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Doing It on My Own: Overcoming Anorexia

Doing It on My Own: Overcoming Anorexia
Writer, 14

I am a small girl and always have been. I am currently 14 years old and 4 feet 9 inches tall. Right now I weigh about 93 pounds, which is a lot better.

About two years ago, I developed anorexia. It all started with a simple case of the flu during two of the biggest meals of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas (I had the flu both times). During those holidays, because I was so sick, I couldn't eat anything, or it would just come back up.

After that experience, I was afraid to eat food because I thought I would just throw it back up. So most mornings I skipped out on breakfast, which I know is bad and I never did it previously. I barely ate anything at school. I would nibble here and there just so nobody would suspect anything. Then came supper, the absolute worst! Our family always ate together, so if I kept this up, they would definitely know something was awry. So I ate supper just like I ate lunch. I took very small portions of everything and hardly ate it. This charade went on for two years!

I started to weigh less and less. I went from 100 pounds to 93, 87, 80, 75, 68. I constantly had a stomachache and a headache, and I was always tired. I was also falling behind in school. My grades went from A to B+, C, D+, F. I just made it through eighth grade. I had everything: boyfriend of one year, awesome friends, my cats, theater, choir, orchestra, and youth service. It was all slipping away from me. My boyfriend knew something was up right away. I tried to deny it by telling him that everything was just fine. I was afraid to hang out with my friends at the movies, the mall, or even at their birthday parties because I knew there would be food involved. My talents were being taken away from me because of my laziness and my lack of sleep.

During that time, I had also suffered from serious migraines. When these came along, I felt an overwhelming tingling sensation in all of my limbs, I would have double vision, my ears would become very sensitive, and I would get an intense throbbing in my head. I went to get my head scanned for a tumor, but none were found. My period was also very irregular. I had it continuously for three months straight. It was so frustrating! This went on for the whole time I had anorexia.

So why did I finally change and get better? I wanted to get better, so I could do everything that I used to do and be with my friends more often instead of being cooped up in my house. I also knew that if I kept it up any longer it could get a lot worse. I wasn't ready to give up my dreams of being an actress because of this. It just wasn't worth it.

How did I turn this fatal path around? I started gradually eating healthy foods like fruit, bread, vegetables, and eggs. Nibble by nibble. I came to the conclusion that if I ate this way I would have nothing to get sick over. So here I am: a vegetarian (lacto-ovo), 93 pounds, A/B average in school, and in great shape.

I am lucky. Lucky to still be here so I can tell my story. Lucky to regain all that I had once lost. And lucky to be in the best health ever. If you decide to try this and become anorexic, you might not be as lucky as me. You never know when things will take a turn for the worst. It's best not to find out the hard way.

I know that most girls become anorexic because they think they are overweight or that their weight is the only thing they can control. The only advice that I can give those of you who are thinking this is: You can't control it. Once you become anorexic it is so hard to put even one bite of food in your mouth. So don't think you can control it when it controls you.

Last Modified Date: 1/10/2001
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