When I was a kid I could eat whatever I wanted and still be a beanpole. Then, when I was 13 years old, someone made fun of my chunky legs. That was the first time it struck me that I was fat. But now that I look back on it, I was only 5'2 and 115 pounds. That's an average weight. But all it took was some stupid kid teasing me and I suddenly had a distorted view of myself.
I began to starve myself. Then I would go to swim practice for 2 hours a day and workout another 2 hours at the gym. By the time I turned 15, I was 83 pounds and was losing more weight by the day. All my friends and family were worried about me and the school counselor referred me to an eating disorder clinic. They told me that if I lost even one more pound they would hospitalize me. That scared the crap out of me, so I began to eat. And they put me on weight gaining shakes.
I gained a lot of weight very quickly. I ballooned up to 120 pounds (not that that is all that much. but to me it was) and my self-esteem went through the ground. I felt horrible and to me, I looked even more horrible. I began my daily 4 hour exercises again, but I couldn't seem to starve myself anymore. I just kept eating and eating. So I began the destructive cycle of bulimia. I would eat and eat, but then vomit and exercise to purge it out. But because my body was so messed up from the anorexia, I couldn't lose any weight. And I got more and more depressed.
The bulimia continued for 10 long years. During that time I was dangerously depressed. I even tried to kill myself a couple of times. I wanted so badly to stop, but I just couldn't. I saw 7 different therapists, consulted nutritionists, and took 80 mg of Prozac a day. Nothing helped. I didn't know what to do.
Then, when I was 24 years old, I got the shock of my life when I found out I was pregnant. I didn't want the baby, and I knew there was no way that I was mentally capable of taking care of a child. But I also knew that I couldn't kill the child or give it up for adoption. So I knew that I had to do everything that I could to be the mother that this child deserved.
I took myself off the Prozac, and I made a pact with myself and with my unborn child that I would do whatever it took to keep myself and the baby healthy. I suppose that now I had someone other than myself to care for, I knew I couldn't treat myself the way I was anymore. I began eating healthy and I quit forcing myself to vomit. And I felt better than I had since I was a kid. It took a few months, but the change was nothing short of miraculous. I was so happy and felt so good, that I was almost giddy. It was a wonderful feeling. I gained 40 pounds during the pregnancy, but I never looked very heavy. I was truly all baby. But I certainly felt fat!!
In all the time that I was anorexic or bulimic, I always saw myself as fat. But until my pregancy, I never got heavier than 120 pounds (which is NOT fat for a person of my height). But in my disorted mind, I was fat. But I actually got to experience true fat when I was pregnant.
After I finally gave birth to my beautiful son (who is now almost 4 years old), I was back down to 125 pounds, and I was happy with that weight. It was liberating to actually feel happy with how I looked. I wasn't carrying a big heavy baby in my tummy, and I thought I looked great at 125 pounds.
And to my amazement, I actually began losing weight. I was breastfeeding my son and apparently that's the best way to lose weight! I ate like I was bulimic, only I wasn't purging, my son was taking all that food! It was wonderful! I lost so much weight. I plateaued at 105 pounds, and I've been there ever since!
The most wonderful part is that I finally got my body balanced. When I was pregnant and breastfeeding, I learned to listen to my body. I ate when I was hungry and I stopped when I was full. I made sure to eat vegetables, fruit, and protein every day, and then I ate whatever else I was craving. And with a balanced diet, I found that I wasn't craving junk food very often.
And now, I still listen to my body, and I eat appropriately. And I never ever get on the scale. It's so amazing to me that all the struggle I went through for years to be skinny could simply have been maintained through a balanced diet. But in my headstrong teenage mind, I believed I was fat and I had to lose that weight quickly. And I didn't stop to believe that i could do it the right way.
Well, I'm sorry that my story here turned out to be a book, but if there's anyone that might read this and be inspired, I would hope that it's worth it. I am living proof that simply eating right and listening to your body and taking care of yourself can keep you thin.