"Two years ago it was my
‘best friend’ and now it’s my ‘enemy’! It no longer controls me or
my family and together we’ve pushed it away. I couldn’t have done
it alone. I wouldn’t have made it to uni if it wasn’t for my mum
and the school nurse who convinced me to see a professional
team….that took them six months! …….. I was really pig-headed!
I am talking about ANOREXIA.
It started when I was 15 and my friends and I tried the ‘south
beach diet’….. most of them dropped out but I stuck with it…. I’ve
always been competitive.
At home there was so much pressure to get ‘A’ grades; at last
there was a different focus. I became obsessed with counting
calories and even kept a food diary. I lost more weight but still
felt huge and ‘ugly’ and wanted to lose more….. my friends tried to
stop me and said they were worried but I didn’t care.
Slowly, I stopped going out with them, preferring to stay in and
do my sit-up regime. I thought about taking slimming pills but was
too scared so I bought laxatives instead…. I felt so driven to lose
weight; the thought of putting on an ounce scared me to death. I
remember feeling weepy and very tired. At its worst, my fingers and
toes went blue!
"I’m 16 now, but I think I started having a problem when I was
12. I became very worried about my weight and my body. I had put on
a bit of weight and was very upset when a boy in my class called me
fat. I remember feeling that even if I was doing very well in
school, things weren’t quite right and I wasn’t quite good
Gradually I ate less, lost masses of weight, but still believed
that I was fat. Sometimes I “felt” fat and this made me feel very
down. I stopped seeing most of my friends, and spent more and more
time thinking about food and my body.
I was always checking the shape of my stomach and bottom – at 20
or 30 times a day, looking at them in great detail. I felt very
cold at times, and found it harder and harder to find the energy to
do things as I was eating less and less.
I also weighed myself at least five times a day, and if my
weight had not gone down, I checked my stomach, and tried dieting
even more. Sometimes I binged on cakes and chocolate. I felt very
guilty afterwards and would usually be sick so that I could get rid
of the food and loose some weight. It felt as if I was going round
and round in circles, with no means of escape.
One of my teachers noticed that I wasn’t eating lunch and that I
had become thin (or at least she thought I had). She spoke to my
parents and I was taken to a clinic.
At first I didn’t want to know and I didn’t want to be helped.
However, I started a treatment called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
(CBT). I learned to look at the links between my thoughts, feelings
and behaviour, but more importantly, I learned that I could eat
regularly - without putting on weight.
Gradually I put on some weight and worked on my checking and
weighing behaviour. It wasn’t easy to get better. I slowly started
to eat the foods that I used avoid. Sometimes I still find myself
thinking the way I used to, but now I know I that this is only one
way of thinking, one way of being, and most of the time to chose
not to do this.
I love going out clubbing with my friends now and I don’t argue
quite so much with my parents, well at least not about food