Rewind to about 2 years ago, age 13 or so. I started as a pretty happy and confident girl, with good grades, huge aspirations for the future, and I wasn’t too wrapped up in body image. I had a large group of friends I loved to spend time with, but none of whom I could actually go to with personal problems. I had always liked food, but I thought about it only when I ate it, and when I finished eating, it was out of my mind. (Now it is not so.)
Then one day our class photos were handed out to us at school. As soon as I saw myself in the picture, I was horrified… my hair was a mess, I was hardly smiling, and worst of all, I looked chunky. In that moment, I almost cried, because that was the moment I realized that the world saw me very differently than I had seen myself. I pledged silently that I would lose some weight.
I started to lose weight healthily, not yet even aware of the existence of calories, and then things went downhill. I continued to cut and cut my portions until I became afraid to eat even tiny amounts, and reached the point of losing 20 lbs. (a lot for my 4 foot 10 frame, especially now that I realize I wasn’t even overweight to start with) and becoming underweight. I was also very depressed, on anti-depressants, and seeing a psychiatrist.
With treatment I started to feel better, and gradually started to eat more, trying to gain weight. Then things got out of control again, but in a different way. This is where the binge eating comes in — I started eating huge amounts of food in a very short time, stuffing myself with everything I could get my hands on until there was nothing left. I would feel sick, ashamed, and like I was going to explode. It would happen once or twice a week, at first.
I’ve gained all of my weight back from individual binges. I’m at a normal weight now, and still very unhappy with my body. Problem is, I still binge now, and more often. Lately, it’s been every day. I can’t remember what it was like to eat normally and I’m afraid that I’ll never find that place again. I’m unhappy. I was starving, and now I’m a binge eater. Food is the centre of my life…