How I Starved Myself To Be Thin And Didn’t Find Happiness

Anonymous, Contributor

I don’t remember ever liking my body, not even from a young age. I was always a little chubby. ‘Baby fat’ people called it. I never had self-confidence; confidence never seemed to come easy to me. I remember a day probably in the 5th grade when I finally looked around at all the girls in my class. I wasn’t skinny, and as a small child I didn’t think there was much for me to do about it. People told me: ‘just wait until you get older, and it’ll get better.’

Middle school came around, and girls were a lot meaner than the elementary school girls that I had known all my life up to then. There were people I didn’t know in my classes, and I had never experienced that before. I had no one to sit with at lunch besides a few girls I vaguely knew. So I sat with them for a while until I felt too unwanted. Then I’d move to another table.

I was in 7th grade when I got pushed down. I was getting my lunch and the girl that pushed me looked down at me, with all my food on the floor.

She looked me in the eye and said, “You didn’t need it anyways.” I skipped my first meal that day, and then I never ate lunch in middle school again.

I hated middle school. I had only a handful of friends, and I never could seem to fit in. Gym class was hell. I had to change in front of girls that I envied for their body types and hear the laughs of many that never seemed to have worries.

I passed out one day on the gym floor and had to go to the nurse. She asked me if I was skipping any meals and I simply said no. She believed me. I went back to change into my regular clothes. I remember the heavy door to the changing room. I remember the loud thud it made when I opened it. The stares from those girls I can still feel. I felt ashamed, and I never wanted to cry more in my life. I slipped off my clothes and could hear the whispers of ‘well no wonder she passed out look at her’ and ‘God that’s so gross, eat something.’ I sat in a corner of the changing room until everyone left, then I cried.

During those middle school years, I didn’t fit into any trendy styles. I remember going into stores with my mom and grabbing armfuls of clothes to try on. The pants always hit my stomach right where it was uncomfortable. I felt like the world could see every roll on my body. We would almost always leave empty handed.

One day coming home from one of those shopping trips I read up online for a new diet plan. I was 14.

A year later my best friend made me try out for the soccer team in high school. I passed out the first day of practice and broke my glasses on the floor. Looking back, it felt like my world had ended. For the first time I realized how bad it had gotten. It was always so simple getting out of meals.

“I had a big lunch,” I’d say. And that would be that for a few days and then I’d have to find a different excuse.

From a young age I have learned that skipping meals and restricting is a flaw in my personality that I have now accepted. I have told myself that I am fine, and I will eventually get over my lack of self-esteem.

But that day still hasn’t come yet.

Most people don’t understand eating disorders. They don’t understand that eating disorders aren’t a pretty thing. Hunger pains, dizziness, laxative cramps, fainting spells, hair loss, and bags under your eyes that never seem to go away. I’ve been through more than I’d like to admit. And I can’t blame anyone else but myself. I’m not sure when I went wrong. Maybe if I just had tougher skin or faced my insecurities sooner, the past would have changed.

But now I’m stuck in a cycle that seems to never end.

Skinny girls on covers of magazines, models promoting diets, idols telling women how to look slimmer, and no one told me healthy isn’t starving yourself.

To change this pattern of young girls trying to change their bodies for societal fantasies of what ‘The Perfect Woman Should Look Like’ isn’t up to tabloids or men telling women how to live. This delusion of a ‘Perfect Body’ isn’t something I want my daughter to go through. I don’t want my daughter to cry when she looks in the mirror and think that her being herself isn’t good enough.

I hope to heal the wounds and insecurities that I have continuously re-opened. It is only in this way that I can try and prevent the future from being what it is now.

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The Student News Site of Bloomington High School North
How I Starved Myself To Be Thin And Didn’t Find Happiness