Note from Hollie: This story was submitted by a friend. It is devastating to see how young children (especially females) are noticing weight and size at an early age. Then how it can grow into something much bigger. I remember a while ago tumblr banned “pro-anna” sites (a topic for another day). Even though tumblr banned these posts, websites still exist dedicated to a frail and malnourished body still exist. Thank you all for sharing stories and donating. This eating awareness campaign has grown much bigger then I ever would have dreamed. With only 215 dollars left to go, my goal today is to reach 2000! It would mean a lot if you were able to donate but if you aren’t please don’t hesitate to retweet, share or comment. Any awareness is better then no awareness and together we have truly achieved raising awareness.
Submitted by anonymous
Weirdly enough, I can remember when the seed of doubt was planted in my brain, that I needed to be skinner. I was 9 and my best friend said your thigh is bigger than mine and Jessie’s. I had never even imagined anything like this before. That was the evil seed, that would spout a few years later down the road.
I was sitting in Home Economics and we watched the movie “For the Love of Nancy”, it was Tracey Gold’s story with Anorexia. For some reason, instead of being sympathetic for her condition and seeing there was obviously an issue, I saw it as wow, I could get skinner if I cut out certain foods. I won’t have a problem but hmm I’d love to be skinny. I then stopped eating, any type of cheese, butter, soda, or anything I perceived to make me fat. This went on for 2 years. I somehow managed to just drift out of it, and go back to being semi normal. It didn’t resurface again until I graduated high school and gained 10 pounds from inactivity because up until that point, I had been playing soccer and running a lot. A friend of my brother made up a new nickname for me everytime he saw me and it was HIPS. I was mortified, and he was relentless with it, everytime I saw him it was HIPS, HIPS, HIPS. I remember I looked in the mirror and was just so disgusted with how my stomach looked, my hips and everything else. I wasn’t going to let this continue. It started off well enough, I figured that if I cut my calorie intake in half, quit drinking soda I would lose some weight and start feeling better. I also started running a mile or two a day and did kickboxing videos with my best friend. The weight started coming off but then, that evil seed had sprouted. My head started telling me, just cut a little more out of your diet and the weight will come off even faster. So, I started eating even less. The bonus was, I was in college and working so no one ever noticed if I ate or not. I started getting compliments about how great I looked so I figured well, if I eat even less I will get skinner and life will be so much better. At this time too, I was using the internet to fuel my obsession. Pro-Ana sites were all the rage and I was all about the message boards. I had to make sure I visited these sites in secret and delete the web browsing history. I didn’t want my brother or parents to know what I was doing. These sites were great, it gave me “thinspiration” and ideas on how to hide not eating from my parents and friends. I spent so much time talking to others who thought like me. I was able to gets lists of “safe foods” and ways to dress to look less skinny. As time went, I got skinner and skinner. People started to notice and I was always quick to tell them I was fine, just so busy and working out a lot. But, the truth was, I was eating less than 500 calories a day, reading any book on Anorexia I could find, and working out when I could. I was always so tired. I had a retail job, and I wouldn’t eat all day so by the time the shift was nearing the end, I could barely fold the clothes. I was living on Diet Coke and eating steamed veggies. This continued for a few years, it just became exhausting listening to the little voice tell me, “don’t eat that”, “she is thinner than you”, my breaking point came when I just really wanted a handful of Skittles, I hadn’t had any in so long so I bought a bag. I was driving home and I was going to open them, I started crying and they the bag out the window. Finally, I knew that I was tired, of counting every single calorie, lying to my friend and parents, and so tired of being control by the evil seed in my head.
I was able to gradually start eating again, and resume more of a normal life. But, the obsessive food behavior followed me for years. I couldn’t just be happy with my body I was always feeling I was fat and lacking in every area. It wasn’t until I started Running long distance that the vicious cycle ended. I fell head over heels for running but I couldn’t do my sport if I didn’t fuel my body correctly. Running taught me that a strong body is beautiful, not a weak one. Sadly, there are still days when a size doesn’t fit or I just catch a glimpse of my body and I feel that evil seed turning in my head. But, those days are fewer and fewer every year.
Question for you: How can we combat these social media sites dedicated to these frail bodies?
I remember my first time noticing as well. I was about 8 or 9 and my cousin told me that the reason I had boobs was because I was fat. I had NEVER thought anything of me weight before that. Since that moment I was self conscious. This story really hits home.
Ashley @ KickAshMom.com
Awe thanks for stopping by Ash! I’m sorry I am just responding now, this comment had been withheld since it was your first comment. Hopefully it doesn’t do it anymore! 🙂
This definitely is a problem Hollie. There has gotta be a way to beat this! My 9 year-old is even already body image aware. There is actually a commercial that and company that combats this but I can’t put my finger on who but I saw the video on YouTube. This problem even effect guys to some degree these days. It bothered me for a while when I got into distance running because I’m not the typical body type of a endurance runner but I’ve come to terms with it. Definitely in your corner on this important issue
I found that company and ad. It’s put out by Special K and it’s called “shut down fat talk”
I don’t know how to combat those sites, but maybe we start with posts like these and blogs with healthier bodies and attitudes toward food? If we can become the majority, we will represent more and start to combat these messages!
I 100% agree. I think that if blogs didn’t worry about showcasing a perfect life it would make a world of difference.
The sites will always be there but we can use our blogs and social media to post healthier body images. Strong bodies not frail weak ones.
Even though I suffered from AN for a good handful of years, I [thankfully] never indulged in pro-ana sites — I can only imagine how much more difficult it would have been to recover if I had. I honestly have no idea how to combat that kind of crap, but I try to do my part by making sure that my little corner of the web is somewhere people can go to see a healthy and realistic example. I figure if I can help even one person avoid or get out of the hell that I went through, it’s all been worth it.
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