Hello George! I just wanted to tell you, first and foremost, you are such an inspirational writer, body positivity leader, and over all wonderful human being. I am a regular reader of yours, since I started regularly following you this last August. I have been on and up and down weight loss journey since I was ten years old, believe it or not. my parents instilled in me the only way I could attract a man was to “look good” since I have various medical issues that would otherwise turn one off to being with me. Which I, in turn, have discovered is complete bull. But I would very much like to share my story with you, if that’s alright?
The above picture is one I took today, actually. April 23, 2013. I am twenty years old in this picture, this summer, July ninth, I will be twenty one. Today I woke up feeling awfully disgusted with myself. And these days happen every now and then. I recently started a healthy journey to getting fit. Before, it was eating disorders, crash diets, exercising till I passed out, and so on. I still wake up every now and then completely disgusted with myself. It happens to everyone, I have come to accept that now. It used to be a regular morning ritual of mine to stand naked in the mirror staring at every crevice every dimple, every inconspicuous flaw I had, and focusing on each individual one for about twenty minutes. With special attention directed towards my stomach (hence the photo I am sending along with this message). I have the worst insecurity over my stomach still. It drives me crazy, all the time. Always worrying if it shows through clothing, my little pooch at the bottom. If you can believe it, I used to be so derogatory towards myself, I’d call it my “little stomach fart” that shouldn’t be there. Along with that, I made the corresponding onomatopoeia. But i am not writing this email to glorify my body negativity, that slowly but surely is dwindling (and began once I found your blog). Rather, I am here to be somewhat of a saint of sorts, much like yourself, attempting at saving someone else from being a victim of severe negativity.
It all began when I was seven years old. I had a brain tumor. From being in the hospital, unable to move around, for a few weeks I gained a bit of weight. And it kind of cascaded from there. seeing as though I was seven years old, being cured of cancer, you’d think it was okay for a child to have gained a little weight, right? Nope. Not in my father’s eyes. Once I was better, fully recovered about a year later, he directly put me back into multiple sports at a time. He put me on a diet, 1300 calories a day. Ridiculous for a small child, you’d think? I didn’t know better. I was eight years old. I knew I hated the fact that my dad ut me on a diet so young though. By nine years old, I developed epilepsy from the leftover scar tissue mulling around in my brain from my surgery at seven years old. Not your typical grand mal epilepsy, but rather something called focal seizures. They knew what it was caused by, and it was from a focused area in my brain. After my first one had occurred, a neurologist prescribed me a medication called Tegrotol. My dad looked it up once we had gone home from the doctors. And oh, fantastic, Tegrotol also increases appetite and decreases metabolism. So he then had me on an even stricter diet and exercise plan. From nine years old till about thirteen years old, I was eating 1200 calories a day and rigorously exercising every day…
Pausing for a short interruption: I do not blame my father any longer nor do I hold resentment towards him any longer for the things he did. He was worried about my health and best interest, and as I grew older, I realized that.
At fourteen, I developed bulimia. My father would say at dinner, every night, “Should you really be eating that?” Or, “Please think about that extra helping.” So one night, I got the brilliant idea that maybe, if I excreted the food that was in me, that wouldn’t be extra caloric intake that day. And then that day turned into every day, at every dinner. And eventually, every dinner turned into every meal. Soon thereafter, my teacher had caught me at school with a toothbrush in my hand walking to the bathroom. And no, not to brush my teeth. I was forced to see a counselor at school. But my father was never notified. At fifteen, my father got severely ill, he was rushed to the hospital on one specific occasion from internal bleeding of his esophagus. I was torn up from that. So now, my disorder was turned into a stress reliever instead of my own personal weight loss plan. Throughout my high school, I experienced horrible things one after the other. And they all seemed to flood into my life at the same time. My disorder would be faint at what I classified a “good point” in which I would over dose on my prescriptions to take pain away. But then, it would flood back into my life like the gates to the Red Sea had just been clashed by Moses. I was bulimic for five consecutive years. At times, it would fade. But it would always come back with a vengeance whenever anything went horribly wrong. This last summer, at nineteen years old, my now ex-long-term-boyfriend found out I was doing it again. And it was more severe than ever. At first he accused me of “playing games”, just as my father used to do. But then one of my closest friends really reached out to him, and he realized it was not a joke. He threatened to have me hospitalized if I did not cease and desist all purging. So I did. Since then, there was only one time I purged. Shortly thereafter the threat of hospitalization. But the fact that I was diseased had finally hit me. And I slowly worked on my issues myself. I had been through three years of therapy before that, and not once did it completely stop my disorder. I needed to take this on full force, on my own. And I did.
Shortly after that, I found your blog and Facebook page, George. I have grown so much since then. I also have taken up meditation, interpersonal relational growth experiences, and a spirituality incomparable to any “faith” I have ever experienced. All have shown me that my body is just that, MINE. I need to take care of it. I need to take responsibility for it. I need to make it healthy. And even more so, I deserve to be healthy. Mindfully and physically.
I hope my story helps at least one reader, Georgina. Then I would feel fulfilled beyond words. All my life presence is meant for to help others who don’t quite have the tools to help themselves, just yet. After all, your story helped me.
Much life, love, and prosperity of wholeness.