Hello. This is the hardest thing I've ever done, and I've put it off for far too long.
I have been obsessing over my body since I was about eight. I remember being in a store with my parents, Spice Girls Lollipop (what a throwback) in my mouth, suddenly staring at the little pot belly I had. I did two things: I took the lollipop out of my mouth, and threw it away, and then I did jumping jacks until I fell down. When I was 10, and woke up in the morning, I would run my hand over one hipbone, down into the valley of my stomach, and up the other. I was devastated when one morning, my hand didn't go down - it went right across. During this time, I was an active Irish Dancer, and ate pretty much whatever I wanted, which was typical of kids. I was known as "Skinny Minnie" by my parents. I obsessed over my body, but I didn't do anything obscene to it.
This continued until halfway through freshman year. One day at lunch, my friend (who I later found out had suffered bulimia) remarked that I ate. A lot. And was really skinny. After that, I started restricting my food intake a little, and started eating more healthily. And it truly was healthy - I had been a fan of not-so-great things. When I went to Italy that summer, I took ever sterner measures; I would divide my plates in four, and eat only a quarter. I never ate dessert. I came back thinner, but gained the weight back.
During Sophomore year, I stopped competitively dancing, and started teaching, which was lower intensity. I also started going to the gym a bit, and "firmed up" a bit. In January of 2006, I became a vegetarian. Initially, it was to lose weight, which I am ashamed of. But after a month of being a pescetarian, I fully understood the cruelties inflicted on harmless, peaceful animals by humans. I restricted my food intake - dinner would be a lean cuisine, lunch was cottage cheese. I was very thin - probably about 95 lbs at 5'5". I had lost all this weight by June, and my parents made me eat meat again. It was so hard. I was so sick, and I was a "closet vegetarian."
Over that summer, the gym closed. I didn't have access to another, and I gained some weight back. It wasn't too much, though. In January of Junior year, my friend (who had earlier complimented my emaciated appearance a few months ago) forced me to eat a pineapple dipped in chocolate, saying "We're staging an intervention." I stopped teaching dance to be in a play, and ended up eating strange things that weren't very good for me. I gained weight. Sometime during the year, I also became an "out of the closet" vegetarian.
In Senior year, I was not active at all - I was far too busy applying to college. I gained weight and was not fit. I was unhappy with my appearance, and was restricting my food intake to about 600cals a day. My metabolism slowed, but I was convinced starving was the answer. That summer, last summer, I went to Paris. I ate "safe food" the entire time and walked. A lot. I lost a little weight, and gained muscle. I wanted to continue this "fitness" thing, but unfortunately, depression had other plans.
Last summer, crippling depression took hold. It was all I could do to wake up and drag myself through the day. I worked sometimes. I drank too much Diet Coke (Aspartame = THE DEVIL) and ate about 500 or fewer calories a day. I sat on my couch and pinched my fat and cried for hours and hours. I enrolled myself in a pre-college outdoors bonding-type hiking trip. The week before school started, I packed up my gear, said goodbye to my parents tearfully and went to live outdoors for a week. I was more active than I'd been in years, and because the meals were not Veggie-friendly, I ended up losing weight. But I was fit, and healthy. I was healthy at that point. I was still depressed, though, and because I am vigilant about strange chemicals in my body, I didn't want pills.
At school, I started exercising and eating basically fruit and veggies. I guess I had "orthorexia" and became obsessed with eating "purely." This was easy to do for me - I was a lactose-intolerant Ovo-Vegetarian relying on a college for my food. There wasn't much I COULD eat in that cafeteria.
I worked out every day, and lost weight. My jeans started getting loose. I congratulated myself when I could see the bones in my chest. Over winter break, I continued working out and restricting my food intake, but I started adding protein after a blood report (done for my therapist for depression) came back saying I had low levels of protein (NO SURPRISE!!). I was surprised by how lean and muscular I got. I got back to school, and because of my milk intolerant Veggie self, I got my meal plan switched so that I could buy my own food. I restricted myself right down to about 700cals a day, which when you factor in the fact that I ran for at LEAST 25 minutes on an elliptical every day, is nowhere near enough, I'm sure.
That gets me to today. I'm tired of constantly being afraid. I'm tired of pulling away from my mother when she hugs me so she doesn't feel my bones. I'm tired of my jeans not fitting at all. I want to change. I have to overcome this.
The only thing is this - I can't tell my therapist. My mother (also chronic depressive) and I go to the same therapist. Money is tight - BEYOND tight. I can't afford a nutritionist. My school's "healthcare" tried to force me to eat meat. It's absurd. I need support, but I need it from you. I have been making a concerted effort to eat more and to follow a strict "Recovery" plan.
Yesterday, I ate 972 cals. I am beyond happy, and I want to boost it up, 100 calories a week, until I reach 1500, and then maintain there for a while. When I go home for the summer, I will visit a Holistic Health doctor near my home, and see if I can seek treatment in exchange for me doing filing or something.
I just need someone to talk to, and I just want to be myself again. I want that so very much.