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Food ruined my life.

by Torie
(Windsor, ON)

I was always a thin girl, like a stick. Sickly skinny, one would say even. But that was, in fact, my natural state. And I LOVED running around like a maniac every recess.

One summer I decided that I was not healthy with the way peoples'
comments were circulating around my family European, older women, who naturally want you to eat plenty more, no matter size you are...
and decided to 'look healthier'.

I sat for an entire two months in my room, isolating myself from everyone on the computer, eating pizza.

I gained weight alright.

The comments of, 'aw, I'm so jealous! You're sooooo skinny!' subsided, which I began to miss, honestly.
Then I looked in the mirror, and I began to not like what I saw!
I was embarrassed to wear a bathing suit let alone be seen in any clothing I thought that nothing looked good on me and became jealou of a lot of the girls at school, including my friends, who had nice jawlines.

So I decided to do a lifestyle change.

Yoga, swimming, pilates. Until I got really good! I started to notice my core strengthening, even the slightest hint of abs I had as a child! I added clean-eating, green tea, and portion control to my diet.
Then co-op started and I began biking 40 minutes everyday to and from the University campus.
The initial weight I lost got me excited, and when started Shaun-T's 'Insanity' workouts to the routines when I missed a day of biking, weight loss continued.
I got up earlier to do the Insanity workouts on top of the biking, and extra if I knew I would eat a 'heavier' meal my parents prepared.

They began to question me when I would refuse to eat many things now that were once normal, or my favourite.

I found myself next not taking lunches, or throwing food away to make it seem I was eating 'the bad stuff' and hiding my secret, on top of my secrets of depression I have had ever since I could remember.

My mother became a hawk, and would no longer give me any privacy to my new obsession. It made me want to rebel more and more. The feeling of being 'free' and 'pure'; EFFICIENT made me feel invincible. But it was my full-time job now, and I had no time for my art or academics, which began to suffer.

I lied a lot to my mother about my weight and behaviour, saying I was heavier than I really was, and if I weighed less, I promised I didn't know and that it would be my lowest.

I had previously been shop-lifting for kicks, but never excessively. Finally I found myself stealing from the grocery store: herbal teas, fiber, weight-loss supplements, green coffee-bean extracts, and zero-calorie this and that. I got caught. I weighed Xlbs, to which I lied to the officer too that I was actually X. She looked at my driver's license and said, 'you lost a lot of weight. Are you absolutely sure there is nothing going on at home? Because to me, you look pretty skinny in that picture already.'

I got hit by a car next on my way to co-op, and hit my jaw on the pavement. He was not charged as I was at fault for the accident for being on the wrong side of the road in the bike lane. My computer repair cost $600. The school councilor, who was contacted by my brother-in-law, told me that he said I might have been trying to get hit on purpose to commit suicide.
I felt like everyone was now confronting me, and no one was on my side. But I had to show that I was 'seeking help' in order to waive my charges for stealing. So again I lied to the councilor and convinced him that I was fine, and just needed independence.

I weighed in at X lbs when my mother took me to a teen health centre. I only lied to the doctors more, that I really was not anorexic, and that I had simply lost control because I kept to the same diet as before I had started biking, and thus loss the weight without really the intention to.

They threatened to omit me to the hospital if I did not gain X lbs by the next week. They told me to eat X calories a day. I gained X in that time.

Family tried to shove anything and everything 'unhealthy' in my mouth and I would refuse. I lied more and continued my workouts, on a strict 'body-builing' diet.

I reached my goal weight of X lbs, but the dieticians kept raising the goal weight for me, and told me I should be heavier to be healthy.
I sort of 'gave up' and lost all motivation. I gained hardly any muscle, and got flabby again. But everyone else sure as hell was happy! I was not. It was summer again and too hot to exercise. I lost all my energy and wanted nothing more than to sleep my days away.

I started to 'eat normal' again, pleasing my parents that food was being eaten that I refused before. Little did they know that I was actually just chewing and spitting it out.

Then I was doing it more.

Then I was purging.

Then I lost control.

Now that I've pleased the doctors and fulfilled their ridiculous requests, I vouched to make my own decisions and to never set foot in their institutions even if the asked. I ruined everyone's life by being so unhappy with myself from one extreme to another. But now I am stuck, in this vicious cycle and I see no way out other than death. I have fallen in love, but this secret lifestyle has only made me an unhappier person despite the fact.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program