaware
32 articles 2 photos 332 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There’s no such thing as true love, just spurts of insanity—falling over and over again, thinking that won’t happen to me"

I feel that way sometimes, and I'm not even chunky I'm just so self-concious and the girls in my school are skinnier than me so I want to skip lunch. Which I've done before. Lately I've been skipping breakfest lunch and dinner and I didn't even realize it.

on Aug. 27 2010 at 3:50 pm
Drama_Queen13 DIAMOND, Nantucket, Massachusetts
51 articles 0 photos 108 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Live Life Like A Song."

That was truly inspring. You should be incredibly proud of yourself. Congratualtions

on Aug. 27 2010 at 3:21 pm
deus-ex-machina14 BRONZE, Stewartsville, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 439 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There are two main tragedies in life. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it." -Oscar Wilde

Fabulous article and I empathize with you. I've ad issues with anorexia and I know it sucks that something you feel in control of that's yours makes everyone else upset, but it's just not worth it. Great job and get well:)

on Aug. 27 2010 at 12:00 pm
meganwagner21 PLATINUM, Old Bridge, New Jersey
42 articles 0 photos 139 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Sometimes good things have to fall apart so better things can fall together." -Marilyn Monroe
"Nobody can go back and make a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending." -Maria Robinson

relly personal. good narration. i like the ending

Aleksandra said...
on Aug. 27 2010 at 12:39 am
Aleksandra, Lindenhurst, New York
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
‎"Innocence is the state of not desiring for illusions of better-ness or less hardships. It is seeing what is in front of you, and loving it. "

Aw, this is sad. Especially since many girls do think that being super skinny is beautiful. It's not; it's repulsive. You need to have a weight that matches your height. So even though I gained five pounds over the summer, I don't care, because I don't look fatter and I'm still the perfect weight for my height. 

on Aug. 17 2010 at 11:28 pm
cupcake420 BRONZE, Hdj, Texas
1 article 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
THe best thing you can do for the person you love is to let them go .. and if they come back then you know i was ment to be :)

i agree wif u completley you are a very strong person to tell your story .

on Aug. 17 2010 at 11:24 pm
cupcake420 BRONZE, Hdj, Texas
1 article 0 photos 23 comments

Favorite Quote:
THe best thing you can do for the person you love is to let them go .. and if they come back then you know i was ment to be :)

wow i cant belive all of that you are very strong to have to go threw all of that i had a friend who was dealing with the same thing but her mom didnt even notice or it took her grand ma 2 months to notice that she was getting skinnyer ad skinnyer ad then all of her friends just tryed to ignor that fact ad i was the only one that stook by her side then 2 weeks after her grand ma noticed they took her to the doctor ad she got help im so proud that people that go threw that are still very strong enough to talk about all of that i hope every thing is on a new path for you ad just rember that no matter what you are beautiful ad ....... :)

on Aug. 10 2010 at 1:08 am
DuriChick SILVER, Pekanbaru, Other
6 articles 7 photos 38 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love is giving someone the power to destroy you - but trusting them enough not to.

Everyone is beautiful. Whether they weigh 90 pounds or 200 pounds. It's just a shame that no everyone can see that. 

on Aug. 9 2010 at 1:48 pm
Christy PLATINUM, Arden Hills, Minnesota
23 articles 18 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Happiness is not a destination, but a way of travel."

Exact same thing happened to me, and I, too, have almost completely recovered. Your symptoms and thoughts and situation were so similar to mine. I'm so proud of you for writing down your story. It brings strength to the rest of us!

on Aug. 5 2010 at 9:30 pm
ForeverFelix PLATINUM, Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
30 articles 2 photos 207 comments

Favorite Quote:
Daydreams can be worse than nightmares, but that never stops me.

Let me just say, you are beautiful =) Everyone is beautiful in their own special way!

If positive reinforcement is something anyone needs, check out It shows you how beautiful you are...on the outside, but more importantly, on the inside! xD

Great work, by the way. I really enjoyed this! Keep writing!

Sarahtime GOLD said...
on Aug. 5 2010 at 9:07 pm
Sarahtime GOLD, Lilburn, Georgia
10 articles 1 photo 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
-Lance Armstrong

I'm happy for you, because I have an eating disorder as well. It's hard to get through, and I'm still working at it... but every day it get's less and less I think. I hate how I hate my body, and I'm glad you're learning how to love yourself. Hope I'll be along soon, too (:

Amanda BRONZE said...
on Aug. 5 2010 at 8:00 pm
Amanda BRONZE, Rehoboth, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams. {Hamlet}

wasted by marya hornbacher.

'nuff said.

on Aug. 5 2010 at 5:04 pm
HOPEfully SILVER, Clayton, North Carolina
6 articles 1 photo 30 comments

Favorite Quote:
My Cinderella. She is real. She exists. I pray for her constantly. May God satisfy the desires of her heart, draw her close, consume her. May He claim her passions, her identity, her refuge, her hopes, her strengths and weaknesses -Adam Young

wow. this is extremely powerful. it is so great for you to share your story with the world. my friend really needs to hear this. thank you

on Aug. 5 2010 at 12:42 pm
alanacarlene DIAMOND, Mexia, Texas
55 articles 15 photos 592 comments

Favorite Quote:
Silence screams too honestly and loudly.
-Alex (aka GangstaEyes)
Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two equals four.
-Winston Smith '1984'
Don't go wishin' your life away...
-Daddy S2
"What a drag it was to be limited by reality."

This is great! I'm so happy you turned down the healthy road. I kinda know how you felt when your stomache growled and it made you feel good. I have no doubt that at 105 your beautiful!

Stay healthy because healthy=:D


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