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by Sarah

Ever since I was a little girl, I 've heard things like "What beautiful big blue eyes!", "What a lovely little girl!", "What a sporty young woman!". I've grown up with these sayings in my head... and they have pressured me all along.

I've never thought I was fat or ugly, but I've always wanted one of those bodies you see on television, magazines and posters. I've always wanted to be PERFECT.

I know, perfection doesn't exist, or at least not a universal kind of perfection. But, if I get as close as possible to what most people consider perfect, there's a bigger possibilty of more people liking me, of seeing me as a clever but also beautiful person.

I also always wanted to be the best in everything, the queen of the castle, the centre of attention. My mother always told me that there would always be someone prettier than me, someone cleverer that me, someone more popular than me... But still, I wanted to do the best I could, to make the most out of what I had.

Where did I look for the answer to my wish? Dieting. When I was 15, I restricted myself from all kinds of food: carbs, sweets, cheese, sauces... All those things that spent a minute in your mouth and a lifetime in your thighs. How long did this diet last? After two weeks, my brain said "No more".

One day, my parents left me home alone and had left a kitchen full of all those delicious but forbidden foods... I thought to myself "I'll just have a cookie, do a few abs after, it won't hurt". So, I went to the cupboard and took one.

After eating it and having enjoyed those few seconds of glory, I decided that another one wouldn't do any harm. I took another one. And then another one. My stomach started warning me, I had eaten a bit too much. I had a party the next day and I had to look perfect. The cookies in my tummy would ruin all my plans!

In biology class, we had been talking about food disorders, and bulimia didn't seem too bad if it was only a one time thing.

Before trying it, I thought I might as well eat as many of all these things I hadn't tried in weeks, so I rampaged through the kitchen eating everything I could find: toasts with as much butter as possible, buscuits, cereal, ice cream, greek yogurt with loads of sugar, chocolate, honey, crisps... A disgusting mix of all I had been missing out on.

I went to the bathroom and took a while to actually have the courage to stick my fingers down my throught. When I got there, it was horrible: the taste, the smell, the burning through my throat, the mess I had made in the toilet... A nightmare. But after I had gotten up, cleaned everything and brushed my teeth as quick as possible, I looked in the mirror and felt much better, satisfied, and relieved that I was still on track with my diet after all.

This happened again and again since then... and I still do the same thing. Every one or two weeks I get out of control and start binge eating, then getting rid of it all as fat as I can.

I have never considered myself bulimic, but seeing how I never actually stop doing it, even though I tell myself to, I'm worried I will spend the rest of my life like this. Am I really that weak?

I know that if I want to look healthy and pretty, it's a simple thing just to eat properly and not excessively, to do a little sport everyday and to have a little treat every once in a while, to not feel any kind of restriction with food. Why can't I simply do that?

I'm worried it might be because I am too obsessed with people liking me, always worried about what people think about me and worried trying to be as pretty as possible so they think I am one of those girls with a great body and personality.

I'm lost and empty in a way, and I don't know how to fill that hole that's missing, that's making me unhappy.

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program