Now although only a couple of people know about my personal history with weight loss (my mom and my girlfriend), I don't feel uncomfortable writing any of this. I feel that as long as I can help anybody, even if it is just one person, that this is all worth telling. And it is with that, you will now know my story.
Anorexia can be summed up in a number of ways. Some persons call skinny people anorexic, regardless of if they are or not. Some people call those who don't eat much anorexic, regardless of if they are or not. Me? My definition of anorexia comes from a real moment of my life. Let me start from when I was at the ripe age of fourteen.
After having been only chubby my whole life prior to the 6th grade, I gained a massive amount of weight. In 5th grade, I was 160 pounds. In 6th grade I was 200 pounds. And then in 7th and 8th grade, I was 240 and then 250 pounds (and around 5'11").
As anybody could tell, gaining 80 pounds in a span of three years was absolutely ridiculous. I was sad that I was fat, which caused me to eat a lot, which made me more sad, and on and on the cycle went.
It wasn't until the very end of 8th grade that I began to change my eating habits. At first, I cut out soda, which was followed by chips, which was then followed by any and all junk food. While hard at first, I actually began to not even crave my favorite food, Oreos, anymore. I began to crave things such as apples, chicken, and other nutritious foods.
By the beginning of my freshman year of high school, I had dropped down to 225 pounds, and felt good about myself. I played football hoping to be the quarterback, and was told I was too overweight to play that position, so I was stuck on the line, blocking for the quarterback.
Of course, this made me even more sad, causing me to take my weight loss even more seriously. At the beginning of the following summer, I began to track my calories on my phone with MyFitness Pal. Never did I think that it would become the poisonous obsession that it transformed into.
I began by setting my calories to lose one pound a week, figuring that by the end of the summer, I could be "sexy" as I called it.
After a couple of weeks, I had "only" lost three pounds. This caused me to make the decision of saying "screw it" to the 2200 calories (or so) that I was supposed to eat a day, and made me drop that number to 1000 a day. Terrible idea.
My daily routine went like this: wake up, eat breakfast, throw up breakfast, skip lunch, eat dinner. Repeat.
This was an extremely. EXTREMELY. Unhealthy thing to do. Especially considering that I was running 2 miles a day on top of this. I was in a calorie deficit to say the least.
I got what I wanted though. I had lost weight by the end of the summer. Lots of it, in fact. And to be exact, I had lost 60 pounds and was down to 175. On top of this, I had grown four inches during the summer, bringing my overall height to 6'3".
I looked like a skeleton, and I didn't even realize it. 175 was such a low number, and yet I wanted to be "skinnier," even though I was already, as my dad said "looking like I just got out of Auschwitz."
For the next year, I continued on my diet of 1000 calories a day, and by spring of last year (my Junior year), I was down to 162 pounds.
I was unbelievably unhealthy. Down to a level that now that I think about it, I should've been put in a hospital.
My cheeks were sunken in, my arms were nothing but skin and bone, and I could see each of my ribs, and my hip bones with ease. It was a miracle that I was even able to walk around.
Everybody told me that they were proud of me for losing so much and being skinny now, but all that I thought was "how am I skinny? I still look fat. I can lose more."
An even bigger miracle was that I was able to play my favorite sport, Tennis, at such a high level, having been just one match short of earning All-State accolades.
I'm glad I lost that final match though. I'm glad I lost my huge lead, and choked the game away. For had I not, I might not be here writing this today. I could be in a care center, or dead.
It was after that match that I knew I was out of shape. I was disgustingly skinny. I was anorexic, and it showed.
My friends would joke around about it, calling me anorexic, calling me "skinny *kitten*," and just mocking me for being so skinny. But each time I just thought to myself "I can lose more weight."
It was after this tennis season that I got to working hard on being fit. Not right away. At first, I was skeptical. All of the voices in my head told me I was fat, and I believed them. No matter what evidence showed me that I was severely anorexic, I believed that I was fat. And so I starved myself even more at the beginning of the summer. Sometimes only having 500 calories a day.
And then came the overeating. The huge binges.
All of the years of starving myself took their toll.
I ate one piece of candy, having gone without any for years, and it caused me to go crazy.
I ate, and ate, and ate. Sometimes even eating 8,000 calories a day.
I ate entire packages of Oreos, entire bags of family sized potato chips, entire packages of cookie dough, and boxes of Twinkies. All of these even together in the same nights, too. And by the time I decided to stay healthy, I had gained 20 pounds of fat. And I felt worse about myself than ever before.
And it wasn't until late August I actually decided to make a difference.
My cousin had given me some Herbalife while I visited him in California, and it made me want to get better as an athlete. It made me want to be healthy, and careful about my body (in a healthy way), and so I did.
Although it took me months to actually get committed to it, I did it. I began by eating healthy and eating enough each day so I could lose some of the binge-eating fat that I had gained. And then it progressed to lifting weights and trying to get bigger so I wouldn't be called a "skinny *kitten*" anymore.
It was 6 months ago that I started that change, and I haven't looked back since. When I started, I could only curl 30 pounds with one arm, and I struggled with it. Now, I rep 55s with each arm, and lift weights Monday-Friday at 6 in the morning each and every week.
Since September, I have gained a total of twenty two pounds.
Now I'm not going to say that the voices aren't there anymore. Cause they are. The very same voices that say "you eat too much," "you're not good enough," and so on. They are firmly placed in my brain. Maybe forever. But I don't listen to them, I just use them, and my past self, as fuel to become the best version of me that I can ever be.
And it is with that mindset, that i now know that I can conquer anything and every obstacle that stands in my way. If I can conquer Anorexia, I can conquer anything. And so can anybody else out there that feels too skinny, or too fat, or just wants to live a healthy lifestyle.