Age 14, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
When I was 14, my gym teacher told me boys would like me if I was thinner. That I could get a date if I wasn’t so chubby. That I’d have friends if I lost weight.
I weighed 130 pounds, was 5’3″ and athletic, had never been concerned about my weight until that day.
I became anorexic and bulimic, either not eating at all or gorging myself then forcing my fingers down my throat after every meal just so “boys would like me” as my teacher told me. I suffered in silence for 3 years, killing my body, losing friends, becoming more and more introverted and terrified to tell anyone what I was doing in the bathroom after every meal.
I didn’t mean to make myself sick. I didn’t mean to rip up my throat or rot my teeth. I didn’t mean to ruin my body or my friendships or my life. I didn’t mean to, and I didn’t want to. But I did, because I let myself believe that I wasn’t beautiful because I had rolls on my stomach and stretch marks on my thighs.
I’m almost 17 now and I still fight every day to stay strong, to reassure myself that I’m beautiful- cellulite and all, and to continue letting friends in, instead of shutting them out.
I hope my parents forgive me for not telling them until I needed medical help. I hope my friends forgive me for shutting them out for years, suffering in silence instead of asking for help. Most importantly, I hope my body forgives me for tormenting it for years instead of learning to love it. For ruining my throat, stomach, lungs, and teeth over a few insults. For finding someone else’s opinion more relevant than my own.
I’m sorry, and I hope you forgive me.
No matter what, it’s important to love yourself over all others.
(Photo credit: unknown. Sent in by contributor.)