Here we are at the conclusion of my junior year of high school. In addition to all of the physical activity that I am doing for soccer and basketball, I join the local YMCA. I am practicing daily and working out at the Y for atleast 1.5 hours. Clearly I am upset with the way I look and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make some changes.
This includes limiting my intake of food.
I wasn’t working because it conflicted with my sports, and I was never a breakfast eater. I went to the gym during lunch and had practice at dinner time. It was pretty simple to avoid food. When I ate – it was salad, or chicken. Occasionally I would cave in and eat the family dinner because I was tired of hearing from people “you aren’t eating enough”. It was the quickest way to shut them up.
There were results. I loved it. I specifically remember a girl who had graduated two years prior coming up to me in the gym – commenting on how amazing I looked. It made me feel fabulous. It made me want to lose more.
My basketball coach told my friend that it looked like I lost 50lbs. 50? Some may have taken that as a compliment. But in my mind (since I knew I had only lost 15-20 lbs), I thought..
Wow, he thought I had 50lbs to lose?
That I was 50 lbs over weight?
I better keep going.
My eating was disordered. I was working out harder than I had ever worked out before and I was eating less than I had ever eaten before. As senior year rolled around, I experimented with different diet drugs like hydroxycut and xenodryn. Anything for that extra edge… lose that extra inch.
Occasionally, people would make comments. I would ignore it. My friends were definitly concerned. I think I was in my own little world though. Actually, I know it was. When we reminisce now, they talk about how thin I got senior year. How drawn out my face was. I don’t recall their concern in high school.
It was there. I just chose to pretend it wasn’t.
Although this photo is blurry – it perfectly sums of my life at this point. It was a BLUR. I was going through the motions. I wasn’t living. I was pretending to be happy. Missing out on all of those “irreplacable” events that most seniors in high school lived to enjoy. I was more concerned about my weight.
When would I get to the gym?
How long could I stay for?
Days before games..meant light practice. Maybe I could get to the Y before practice…
How could I make people think I was eating?
This started to annoy me. I wanted everyone to mind their own business. I felt like I had the eyes of coaches and faculty on my every day at lunch.So I had to make them think I was eating. So I ate. I purged. A vicious cycle begins.
A cycle that followed me through college and into my adult life. A cycle that was almost impossible to break… almost. But nothing is impossible.
My relationship with food and my body continued to deteriorate in college. Being on my own – struggling in making healthy choice in the cafeteria.. late nights after drinking.
Tomorrow, I will dig deeper into the issues of health, body image, self concept and self respect as a college student. These issues are so prevalent and so important to be taken seriously.