Saturday, November 14, 2009

Healthy or Underweight

I had a more than a civil discussion with a friend the other night about food, diet, and women. The conversation arose when I told him that I was keeping this blog. And I also admitted that I was becoming obsessed with food, my weight, and losing it. Of course, he was concerned--especially because he is a man...and because his perception of female beauty has been dictated to him since he was in knickers by the media.

As my earlier posts indicate, I have not had a healthy relationship with food nor my body image since I was a child. I was a healthy baby, just under 8 pounds, and as my Mom tells me, I had a robust appetite--always quickly sucking down the last drop of my formula in record time. As a toddler, I was taught to clean my plate for fear that the starving children of Africa would not have enough. I happily obliged! I loved food!

As I went through grammar school, I went through 'pudgy' stages; especially about the time that I lost baby teeth to be replaced by adult teeth that were clearly too big for my 9-year-old face. And...way too early...I developed acne. I was in 5th grade--10-11 years old and I had acne! And when Mom took me to the local dermatologist--he gave me a bottle of make-up/foundation and gave me treatments under a sunlamp.

So much for a budding sense of self-confidence...then Dad took off and I was on my road to anorexia. Thankfully, this disease did not get hold of my like it does some young girls, but I did get down to a ridiculously low BMI of 16 with ribcage, spine, hipbones and collar bones prominent. But for me the critical indicator of something very messed up in my stubborn little head was when I was standing in front of a full length mirror. My mom stood behind me and heard me say, "I look fat". She asked, "Don't be silly. Do you want your stomach to go in?". My reply: "Of course".

During this time period, about a year, I ate very little--maybe 800 calories a day, and exercised like a fiend. I stopped menstruating...not a good sign. But ultimately, I snapped out of it. I don't recall why...possibly because I met a boy who introduced me to beer!?! Hmmm...imagine one addiction for another...

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