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Me, Myself and Bulimia

It all started at the age of 14. Before being diagnosed as having bulimia, I was a happy teenager full of life and always loved going out. Before the diagnosis, I had no clue about eating disorders.

All throughout my childhood I was always slim and then puberty hit. With that I gained a considerable amount of weight, going from my childhood body to an average body size. My weight and body started being judged; I was being judged by the elders in my extended family, being compared to the other girls in my family who were older and slimmer than me. I became depressed; I hated the way I looked.

Deciding I needed to lose weight, I started eating healthier and was exercising every day to have my ‘goal’ body. I wanted to be slim like my cousins. I didn’t want to be branded as the young, overweight niece. Food dictated my life; I became obsessed.

An adult in my family once commented on the bowl of pasta I was eating; from then I started restricting the foods I ate, and only eating a small amount during any family gatherings. Restricting the foods I loved made me feel tired, depressed and cold. When eating outside of my home, I would feel annoyed if I didn’t know what was going to be for dinner. My solution to that was avoiding any family get-together. Then came the idea of eating in secret. When everyone was asleep in my house, I would sneak into the kitchen and binge eat on anything I could see in sight. Feeling guilty about binge eating, I started throwing up with the hope that I could lose weight.

By the time it got to my diagnosis, I was stuck in a vicious cycle of restricting, binge eating and throwing up. The diagnosis was kept between my parents, my brother, my best friend, the school, the doctor and I. We decided against telling my extended family. Why? Why didn’t I want to tell others in the family about it? Because the extended family had the unhealthy view that all girls should be slim. Therapy, counselling and medication soon became familiar. Having the CBT helped me to cope with all my feelings. It helped me with the battle of my unhealthy relationship with food. It helped me to recover.

Now, food isn’t the one controlling me; instead it is me controlling my life. My life doesn’t revolve around food. With the help of my parents, brother, best friend, therapy, the doctor and the school I can officially say that I recovered. During my battle with bulimia, I learnt many lifelong lessons, one of which is not everyone is going to have the same body as everyone is different and being healthy doesn’t mean having a slim body. Being healthy means feeling comfortable and happy about your own self.

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