Purging My Health Away

Brianna - Ridgefield, Washington
Entered on May 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

The little spandex leotards I had to wear left no fat-cell unnoticed. Everywhere I went, I felt like people were staring at how fat I was. I would look at all the skinny girls wearing their miniskirts and tank tops wishing that I could have a body like theirs. But in my mind I knew I would never look like them.

I have always had an issue with my weight. My thighs are too big, my stomach too flabby, and I could go on forever about my hips. Being a gymnast I thought I had to fit the gymnast body type, which is thin and muscular. About four years ago I started dieting. I cut out junk food, then carbohydrates, eventually I only ate 200 calories a day. I became obsessed with losing weight.

I couldn’t see what I was doing to myself. My parents did see and started to worry. After each meal I would purge everything they had made me eat. My mom noticed me going to the bathroom after each meal so she started to follow me. I wanted to lose weight so bad that I found other ways to purge the calories. Being a gymnast was a great excuse to work out for hours at a time. I would only eat the meal that my parents made me, and then would go to the gym and work out as hard as I could to get rid of the calories. I started to feel weak and like I could faint at any moment.

I had never done as well in gymnastics as I was doing then because of how intense I worked out. I loved walking into a room and someone commenting on how thin I looked. It made me feel like all of this was worth it. Each time I weighed myself I became more obsessed.

I needed to be hospitalized; I needed for someone to strap me down and force me to eat. I now know that back then I was very ill. I look back and ask how I could put myself through that, but then I realized I still struggle with it. Although I have never fully recovered I am now eating enough to keep me healthy. I still look in the mirror every single day wishing that I was thinner. Even though I know it is not healthy, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I wish I was still that thin, I wish that I could go back and understand what made me so determined to keep going. I do wish those things but I know that I am better off being healthy instead of being my perfect weight.

I believe everyone needs help, even if they won’t admit it. Even when someone says they are fine, they may not want to admit that they aren’t. It is hard to admit to having a problem. So I believe everyone needs help every once in a while.