At the age of 11 I walked into my doctor’s office for a yearly checkup. I was weighed, I was measured, I was given a shot, etc. My doctor had a chart in front of him where he had circled my BMI. I was overweight. He told me to cut down on junk food and to take more walks.
At the age of 12 my mother went on Weight Watchers. Taking me with her. Together we went to the gym, went to meetings, and counted our daily points. I slowly began looking more like all my friends and less like a contestant on the biggest loser. My mom and I were on great terms, best friends. I felt like I was in an episode of Gilmore Girls that summer. My mother was so proud of me. And people kept telling me that I looked good. I had never been so happy in my life.
At the age of 14 I moved states. It may have only been 5 hours away but it felt like my life had changed forever. I slowly began to slip away from my Weight Watchers and I began to binge. I ate pizzas, cheese curds, everything and anything deep fried. I gained back all the weight my Weight Watchers had helped me loose. And my mother and I began to drift apart. She looked at me with disgust not pride. But food for those first two years became my only friend.
At the age of 16 I starved myself for the first time. I went on a 2 day school trip without parental supervision and I realized how easy it was to not eat. No one cared. And the weight began to shed right back off. I was proud. The whole of my junior year became largely me trying to find a way to starve myself, while not being detected by my friends and family. I felt good. I dropped down to the size I was before my move and I was ecstatic.
At the age of 17 my best friend sat me down and he told me he’d noticed. He’d been noticing for a long time. I sat with him and cried. He told me I was doing it to myself and I could just stop if I tried.
At the age of 17 I made myself throw up for the first time.
At the age of 17 I realized I was killing myself.
At the age of 17 I tried to stop.
At the age of 17 I thought I could be happy.
At the age of 18 I went to my birthday party at a restaurant. I couldn’t eat my food. I couldn’t eat my dessert. I just drank my diet coke and plastered a smile on my face.
At the age of 18 I’m relapsing.
At the age of 18 I’m writing this wondering if it’ll ever be possible to be truly happy with my weight?
At the age of 18 I’m sharing my story for the first time, hoping to find others who understand.