Wednesday, March 18th, 2015:
Saltine crackers – 50 calories
Exercise – 140 calories
Since I was little, my weight was a constant battle. Despite my mother’s efforts to tell me how beautiful I was to help nurture good self-esteem, I hated myself. I was four-years old when I first started worrying about my weight, and I was eight-years old when I first started dieting.
I tried so many methods and nothing would stick. My mom says I was always a thin girl until I got a bit older and spent the summer at a friend’s house where I was fed McDonalds most of the time. But I didn’t feel thin.
The one method that did work was the worst diet imaginable.
It was starvation.
It started with a school project. One of my teachers had us count our calories for a week. I had counted calories before, but would always give up, disliking the number. This time, I had to see what I was doing, and it terrified me.
I worked my way down to eating nothing. At first I went down to two meals a day. Eventually, I fit myself into one. I went on the internet and found methods of keeping myself from eating. School was my savior and my water bottle was my strength. I did everything I could to keep one bit of food from entering my mouth.
Every day I would think about how well I wasn’t eating before, and how I needed to eat less. Food was always on my mind. I never had one break from it, even if I was at school. Learning anything was a nightmare just because I was distracted by thoughts of what I couldn’t eat. What other students had. Kids would bring in fast food to class and I would just smell it and torture myself with the fact that I couldn’t eat it. That I would blow up like a balloon if I ever dared.
Two of my friends fueled my obsession. Neither of them knew each other, but they each did the same thing. They would talk about how they ate even less than I did, and would say how they should be smaller than me because of it.
One of my friends took it as an insult that I thought I was fat when she was bigger than me.
My boyfriend told all his friends what I was doing and would try to ‘cure’ me. He brought me a banana every day at school for a snack and walk me to class. Every day when he would leave the room, I would throw away the banana. I got odd looks from my psych teacher for that.
My parents left for their anniversary and were gone for three days. In those three days, I ate only one grilled cheese sandwich. I starved the rest of the time.
I was cold all the time. I wore my sweater every day not only because I was trying to hide my dwindling frame, but I was freezing. But I felt pride when my mom referred to me as a ‘skinny minnie’ one day. I felt like my efforts weren’t for nothing.
I would punish myself using food. If I had been bad, I wouldn’t be allowed to eat anything. If I had been good, I could have something very small, like saltine crackers. I weighed myself religiously and lost 30 pounds in just one month.
By the time my high school graduation was rolling around, I knew what I was doing was wrong. If I sucked in just the tiniest bit in the mirror, I could see my ribs. My family was commenting on my lost weight. I was pale and had dark circles under my eyes.
I decided I would try to get better after my graduation.
Reason: I didn’t want to look fat in my graduation photos.
Result: I thought I looked fat in them anyway.
I started little by little, but it was difficult. I was used to going an entire day with 500 calories or less and suddenly I was expected to eat 1200. Most times, I would forget to eat. The one thing I did love was the tea I allowed myself to drink again. I always loved tea.
I did it without doctor help. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I dropped my friends who had encouraged my problems and the boyfriend who thought he could fix me. I didn’t even tell my parents.
I’m still on the road to getting healthy, but I know I can do it.