copyright © 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
In America and the European Union Overweight Kids Face [a] Widespread Stigma. Only days ago, I contemplated this truth. As I watched a family shop, I was struck. She was young, perhaps ten years old. She was very heavy. I wondered how could one little girl carry so much weight on such a small frame.
The lass was sweet, quite petite, although clearly troubled. She had been shopping with her Mom, her grandmother, and her younger brother. From appearances, it seemed this family was in Target gathering wares for Grandmamma. They did not give the impression of being poor; nor did they look to be wealthy. They were average folks; they could have been you or me.
© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
As we stood face-to-face and quietly discussed my years of anorexia and bulimia, I was reminded of what I always knew and yet, was too distracted to acknowledge aloud. It was not that I never spoke of it before, I had on many occasions. However, this conversation helped me to realize the heartache my illness [and I unintentionally] caused more deeply.
They watch my weight and say that they are worried. They are awaiting my passage. They believe I want to die and think I am working towards this vision. I am not; I never was.
People ponder, “How many calories might I eat or burn? Will exercise bring me bliss? What is my heart rate, my blood pressure, and how are my Triglycerides? What is my HDL, [High Density lipoproteins] or LDL [Low-density lipoproteins]? Is my glucose level good?” BMI [Body Mass Index] is an important concern, or is it. I contend our weight may not be the issue. Calories are not the contribution that counts, cellular considerations do.
As did many, I commented in a place or two. Then I stumbled on an observation by Rees Chapman. This person’s remarks hit me where I lived, not in the Zone© by Dr. Barry Sears, as the writer mentioned, but in the zone. My zone encompasses years of struggle, and an ultimate realization, a resolution. Mine was not one of those you make on New Year’s Day; nor was it one that was left my the wayside.
My resolve lingered; I think it will last for a lifetime. Actually, I know it will. In truth, I did not consciously choose to change the way I interacted with food; I did not think I could. I committed to nothing, I only thought about it, as did Chapman.
She has to admit it to herself; there is no denying it, she is “bulimic.” What does that word really mean?
She filled her home with food. She shopped daily. Her cupboards were full. She back-stocked; yet, there was never enough. What food would tickle her fancy? Which delicacies would she desire most? What might she indulge in and would these cause her stomach to bulge, even after she emptied it?
She studied food, the way it sat in her stomach and the smoothness with which it came up. Once downed, was she able to bring it all up again? Would parts linger in her belly? If the morsels did not come up in full, how long would they remain within? Would she be able to rid herself of all the food or only portions? What nutrients would be absorbed and what calories?
One day she overheard a neighbor speak of bulimia. Why was this woman discussing this? The young lady mentioned that bulimics destroy their teeth. Is that true? Would she be different?
She recalled how her habit had almost immediately affected her hair. She once had very, very, very long hair; it was extremely thick and wavy. A short time after she started satiating her stomach and then emptying it, she noticed that her hair changed. It thinned. It went straight. She had always wanted thinner and straighter hair, though now that she had it, she realized that it was not as she preferred. However, it was too late. She was locked into this habit, or so it seemed.
She wanted to stop and yet, she did not believe that she could. She tried. She cried, though rarely. The best part of eating endlessly and then throwing-up was that it took time, a lot of time if it were to be done well. She was a very through person; she would do it well. This left little time for thinking. Well, that had been her hope.
It was not true. She found herself bingeing and purging for hours. Nonetheless, there was still time. No matter how many moments were spent focusing on food, there was still time to think. She thought.
Initially, the process released her from feeling; however, ultimately, it left her feeling more, more cautious, more fearful, less fulfilled, and less perfect. Knowing or thinking that she could not stop, oh, that was another feeling. That feeling never seemed to fade.
[Chapter Five in a Series.]
It began so innocently and it grew so rapidly. It was a conscious decision in a moment and yet, I never thought that it would become a way of life. I could not have anticipated what was to come. Initially it took no effort. It came so easily; actually, the food came up so easily, smoothly. Morsels slid in and slid out. Later, it was a chore, the chore of my life!
No, vomiting was not difficult. My throat had become an amusement park for food; however, I was not amused. I did not want to share this adventure with friends, family, or acquaintances. I wanted to hide. I wanted to hide my food, my feelings; I wanted to hide “me!”
I did not want anyone to know who I was, what I was feeling, or what I was doing. I was a failure!!!!! I was not pretty enough, smart enough, successful enough; I was not perfect! Nonetheless, I survived. Oh, there were those that said I was wonderful, saw me as smart, even brilliant. Some believed me to be beautiful, however, they were not “I.” They did not know the real me.
They were not in my head, my heart, my body, or my soul and they did not know. They did not know what I hid. They could not; I was hiding that from myself.
[Part Four in an Ongoing Series.]