HW: 210 (when ill)
Who am I?
Call me Jane. It’s not my real name, but it’ll do. I strive to maintain anonymity, because my eating troubles are not something I’m proud of. I am a business student in New York City. I’m 21 years old.
What is my story?
My unhealthy relationship with weight began when I was as young as six. I’ve always been tall for my age, and when I was six I was 4’4 and exactly 100 pounds. Back then, I thought hitting the triple-digits was to be admired, so I was shocked when my parents and sister looked ashamed at my weight when I told them about this “accomplishment”. At that point, I believe I was still at a very healthy weight for my height.
My parents hired a nanny to take care of me, who cooked foods in butter and fed me cookies when I was crying to make me feel better. Every time my father made me cry, he would appease me by buying chocolates. (I should mention that my parents fought a lot, which resulted in a great deal of violent emotional abuse and mild physical abuse.) I gained quite a bit of weight between the ages of 6-10 - not just because I was growing, but also because I developed an unhealthy reliance on food for emotional support. I remember that this was when the mini-binges began.
I would eat half a package of fruit-roll ups, ten chips ahoy cookies, and half a bottle of coke before eating 8-10 halloween candies. I would then stuff all the wrappers into the crevices of the couch. I didn’t realize it then, but these were unhealthy behaviors underlying the shame of the binges. When my mother discovered these wrappers, I would be deeply embarrassed. By the time I was 10, I was wearing size 10 women’s clothes.
In December of that year, everything changed when my parents bought me a puppy. The new dog incentivized me to become active, taking him for walks three times a day and playing in the snow. My sedentary, couch-potato days were gone and my weight reflected it. I craved sugar less because my dog filled the emotional void that sugar had been bandaging. I dropped to a size six and returned to a healthy BMI for my height.
Things turned south again in middle school. My father separated from my mother and moved to California, digging new emotional abscesses in my heart that my dog couldn’t fill. To make matters worse, my mom worked full time to support us and was hardly home. I was alone much of the time. I began spending a lot of my time playing RPGs online and eating chips and dip while watching afternoon TV. My grades began to suffer.
An angel of a teacher helped me to turn my grades around and stand on my own two feet again. My mom started working from home, which helped me to cope with my feelings of loneliness. But then illness knocked me down. I started gaining weight rapidly and inexplicably until I hit 210 pounds. I felt sick in school and started developing panic attacks. I felt completely out of control. Those two years are a black hole in my life that I barely remember.
What I do remember was a terrible relationship with food during those two years. If I ate anything more than a few bites, my body would reject it and I would throw up — not purge. My underlying illness (see below) caused me to throw up. I was hospitalized after my blood pressure went up and the doctors found “ketosis” - another word for self-starvation. I had essentially limited my intake to a banana and oatmeal because I was so ill. I had never restricted or purged food intentionally, but I felt so sick that my body rejected food.
After two miserable years, the doctors discovered a cyst in my abdomen the size of a basketball. It was filled with water and was growing in size. When they removed it, my stomach changed from huge and distended (like a pregnant woman’s) to flat as a rail. I dropped 40 lbs overnight.
Needless to say, all of these experiences wreaked havoc on my self-image. I didn’t get used to my new body for a long time, and I got so much positive feedback on it that I began to think “if only I starve a little more, things will be better.” I also began exercising following the surgery, bumping up to cardio 3-4 times a week and yoga occasionally.
After three years in college, I’m pretty much in the same place. I go through periods of severe restriction and periods of mini-binges. I am neither anorexic nor bulimic by medical standards. However, I suspect that if I went to a doctor (which I haven’t due to my incredible fear and resentment of the medical establishment), I would be diagnosed ED-NOS. So that’s where I am now. If you have any questions, drop me an ask.
Why did I make this Tumblr?
To benefit from the incredible weight loss community here, to encourage myself to recover on my own, and to create an album of inspiring pictures of slender and healthy and beautiful women for my followers to enjoy.