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I only wanted to make people happy...

by Anon
(New zealand)

I used to be overweight. Not obese, but overweight. I always felt fat. When I look back on pictures of me at that time, I wasn't that big. Up until I was 14, I was small. I've never been super skinny, but I definitely wasn't large. I looked healthy. Then I gained about 10 kg. This was when I began to feel fat. I don't know why I gained that weight, because I did more sports then just about anyone else. I didn't eat much in the day, but I did at night. Maybe this was why.

Anyway, I didn't like this weight. I tried to loose it, but I usually gave up before the weight came off. It stayed like this until just after my 16th birthday last year. I decided again that I wanted to loose the weight. I don't know how to really describe my eating leading up to this point. I was unhappy and I think I did sometimes comfort eat. I think I just ate whatever and though well i'm fat anyway. I also wasn't that popular. Not too unpopular, but just not popular. Deep down I wanted a boyfriend but really doubted myself. I was never bullied much, but sometimes people would make smart comments about my weight. My mum, while wanting the best, subtly added to this. I think I began to perceive being fat as the course of all my problems. I thought if I were to loose weight, people would like me more.

I set a goal weight of Xkg. Looking back at photos of my self that was how much I weighed then and I thought I looked good at that weight. By now I weighed nearly X kg- so I would have to drop X. I decided I would do this the healthy way; no junk food and exercise. I researched foods and developed my own diet, and for the first time began looking at the calories of everything. I was shocked by how much I used to eat without knowing it. When I began my diet, I was unhappy. I didn't seem to loose the weight fast enough. Everything I ate I thought would make me fat. I wanted to starve myself, but from my Internet research I knew this wasn't a smart way to loose weight. But somehow I forgot this and began to starve myself anyway. I began to only feel happy if I was on an empty stomach. The weight literally dropped off. Even I was shocked by how quickly I lost it. Within a couple of weeks- if that- I had dropped X kg. I set a new goal for my self of X kg. I don't really know how long this fasting lasted, but it was only in the months. I missed food and it was all I could think about. One day, I gave in and bought a chocolate bar. I felt horrible afterwards. I was so disappointed in myself I did the only thing that could make it better- I vomited. It was then I released that I could eat what ever I want as long as I vomit.

That was a few months back now. These days, I fill my stomach until I can't eat anymore then let it all out several times a day. I am below 60 and hate my body. All I do is compare myself to others and wish I was skinnier. I am dropping weight, fairly fast now. My mum has figured that I am purging, but I doubt she has any idea how much. My friends have asked me if I'm ok but they don't know. I am always tired. I have blacked out several times lately. My nails are covered in white spots. Last night I had really bad blurry vision that stayed for ages. I don't know what half these things are but before my crazy diet I was healthy and didn't have problems with any of them. I spend so much money on food it makes me sad. I eat an elephant, then an hour later I'm hungry cause I vomited. I eat more but fell bad so I vomit again and so on, all through the day. I am scared. For the past week I've been petrified of blacking out at school. I have spoken anonymously to councilors, and want to see my school nurse but am too scared. I want to tell my friends but I just can't. I really want one of them to find out but at the same time I'm too scared. What makes it worse is that they comment on my weight loss like it's a good thing, just like everyone. 'Wow, your skinny now' or 'look at how thin she is'. For a moment, they make me happy, but then I just feel like I need to lose more weight. When people tell me I look good I feel guilty. I think it's because this is the first time in my life that I have felt unhealthy, but at the same time it's the first thing people have liked my appearance. I really just want help, but don't know where to go.

It's ironic how to begin with I was happy but decided to lose weight to make other people happy. Now that my body meets there expectation I am so unhappy.

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

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