Being confident wasn’t something that came easy for me.
Growing up, I witnessed my mother jump from one fad diet to the next. Jenny Craig, the cabbage soup diet, meal replacement shakes, Lean Cuisine meals, weight loss pills, etc. You name it, she tried it.
Couple that with seeing her display for me day in and day out how much she hated her body, it was the perfect recipe for a mind virus to slip into my impressionable mind.
I distinctly remember joining her for Weight Watchers weigh-ins. The look of accomplishment as she stepped on the scale to find that all of her point tracking from the previous week resulted in a couple of pounds weight loss would quickly dissolve into the past when the following week she’d step on the scale at weigh-ins only to have disappointment wash over her face as she discovered that she had gained it right back. She might have thought it was nothing to have me tag along, but it programmed something deep within me that made me think my worth & confidence was directly related to how much I weighed.
It should come as no surprise that I eventually developed eating disorders at various stages of my life.
Restricting calories so much that my 8th grade teacher asked me if I had an eating problem, to which I quickly responded “oh no I could never stop eating, I love food.” What a lie.
Then rebounding from anorexia to binge eating. Binging on cereal bars in my bedroom behind closed doors with all the wrappers and boxes quickly piling up under my bed, hiding the evidence and my shame became commonplace.
Once the shame and insecurity from binging on food became too much to handle, I started the sick cycle of binging and purging.
The bulimia lasted in secrecy for years. It was like an addiction to me. I had an insatiable urge to binge and purge, not feeling satisfied until I binged and purged all the contents from my stomach.
All of the disordered eating came from a deep place of insecurity & self-hatred. When you mix together the programming I received from my mother with the programming from the media of the 1990s, it’s a miracle I made it out on the other side. With my most impressionable years being consumed by 90’s culture which cherished waif celebrities like Calista Flockhart from Ally McBeal, and supermodels Kate Moss it’s no wonder I felt inferior one my soft body. The culture of the 90’s basically pushed an idea that if you’re weren’t a size 00 you were overweight, ugly, and no guy would want you.
Source: Haulover Beach
Original publication 5 December, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 12th May 2021
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