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For The World To See

I come from a long line of abuse.


I'm 5'6", weigh 113 pounds, and am a size 1. I've been told I have an hourglass figure.

Not as severe as some, but enough that I was constantly afraid and never felt in control of anything. For a while (in high school) I used cutting as an outlet, but after my father found a suicide note and threatened to "lock me up" in an institution somewhere, I discontinued the behavior out of fear. I had no outlets and no friends due to forced isolation.

That being said, I used to be a very "thick" girl growing up. I had become accustomed to wearing a pant size 13 around 10th grade and just figuring that those were my genes and I'd just have to settle for what I was given.

Fast forward to age 21. I was at an all time psychological low. My abusive past that I had been ignoring caught up with me in the form of insomnia, hypochondrea, ocd, anxiety and depression (that would go un-diagnosed/treated for 2 more years). At this point I met this guy who was interested in me, but I felt was way "out of my league". He was cute, funny and very fit and athletic. I had never felt so self conscious before.

I started going to the gym and living off of granola bars and milk-shake meal replacers. I went from a size 13 to a size 7 in 6 months. I felt FANTASTIC that I finally had this kind of control. I had never seen the scale go below 140 since middle school. This was the start to a long obsession with weight and dealing body dysmorphia (concerning my hips specifically).

For the next 5 years I would concentrate on nothing but calories and fitness and to this day it is a constant struggle. When I look in the mirror I still see myself as the size 13 that I used to be. If I go over 113lbs, I starve and exercise until I get back down. Every time I lose weight I think I'm happy until that little voice says, "just a little bit more".

My current goal is an unhealthy 109, which I'm sure I'll eventually get down to (unfortunately). I do not meet the criteria for anorexia, but I definitely have an eating disorder. I've also found out that they (ED's) run in the family; however, my family's obsession with food goes the opposite direction: using food (and alcohol) as a crutch, to the point of it being a health-risk due to morbid obesity (as opposed to potential malnutrition in my case).

I identify as a feminist and have had plenty of courses in women's studies over the years, so having this eating disorder has been extra shameful due to intense feelings of hypocrisy. Because I'm not to the point of looking unhealthy, no one notices.

So for now it's my own, embarrassing, little secret. Taking this photo and posting it is very difficult. Not only from putting myself out there emotionally, but from taking a picture and then posting a body, that I am extremely discontent with, for the world to see.


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