|Me, at 19 years old.|
Starving oneself is remarkably easy to do, after the first few days, and is easily maintained. I found that it was too easy. I typically went for days at a time eating only the minutest of portions. I was partial to bananas. I did not know anything about eating disorders, and I never spoke to anyone about my need to control my eating. I binged and purged on an occasion or two, but I just hated the purging part. So, I stuck with the starvation tactic because it was producing the results that I wanted. I managed to bring my weight down to 101 pounds, and I maintained this weight into my early twenties. I remember being painfully disappointed that I could not get my weight under 100 pounds.
I also took up exercise in the hopes that it would further tone my already underweight frame. I exercised for hours everyday and never did I consider that my body needed fuel to maintain the rigorous pace I was keeping. On several occasions, I fainted due to my low blood sugar; however, no one ever asked why it was so low, so I was able to continue my vicious cycle. I am very lucky to have never developed any of the serious anorexia nervosa complications such as amenorrhea, kidney damage, or heart problems.
The behaviors that I practiced for so many years, as a young woman, did not go away as an adult. I had set the tone and would spend years being obsessed about food portions, my weight, and my body. However, as I have grown older and become more educated, I have found that my demons are slowly taking their leave. I still worry about my weight, but I stopped imposing a strict eating regimen on myself when Bill and I got married in 2010. I still exercise, but I keep it in moderation and no longer spend 2-3 hours per day at the gym. I used to imagine, as I ran on the treadmill, that I was running away from all of the things that I couldn't control. I now know that I just needed to accept myself and the rest would work itself out.
|Me, at 39 years old.|