Foreword from Hermia: This is the second installment for the Secret Stories project and it really makes you realise that you can be close to a person and still have no idea what’s really going on.
We’ve had a surge of entries for the Project, which is fantastic and please keep them coming.
I’m going to run two stories a week for the forseeable future so if your story isn’t printed immediately, don’t worry because it’s on file and I will use them all.
I have wanted to tell someone this a while now, but I just can’t do it. Mainly because it’s in the past and I’m pretty happy with my life as it is right now so I just don’t see the point in dragging something up that happened nearly two years ago. I know my friends had their suspicions, but I was pretty good at hiding it, and I know my parents didn’t have a clue, and my boyfriend – we shall call him Bob – would be totally shocked, and baffled. Basically, I had an eating disorder for about two years.
It took me ages to come to that conclusion. I was only making myself sick about once a day, occasionally twice, and as far as I was concerned, bulimics threw up like twenty times a day so I was only a little bit bulimic, if at all. On the other end of the scale, I ate only as much as needed to function, but I never went an entire day without food, so I was only a little anorexic, if at all.
I never ate anything that didn’t have nutritional information on the packet, so that I could keep and exact record of how much calories and fat I was eating, and then I write it all down religiously every day. One of my worst habits was flushing my entire plate of dinner down the toilet (we don’t eat round the table in my house).
I won’t bore you with two years of my dreadful diet, but I remember the moment I knew I’d hit rock bottom: I ate four jelly babies (yep, four whole jelly babies) and panicked and rushed to the bathroom. Altogether, I went from 9 stone 6 pounds to just under 8 stone at my lowest, and I’m about 5 foot 8 inches. My periods also stopped for about fourteen months. (they are back, and I’m back up to eight and a half).
I started going out with Bob about two years ago, and I credit him with a big part of me getting better, even though he has absolutely no idea. I think I was just really unhappy, and used it as a way of release … if that makes any sense. People would comment on my weight loss (although looking back at pictures I was never fat to begin with), and it felt pretty good to know that I could do this and no one knew. I also think i was very young – I started controlling what i ate at about sixteen, and by seventeen I had definitely developed a problem. This continued to about nineteen, when I met Bob, and after a few months … I honestly don’t know, I just gradually stopped. I think I just copped on and grew out of it. I’ll admit it never totally goes away – I definitely do still watch what I eat, but I haven’t made myself sick in a year, and I eat filling, healthy meals, and there’s no point denying yourself chocolate because you’ll crack eventually and just scoff
loads of it.
Bob only knows me as a healthy, happy, confident person, and I like being that person. I don’t want to condemn anyone who might have a problem with food, but in my eyes, it’s a really, really silly thing, and anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that it’s not healthy, and detrimental to your body. I think that’s why i don’t ever want to bring it up – because I don’t ever want to be known as being that stupid. I think people would think less of me, particularly Bob and my mother.
I’m also quite proud of the fact that I overcame it by myself (although I’m not advocating this – get help if you think you have a problem), and I think that’s what makes me feel strong enough to put it behind me. You know when you remember things from when you were younger and you laugh and you’re like, “god I was so silly at that age! Thank god i grew up!” Well, that’s how i feel about this. It does feel really good to get it off my chest, but this is where its staying – in an anonymous post on the internet!