Today I got a comment requesting the beginnings of my obsession/addiction with ana. Well, really, I don't think there was a beginning. It's always been there, in the back of my mind. It was there the first day of kindergarten, when, even though I was the tiniest in my class, I thought all the other girls were prettier than me. It was there the days when I watched my mother exercise constantly to maintain a size 12, and live on carrots and celery. It was there when I somehow exploded into early puberty in like fourth grade and gained somewhere around 100 pounds, sending my heart, mind, and body, into a yoyo of different diets, states of mind, weight losses, and dramatic weight gains. Then there was the period after my brother was born, when my mom decided to drag me with her on every new diet she could find. I've done weight watchers, jenny craig, slimfast, atkins, south beach, the hollywood grapefruit juice diet, and some weird hoodia powder stuff that you mix with this nasty syrup stuff. My mom and I tried it all. And nothing workled. On many of these diets, especially the atkins diet, I even gained weight. At only eleven years old I was barely five feet tall, and somewhere near 150 pounds. Kids made fun of me, and many days I went home and cried for hours because I was always the fat kid. Then one day, I had had enough. I started getting into fights alot, beating up the kids that bullied me. I thought, well, if I'm bigger than they are, surely I can kick their asses and then they won't mess with me. But that made me even sadder, because I've never been that much of a fighter. I would rather be peaceful, and happy, not angry all the time and violent as I was. Then, in seventh grade, I became vegetarian. I lost 15 pounds almost instantly, but was still clinically obese, weighing 180 pounds. The next year, just before the 8th grade formal, my family got this ab-lounge equipment, and I got hooked really fast. I cut out sodas, and was working on the ab-lounge for thirty minutes a day, everyday. I lost another 15 pounds, and was the happiest I had ever been with my body. My family started noticing, and congratulating me on my amazing achievements. I was so exhilerated. Nothing else mattered. I felt free. However, that same summer, I gained all 30 pounds back, and then some, and when 9th grade started, I weighed 200 pounds. As soon as school started I tried not eating every few days. I thought maybe if I only ate 4 or 5 days a week, it would balance out my calorie intake or something and I would stop gaining weight. I tried going a whole week on liquids alone. That year, I actually gained even more weight, and crashed into an endless cycle of starving, then bingeing, and cutting myself. I pierced my skin in obvious and not so obvious places. I still have scars from piercing, and cutting, and shaving layers of skin off of my body. The next year, however, I went vegan, for lent: 40 days. Vegan was my excuse for eating as little as possible, and that year I got down to 180 again. After lent, I maintained that weight, untillthe next school year started. I gained 20 pounds, soaring me back up to 200, and crashing myself back down into self-loathing and mutilation. I began to really like the cutting. I didn't want to be labeled "emo" however, so I hid my cuts in odd places, like my inner thigh, my hips, and most of all, my disgusting flabby stomach. When New Years came, it was time for yet another resolution to lose weight. I went vegan again, except this time two of my friends who suffered with their weights joined me in a competition to see who could go the longest without food. Next thing I knew, I was back down to 180. I never got below that. But I always gained the weight back. I started rinking really heavily, one to two cups of straight vodka every single day after school. I needed it. Some days I woulds live off of vodka alone. Then on weekends I would throw myself into the chemical oblivion of drunkeness, and sleep really late in the afternoon. I gained weight. I gradually lessened the amount of alcohol I consumed, motivated by someone who no matter what will always be very dear to me, even though we are seperated now. I got worried one time, when I drank so much I passed out, and realized that it had taken me a whole gallon of vodka to actually get so far as passing out. I still hate how high of a tolerance I have for substances. It's very scary. Anyways, I stopped drinking and focused more on exercise as a way to deal with things. This was last year. All summer I did yoga, every morning, followed by Gilad's Bodies In Motion on FitTV at my grandmother's house. I didn't really lose weight, but I did gain some muscles, and I got taller. When Junior year started, I was a little bit more confident, taller, and had maintained 195 for a few months. Except that's when it got bad. I was discovering new things about myself, such as my sexuality, my extreme obsessive compulsiveness, and the fact that I cannot deal with long-distance relationships. It wasa very sad time, but I cheated on my boyfriend of a whole year, on a girl who had the exact opposite eating disorder as me. I remember us going on diets, only for her to lose a little, and me to gain it. After we broke up, one morning, I looked at my reflection, and had absolutely no idea who the monster I saw staring back at me was. She was fat, ugly, unhappy, and sad. Very very sad. True, that girl was no longer an alcoholic, no longer a cutter, and hadn't stopped eating for a long time, but she was worse now than ever. This was last December, when I realized, looking into the mirror in horror, and looking down at the scale that read 215, that I didn't know myself anymore. My life was out of control, my best friend hadn't said a word to me in over a year, and I had no clothes to fit me. I began writing down everything I ate, and taking diet pills, and trying very hard to grab control of my eating. It started slowly, I took weight training class at school, and limited myself to 1000 calories a day. In February, I began fasting for whole weeks. I got down to 180 finally, and was happier than ever. Now, I'm trying hard to continue this story, hopefully with the happiest of endings. I know that yeah maybe this isn't healthy, but it's working, and as long as I don't binge like I did this past weekend, I should be alright. I will one day be able to say confidently that my weight is under control, and that my size five jeans are a little loose, and that I can be pretty. One day, i will reveal to myself the pretty girl inside, the girl I have never seen, but can feel inside me, begging to be set free. She's in there somewhere, and one day I can show the entire world her beauty.
It might take some time to get there, because I have so much to lose, but in the end, everything will be ok.