I don't think I can ever remember a time where I wasn't disgusted with my own body.
Even from a young age I would constantly complain, whether it was to my friends or just to myself, about how much bigger I was than what seemed to me like everyone else. When I went to boarding school in 9th grade, this body misconception only became worse. At only 14 I was shipped off to Connecticut to attend one of the top schools in the country, knowing no one and being completely vulnerable. After being so body conscious for so long I had managed to maintain a fairly average weight of 130lbs at 5'8". Still, I was not satisfied and friends that I had made up at school grew tired of my constant complaining about my perfectly normal body. I even had guy friends tell me that I was "so insecure, it was unattractive."
Slowly, everything that was going on in my life started to drag me into a deep depression. The competitive setting of my school, my lack of parental guidance, and stress of school work and body image really took its toll on me. I relied on one friend who, though I didn't know it at the time, was a recovering anorexic, and we would order chinese food or pizza almost every night to avoid going to the dining hall where everyone else would eat. We secluded ourselves, and with every delivery order I could feel myself getting heavier and heavier. The physical I had going into my sophomore had me weighed at 163lbs, a record high for myself. I went into a complete panic. For the next three months, I picked up running and would run 2-3 miles everyday after field hockey practice. I opted for salads, I cut out sweets, and did as much nutritional research as possible to help me get the body I longed for. By late November I was 140lbs, and even though I was more toned and in the greatest shape I'd ever been in, it wasn't enough.
When winter came along, I upped my workouts even more. Losing weight became an obsession. I went to my school's gym 6 times a week for almost 2 hours a day, and soon everyone in the school noticed how often I would run the indoor track. I started receiving compliments about how much better my body looked, which only motivated me further. In order to lose weight I had to start skipping meals, eating less than 800 calories a day, and still run 5 miles every day. Of course, with all this restricting, I fell into an unhealthy binging cycle. Since staying at school had always made me feel embarrassed to binge, I began going home on the weekends to stuff my face only to repeat the vicious cycle when I returned to school. Being away from school during all those weekends, as well as spending so much time at the gym, ultimately caused me to lose a lot of friends because I simply didn't have enough time to hang out with anyone. Any free time I had I was too exhausted to do anything. It wasn't until spring break when I reached my breaking point. I would wake up early every day on vacation with my family to workout, then would proceed to starve myself for the rest of the day so that I wouldn't feel insecure about my bikini body.
I remember crying while my family was grocery shopping because I told myself I couldn't buy anything but I was really so hungry. That same night I snapped at my dad for a reason I can't remember at the dinner table, which was so intense it ended the meal and I stormed into my room. I listened through the door as I heard my parents talk about "what was happening to me", and heard them get upset about how I had become "skin and bones." That night I cried myself asleep, realizing I was even pushing away the few people that I had left to rely on.
So, starting the next day, I tried going back to a regular diet and immediately found that I was much less irritable and even back to my old self. In the months that followed, I remembered that night and tried to lessen the strictness of my diet and exercise routine. Slowly the lbs creeped back, and in a panic I began to skip meals and sometimes go days without eating, only to eventually binge and purge. I began developing bulimia but fought it in its early stages because I knew that I wanted to become healthy again. Now, at 150lbs, I'm still trying to find the balance between health and obsession, as well as trying to finally accept and love my body.