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She’s a warrior September 23, 2007

Posted by Jae in Me, myself, and I.
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I’m miserable at introductions.

I’m Jae. I’m twenty-three years old. I’m a writer/editor living in New York City. Aside from ones focusing on applying to grad school, I’ve not been much of a blog reader, but the other day I stumbled across a blog that grabbed me and gave me a good, hard, shake.

I sat and read all in one day about this woman, this funny, intelligent, woman who was learning to love her body and live without dieting. Having been on a diet myself for most of my life what she said touched me.

I have never been thin. When I was little, my pediatrician told me that I weighed too much for my height and put me on a diet; that’s the first time I remember thinking that I was fat and needed to be fixed. I was probably about six years old. From that point on, I lost and gained (but mostly gained). I made little diet and exercise plans and wrote them out in my diaries. I followed them, failed, failed miserably, and tried again.

Looking back on it now I can see the truth, I wasn’t thin, but I wasn’t fat. At thirteen I was the same height that I am now, and my weight was probably at its set point. But you couldn’t have made my thirteen-year-old self believe that. I still heard the voice of my old, curmudgeonly, doctor telling me that I was too fat. So when an immature boy or two hurled insults at me, I believed I deserved them. When my chubby Spanish teacher pulled me aside to ask me if I had gained weight and if my family was torturing me about, I believed she did it because she was concerned, and not because her family had tortured her (as she told me) and she didn’t think I was getting humiliated enough.

All this might have been brushed away as part of the normal torture of adolescence, if not for two things: my best friend, who I had known since I was six and who had been abusing me just as long, and suffering a major knee injury at fourteen.

Post-injury I was terrified to move-terrified of getting hurt, terrified that my operation could be undone, terrified that I would need more surgery. I was depressed, confused, and didn’t know what to do. I had escaped my bad best friend, but the effects of her actions were starting to reveal themselves. I was starting to lose my mind. I drowned myself in food to escape, and because I wasn’t moving, gained a ton of weight. This changed the occasional comments from boys who didn’t know what to make of the fact that I had hips and an ass to out-and-out abuse. I can’t say I suffered as much as some did, but I was definitely aware of what the world apparently thought of me.

So, for the first time in my life, I chased anorexia and I caught up with her quickly. In fact, I caught up with her so quickly, that I didn’t lose any weight. My body hung on to every calorie I gave it, and sent me constant reminders that what I was doing was killing me. I had dizzy spells that lasted for hours. My hair, already fine, became stringy and thin. I felt sick to my stomach pretty much all the time, and at times I think only sheer stubbornness kept me from fainting.

Somehow, I broke away from this, began a more “sensible” diet, and lost weight. It didn’t last though. I gained it back and then some. I alternated periods of dieting, periods of binging, and periods of anorexia all through high-school. I spent the night before my high-school graduation with my hand down my throat wondering why I couldn’t just throw up.

In college I didn’t have to chase anorexia; it found me. By Christmas I weighed myself every time I passed a scale and thought I was having a good day when my first bite of food came at dinner; bad days were when I ate some grapefruit or drank a glass of milk before going to class. This time I lost weight though and eventually alternated periods of regular dieting and starvation.

The weight loss stopped though, and after that I maintained a weight-range for awhile. Then, I started binging (still with alternating periods of anorexia though!) and I gained weight. I have tried to diet since then, and haven’t had a sustained period of anorexia for awhile (probably since last year).

Reading this blog though made me realize that I have to stop this. I don’t want to diet and I don’t want to starve myself, and I don’t want to overeat. I don’t want to ignore my hunger or feed myself when I’m not hungry. I don’t want to stuff myself with junk because I feel deprived or feel like killing myself because I ate a cookie. I don’t want to work out until I’m crying or lay on the couch feeling like a failure. I want a healthy relationship with food. I want love myself for once.

So that’s my story with food, weight, and my body. I felt I should share it for anyone who was interested because it is important to know where I came from to understand where I’m going-and that goes for me as well as anyone who happens to read this.

However, that’s only a part of my story. Like I said, I’m a writer and an editor. I’m also a music-lover and a TV junkie, a total bookworm, and a baseball freak who likes to pretend she’s crafty. And all of that is going to be floating around in here somewhere.

So welcome to my blog; make yourselves at home!

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Comments»

1. zmama75 - September 27, 2007

Welcome to the blogosphere!

2. goodwithcheese - October 5, 2007

Hey, thank you so much for the kind words. I’m looking forward to reading about your journey; your path seems pretty familiar to me and so I can’t wait to see your insights!


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