Holding nothing back…

25 years ago…

Posted on: February 21, 2009

just-me

That is me. 9th grade. All of 14 years old, so 25 years ago. Not too bad, right? Hubby looked at it and said “Jeez, you were cute! Why didn’t we date in high school?”  I look at this picture and wonder why on EARTH I thought I was fat and needed to starve myself.

This picture is proof that anorexics don’t always LOOK anorexic. At least, *I* don’t think I looked anorexic in this picture. But I was. I was skipping breakfast and lunch, and barely eating anything at dinner while telling my parents that I had eaten a big lunch or had a big snack after school. At the point this picture was taken, I was amenorrheal, anemic, my hair was falling out in clumps but I had a fine layer of “fur”, my heart rate was scary slow and my blood pressure was ridiculously low. All physical symptoms of starvation. I wasn’t scary skinny by any means. In fact, I probably looked pretty healthy, weightwise. I know that I had friends that were thinner than I was, but much MUCH healthier. However this was probably the UNhealthiest time of my life.

People noticed that something was wrong, but nobody made the connection to anorexia because I wasn’t underweight. My friends thought I was ill. My parents and doctor thought something was wrong with my thyroid. NOBODY thought I was anorexic but me, and I didn’t want to change it. I honestly couldn’t tell you what turned my health around. I never got professional help. I was never officially diagnosed. Maybe I just didn’t have the “willpower” of most anorexics, or maybe my parents just got wise before I got so far gone that they couldn’t help me without professional intervention. I really do not know. I just know that by the time I went into 10th grade, I wasn’t starving myself anymore.

THIS is why I am so protective of my daughters and my friend’s daughters when it comes to body image. THIS is why I have a size acceptance blog and read other size acceptance blogs voraciously. THIS is why I am so ANTI-diet. And THIS is why I never assume that just because someone isn’t scary skinny, their weight-loss diet isn’t a problem.

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3 Responses to "25 years ago…"

My daughter-in-law is anorexic, but to look at her, you wouldn’t know it. She’s 5’9″ now (she used to be 5′ 11″, but between not eating and having MS, she’s shrunk a bit), and she eats next to nothing most of the time. I think she weighs about 140 lbs, and her doctor says that’s too thin for her frame, he thinks she should weigh about 160. Her hair is thin and falls out a lot, she’s sick all the time, and none of the meds the doctors have put her on for the MS are working. I think it’s because she’s so thin, her body has no reserves, nothing to work with to help her get into remission. But she was chunky as a kid, and all her sisters were thin and made fun of her constantly for being fat, so she’s determined to be thin now. Two of her sisters are now fat, and one is still thin (but she has kidney problems and needs a transplant). One of the fat sisters had weight loss surgery so she could be thin again.
All of this crap going on in my d-i-l’s family is affecting her 15-year-old son, who is 5′ 11″ and weighs 125 lbs (and he thinks he’s fat). He doesn’t eat, he exercises all the time (lifting weights and bowling and running, and is on the wrestling team at school), and is constantly saying how fat he is and how he needs to lose weight. I can’t convince him that he isn’t fat, and that he’s harming his health, and I can’t convince his mother of that either. They’ve bought into the “thin at any cost is the only way to be healthy” and I’m afraid they’re slowly killing themselves. That’s one of the main reasons I blog about fat/size acceptance.

[…] Someone I’ve heard of put an intriguing blog post on 25 years ago Holding nothing backHere’s a quick excerptTHIS is why I have a size acceptance blog and read other size acceptance blogs voraciously. THIS is why I am so ANTI-diet. And THIS is why I never assume that just because someone isn’t scary skinny, their weight-loss diet isn’t a … […]

I had the same issues when I was 16. I had no periods, cold all the time, stomach problems, etc. My doctor at the time told me to lose more weight. I’m 5’2″ and I weighed 116 at the time. I started eating more, exercising less and gained a few pounds. My periods returned, my overall health improved.

It seemed strange at the time that strangers thought I could be anorexic since I was rather thin, but my doctors and family members were scale obsessed.

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