It all started when I got the stomach flu. It was the summer before 7th grade and I got the stomach flu. When I got over it my family went on vacation, and I had zero appetite fearing getting sick again. When we got back from vacation and I weighed myself I saw that I had lost 6 pounds! I couldn’t believe it and also was so thrilled. My mom had been on my back about “your arms are fat,” “your back is fat,” “look at your stomach. your stomach is fat,” “I need to take you to a doctor.” I hated her pointing out how fat I was even though I wasn’t that big… I was 5’4″ and about 136 pounds, but for a 6th grader maybe that was too much?
She did take me to a doctor once in 5th grade to talk about what I ate. It was embarrassing. I had to answer questions like do I eat my cereal with chocolate milk or do I eat jars of peanut butter. The answers typically were no. What was especially frustrating is that I ate what I was given by my family. At that point I had no control over what I ate and what was shopped for.
Speed forward to getting the stomach flu and losing 6 pounds, I realized that by not eating I would drop weight easily. That’s what began the pattern of not eating. Honestly I’m not going to give any more details, because I know how it is and that triggers can happen, and ideas can grow, which I don’t want any of that to happen to anyone reading this.
What is important to know is that from 7th grade through high school and off and on during college I starved myself. It wasn’t until I got engaged that I started eating “normal” again, but I had no idea what normal was until I had Zooey. Learning proper nutrition for a toddler taught me proper nutrition for myself. I remember thinking she deserves good food and I don’t. When I realized I thought that I immediately stopped myself and said, “You do deserve this.” Once I started eating nutritionally well with regular (not obsessive) exercise I lost the baby weight and was at my healthiest. Right now I’m pretty healthy. Not exactly where I want to be after having my second a year and a half ago, but I am quite happy with where I am.
It’s unbelievable what secret struggles I had, and that I never reached out to anyone. Being healthy doesn’t involve starving yourself, and if you think it does please reach out to someone. It is scary, but for someone who went through it for years I encourage you to seek out healing.