When I was young I was one of the first girls in my class and neighborhood to develop.
This caused me to grow out before I grew up. I was used to being tiny my whole life and suddenly I gained about 15-20 pounds on my small frame. I was often teased by the other children for being overweight and the taunts began to get to me and I began to see myself as ugly and fat.
My family moved when I was 11 and I was still overweight despite my attempts at dieting. Finally, at age 12 we moved to our new and final home where I was to start middle school with no one I knew at all.
That summer before middle school I was determined to change and not be known as the "fat kid" anymore. I cut my food intake, began to count calories and do vigorous exercises every day. My to my elation, I lost a substantial amount of weight before school.
However, I was so excited about losing weight and the compliments I was receiving that it fueled me to lose more. But no matter how much weight I lost, I was never satisfied, I always wanted to lose more. I began on a downward spiral into anorexia where I counted every calorie I ate and never allotted myself more than 500-700 a day.
My parents began to notice and took me to the doctor who notified them of my condition. During this time I developed depression and extreme anxiety. A year later, after intense treatment and therapy I recovered, only to get sick a second time when I was 14, due to abuse by guys. This time was even worse than the last, I increased my exercising and decreased my calorie intake. My depression and anxiety worsened, as did my condition.
I was hospitalized multiple time to no avail. The doctors even put a tube in my nose and confined me to be bed ridden due to the heart failure, as well as organ failure.
The news was delivered to my parents that I was not going to make it, I was going to die in a few months. They offered one last option to send me to an institution in PA that specialized in eating disorders. I was there for three months where I endured harsh, uncaring doctors and unsuccessful treatments. Finally, they released me with no hope of my recovery.
My parents refused to give up and sent me to an outpatient clinic in Cleveland. After another year, I recovered.
To this day I still don't know how or why I got better, all I know is that I did and I'm glad for it.
I still struggle with body image issues and the impulse to start the disorder again, but I am now 21 and have not yet had a relapse. Daily I work on the internal battle I have with my body image and each day it gets a little better. Now I eat right and exercise daily but I made a promise to myself to never go back there.
I know a lot of other women and even some men struggle with this issue. I truly believe that everyone should be happy in their own skin and not compare themselves to others. You are beautiful and handsome just the way you are. You are the perfect you.