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Anorexia and Bulimia aren't Exclusive to Women and Homosexual Men

by Kyle
(Jacksonville, FL, USA)

My name is Kyle, and I am a needle-in-a-haystack anorexic and bulimic who is neither female nor a homosexual male. I'm not certain of the demographics of these eating disorders in other Western countries, but in America it's almost unheard of that a heterosexual man would suffer from such disorders; excluding compulsive overeating, 10-20% of persons with eating disorders are male, with somewhere around a quarter to a third of that 10-20% being heterosexual.

Anyway, to my story. I'm a twenty year old university student in Florida, and I was exclusively anorexic for almost all of my senior year in high school. I suppose it was triggered around August of 2009 after reflecting on my senior portrait which I had had taken a week earlier. Five years of awkward teenage years in which I was disappointed with myself, but unsure the why and how to remedy my self-loathing erupted in a fervent dieting craze with the goal of walking to get my diploma at the end of the year looking unrecognizable when referencing my picture in the yearbook.

When I started dieting in September of that year I weighed 193 lbs (87.5kg). The more weight I lost, the more I wanted to lose, so I went from strictly counting calories at X quickly to 1500, then to X, then to X, then to a good day being around X, and if I was forced over my limit the previous day by an encroaching friend or family member demanding I eat birthday cake or go to dinner with them, I would do about X calories the following day or whatever I could get away with at dinner by guilt-tripping my parents by saying the previous days food made me sick.

By the time graduation came I clocked in at 6'0" snd 124 lbs (183cm, 56kg). I don't even know how many awed gawks I got by various people at the ceremony and gathering thereafter, but at the time all teary eyed pleas that I stop starving myself were attributed to jealousy and severe overreaction on their parts.

A couple weeks later I was scared into suppressing my desire to restrict caloric intake when my kidneys began to fail. I had to sleep on an inclined plane so that fluids would not build up in my lower legs and cause swelling and eventual gangrene.

So what happened was that I way overcompensated and binged that entire summer and fervently exercised in an attempt to counter it. By the end of my summer break I had gained 25 lbs (11kg) of fat and 15 lbs (7kg) of muscle. I was not ready for the independence of attending college a thousand miles away and with no roommate.

I crafted a method of embracing my obsession with food and my obsession with being thin: I would eat whatever I wanted one day, then nothing at all until the scale showed a loss of weight from my most recent binge day. Oftentimes I would succumb to hunger and end up breaking my "fasting day" with food, and I would promise myself to make up for my weakness the next day.

I fluctuated weight for the next year until I found myself able to hold a regular schedule of 2 binge days with the aid of throwing up what I could, followed by 1 fast day, rinse and repeat. I regret to say that I have yet to really scrap this ritual, and have only tweaked it to maintain (give or take but more take than give a few pounds) my current weight of X pounds (Xkg).

Currently, my nickname among friends, soccer teammates and coworkers is "Jesus" because I have long hair, a goatee, and my ribcage and hip bones are plainly visible when I take my shirt off. My family largely leaves me alone now because I eat on select days and do a pretty good job of legitimizing not eating on other days by saying pretending I already ate or will eat at work or whatever.

In conclusion, whilst in a rage and sorrow-filled binging and purging session, I recalled a semi-suppressed memory of being molested at age eight by my sister's best friend's brother in the parking lot of my sister's orthodontist. I feel like this is likely at least part of the root to my psychosis, and I'd like to pursue this, but I know if I were to seek professional help I'd quickly be rerouted to an eating disorder specialist. Still, I recently found a reputible eating disorder counselor in the city where I go to university who I might be willing to open up to, because I might be able to keep my family in the dark for at least a little while longer. I'm mentally waffling on whether I want to seek this help when I return to university in the fall.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

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