Monday, February 8, 2010

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. ~African Proverb

As part of my eating disorder treatment, I decided to turn to the internet for inspiration while on my own path of recovery. There is so much out there to help guide and inspire someone. So I thought I would bring some of that here to help you. I found some interesting facts about adolescent eating disorders:
*Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.
*40 – 60% of high school girls diet.
*50% of girls between the ages of 13 and 15 believe they are overweight.
(Facts from Anorexia Statistics)
And I fell right into it, at age 16 I weighed 96lbs. I found a story close to my own which helps me realize that I am not the only one out there:

I was a chubby child growing up with a perfectly skinny twin sister. She seemed to receive all my parents and our peers' attention because she was thin. I felt ignored which developed my shyness. She dominated in almost everything that we did together. I thought that going on a diet would increase my self-esteem and get people to notice me. I did not starve myself, but I would limit my caloric intake to about eight hundred calories.

I would eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast so my parents would think I was eating properly. I wouldn't eat lunch. I'd make up excuses like I either did not have any money or I was not hungry and I would eat later. After school I would go to tennis practice on an empty stomach and exercise as much as I could for two hours.

My family always ate dinner together, so I would eat a full meal to keep everybody from assuming that I had an eating disorder. I'd always tell my mom that certain items were too fattening and I couldn't eat them.

The strange thing was that when I lost the weight people would give me the nicest compliments. The compliments felt so good, so I kept dieting. Those compliments were my reward for my control. They pushed me to diet more and lose more weight so I could get all the attention that a skinny person receives.

Eventually, my parents and friends noticed my bad eating habits. They forced me to eat and would not leave my side. I denied my eating problem for a long time, not even admitting it to my boyfriend until last year. I received a lot of support from my boyfriend, which I think helped me through my problem.

With terrific support from my friends and family, I now try to have a balanced diet instead of getting the fewest calories possible. I now feel more confident about my body and have a higher self-esteem.
Andrea's Story and more available at Anorexia Stories

I was also able to hide my problem for a long time...until I lost too much weight. Everywhere I turned skinny was good and fat was bad. When I turned on the TV that's all I'd hear so the little voice in my head repeated it. The little voice became my enemy. When I finally admitted my problem, I was backed by my sister and my now fiance. They helped me find a great place to go and learn how to fix me. I am recovering from anorexia nervosa and am very proud of my accomplishments thus far. I am now 25 years old, 135lbs at 5'6". I am healthy and I am happy. And that little voice, she's my friend too. She's strong and tells me I'm beautiful. She repeats what the good people in my life say. She is no longer influenced by the media.